Linksys, Netgear, Norton taking different approaches to whole-home Wi-Fi

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  • Reply 21 of 32
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,469member
    elijahg said:
    I wonder if these are any better at handing off clients between access points? 
    Yes, reviews of most of the new routers and mesh systems I've read report that it's solid, no lag, doing just as you suggest and anticipating the switch.
    edited January 2017
  • Reply 22 of 32
    eightzero said:

    All these are overpriced IMO. Fairly, so is AirPort. 
    I kinda disagree about the Airport routers. I went through at least five different routers that ranged from around $50-100 before finally settling on the Airport Extreme. Each of those low-end routers worked great for anywhere from 3-6 months before they finally began requiring weekly restarts to regain connectivity. I decided to give the Extreme a shot, wondering if a non-budget router would work better. Nine years later and my second-generation AE is still working just as well as it did when it was new, although it is now extending a sixth-generation AE I purchased maybe three years ago (which is also rock solid).

    I can complain about the user interface, the lack of flexible customization options as well as the lack of QoS options. I can also complain that every.stupid.configuration.change requires a restart. I also wish it had more wired ethernet ports (four would be perfect for my needs and it's what nearly every other router offers; three is just one too few). But I still feel like it's worth it because it's the only reliable router I've ever used (and switches are cheap, and I've also figured out how to set up my Ooma in front of my primary Airport which both frees up the needed ethernet port, *and* solves my QoS need).
  • Reply 23 of 32
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,606member
    Norton has been about the worst AV for years now, wouldn't let them anywhere near my network.
  • Reply 24 of 32
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,747member
    eightzero said:

    All these are overpriced IMO. Fairly, so is AirPort. 
    I kinda disagree about the Airport routers. I went through at least five different routers that ranged from around $50-100 before finally settling on the Airport Extreme. Each of those low-end routers worked great for anywhere from 3-6 months before they finally began requiring weekly restarts to regain connectivity. I decided to give the Extreme a shot, wondering if a non-budget router would work better. Nine years later and my second-generation AE is still working just as well as it did when it was new, although it is now extending a sixth-generation AE I purchased maybe three years ago (which is also rock solid).

    I can complain about the user interface, the lack of flexible customization options as well as the lack of QoS options. I can also complain that every.stupid.configuration.change requires a restart. I also wish it had more wired ethernet ports (four would be perfect for my needs and it's what nearly every other router offers; three is just one too few). But I still feel like it's worth it because it's the only reliable router I've ever used (and switches are cheap, and I've also figured out how to set up my Ooma in front of my primary Airport which both frees up the needed ethernet port, *and* solves my QoS need).
    That's fair. It sort of baffles me how a solid state device can degrade over time. Fail catastrophically, sure. Or in the case of a Time Capsule, the drive fails. But it seems like wifi is a bit like HDTV technology in that it has been with us for long enough that significant price drops should be seen. 

  • Reply 25 of 32
    jvmbjvmb Posts: 59member
    crudman said:
    I've got an vertical AirPort Extreme and a white hockey puck Airport Express as an extender. Fantastic coverage all around, no nooks or crannies without very solid connectivity. So, how does this differ from a mesh setup? Isn't a base + extender(s) basically a mesh? Or are there differences in how a mesh setup bounces you?
    I am wondering the same thing. I have a time capsule and an airport express connected via powerline hubs. That seems to be the same setup as the linksys here.

    Any two routers from any brand can be connected via an ethernet cable and and any ethernet connection can be extended via powerline hubs. Just disable the dhcp server on the downstream router and use the same ssid. 

    I hoped that linksys had integrated the powerline network in the router itself. That would be useful. You have to plug the router into the outlet anyway, so why not send the signal through the power cable. You may not be able to use a UPS, but it would be a better idea anyway to integrate the battery in the router. Troubleshooting the powerline network would be easier if you can monitor the status in the router config. 
  • Reply 26 of 32
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,469member
    jvmb said:
    crudman said:
    I've got an vertical AirPort Extreme and a white hockey puck Airport Express as an extender. Fantastic coverage all around, no nooks or crannies without very solid connectivity. So, how does this differ from a mesh setup? Isn't a base + extender(s) basically a mesh? Or are there differences in how a mesh setup bounces you?
    I am wondering the same thing ... That seems to be the same setup as the linksys here.
    They aren't, but that might not matter.

    If you're happy with your setup, the speeds, he management and the coverage then don't bother with a mesh network. You may not see any benefit. Your internet provider's equipment might work just fine, especially in a smaller home with few devices using it. 

    On the other hand if you still have some dead-zones, or even areas where your speeds are dipping but the needs aren't then mesh might be for you. The plus for mesh, at least the more recent setups, is that they can target where the user demands are directing signals as needed, make handoffs between zones and channels seamless, can better handle a dozen or more devices, and better customize coverage for larger homes or remote sections of it like your patio, standalone workshop, or outdoor entertainment area. It can also make your faster but shorter range 5ghz more useful.

    The new smart systems meant for homes and small business are ridiculously simple to setup and manage, a lot easier than most standalone routers and extenders or the older mesh networks used for years in enterprise. For non-techy users (which I consider myself to be) that can be a major reason to consider them. Many even have apps that help you arrange the access-points in the best place for max coverage.  No IT guy or networking knowledge needed. Oh and by the way I'm happy to be corrected about any of this by anyone more knowledgeable (not hard) about it. All I know is from my research prior to buying. 

