Review: Linksys Velop mesh networking kit delivers strong Wi-Fi despite setup quirks

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 61
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 670editor
    glynh said:
    I stopped reading at the first paragraph, quote; "In the past, this was accomplished by network extenders that issued their own network name, or SSID, meaning users had to manually switch sources on their device." What an absolutely load of tosh...I mean it's not like you can't logon and change some basic parameters! Let's face it the first thing you would do is change the default username & password and you're already 50% of the way there! I've been using and setting up friends wifi for many years by making sure the router and all access points irrespective of make have the same SSID, Password & Encryption! Seamless hand-off all over the house, garden, garage, studio, bar & even hot tub without 'manually switching sources on their device.' Having lived with Mesh networking for the last seven years on my Sonos system I have to say I do fancy taking a look at something like Gen 2 Eero at some point in the near future...
    I didn't find using a network extender seamless at all.   Whether using the same SSID or not it was a flaky PIA...  My network extender is now in a box in a closet somewhere (I think).

    I read this article trying to understand if the handoff works any better using this setup -- but didn't find any information on that.   I guess if your network consisted of all stationary units it wouldn't be a problem.  But, roaming from room to room was the issue for me.
    Roaming from node to node is half of what mesh networking solves (the other half is speed improvement over extenders). It will almost certainly work better than network extenders (and I put the caveat there because I don't know which mesh system you'd choose to go with. I did experience roaming problems between nodes with Eero when I reviewed it.)
    edited June 2017 GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 42 of 61
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 670editor
    vmarks said:
    [...] AT&T's doesn't have a true bridge mode - they don't let you disable DHCP, they don't let you bridge it, they only let you connect a router to one of the ethernet switch ports and DMZ it
    The combo modem/router supplied by my provider (Shaw in Vancouver) doesn't provide a way for the USER to put it in bridge mode, but a quick call to tech support is all it takes to get THEM to do it. Is that possible with AT&T?
    I'm going to try, but I am not optimistic. All their support articles, all their customer reps posting online, and the advice in the modem itself is, "use DMZ passthrough."
  • Reply 43 of 61
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,110member
    ireland said:
    What about privacy? And how does Wifi that costs $499 get 4/5?
    Why is price a factor that should lower a product’s rating? If it still has great features and performance seems to me that’s what is being rated. Do auto reviewers knock high end cars for being expensive, or do they instead rate the product’s offering?
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 44 of 61
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,148member
    Soli said:
    Time and time again we see Apple zealots hate a technology simply because Apple has yet to adopt it. If Apple comes out with a mash router setup it'll be interesting to look back at this thread (and others) to see how people instantly change their position on mesh routing over a simple extender.
    Who was that to?
  • Reply 45 of 61
    From my own personal experience, Netgear Orbi has been more stable than Velop - I've had significant issues with the stations in the Velop system "losing their lunch" and having to be power cycled to get them working again.  That said, the Velop of June is worlds better than the Velop of January was.  At least the Velop firmware now supports bridge mode!  The Velop supports wired backhaul (though you have to configure the nodes in wireless mode first, then add the wired backhaul) which is handy if your nodes are too far apart for wireless interconnect.  The Orbi is still limited to its dedicated 5GHz wireless backhaul, which limits how far apart you can place the extender and base station.

    From a setup standpoint, the Orbi was an order of magnitude easier.  The extender comes pre-paired with the base (and the base is clearly labeled as such) so you don't have to spend 45 minutes getting them to talk to each other like you do with the Velop.  The Orbi supported bridge mode on Day One, which was nice for those who have either integrated router/cable modems or who are using pfsense or advanced hardware units like the Ubiquiti EdgeRouter Lite.

    There's also the Amped Wireless Ally, which has lots of good ideas (trying to incorporate near-UTM features and user controls into a base station/repeater pair) but it's got major software implementation issues that make it questionable...for example, there's no isolation between the "guest" network and your "regular" WiFi network!
  • Reply 46 of 61
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 670editor
    From my own personal experience, Netgear Orbi has been more stable than Velop - I've had significant issues with the stations in the Velop system "losing their lunch" and having to be power cycled to get them working again.  That said, the Velop of June is worlds better than the Velop of January was.  At least the Velop firmware now supports bridge mode!  The Velop supports wired backhaul (though you have to configure the nodes in wireless mode first, then add the wired backhaul) which is handy if your nodes are too far apart for wireless interconnect.  The Orbi is still limited to its dedicated 5GHz wireless backhaul, which limits how far apart you can place the extender and base station.

