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Some advice on gear for decent wifi

Hi everyone,

I can't take the terrible wifi anymore. I have the homehub 3, and unless I'm in the same room as the router, I either get an incredibly degraded service, or nothing at all. I live in a small (700 sqf) flat. It's ex-council so the walls are fairly hefty, and to be fair the router sits in a far corner.

My knee-jerk instinct was to just get a mesh router, and that would be so much better than what comes standard with the home hub, that I would be covered. And then like I usually do, I went down a worm hole and have now totally confused myself.

As mentioned, it's a fairly small flat, and this is a list of devices that utilise the internet in priority order:

1. Macbook (wired connection)
2. Macbook (wifi)
3. 3x mobile phones
4. PS4 (wired)
5. FireTV Stick (wifi)
6. iPad
7. 2 x Amazon echo
8. 1 x Google Home
9. Nest termostat
10. Other random stuff that doesn't matter... Kindles etc.

I would really prefer to have something that covers the whole flat rather than getting a wifi extender. The main use case at the moment is if my wife and I have a meeting at the same time, get fed up with trying to talk over each other, and one of us goes to the bedroom from the lounge. Swapping wifi networks in that scenario is very far from ideal.

Outside of work, we mainly use the fireTV for video streaming. Sometimes online gaming, but that's fairly rare and not a core concern.

If anyone could recommend some tech that would deal with this use case, I really would be very appreciative. I would like to keep costs under £100, but if £150 is going to be 100x better, I'll go for it.

Thanks in advance!

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Alessandro Volta
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Re: Some advice on gear for decent wifi

Any mid-high end ASUS or TP-Link router will work.

Or a decent mesh system. 


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Re: Some advice on gear for decent wifi

For a Mesh, look at TP-link Deco M4 or the M5 for bigger properties.

Just as an example, two of my friends who 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 set-up App is a doddle to use”. As you flat is smaller the M4's should be fine - my mates both thought the M5's looked cooler!

In general - the first 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, so you may need to add in an unmanaged GB 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 3-pack of any Mesh system, and that doesn’t cover dead spots everywhere, you can just add in extra unit(s).

If you get a router or a Mesh all you need to do is set them up in this order and then follow the instructions for the new router/Mesh

Disconnect any cables from your new router (Mesh first unit) and unplug it. Put the VM Hub into modem mode (see VM website for details) and wait for the base light to turn magenta. Once it’s in modem mode, the VM hub must then be powered off. Then, set up your own router with the WAN port set to be in DHCP mode, it may be pre-set that way anyway. Make sure it’s fully initialised (leave 5 min) and then put in the WAN cable (Cat5e or better - cat6 has better "shielding) to the VM hub. Now power up the VM hub and you should get a connection. This order only needs to be done the first time you connect your own router to the VM hub.


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John
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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. On VIVID200, Talk Anytime Phone, x2 Mobile SIM only iPhones.
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Re: Some advice on gear for decent wifi

Whilst I have no direct experience of it, AmpliFi Mesh (check amazon) is supposed to be excellent, is a bit over budget but I have seen it discounted to £100 for the router +additional access point bundle on amazon recently. It’s currently about £160..

I use another brand, unifi, by the same company (ubiquity) and honestly, it’s comfortably the best WiFi experience I’ve had (having used most of the “consumer” brands over the years). The problem with the unifi stuff is that it helps a lot if your tech savvy as the configuration can be daunting if you’re not sure what you’re doing.

what I’ve read of AmpliFi tho, is that it takes a lot of that complexity away and “just works” 

If the performance is anything like it’s sister product set, AmpliFi is likely to do a great job and last years. 

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Re: Some advice on gear for decent wifi

Thanks everyone,

I picked up the TP-link Deco M5 (2 pack). I've just installed 1 so far, and it seems to have solved most of the issues. If there are dark spots, then I'mm install the 2nd one.

Thanks again!