Issues with MESH network

painoz

New Around Here
Asking for some help in solving my home wifi speed/coverage problem.

I have a 4200 sq ft, 2 story home. ISP AT&T Fiber (1GB) with BGW210 Gateway. Home has a wired network with Netgear GS116 switch. On my previous wifi system, I had turned off the BGW210 wifi and use an Airport Extreme as my wifi router with an apple time capsule and express wired through the home network used as extenders. I had signal (albeit weak) all over the home including outside to Ring security cameras. Speeds were slow however so I decided to upgrade.

Bought a 3 device Eero 6+ MESH to upgrade/replace the previous wifi system. Had nothing but problems with the system. 5ghz worked great with 400+mbps speed test. Problem I was having was that range was horrible, 2.4ghz band was unusably slow and several 2.4ghz devices would not connect (ring security cameras mainly). Anything 5ghz was great if it was within range. Spent 3 days on the phone with their tech support. No solution. Only positive was that it was easy to get in touch with Eero tech support.

After 3 days of stress and being pissed off, went and bought DECO AXE5300 3 node MESH system. Having all the same issues, but 5hz coverage is much better but still does not cover my entire home. 2.4ghz signal is weaker than 5ghz and speeds <1mbps.

I am about ready to go back to my old system with the apple products, because at least all my devices would be in range and would connect.

Anybody got any suggestions as far as why the MESH 2.4ghz signal is unusably slow and does not have the range it should?

Also, if I go back to my old system can I turn on the wifi on the BGW210 and use all three apple products as extenders over my wired LAN?

Thanks for any help.

Nate
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
Home has a wired network with Netgear GS116 switch.

I wouldn't play with home "mesh" systems and install Omada or UniFi system instead with the number of APs needed. It will be more expensive, but you do it right once and you know you have Wi-Fi. Use professional help if you don't know how. Otherwise you have to continue playing with home "mesh".
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
If you like the AT&T wireless they make wired back hauled extensions for wireless. My daughter has one at her house. They work fine and are very reliable. I never have to work on it as AT&T maintains it.
As far as I know they are free. AT&T installed it when they installed fiber at my daughter's house.

Dump the mesh system as I don't think they are a good idea. They need to use wire for back haul not wireless.
 

Tech Junky

Very Senior Member
I'll second @Tech9 in using real APs. Mesh is a marketing term that simplifies things for the inept but, comes with drawbacks as you've experienced.

There are different approaches to getting this right. You can build a network with a controller to simplify management at an additional expense or you can just manage them in stand alone mode for free.

For the size of your home though 4 APs would probably be ideal. On the low side this might run $600. Personally I use Zyxel which is a mid tier provider between smb and enterprise. You can typically pick them up for $150/ea and they provide great speeds and coverage. I'm using the nwa210ax for my needs and it's rock solid. The only reboots are for firmware updates.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
or you can just manage them in stand alone mode for free

Possible, but in Omada case the controller also allows cloud management, manages roaming technologies, provides network statistics, allows different guest sign-in options, expands SafeStream routers configuration options, etc. The software is free. Hardware controller is about $100. What's going to be more expensive - PoE switch. It's good to have for all future PoE powered devices though - IP cameras, for example. It will cost more, but it will work for many years and upgrades won't require entire system replacement like with home products. Better throughput and reliability too.
 

Tech Junky

Very Senior Member
@Tech9

I agree, ,just offering a different view. A 4 port poe++ switch isn't going to break the bank but, in the case of Zyxel they do come with a wall wart as well besides poe. Since they come with a 2.5ge for backhaul as well you can do a 5 port 2.5 switch for minimal cost whereas a similar port option might be several hundreds in comparison. Ops 400mbps speeds is fine but, more than likely a client adapter limitation that shipped with the device and could be upgraded.

With my 2.5 backhaul and an AX411 card I can hit single client lan speeds of 1.5gbps since it combines 2.4/5 bands for aggregate speed. Though with the AX210 card it still hit 1.2gbps and didn't require using the latest CPU.

It all depends on the use though and budget. The Zyxel will do gig or 2.5 though. When moving files across the network it's nice to have plenty of speed. When it's a larger transfer I opt for Ethernet though since both ends of my setup are 5ge and makes quick work of bulk transfers.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
A 4 port poe++ switch isn't going to break the bank but, in the case of Zyxel they do come with a wall wart as well

I don't like and don't recommend temporary solutions. Otherwise I would advise @painoz to continue trying different home "mesh" setups.
 

Tech Junky

Very Senior Member
temporary solutions
I don't like temporary either but, if using AC adapters for some time to find the right final solution within budget helps.

I used a POE injector since it's a single AP I'm running where a multigig switch just didn't make financial sense for a single port. Picked a 10GE POE-I for $60 instead. It gets a bit entangled when dealing with higher than 1ge but lower than 10ge and figuring out the end to end speeds w/o bottlenecks. The other issue seems to be market penetration of 2.5/5GE options when it comes to switches and/or POE on top of that.

Networking isn't a cheap game to be in though. It's definitely a get what you pay for situation in most cases. With the exception of the snake oil "mesh" crap on the market. There's no reason to pay $1500 for a set of nodes that's just going to crap out in real world use. It's just sad that companies make promises their products can't deliver.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
It's just sad that companies make promises their products can't deliver.

Consumer market is all about marketing. False advertising is everywhere and very few users can verify what works and what doesn't. This play on the business market means out of business soon. Latest and greatest goes through consumer users as beta testers first. Paying testers - good business.
 

