[SOLVED] Advice needed on Orbi AX4200, Orbi AX6000 or Ubiquiti Alien AX8000

Jan 15, 2022
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Hi everyone,

I'm in need of a new wireless router and want to move to a mesh system. I've done a bit of research and these are the models I have landed on however, can't seem to find enough consistent info to make a decision from here. Can I please get your views on each of these options?

The setup is for a large terrace dwelling, three storey with concrete slabs and brick walls. The current wifi router is about 10 years old and has powerline extenders to provide full coverage throughout the dwelling. There is a NAS for media. TVs connected in each of the four bedrooms and home office.

Appreciate your views and recommendations.
 
Actually having more antenna requires they transmit at a tiny bit less effective power but this gets into the massive details too quickly.

The total power out is the same as it has always been. It is actually extremely complex rules because of wifi6 trying to use 160mhz wide bands and weather radar avoidance rules.

In best case the maximum allowed power is still 1 watt total. This include the actual output power of the amplifier as well as the gain from the antenna.

1 watt of power can be translated to 30db. Most amplifiers are 250mw which is 24db and they commonly use 5.5 db of antenna gain to say under the 30db limit. If you were to use say big 10db antenna you would have to cut your amplifier to 20db or 100mw.

The optimum value both for performance and price is to use 250mw amplifiers which is why almost all equipment has 5.5db antenna.

You will notice I did not mention anything about which data encoding methods were being used. The power output is not really affected by how much data they attempt to pack into the radio signal.

You have to be careful reading end consumer reviews. Both wifi and powerline networks are greatly affected by the house they are run in. Powerline networks also have improved over the years so you can't look at the older models. The newer ones work much better. Still you can't use mbps are you measure. Wifi in general tends
to be faster but the speed is extremely inconsistent. If all you do is download big data files then wifi will be better. For things like online games the stability of powerline network is much better. Powerline networks are not fully immune to interference, I have a shop vac that will kill them from anyplace in the house. Wifi though is subject to interference from outside your house that you have no control over.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Hi everyone,

I'm in need of a new wireless router and want to move to a mesh system. I've done a bit of research and these are the models I have landed on however, can't seem to find enough consistent info to make a decision from here. Can I please get your views on each of these options?

The setup is for a large terrace dwelling, three storey with concrete slabs and brick walls. The current wifi router is about 10 years old and has powerline extenders to provide full coverage throughout the dwelling. There is a NAS for media. TVs connected in each of the four bedrooms and home office.

Appreciate your views and recommendations.
Concrete slabs and brick walls will probably give you a bad experience with mesh (wireless uplink) systems. WIFI can't penetrate those construction materials.
 
Jan 15, 2022
6
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10
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Concrete slabs and brick walls will probably give you a bad experience with mesh (wireless uplink) systems. WIFI can't penetrate those construction materials.
I'm not sure that's the case with these specific models though. From what I understand, these models are designed for large coverage and to penetrate through concrete. My current setup works though concrete, just not that well. Anyway, these options have 3 nodes which I'll place on each level so it shouldn't be an issue anyway.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
I'm not sure that's the case with these specific models though. From what I understand, these models are designed for large coverage and to penetrate through concrete. My current setup works though concrete, just not that well. Anyway, these options have 3 nodes which I'll place on each level so it shouldn't be an issue anyway.
WIFI is limited in power by the govt. These systems will penetrate the same as your current hardware. The satellites may improve your experience, but keep your expectations low, IMO.
Do you have no coax infrastructure?
 
Where did you get that information, the marketing guys say all kinds of things that are not actually fully true.

The distance the signal goes and how well it penetrates walls is purely a function of transmit power. The allowed power is the same as it has been since the beginning of wifi.
Even worse very complex signals like wifi6 uses actually have more issues going distance. Things like QaM1024 only works well in the same room for most people.

What will happen is the wifi6 will drop back to slower less dense encoding that can tolerate more data loss. It likely will not be better than what you currently have unless it is very old.

There really is no solution to concrete walls absorbing the signals. You can't just place them anywhere you want. You have to place them so the remote "repeater" can get good signal from the main router but still be able to transmit to the far room that has issues. When you have a wall the optimum placement might be inside the wall.
In effect one antenna on each side.

You really need to look for another solution. Do you have old coax tv cables in the rooms? If nothing else poweline networks should work to get the signals through the walls.
 
Jan 15, 2022
6
0
10
0
WIFI is limited in power by the govt. These systems will penetrate the same as your current hardware. The satellites may improve your experience, but keep your expectations low, IMO.
Do you have no coax infrastructure?
That's really interesting. I didnt know WIFI is limited by the government. From what I have read (granted, it's marketing material) these systems have more antennas and also more powerful ones. Is that all BS?
Unfortunately no coax in the building and getting it installed is a major job that I don't want to pay for.
 
Jan 15, 2022
6
0
10
0
Where did you get that information, the marketing guys say all kinds of things that are not actually fully true.

The distance the signal goes and how well it penetrates walls is purely a function of transmit power. The allowed power is the same as it has been since the beginning of wifi.
Even worse very complex signals like wifi6 uses actually have more issues going distance. Things like QaM1024 only works well in the same room for most people.

What will happen is the wifi6 will drop back to slower less dense encoding that can tolerate more data loss. It likely will not be better than what you currently have unless it is very old.