    From a setup standpoint, the Orbi was an order of magnitude easier.  The extender comes pre-paired with the base (and the base is clearly labeled as such) so you don't have to spend 45 minutes getting them to talk to each other like you do with the Velop.  The Orbi supported bridge mode on Day One, which was nice for those who have either integrated router/cable modems or who are using pfsense or advanced hardware units like the Ubiquiti EdgeRouter Lite.

    There's also the Amped Wireless Ally, which has lots of good ideas (trying to incorporate near-UTM features and user controls into a base station/repeater pair) but it's got major software implementation issues that make it questionable...for example, there's no isolation between the "guest" network and your "regular" WiFi network!
    Velop didn't take 45 minutes to get nodes talking to each other. If it had, the review score would have been a lot lower and I'd have talked about it as a real problem. Velop of June is way better than Velop in January must have been. 
  • Reply 47 of 61
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,161member
    vmarks said:
    glynh said:
    I stopped reading at the first paragraph, quote; "In the past, this was accomplished by network extenders that issued their own network name, or SSID, meaning users had to manually switch sources on their device." What an absolutely load of tosh...I mean it's not like you can't logon and change some basic parameters! Let's face it the first thing you would do is change the default username & password and you're already 50% of the way there! I've been using and setting up friends wifi for many years by making sure the router and all access points irrespective of make have the same SSID, Password & Encryption! Seamless hand-off all over the house, garden, garage, studio, bar & even hot tub without 'manually switching sources on their device.' Having lived with Mesh networking for the last seven years on my Sonos system I have to say I do fancy taking a look at something like Gen 2 Eero at some point in the near future...
    I didn't find using a network extender seamless at all.   Whether using the same SSID or not it was a flaky PIA...  My network extender is now in a box in a closet somewhere (I think).

    I read this article trying to understand if the handoff works any better using this setup -- but didn't find any information on that.   I guess if your network consisted of all stationary units it wouldn't be a problem.  But, roaming from room to room was the issue for me.
    Roaming from node to node is half of what mesh networking solves (the other half is speed improvement over extenders). It will almost certainly work better than network extenders (and I put the caveat there because I don't know which mesh system you'd choose to go with. I did experience roaming problems between nodes with Eero when I reviewed it.)
    Thanks!
    I would love to learn more about that.  At least in comparison to other technologies, I've felt for a long time that WiFi had been living in the Middle Ages of technology and its potential not only very poorly exploited but even held back with unnecessary holes in coverage and effective speeds.

    Perhaps, mesh is the path out of those limitations.  
  • Reply 48 of 61
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,161member
    vmarks said:
    glynh said:
    I stopped reading at the first paragraph, quote; "In the past, this was accomplished by network extenders that issued their own network name, or SSID, meaning users had to manually switch sources on their device." What an absolutely load of tosh...I mean it's not like you can't logon and change some basic parameters! Let's face it the first thing you would do is change the default username & password and you're already 50% of the way there! I've been using and setting up friends wifi for many years by making sure the router and all access points irrespective of make have the same SSID, Password & Encryption! Seamless hand-off all over the house, garden, garage, studio, bar & even hot tub without 'manually switching sources on their device.' Having lived with Mesh networking for the last seven years on my Sonos system I have to say I do fancy taking a look at something like Gen 2 Eero at some point in the near future...
    I didn't find using a network extender seamless at all.   Whether using the same SSID or not it was a flaky PIA...  My network extender is now in a box in a closet somewhere (I think).

