Most 'Apple-like' mesh network with good throughput?

indychris

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 19, 2010
536
935
Fort Wayne, IN
I searched and obviously found info about Mesh networks. Given the continual updating of hardware, and the fact that I didn't find any current threads that really address this, I'm hoping I'm not posting a redundant query.

I've used multiple Airport Extremes (4) to keep our downstairs, bedrooms and garage all connected to our network for years. The performance has honestly been stellar. I was very disappointed when the presumed announcement was made official regarding a lack of continued development. One of my routers is now turning flakey, and I'm sure at some point others will follow, so I think it's time to finally look at some alternatives. This is my list of needs in terms of priority:

1. Mac/iOS compatibility
2. Wide coverage
3. Solid throughput
4. USB connectivity for office printer
5. Ease of setup/maintenance so that my wife can mange the network when I travel. (she's fairly knowledgable, but doesn't like to spend time on things.)

While I don't want to have to count on winning the lottery to purchase a system, at the same time $$ is not the primary concern so long as I can come up with a good long-term solution that should last me 4+ years.

Any insights and thoughts are appreciated!
 

Release

macrumors regular
Feb 28, 2012
116
93
I just replaced 2 Airports and a FioS router with an EERO Pro and 2 beacons and it was unbelievably easy. Added an 8 port switch to it and it covers everything I used to run wired. It might still be the honeymoon phase but I'm REALLY liking it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Codeseven

SalisburySam

macrumors regular
May 19, 2019
105
78
Salisbury, North Carolina
I replaced my Apple AirPort Extreme with a Linksys EA9500 router and range extender. Worked better than the Apple device but still had WiFi dead spots in my 1905 home with plaster and lath walls. Replaced the Linksys with 8 eero Pros, almost one per room. No dead spots now so pleased about that. The eero’s are incredibly stupid simple to set up and administer, and adding one to the mesh is also simple. You don’t get all the network management tools that you would with more traditional routers, but if you don’t need those, and I don’t, the eero’s are set-and-forget. You also get a firmware update about monthly.

Also, eero is owned by Amazon now. Not sure if that’s good or bad but I’m guessing it’ll be good for the brand and for ongoing development of the product line.
 

indychris

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 19, 2010
536
935
Fort Wayne, IN
The Synology is not a mesh device, if that's what you're really looking for.
Being Mesh isn't really all that important as long as I can have consistent coverage with good transfer speed, and have the capacity to hook a USB printer to a router.
 

indychris

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 19, 2010
536
935
Fort Wayne, IN
they do have mesh with is router with their MR2200ac that you connect to the main router!
Thanks, sat. That's what I was trying to figure out last night, how they connect. So I would have my base router with the 2600, then I'm guessing three 2200's locked in strategic spots in the garage and upstairs. Looks like the 2200's have a USB port on them. Will that allow a printer to be plugged into it? I have a large format printer that isn't wireless.
 

satcomer

macrumors 603
Feb 19, 2008
6,496
1,016
The Finger Lakes Region
Thanks, sat. That's what I was trying to figure out last night, how they connect. So I would have my base router with the 2600, then I'm guessing three 2200's locked in strategic spots in the garage and upstairs. Looks like the 2200's have a USB port on them. Will that allow a printer to be plugged into it? I have a large format printer that isn't wireless.
Yes use the back USB for the printer! The USB in the front corner is for external disks to become a small NAS!
 

Moakesy

macrumors 6502
Mar 1, 2013
282
429
UK
I moved to Amplifi a few years back and have never regretted it. Solid high speed performance and (with two repeaters) have eliminated all my battles trying to get solid coverage throughout the solid walls of my house, the 'man cave' and the entire garden.

This is what I've got.. https://amplifi.com/amplifi-hd but I notice they now have released a wifi 6 mesh with their 'Alien' product.

They issue regular updates and patches and there is a App to manage it from your phone. Very simple to use and one of my favourite bits of tech I've owned. Not cheap, but you said $$ wasn't your prime concern.

