Best Mesh Wifi for a long single story house with 300Mbps Internet

kevip6

Active Member
Hello,

I have recently received my Starlink Satellite system and have gone from 4mpbs to between 200 - 300 mbps. I was using Sky Broadband and Sky Q as the Wifi mesh but this will obviously stop working with the non-sky broadband and I need to re-work the system.

I have an Ethernet cable running from the main Sky Q Box to the furthest Sky Q Mini and so my plan is to bring the Starlink cable into a switch next to the Sky Q Mini Box (this is the easiest route for a cable into the house). From the Switch I will connect the Sky Q Mini Box, the Ethernet Cable that runs the length of the house and then either the Starlink Wifi Router, or an extra Node of a Wifi Nest System

The other end of the Long Ethernet cable will connect into a switch and then a Wifi Mesh Node and also Ethernet cables into the Main Sky Q Box, Xbox Series X, TV, AV Amp, and a long ethernet cable that runs down to a Sky Q Mini Box at the bottom of the garden ( Will add another Wifi Node down there as well)

So then I have both ends of the house wired and it's just a case of 'filling' the middle section with a couple or Wifi Mesh nodes. The middle of the house contains a PS5, Sky Q Mini, Smart TV, Ring Security Camera

I've been looking at the Mesh systems and there is a big price difference and I'm not sure what I need to make sure I maximize the connection speed without going overboard!

Any Advice would be gratefully received.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Your "router" is the demarcation point between what's on the "inside" of "your" network and what's "outside" it, ie the rest of the world. Anything you cable upstream of your router's WAN/Internet port is on the outside and probably won't work how you expect it to (if it works at all.) The topology of how it is hooked up matters.

There's no problem having an ethernet switch upstream of you router if you are effectively just using it as a cable joiner (though if that's the case you might use a passive device instead.) But any devices connected to such a switch will be "outside" your network as they are upstream of your router and such devices either won't get an IP address, or will rob the (external) IP address of your router which will stop said router working or won't get an IP address at all. Either way, you probably won't be able to "talk" to them from anything inside your network (behind your router.)

Routers sit at the "edge" of a network connecting the network to other networks (which in a SOHO deployment is usually the rest of the world via your ISP) not in the "middle" of the network bossing it.

So irrespective of where you place your router physically, topologically you need..

ISP--->Router--->Everything else.
 

kevip6

Active Member
Your "router" is the demarcation point between what's on the "inside" of "your" network and what's "outside" it, ie the rest of the world. Anything you cable upstream of your router's WAN/Internet port is on the outside and probably won't work how you expect it to (if it works at all.) The topology of how it is hooked up matters.

There's no problem having an ethernet switch upstream of you router if you are effectively just using it as a cable joiner (though if that's the case you might use a passive device instead.) But any devices connected to such a switch will be "outside" your network as they are upstream of your router and such devices either won't get an IP address, or will rob the (external) IP address of your router which will stop said router working or won't get an IP address at all. Either way, you probably won't be able to "talk" to them from anything inside your network (behind your router.)

Routers sit at the "edge" of a network connecting the network to other networks (which in a SOHO deployment is usually the rest of the world via your ISP) not in the "middle" of the network bossing it.

So irrespective of where you place your router physically, topologically you need..

ISP--->Router--->Everything else.


In the Starlink setup the Router is in the Satellite dish and effectively supplies an Ethernet cable with an internet connection into the house

So I think I do have:

ISP ---> Router ----> Everything else
<...Satellite......>..........<Gigabit Network Switch>----Ethernet Cable----<Gigabit Network Switch>
...............................................Sky Q Mini/Wifi Node...............................................Main Sky Q/TV/Xbox/Wifi Node
........................................................................................................ Wifi Node
............................................................................................ TV / PS5 / Sky Q Mini

Does this make sense or am I not understanding?
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
That makes sense and if so should be fine. The OP suggested you might be deploying a router elsewhere, if not, then it should be OK.

For clarity: Wi-Fi is availed by "Access Points" (AP's) not "routers." This isn't just hair splitting over nomenclature, in the field of data networking an AP and an IP Router are very different things. It just happens that the typical SOHO "get-you-on-the-Internet" omni-box happens to contain both.

If your Starlink satellite thingy is your router, then great it all looks fie and dandy. But I would guess that box doesn't contain a Wi-Fi AP if it's deployed outdoors.

