Question Mesh Vs Bridge

mozga628

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I recently got Comcast gigabit service, dumped their modem/router and bought a nighthawk cable modem (no wifi on this modem!).
for full wifi ax coverage through the house, would it better to have a router + another router in bridge mode (to connect non wifi devices not near the cable modem), or setup a MESH network?
which is faster? which takes more maintenance? do to the importance of this project, price is NOT a consideration
 
Although there is not a lot of difference in the price anymore I would not get to hung up on wifi6(802.11ax). It is very hard to get it to run in 160mhz mode and many devices only support 80mhz. For a lot of people there is not a huge difference between 802.11ax and 802.11ac
Wifi6e is now starting to get more common and this has much more bandwidth on the 6g radio band so it should let us use the 802.11ax encoding to it full potential. I still doubt it can get giabit speeds.

So you need at least one router if the device you purchased is only a modem.

In the remote room it does not do a lot of good to put in a bridge mode.....I assume you mean you want to wireless connect to the router. This device will get the same crap signals the wifi radios in your end devices get. It is basically a wifi card that is connected via a ethernet cable and it will not function must different than a quality USB wifi nic card.

Now putting a mesh unit in the same room has the same problem. It will get a crap signal from the main router and then try to repeat it to the end client which tends to damage the signal even more. It most times will be worse than connecting directly to the main router with the wifi in the end device.

To work properly the repeater/mesh must be placed where is can get good signal from the main router and still send a second signal to the remote room. There is a lot of overhead in doing this so you lose a lot of speed and you now have 2 wifi signals that can be interfered with. You should really only use mesh when you have no other options.

The best solution is to use a ethernet cable to connect between the router and the remote room and then put a AP or router running as a AP to provide the coverage. If money really is not a consideration I would call around and see what a electrician will charge to run ethernet, many times it is not real expensive.

After that you use other wired technology to replace the ethernet connection. The next best is MoCA. This can actually get gigabit speed if you buy the units that claim they are 2.5. It requires a coax tv cable in both rooms. After that you consider powerline networks. Things like AV2-2000 will get close to 300mbps in many houses. It depends on the path of the electrical wires. Powerline might be slower than a repeater/mesh system but the latency will be much more stable. This is especially important for people who want play online games over the connection.
 
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mozga628

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Thank you for your response Bill001g,
"In the remote room it does not do a lot of good to put in a bridge mode.....I assume you mean you want to wireless connect to the router."
The modem is on the 2nd floor, my home office is in the basement. my company laptop has wifi disabled by GPO, and my personal desktop and NAS are wired only. the bridge mode is meant to complete these wired connections wirelessly. also of note: my current bridge solution is a WUMC710 that gets about 250-300Mbps.
Wireless AX offers both greater range to go through 2 floors and greater speed. the wireless AX is not competing with my AC solution in an optimal 1300Mbps environment. My goal is to achieve 600Mbps or better in my office.
The MESH solution i am thinking of is the:
https://www.bestbuy.com/site/netgear-nighthawk-ax3600-tri-band-wifi-6-mesh-system-3-pack/6452548.p?skuId=6452548
placement would be the mesh router on the second floor, a satelite on the 1st floor, and the second satelite in the basement.
or if i go with a router in bridge mode:
https://www.microcenter.com/product/608750/netgear-nighthawk-tri-band-ax12-rax200-ax11000-wifi-6-router

I realize a wired solution will always be best, but drilling and cutting into walls is not an option as things like this are specifically covered in my lease. Otherwise, i would just have comcast move the the cable line to where it is needed most.
 
I see with multiple device a bridge would let you buy just 1 wifi radio.

I would take your phone and see how strong the current signal is.

AX does not have more range the any other form of wifi.....unless you try to combine the concept of bandwidth which is not really valid. Say you sit across the room from the router and speed from say 300 to 600. Did the signal really go any more distance ? So lets say you have a fairly low power let say 1 bar on the indicator. Maybe you get 25% more speed...again the signal is not going farther. So when the signal drops to zero bars you still get no data transfer no matter what encoding you are using. The signal level and how far it goes is purely a function of transmit power and that is limited to the same 1watt no matter what type of encoding you use.

Using this argument I could say 802.11b goes father because the signal is simpler and can detected at lower signal levels.

In the end if the walls/floors eat the signal that is what really dictates the distance the signal goes.

If you can get a bridge to work directly it is likely going to be better than a mesh.

If we look at mesh and 802.11ax.
First since you have 2 5g signals each can not run 160mhz this means you are limited to 80mhz just like 802.11ac. The other big thing that makes 802.11ax faster is the QAM1024 encoding. Pretty much this only works with very high signal power, mostly in the same room. So now you are using 80mhz and something like QAM256. This is the same as 802.11ac.

I doubt you are going to come anywhere near 600mbps. I suspect it will be closer to 300mbps or even lower because of the repeater. The only way you get 600mbps is when you can directly talk to the router using 160mhz channels and qam1024. The numbers router manufacture put on the box are extremely deceptive. They would call a ethernet cable 2gbit because they add transmit and receive speeds together but ethernrt can actually do that unlike wifi which is half duplex.

This is more reset your expectations to a more realistic level. Someone who say had concrete floors it would be almost impossible to get any signal 2 floors up even with repeaters. If you can get a couple 100mbps and have it fairly stable I would count that as a win. I would still not play online games on this type of connection.
 

kanewolf

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I recently got Comcast gigabit service, dumped their modem/router and bought a nighthawk cable modem (no wifi on this modem!).
for full wifi ax coverage through the house, would it better to have a router + another router in bridge mode (to connect non wifi devices not near the cable modem), or setup a MESH network?
which is faster? which takes more maintenance? do to the importance of this project, price is NOT a consideration
If "price is not a consideration" then having a professional installer pull ethernet cable and install multiple WIFI access points would be the best answer.
 
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mozga628

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AX does not have more range the any other form of wifi.....
This actually contradicts what the comcast guy told me, but some quick google searches validate what you are saying, and debunk comcast guy's claim.

i ended up getting MESH from Best Buy, although they matched Amazon's price of 399. i really was in a time crunch because i needed a solution by monday at 9am.

Setup was a breeze with this. i installed an app on my phone and it walked me through step by step what needed to be done.
So i have the router on the second floor by the modem (of course), although i plan to get a 20ft cable can get the router out of the current room its in to a more central area without walls.
the 1st satelite is at the back door by the patio, and this gives me a LOT of range for alexa devices when friends are over.
the 2nd satelite is in the basement by my home office setup where the bulk of internet devices are located.
comcast speed test (when i'm not competing with the kids for bandwidth) is around 400 (please note, this is my desktop connected to the satelite via a patch cable)
the exact same test run on my phone (note 20) is 291.1, almost EXACTLY what you predicted.

I did have a slight hiccup initially with the network crashing every couple minutes or so that started after i added smart tv's, and alexa devices, phones, and 3 NAS connected to the satelite via a HUB... but after a lot of frustration, the issue was resolved when i disconnected the HUB. tentatively i am planning to re-use the linksys wumc710 bridges for the NAS's.. at least until i can figure out why the 3 NAS's crashed the MESH network.

overall, i am not completely dissatisfied. i was hoping to get upwards at 600, but i see now that was an amateur's wish. but 400(ish) is still near double what i had previously. so it was $400 well spent.
 

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