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Mesh network or wifi extender

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by dans, Sep 29, 2018.

  1. dans

    dans NES Member

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    I've got one wifi extender in my house now and I've still got reception problems in one area. I was thinking about either another extender or replacing it all with a mesh network. The problem with the extenders is that they each use a different SSID. It isn't a big deal to set up my devices to log into them all, but it's still not the answer. Once you are logged into one, you stay there until you lose the signal completely or manually switch back and forth. With the mesh network, they are present the same SSID and you can migrate between them as needed.

    To me it seems like a trivial decision, but then I may be missing something. Did I?

    Do you have a mesh network set up? How do you like it? Would you buy that brand/model again or a different one?

    Thanks
    Dan
     

  2. whatluck

    whatluck

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    Without SSID handoff mesh doesnt work too good. The only units I've ever tested personally that do this properly is the Cisco 3800 with the WLC behind it. You're looking at nearly $3k installed for 3 APs. Fkin ridiculous I know, but I use these for grocery store inventory guns and retail store WiFi cordless phones. Any other application it's probably fine to just use the same SSID on a different channel and let the device renegotiate if you change rooms. You don't really need to be able to move from room to room and not drop connection, do you?
     
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  3. jek

    jek NES Life Member NES Member

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    I had issues with extenders as well. As you may know, they lose significant transmit speeds between the base unit and the extenders.

    I changed to a mesh network using the Netgear Orbi. The nice thing about the Orbi is that it uses its own wifi band between the router and extender (I only have one). This gives very high speeds and I find I don't have to "reboot" the wifi system like I did before using the Orbi. It's not cheap, but I got a great deal on ebay the end of last year. I can't say enough good about it, and I have no wifi gaps like the old extenders of which I needed 3. Check online for the best mesh networks and I believe Orbi will be at or near the top pick.
     
  4. chaser001

    chaser001

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    I have the Tenda nova mw6, it doesn’t have a dedicated backhaul channel like the Orbi but I’m fine with that, 2 of my 3 nodes are hardwired so the system can do backhaul via the hardline. It cost 180 for the 3 pack vs 280 for the Orbi 3 pack.
     
  5. lazypengu1n

    lazypengu1n NES Member

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    I've had all the different setups over the years and have successfully setup 10+ Unifi Setups at various locations for friends and family. The ability for you to move from one access point to another without losing a connection is what makes it worth it. I've used various other setups in the past and none have been comparable to this.

    It all depends how much you want to spend, but at minimum you would need a Unifi Cloud Key, Unifi USG, Unifi Switch w POE and 2 Access Points. It's a lot of money up front but like anything else, buy once, cry once. I wished I had done this years ago.

    The company is constantly putting out new firmware updates and upgrades.
     
  6. colt_fan

    colt_fan NES Member

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    Another option is to get a bunch of old Linksys routers that you can brick/root and use DD-WRT with their mesh. It works well enough and it was cheap to do. I was able to get 4 old routers for free from friends.
     
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  7. CrackPot

    CrackPot NES Member

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    After going through multiple different extender options over the years, I finally installed Samsung Connect Home Pro. I have been happy ever since. It also works great with RING doorbell and other gizmos
     
  8. Reptile

    Reptile NES Member

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    I saw commercials for the "Comcast" version.

    The commercial looks like it's pretty simple and just plugs in to your outlets.

    Am I missing something too?
     
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  9. jd4444

    jd4444

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    Sometimes Ethernet over coax works for a situation. You can use Directv adapters and setup a second router as an access point. Mesh networks also half your speed by each node as you get further from the source. Adapters are way cheaper than mesh networks. Maybe an option for you, maybe not.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2018
  10. namedpipes

    namedpipes NES Member

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    Ubiquiti Unifi works nicely.
     
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  11. Daniel MacDonald

    Daniel MacDonald

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    If you have FIOS, you can buy an Actiontek router for under $20 and have new WiFi and ethernst any place you got coax installed
     
  12. LuvDog

    LuvDog NES Member

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    I have ubiquiti unifi access points in my house and they’ve been flawless
     
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  13. dans

    dans NES Member

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    This looks like a good setup. Was I wrong in reading that the access points/mesh need to be connected via cat5 to a switch? If I had cat5 through my house, I wouldn't need a mesh or extender.

    For a home network is the Cloud Key and USG necessary?

    Any experience with the Amplifi from the same company?
     
  14. namedpipes

    namedpipes NES Member

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    Run "factory" terminated cat-5 (unless you're good at terminating the wires) from the built in switch on the router to the places you plan to install wifi units.

    You "want" wifi so you can be mobile. Also lets your phones ease up on the 4g. It's not just for laptops anymore.

    Do it up right and you can play RoBlox while you mow your lawn or Farmville in the tubby-tub-tub.
     
  15. lazypengu1n

    lazypengu1n NES Member

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    CloudKey is what controls everything. It allows for remote access and is how I do it all.

