Mesh Network: Linksys Velop vs Netgear Orbi?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by Roosevelt, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. Roosevelt macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2011
    We live in a condo and use a range extender to relay wifi. We need to manually switch networks every time we move from the front to the back.

    We are interested in a Mesh network that creates a single network that does not require switching. The Linksys Velop is a true "Mesh," while the Netgear Orbi second unit uses a dedicated channel to communicate with the router and is not a true Mesh in the technical sense. The on line reviews are confusing and we are not certain which product best meets our needs.

    (I am a techie to some extent and have played with changing channels, using the 5Ghz band, etc).

    Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  2. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    If you're only deploying two APs, I don't see the advantage in using a mesh, other than a possible dedicated wifi link to the base.

    How are you switching networks now? Aren't the extender and the base broadcasting the SSID and password?
  3. Roosevelt thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2011
    The base and the extender use 2 different SSIDs. The problem is signal degradation and having to change networks.
  4. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    Can you make them use the same SSIDs? I'm able to do that with mine.
  5. Roosevelt thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2011
    I am unable to create the same SSID.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 15, 2017 ---
    I should mention there are 2 problems with the same SSID. The main one is speed because the computer may stay connected to the weaker signal rather than switching to the signal coming from the extender. In addition, there is some signal degradation in the transfer.
  6. belvdr, Mar 15, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017

    belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    That stinks. For the record, I have the Linksys EA8500 and RE7000 combo that supports this and has worked very well. You can get it cheaper than a 2 unit Velop system.

    EA8500 and RE7000 ($272 USD):

    Velop ($350 USD):

    You might also see if there's a firmware update for your existing devices that may enable this.

    I cannot answer your original question specifically, as I have not experienced either system directly. Sorry I was unable to help further.

    Update to your additional response: By extending the network without a dedicated channel, you still have performance degradation, as the extender must repeat the data back to base on the same channel, regardless of SSID configuration. This is because of half duplex operation: only one device can transmit at one time. If the signal degradation is strong enough, the client will roam seamlessly to another AP, similar to how many enterprise networks are configured. With my extender (not a mesh), I've not noticed any real issue with roaming or performance.
  7. Roosevelt thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2011
    I think the Netgear Orbi would be a better solution because it uses a dedicated 5Ghz band to communicate with the primary router. Your solution solves the SSID problem but I am not sure if it fixes the speed problem.
  8. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    You didn't state there was a speed issue, so I was in the dark on that. I moved from 802.11n to 802.11ac, both extended wirelessly, and have not seen an issue from that. For the record, I'm speaking of Internet content from multiple devices at a time on a 50Mb connection.

    You also must consider that a 5Ghz will not travel as far as a lower frequency, such as 2.4Ghz.
  9. convergent macrumors 68030


    May 6, 2008
    Raleigh, NC
    I would recommend the Orbi for what you described. I live in a 2 story house where the entry point and main router are at one end of the house upstairs, and the second spot where I would logically put a second access point is downstairs at the other end of the house. I have tried several different combinations, including the latest, Airport Extremes. It would work sometime and then I'd frequently find that it didn't switch to the closer unit and my WiFi performance went to crap. For this setup, I was using a MoCA 2.1 backhaul that consistently churned out 600mbps+. Then I'd find that I run speediest on my iPhone and barely get 1mbps.

    I started looking at mesh network options a few months ago and was down to either the Velop or Orbi. They are the only ones that have a third radio for backhaul traffic. I wanted a true mesh setup, but review after review showed that the Orbi blew everyone else way in performance tests; even when going Orbi 2 unit against another mesh's 3 unit setup. I installed the Orbi 2 unit system a couple weeks ago and am very happy with it. I can now go around in the house and get speeds that match the throughput of my wire attached Mac from nearly every corner. No more having to cycle WiFi to get it to switch access points. Another thing about the Orbi is that it has a traditional web based admin interface with many options; not the cloud based configuration all the others use. The only bad thing is their iOS app is kind of useless; but with the web interface it is not really needed. We have gigabit fiber coming into the house, so its nice to finally get consistent speed via WiFi.
  10. themastermind macrumors member


    Nov 11, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    I can also vouch for the Orbi, it is blazing fast and has been rock solid for me.
  11. kingtj macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2003
    Brunswick, MD
    I'm especially impressed with the Orbi now that they released brand new firmware for it. The latest v2.1.xxxx firmware still doesn't automatically download when you click to check for updates, but I think Netgear will change that after it's been tested a little longer. I had to manually download the firmware to my computer and then upload it to the Orbi and satellites.

    But the new firmware allows true "daisy chaining" so a satellite can link up with the next closest satellite router, instead of all satellites having to link directly back to the primary unit. It also supports wired Ethernet "backhaul" connection for cases where a satellite Orbi is actually close to a wired network jack it can plug into. (That used to be a lacking feature that caused some people to buy a competing product.)

  12. iObama macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2008
    I know it's not in your list of options, but my family uses eero products and they've been rock solid. Super easy to set up. A set it and forget it scenario.

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