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Orbi or Nest Wifi

Discussion in 'Wireless Buying Advice' started by lardo5150, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. lardo5150

    lardo5150 New Around Here

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2016
    Messages:
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    When choosing, my two main objectives are:
    Speed
    Reliability (less drops, having to reboot less due to low speeds, etc.)

    These are the only two I have been considering. Orbi because of the backhaul, Nest because I am hooked into the Google Ecosystem.

    Price is no concern, except for the new Orbi. The Orbi I would be looking at is the RBK50 3 pack.
    Nest would be the 3 pack.
    Although I think the price for the two is similar with the 3 packs when on sale?

    I am cutting cord at the end of the month, so we will be streaming YoutubeTV. Plenty of smart devices, Xbox, laptops, etc. all hooked up to my network.

    Does the Orbi have such better speed than the Nest? is it actually noticeable?
    Again, I am going for Speed and reliability.
     
  2. Trip

    Trip Very Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2014
    Messages:
    1,094
    What is your internet speed and type?
    Do you have any pre-existing ethernet or coaxial to enough places to use for access points? If not, could you run ethernet?
    How large is your house in square feet? Even a rough estimate is better than no idea.

    Can get to suggestions after you answer those questions.
     
  3. lardo5150

    lardo5150 New Around Here

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2016
    Messages:
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    House is two story, 3400sqft total.
    I have Ethernet in the main box, on the first floor, middle of house in master closet.
    There is Ethernet ran to living room, first floor, rear of the house. Ethernet up stairs far room, opposite side.
    I am running ATT Fiber 1gb.

    I have three nest cameras.
    I will have three streaming devices, most likely a mix of Roku and Shields.
    Laptops, printers, phones, and tablets. Will be adding an Xbox as well.

    Running a Netgear nighthawk as main access point downstairs at that far Ethernet location. I get a lot of drops, speeds dropping, etc.

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
     
  4. Trip

    Trip Very Senior Member

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    Aug 12, 2014
    Messages:
    1,094
    Excellent. Thank you for the details.

    Since you have ethernet to multiple rooms in the house, I would definitely build out your wireless network via wired access points (APs), as opposed to using mesh (wireless) for backhaul. It will allow for much higher bandwidth and lower latency/jitter for your backhaul links and endpoint connections, and just be a better use of resources all the way around.

    With the size and square footage of your house, I would say two or three APs placed roughly equidistant from one another ought to do it (either two at opposite ends of the house, one on the first and and one on the second floor, or three in whatever "triangle" layout makes the most sense). You could probably start with two, then add a third if necessary.

    Gear suggestions: To keep things dead-simple, you could select a whole-house mesh product with wired support (namely Netgear Orbi RBK50 or Eero Pro). Or, you could go more pro level via discrete components, building a wired "core" in the first floor master closet, comprising of your fiber gateway, a wired router and managed PoE switch, to which you'd wire your two or three APs.

    I'm extremely partial to discrete components, as the sum of the parts will usually result in a network that runs more like an appliance and less like a toy (presuming it's setup correctly), but I completely understand if you want to K.I.S.S. and just go with a whole-house product. If you do, again, make sure WH system supports wired backhaul from the satellites to the base.

    If you're interested in the separate pieces approach, I'm happy to get into it. If not, no worries.
     
  5. lardo5150

    lardo5150 New Around Here

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    Jun 3, 2016
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    So, the issue, at least I thought, with that setup, and is currently my setup now, is multiple APs and multiple IDs.

    I currently have the nighthawk in the living room. using ID MyNetwork.
    I have another upstairs in that far room where there is ethernet. Running MyNetwork2 up there.
    When I was setting this all up, I remember testing with my phone and laptop. Based on signal strength, I could never get it to switch APs. This was either with different IDs or the same. If I am connected downstairs, and walk upstairs, the signal would be awful cause it would not switch.