Tech Junky

Very Senior Member
Which is why I avoid most things you can walk into a store and purchase. Getting away from consumer brands makes life better when you don't want mess with all of the issues you see in forums. Having played with a ton of different gear from different vendors personally and professionally it's easy to spot the snake oil. When dealing with a Cisco backbone router the size of a full rack and cards that support 100GE modules it puts things into perspective when it comes to consumer gear. I tend to gravitate towards more obscure gear brands and have had good luck with them. Aquantia chips for networking perform well in the mgig space without the high price of Intel or prepackaged switches. There's always a trade off though between home/smb/enterprise in price and performance.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
No consumer will pay $50000 for backbone router. What I'm talking about above fits comfortably in $2000 with proper Router, PoE switch, Network Controller and AX-class Access Points. Done right and made to last. For someone with 4200 sq.ft. house it shouldn't be a problem.
 

painoz

New Around Here
Thanks for the feedback. I have decided to go the path of least resistance for now.....5 Apple extremes in a wired roaming network. Only cost me $50 for 2 used ones as I already have 3. Will serve its purpose in the near term.
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
I would be worried about the firewall on the Apple Extremes. You should probably run at least a front firewall or run your ISP's modem as a router and turn off the wireless so you will have some kind of modern firewall.
 

painoz

New Around Here
OK. Can someone please help me setup my home network? I am not a network idiot, but am not as smart at it as most of you. I have AT&T 1GB Fiber to my home. I have an Arris BGW 210-700 Combo Modem/Router (supplied by AT&T). My home is 4300 sq ft and is ethernet wired with Cat5e in all rooms. I have created a pseudo smart home that relies heavily on 2.4 ghz wifi with wifi light switches throughout and Ring outdoor security cameras. I attempted to setup a roaming network by turning off the wifi on the Arris and placing 3 airport extremes, 1 airport time capsule and 1 airport express (all ethernet connected) at various points in the house to ensure coverage.

Network topography looks like this:

Arris BGW210-700 (wifi off) ethernet to Apple Extreme; Apple Extreme ethernet to 16 port switch; then, 2 Apple Extremes, 1 Time Machine and 1 Airport Express connected by ethernet at various rooms in house.

The 5ghz wifi works great with speeds of 400mb/s on average. The problem I am having is that the 2.4ghz is very slow (1-2mb/s) and has very limited range so that a lot of my 2.4 ghz devices will not connect or are unusable because it is so slow (ring cameras). What is weird is that if I turn on the Arris wifi, the apple devices 2.4ghz speed increases to where I think it should be (60-70mb/s).

I am looking for tips on the setup of the network, and recommended settings in both the Arris and apple devices to maximize coverage, speed and to try and fix my slow 2.4ghz problem. It is the same problem I was having with both the Eero 6+ and Deco MESH systems I tried to "upgrade to" and couldn't get it to work which makes me believe it is something with my setup, settings or the Arris BGW 210-700.

Some specific questions:
1- Should I use the wifi router function on the Arris?
2- What settings should be on the Arris (AT&T was no help and just wanted me to buy their extenders)?
3- I setup the Airport devices by resetting them, then going through the setup process creating a new network with all the same SSID and password in bridge mode. Is that correct?

Sorry for the long post. I am at my wits end. Screwing with this for over a week.

Thanks for any help.

Nate
 

painoz

New Around Here
Fitst off, I would replace the Airports with newer hardware. Apple no longer sells them and there are much better alternatives available. If you want the ease of setup/managing of the airports then I would look at the eero line of mesh wifi routers. If you are using Apple Homekit their support is lacking with their newer units wifi 6 devices.
 

painoz

New Around Here
Tried the Eero and Deco as referenced in my post. Couldn't get them to work on 2.4ghz properly (slow speed 1-2 mb/s and very little range). Customer support worthless in solving that issue. I understand that the Airports are old, and there is better out there, but I have them. I am not looking to spend $1000-$2000 if i don't have to.
 

Smokey613

Very Senior Member
Tried the Eero and Deco as referenced in my post. Couldn't get them to work on 2.4ghz properly (slow speed 1-2 mb/s and very little range). Customer support worthless in solving that issue. I understand that the Airports are old, and there is better out there, but I have them. I am not looking to spend $1000-$2000 if i don't have to.

Yea, I posted and then realized this was an older thread. I will have to agree with @Tech9 and the others. With your size home and existing network wiring, you are going to have to go with a more business class solution to obtain the service you want.
 

Smokey613

Very Senior Member
On the eero units, IMHO the only units worth considering are the eero Pro 6. Also, despite what eero claims, their system works best as a wireless mesh.
 

painoz

New Around Here
Yea, I posted and then realized this was an older thread. I will have to agree with @Tech9 and the others. With your size home and existing network wiring, you are going to have to go with a more business class solution to obtain the service you want.
Ok. Can you give me suggestions on how you would set it up including what brand/model devices you would use (with $$ being a factor). Thanks.
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
Arris BGW210-700 (wifi off) ethernet to Apple Extreme; Apple Extreme ethernet to 16 port switch; then, 2 Apple Extremes, 1 Time Machine and 1 Airport Express connected by ethernet at various rooms in house.

the Airports as AP's are pretty good - however it does sound like you have a bit too much WiFi out there, so a lot of self-jamming/co-channel interference...

You could drop off half of the airports, and still be in good shape - 3000 sq ft can be covered well enough by two Airport Extremes properly placed...

Alternately, with Airports, you can fix the wireless modes, so make a couple of them 5GHz only, disabling 2.4Ghz on a couple of them.

that Airport express isn't helping things, but it's good for some things still (they're awesome for audio to a receiver for example)

The TimeCapsule, turn the radios off, it's reachable over the other Airports and LAN for backup.

I'm assuming you're running the Airports in bridge mode, which is AP mode for them.
 

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