1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
Dismiss Notice

Welcome To SNBForums

SNBForums is a community for anyone who wants to learn about or discuss the latest in wireless routers, network storage and the ins and outs of building and maintaining a small network.

If you'd like to post a question, simply register and have at it!

While you're at it, please check out SmallNetBuilder for product reviews and our famous Router Charts, Ranker and plenty more!

Mesh Wi-Fi Mashup

Discussion in 'Wireless Article Discussions' started by thiggins, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. Chairman007

    Chairman007 Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2016
    Messages:
    25
    Thanks ... OZ = Australia? Cool. Actually have orbi but felt I might get better performance via hard wired "cheaper" mesh such as Google WiFi.
     
  2. pete y testing

    pete y testing Very Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,909
    Location:
    victoria, australia

    yes mate :)

    cant comment on google wifi performance as such here as i havnt tested in location but from what i read orbi is better if use in the wifi sense coverage wise , seeing as the client side wifi is 867M on both im guessing the max throughput would be similar , but im pretty happy with the orbi here and use one of the sats to connect to my study clients both wired and wireless and really have no issues
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2017
  3. Chairman007

    Chairman007 Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2016
    Messages:
    25
    Agree ... just thinking that perhaps it would make more sense on my end to "cheap" mesh it for strong wi-fi throughout supplemented by a couple of switches. Actually, now the ethernet from the orbi router feeds a Netgear 16 gigabit unmanaged switch in my basement which runs to various rooms in the home. orbi does provide a decent signal purely via wireless backhaul ... home is around 4800 sq. ft. on 3 floors, but I thought I might do even better with wired nodes spaced throughout (i.e. stronger signals). orbi router is on 1st floor about 1/4 of the way across the width of the home. 1 satellite in the basement about 2/3 across the width of the home. To get "full" strength, I'd need to add a 3rd satellite, likely on the 2nd floor. Perhaps 3 hardwired Google WiFi nodes connected via ethernet might do the trick ($299 US). By the way ... your connection of the node to the switch makes more sense as it's mainly then being used for wifi performance and it can reboot whenever power comes back on without concern for timing of reboot with other devices dependent upon the node. Wired ethernet -> switch -> devices plus node ... Smart! I did try velop as well from Linksys in wireless mode ... orbi was "stronger".
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2017
  4. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Messages:
    13,916
    Google WiFi is $99/node. This is not "considerably more".

    Don't underestimate the challenge to a non technical consumer of setting up a single point router, let alone a 3 AP system.
     
    Hydro and Chairman007 like this.
  5. pete y testing

    pete y testing Very Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,909
    Location:
    victoria, australia
    just as a side note here i did some tests with orbi the other day and switched off both the 2.4 gig and 5 gig wifi and to my surprise the orbi still had its backhaul connected so the orbi and sat turned out to be great media bridge , would be interesting to see if the other systems where still able to communicate with their wifi turned off , i would guess this would depend on how they would communicate ,

    pretty expensive media bridge i must admit but at least there is another use case for the orbi if ppl are having too many issues with its wifi on apple devices but cant return it
     
  6. jkozlow3

    jkozlow3 New Around Here

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Messages:
    8

    Yes, you can! I have 2 Amplifi HD routers (base units) in a mesh set up. Been using it for 3 days. Works perfectly so far with seamless handoff, etc. They work better than Google WiFi in my set up. Much stronger signal than Google WiFi (stronger connectivity between mesh points, stronger RSSI and higher Tx rates) and better 5GHz band steering. I have one device (MacBook Pro) which loved to fall back to 2.4GHz periodically (multiple times/day) on the Google WiFi despite being 10 feet away in the same room. Haven't had this issue with Amplifi yet! Plus, Amplifi lets you use separate SSIDs for 5GHz and 2.4GHz networks. I haven't had to use this option however since the band steering is working well enough on its own, so I'm only using a single SSID at the moment. It's nice to know that I can spit out the SSIDs if need be though - something most of the mesh systems don't allow.

