[SOLVED] Good WiFi Mesh for an area of approximately 3600 square feet ?

Mar 29, 2023
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Hello,

I currently use a Linksys EA9500 v1 router (situated at the top-left corner of my house - this cannot be moved without paying my cable company $200.00+):

http://en.techinfodepot.shoutwiki.com/wiki/Linksys_EA9500_v1.1

...and a Netgear EAX15 range extender (situated in the middle of my house):


...and have an office laptop (situated at the bottom-right corner of my house) that keeps dropping my connection (but only momentarily).

For general web surfing, this is not a problem.

However, for work, I need to be on a VPN and the slightest connection drop kicks me off the VPN and requires 15 - 30 seconds to get back on (and depending on the day/time/network usage - this can happen 10 to 40 times a day).

This prompted me to look for more capable networking solution (like a wifi mesh).

Note: My house is approximately 3600 square feet. My price range is no more than $600.00.

My questions are the following:

1. Is a WIFI mesh a suitable solution?

2. If yes, should I look for a solution with 2 mesh units (1 router + 1 extender) or 3 mesh units (1 router + 2 extenders)?

3. If 2 mesh units should be good enough, would a unit like the following be a good choice : https://www.netgear.com/home/wifi/mesh/rbk852/

Note: If purchasing the 2 unit mesh, I'd likely position the router (at the top-left corner of my house) and the extender either at the center of the house or in my office (at the bottom-right corner of my house).

4. If 3 mesh units would be a better alternative, would a unit like the following be a good choice : https://www.amazon.com/dp/B085VNCZHZ/ref=twister_B08NQZ12WV?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Note: If purchasing the 3 unit mesh, I'd likely position the router (at the top-left corner of my house), the 1st extender at the center of my house and the 2nd extender in my office (at the bottom-right corner of my house).

5. My worries with the Netgear solution is that there are a lot of complaints about software immaturity and setup issues.

6. My worries with the Amazon solution is related to data harvesting/data privacy (as I'm not sure if the Amazon router sends any of my data to Amazon's central servers).

7. If my choices above aren't good, what solution would your recommend?

My sincerest thanks,
Nelson
 
Solution
The coax cables just need to be connected to each other. In general moca can co exist on the same coax cable as tv both over the air and cable tv and even the internet can share the same cables. The only exception tends to be things like satellite tv. Since these devices use something very similar to moca to allow you to record on a dvr in one room and watch in another. These interfere with moca but many modern satelite boxes have ethernet port on them.

Gocoax has gotten their units back in stock again and they tend to be cheaper. This brand tends to be the most popular because they were the first to offer the 2.5g moca devices.
https://www.amazon.com/goCoax-Ethernet-Bandwidth-existing-MA2500C/dp/B09QZS7SJV

In...
Mar 23, 2023
11
2
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Hello Nelson,
I'm happy to help with your networking questions. Here are my answers to your questions:
  1. Yes, a Wi-Fi mesh network could be a suitable solution for your connectivity issues.
  2. It depends on the size and layout of your house, as well as the location of your devices. If two mesh units can provide sufficient coverage and signal strength, that could be a good option. If you need more coverage or want to improve signal strength, three mesh units may be a better choice.
  3. The Netgear Orbi RBK852 you linked to is a highly-rated and powerful Wi-Fi mesh system that could work well for you. Placing the router in the top-left corner of your house and the extender in the center or your office could provide good coverage and signal strength.
  4. The Amazon Eero Pro 6 is also a highly-rated and powerful Wi-Fi mesh system. Placing the router in the top-left corner of your house, the first extender in the center, and the second extender in your office could provide excellent coverage and signal strength.
  5. While there are some complaints about software and setup issues with the Netgear Orbi, it is generally well-regarded and highly-rated.
  6. The Amazon Eero does collect some data for diagnostic purposes, but Amazon has stated that they do not sell customer data and take privacy seriously. However, if you are concerned about data privacy, you may want to consider other options.
  7. Another option to consider could be the Google Nest Wi-Fi system. It is highly-rated and offers good coverage and signal strength. Placing the router in the top-left corner of your house and an extender in your office could provide good coverage. It is also within your price range.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Use wired connections whenever possible.

Ethernet cables should be Cat 5e, round, pure copper (not aluminum, or copper clad), 22-24 AWG.

That said: If the cable company wants $200 to move the connection to the router to where you can use Ethernet connections (versus wireless) or be closer to the router for required wireless use then that would be my recommendation.

Versus spending the cited $600 for a mesh setup. Mesh setups may or may not improve network performance. And certainly not faster than wired. Barring substandard cables, connections, or other physical network problems.

Plus, before purchasing any mesh system or components thereof , go online find, and carefully read the installation guides and manuals.

Be sure, for example, that the devices will work with your current router and network setup.

Google, for example, requires a google router.

Reference:

https://support.google.com/googlene...ifi can create a,with your Google Wifi points.

