Larger wireless home coverage, tried Orbi and eero, need recommendations.

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by exi, Jun 10, 2018.

  1. exi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    #1
    In short:

    - Two story, 4000 sqft home, typical modern construction standards;
    - Approximately 15 wireless devices;
    - Some wireless PC gaming;
    - Moderate data use as far as 4K/HD streams;
    - Occasional upstream use for backups;
    - Residential cable connection, ~350-400 down.

    Modem connection, thus router connection, is currently at main computer which itself is at a corner of the house.

    Have tried:

    - Airport Time Capsule, latest generation: tried and true, now discontinued. See above for setup. Expected wireless signal drop-offs at opposing corner but has been quite passable in general.
    - Synology RT2600AC: preferred Airport.
    - Eero: liked app and design/style, but lesser performance in my use case. Iffy support in my case.
    - Orbi: performs well, though occasional odd hiccup in gaming despite QoS and otherwise solid hardware.

    Options in my mind:

    - Sticking with Airport as I did for years, still get to use Time Machine, though not ideal (deprecated hardware, no QoS, etc);
    - Newer Asus router, seems to be a common favorite, also allows Time Machine use;
    - Whether a newer Asus unit would offer satisfactorily better range/throughput on the other side of the house;
    - If I really need a mesh or mesh-like system like the ones tried above, since I like the simplicity of one device;
    - Unsure how I would structure an Ubiquiti setup in this house, seems some like them as well.

    Appreciate any thoughts/advice.
     
  2. hobowankenobi macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2015
    Location:
    on the land line mr. smith.
    #2
    Unfi WAPs are nice, but a bit more work to setup. Well worth it...but stuff to configure. And, you need data cable from where ever the router is, to where ever you want the WAPs to be. Usually doable, but depends widely on the house.

    Curious, what did you not like about the RT2600? Too complicated? Too big? I would be surprised if the Asus (or anything) could be much better coverage/performance than the stuff you have tried.

    Since you have tried 2 of the more popular mesh systems, I hesitate to suggest another. If you had not, I would say check out Amplifi. Don't have one, but it would be on my short list.

    If you can't (easily) get data cable from where the router is, to where you need to have a WAP or two for best coverage, consider a power line option to get data where it needs to be for good WAP placement. Or even a powerline WAP...or 2.
     
  3. exi thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    #3
    About the RT2600, it was quite awhile back that I tried it -- but I had actually tried it in place of my Airport and only remember feeling like many of its benefits were lost on what I was trying to accomplish at the time, and that it was quite big for where I was putting it. In all fairness, I also didn't live in this same house at the time, either. Maybe would be more useful now.

    Trying to avoid running cable. Even testing the Airport again, I'm not sure how much better I'm going to make things with a single device, as I can still connect and pull 30-50 down clear across the house on either level. Realistically, that's enough bandwidth for what I'd be doing clear across the house -- 4K streaming with only rare larger data downloads. Have had some wi-fi calling drops across the house, though. And I just don't like being on deprecated hardware.

    Using the speed/bufferbloat testing tool on DSLReports gives me a "C" for the latter, though from a function standpoint for my use as the downstream is rarely pegged, not sure how much benefit there is in a newer router with actual QoS.

    As for the mention of gaming, I theoretically could wire the PC on which I sometimes game, so there's that.

    Unclear to me if I'd be better served by getting a newer Asus router (the RT-AC88U plus or minus a powerline WAP on the other side of the house as you mentioned with the same SSID to make it nice and tidy.)
     
  4. belvdr, Jun 10, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018

    belvdr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    Location:
    No longer logging into MR
    #4
    I second the vote on UniFi WAPs. I purchased two for my property and one is fed off a TP-Link AV2000 PowerLine kit. Each WAP is configured to use the same SSID for both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. I have had no issues at all with this setup and cover over 1.3 acres of ground with just 2 WAPs.

    I purchased a second TP-Link AV2000 kit to get a wired connection to my PC and used the last one to wire up a Roku. Having the Roku wired was not required, as it worked well on wireless, but getting yet another device off WiFi simply reduces the RF load. Many people don't realize that having more WiFi devices can cause issues.

    For a router, I use a UniFi EdgeRouter Lite and it's been a solid performer.

    A note on the speed tests: take it with a grain of salt. You can drive yourself batty trying to get an "A" on every little test. If you're not experiencing any issues, sometimes it's best to leave well enough alone.
     
  5. techwarrior macrumors 65816

    techwarrior

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #5
    My setup has been working flawlessly. it consists of:
    • AP Time Capsule (AC model) as router.
    • AP Extreme (latest N model) connected via 1Gbps Ethernet to AP TC.
    • AP Express (latest N model) connected via 100Mbps Ethernet to AP TC.
    My home is 4000 square feet on two levels. Router and Express are on lower (walk out basement) level on opposite ends. Extreme is centrally located on main floor. My ISP is about 70Mbps Xfinity. My speed tests from everywhere in the home are 70-80Mbps, including the back patio and garage. I am fortunate to be able to hardwire the units.

    Although Apple has discontinued selling AP, they will likely support it for 3-5 years. With 802.11ax on the horizon, I am holding out to see what it can offer. AX is supposed to increase bandwidth considerably, extend range, and resolve interference\contention far better than AC.

    If stringing Cat 5e or Cat 6 cable is a challenge, there are very decent powerline adapters. I have used AV1200 adapters across circuits and seen consistent 400Mbps plus speeds. AV2000 adapters claim to approach 1Gbps speeds. Given your ISP speeds of 300-400Mbps, either of these adapters would be sufficient to support your devices.
     
  6. exi thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    #6
    Thank you for the posts, all.

    For now, I've chosen to stick with my Airport TC, as it has provided quite functional coverage for some time now. Hardly the best, but functional without problems.

    My rationale is that 802.11ax is due out sometime in 2019 as mentioned after years of 802.11ac mainstream, and it seems a bit inefficient for me to replace deprecated hardware with a new router when I know I'm going to want to get an 802.11ax device when it becomes the de facto replacement for .11ac, even if it'll take time for that to be useful with consumer devices.

    Figured that if I really need a bit of a boost at the far end of the house, I'll go with another AP device or powerline WAP as suggested above as a stopgap.
     

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