I can't recommend it highly enough
 

hobowankenobi

macrumors 65816
Aug 27, 2015
1,093
313
on the land line mr. smith.
I am a big fan of the Synology gear....but it may not be the most Apple-like in either the product design or the interface design. To stick with the most "Apple easy" interface, I would go Amplifi. Several choices, depends mostly on the size and complexity of the area to cover, and performance. More costs more. 🙂
 
Last edited:

satcomer

macrumors 603
Feb 19, 2008
6,496
1,016
The Finger Lakes Region
Thanks, sat. That's what I was trying to figure out last night, how they connect. So I would have my base router with the 2600, then I'm guessing three 2200's locked in strategic spots in the garage and upstairs. Looks like the 2200's have a USB port on them. Will that allow a printer to be plugged into it? I have a large format printer that isn't wireless.
Look at this how to video:
 

Varking

macrumors member
Jan 12, 2010
83
41
I am in the market for some new router gear. We are switching from Spectrum's top plan around me ( 100 down and 10 upload ) to ATT Fiber which is 1k up and down and we currently use the generation 1 Google Wifi pucks in four rooms. I was going to swap them for the new Google Nest Wifi devices for mesh but other Wifi mesh networks are already working on Wifi 6 which feels like future proofing. The house is too large for us to not use mesh or repeaters.
 

Varking

macrumors member
Jan 12, 2010
83
41
The new Amplifi Alien looks to be a fabulous option. Could start with the single unit and see what kind of coverage, and add as needed.

Not sure what to make of Google/Nest....there has been some rumblings of change afoot, not sure what to expect of the wifi stuff. I would be cautious to start in the Nest world right now until everything is sorted out, and we know how they plan to proceed.
Thank you for sharing the link. I snagged the original generation one Google Wifi pucks when they first launched back when I had way too many android/Google related things. I have been looking to get back some of my privacy and that is why I ended up ultimately coming to iOS for the time being. And now that I am here I actually love it for the most part.
 

hobowankenobi

macrumors 65816
Aug 27, 2015
1,093
313
on the land line mr. smith.
...I have been looking to get back some of my privacy and that is why I ended up ultimately coming to iOS for the time being. And now that I am here I actually love it for the most part.

Yep. No Amazon or Google assistants for me...at this point because of privacy concerns. I like to think I am the consumer, not the product.
 

Varking

macrumors member
Jan 12, 2010
83
41
Yep. No Amazon or Google assistants for me...at this point because of privacy concerns. I like to think I am the consumer, not the product.
What are your feelings on Velop mesh routers? I couldn't resist. A guy on Facebook Marketplace was selling 4 Velop Tri-Band Mesh Routers for $200 ( 3 pack in normally $299.99 ) so I offered him $150 and to pay for shipping and he agreed. So I am getting four of these for 150 and I will then look to sell my four google wifi pucks ( gen 1 ) to try and get 200 or so for four of them. I figure at a minimum its at least tri band where my pucks were just two, and its a non-google product so its moving further away from Google.
 

hobowankenobi

macrumors 65816
Aug 27, 2015
1,093
313
on the land line mr. smith.
What are your feelings on Velop mesh routers? I couldn't resist. A guy on Facebook Marketplace was selling 4 Velop Tri-Band Mesh Routers for $200 ( 3 pack in normally $299.99 ) so I offered him $150 and to pay for shipping and he agreed. So I am getting four of these for 150 and I will then look to sell my four google wifi pucks ( gen 1 ) to try and get 200 or so for four of them. I figure at a minimum its at least tri band where my pucks were just two, and its a non-google product so its moving further away from Google.
Have not used them, or any Linksys stuff for many years. Linksys stuff has historically been some of the better consumer gear. Seems like a good deal...barring a lemon. Let us know what you think.
 

indychris

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 19, 2010
536
935
Fort Wayne, IN
The new Amplifi Alien looks to be a fabulous option. Could start with the single unit and see what kind of coverage, and add as needed.

Not sure what to make of Google/Nest....there has been some rumblings of change afoot, not sure what to expect of the wifi stuff. I would be cautious to start in the Nest world right now until everything is sorted out, and we know how they plan to proceed.
Is the alien actually available at this point? When I originally looked it up, it seemed like it wasn't out yet.
 

Varking

macrumors member
Jan 12, 2010
83
41
Is the alien actually available at this point? When I originally looked it up, it seemed like it wasn't out yet.
Looks like its been out for a little while but few people have been able to snag the. Reviews look good but come across as phony on Amazon.
 

HDFan

macrumors 68000
Jun 30, 2007
1,904
451
What are your feelings on Velop mesh routers?
I tried them but found them to be slower than my Comcast TG3482G and Asus RT-AX88U. I can get ~200 Mbps, ~500 Mbps and ~750 Mbps respectively (next to the router, up to ~650 Mbps at 30 feet upstairs) although very variable as normal for WiFi. I live in a compact area so I get by with just the single router.

The Asus might work in larger environments as I see that it supports AIMesh.
 
Last edited: