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    Default Another Wifi Thread - For non-technical relative

    Hey, I know what I'd do if this was my own property, but it's for a vacation home owned by a non-technical relative. Property is in Invermere, and current Internet is through Shaw, They have the Cisco DPC3825 currently as well as a Netgear EX7000 Extender. That extender has okay range, but it's a big property and they want to be able to stream music from the beach to the garage, about 200 feet away.

    Main concerns: Further reach, ease of use, reliability.

    I'm thinking that bridging that Cisco router and running a mesh setup is the right way to go. Just need it to be something that won't need babysitting or much configuring, because the last thing they want to do is arrive for a weekend and have the wifi down. Pretty flexible on price if needed. Nothing is hardwired. the Cisco router needs to sit in a basement utility room, which is very sub-optimal for wifi range.

    So, I'm smart, but y'all are smarter. My first instinct is to get 2x or 3x Asus routers and set up the Aimesh, but I don't know if that's going to require ongoing maintenance or anything. What should I tell my relative to do that isn't going to cause him (or me) hassles down the road? Does netgear have a solution that would make use of the current extender?
    Last edited by ExtraSlow; 09-16-2019 at 05:13 PM.
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    Briding is the best idea so you are thinking the right way. By far the easiest to use mesh system is googles but it does not have the performance of some of the others like the Velop or the Orbi. I still think its one of the best for ease of use. I use the Velop because its a performance beast but I would not suggest this in this instance because it is not a set it and forget it and requires some initial setup and is more for power users. Think of it as a mildly less complicated unifi setup.

    If money is no object i say eero pro as i set that up and the sister in laws acreage and it works amazingly well (but super expensive). My suggestions for set it in forget it in order:

    Eero Pro (always connected to eero servers) $$$$
    Google Mesh (always connected to google servers) $$$
    Netgear Orbi (2019 version not the older ones with shit firmware) $$$$
    TP Link Deco (a 6 year old could set this up and maintain it) $
    Amplify HD Main nodes x 2 with 2 extenders (you a baller? this ones baller) $$$$$

    OR.......

    The nighthawk is one of the better extenders and should work with "most" routers out there. Ai Mesh is decent (especially when running two ac86u's) as long as you disable airtime fairness as that hates smart home devices/features and extenders. Maybe your first thought of 2-3 AC86u's and the nighthawk extender would get them what they wanted with only a 1 time setup.
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    Do any of these handle wireless backhaul better than others? Any have notably better range? The layout of this place is kinda weird, so there's going to be some long wireless runs.

    I almost wonder if this weird layout will need more than 3 devices to get to the end of the property. I think 4 would do it pretty handily, as long as the backhaul hopping device to device would not be problematic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kavy View Post
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    Amplify HD Main nodes x 2 with 2 extenders (you a baller? this ones baller) $$$$$
    This one doesn't seem that crazy. You can get the router plus two "meshpoints" for $464, which is less than 2x Asus RT-86u and I'd think would have better coverage because it's an entire extra node.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExtraSlow View Post
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    This one doesn't seem that crazy. You can get the router plus two "meshpoints" for $464, which is less than 2x Asus RT-86u and I'd think would have better coverage because it's an entire extra node.
    I would get two of the main routers as they are considerably more powerful then the extenders. And yes they can be chained and have a dedicated back haul channel

    Orbi and Velop will have the best range and can use multiple mesh points. Velop has its own back haul channel as do the new orbi system. Eero does as well so they are all decent choices. Google does not as far as I know so the more mesh points the slower things go.
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    If they have serious needs like this - they need serious units that are configured/setup HERE and then just connected up there.

    Unifi offers everything they need - prob looking around 1000$ for setup.

    What they need is:

    - good router inside the house (turn the ISP unit into a dumb modem, as it should be)
    - external, directional WIFI antenna outside the house thats hardlined (POE) to the router inside the house
    - external directional WIFI antenna in the garage (bridge setup)
    - good, omnidirectional WIFI antenna inside the house, hardlined (POE) that can be placed near the router

    I set this up on my brothers acreage and the difference was amazing. Dont half-ass the wifi setup for a long range application. We were streaming HD YT about 200ft away from the house.
    Last edited by revelations; 09-16-2019 at 09:23 PM.

