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Aspirant

Nighthawk or Orbi

Hi all, 

 

Looking for advice on a Network setup for our new summer home.  The house is 3 levels, approximately 1,200 SF each level.  First floor has kitchen, living room, 3 bedrooms.  Second floor has 3 bedrooms and living area.  3rd Floor is a bonus/entertainment area.

 

Both living rooms have surround sound/entertainment centers and whole house has audio.  All networking equipment and A/V equipment will be housed in a closet on the second floor.  At any given time, there will be 10 people in the house w/ phones, tablets, computers etc.  House also has a video security system, smart TV's, Xbox One etc.

 

Cat5e cable has been run to each floor near the entertainment systems.  My question is this:  Should I purchase an Orbi system and put the satellites in AP mode or should I go with an router like a R8300 and hardwire a WAC 104 access point on each floor?  Worried about coverage, speed and seamless Wifi handoffs.

 

I also want to be able to have a strong Wifi connection in the yard which extends about 40 feet from the rear of the home.

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

Message 1 of 20
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Master

Re: Nighthawk or Orbi

 

I have Orbi in a 3-level ~2,900 SF house. With the router on the top floor and one satellite on ground floor I get good coverage throughout the house. By good, I mean at least 35 Mbps speetest on an iPhone. I can also obtain 10 Mbps throughput on my laptop from outside, 500' away from the house.

 

I have no nearby neighbors, so no interfering WiFI APs from my neighbors.

 

Orbi is in AP mode behind a third-party router.

 

Orbi works great.  If I had Ethernet throughout the house I probably would have installed wired APs though.

 

Message 2 of 20
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Aspirant

Re: Nighthawk or Orbi

Any recommendations on routers/APs?

Message 3 of 20
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Master

Re: Nighthawk or Orbi

I think Orbi should work very well for you. You could start with the base unit on the middle floor and one satellite on the top floor. Then you could add a second satellite on the bottom floor, if you needed it. You can also move the satellites easily if you need to adjust coverage.

 

As far as AP recommendations, I also have a second site with Ubiquiti APs.  These work very well and provide a lot of information and configurability.  Unless you buy the new expensive HD models, the single client throughput is less than Orbi though.

 

I'm not sure I can recommend a router. The ones I have experience with are either expensive and/or difficult to configure.

 

 

Message 4 of 20
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Re: Nighthawk or Orbi


@mcervinojr wrote:

 

Cat5e cable has been run to each floor near the entertainment systems.  My question is this:  Should I purchase an Orbi system and put the satellites in AP mode or should I go with an router like a R8300 and hardwire a WAC 104 access point on each floor?  Worried about coverage, speed and seamless Wifi handoffs.

 

I also want to be able to have a strong Wifi connection in the yard which extends about 40 feet from the rear of the home.

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

 


the orbi sats do not work connected to ethernet and seeing as you already have structured ethernet they would be a waste and not as functional

 

all you really need is a wireless router ( because of the 4 ports ) set at each location running in AP mode , something like the netgear r7000 would be fine for this job

 

back where the ethernet cables terminate you can run a router to control everything , the router could be another netgear r7000 with its wifi on or off , you may already have a wifi router you could use , just remember the router is the most important device in your network so make sure its got a good fast cpu and lots of ram

 

for outdoor you would be best to install an external access point on the tv pole or similar something like a tp link external access point powered by POE ( power over ethernet ) i dont think netgear have an affordable external access points

 

the orbi may work but it does a far better job of single story homes than multi story mainly because of its need to use 5 gig backhaul instead of ethernet

 

pete

Message 5 of 20
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Master

Re: Nighthawk or Orbi

I wouldn't necessarily disagree with with what @peteytesting says, but the fact is Orbi works very well in my 3-level home.  And as I said, I can get good throughput outside, from 500' away from the home, which is phenomenal.  I could never do that with my previous WiFi routers.  The backhaul has no problem giving good throughput through one level of flooring, which is why I said to put the Orbi "router" on the middle floor.

 

The reason I didn't think wired APs are necessarily the obvious best solution here is because the OP made it sound like he had a SINGLE ethernet drop on each floor. If he had drops in every room, then yes go with wired APs for sure.  However, with only one drop per floor, it may be difficult to get full coverage of the 1,200 SF on each floor, depending on where the drops are.

 

Just factors to consider.

Message 6 of 20
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Aspirant

Re: Nighthawk or Orbi

That is the case. There is only a single drop on first floor, 2 on second floor and 2 on third floor. One in the third floor will be for the exterior.

I was thinking of going with an Ubiquiti Ap on each floor but I've heard mixed reviews.
Message 7 of 20
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Re: Nighthawk or Orbi

the connectivity of the sats to the main router depends on what material those floors are made of and thats prob the kicker here , if its all wood it might be fine , if its all concrete it may be impossible to get the backhaul signal to connect

 

having ethernet on each floor would negate the issue of the concrete and this give a better overall throughput and coverage

Message 8 of 20
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Re: Nighthawk or Orbi


@mcervinojr wrote:
That is the case. There is only a single drop on first floor, 2 on second floor and 2 on third floor. One in the third floor will be for the exterior.

