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Mesh system vs great router when it comes to range

Ompet
Aspirant

Mesh system vs great router when it comes to range

Hi,

 

I'm in the search for a new router, and I need a beast when it comes to range. It's not that it should reach very far (I have a pretty standard size house with 2x 150m2 floors), but every wall in the house is made out of concrete and during my whole life, we have never had a router that has reached reasonably good enough to the basement-floors end. Or the basement floor at all.

 

Would you go with a mesh system (Orbi mini), or a good router(XR500 or similiar)?

If going with a mesh system, how bad would it be to use the powerline networks instead of ethernet cables for backhaul communication?

Message 1 of 6
microchip8
Master

Re: Mesh system vs great router when it comes to range

A mesh system has definitely more range and is recommended over a single router in your case (that is, if you don't want to use APs with the router). Keep in mind that the last few years there hasn't been much improvements regarding range of routers. This is basically a physics limitation and you can't beat physics as its game.

 

 

Routing: NETGEAR R7800 - Voxel Firmware 1.0.2.88SF & Kamoj addon
Switching: 2x NETGEAR 8-ports (GS108v4) / 1x NETGEAR 16-ports (JGS516v2)
Desktop: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X - Server: Intel Core i7-7700K - NAS: Intel Pentium G4400, 16 TB
Message 2 of 6
Ompet
Aspirant

Re: Mesh system vs great router when it comes to range

Okey, thank you for your quick answer!

 

Would you go with the Orbi, or Ubiquiti or any other mesh? I've read some really bad reviews of more or less all mesh systems, so I had some hopes that I didn't need to enter that jungle..!

Message 3 of 6
microchip8
Master

Re: Mesh system vs great router when it comes to range

Personally, I can't recommend any of them since I've never had a need for a mesh system at home. But I know Orbi is one of the more popular systems, but as you say, some users only had a headache with it

 

Having said that, if it's an option of running cables to different places in your house, I'd go for a normal router and multiple APs - it will be cheaper as most mesh systems are quite pricey. 

Routing: NETGEAR R7800 - Voxel Firmware 1.0.2.88SF & Kamoj addon
Switching: 2x NETGEAR 8-ports (GS108v4) / 1x NETGEAR 16-ports (JGS516v2)
Desktop: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X - Server: Intel Core i7-7700K - NAS: Intel Pentium G4400, 16 TB
Message 4 of 6
Ompet
Aspirant

Re: Mesh system vs great router when it comes to range

Running cables is unfortunatley not an option. I have rather many power sockets though, so if powerline ethernet (https://www.netgear.com/home/products/networking/powerline/default.aspx) is an option, then I could go with APs.

When it comes to pricing, sure I don't want to waste money just to waste it, but problem with Wi-Fi is far more costly than a good system. Needing to restart router/mesh systems 1-2 times a week is not an acceptable solution, since I'm buying (or at least trying to buy) a system that should work for at least 5 years.

Message 5 of 6
schumaku
Guru

Re: Mesh system vs great router when it comes to range

There won't be a single router ever - based todays technology and physics - able to cover your house in a reasonable way.

 

The disadvantages of wireless you are already experiencing, with the 5 GHz wireless backbone on wireless mesh things would not even work. With powerline, it's a single shared media, permitting it's all in a single circuit (same single phase). Already of there are two or three circuits/phases, if there are not many cables in place for connecting two- or three-phase powered devices (oven, diswahser, large washers or large tumblers), some coupling device might be required, allowing RF between the different circuits. Powerline is the second last resort before considering a pure wireless backbone Mesh system.  Last but not least, the powerline does build a single media, so all traffic will be seen on the complete powerline (cables, circuits) system - different from a network switch where only the traffic required does go to a port.

 

"Running cables is unfortunatley not an option." There are, for sure....!

 

Spend every effort possible to install at least a vertical CAT5E (the thinnest cables available, but not future proof), better at least a CAT6A (future proof, can run 10GBase-T in the future) instead of investing into powerline technology. For example from the ground for to the first floor and to the basement at least. Even better into the main rooms on each floor where you need Internet (nowadays that's everywhere of course). Then plan some space to locate a PoE switch on each floor.

 

Such a cabling would ideally start from a central point where 

- existing electrical tubing, being for power [sigh, bringing low voltage together with AC power isn't considered legal in many installation legislations], or
- existing tubing for two-wire telephony, or

- existing tubing for cable TV or TV antenna, and
- Internet (fiber, two-wire DSL, Cable TV), and last but not least

- some space for some equipment (like modem, router, switch) 

is available.

 

Of course, some fiber would be even thinner to install along existing installations (and it can follow power circuits, too). For the vertical coverage, this would be the future. The effort (materials - splice/fan-out boxes, know-how, SFD resp, SFD+ modules, specialist engineer hours for splicing) would be much higher. 

 

Talk to your electrician, telephone or cable TV installation people in your area - they can help. And spending say 400...500 USD/Euro ... even 1000 USD/Euro for this support and the materials is the best investment you could do for the next 10...20 years. And don't forget to have a beer on me 8-)

 

Depending on what can be done on installation, you can look into an Netgear Orbi system install with a wired backbone (one on each floor), or even into a small Netgear Insight environment (PoE switches, WAC505 AP) if some horizontal cabling is feasible, too. The more AP nearer to the users mobile systems (and no walls ideally) the better - you can run them on minimum RF power.

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