    With what you suggested, if we are on the same page here, I was going to setup.
    I was going to have the main Orbi downstairs at the far end of the house where there is ethernet back to the Fiber located in the closet.
    I would then hook the satellite up, upstairs in that far room where there is ethernet.
    I now have two APs, both with wired backhaul.
    I was going to place a third in my wife's office, which is downstairs, opposide side of house where the main Orbi would be.
    This would obviously run off the Orbi wifi backhaul.
    One of the reasons I was leaning towards Orbi is that Nest does not have the ethernet ports on the satellites.

    I had not looked into the Eero. Just doing a quick google on this, it does seem more costly for the single pro, vs a two pack of Orbis.
    I could not tell, but does the Eero have that wifi backhaul, similar to the Orbi?

    I do appreciate your thoughts man, very helpful.
     
  6. Trip

    Trip Very Senior Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    So, first off, I'll clear up any misconception on multiple APs and SSIDs. Any of the products I've mentioned (or hinted at) would all be capable of broadcasting the same SSID(s) from all APs, with support for seamless client roaming (802.11r, k and v), so mobile clients would roam easily from station to station as you walk across the house. This is in stark contrast to multiple disparate all-in-one routers and/or standalone APs (ie. your current setup of two Nighthawks), which lack centralized control of all units and seamless roaming, again, both of which you'd get with either a whole-house mesh product or SMB-grade wifi system.

    That confirmed, given your internet speed and keeping things simple, I would lean towards tri-band Orbi (not the dual-band models), so either an RBK50 (base + 1 satellite) or RBK53 (base + 2 satellites). Orbi will also allow you the option to run wired or wireless backhaul, or a mix of both (as you outlined above).

    If I interpreted your proposed layout correctly, you did have one conflicting idea: placing the third Orbi unit very close to the initial base unit. If it's too close, that would not only be unnecessary (as the base unit has the same built-in radios and broadcast capability as the satellites) but would actually be detrimental, as two units in such close proximity would likely cause way to much co-interference, causing a drastic drop in client performance and also making clients constantly drop and pickup connections back and forth between the two. You want to keep the units spaced out properly. Proper spacing is ideally -60 and -75dB at the "edges" of each unit's broadcast range. This is measurable via any good wifi signal app that you can download on your phone for free. From there, you can figure out proper placement of each AP.
     
  7. lardo5150

    lardo5150 New Around Here

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    Jun 3, 2016
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    Good call, I will need to do a wifi test to make sure I place them far enough from each other.
    I appreciate all the good feedback, I know where I am going now.
     
  8. Trip

    Trip Very Senior Member

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    Awesome. Please let us know how it works out for you!
     
  9. lifereinspired

    lifereinspired Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    Messages:
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    You might also consider the Linksys Velop. They are available in different WiFi 5 and now WiFi 6 configs and, at least compared to the WiFi 6 Orbi, has better reviews from users at this point (check BestBuy - each has about 35 reviews but are more favorable to the Linksys). The WiFi 6 version has more coverage, if your interested. It also has a much stronger warranty/support (3 years of each vs 1 year/90 day for Netgear). I’m a big fan of Google but I’m not sure I’m ready for them to control everything I do on my network. I’m probably a little too privacy concerned than most. I feel the same about the Eero now being own by Amazon.

    Anyway, I’m strongly considering the Linksys myself and wanted to share since I’ve been doing so much reading about the system lately. It also does support fully wired backhaul and the newer WiFi 6 have 4 gigabit Ethernet ports each in additional to the internet/wired backhaul connection. It’s interesting because any of the units can be the parent or child, too, which many folks seemed to like. No dedicated master/slave setup. Also, they can be used with any of the previous Velop units, should you want to build out more coverage without necessarily needing all of it to be WiFi 6. I was also impressed that they made the new units backwards compatible.

    I don’t know if that helps any but it may be worth looking into with the cost of investment of any of these systems these days.