Your OP referred to something you called "the Starlink Wifi Router" and planned to deploy in a particular location. If that really is a "router" then it may cause issues depending on how you cable it. If it's "just" a Wi-Fi AP, then it'll probably be fine, but I'd have to go check the manuals to be sure what it is.
 
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kevip6

Active Member
That makes sense and if so should be fine. The OP suggested you might be deploying a router elsewhere, if not, then it should be OK.

Apologies, I mentioned the Starlink Wifi Router which is basically a Wifi Hub, but I can put this into the first point entering the house if need be.

What would be an appropriate Wifi Mesh system for this purpose please?
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Apologies, I mentioned the Starlink Wifi Router which is basically a Wifi Hub, but I can put this into the first point entering the house if need be.

What would be an appropriate Wifi Mesh system for this purpose please?

No worries - that's all looking OK then.

Them term "mesh" is not well defined. Indeed, if it ever had any meaning, "Marketing" have so mangled it as to make it meaningless.

I'd be inclined to wait for he new system to go in and see if your incumbent SkyQ system still works as a Wi-Fi solution. I could conceive that Sky might disable it if you are no longer a Sky customer, but I can't think of any reason why they would want to. Someone else here may know.

What you might find is the Sky AP's and the Starlink AP don't "play nice together" and there may be ways we can fix that, but I'd get it all in first and see what works and what doesn't before going out and spending more money.
 
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oneman

Well-known Member
From my understanding the starlink 'router' is very basic and you can't switch off the wifi only change SSID and password and no settings to change channels or anything else. So there is a chance is going to clash with the SkyQ setup.

There is the option not to use the Starlink router and plug your own router into the Ethernet out on the power brick. But you lose the Starlink app if you do it that way.
 

kevip6

Active Member
From my understanding the starlink 'router' is very basic and you can't switch off the wifi only change SSID and password and no settings to change channels or anything else. So there is a chance is going to clash with the SkyQ setup.

There is the option not to use the Starlink router and plug your own router into the Ethernet out on the power brick. But you lose the Starlink app if you do it that way.

I am of the impression you don't need the Starlink Router at all? I was able to access the information from the Starlink app via 192.168.100.1 and so I assume I wouldn't need any form of router in the house?

In this instance, I could connect the cable from the power brick into the switch and then connect that to the first sky mini and the ethernet to the main Q box?
 

oneman

Well-known Member
I am of the impression you don't need the Starlink Router at all? I was able to access the information from the Starlink app via 192.168.100.1 and so I assume I wouldn't need any form of router in the house?

In this instance, I could connect the cable from the power brick into the switch and then connect that to the first sky mini and the ethernet to the main Q box?
I think that address is their router. This is just based on info from Reddit that people are saying you lose Starlink app. It shouldn't an issue and Starlink confirmed that the setup will work without their router.
 

Ruffuz

Well-known Member
M5 is dual band iirc, so not the best mesh option.

I really like Asus XT8 2 pack, currently on a deal but much more expensive than M5.

 

kevip6

Active Member
M5 is dual band iirc, so not the best mesh option.

I really like Asus XT8 2 pack, currently on a deal but much more expensive than M5.


Thanks. I did look at these but they are so much more expensive I thought I would try the TP Link first. I can alway use these at my work otherwise.

I figured as almost everything is going to be wired effectively and just the middle zone on WiFi I may be ok. I will see what speeds I am getting with it setup 👍🏼
 

Ruffuz

Well-known Member
Thanks. I did look at these but they are so much more expensive I thought I would try the TP Link first. I can alway use these at my work otherwise.

I figured as almost everything is going to be wired effectively and just the middle zone on WiFi I may be ok. I will see what speeds I am getting with it setup 👍🏼
Yeah makes sense, should be fine that way.
 

kevip6

Active Member
Quick update as I managed to get everything installed and set up over the weekend.

First is the great news that everything connected perfectly. I have the connection coming in one side of the house and connected to a switch and a TPlink Deco M5, all the devices there are connected to the switch and the M5 provides excellent Wifi in that area. Then the Ethernet cable running the length of the house is connected to the other Ethernet port in the M5 and Connects to another Switch the other end by the Main Sky Q box, this switch is then connected to another M5 and and all the other devices that end. The M5 connects perfectly and supplies Wifi to that area. Another M5 is in the Games Room and this connects via Wifi to the Main Sky M5 node.

