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peterms

Mesh wifi

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Has anyone set up a mesh wifi network at home?

I'm on Virgin, with homeplug adapters connecting to some devices via ethernet cable.  The wifi signal is variable, unusably poor in some areas, and sometimes the homeplugs will drop connection.  The property is on two floors, with thick walls.

From what I read, I assumed that the Virgin Hub modem/router is crap, and the answer was to get a dedicated router and use the Virgin thing only as a modem.

Having read more stuff, it sounds like a mesh setup might be a better alternative.

Does anyone have any practical experience of using a mesh network, and thoughts on what might be best?

Thanks.

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We've just had our broadband upgraded from crap BT to superfast rural fibre broadband from Gigaclear, so I decided to install a mesh system as we've got an old farmhouse with thick walls and the signal was struggling from the main router into the house.

Anyway, I've tried a few different mesh systems, and the one I strongly recommend is Deco by TP-Link.  Their M5 system works brilliantly out of the box, and the phone app to control it is great too.  The units aren't too bulky unlike some, and adding a new one really is simplicity itself.  We've got four spread around the house, and the wifi signal quality is great everywhere, and it never seems to drop.  From a 200MB download speed at the point of the router, I get 100+ in the rooms upstairs where the satellites are.  Not sure how accurate that is, but everything seems really quick.

I tried about three others as my neighbour is in IT and had a few for testing for his home office, and this is by far the best in my opinion.  The other were the Google one, Netgear Orbi and one other which I can't recall.  None of those were as faff free as the Deco in my opinion.

Hope that helps.

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In my last house (we just moved) I had a BT mesh set-up.  It was good but was prone to occasionally needing a reset.  That said, it's as simple as opening the app and pressing the reset button and takes about 2 minutes.

You don't need to be on BT as it'll work from any router.  Dead easy to set up and the discs look nice too.  You also have the option for the indicator lights to be off unless there's a fault so they're unobtrusive.

I'd say they're an 8/10 for me.

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Google wifi is mesh out of the box. It's what I use and it just works (and keeps itself patched). I know that sky Q uses the mini boxes to form a mesh if you have a sky router.

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So my collection of TP Link Powerline Adapters, 2 old Sky routers acting as WiFi access points and the whole Sky Q router and minibox mesh is breaking down so have decided to go down the Google WiFi route because as Limpid has stated, it just works.

I have one big issue in that you cannot put the Sky Q router into bridge mode, I have had to buy a Netgear Modem to replace it.

I have a feeling there will be a bit of trial and error testing g over the weekend........

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18 hours ago, mykeyb said:

So my collection of TP Link Powerline Adapters, 2 old Sky routers acting as WiFi access points and the whole Sky Q router and minibox mesh is breaking down so have decided to go down the Google WiFi route because as Limpid has stated, it just works.

I have one big issue in that you cannot put the Sky Q router into bridge mode, I have had to buy a Netgear Modem to replace it.

I have a router with no WiFi. It's not bridged because I don't use upnp.

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On 02/12/2018 at 20:26, Risso said:

the one I strongly recommend is Deco by TP-Link.  Their M5 system works brilliantly out of the box

I went with this, and it's been working well for a couple of weeks.  Good strong signal everywhere.

The only problem I'm having is that now and again, streaming internet radio will drop the connection, sometimes recovering and sometimes not.  I had this with powerline adapters as well.  I suspect it may be something to do with the Virgin signal rather than the mesh, since there seem to be quite a few comments online about Virgin having powerful broadband but still delivering unreliable stability.

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I have the same issue with Gigaclear.  Everyone and then it just drops for no reason.

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4 minutes ago, Risso said:

I have the same issue with Gigaclear.  Everyone and then it just drops for no reason.

Thing that puzzles me (and I have the same level of technical qualification as a newborn emu, so open to correction here) is that things like films and online games don't drop, and I assumed they would be more demanding than radio.  It's just the radio that falters.

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Yes, I've noticed a similar phenomenon.  My son, who has been caning Fortnight in the Xmas holidays, never seems to have a second's problem, but when I'm listening to music on a streaming thingy, it drops out occasionally.

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9 hours ago, Risso said:

Yes, I've noticed a similar phenomenon.  My son, who has been caning Fortnight in the Xmas holidays, never seems to have a second's problem, but when I'm listening to music on a streaming thingy, it drops out occasionally.

Once upon a time you would have been able to increase the buffer size to deal with this. You can't compare direct connections to multicast. This is fixable in code at the cost of a little lag (winch doesn't matter in your use case), perhaps you could try a different client?

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On 05/01/2019 at 22:43, peterms said:

I have the same level of technical qualification as a newborn emu

I have less than that!

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On 05/01/2019 at 22:43, peterms said:

Thing that puzzles me (and I have the same level of technical qualification as a newborn emu, so open to correction here) is that things like films and online games don't drop, and I assumed they would be more demanding than radio.  It's just the radio that falters.

How is this working out for you now @peterms? For the last month, we've had no issues at all.  I don't know if it's because there have been updates to the mesh units, or if it's just our internet provider being better, but haven't had any drop outs for a while.

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3 hours ago, Risso said:

How is this working out for you now @peterms? For the last month, we've had no issues at all.  I don't know if it's because there have been updates to the mesh units, or if it's just our internet provider being better, but haven't had any drop outs for a while.

It's been great.  I think I've had one drop-out in several weeks.  Good strong signal all over, despite very thick walls.  Three units is enough for several rooms over two floors.

I'm using the one you recommended.  Thanks for the tip.

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What I am most interested in is seamless transition. I have a router in the living room on a one floor flat. I can still pick up signal in the rear room, but it is very weak. So I want a device that is going to happily transition my device between the two without any lag or drop out. 

From the looks of it Google WiFi offers the best solution? However it seems extremely pricey for what it is. 

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1 hour ago, dont_do_it_doug. said:

What I am most interested in is seamless transition. I have a router in the living room on a one floor flat. I can still pick up signal in the rear room, but it is very weak. So I want a device that is going to happily transition my device between the two without any lag or drop out. 

From the looks of it Google WiFi offers the best solution? However it seems extremely pricey for what it is. 

Asus RT-AC68U is a very good router and if you buy 2 of them you can put them in mesh mode (if you have their latest firmware). I think they are about a £100 each.

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