    I read this article trying to understand if the handoff works any better using this setup -- but didn't find any information on that.   I guess if your network consisted of all stationary units it wouldn't be a problem.  But, roaming from room to room was the issue for me.
    Roaming from node to node is half of what mesh networking solves (the other half is speed improvement over extenders). It will almost certainly work better than network extenders (and I put the caveat there because I don't know which mesh system you'd choose to go with. I did experience roaming problems between nodes with Eero when I reviewed it.)
    There may be another advantage as well -- one that makes the $500 price tag kind of irrelevant:

    When a friend had her iPhone stolen I gave her my old iPhone and added her to my Consumer Cellular plan.  But it's not working because she's burning through 1/4 Gb of data a day -- which will chew through my 5Gb plan in a hurry.

    They've been paying a fortune ($250/month) for a high data usage plan.   And, it's looking like they need the high data plan because parts of their house don't get WiFi coverage and their devices are switching over to cellular.
    ...  At $250/month a mesh system could pay for itself in just about a very few months.
  • Reply 49 of 61
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,475member
    gatorguy said:
    @melgross ;
    Honest question here since you've had actual experience with a few of these new home mesh network products. I have really poor signal in both the workshop and summer-house to the point wifi is almost unusable there. I tried an extender which helps but speeds still weren't very good, I'm now relying on  a T-Mo Hotspot for the workshop which works fairly well but the summer house is at the opposite end of the main home and detached 30' from it. I'm considering a Netgear Orbi (is that one that you've tried?) which the Wirecutter recommends, with the satellite unit placed somewhere central in the home. The main unit would end up only 70' or so from the workshop while the summer house might be 60', perhaps a bit closer, from the satellite unit. Am I wasting my money? FWIW I have pretty good signal in both stories of the house proper. 
    From my experience, distance is a major problem. Some of the better, and more expensive routers have beam shaping. It directs the signal towards the device, rather than in a figure eight pattern, or omnidirectional one. If it can be placed so that thick walls aren’t between it and the device, often you can obtain a better signal. A window, or two doesn’t cut the signal down too badly, I’ve found.

    any one of the highly rated mesh models work well enough. The question is what speeds do you consider to be good? For many people 50Mb/s is good enough. If that the case the one here, or the ‘netgear are fine. I’m not personally a fan of Linksys, as I’ve had two commercial switches burn up. But I can’t say that that has anything to do with their other products. Just a lingering prejudice of mine.
  • Reply 50 of 61
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,475member
    MacPro said:
    melgross said:
    Soli said:
    melgross said:
    Soli said:
    sflocal said:
    Apple's own Airport routers have been doing this for ages.  They make it sound like it's some new trend...

    I really hope Apple discontinuing it is just a rumor.  They're the best, and best built.
    Apple's routers have never had this feature.

    The truth is that almost everything in that article is irrelevant. What matters is how your network is working for you. As long as there is a good enough signal, Apple's routers, set up as extenders, will give you a very large percentage of the full network signal, often out performing almost any mesh network I've seen reviewed anywhere.
    You're equating a donut spare tire as being good as racing slicks because they can get you around a track albeit at a much slower speed. It's really not the same, and I know you don't you that same logic when people claim that an Android tablet or cheap WinPC is just as good as "an Apple."
    Have you ever tried a mesh network? I've tried a few here, and every one had performance that was significantly poorer than my Apple routers. I'm not alone in that. Look at the reviews in the various computer sites that review these. They agree, performance is usually poorer than regular routers, if you get good routers.

    all you need in a wireless network at home is high streaming of whatever you're doing, without dropping from one area in the house to another. I can move from floor to floor, walking around, and can stream at over 500Mb/s without a hiccup. Considering that my equipment is all rated (from Apple's specs) at 866Mb/s, that's damn good for a WiFi network.

    when you consider that my interior walls are almost all brick (house built in 1925), with wood lath, over which is laid steel mesh that the 3/4" mortar is attached to, with at least 1/4" plaster over that, with god knows how many coats of paint, many of which are leaded, and ceilings with the same lath, mesh and mortar and plaster, that's really good.

    i know how to set these things up. And I've never achieved more than much over a quarter of the performance with mesh. That seems to be the normal. Mesh is good for a steady signal, but not for great performance. Maybe later generations will have it, but not yet, at least, not for home unit buyers at these prices.
    I add, if the Apple extender setup were being used with the repeaters at the edge of signal strength from the base station then yes it would suck as Soli is saying. In my case in every home I've had (and it's quite a few) since Apple had their router technology, I always made sure my extending devices were receiving almost maximum signals.  Ok it requires a few more in a larger home but effectively results mesh speeds throughout with Apple simplicity.  The problem with extenders starts when people erroneously assume placing one where they are not getting a good signal is the solution.  