From the link FAQs:

"Google Wifi can create a mesh network only with Google Nest Wifi and Google Wifi routers and points. If you have a non-compatible router (such as a Cisco, Linksys, or Netgear router), it won't mesh with your Google Wifi points."


Details matter.
 
Using mesh to solve this should be your very last option. This is even more true when you are doing something silly like chaining multiple repeaters.

First many mesh systems will not do router---repeater--repeater---end devices. What you will find is many systems only connect between the router and the remote units not between the remote units. You need to read the details.

Even if they do work this way you pay a massive performance hit. You also now have 3 wifi signals in the path all of which can get interference and packet loss/delays. The unit even interfere with each other.

So things to consider.

  1. Do you have ethernet cables in the remote rooms. Have you looked into how much it would cost to have one run. You could use the ISP method of running cables on the outside of the house if you really wanted but it might be possible to run them in the attic or basement.
  2. Do you have coax cables near the router and in the remote rooms. MoCA can run full gigabit over coax cables.
  3. Poweline networks will likely be more stable than any wifi connection. They will only get maybe 130mbps max in most houses but that should be a lot faster than running a 2 hop repeater connection.
 
Mar 29, 2023
5
0
10
Hello Nelson,
I'm happy to help with your networking questions. Here are my answers to your questions:
  1. Yes, a Wi-Fi mesh network could be a suitable solution for your connectivity issues.
  2. It depends on the size and layout of your house, as well as the location of your devices. If two mesh units can provide sufficient coverage and signal strength, that could be a good option. If you need more coverage or want to improve signal strength, three mesh units may be a better choice.
  3. The Netgear Orbi RBK852 you linked to is a highly-rated and powerful Wi-Fi mesh system that could work well for you. Placing the router in the top-left corner of your house and the extender in the center or your office could provide good coverage and signal strength.
  4. The Amazon Eero Pro 6 is also a highly-rated and powerful Wi-Fi mesh system. Placing the router in the top-left corner of your house, the first extender in the center, and the second extender in your office could provide excellent coverage and signal strength.
  5. While there are some complaints about software and setup issues with the Netgear Orbi, it is generally well-regarded and highly-rated.
  6. The Amazon Eero does collect some data for diagnostic purposes, but Amazon has stated that they do not sell customer data and take privacy seriously. However, if you are concerned about data privacy, you may want to consider other options.
  7. Another option to consider could be the Google Nest Wi-Fi system. It is highly-rated and offers good coverage and signal strength. Placing the router in the top-left corner of your house and an extender in your office could provide good coverage. It is also within your price range.

Hello Harisrehman,

A big thank you for your help.

Regards,
Nelson
 
Mar 29, 2023
5
0
10
Use wired connections whenever possible.

Ethernet cables should be Cat 5e, round, pure copper (not aluminum, or copper clad), 22-24 AWG.

That said: If the cable company wants $200 to move the connection to the router to where you can use Ethernet connections (versus wireless) or be closer to the router for required wireless use then that would be my recommendation.

Versus spending the cited $600 for a mesh setup. Mesh setups may or may not improve network performance. And certainly not faster than wired. Barring substandard cables, connections, or other physical network problems.

Plus, before purchasing any mesh system or components thereof , go online find, and carefully read the installation guides and manuals.

Be sure, for example, that the devices will work with your current router and network setup.

Google, for example, requires a google router.

Reference:

https://support.google.com/googlenest/answer/7168315?hl=en#:~:text=Google Wifi can create a,with your Google Wifi points.

From the link FAQs:

"Google Wifi can create a mesh network only with Google Nest Wifi and Google Wifi routers and points. If you have a non-compatible router (such as a Cisco, Linksys, or Netgear router), it won't mesh with your Google Wifi points."


Details matter.

Hello Ralston18,

I too agree that wired connections are always better.

However, my house is too big, plus there are computers all over the house (at all 4 corners).

I can't do a wired setup (or if I did, I'd have cables running throughout the house).

As for various mesh setups, it's understood that if you go with a mesh setup, that I have to replace my current router and use a new router (pertaining to the mesh setup).

Regards,
Nelson
 
Mar 29, 2023
5
0
10
Using mesh to solve this should be your very last option. This is even more true when you are doing something silly like chaining multiple repeaters.

First many mesh systems will not do router---repeater--repeater---end devices. What you will find is many systems only connect between the router and the remote units not between the remote units. You need to read the details.

Even if they do work this way you pay a massive performance hit. You also now have 3 wifi signals in the path all of which can get interference and packet loss/delays. The unit even interfere with each other.

So things to consider.

  1. Do you have ethernet cables in the remote rooms. Have you looked into how much it would cost to have one run. You could use the ISP method of running cables on the outside of the house if you really wanted but it might be possible to run them in the attic or basement.
  2. Do you have coax cables near the router and in the remote rooms. MoCA can run full gigabit over coax cables.
  3. Poweline networks will likely be more stable than any wifi connection. They will only get maybe 130mbps max in most houses but that should be a lot faster than running a 2 hop repeater connection.

