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Home WiFi Solutions?
Old 04-23-2019, 12:17 PM   #1
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Home WiFi Solutions?

Background: Live in a home that isn't necessarily large, but it is one story and spread out quite a bit and 4 sided brick. Currently using a modem supplied by cable ISP Cox "Panoramic" and it is a terrible piece of equipment. The biggest issue is getting a usable WiFi signal outside on the patio.

I have attempted to change settings on the modem (such as using channels that have stronger signals both on 2.4 and 5.0 bands) but as soon I update it, the modem will resort back to the original bands, which according to my WiFi analyzer are terrible. The internet works perfectly fine if connected via ethernet, so I am considering another WiFi solution and seems like the "mesh" type system is the go-to these days. I don't want an extender, we have used these in the past and well...they are terrible.

So, any of the smart folks out here use a mesh system? I would like something that can be connected via ethernet to the modem and then that device (not the modem) and it's companions would be the WiFi source.

Seems like the Plume system is rated pretty well on Amazon, but I am leery of Amazon reviews of late.
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:23 PM   #2
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I had terrible WiFi and cell reception at home and went through multiple expensive routers and extenders, none of which lived up to their promise. We installed a Netgear Orbi mesh system and it has lived up to expectations and worked very well. Cell over WiFi also has greatly improved, allowing us to use the cell in house. It was pricey but it works, so money well spent.
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:27 PM   #3
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Eero is great.
Ignore the price and buy it.
https://eero.com

More advice - https://www.repeaterstore.com/pages/...esh-networking
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
I had terrible WiFi and cell reception at home and went through multiple expensive routers and extenders, none of which lived up to their promise. We installed a Netgear Orbi mesh system and it has lived up to expectations and worked very well. Cell over WiFi also has greatly improved, allowing us to use the cell in house. It was pricey but it works, so money well spent.
+1
I read so many good reviews of the Orbi mesh system from tech reviewers I trust that I got one. Mine is only two units, master and remote, and that works beautifully throughout my two floors and 3,000 sf. Some houses need three units, but you can always add the third later if necessary.
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Old 04-23-2019, 01:00 PM   #5
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Love my Orbi system also.
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Old 04-23-2019, 01:01 PM   #6
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I have a master and 2 remotes, which I bought as a bundle. Our challenge is not square ft or distance, itís construction. Lots of cement, stucco and metallic film on windows, which are all very unfriendly to WiFi and cellular signals. Setup was easy and quick. Like Braumeister, reliable reviews were what led me to the Omni.

Why the mesh works when an extender does not eludes me, but thereís not doubt - in our circumstance.
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Old 04-23-2019, 01:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davebarnes View Post
Eero is great.
Ignore the price and buy it.
https://eero.com

More advice - https://www.repeaterstore.com/pages/...esh-networking
+1
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Old 04-23-2019, 01:48 PM   #8
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We also live in a house with solid interior walls, the main router is 3 rooms and 3 doors away from ďmyĒ room so I have poor reception in my large L-shaped room plus our recently installed Nest doorbell drops out from time to time. I recently installed a Google mesh WiFi network and it is excellent. 1 hub plugged into the router and 2 others to complete the network. Very easy to set up.
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Home WiFi Solutions?
Old 04-23-2019, 02:05 PM   #9
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Home WiFi Solutions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
I had terrible WiFi and cell reception at home and went through multiple expensive routers and extenders, none of which lived up to their promise. We installed a Netgear Orbi mesh system and it has lived up to expectations and worked very well. Cell over WiFi also has greatly improved, allowing us to use the cell in house. It was pricey but it works, so money well spent.

Ditto. I set up an Orbi mesh system a month or so ago and itís great. The main router is in the center of my house where the main cable line comes in. I have one satellite plugged in an outlet in a front room. My WiFi signal is the best itís ever been. Itís expandable as needed by adding additional satellites...
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Old 04-23-2019, 03:34 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the intel, it's much appreciated! I am going to go with the Orbi and see how that works. With a $40 coupon, I can get it from Amazon for $209.00, quite a bit cheaper than the Plume.
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Old 04-23-2019, 03:43 PM   #11
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I bought this mesh system. In fact, I bought two sets, so I have six nodes total. Our house is 4500sf plus a large patio/deck/pool area and a detached living area.

I was attracted to the excellent price but it also gets very good reviews. I still have my old network running as well (one router, plus two other routers configured as access points). So I've been able to walk around the property and switch between the two networks and test both signal strength and bandwidth performance.

Bottom line: the mesh network had better signal strength at almost every location (not particularly surprising since it had 6 nodes instead of 3). But interestingly, that did not necessarily translate to better bandwidth performance. About half the time, the older network had better bandwidth performance at a particular location despite a weaker signal. I have no idea why.

The kicker for me was that the mesh system switched nodes much more quickly as I walked around. Devices on the old network would hang on to their connection to a specific router/AP until it was nearly useless, even if I was standing directly next to another AP. This resulted in us constantly turning WiFi off and then on again to connect to the closest AP. Mesh solved that issue.