    If you ask me, Amplifi should have marketed and released their system with multiple base/router units just like Google WiFi (and other mesh systems) instead of with the goofy mesh antenna units. They could have made the antennas optional for people that needed to plug in a unit in a hallway (which could be a useful option for some). From what I've read, it seems that the base units have a stronger signal than the antenna units - they are certainly very strong in my experience! In the same location as my 2 Google WiFi units, I get a much stronger signal with 2 Amplifi units. This includes mesh connection strength between the 2 devices as well as RSSI and Tx rate readings on my laptop when connected to the network.

    Very happy with the 2 Amplifi HD routers set up as mesh so far! By the way, the reason I purchased 2 of the routers is because I only need 2 devices for my small townhouse and I needed LAN jacks on both of them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
  7. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Messages:
    13,916
    How exactly do you have them configured? Is one connected to Ethernet and the other connected to the first via Wi-Fi? If via Wi-Fi, which band are you using to connect the two?
     
  8. jkozlow3

    jkozlow3 New Around Here

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Messages:
    8
    Yep, connected to each other via WiFi - just like Google WiFi. The first unit is connected to my modem via ethernet. Amplifi doesn't yet support ethernet backhaul, but they have stated in response to many Amazon reviews that it is something they are actively working on and will support soon. In fact, Amplifi's comments on Amazon are what encouraged me to purchase 2 routers to use as a mesh system. They promised that multiple routers would work in a mesh configuration and would provide LAN jacks to those who needed them on the mesh points (like I do).

    It appears that the Amplifi automatically selects the mesh backhaul band now according to their latest firmware release notes (new firmware came out pretty recently - https://help.amplifi.com/hc/en-us/articles/231456348-Firmware-Release-Notes).

    In my case (and in most cases) it will use 5GHz as backhaul unless the units are simply too far apart and then it can dynamically switch to a 2.4GHz backhaul. There is no option in my iOS app to manually change the backhaul band (not that I'd want to - my 240 Mbps internet would be seriously bandwidth limited on 2.4 GHz).

    You should give the 2-3 Amplifi router configuration a try with the latest firmware. Seems to work really well. Much better than the Velop system (which I tried and promptly returned before your review) and so far I like it better than Google WiFi. Mainly because the 5GHz band steering seems to work better and my MacBook no longer seems to drop down to 2.4GHz on Amplifi. The RSSI and Tx rates are also much better on the Amplif vs. Google WiFi in the same locations.

    I also love that there are many more configuration options on Amplifi vs. most of their mesh competitors. I can configure separate SSIDs if desired and manually change channels. Amplifi also has a "router steering" option (which I've not tried) to encourage devices to connect to the primary router when possible (i.e. to avoid the 20-25% reduction in speed between the primary and secondary units due to the lack of a dedicated backhaul radio like Orbi/Velop). I still get 180-200 Mbps download speeds (down from 240 Mbps) on the secondary unit - just about the same as Google WiFi.
     
    Hydro and whsbuss like this.
  9. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Messages:
    13,916
    Thanks for the details.
     
  10. Arsenal

    Arsenal Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Messages:
    11
    Does the display on the second Amplifi HD still provide its own (useful?) information, or does it just mirror details from the primary one, or none of the above? Given the minor price difference i can't see any reason to get the antenna points over the routers if it works as well you say.

    One other thing, you said the Amplifi has more options than most of the competitors - is there anyway to turn off their routing functionality and just use them as Mesh APs? Basically so i could keep using my Asus as the router with its VPN server/adblocking/etc. without having to worry about Double NAT?
     
  11. jkozlow3

    jkozlow3 New Around Here

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Messages:
    8
    To be honest, I have no idea. I don't need a display on my router, so I don't use it. I just have it set to show the clock. Other than that, I haven't touched it. I've experimented with turning the LCD and LED light completely off, but for now I just have them turned down very dim.


