Mesh, powerlines or back to Sky?

chrimbobells

Novice Member
So I had a 200Mbps Virgin line installed yesterday with a Hub 3 (which I gather is pretty terrible?) and whilst speed in the same room as the router is good, everywhere else is way below what I would expect.

This is coming from Sky and there are 2 Sky Q mini boxes around the house which I understand created a mesh network, which is why the speed would've been quite consistent with them - and why I'm noticing it isn't now. I'm in the cooling-off period with Virgin so if I'm unlikely to get better, consistent speeds then I can always cancel and go back to the slower but more stable 50Mbps Sky line. Though I really don't want to have to do that.

I live in a 3-floor townhouse but the speed/ping is pretty inconsistent all over and especially up in bedroom on the top floor (where I work from home). With kids who game/talk via Whatsapp video calls/watch Netflix/home school, having a reliable connection is paramount. I've spent the past 24 hours running a lot of Speed Tests and trying to read about mesh systems to understand if they would provide a more consistent speed throughout the house and I'm still actually not sure, so I need some help.

This is a new-build house, for what it's worth (only 3 years old) if that is likely to infer more stable wiring for powerlines to enter the conversation (though it wasn't exactly built to a high standard).

Cabling is not an option unfortunately as it's a rented home so drilling is a no-no, so it will have to be another solution. Budget is also an issue, so an Orbi system is out of range, for example. I was looking at the Tenda Nova MW5 and the TP Link Deco S4 which can be had for around £100, but I don't know if they will actually improve things and then I've started looking at powerlines again, but I don't really know if they would work either.

Basically, this is all over my head so I don't really know the pros & cons of each system - I just want good wifi coverage across the whole house (and I guess by 'good' I would expect at least 100+ in every room from a 200Mbps line).

Can somebody please explain what I should be looking at and why?

Thanks!
 

neilball

Well-known Member
Your likely performance with power lines or wifi mesh systems is almost impossible to predict, as there are too many unknown influences that affect how well either systems might work. So you are probably going to be best served by buying from a source with a no-quibble return/refund policy in case it does not work as well as expected.

If you had Sky Q working reliably by wifi before swapping to Virgin then I’d be tempted to look at the wifi mesh systems as a starting point and see how you go. Just remember that you cannot guarantee they will always perform as well as at the beginning - any near neighbours adding more wifi kit may cause you a drop in performance. Likewise with powerlines, where any new electrical device you plug in at home may create interference with negative outcomes. But in the absence of options to run dedicated ethernet cabling then you don’t have many options.
 

happy_2008

Active Member
I recently purchased the Tenda Nova MW6 for £100 from ebay and so far its been great. My wifi dongle on my pc didnt produce great speeds so now its plugged directly via ethernet into one of the Nova nodes.
 
Mesh is good, however it would still be best to run hardwire ethernet between the nodes if at all possible. Otherwise you'll just eat up your wifi bandwidth with the backchannel and be at the mercy of whatever interference your townhouse has built in.
 

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