    I just did an install this weekend with the exact setup I mentioned earlier. My friend also had the Amplify WiFi. He could barely get signal or any Speedtest higher than 60.

    I installed the CK, USG, POE Switch and 2 APS. Had to get creative about the AP location due to aesthetic requirements. I ended mounting the APs back to back above the basement staircase. Did a speedtest and now was able to pull 60 via WiFi on either side of the house, backyard and driveway. Wired, 140-150.

    Here are some pics of the install

    1F470FAD-3460-46D1-BD1E-CA4F7DF30A9F.jpeg A9850551-404D-455C-90B6-75491DF4E0CA.jpeg 7DC22D29-DA8A-4E3B-8FED-133C9378CA60.jpeg BFDD3892-D36C-4718-99F2-A6B92694EA3E.jpeg

    Here’s what my rack looks like.

    A09E3E22-27BB-48AE-A9D0-E949E2238FB9.jpeg
     
  16. LuvDog

    LuvDog NES Member

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    The cloud key and USG aren’t ‘necessary’ but make it all work much better. You could just hang the APs off your ISP provided router and run the controller software on a computer on your network. That’s how I had it for a while, but it’s sooooo much better with the cloud key and USG. You don’t really get all the advantages without them.
     
  17. brain_8972

    brain_8972

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    Adding on to the Ubiquiti train. I have two UniFi AP-AC-Lites. One would cover my needs by they only run about $90 each I think. You can use them in 'wireless' uplink mode, if you can't hardwire them all in: UniFi- Feature Guide: Wireless Uplink

    Hardwire if you can. Cloud key not necessary, but nice to have. You can just run the software on your PC, it is only needed for initial set up.
     
  18. 42!

    42! NES Life Member NES Member

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    I've had mesh networks using Rukus (200 acres indoor and out), Aruba (smaller site but bigger buildings), Bluesocket (way back and it was too primitive), But the point is mess is great in a big environment, and the cost reflects that.

    I had a netgear extenders in my house, and just used the same SSIDs and passcodes on the extender as the primary (plus a separate SSID just for the backhaul). Handoff wasn't an issue simply because while equipjment moved, it wasn't often that I'd be streaming video while moving, but even that would work with only a minor hiccup.

    I've heard good and bad about the newer network over power devices. That might be a solution to get an AP in an additional location without going mesh.
     
  19. Snora

    Snora

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    Two WAPs and a router man, don't over think this. I saw a recommendation for the AP-AC-Lite- go pro or go with a different brand, the lite and LR are slow AF.
     
  20. Manipulatory

    Manipulatory

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    Not really missing anything. They're called "power-line adapters" and have been around for quite some time. I have never heard terrible things about them, but there are some limitations on where they can be used and how effective they will be on getting connections where you need them.
     
  21. Manipulatory

    Manipulatory

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    Nice rack. Is that at a business?
     
  22. sHORTY

    sHORTY Staff Member Administrator Moderator NES Member

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    +1 for Ubiquiti - have multiple outdoor APs and a couple long range shots to get to some of the remote stands on our land. Truly professional grade hardware at rock bottom prices.
     
  23. GomerPile

    GomerPile

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    Ubiquiti +1

    I installed these in a 10,000sf building that is the wifi for 12 iPads, a bunch of phones, a couple mac's and they are bulletproof with excellent range. Best wifi access points I have ever seen. They replaced a wifi AP that cost 3X as much and have been more reliable with 3x the coverage and then some.

    The things automagically handoff no matter where you are in the building.

    https://amzn.to/2pS9oci

    [​IMG]
     
  24. Nhusa

    Nhusa

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    I don’t know about the technical part, but I would stay away from anything Comcast/Xfinity unless it was the only option.
    They are a bunch of uninformed, lying cheating snakes.

    If I had a few hours I would tell you what I really think!
     
  25. Varmint

    Varmint NES Member

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    Are you guys talking about MOCA ethernet adapters? I just bought a pair, to connect my router to the XBox One across the house, over the Comcast coax. I haven't tried setting it up yet (I hate network stuff).

    I guess you can put a router or Ethernet switch on the other end, but so far I just need a good signal to the XBox.
     
  26. Varmint

    Varmint NES Member

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    I assume this doesn't work with Comcast? (FIOS not available in my town). I had to buy a $170 MOCA adapter set, would rather pay $20.
     
  27. Varmint

    Varmint NES Member

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    You must work for Geek Squad. ;)
     
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  28. dans

    dans NES Member

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    I was trying to avoid this. My house isn't wired for ethernet and I'd rather not have cat5 cable running everywhere.
     
  29. namedpipes

    namedpipes NES Member

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    It's how it's done. (I suggested factory terminated cables because most people don't have skills/tools to do it right). Any "extender" solution is just patching the problem.

    If you route the cables properly, nobody but you will ever know. It'll just work.
     
  30. 42!

    42! NES Life Member NES Member

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    Well that's good because you should really be running OM3, need to future proof that baby. [wink][laugh]
     

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