    I believe so, but again, I have no experience with this. I use it as my primary router. I know that there is an option for "bridge" mode in the app, but I don't know if there are any limitations that come with using it. I would give Amplifi a call - their number is on the amplifi.com site. Their tech support hours are 9am-5pm MT. I called the other day to ask a question and provide some feedback and got right through to tech support.

    When I said that Amplifi has more options than most of their mesh competitors, I was mainly referring to things like:

    1. The ability to configure separate SSIDs for 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks if desired
    2. The ability to manually select channels if desired
    3. The ability to turn on/off router and band steering
    4. The ability to change the DHCP subnet and range

    Most of Amplifi's mesh competitors (i.e. Google WiFi) don't allow these things. The ability to configure separate SSIDs is why I decided to try out the Amplifi in the first place. Oddly, I haven't needed to use it since the signal is stronger than Google WiFi (by a lot) and the band steering seems to work better. All of my devices stay on 5GHz now, even with a single SSID. With Google WiFi, one of my devices (my most frequently used one) would always drop to 2.4GHz several times a day and there was nothing I could do about it!
     
  12. whsbuss

    whsbuss Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2011
    Messages:
    338
    I'm ready to pickup a eero (from a friend for testing mesh here at home). I want to set it up in router mode but I have FiOS TV which requires me to have the ActionTec configured in the network.

    I also have a WD MyCloud NAS that's used for time machine backup for Macs, and remote access using the MyCloud App and Mycloud.com

    Currently I have the NAS (static IP) connected to the switch off the ActionTec router. LAN IP is 192.168.1.1, NAS 192.168.1.8. The actiontec uses Upnp to auto config the port forwarding (I have 4 in the actiontec port forwarding table).

    So I would configure the eero to WAN connect to a static IP 192.168.1.30 (not part of DHCP on actiontec). Then I would connect the NAS to the eero using a static IP of 192.168.2.8 and Upnp should setup the port forwarding, correct?

    Anyone know if remote internet access would work? Has anyone setup an eero like this?
     
  13. exm

    exm New Around Here

    Joined:
    May 5, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Hopefully the Asus Mesh product will make its way onto the market soon.
     
    Dave in NM likes this.
  14. pete y testing

    pete y testing Very Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,909
    Location:
    victoria, australia
    did you also see the asus blue cave , which by the sounds of it will be available about the same time , makes me wonder if the blue cave can be used as the base station for the asus lura units
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2017
  15. coxhaus

    coxhaus Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    Messages:
    2,838
    Location:
    texas
    I would never want to use the wireless as a back haul as it will be too slow. There is no way around it. You need to use wire for the back haul.

    I 3 Cisco WAPs all connected with wire.
     
  16. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Messages:
    14,156
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I wouldn't say it's too slow - but I'll agree perhaps that it's unpredictable at best...

    Best on the wire directly - then maybe homeplugs or wifi backhaul - work with what you have...
     
  17. iceman610

    iceman610 New Around Here

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2019
    Messages:
    1
    Hey guys, im a little bit confused about this test. It seems that amplifi is very slow and Orbi is one of the fastet mesh wifi systems. But when i read some comments on amazon it seems that amplifi is much better?
    Also other tests on youtube show that amplifi is quit fast.
     
  18. fbraz50

    fbraz50 Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2016
    Messages:
    18
    It depends. I haven’t read reviews in a while for these systems but a few years ago Orbi was plagued with disconnection issues, especially with apple devices. Not sure how sorted out those issues have been.

    As far as actual raw performance though I believe orbi is still up there as well as Linksys velop which is what I use right now. It’s only really useful if you have a very fast internet connection maybe 300mbps+ or you use local storage and will actually benefit from the performance. If you’re on a slower ISP you will likely not notice at all. For example I can pull around 35-45 Megabytes per second from my local NAS over WiFi. Orbi was the only other mesh system that I have used that can do about the same.
     
  19. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Messages:
    13,916
    Results vary depending on what you are testing. Our tests include measurements of backhaul bandwidth and throughput at each mesh node.

    Our test methods are described in detail here. See if the other reviews describe how they are actually making their measurements. Test conditions matter.