There really is no solution to concrete walls absorbing the signals. You can't just place them anywhere you want. You have to place them so the remote "repeater" can get good signal from the main router but still be able to transmit to the far room that has issues. When you have a wall the optimum placement might be inside the wall.
In effect one antenna on each side.

You really need to look for another solution. Do you have old coax tv cables in the rooms? If nothing else poweline networks should work to get the signals through the walls.
Yeah, it was from the product brochureware.

I was of the understanding these systems have more antennas and more powerful ones too. Good to know about WIFI 6, I had no idea that was worse for long distance. No coax unfortunately, I wish that wasnt the case. There is also another reason why I want to move to mesh which I didnt mention in the original question. My current wifi setup constantly causes issues where the NAS will completely drop connection and devices sometimes (rarely) have issues connecting and just get booted off the network. I have spent a lot of time in the past on different forums (not this one) to try and identify the issues. The general consensus was it's the age of the router combined with the powerline extenders which everyone seems to rubbish.
 
Actually having more antenna requires they transmit at a tiny bit less effective power but this gets into the massive details too quickly.

The total power out is the same as it has always been. It is actually extremely complex rules because of wifi6 trying to use 160mhz wide bands and weather radar avoidance rules.

In best case the maximum allowed power is still 1 watt total. This include the actual output power of the amplifier as well as the gain from the antenna.

1 watt of power can be translated to 30db. Most amplifiers are 250mw which is 24db and they commonly use 5.5 db of antenna gain to say under the 30db limit. If you were to use say big 10db antenna you would have to cut your amplifier to 20db or 100mw.

The optimum value both for performance and price is to use 250mw amplifiers which is why almost all equipment has 5.5db antenna.

You will notice I did not mention anything about which data encoding methods were being used. The power output is not really affected by how much data they attempt to pack into the radio signal.

You have to be careful reading end consumer reviews. Both wifi and powerline networks are greatly affected by the house they are run in. Powerline networks also have improved over the years so you can't look at the older models. The newer ones work much better. Still you can't use mbps are you measure. Wifi in general tends
to be faster but the speed is extremely inconsistent. If all you do is download big data files then wifi will be better. For things like online games the stability of powerline network is much better. Powerline networks are not fully immune to interference, I have a shop vac that will kill them from anyplace in the house. Wifi though is subject to interference from outside your house that you have no control over.
 
Jan 15, 2022
6
0
10
0
Actually having more antenna requires they transmit at a tiny bit less effective power but this gets into the massive details too quickly.

The total power out is the same as it has always been. It is actually extremely complex rules because of wifi6 trying to use 160mhz wide bands and weather radar avoidance rules.

In best case the maximum allowed power is still 1 watt total. This include the actual output power of the amplifier as well as the gain from the antenna.

1 watt of power can be translated to 30db. Most amplifiers are 250mw which is 24db and they commonly use 5.5 db of antenna gain to say under the 30db limit. If you were to use say big 10db antenna you would have to cut your amplifier to 20db or 100mw.

The optimum value both for performance and price is to use 250mw amplifiers which is why almost all equipment has 5.5db antenna.

You will notice I did not mention anything about which data encoding methods were being used. The power output is not really affected by how much data they attempt to pack into the radio signal.

You have to be careful reading end consumer reviews. Both wifi and powerline networks are greatly affected by the house they are run in. Powerline networks also have improved over the years so you can't look at the older models. The newer ones work much better. Still you can't use mbps are you measure. Wifi in general tends
to be faster but the speed is extremely inconsistent. If all you do is download big data files then wifi will be better. For things like online games the stability of powerline network is much better. Powerline networks are not fully immune to interference, I have a shop vac that will kill them from anyplace in the house. Wifi though is subject to interference from outside your house that you have no control over.
I'm embarrassed to admit this however, this is getting a little over my head now. I think what I am hearing is no mesh system will work that well because of the house setup? Do you have an opinion on the mesh systems I mentioned initially?
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
I'm embarrassed to admit this however, this is getting a little over my head now. I think what I am hearing is no mesh system will work that well because of the house setup? Do you have an opinion on the mesh systems I mentioned initially?
Neither of us that have responded to your thread are very enthusiastic about "mesh" systems. They are more marketing than they are technology.
Paying someone to pull 4 to 6 ethernet cables to areas of your house is what will get you good networking. Ensure that there are cables pulled to where you have the most devices. THAT is where you want to have your WIFI signal originating.
 
Jan 15, 2022
6
0
10
0
Neither of us that have responded to your thread are very enthusiastic about "mesh" systems. They are more marketing than they are technology.
Paying someone to pull 4 to 6 ethernet cables to areas of your house is what will get you good networking. Ensure that there are cables pulled to where you have the most devices. THAT is where you want to have your WIFI signal originating.
Understood, thank you for the advice. Appreciate it.
 
I'm embarrassed to admit this however, this is getting a little over my head now. I think what I am hearing is no mesh system will work that well because of the house setup? Do you have an opinion on the mesh systems I mentioned initially?
This is why there are people who make huge money installing wifi in business. It takes lots of detailed knowledge of how this stuff really works to do it correctly. Your general home user can't afford to pay to have it done correctly and most do not want to spend the time to learn all the details.
The marketing guys like to pretend just give us money and we have a magic solution for you that really just empties your wallet the fastest.

Being a person with actual engineering degrees "mesh" is one of those things that tends to irritate me a lot.
 

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