Mix/match router & AP vs a dedicated Mesh Kit

ct1615

Regular Contributor
I just purchased a new home, 1900 sq ft ranch with a partial finished basement that includes play area for the kids and two offices in the basement. The house has an Ethernet cable that runs from the family room (middle of the house) through the basement into the end of the living room (south end of the house). I also saw an Ethernet jack in the family room and the only other room that has another Ethernet jack in the house is the master bedroom suite (north end of the house) although I've yet to test those jacks out to see if they work.

I currently have the following in our home we are moving from
main router - Asus AC66U B1 running merlin
set up in AP mode - Asus N56U
spare router - Netgear R6700 v3

The new house internet speed will be 200Mbps down and 20Mbps up. We have the following clients, three rokus, three cell phones, one laptop, one printer, and one computer.

My question; I was planning to place the AC66U B1 in the family room and run the N56U in the living room (hopefully hide it somewhere) via Ethernet. That should easily cover the house.

Another option would be a mesh kit like the TP-Link M-5 (not looking to blow the bank after buying a new home and making updates to it) that I can set up in the same locations and maybe even in the master bedroom. The TP-Link units look better than the black antenna routers and easier to hide in the rooms (that will please the wife). Will mobile clients have an easier time switching between AP's if it's a dedicated mesh set up as opposed to piecemeal setup? With three mesh units, range won't be an issue and they will be fairly spread out.

I can also set up something like the TP link multi-wan router in the basement and run a TP - Link Omada AP in the family room and living room. Maybe add a third AP in the bedroom down the road if needed. I'm sure it will give me network street cred but will it actually work any better than the other two choices in real world performance?

 
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L&LD

Part of the Furniture
How easy client devices can roam is almost entirely up to them. But for a 'small' 1,900 SqFt area, I would not be looking at a mesh system (too much Wi-Fi in too small a space, and too many potential headaches too).

The RT-AC86U or the better RT-AX86U are better choices than anything you have now (depending on the prices in your area and your budget).

With a single router, you will have great coverage with no roaming issues either.
 

ct1615

Regular Contributor
How easy client devices can roam is almost entirely up to them. But for a 'small' 1,900 SqFt area, I would not be looking at a mesh system (too much Wi-Fi in too small a space, and too many potential headaches too).

The RT-AC86U or the better RT-AX86U are better choices than anything you have now (depending on the prices in your area and your budget).

With a single router, you will have great coverage with no roaming issues either.

Thank you for the reply. I can swing an Asus 2900AC router, what will I be getting with it besides the fourth 5ghz stream? It will perform better than the RT-AX300 or RT-AX55 from Asus for a similar price?


 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Yes, it will. Just better hardware (as a 'main' router) overall.
 

ct1615

Regular Contributor
Just to give an update;

I finally moved into the new home and swapped out the spare router with my current main, the Asus AC66U B1. The 5ghz signal goes through out the home other than my daughter's bedroom which is the furthest bedroom from the router plus several walls. The luckily the 2.4ghz signal is stronger on the Asus than the spare netgear and easily reaches her bedroom. I also ordered the Asus AC86U and will play around with that router upon arrival plus try out a new position for the router in the family room. If the AC86U can send a 5ghz signal to her bedroom I will keep it otherwise I'll send it back as the AC66U B1 seems to do the job on the 2.4ghz signal.
 

ct1615

Regular Contributor
Yes, it will. Just better hardware (as a 'main' router) overall.
I received the AC86U this week and finally got around to installing it last night and along with merlin firmware. I also moved the router from the floor to the top of a 5ft book case. I now receive a 5ghz signal in my daughter's bedroom (it could be due to the higher router position) but I also receive the fastest throughput on the 2.4ghz signal I have ever recorded. Prior with the AC66U I would get between 50-75Mbps, I now get 75-125Mbps.
 
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