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Wi-Fi System Roundup

Discussion in 'Wireless Article Discussions' started by thiggins, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. WiFiNemesis

    WiFiNemesis Occasional Visitor

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    Aug 10, 2017
    Messages:
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    Hey Tim,

    Just read the ASUS Lyra review (good thing to do, IMHO). Having researched mesh systems for weeks now, it seems to me that the usual feedback loop of disappointed customers and returned products doesn't seem to have made much of an impression on product managers, who continue to release products way before their time. I'm wondering if you've considered publishing a "Vendor Credibilty Index," maybe something along the lines of (working capabilities / promised capabilities x 100) as an added incentive for them to change their ways? Maybe you could even license the VCI to the likes of Amazon and Newegg!
     
  2. njweb

    njweb Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    365
    My Orbi is performing amazingly well so far (after over a week in service) - great throughput all over a large house and very stable (not one disconnect so far and no need to reboot yet).

    Just bought a Velop (to compare to my Orbi) after seeing it (the Velop that is) retested so well here.
    However, I am very tempted to return the Velop unopened as my current Motorola MB8600 D3.1 modem and Netgear Orbi (AC3000 3 pack version) is proving to be an excellent combination.
    I returned from a week away and my Orbi is still running very stably. I am also getting over my 200 Mbps plan's speed via wifi in the master bedroom (upstairs other side of house from main Orbi; node is in master bedroom) and 209 Mbps in the kitchen (other side of house on same floor as main Orbi router); I also just tested it in the large basement (wifi) and still got 216 Mbps down!

    Given how well Orbi has performed for me since installing it (great wifi speeds and all my devices are still connecting well without lag, including 2 Honeywell wifi thermostats) and reading all the tests, it seems like the 3 pack of AC3000 Orbi units will work well for our large house which includes a very large basement. If I had an even larger home (ours is already more than big enough), I would try Velop and get extra satellite units.
    Anyway, since I bought the Velop, I might still try it tomorrow just to confirm for myself that Orbi is the best be for my situation.
    In short, still undecided whether to bother to try Velop, other than to confirm beyond a doubt that Orbi is right...
    Also too bad Lyra is currently half-baked; I really wanted to like it (love their user interface and all the advanced settings it offers, as well as showing at which link rate and to which band all my wireless clients are connected); unfortunately my RT-AC5300 performs better and Orbi crushes Lyra for my situation even when using Lyra's beta firmware with supposed performance improvements.

    Most reviews favor the Orbi, including here where the Orbi came in first plae and Velop (retested) has now take over second place.

    Would love to hear real world feedback from members who have tested both Orbi and Velop.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2017
  3. njweb

    njweb Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
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    Tested Velop and it will be returned tomorrow due to the issues outlined below. I will be keeping my Orbi.

    Velop Issues:
    • Low UPload speed, no matter where I am in the house. Getting 6.55 - 8.12 Mbps with Velop, less than 2/3 of the speed I am getting with Orbi (12.39 to 13.09 Mbps)
    • High ping times in some locations (from at best 10ms to at worst 52 ms), whereas with Orbi I am getting a very consistent 10 - 12ms all over the house).
    • Velop is putting me on 5 GHz in basement and upstairs, leading to competitive signal strength and download speeds there; however, as noted above, upload speeds are still BAD with Velop.
    • The other big issue is that on the main level (where the router node is located), with Velop, wireless clients stick to 2.4 GHz, even in my home office location where the router is located. This is leading to poor download performance on most of the main level (in office it is a lot better; even though it is 2.4 GHz, the excellent signal strength leading to good download speeds albeit still ~18% slower than Velop even there; elsewhere on lower level Velop is as low as 65 Mbps downstream on speedtest, versus over 200 Mbps with Orbi).
    So, aside from the lack of ethernet ports and limited configuration options on Velop (severely limited config options compared to Orbi), its performance is also sub par (mostly due to sticking to 2.4 GHz on main level).
    Velop's size is nice, but its performance on main level is much worse than Orbi and also than my single RT-AC5300 router was.
    I am not going to invest in a 4th Velop unit (which would bring total to $650 + tax) just to try to replicate the great performance I already have with Orbi ($425 on sale + tax).
     
  4. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    Adding mesh nodes can degrade performance if it adds another hop. Some people would be better served by removing the third node from three-node systems (eero, GWiFi, etc.) and repositioning second node a bit and see if performance improves. This is especially true for smaller spaces.
     
  5. WiFiNemesis

    WiFiNemesis Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2017
    Messages:
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    Tim, I don't see Luma or Amplifi results over on the Finder, even when I select 'show archive'. Bug, "feature," or just me?
     
  6. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    I haven't added them because I haven't retested them. I'll add them so at least they appear.
     
  7. bukes

    bukes New Around Here

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    Aug 28, 2017
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    2
    At my wits end with wireless performance in larger home--4 kids, multiple Apple TVs, with constant streaming and many i-devices. (When Dad needs to work at night, I find myself ordering a shutdown on Netflix to allow by dropbox to sync.) Thus, I read Tim's SNB showdown/review w/ great interest. Had been leaning to one of the mesh systems to solve the situation, but was enlightened by the comments in this thread. Namely, if you have the option for wired APs, that will best these distributed/mesh systems any day of the week. Was thinking I'd score 3 or 4 Orbi's and call it a day, but it seems they can't be configured in wired AP mode. Looking at the pure APs via the links in some of the comments (e.g., Ubiquiti), but I can't see my wife tolerating an industrial-style AP on the ceilings of 4 or 5 rooms. I'm at a complete loss now. Are there any spouse-friendly wired APs that will deliver the kind of performance a house full of streaming teenagers requires? QoS and Guest Network (for their data sucking friends) and we'll put a done stamp on it. Thanks in advance for any suggestion.