Anyway, we are very happy with the mesh system. It definitely filled in all the dead spots, which was becoming more important as we start to fill the house with smart plugs, cameras, Alexa devices, and the like. I still keep all TVs and PCs hardwired to the main router but the proliferation of other devices like cameras on the front porch meant that we needed a better WiFi system.
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Old 04-23-2019, 04:18 PM   #12
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On a related note, Iím looking for a solution down on my dock. WiFi signal is Ďadequateí for iPad and Iíd like to add a couple of small Bluetooth speakers on the patio and then a couple on the dock itself.

Any suggestions for interior/exterior sound tied into selectable zones? I could start a new thread if warranted.
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Old 04-23-2019, 04:18 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ExFlyBoy5 View Post
Thanks for all the intel, it's much appreciated! I am going to go with the Orbi and see how that works. With a $40 coupon, I can get it from Amazon for $209.00, quite a bit cheaper than the Plume.
My experience is the same as those who mentioned Orbi. I recommend it all the time. Got mine at Costco. One main unit and one satellite. Works well in my 1700 sq ft ranch with plaster walls home. I think youíll be very happy with it.
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Old 04-23-2019, 04:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobra9777 View Post
I bought this mesh system. In fact, I bought two sets, so I have six nodes total. Our house is 4500sf plus a large patio/deck/pool area and a detached living area.



I was attracted to the excellent price but it also gets very good reviews. I still have my old network running as well (one router, plus two other routers configured as access points). So I've been able to walk around the property and switch between the two networks and test both signal strength and bandwidth performance.



Bottom line: the mesh network had better signal strength at almost every location (not particularly surprising since it had 6 nodes instead of 3). But interestingly, that did not necessarily translate to better bandwidth performance. About half the time, the older network had better bandwidth performance at a particular location despite a weaker signal. I have no idea why.



The kicker for me was that the mesh system switched nodes much more quickly as I walked around. Devices on the old network would hang on to their connection to a specific router/AP until it was nearly useless, even if I was standing directly next to another AP. This resulted in us constantly turning WiFi off and then on again to connect to the closest AP. Mesh solved that issue.



Anyway, we are very happy with the mesh system. It definitely filled in all the dead spots, which was becoming more important as we start to fill the house with smart plugs, cameras, Alexa devices, and the like. I still keep all TVs and PCs hardwired to the main router but the proliferation of other devices like cameras on the front porch meant that we needed a better WiFi system.

I think this answers the question I had regarding mesh systems. Do they just enhance coverage around the house (elimination of dead spots), or do they help with actual speed and signal strength? Sounds like only the former if Iím understanding correctly. Our coverage is adequate. Our speed is never good enough. So although intriguing, Iím not sure a mesh system would help us.
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Old 04-23-2019, 05:21 PM   #15
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Another happy Eero customer. I had been fighting spotty wifi in my house for years. First tried a high-end single router, bristling with antennae. Improvement was slight due to the many walls in our 2100 sqft house.

I got an Eero base unit and one satellite and it has been flawless now for 6 months.
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Old 04-23-2019, 05:29 PM   #16
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I'm kind of amazed that in my fairly large, 3 story house, I seem to have no issues. In fact I'm out on the screen porch now, router on the other side of the house some 50 ft away, and I'm getting 24.67Mbps, about the same as inside on my 25M service.

I wonder though, if speed and connectivity are the only factors though. I've mentioned in the cord-cutting thread that when I try to stream sports it's noticeably choppy. I wonder if the mesh would help with that? I'm supposed to get upgraded to 100Mbps next month, I'll see what happens then and maybe consider dropping satellite.
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Old 04-23-2019, 05:46 PM   #17
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We bought a Tenda system and I installed it in ten minutes. What a difference over the Comcast wireless router. We couldn't get wireless in a back bedroom and now we have excellent strength.
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Home WiFi Solutions?
Old 04-23-2019, 08:17 PM   #18
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Home WiFi Solutions?

Right now Amazon has an Orbi system with a base and two satellites for about $200. Thatís enough system to cover 5,000 square feet.

Itís on their deal of the day. See the link below...

https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-Orbi-...gateway&sr=8-1
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Old 04-23-2019, 10:11 PM   #19
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Before installing more equipment I would try:
  • Calling the ISP (Cox) to see why the device is being reconfigured. Maybe they are pushing down their own static configuration. If these other frequency bands work better for your location then it would be worth getting Cox to change it, or giving you control over it.
  • Move the equipment or antenna to a slightly different location. Placing it higher up or out from behind the TV (or away from anything that may be interfering with the signal).
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Old 04-24-2019, 05:57 AM   #20
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We went with the google mesh. Works great. One nice thing was you can plug two ethernet cables into the bottom of any of the pucks - so we dropped a puck by some fixed systems that have been finicky with our old wifi, like our printer and TiVO. They think they are hardwired and it makes their setup easier and more robust
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