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    You want zero babysitting just go google WiFi with an Ethernet backhaul. Outdoors is tricky without walls to bounce signals off of, so you want your access point as close to the beach as possible. Remember it’s not just the access point to your device, it’s your device to the access point as well for a good connection.

    As revelations has mentioned, go big or go home. A unifi setup will easily kill consumer grade mesh range and performance. I have a big thread somewhere that covered it. It’s too bad open mesh is gone. I setup a couple for family and friends. Can administer it remotely as it’s cloud based. Literally just have people plug them in and configure it on your phone.
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    I’ve said this before and rage2 just mentioned it.

    If the WAP can’t see the device, your fucked.

    At the airport, we setup directional antennas where we could stream 1080p YouTube at the tail of the aircraft on our laptop. Some baggage scanners were so weak, they couldn’t get an IP. They could see the APs, but the APs could not “hear” the baggage scanners.

    People think that the router is the problem. 50% of the time is that the device you are trying to connect is either low power or gets too much interference.

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    Unifi or Netgear Orbi with it's dedicated backhaul channel if you want something cheaper, IMO.

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    Getting some great suggestions. Although more than one of you has suggested using ethernet/hardline backhaul, and that's just not happening at this property. Entire house including basement is finished drywall ceilings and there's no attic. I'm not punching holes in the drywall for this.

    Need wireless backhaul.

    Amplifi Hd seems like a nice option at a very reasonable price, although I guess Unifi is "better"? Netgear Orbi Pro? the 3-piece system is $850, which isn't cheap, but it has dedicated backhaul channel and should be pretty good?

    What's the difference between Netgear Orbi and orbi pro?
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    At least the outdoor one should be on an ethernet backhaul just to get it as close to the beach as possible. I believe you can mix and match so not a huge deal. Should be easy to outdoor mount it with a wire run coming from the mechanical room or wherever to the outside? Assuming you're terminating the main unit in the mechanical room of course...
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    Well, the beach isn't as far away as people might be thinking, it's only about 50' from the house.

    Yes, main unit is in mechanical room. It's buried in the centre of the building.
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    With 50', a cheaper option is to run outdoor Cat5e buried in the ground (or otherwise strung) to supply a WAP unit in the garage.

    Mechanical rooms have vents that run outside -Im sure you can pull/fish a cat5e through that somehow.

    Anything else will be temporary and as technology/network needs grow over time, a partial solution is the result, that will have to be revisited every year or two. Hard lining is the proper way to go.
    Last edited by revelations; 09-17-2019 at 09:54 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ExtraSlow View Post
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    Getting some great suggestions. Although more than one of you has suggested using ethernet/hardline backhaul, and that's just not happening at this property. Entire house including basement is finished drywall ceilings and there's no attic. I'm not punching holes in the drywall for this.

    Need wireless backhaul.

    Amplifi Hd seems like a nice option at a very reasonable price, although I guess Unifi is "better"? Netgear Orbi Pro? the 3-piece system is $850, which isn't cheap, but it has dedicated backhaul channel and should be pretty good?

    What's the difference between Netgear Orbi and orbi pro?
    Best wireless back haul is going to come from Eero, Netgear Orbi, AmplifyHD & Velop.

    Differences from from Orbi and Orbi pro: (based upon me spending 2 months deciding what to use for my 86 devices in my household and contacting both netgear and Linksys on the Orbi and Velop Systems)
    Orbi Pro can only use Orbi Pro satellites or the outdoor satellite, it ends there. Regular Orbi can use any satellite including the outdoor, plug in, other regular satellite etc.
    Orbi maxes out at 3 satellites and 20 connections per satellite. Pro maxes out at 40 connections per satellite and can use "unlimited" satellites (I don't believe this claim but whatever)
    Orbi pro comes out of the box defaulted to AP mode and is meant to connect to existing routers. Both can be defaulted to AP mode or Router mode its just the initial setting. Orbi pro has a few extra enterprise options.
    Orbi allows 2 networks (Normal & Guest) Orbi Pro allows 3 (Admin, User & Guest....if i remember right they might be called something else) The pro allows greater control over each network with time allowances, website blocking etc.
    Orbi has Circle, pretty cool if you have kids. Pro does not.

