Question Mesh Network Questions

cameronson

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Apr 30, 2011
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I currently have an Eero setup with a Pro and Beacon in the hallway. Internet has just been upgraded from 100 down to Gigabit (940 down). Between Eero, Velop, and any other mesh networks, which of them will provide me the fastest speeds? I get that the fastest will always be via ethernet, but I want to maximize download/upload speeds over WiFi as well.

In research it seems like the Velop system fits that bill, but I get a bit lost in all of the AC talk. They've got too many of them! Also, what happens when you mix a tri band with a dual band like with Eero Pro and Beacon? Does the beacon effectively cut down speeds on the network because of it being dual band, or does it not actually matter since it's still capable of 5Ghz? The velop configurator suggests I get an AC4800 setup (1 Tri-Band with 2 Dual-Band nodes) for $399. Any benefit to going with 3 tri-band towers instead for $479 when it comes to speed?
 
Your best option if you can make it work is to run a single router to cover your house. If this is not possible the next option is to use a second router as a AP. This is attached to the main router via ethernet. Of course you need ethernet in another part of the house. You can use powerline network to simulate the ethernet cable and hook a ap to that.

When none of the above is a option...and really consider running a ethernet cable if there is any possibility.....then you look at repeaters/mesh.

Mesh is just a fancy form of repeater. The older repeaters and even some of the mesh units receive the signal and then retransmit it with the same radio. This alone cuts your speed in half but it is much worse since the signals interfere. Some of the better mesh unit have a radio to connect back to the main router and then different radios to connect to the end users. You need to read the fine print. Some you must choose if you use the 2.4g or 5g radio to connect to the main router leaving the other to connect to the end users. Some have a extra radio to connect back and then 2.4g and 5g radio to talk to the end stations.

In any case you have multiple radio signals all subject to interference. The interference from neighbors is most the reason people need repeaters in the first place. Even a weak signal with little interference will work well but now days everyone has tri-band routers and mesh units in their house so every person is pretty much attempting to use 100% of the radio bandwidth.

You need to really study the documentation because many of the mesh units can run in many different mode. You need to be sure they use a dedicated radio to talk back to the main router or it is no different than all the crappy repeaters.

Mesh really buys you very little it is designed for people that just want to put in lots of boxes and it magically works. It is not the optimum solution. You never see large enterprise organizations who have huge budgets using mesh, it is something targets to your non technical home users mostly.
 

cameronson

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Apr 30, 2011
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Thanks for your response! Given all you've said, do you have a router you prefer? My home has ethernet routed to each room, so setting up as you suggest is doable. What kind of speeds can you get over wifi in a configuration like you've suggested?
 
Which router you run depends on your end equipment to some extend. For example it does not do you any good to buy a router with 4x4 mimo when your end devices do not have 4 antenna. The vast majority only have 2. There are many other things like qam1024 is none standard and is not supported on many end device and it only works when you are close to the router.

Most routers use the same chipset for similar routers. All the router makers buy the chipset from the same 2 or 3 providers. As long as you stay with major brands the will have very similar perforance.

I like asus routers but that is purely because of the merlin firmware.

A nasty surprise you will find now that you have a fast internet connection is that you can not use most the fancy router features. Routers to get very high speeds have special hardware options that move the NAT function off the main cpu. If you use function like firewalls or parental controls and many other features the traffic again passes via the cpu. The top routers will top out under 300mbps if you can not use the hardware assist feature.

Pretty much a fairly simple router say running 1450 which is 3x3 mimo will be the best choice. It all depends on your equipment. If you have stuff that can do 200mps connection on 2.4g it will be faster to get a router that supports it. 150mbps is the fastest speed per channel that is part of the offical standard. The 200 is part of the 802.11ac standard but was never suppose to be used on 2.4g but many vendors do it.

I would start with a single router and see how it works. You can then decide if you want actual AP or you want to use a router. Ubiquiti sells nice AP but mostly the reason you buy a actual AP is for the PoE function. That way you don't need power near the ethernet port. I do it to avoid putting UPS In rooms
 

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