    Current configuration: FIOS Actiontec (handling the routing/IPs), w/ 5 Apple Airports of various vintages in bridge mode home-runned via ethernet to a switch connected to the Actiontec.
     
  8. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    How many of the Airports support 11ac?
    How many of the devices?
    Is anything connected via Ethernet?
    What is your FiOS down/up bandwidth?
     
  9. bukes

    bukes New Around Here

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    "How many of the Airports support 11ac?" I think the answer is none. They're mostly 11a/b/g/n; last add-on was probably 3 years ago, and I think before ac.
    "How many of the devices?" We're recent vintage Apple devices, but I don't know what the radios are among MBPs (2014 forward), iPhones (2015 forward), and iPads (2013 forward) for the last few year's issue. There's approximately 20 i-devices holding IPs and accessing wirelessly at any given point.
    "Is anything connected via Ethernet?" An iMac, 2 wired laptop stations, 2 ethernet printers, 3 Apple TVs, 5 TiVO boxes via MOCA, and a NAS.
    "What is your FiOS down/up bandwidth?" 300 Mb. Trying to get giga, but "not available in our neighborhood yet."

    Thanks!
     
  10. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    Slow devices plus slow APs doesn't make for a good combination. Upgrading APs to AC without changing devices will still leave you with slower devices eating up much more airtime than they should and slowing down the network.

    First thing I advise is to move your dropbox sync to Ethernet. If it is still affected by wireless activity, then you don't have enough uplink bandwidth in your FiOS connection. Ain't nothin' changing Wi-Fi is going to do for that.

    Also need to look at channel assignments and AP placement. Could be you have too much overlap in APs. Also need to look at who is connected to what. If you have a bunch of slow devices connected to one AP all trying to stream, that's not good.
     
  11. Roy J

    Roy J New Around Here

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    May 1, 2017
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    Hi Just wondering is the multihop test are been done on any of the ORBI, post the updated firmware release of V2.0?
     
  12. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    No plans to do this anytime soon.
     
  13. pete y testing

    pete y testing Very Senior Member

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    Location:
    victoria, australia
    the v2 firmware does bring in daisy chain so orbi can work this way

    orbi router ---- sat ---- sat all via wifi

    but it will give a loss to the second sat

    ether way the orbi is still at the top of the pack from tims testing
     
  14. steve23094

    steve23094 Regular Contributor

    Joined:
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    What's your opinion on this setup?

    I currently have a AC66U router in a pretty bad location in a UK size property (single floor). Unfortunately I can't easily move the router. I have the AC66U ethernet wired to a switch, hanging off the switch I have a 1000Mbps Powerline adapter. At the other end of the house I have the second Powerline adapter and an Apple Airport Express off that.

    I have a couple of problems. The AE only has 300Mbps link speeds and I'm finding that a bit slow. The electrical wiring in my house is not great and the Powerline adapters are clearly not working at max speed (in fact the one in my bedroom has a red light which indicates poor link speed). I'm also struggling with my network grinding to a halt when I'm downloading torrents, I don't think my AC66U can keep up.

    I live in a block and I have a lot of wireless networks within range of my devices, 38 at last count. At this stage my AC66U is configured to use channel 56, which none of my neighbours have. If an Orbi can't use that channel I might be concerned performance will suffer (eg stepping down from 40Mhz to 20Mhz).

    So I'm considering an upgrade. I'm mulling over:
    a) a new router with much faster processor.
    b) a new router and a new wireless access point in the bedroom.
    c) one of these new mesh systems, probably the Orbi.

    Which do you think would serve me better?
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
  15. pete y testing

    pete y testing Very Senior Member

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    Location:
    victoria, australia

    if you have ethernet from the router to bedroom certainly use a wireless access point in the bedroom

    if you dont have ethernet to the bedroom just get a orbi rbk50 , thats the orbi router and 1 x sat
     
  16. steve23094

    steve23094 Regular Contributor

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    I have been looking into the Orbi in more detail. I'm very disappointed it doesn't support DFS channels and I fear that may make it a worse performer than my current setup. As mentioned in my previous post I had 38 networks within range, sometimes that gets up to 50 or more. Fighting for airtime with all those other networks sounds like a recipe for headaches, at least my AC66U can use the DFS channels (which none of my neighbours are using).

    I had a problem with poor network speed in the past which turned out to be the result of Wifi crowding. https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/why-is-my-wifi-link-speed-so-slow.1818369/#post-20358386 I would be very concerned if a £330 investment refused to bond channels.

    The UK is densely Wifi populated, so it doesn't seem like that the Orbi is a good match for here.
     
  17. tannebil

    tannebil Regular Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
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    If you have a poor powerline Ethernet connection, that’s going to be your limiting factor rather than the link speed on the AE. If you have coax installed, you might consider replacing powerline with MoCA. I assume you’ve already discarded the idea of installing CATx cabling.
     
  18. steve23094

    steve23094 Regular Contributor

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    I recently got a new laptop which only has USB-C ports.

    Today I took delivery of a USB-C to ethernet adapter and an AC2100 wireless access point, the idea being to upgrade the Airport Express in my bedroom. The adapter allowed me to test the quality of my powerline connection by plugging in via ethernet (eliminating any possible WiFi issues). I'm getting 90% packet loss! I didn't even bother getting the new AC2100 AP out of the box and will probably return it.

    I guess the next step will be to save up for an Orbi RBK50 and try that. 90% packet loss is pretty shocking and probably the cause of my problems, right?
     
  19. pete y testing

    pete y testing Very Senior Member

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    certainly , but that adapter may be a cause as well
     
  20. Internet Man

    Internet Man Senior Member

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    The powerline connection is likely to blame for the packet loss.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2017