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Charlietuna54's profile

New Member

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1 Message

Saturday, May 20th, 2023 7:39 PM

What to use for Mesh Wi-Fi

I have tried everything with ATT. I am about to change providers. I have 2 extenders and weak signal in many parts of my 2,000 sq Ft single story home. 

Anyone have a suggestion for an easy mesh system a non tech 70 year old can install??

ACE - Expert

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24.9K Messages

1 year ago

To use a mesh WiFi system you'll need to place your gateway in pass through mode first. Depending on the model of gateway you have, there are instructions or folks here who can help you with that. The reason is that you need to have the new router handle all of the WiFi and routing duties. 

Netgear, Eero, Ubiquiti, Google are just a few that make good mesh WiFi systems. For 2,000 sq.ft. single story you'd probably only need the router and 1 satellite, but it would be best if you could hard wire the satellite back to the router.

ACE - Professor

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5.7K Messages

1 year ago

Actually it’s even easier than that.  Just plug in your mesh system and configure it as an Access Point and you’ll have reliable WiFi.  Just remember to turn off the radios in the gateway.  We can be more specific on instructions if need be.  

Netgear Orbi doesn’t use the term “mesh”, but their system is as reliable as they come.  If you see features such as dedicated Ethernet backhaul, they’re more robust and cost a little more but worth it IMHO.   

ACE - Expert

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24.9K Messages

1 year ago

@gr8sho  I have the Netgear Orbi RBK 753S System (RBR 750 router and 2 RBS 750 satellites) and the box says "Tri-band Mesh WiFi 6 Router". They are very reliable and robust. The extra gigabit ethernet port on the satellites as well as the ethernet backhaul option is really nice. Both of my satellites are hard wired back to the router.

ACE - Professor

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5.7K Messages

1 year ago

@OttoPylot

I've been holding off upgrading my Netgear RBK50 thinking WiFi 7 was going to be here by now.  The RBK50 I have was their flagship WiFi 5 model and is still working well.  When they use the term tri-band, that's the feature I was referring to with the dedicated wireless backhaul.  Netgear supports two topologies, hub and spoke and daisychain depending on need. 

ISPs, well Att at least, don't invest in proper WiFi support.  I can't speak to what Xfinity provides with their WiFi 6e model, but in general theirs seem to work better than what we're given here. 

Most people just need a reliable setup, especially if working from home where phone calls and zoom meetings can't be interrupted because WiFi suddenly drops out.  I learned this lesson the very hardest way. 

To be clear, Netgear is not without fault.  They've screwed me over with bad firmware updates as well requiring factory resets and downgrading, but overall user experience is still light years ahead of the paltry Arris hardware. 

ACE - Expert

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24.9K Messages

1 year ago

@gr8sho  I've always been a bit nervous every time I update my Netgear Orbi given the horror stories I've read on their website, so I agree that they are not without issues. Fortunately, all of the updates (manually, not automatically) I've done were successful and trouble-free. I just wish that Netgear Customer Support for new customers was longer than the 90 days they give you.

I have Xfinity but I never wanted to pay for the "privilege" of using their equipment, which apparently has similar issues to AT&T's, so the option of using my own equipment was very compelling. And the fact that Xfinity has a list of of third party devices that are approved for use on their service is a bonus. A small shoutout to @GLIMMERMAN76 for suggesting a few years ago that I get a DOCSIS 3.1 modem (Motorola). It has been rock solid.

As far as WiFi 6 goes, the speeds are a bit faster, depending on the device, but there is no wow factor to it. Maybe 6e has that wow factor but I only have WiFi 6 devices. That being said, speed and reliability are great with the Orbi as well as excellent coverage in out 2-story home and outside property.

ACE - Expert

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23.9K Messages

1 year ago

I use orbi original wifi 5 for my best cameras. And eero for the rest of the traffic.  

ACE - Professor

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5.7K Messages

1 year ago

I’m not sure what the deal is with 6E.  I think the next iPhone will finally get it.  Having said that, I don’t have any burning issues with WiFi.  Speed is irrelevant if you get right down to it.  Reliability is where it’s at.   

Att apparently is using the gateway fee as discretionary.  Not everyone is getting charged for it.  Having said that, I agree cable has an advantage by allowing customer owned equipment on their network.  People go to extraordinary lengths to bypass the Att gateway and frankly I don’t blame them despite the fact they’re likely violating the ToS.  

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