Mesh Wi-Fi

SamSpade

Well-Known Member
Thinking that something different than the Frankensteon of wi-fi network I have could be improved, I bought a small mesh network setup yesterday.
So fari, it is - ok. Nothing to write home about and I set it up in ADDITION to Frankenstein, because I wasn't sure I could deal with a down network and kids going to school and me at work.

Anyone had experience with these? The manufacturer says that more nodes are easily added.
 

Clem72

Well-Known Member
I have used many over the years, for both work and personal applications. To be frank, the only one that wasn't hot garbage was from Ubiquity. Unless your home is monstrous and full of concrete and rebar in the walls, you are likely better off just buying a normal high-end router the hub-spoke architecture is going to be much better for most applications.
 

SamSpade

Well-Known Member
I have used many over the years, for both work and personal applications. To be frank, the only one that wasn't hot garbage was from Ubiquity. Unless your home is monstrous and full of concrete and rebar in the walls, you are likely better off just buying a normal high-end router the hub-spoke architecture is going to be much better for most applications.
You knoe - I don't know WHAT it is about our home - but - the cable modem is located in a lower corner of the house -and in the opposte - you can't even get ONE bar. Zippity. And that's with a good router. We have had to use extender stuff for years.

Put in the first node last night and tested it and then tested for speed. MUCH faster. Not great, but not bad.
 

PeoplesElbow

Well-Known Member
Guessing your cable modem has an omni direction antenna, having it at a corner of the house is about the worst spot you could place it.

What most people dont realize is omnidirectional antennas radiation patterns are not uniform at all, they generally look like pedals on a flower and in addition are very poor at radiating up and down.

Many can be changed to a directional antenna. In general an omni antenna has a gain of 1 and the most basic directional antenna has a minimum gain of 3, this is with no amplification.

 

Clem72

Well-Known Member
Guessing your cable modem has an omni direction antenna, having it at a corner of the house is about the worst spot you could place it.

What most people dont realize is omnidirectional antennas radiation patterns are not uniform at all, they generally look like pedals on a flower and in addition are very poor at radiating up and down.

Many can be changed to a directional antenna. In general an omni antenna has a gain of 1 and the most basic directional antenna has a minimum gain of 3, this is with no amplification.

I agree with your statement, but that video is bad. First, that isn't an omni antenna, and second there is ZERO chance that is a 20dB gain antenna he installs.

Most people don't know, but the antenna inside the plastic blades that come on home routers is actually about 2 inches long regardless of the length of plastic. It's a dipole antenna with 1/2" on each pole (1/4 wavelength for 2.4ghz, 1/2 wavelength for 5ghz) with about 3dB gain at 2.4ghz. The bigger antenna is almost certainly a bunch more plastic and the same size antenna. But even if it were twice the size it would only get you 5dB of gain. Anything above that is going to require a directional antenna.
 

PeoplesElbow

Well-Known Member
I agree with your statement, but that video is bad. First, that isn't an omni antenna, and second there is ZERO chance that is a 20dB gain antenna he installs.

Most people don't know, but the antenna inside the plastic blades that come on home routers is actually about 2 inches long regardless of the length of plastic. It's a dipole antenna with 1/2" on each pole (1/4 wavelength for 2.4ghz, 1/2 wavelength for 5ghz) with about 3dB gain at 2.4ghz. The bigger antenna is almost certainly a bunch more plastic and the same size antenna. But even if it were twice the size it would only get you 5dB of gain. Anything above that is going to require a directional antenna.
I never thought that through, always assumed it used a ground plane and a monopole like a car antenna.

Always assumed the blade antennas were a helix or even a small log periodic. I'm going to have to find my old router and tear it apart now.
 

PeoplesElbow

Well-Known Member
If I had wifi issues the first thing I tried would be putting a reflector in, the distance between the antenna and reflector is important and I would make it flat, wouldn't fool with a dish.
 

StadEMS3

Active Member
I have the ABB provided router in one corner of my house since that is where the cable comes in, my wireless was crap in a 6000sqft house. The tech came out and suggested I get an Orbi Mesh System (he personally had one). I installed the system with 1 main router and 2 satellites easily by myself and I am not IT savvy. Since installed I have great Wi-Fi (well for ABB speed) throughout my house.
 

sastanley

Active Member
+1 on the Orbi. I am in Calvert, so, I got the router/modem combo to avoid modem rental fees, and like Stad, have mine at one end of the house where the cable comes in, and added a single satellite sorta towards the other end of the house for now. I've experimented a little bit with placement, and my sat/router signal strength is fair. I am not sure if all 'mesh' systems are like this but Orbi uses its own backplane to transfer router-satellite data so it doesn't piggyback on the 2.4 or 5ghz WiFi bands our devices use to connect. Also, it is still technically a hub & spoke design with the router being the hub, but mesh is the new fancy word. The next satellite I add may be an outdoor one..that would be nice for the deck/yard, etc.
IMO - The greatest advantage of a 'mesh' system is having one SSID, and not having your mobile devices disconnect/reconnect to an extender with different SSIDs as you roam about your castle..technically on a mesh system, I think they are still doing that, but the transfer is seamless & much smoother.
 
