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jconlon1
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Advice on a mesh system or router?

Hi, I'm looking for a bit of advice on what's going to be best for me. I've got the 350 package with the Hub 3 and I'm looking for better speed and signal on WiFi but also a more consistent speed along the ethernet cable to my PC. I currently have some power line adapters/WiFi extenders that help to get some sort of a signal to the upstairs rooms however they're not the best and just about get me between 50-80mbps upstairs, it's not terrible but when I'm paying for 350, I want to try and get as much as I can. Apologies for going on.

 

Anyway, I've read up a little bit about the mesh systems and that seems to provide a better WiFi signal throughout the house but I'm not sure if that would be overkill considering I live in a terraced house. Would a better router make my WiFi signal better? I was on BT previously and the router seemed to work fine?  If it's router you'd suggest then any recommendations? I think £200 would be my max budget but the cheaper the better?

 

Thanks in advance but the help 

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jbrennand
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Re: Advice on a mesh system or router?

Some thoughts I have posted before are below see if anything helps - people will chip in with other comments too.
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Get either a…
(1) Mesh System, (2) Wireless router, (3) Wireless access point or (4) A combination of (2) & (3).

I would say a good Mesh will be the best/simplest/most flexible for most average users.  A Triband system is better for the "backhaul" and for users on high speed packages and umpteen simultaneous connections.

It depends on your requirements for... better routing features, your house layout, size, construction materials, your tech abilities, and of course, budget, ~£60-80 will get a decent introductory wireless router but 'may' not alone solve the wifi in your house, but spending up to ~£500 will get the “Rolls Royce” solution of a high-end Wifi6 Router & WAP's or a top end Tri-band Mesh system. You'll probably want something suitable - somewhere within that range - I reckon ~£100-150 is around the “sweet spot” for most standard users, and where you would probably need to start for a standard 2/3-story house if it has brick walls. Less for a one-bedroom modern build flat, more for a stone built 8 bedroom mansion

Good options for Access points/Wifi routers/Mesh systems come from Ubiquiti, Asus, TP-Link Deco's M4/M5, Linksys Velop's, Tenda Nova's, Netgear Orbi's (and others) – I would stick with these companies whose business this is - rather than “newcomer” and data-driven” companies like Google, Amazon, etc. Also be sure the router or Mesh specifically says that they have 1GB ethernet ports - some of the cheaper ones only have 100Mbps ports.

Recently, just as an example... two of my friends who both live in brick built 3/4 bed semis, both just got TP-Link Deco M5 3-packs (~£150) and both told me it is - “absolutely brilliant with full wifi speeds in all rooms, the attic and the garden, and the App is a doddle to use”. The first Mesh unit becomes the new router - you need to check whether the one you look at has all the "features” you need. Ethernet ports are usually limited to 1 or 2/unit , so you “may” need to add in an unmanaged GB port switch (<£20) in there as well. My mates also get "full speeds" from the ethernet ports on the Deco's in the remote locations. Finally if you get a 2/3-pack of any Mesh system, which doesn’t cover dead spots everywhere, you can just add in extra unit(s).

Take a look at what fits your needs, tech ability, house layout and budget. Use sites like Techradar & Techadvisor for reviews of "Best Routers" or "Best Mesh". Post again if you want personal recommendations from others on your short list

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John
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I do not work for VM. My services: HD TV on VIP (+ Sky Sports & Movies & BT sport), x3 V6 boxes (1 wired 2 WiFi,) SH2 in modem mode with Airport Extreme Router +2 Airport Express's. On VIVID200, Talk Anytime Phone, x2 Mobile SIM only iPhones.
Andruser
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Message 3 of 11
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Re: Advice on a mesh system or router?

@jconlon1 Anyway, I've read up a little bit about the mesh systems and that seems to provide a better WiFi signal throughout the house but I'm not sure if that would be overkill considering I live in a terraced house. Would a better router make my WiFi signal better?

Excellent advice (as always) from @jbrennand 

A couple of additional observations:  If it's an old terraced house with brick internal walls, then although it may not be the largest property, it can be one of the harshest wifi environments, because brick is a fantastic attenuator of wifi signals.  With that in mind, a mesh system COULD be a good solution, and a two-pack system would do the job, but you may need to budget for a tri-band system, or buy a less expensive system (like my TP-Link Deco M4) but be prepared to link the primary and secondary units with an ethernet cable.  The cable's cheap, the concept's simple, running the cable can be a trial!