    Just as a side bar, maybe Apple have gone AWOL because they are working on a mesh technology system ... with one click set up.  
    I agree completely. That’s why I say “well placed”. All of these units, mesh included, except for those that use a separate radio signal (or use the wall wiring, though they have their own problems) to carry the WiFi from unit to unit, suffer that same problem. If one unit is getting a poor signal, bandwidth will be limited on it as well. There’s no spactacular solution here. The best is to run Ethernet to all extenders, or whatever, to the access point you need, allowing that point to operate at full speed.
  • Reply 51 of 61
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,475member
    melgross said:
    The truth is that almost everything in that article is irrelevant. What matters is how your network is working for you. As long as there is a good enough signal, Apple's routers, set up as extenders, will give you a very large percentage of the full network signal, often out performing almost any mesh network I've seen reviewed anywhere.
    Hey, that's great. And for those of us for whom such a strategy is NOT working out well? Reviews of available alternatives are very welcome indeed. So far AI reviews have twice saved me buying a WiFi system that would probably disappoint me.
    There is no one solution. If you read articles, and reviews elsewhere, you will see that for many installations, one top line router, placed well, often is a better solution than a mash. But situations vary. I’ve been doing this for a pretty long time. In my house, which is horrible, and worse than most others, I’ve gotten it to work very well. You don’t need what I’ve done everywhere.

    for some people, a mesh is great. For others, it will suck.

    i find that most people have their router in a very bad place, but it’s the only easy place they can put it. So it doesn’t work well for them. For many of then, extenders will work well. For some others, it won’t.

    all I’ve been saying is that I’m reading, here and there, though not everywhere, that mesh is IT. It’s the way to go. That’s not always true, and present mesh solutions tend to be slow, though reliable.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 52 of 61
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,475member

    vmarks said:
    melgross said:

    vmarks said:
    Soli said:
    sflocal said:
    Apple's own Airport routers have been doing this for ages.  They make it sound like it's some new trend...

    I really hope Apple discontinuing it is just a rumor.  They're the best, and best built.
    Apple's routers have never had this feature.

    Thank you. I was going to post this myself, I appreciate your doing it.
    Again, irrelevant. We're talking about home networks. As far as they are concerned, Apple's solution is much better than these. The problem is that Apple hasn't upreaded the hardware in three years, I think, so it's not fully up to date in performance. But my house, which effectively, throughout most of it, acts as a faraday cage, gives me very high effective speeds, when the routers are well placed. These mesh systems are no better, and like most mesh systems, perform poorly when compared to a properly set up network using high performance routers. And it's nonsense that different network names and passwords need to be set with extenders. With some  poorly thought out hardware and software, that's true, but it's not true that extenders must work that way.
    The problem is that the client devices won't disassociate from extenders that have weak signal, and it's just as true of Apple's as it is of other manufacturers. Other manufacturers recommend against using the same SSID, and put the pain of switching on the end user. Apple prevents the end user from feeling that pain, and hopes the device with weak signal isn't so weak that the user notices it's not roaming to the stronger signal extender. The only help for the Apple user is to place the extenders closer together, advice Apple doesn't actually give. That is, Apple's path is more user-friendly, except that it doesn't actually work for a lot of placement situations, and they don't overcome it with a recommendation in the Airport software. Extenders have one wireless card in them, and they have to associate with both the wireless clients and the upstream network they're extending, switching between the two rapidly, instead of mesh, which has two wireless cards, one for upstream to other nodes and one for downstream clients. That's what makes them faster, and what makes them not suffer the need for multiple SSID to ensure the client is connected to the strongest signal device.