    FWIW I'm sending my provider their leased equipment later this week (won't save all that much but hey), swapped to a mesh network myself. It will be nice having solid wifi in my standalone workshop and studio. The current internet provider combo modem/router and range extender can only cover the home proper and even there one 2nd floor bedroom on the far side has had poor coverage. 

    EDIT: Here's one of the clearer and more complete explanations. Very good article that can help you decide if a mesh setup would be beneficial. In many cases it wouldn't be.
    http://www.androidcentral.com/do-i-really-need-mesh-network
    edited January 2017 lorin schultz
  • Reply 27 of 32
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,701member
    The difference between a base-extender setup and a mesh depends on the implementation. Some of the mesh systems use additional frequencies to communicate, leaving the wifi network frequency alone and preventing the bandwidth issues caused a classic extender. Also, a mesh network with more than 2 nodes will theoretically calculate the fastest route back to the router and/or split the signal to maximize throughput. I have a Time Capsule and it's been a good router, but it's definitely behind in terms of features - dynamic signal monitoring, QoS, advanced parental controls, on the fly guest network setup are just a few of the things I can think of off the top of my head. From the article, "Velop can also use an Ethernet connection for inter-node communication" - I assume this means it allows Ethernet backhaul?
  • Reply 28 of 32
    jvmbjvmb Posts: 59member
    gatorguy said:
    jvmb said:
    crudman said:
    I've got an vertical AirPort Extreme and a white hockey puck Airport Express as an extender. Fantastic coverage all around, no nooks or crannies without very solid connectivity. So, how does this differ from a mesh setup? Isn't a base + extender(s) basically a mesh? Or are there differences in how a mesh setup bounces you?
    I am wondering the same thing ... That seems to be the same setup as the linksys here.
    They aren't, but that might not matter.
    Sorry, I meant to say the D-link setup which is two routers connected with a powerline connection. The Linksys is an actual mesh network, but the D-link is a router and a range extender. Maybe they made it easier to set up. 
  • Reply 29 of 32
    macxpress said:
    People here may not like this but I think this is exactly why Apple got out of the router business, at least for now. They can focus on other things rather trying to make something others are already doing. If others are getting better and better and making their device setup easily and work very well, what does Apple offer that they don't other than making something very similar with an Apple logo on it? I have a Linksys AC1200 and it works just as good as any AirPort/Time Capsule router does and it was quite easy to setup too. 
    The thing is, when Apple makes all of the external peripherals and hardware available themselves they can fully integrate the entire IT ecosystem in your house. All of the devices know what to expect from each other and because Apple writes the firmware for all of these products they can also go above and beyond current standards when they detect other Apple hardware to work with.

    I do not want to buy a monitor to find out half the ports on it do not work with my mac, or to buy a router that has firmware that assumes I am running windows. I do not want to figure out 3000 different kinds of UI experiences and configurations before I can finally operate all of my equipment before forgetting them down the line since I have not had the need to configure my network setup in a while.

    Despite some failings and some outdated tech in some of these external products that come from Apple at least their user experience tends to be very consistent. My dad understands how to configure his Airport Extreme for the most part but if I showed him a link sys setup page he would not be able to make heads nor tails of half the settings he is presented with.

    Another added bonus is that Apple support staff can be trained to be knowledgable about all of the Apple gear, you cannot however expect them to be aware of the millions of other hardware configurations out there.

    Now I understand that Apple does not, and should not create a portfolio so large that they cannot maintain it. It is however the case that people will be needing Wifi base stations for the foreseeable future, just as that they will need Display Monitors for as long as they continue to sell desktop computers like the MacMini and the MacPro. So while they might not be able to create revolutionary versions of these hardware devices every two years they can and should (in my opinion) at least refresh them with some sort of expected due date to keep customer confidence in the fact that Apple DOES care about them and their use cases.
  • Reply 30 of 32
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,469member
    Donvermo said:
    macxpress said:
    People here may not like this but I think this is exactly why Apple got out of the router business, at least for now. They can focus on other things rather trying to make something others are already doing. If others are getting better and better and making their device setup easily and work very well, what does Apple offer that they don't other than making something very similar with an Apple logo on it? I have a Linksys AC1200 and it works just as good as any AirPort/Time Capsule router does and it was quite easy to setup too. 
     I do not want to figure out 3000 different kinds of UI experiences and configurations before I can finally operate all of my equipment before forgetting them down the line since I have not had the need to configure my network setup in a while.

    Despite some failings and some outdated tech in some of these external products that come from Apple at least their user experience tends to be very consistent. My dad understands how to configure his Airport Extreme for the most part but if I showed him a link sys setup page he would not be able to make heads nor tails of half the settings he is presented with.
    That's the best part of some of the new mesh systems. Your dad would have no trouble at all setting some of them up even without your assistance. NO previous networking experience needed.  
    edited January 2017
  • Reply 31 of 32
    Headline for this article should read "Linksys, D-Link and norton" not "Linksys, Netgear and Norton"


  • Reply 32 of 32
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    designr said:
    cali said:

    these guys seem confused. 
    Why do you say that?
    Sorry for late reply but 2 of the designs are absolutely hideous and there's a big lack of innovation in the market.
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