I was thinking of going with an Ubiquiti Ap on each floor but I've heard mixed reviews.

if you go with dedicated ap's you would still need to get a switch per drop as well , unless you have ceiling drops i dont think the dedicated ap's are as good a solution

 

the r7000 in ap mode gives you 4 ethernet ports to use as well as wireless ac coverage

 

and ether way you would still need a main router and what ever it needs to connect to the internet

 

what internet type does the house have ?

 

 

Message 9 of 20
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Aspirant

Re: Nighthawk or Orbi

Comcast Cable
Message 10 of 20
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Master

Re: Nighthawk or Orbi

The Ubiquiti APs work great. I have them and would buy them again.  If the main use of your network is running benchmarks, or you demand the fastest throughput on the market, then you need to buy the new $350 AP-AC-HD APs.  Otherwise the AP-AC-PROs work very well.

Message 11 of 20
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Re: Nighthawk or Orbi


@mcervinojr wrote:
Comcast Cable

so is the cable modem also a router or is it a pure modem or bridged

 

if its pure modem or bridged what would you be using as the router

is the cable modem located in the same place the ethernet cables are all running back to ?

 

 

Message 12 of 20
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Aspirant

Re: Nighthawk or Orbi

Pure modem. I don't have a router yet. I would decide which one once I figure out if I'm going Orbi, Ubiquiti, or other.
Message 13 of 20
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Re: Nighthawk or Orbi

the ubiquiti unifi stuff is very good and a neat solution if you where in building stage and able to run ethernet to the ceilings and mount them where they are designed to be and then employ a ubiquiti edge router to go with them , btw you dont need to go the pro stuff , the unifi ac lite ap's are good enough

 

however you arnt in building stage and so are limited to where the ethernet is located and how to have it all connected

 

i still think a few well placed r7000 in ap mode is going to solve your wifi coverage issues , i do however prefer asus routers for feature set and over all performance

 

the choice is your and ether way should be fine but as i said the orbi sats wont connect to the ethernet and must rely on its 5 gig wifi backhaul which may be an issue depending on location of the cable modem and where the orbi router can be located

 

so go with ether the unifi or r7000 suggestions above rather than the orbi simply due to the fact you have the structured ethernet in place

Message 14 of 20
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Master

Re: Nighthawk or Orbi

 

You decide what you like best, but here are the peak throughput figures from Ubiquiti employees on their forums.  This is for a single very capable AC client, a few feet from the AP.

 

UAP-AC-Lite: ~300 Mpbs

UAP-AC-PRO: ~600 Mbps

UAP-AC-HD: ~900 Mbps

 

Total throughput drops pretty fast for 10 clients or more, to 130 Mbps for the Pro and 370 for the HD.

 

https://community.ubnt.com/t5/UniFi-Wireless/Macbook-Pro-Tx-Rate-with-UAP-AC-Pro/td-p/1579124/page/3...

 

Message 15 of 20
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Re: Nighthawk or Orbi


@st_shaw wrote:

 

You decide what you like best, but here are the peak throughput figures from Ubiquiti employees on their forums.  This is for a single very capable AC client, a few feet from the AP.

 

UAP-AC-Lite: ~300 Mpbs

UAP-AC-PRO: ~600 Mbps

UAP-AC-HD: ~900 Mbps

 



UAP-AC-Lite: ~300 Mpbs is 867M max

 

UAP-AC-PRO: ~600 Mbps is 1300M max

 

UAP-AC-HD: ~900 Mbps is 1733M max

 

so again almost all portable devices are limited to a max 867M 2 x 2 so the throughput 300Mbps no matter which ap you employed

 

coverage is a different matter and has been shown even the HD unifi doesnt have the same coverage as the higher end wiireless routers

 

these unifi ap's and others like it are designed to work in multiples and to saturate the area with wifi

 

 

Message 16 of 20
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Apprentice

Re: Nighthawk or Orbi

The obvious answer is most certainly the Orbi Home WiFi system with 2 satellites

 

If you were to get a router I'd get the Nighthawk R9000 and make sure that it is in the center of your home. 

 

Message 17 of 20
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Master

Re: Nighthawk or Orbi

Would you get a Orbi or nighthawk for 1200 square foot house 1956 construction need a wired lan port to feed to desk top computer, wireless printer and laptop?

Upgrading from a wndr3400v1 netgear router becoming unstable.

Message 18 of 20
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Apprentice

Re: Nighthawk or Orbi

The Orbi and a satellite will cover 4000 sqft normally(not sure how far it will extend in an older home like yours). But my guess is the Orbi is overkill. If you don't have budget then sure, you can thnk about getting it.

 

I'd probably get a Nighthawk for sure. Probably an R7000. An R9000, once again, isn't really needed unless you don't have a budget, then of course it's the best Nighthawk out there. For price and quality I'd probably do the R7000, R8000, R7500v2, R8500. All the choices are good ones.

 

If your WNDR3400 was working fine(full coverage and good speeds) before the trouble then keep in mind that you should have a lifetime warranty on it. I'd contact netgear and make sure.

Message 19 of 20
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Master

Re: Nighthawk or Orbi

The wndr3400v1 is a eol(end of life) product sad to say.

Message 20 of 20
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