Hello Bill001G,

A big thank you for the information.

So as for MoCA; I do have coax cables in every room of the house (that said, I'm not sure how they are all connected - but the cables do allow me to watch TV).

However, I'm not sure if the coax cables are internet "active".

In other words, I'm using cable internet/TV, but when I tried to move my router and modem to another room in the center of the house (which also had a coax connection), I found that the modem wouldn't connect. When I looked into things further, I found out that my cable internet company hadn't activated the coax line (to allow me to access the internet from any other rooms).

1. Can I assume because of this that MoCA won't work? Or is MoCA able to pass network signals regardless of whether the cable internet/TV company has activated the line for internet/network data usage?

2. Each room has a single coax line. When it comes to a MoCA unit like the following :

https://www.amazon.com/Actiontec-MoCA-Network-Adapter-Ethernet/dp/B08ML1TSXC?th=1

How would you connect things at the router point? For instance, my router connects to a modem which connects to a coax line (in one room). How would I connect both my modem and MoCA adapter in the same room? Would using a coaxial splitter work? And if so, would that lead to issues, as it looks like a coaxial splitter is used to allow for TV and internet from the same coax line, but I'm not sure if that would work for internet and additional network usage.

A big thank you,
Nelson
 
The coax cables just need to be connected to each other. In general moca can co exist on the same coax cable as tv both over the air and cable tv and even the internet can share the same cables. The only exception tends to be things like satellite tv. Since these devices use something very similar to moca to allow you to record on a dvr in one room and watch in another. These interfere with moca but many modern satelite boxes have ethernet port on them.

Gocoax has gotten their units back in stock again and they tend to be cheaper. This brand tends to be the most popular because they were the first to offer the 2.5g moca devices.
https://www.amazon.com/goCoax-Ethernet-Bandwidth-existing-MA2500C/dp/B09QZS7SJV

In effect you hook a lan port of your router to a moca box and then you connect moca boxes in any other room. They more or less appear to be on ethernet switch where all the device can talk to each other. Be aware though that the total bandwidth is still only 2.5g for all the devices combined. Tends to not be issue for most people.

The only question in your case is why is the coax cable that goes to the modem no connected to all the other jacks. Did they disconnect it when they run the internet in. You would think there is another coax cable that goes to the rest of the rooms either on a different jack or maybe disconnected in the wall plate.

All you would need is a coax splitter to connect things together.
 
Solution
Mar 29, 2023
5
0
10
The coax cables just need to be connected to each other. In general moca can co exist on the same coax cable as tv both over the air and cable tv and even the internet can share the same cables. The only exception tends to be things like satellite tv. Since these devices use something very similar to moca to allow you to record on a dvr in one room and watch in another. These interfere with moca but many modern satelite boxes have ethernet port on them.

Gocoax has gotten their units back in stock again and they tend to be cheaper. This brand tends to be the most popular because they were the first to offer the 2.5g moca devices.
https://www.amazon.com/goCoax-Ethernet-Bandwidth-existing-MA2500C/dp/B09QZS7SJV

In effect you hook a lan port of your router to a moca box and then you connect moca boxes in any other room. They more or less appear to be on ethernet switch where all the device can talk to each other. Be aware though that the total bandwidth is still only 2.5g for all the devices combined. Tends to not be issue for most people.

The only question in your case is why is the coax cable that goes to the modem no connected to all the other jacks. Did they disconnect it when they run the internet in. You would think there is another coax cable that goes to the rest of the rooms either on a different jack or maybe disconnected in the wall plate.

All you would need is a coax splitter to connect things together.

Hello Bill001G,

Just want to make sure the setup below is correct (as the new goCoax MoCA 2.5 Adapter is missing a splitter that the previous version used).

That said, can I assume if I get cable TV with all my coax lines (whether internet is passing through or not), that I should be good?

If so, as for parts, can I assume the following are all I would need?

2x MA2500D - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09RB1QYR9/ref=twister_B09DFNP17D?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

1x Bi-Directional MoCA Splitter - https://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matter...ctional+coax+moca,electronics,154&sr=1-3&th=1

If this is correct, can I assume the following setup is correct (please see image URL below)?

https://pasteboard.co/1euO50lywhlG.png

If so, a big thank you for all your help.

Regards,
Nelson
 
Not sure what gocoax is upto. Many of their older units had the extra coax ports so you didn't have to buy more splitters. They seem to now only sell the model with the 2.5g ethernet port. At least you can buy them again, there have been a number of times in the past few years that they are out of stock for months at a time.

Your plan should work but there must be another splitter where the internet comes into the house and connected to all the other cables. If you can find this you want to place a moca filter in the line so your signal does not go into the internet. In theory at least someone could get onto your moca network and/or you might cause interference for the ISP or other customers. Many people do not use these filters but it is recommended.