    I'm curious about your fiber install. AT&T and Google Fiber both install an ONT and require the use of their provided combination router-modem. AT&T's doesn't have a true bridge mode - they don't let you disable DHCP, they don't let you bridge it, they only let you connect a router to one of the ethernet switch ports and DMZ it, and it slows down the data massively in the process doing that. Using AT&T's, I get 920/940, 500/500 pretty much everywhere. Do Verizon require their own modem-router? Does it have a bridge mode? It looks like at one point Verizon didn't care, and would let you use your own router connected to the ethernet on the ONT. AT&T send 802.1q authentication packets from their modems before they'll bring up the connection, making it difficult to get their unwanted modem out of the way.
    I won’t argue your contention about weak signal. You’re 100% correct about that. That’s why I said well placed. I measured signal strength almost everywhere in the house. Several of the Apple extenders are connected through Ethernet, do there’s no problem at all - full speed ahead. One is connected through WiFi, but isn’t that far away, it’s in a place where it can throw a signal, uninterrupted, to the receiving area. It also gets a strong signal.

    i use Verizon’s gateway. I can hang the other routers off that, reserving the first 10 IP addresses, and using them all as extenders. I have to say though, it’s a bitch to get it working, because neither this, or their older gateway are friendly to this. In fact, if I tried to connect more than one other router, no matter in which mode, though Ethernet, I would lose the WAN completely! That didn’t happen with one connected through Ethernet, and the rest using WiFi. There’s a way, but it’s obscure, and takes experimentation. I never had this problem when using DSL.

    I'm also using Fios Tv, so I’m more limited in changing gateways, as I also need the cable connection. While Verizon doesn’t care, they aren’t helpful either.
    edited June 2017
  • Reply 53 of 61
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,475member

    fahlman said:
    melgross said:
    What a shame Apple is apparently discontinuing (at least, according to rumors), their own networking.

    apple's models have acted as mesh units long before anyone heard of mesh out of rarified and very expensive industrial schemes.

    all you do is to connect an Apple router to your Gateway (modem/router), either using Ethernet or wi/fi, and select "extend this network". Then using your current network name and password, you're done. You can do this with as many Apple routers you need, whether connected through Ethernet, or wirelessly.

    i hope Apple is working on something meeting current standards. The last ones support a/c and 3:3.
    I've lost all respect for your technical knowledge.
    I question it sometimes as well, when I’m in the middle of the night, on the floor, labeling cables.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 54 of 61
    vmarks said:
    Velop didn't take 45 minutes to get nodes talking to each other. If it had, the review score would have been a lot lower and I'd have talked about it as a real problem. Velop of June is way better than Velop in January must have been. 
    It absolutely is, unquestionably.  The Velop of January was really an "Alpha" product - very rough-around-the-edges, many features missing or broken.  The Orbi at least seemed like a "Beta" product when it was released! :) I've recently pulled the Velop out of storage, updated it and experimented with it, and it's matured a lot.  Still kind of Beta-feeling, in that it exhibits occasional odd behaviors - one of the 'extender' nodes stops talking to the 'master' node, so even though devices associate with it, they can't access the Internet (though a quick reboot resolves the issue).  It will send a notification to the Linksys app that the system has lost its connection to the Internet, even though it hasn't. Things like that.  But it's nothing like it was in January...that was almost as big a mess as the Amped Ally!
  • Reply 55 of 61
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,161member
    melgross said:
    melgross said:
    The truth is that almost everything in that article is irrelevant. What matters is how your network is working for you. As long as there is a good enough signal, Apple's routers, set up as extenders, will give you a very large percentage of the full network signal, often out performing almost any mesh network I've seen reviewed anywhere.
    Hey, that's great. And for those of us for whom such a strategy is NOT working out well? Reviews of available alternatives are very welcome indeed. So far AI reviews have twice saved me buying a WiFi system that would probably disappoint me.
    There is no one solution. If you read articles, and reviews elsewhere, you will see that for many installations, one top line router, placed well, often is a better solution than a mash. But situations vary. I’ve been doing this for a pretty long time. In my house, which is horrible, and worse than most others, I’ve gotten it to work very well. You don’t need what I’ve done everywhere.

    for some people, a mesh is great. For others, it will suck.

    i find that most people have their router in a very bad place, but it’s the only easy place they can put it. So it doesn’t work well for them. For many of then, extenders will work well. For some others, it won’t.

    all I’ve been saying is that I’m reading, here and there, though not everywhere, that mesh is IT. It’s the way to go. That’s not always true, and present mesh solutions tend to be slow, though reliable.
    Most routers are placed by the cable the cable company installer.  He only cares that your TV works and he gets on to his next install.