So I now have effectively hard wired connections at the two extremities of the house which are pretty much full speed. Then Wifi Coverage in a Mesh that covers the entire house (Garden to follow)

The best part is that I disconnected the Sky Broadband router and now everything is running through Starlink. All the sky boxes work perfectly after a reboot and resetup!

The bad part is I have a slight speed drop off on the Wifi in the Main Part of the house (by the Main Sky Box). I need to investigate if this is a cable issue but it is still 70 - 90 mbps so more than useable considering most important devices are cabled directly into the switch which is running at full speed

So I'm very happy with it all!

Thank you for the help!
 

oneman

Well-known Member
Use WiFi Analyser neat where the speed has dropped off and make sure you don't have a channel clash with the new AP
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
So you have a WiFi hop from the Games room to the Sky? Is everything else hardwired?

The Sky room Deco M5 will be sharing airtime with the Games room so you effectively reduce the bandwidth (possibly half it). If you disconnect\power off the Games one, does the normal speed return?

What speeds do you get elsewhere?

Also, make sure you turn the Sky Q and Mini box WiFi off in the hidden menu if you haven't already done so. That will stop it using WiFi channels and you will see that in the tool @oneman linked to if you haven't already switched it off.
 

kevip6

Active Member
So you have a WiFi hop from the Games room to the Sky? Is everything else hardwired?

The Sky room Deco M5 will be sharing airtime with the Games room so you effectively reduce the bandwidth (possibly half it). If you disconnect\power off the Games one, does the normal speed return?

What speeds do you get elsewhere?

Also, make sure you turn the Sky Q and Mini box WiFi off in the hidden menu if you haven't already done so. That will stop it using WiFi channels and you will see that in the tool @oneman linked to if you haven't already switched it off.


So I have hardwired to the Sky Main Box and then wifi hop to the games room from there. The Games room speed is the worst in the house but still almost 10 times faster than I was getting before

if you disconnect\power off the Games one, does the normal speed return?
Interesting, I will give this a try


Also, make sure you turn the Sky Q and Mini box WiFi off in the hidden menu

I haven't done this, it does seem to have created a Wifi for Sky which I assume I don't need? Will the Sky mini in the games room speak to the main box via the M5 wifi link?


Thank you, this is all super helpful.
 

kevip6

Active Member
Quick update on this and I added a couple of M9s to the main points and the network is running at amazing speeds

I’m getting over 200 mbps on the Speedtest on my phone and it’s able to stream sky / Netflix perfect from the phones…..however….. Facebook and instagram are running exceptionally slow at loading videos and images?? My son is also complaining about lag issues on a Rocket league Mobile game on his iPhone?

All consoles run perfectly as does the tv/streaming, 4K streaming is perfect

Just some apps it seems on the iPhones (all 4 of them in the house). Are the ere potential WiFi settings on the Tp link Deco’s or iPhones that I might need to play with?

Thanks
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Quick update on this and I added a couple of M9s to the main points and the network is running at amazing speeds

I’m getting over 200 mbps on the Speedtest on my phone and it’s able to stream sky / Netflix perfect from the phones…..however….. Facebook and instagram are running exceptionally slow at loading videos and images?? My son is also complaining about lag issues on a Rocket league Mobile game on his iPhone?

All consoles run perfectly as does the tv/streaming, 4K streaming is perfect

Just some apps it seems on the iPhones (all 4 of them in the house). Are the ere potential WiFi settings on the Tp link Deco’s or iPhones that I might need to play with?

Thanks

Not really, Wi-Fi is Wi-Fi is Wi-fi. In SOHO kit (and clients) pretty much all you get to play with is things like the SSID names, radio channels, channel width and protocols enabled. Some don't even offer that. If you can tune the radio channel plan, then it would be wise to do so in a small SOHO system to optimise the frequency usage for best performance rather than let it "auto-tune."

Like most network transports, Wi-Fi in and of itself does not "care" what the data is it is carrying let alone discriminate between one "type" and another.

The symptoms you describe are much more likely to be an issue with something much higher up the networking model than the "layer 1/2" transport services where Wi-Fi lives. For example, things like anti-virus getting in the way or some browser application that has decided to throttle something. You could try a different browser on the same device I suppose and see if it makes any difference.

iSomethings are notorious for not "roaming" until the signalling conditions get really bad. So they may be hanging on to a working-but-slow AP when there are better alternatives available
 
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