 

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legacy1
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Re: Advice on a mesh system or router?


@jconlon1 wrote:

If it's router you'd suggest then any recommendations? I think £200 would be my max budget but the cheaper the better?


ZyXEL Armor G1 Multi-Gigabit AC2600 WiFi Router - Large Home Coverage. 1 x 2.5Gbps WAN Port, 4 x Gig...

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Tudor
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Re: Advice on a mesh system or router?

However good a WiFi signal is from a router/switch/WAP it’s always better to have a wired Wireless Access Point upstairs.


Tudor
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jconlon1
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Message 6 of 11
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Re: Advice on a mesh system or router?

Thanks for the replies. Still don't really know what would suit me best to be honest. Think I can write off a wireless access point purely down to the fact that I'm renting and I don't think my landlord would be too happy with me routing cabling everywhere. 

 

Do mesh systems connect wirelessly? 

Would a router improve my speeds through the power lines? I'm only getting slightly more through them then what I did on BT which justs me question whether the router isn't powerful enough (I've seen the reviews of the superhub which make me question this too) 

 

If I was to get a new router, would I be able to add on a mesh system to it? 

 

Again, thanks for your help

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tehwolf
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Message 7 of 11
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Re: Advice on a mesh system or router?

Mesh systems do connect wirelessly so no need to run cable. They also, in most cases, will provide the functions of a router, so no need to buy two separate systems. Take a look at the 

a new router will not increase the powerline speeds, you’re probably hitting the limit of what your powerline hardware / electrical system is capable of carrying. It has nothing to do with the hub.

 

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mjpartyboy
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Message 8 of 11
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Re: Advice on a mesh system or router?

You could always start with a tried and tested third-party router, such as the Asus AC86U or Netgear R7800, and the Super Hub in modem mode. You may find a purpose built router, particularly with external antennas, is enough to serve your property. You can add a mesh node later if needs be. Saves spending out on kit you may not need.
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billbill
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Message 9 of 11
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Re: Advice on a mesh system or router?

Think the best option for you, would be to buy one of the TP link Deco mesh systems and let it all connect together wirelessly. The decos will connect wirelessly, via Ethernet cable, or both. (best option for speed is to always connect via Ethernet cable, but in a rented property, can understand cabled is not possible).

The TP-Link Deco are both a wi-fi mesh (multiple hot-spots) and a router all in one, so you do not need an additional router. Just put your VM hub into router mode & connect to the first Deco with the supplied Ethernet cable to the VM hub (port 4 if a Hub3). Dot the others around the house to give the coverage you want. The setup app helps with location. I purchased the TP-Link Deco S4, three unit pack for £100 on Amazon. Each unit has two gigabit Ethernet ports, so as well as giving a wireless network, the ports can be used to connect to kit that is not wi-fi, or you want a wired connection, telly or telly box, smart home hub etc. You can also use this port to connect to an Ethernet switch (get a TP link one, less than £20) if you want more Ethernet ports. I use one connected to my first Deco, which then feeds the telly room (sky, sonos, tv, Blu-ray etc), NAS, PC, weather station etc.

The Deco system is great in that it is expandable and compatible across different models, so S4 will work with M5 etc. If you need more coverage, just buy additional single units.

The S4 that I have is duel band, but as the decos are Ethernet connected, does not impact speed. TP-link do tri-band models which will offer better all wi-fi setup speed, but of course at a higher cost.

Take a look at the Amazon site, as they do a good comparison between the units.

Please post back what you decide to do & how it all goes, ease of setup, speed etc, to help others & also give us feedback. 

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jconlon1
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Re: Advice on a mesh system or router?

After a lot of toing and froing on what to go for, ive decided to go for the Asus AC86U. Mainly because when i was on BT the wifi signal in the rooms was spot on anyway so if the router can be as good as that if not better then it will fix the problem and because of the AImesh that Asus incorporate in their routers, if its still bad then i can just get another AImesh enabled router. Although im hopeful that the more powerful router will be able to fix my poor wifi and hopefully give me more stable speeds on the wire too.

 

Cheers for your help guys

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