    In any large house or one with traditional plaster walls, the best placement is going to be a central location to avoid peripheral dead spots.   But that means running cable through walls.  They hate doing that -- so most routers are on an outside wall...
  • Reply 56 of 61
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,161member
    melgross said:

    fahlman said:
    melgross said:
    What a shame Apple is apparently discontinuing (at least, according to rumors), their own networking.

    apple's models have acted as mesh units long before anyone heard of mesh out of rarified and very expensive industrial schemes.

    all you do is to connect an Apple router to your Gateway (modem/router), either using Ethernet or wi/fi, and select "extend this network". Then using your current network name and password, you're done. You can do this with as many Apple routers you need, whether connected through Ethernet, or wirelessly.

    i hope Apple is working on something meeting current standards. The last ones support a/c and 3:3.
    I've lost all respect for your technical knowledge.
    I question it sometimes as well, when I’m in the middle of the night, on the floor, labeling cables.
    An engineer who has no doubt of his technical knowledge and abilities is kind of dangerous....
  • Reply 57 of 61
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,475member
    melgross said:
    melgross said:
    The truth is that almost everything in that article is irrelevant. What matters is how your network is working for you. As long as there is a good enough signal, Apple's routers, set up as extenders, will give you a very large percentage of the full network signal, often out performing almost any mesh network I've seen reviewed anywhere.
    Hey, that's great. And for those of us for whom such a strategy is NOT working out well? Reviews of available alternatives are very welcome indeed. So far AI reviews have twice saved me buying a WiFi system that would probably disappoint me.
    There is no one solution. If you read articles, and reviews elsewhere, you will see that for many installations, one top line router, placed well, often is a better solution than a mash. But situations vary. I’ve been doing this for a pretty long time. In my house, which is horrible, and worse than most others, I’ve gotten it to work very well. You don’t need what I’ve done everywhere.

    for some people, a mesh is great. For others, it will suck.

    i find that most people have their router in a very bad place, but it’s the only easy place they can put it. So it doesn’t work well for them. For many of then, extenders will work well. For some others, it won’t.

    all I’ve been saying is that I’m reading, here and there, though not everywhere, that mesh is IT. It’s the way to go. That’s not always true, and present mesh solutions tend to be slow, though reliable.
    Most routers are placed by the cable the cable company installer.  He only cares that your TV works and he gets on to his next install.

    In any large house or one with traditional plaster walls, the best placement is going to be a central location to avoid peripheral dead spots.   But that means running cable through walls.  They hate doing that -- so most routers are on an outside wall...
    It’s really a complicated situation. Many newer houses were, for a time, pretty open plan. Signals had no major obstructions.

    but have a house like mine, with a second floor, and there are major problems. Even using my signal strength meter, it’s hard to find good locations.

    so sometimes, because of a complex network, the gateway needs to be placed at a good point for the wired network, that ends up being in a bad spot for the WiFi network.
  • Reply 58 of 61
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,288member
    melgross said:
    melgross said:
    melgross said:
    The truth is that almost everything in that article is irrelevant. What matters is how your network is working for you. As long as there is a good enough signal, Apple's routers, set up as extenders, will give you a very large percentage of the full network signal, often out performing almost any mesh network I've seen reviewed anywhere.
    Hey, that's great. And for those of us for whom such a strategy is NOT working out well? Reviews of available alternatives are very welcome indeed. So far AI reviews have twice saved me buying a WiFi system that would probably disappoint me.
    There is no one solution. If you read articles, and reviews elsewhere, you will see that for many installations, one top line router, placed well, often is a better solution than a mash. But situations vary. I’ve been doing this for a pretty long time. In my house, which is horrible, and worse than most others, I’ve gotten it to work very well. You don’t need what I’ve done everywhere.

    for some people, a mesh is great. For others, it will suck.

    i find that most people have their router in a very bad place, but it’s the only easy place they can put it. So it doesn’t work well for them. For many of then, extenders will work well. For some others, it won’t.

    all I’ve been saying is that I’m reading, here and there, though not everywhere, that mesh is IT. It’s the way to go. That’s not always true, and present mesh solutions tend to be slow, though reliable.
    Most routers are placed by the cable the cable company installer.  He only cares that your TV works and he gets on to his next install.

