2 Airports or Orbi system

dobro03

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 24, 2009
52
1
I live in a large house and have issues getting wireless connections at one end of the house. I bought and returned single routers that were the latest models by ASUS and NetGear and that did nothing, so now I am considering 2 different options.

First: Buying the latest Airport Extreme (I currently just have the last generation of the flat extreme) and hooking the 2 AE up through coax cable in the house. I already own the Gefen ethernet to coax boxes I bought a few years ago. So I thought I would use the newest Extreme as my main router and use my older Extreme as an access point roaming setup at the other end of the house 'hardwired' by the Gefen boxes. Still have to figure out the proper AE set up for that.....

Other choice is to just buy an Orbi 2 pack and see how that works.

Any thoughts on this? Any problems I may encounter?

Thanks!!
 

dobro03

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 24, 2009
52
1
No thoughts on this? One problem with the Orbi is you can't hook up a printer via the USB port, so no printer on a network.
 

Brookzy

macrumors 601
May 30, 2010
4,747
4,723
UK
Facing the same problem, I've used a network of four AirPort Expresses for several years - one of them wired up with Ethernet over coaxial systems like you had.

It started getting slow and buggy even after completely resetting all the modules it just seemed to grind to a halt and have frequent dropouts.

I recently got the 3-pack Linksys Velop system and performance and stability is much better, even if at a very high cost and lacking some more advanced features.

I'm sure you'd do better with an Orbi system than an AirPort mesh network.
 

snoleppard

macrumors newbie
May 29, 2017
11
0
I live in a large house and have issues getting wireless connections at one end of the house. I bought and returned single routers that were the latest models by ASUS and NetGear and that did nothing, so now I am considering 2 different options.

First: Buying the latest Airport Extreme (I currently just have the last generation of the flat extreme) and hooking the 2 AE up through coax cable in the house. I already own the Gefen ethernet to coax boxes I bought a few years ago. So I thought I would use the newest Extreme as my main router and use my older Extreme as an access point roaming setup at the other end of the house 'hardwired' by the Gefen boxes. Still have to figure out the proper AE set up for that.....

Other choice is to just buy an Orbi 2 pack and see how that works.

Any thoughts on this? Any problems I may encounter?

Thanks!!
Gefen - cool, I remember those!
Orbi is one of the better mesh systems for backhaul throughput between access points, but it doesn't support Fast Roaming, so your devices won't automatically re-home. If you have some vacant cable outlets, you could try a Coaxifi kit from eBay to distribute the Wi-Fi signal over coax using a respectable stand-alone router like a TP-Link Archer C3150 and connecting the splitter to an antenna port. That would give you native roaming over a distributed antenna system. That combination would cost less than an Orbi two-pack, and less than 2 new ME918LL/A AEs.
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,830
7,369
Personally I still have an Airport network only because it's bought and paid for and I don't need anything faster. My network consists of the current Extreme, the previous extreme (hooked to my Hue hub), and two prev gen expresses, each hooked to an A/V receiver because I'm too lazy to set up the on-board WiFi. Both have built-in AirPlay so I don't need the express for that functionality. My house is a 2K sq ft, mostly open, 4 story TH. Reception on the top floor is weak yet excellent at the bus stop across the street. That's WiFi for you.

I just installed an ORBI two pack at my mom's house though and it's really great. She her house is 3x as big as mine on 3 levels. Only the main level is open but the slowest speed in the house is 500Mbps (the fastest is 700). She has two printers - one hooked to her iMac and one wireless. Both work fine. I also installed an app on her Mac so she can print to either printer from her iPad or iPhone -- forget the name of the app at the moment, but wireless printing is possible.

The "current" Airports are quite old and Apple has said it's no longer in the WiFi router business. So I wouldn't spend good money on it now. ORBI is current and ultimately it's the same money you'll spend on any Airport set up with the same range. But the Airports signal quality, if my case is any evidence, will be lower than ORBI or probably any mesh router.
 

kaldezar

macrumors regular
May 28, 2008
117
5
London, England
I live in a large house and have issues getting wireless connections at one end of the house. I bought and returned single routers that were the latest models by ASUS and NetGear and that did nothing, so now I am considering 2 different options.

First: Buying the latest Airport Extreme (I currently just have the last generation of the flat extreme) and hooking the 2 AE up through coax cable in the house. I already own the Gefen ethernet to coax boxes I bought a few years ago. So I thought I would use the newest Extreme as my main router and use my older Extreme as an access point roaming setup at the other end of the house 'hardwired' by the Gefen boxes. Still have to figure out the proper AE set up for that.....