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ginwoman

Well-Known Member
I don't have a router, I plug straight in to the ABB box. So far this has worked wonderful for my needs.
 

SamSpade

Well-Known Member
I have the ABB provided router in one corner of my house since that is where the cable comes in, my wireless was crap in a 6000sqft house. The tech came out and suggested I get an Orbi Mesh System (he personally had one). I installed the system with 1 main router and 2 satellites easily by myself and I am not IT savvy. Since installed I have great Wi-Fi (well for ABB speed) throughout my house.
After a month of the Linksys mesh - jury's still out. I went back and read the negative reviews - usually don't read them much when they comprise less than 8% of reviews - and found that every complaint was exactly like mine. Inconsistent stream. When it works, it's great. When it doesn't, it's a nightmare and I am so glad I never took down our "old" Wi Fi.

I was vaguely under the impression - and I have no proof of how it does this - that each node in the mesh tries to achieve the optimal signal from another node. It might. But the mesh can't handle random disruptions - those of us with ABB KNOW that the signal drops occasionally - and the mesh system recovers BADLY. It functions less like a "mesh" and more like a daisy chain. ONE disruption and they all collapse.

WORSE, the app you use to manage it MUST be connected to the network to manage it. Makes sense, actually - but if the network fails, you can't connect to it. I go to one node that has failed - and while running the app to "correct" it - my phone gives up trying to connect to the Internet (finding an access point WITH Internet) and - disconnects from the network I am trying to fix.

Yesterday I was at it for HOURS - because once I had it all stable - ONE node would fail, and all of those connected to it would fail again.

___

Question - what is the simplest way to describe the practical difference between tri-band - and dual band?
(DO NOT SAY "three" and "two" - any idiot who can speak English could say that). What does it get me and MOST importantly, WHY?
Why might it be better on a whole house system?
 

StadEMS3

Active Member
After a month of the Linksys mesh - jury's still out. I went back and read the negative reviews - usually don't read them much when they comprise less than 8% of reviews - and found that every complaint was exactly like mine. Inconsistent stream. When it works, it's great. When it doesn't, it's a nightmare and I am so glad I never took down our "old" Wi Fi.

I was vaguely under the impression - and I have no proof of how it does this - that each node in the mesh tries to achieve the optimal signal from another node. It might. But the mesh can't handle random disruptions - those of us with ABB KNOW that the signal drops occasionally - and the mesh system recovers BADLY. It functions less like a "mesh" and more like a daisy chain. ONE disruption and they all collapse.

WORSE, the app you use to manage it MUST be connected to the network to manage it. Makes sense, actually - but if the network fails, you can't connect to it. I go to one node that has failed - and while running the app to "correct" it - my phone gives up trying to connect to the Internet (finding an access point WITH Internet) and - disconnects from the network I am trying to fix.

Yesterday I was at it for HOURS - because once I had it all stable - ONE node would fail, and all of those connected to it would fail again.

___

Question - what is the simplest way to describe the practical difference between tri-band - and dual band?
(DO NOT SAY "three" and "two" - any idiot who can speak English could say that). What does it get me and MOST importantly, WHY?
Why might it be better on a whole house system?
I still have the ABB wireless router, so I connect to it if the Orbi drops. After a year of owning Orbi, I have only had to hard reboot them once. All other times if ABB hiccups the Orbi's recover on there own.
 

SamSpade

Well-Known Member
I still have the ABB wireless router, so I connect to it if the Orbi drops. After a year of owning Orbi, I have only had to hard reboot them once. All other times if ABB hiccups the Orbi's recover on there own.
I've heard some good things about Orbi's mesh system. Mostly - Linksys makes stellar stuff. I just think the whole thing goes FUBAR if there's a few minutes of ABB stuttering, which happens. Without ANY knowledge of how it works - it would seem to try to keep a signal from just ONE other link in the chain. My cell phone does better than that - finds the Wi-Fi it knows the password to already, and re-links based on signal strength.
 
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