    In any large house or one with traditional plaster walls, the best placement is going to be a central location to avoid peripheral dead spots.   But that means running cable through walls.  They hate doing that -- so most routers are on an outside wall...
    It’s really a complicated situation. Many newer houses were, for a time, pretty open plan. Signals had no major obstructions.

    but have a house like mine, with a second floor, and there are major problems. Even using my signal strength meter, it’s hard to find good locations.

    so sometimes, because of a complex network, the gateway needs to be placed at a good point for the wired network, that ends up being in a bad spot for the WiFi network.
    Well I took a gamble on doing a two-point mesh on Saturday and came out impressed. A bit of trial and error to set up the best spot for the second wifi spot, tho the mobile setup app made it too darn easy. This stuff is supposed to be hard, right?

    I've got roughly 108mb/s internet service coming in according to testing.  I'm now hitting 30-50MB/sec in the summer house for the past couple of days, sustained 100MB plus even on the patio/porch which had typically been iffy at times. Workshop still a bit problematic tho, only 17-25 there but still (barely) useable. If I were to add a third point I'd probably be golden. I rarely use my phone there anyway for anything other than background music so I probably won't bother. I'd tried repeaters/extenders before in various places in the house with nowhere near those results.

    For less than a $250 investment I'm happy enough for now. 
    Soliavon b7
  • Reply 59 of 61
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,475member
    gatorguy said:
    melgross said:
    melgross said:
    melgross said:
    The truth is that almost everything in that article is irrelevant. What matters is how your network is working for you. As long as there is a good enough signal, Apple's routers, set up as extenders, will give you a very large percentage of the full network signal, often out performing almost any mesh network I've seen reviewed anywhere.
    Hey, that's great. And for those of us for whom such a strategy is NOT working out well? Reviews of available alternatives are very welcome indeed. So far AI reviews have twice saved me buying a WiFi system that would probably disappoint me.
    There is no one solution. If you read articles, and reviews elsewhere, you will see that for many installations, one top line router, placed well, often is a better solution than a mash. But situations vary. I’ve been doing this for a pretty long time. In my house, which is horrible, and worse than most others, I’ve gotten it to work very well. You don’t need what I’ve done everywhere.

    for some people, a mesh is great. For others, it will suck.

    i find that most people have their router in a very bad place, but it’s the only easy place they can put it. So it doesn’t work well for them. For many of then, extenders will work well. For some others, it won’t.

    all I’ve been saying is that I’m reading, here and there, though not everywhere, that mesh is IT. It’s the way to go. That’s not always true, and present mesh solutions tend to be slow, though reliable.
    Most routers are placed by the cable the cable company installer.  He only cares that your TV works and he gets on to his next install.

    In any large house or one with traditional plaster walls, the best placement is going to be a central location to avoid peripheral dead spots.   But that means running cable through walls.  They hate doing that -- so most routers are on an outside wall...
    It’s really a complicated situation. Many newer houses were, for a time, pretty open plan. Signals had no major obstructions.

    but have a house like mine, with a second floor, and there are major problems. Even using my signal strength meter, it’s hard to find good locations.

    so sometimes, because of a complex network, the gateway needs to be placed at a good point for the wired network, that ends up being in a bad spot for the WiFi network.
    Well I took a gamble on doing a two-point mesh on Saturday and came out impressed. A bit of trial and error to set up the best spot for the second wifi spot, tho the mobile setup app made it too darn easy. This stuff is supposed to be hard, right?

    I've got roughly 108mb/s internet service coming in according to testing.  I'm now hitting 30-50MB/sec in the summer house for the past couple of days, sustained 100MB plus even on the patio/porch which had typically been iffy at times. Workshop still a bit problematic tho, only 17-25 there but still (barely) useable. If I were to add a third point I'd probably be golden. I rarely use my phone there anyway for anything other than background music so I probably won't bother. I'd tried repeaters/extenders before in various places in the house with nowhere near those results.