Other choice is to just buy an Orbi 2 pack and see how that works.

Any thoughts on this? Any problems I may encounter?

Thanks!!
Orbi without a shadow of a doubt, Apple's Airport Extremes are pretty useless and they just don't have the appropriate technology to solve the problems you have.
 

dobro03

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 24, 2009
52
1
Personally I still have an Airport network only because it's bought and paid for and I don't need anything faster. My network consists of the current Extreme, the previous extreme (hooked to my Hue hub), and two prev gen expresses, each hooked to an A/V receiver because I'm too lazy to set up the on-board WiFi. Both have built-in AirPlay so I don't need the express for that functionality. My house is a 2K sq ft, mostly open, 4 story TH. Reception on the top floor is weak yet excellent at the bus stop across the street. That's WiFi for you.

I just installed an ORBI two pack at my mom's house though and it's really great. She her house is 3x as big as mine on 3 levels. Only the main level is open but the slowest speed in the house is 500Mbps (the fastest is 700). She has two printers - one hooked to her iMac and one wireless. Both work fine. I also installed an app on her Mac so she can print to either printer from her iPad or iPhone -- forget the name of the app at the moment, but wireless printing is possible.

The "current" Airports are quite old and Apple has said it's no longer in the WiFi router business. So I wouldn't spend good money on it now. ORBI is current and ultimately it's the same money you'll spend on any Airport set up with the same range. But the Airports signal quality, if my case is any evidence, will be lower than ORBI or probably any mesh router.
Is there any way to hook up a 'wired' printer to an Orbi set up? Now I just hook up to the Airport USB port and everyone in the house and studio can use the printer on the network wirelessly. I believe the Orbi 'network' USB port doesn't do that and is basically worthless.
 

dwfaust

macrumors 603
Jul 3, 2011
5,482
6,180
No thoughts on this? One problem with the Orbi is you can't hook up a printer via the USB port, so no printer on a network.
I tried Orbi and had major issues keeping my devices connected. I returned it and got the Ubiquiti Amplifi system... works well and coverage is awesome... but, as with the Orbi, there's no USB connectivity (there is a USB port, but it's not active).
 
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Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,830
7,369
Is there any way to hook up a 'wired' printer to an Orbi set up? Now I just hook up to the Airport USB port and everyone in the house and studio can use the printer on the network wirelessly. I believe the Orbi 'network' USB port doesn't do that and is basically worthless.
I think that is correct, the USB port on the Orbi is for tech support only. Does your printer have an ethernet port? That should work. Or if you hook it up to a Mac and turn on printer sharing on your Mac that would solve the problem too.
 

campyguy

macrumors 68040
Mar 21, 2014
3,415
932
I posted this a year or so ago:
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/are-there-any-airport-utility-tricks-hacks-for-great-connectivity.1971093/#post-22869645

Read the second link, and I'll offer that nothing's changed. Like the cellular weBoost eqo that I bought for my cell phones, a tweak in direction and elevation can significantly increase or decrease throughput and QoS. I recently moved into a large rental 2-story ranch style with limited access - I'm working in a room that is on the opposite end of the only place to put a router (a latest-gen Extreme). My Mini Server is busy up/down loading files to my two file servers, my rMBP is backing up with Arq to AWS, and my second display is connected to my ATV streaming HBO GO, all while my mom is watching something in her room on her Genie Mini.

No hiccups or stalls. Genie and Genie Mini on 2.4GHz, everything else on 5GHz. No clients are closer than 20 feet, I'm 50 feet from the AE. I use a laser measuring device.

Consider optimizing your setup. I use NetSpot. I am moving on from Apple FWIW, planning on buying Synology RT2600ac units for the additional power and flexibility. Cheers.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,194
5,543
OP asks:
"Is there any way to hook up a 'wired' printer to an Orbi set up? Now I just hook up to the Airport USB port and everyone in the house and studio can use the printer on the network wirelessly."

If the printer has ethernet, use that (Orbi has extra ethernet ports on it).

If the printer has USB, I'm thinking that you might be able to use the old Airport Extreme to connect to the Orbi. Perhaps put the AE into "bridge mode", then connect the printer to the AE's USB port?

Netgear has an "Orbi forum" at their website, that question may have been asked there already, if not, I suggest you go there and ask. You'll probably get an answer quickly. Also check the Q&A's for the Orbi on amazon.com.

I'm currently set up with the Linksys Velop, seems to be working ok, but again, no USB ports.

I'm not interested in a printer unless it's networkable via ethernet… ;)