    Full disclosure: I purchased the Orbi and got 3 Satellites running through my house on wired back-haul. I thought the results were impressive but did have some issues with firmware making wired back haul work on some units and not others. I also bought a Velop system with 3 nodes. After 30 days of testing (return window haha) I went with the Velop because for me the performance was better when it came to file transfers which I do a lot of because I have a server in the basement housing all of my photos in Raw format, all my 4k videos i take as well as all of our personal documents. It sounds minor but being able to send a 15GB video 30-60 seconds faster to my server makes a big difference to me. I have heard that Orbi has fixed the wired back-haul issues on new devices. Velop is not without its quirks either, power outages sometimes require the devices to be manually rebooted to reconnect, sucks when you are not home and everything in your house works off of a connection.
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    Well, I'll have more time to figure this out than I thought. Turns out there may be options for wired connections because I guess they have some security cameras that are hardwired in. He doesn't know where those wires go, or if power is availible anywhere close to them, so I will go out and have a look around in about two weeks to figure things out.

    Doing stuff like this for myself is fun. Doing this for someone else at a property that is three hour drive away is a headache.

    This delay also means once I know what I want to do, I can buy the stuff on black friday sales, which is nice.
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    Haha, thats funny - I have a client who I see once a year in Fairmont Hotsprings. Same issues initially but we ended up with a proper UNIFI setup for them in their big house. Summer visits are much preferred to January!!

    Your options are also to relocate the ISP unit to a more optimal unit for WIFI setup - as coax or telus lines in homes are wired for, in many places. Having a equipment cabinet in a bedroom in some cases may not be out of the question either.
    Last edited by revelations; 09-17-2019 at 12:26 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kavy View Post
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    Briding is the best idea so you are thinking the right way. By far the easiest to use mesh system is googles but it does not have the performance of some of the others like the Velop or the Orbi. I still think its one of the best for ease of use. I use the Velop because its a performance beast but I would not suggest this in this instance because it is not a set it and forget it and requires some initial setup and is more for power users. Think of it as a mildly less complicated unifi setup.

    If money is no object i say eero pro as i set that up and the sister in laws acreage and it works amazingly well (but super expensive). My suggestions for set it in forget it in order:

    Eero Pro (always connected to eero servers) $$$$
    Google Mesh (always connected to google servers) $$$
    Netgear Orbi (2019 version not the older ones with shit firmware) $$$$
    TP Link Deco (a 6 year old could set this up and maintain it) $
    Amplify HD Main nodes x 2 with 2 extenders (you a baller? this ones baller) $$$$$

    OR.......

    The nighthawk is one of the better extenders and should work with "most" routers out there. Ai Mesh is decent (especially when running two ac86u's) as long as you disable airtime fairness as that hates smart home devices/features and extenders. Maybe your first thought of 2-3 AC86u's and the nighthawk extender would get them what they wanted with only a 1 time setup.
    I went with the Amplify setup has worked for me so far. Wasn't complicated to setup or configure although my requirements were pretty simple it works and is fast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chandler_Racing View Post
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    I went with the Amplify setup has worked for me so far. Wasn't complicated to setup or configure although my requirements were pretty simple it works and is fast.
    I tried the amplify, really liked the system but my two kids kept pulling the extenders out of the plugs so I had to make a change. One of my buddies bought it and had no issues. I went with two of the mains (one main floor one basement) and two extenders for upstairs and had perfect coverage. Until each morning when my daughter or son wanted to play with it. My only gripe was none if my plug ins has Ethernet so wired back haul wasn’t an option on the extenders. If I redid it I wold have bought 3 main units one for each floor.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kavy View Post
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    I tried the amplify, really liked the system but my two kids kept pulling the extenders out of the plugs so I had to make a change. One of my buddies bought it and had no issues. I went with two of the mains (one main floor one basement) and two extenders for upstairs and had perfect coverage. Until each morning when my daughter or son wanted to play with it.
    Did you hardwire the two "mains" together then or?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExtraSlow View Post
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    Did you hardwire the two "mains" together then or?
    Yes i did, same setup as I have now.

    Main unit 1 lan in from cable modem second line out to switch, Switch feeds devices on main floor and the 2nd & 3rd node. 2nd node 1 lan in form 1st node 1 lan out to switch to feed devices in basement. 3rd node 1 lan in from main node, 1 lan out to switch to feed upstairs.

    It sounds complicated but it is not at all. The Orbi seemed to have issues with this setup that the velop did not. The Amplify did not either. I have a huge switch in the basement not connected because its a winter project and i will instead feed the main node down there and let that switch feed everything.
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