    For less than a $250 investment I'm happy enough for now. 
    I don’t know what your service plan has in speed, but my FIOS plan is near Gb/s. I get about 400 - 500Mb/s most everywhere for WiFi. Obviously, I receive the full speeds for wired Ethernet. So it depends on your requirements. If your speeds are low, you may never notice the poorer performance of whatever WiFi setup you might have. That’s speaking in general.

    i’d be willing to pay more to get those WiFi speeds up to the 866Mb/s our iPhones and iPads can manage, but that doesn’t seem to be possible right now.
  • Reply 60 of 61
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,288member
    melgross said:
    gatorguy said:
    melgross said:
    melgross said:
    melgross said:
    The truth is that almost everything in that article is irrelevant. What matters is how your network is working for you. As long as there is a good enough signal, Apple's routers, set up as extenders, will give you a very large percentage of the full network signal, often out performing almost any mesh network I've seen reviewed anywhere.
    Hey, that's great. And for those of us for whom such a strategy is NOT working out well? Reviews of available alternatives are very welcome indeed. So far AI reviews have twice saved me buying a WiFi system that would probably disappoint me.
    There is no one solution. If you read articles, and reviews elsewhere, you will see that for many installations, one top line router, placed well, often is a better solution than a mash. But situations vary. I’ve been doing this for a pretty long time. In my house, which is horrible, and worse than most others, I’ve gotten it to work very well. You don’t need what I’ve done everywhere.

    for some people, a mesh is great. For others, it will suck.

    i find that most people have their router in a very bad place, but it’s the only easy place they can put it. So it doesn’t work well for them. For many of then, extenders will work well. For some others, it won’t.

    all I’ve been saying is that I’m reading, here and there, though not everywhere, that mesh is IT. It’s the way to go. That’s not always true, and present mesh solutions tend to be slow, though reliable.
    Most routers are placed by the cable the cable company installer.  He only cares that your TV works and he gets on to his next install.

    In any large house or one with traditional plaster walls, the best placement is going to be a central location to avoid peripheral dead spots.   But that means running cable through walls.  They hate doing that -- so most routers are on an outside wall...
    It’s really a complicated situation. Many newer houses were, for a time, pretty open plan. Signals had no major obstructions.

    but have a house like mine, with a second floor, and there are major problems. Even using my signal strength meter, it’s hard to find good locations.

    so sometimes, because of a complex network, the gateway needs to be placed at a good point for the wired network, that ends up being in a bad spot for the WiFi network.
    Well I took a gamble on doing a two-point mesh on Saturday and came out impressed. A bit of trial and error to set up the best spot for the second wifi spot, tho the mobile setup app made it too darn easy. This stuff is supposed to be hard, right?

    I've got roughly 108mb/s internet service coming in according to testing.  I'm now hitting 30-50MB/sec in the summer house for the past couple of days, sustained 100MB plus even on the patio/porch which had typically been iffy at times. Workshop still a bit problematic tho, only 17-25 there but still (barely) useable. If I were to add a third point I'd probably be golden. I rarely use my phone there anyway for anything other than background music so I probably won't bother. I'd tried repeaters/extenders before in various places in the house with nowhere near those results.

    For less than a $250 investment I'm happy enough for now. 
    I don’t know what your service plan has in speed, but my FIOS plan is near Gb/s. I get about 400 - 500Mb/s most everywhere for WiFi. Obviously, I receive the full speeds for wired Ethernet. So it depends on your requirements. If your speeds are low, you may never notice the poorer performance of whatever WiFi setup you might have. That’s speaking in general.

    i’d be willing to pay more to get those WiFi speeds up to the 866Mb/s our iPhones and iPads can manage, but that doesn’t seem to be possible right now.
    My service is quoted as being 100Mbps, tested throughput is closer to 110Mbps. So considering the distance separating the summer house from the main structure I'm fairly impressed. With even 15Mbps sufficient for simultaneous TV viewing while playing on a smartphone or two I'm good with it. 

    You've got wonderful service there Mel with the best available to me being 300Mbps. But I can't see any potential personal use case that makes the expense worthwhile. 
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