Wifi Mesh Options

jt2k6

Active Member
About a year ago switched from broadband with talktalk to faster fibre 150 again from talktalk, came bundled with an eero 6 router, loved the interface but range was dreadful, worse than the broadband.

Talktalks solution was to ditch the eero, connect the fibre ONT to the old broadband router and send us a janky old WiFi extender. We have lived with it for now, but want to go back to the eero or similar, for the interface and parental controls, and have the following options
1. Get a second eero router and set up a mesh to hopefully increase range (about £70 on ebay)
2. Can get Tenda Nova mw12 3 pack for less than the cost of 1 eero (about £50 on ebay for 3 units)
3. Can get TP link deco m9 plus 3 pack for a little more thannthe eero. (about £90 on ebay)
4. Can get netgear orbi (rbk352) 2 pack if I push the boat out. (about £100 on ebay)

Current speed next to router is 125mb/s

live in a 1930's 3 bedroom semi, fibre comes into house in living room at the front, on the ground floor, down stairs is not too bad, including my home office under the stairs, the master bedroom is directly above the living room so signal is OK enough for using mobile phones on the wifi, the two kids bedrooms are where it gets a bit spotty, both with TV's with firesticks, phones, tablets etc..

Router is on table in living room next to the ONT, extender is plugged into socket in the upstairs hallway between the kids room

router is talktalk WiFi Hub
extender thingy is TalkTalk WiFi Extender
Would option 2 - 4 work with the gear I have (open reach ONT.... Nokia I believe if that helps)
Budget is tight as you may have guessed from the above options!
What would you do

Thanks
 

Tricky-Ricky

Well-known Member
I am In the process of considering something similar, I am with TT but lower speed as higher not available in my area, but I recently dropped my TT router in favour of a Asus router hoping that they would be an improvement in Wi-Fi speed/coverage but no dice, so I have been looking at various ways to improve and have been looking at these, and they look promising for not much money.
 

jt2k6

Active Member
I am In the process of considering something similar, I am with TT but lower speed as higher not available in my area, but I recently dropped my TT router in favour of a Asus router hoping that they would be an improvement in Wi-Fi speed/coverage but no dice, so I have been looking at various ways to improve and have been looking at these, and they look promising for not much money.
you can get a 3 pack on ebay for the same price,

been looking at that also, but the lack of a third radio to deal with the backhaul traffic makes me think speed will drop significantly, I could use ethernet, but if I was going to run wires upstairs I would just use a switch and hard wire everything.

I would probably go with TP link, I have a lot of their smart devices, like lights and switches, and have all worked really well, and the app is great.

Think I will get a second eero and see how that goes!
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Attached to the "Using Two Routers Together" FAQ pinned in this forum is a block diagram of the innards of a typical SOHO "router" which may help make sense of this discussion.

In the field of data networking "routing" and "Wi-Fi" are very different things. It's just a matter of convenience that both happen to be packaged in a single "get-you-on-the-Internet" omni-box delivered into the SOHO marketplace. In "big organisation" networks, routing and Wi-Fi are implemented as separate solutions. (With the benefit that changing one has no effect on the other.)

Chances are the the "parental control" functionality of the eero is vested in it's "routing/NAT/Firewall" engine and not the (built in) Wi-Fi Access Point (AP.) So it would seem the best solution in this use case would be to return the eero to routing/NAT/Firewall/ISP duties and deploy "something else" to "fix" Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi is facilitated by Access Points (AP's) not "routers." You don't need "routers" to "do Wi-Fi," you need AP's. As discussed, it's just a matter of convenience that SOHO "routers" have an AP bundled inside. (Though sometimes it's cost effective to "cripple" a SOHO router in order to use it as "just" an AP or an AP/switch combo.)

Wi-Fi works like sound, only using radio waves instead of sound waves. Wi-Fi is a two-way "conversation" between communicating peers, not a one-way "lecture." You talk, I listen, I talk, your listen. Same for Wi-Fi, only using radio instead of audio.

So if any given pair of conversing peers cannot "hear" each other very well, then we either have to have them shout louder, remove any physical obstructions between them (to improve the transmission path,) move them closer together, or some combination of such.

Wi-Fi transmit power is limited by law and almost everything is, and always has been, transmitting at or very near the permitted max. So the "shout louder" option is not available.

I will assume that removing the walls and floors of the premises is not an option.

So the only solution is to get the communicating peers closer together. That almost invariable means deploying more AP's closer to the wherever the client devices spend most of there time Wi-Fi'ing, (ideally with unobstructed line of sight,) building a kind of "cellular" coverage pattern. On big sites we put up dozens/hundreds of AP's.

The "trick" in getting this to work, is how one established the "backhaul" connection between outpost AP's and the rest of the (wired) network. By far the best backhaul mechanism (fastest and most reliable) is using "proper" cabled ethernet links. If that's not possible, then alternatives exist such as tunneling the data over the mains electricity circuit using HomePlugs, or relaying the transmissions over Wi-Fi. Both the latter have their virtues and vices and are frequent topics of conversation here as AVF.

Depending on what Wi-Fi solution you select and what you want Wi-Fi to do, you can continue to use the built in AP in your eero or you can turn it off (it's rarely more than a couple of clicks.) For example, if you bought a so-called "mesh" of "Whole Home" type Wi-Fi system, you might not want to use the eero Wi-Fi as it won't be integrated with the mesh (but will basically still "work,") whereas is you selected some for of WI-FI "Repeater" then by eero Wi-Fi needs to stay on as that's how Repeating works.

We can get into the seed of all this if you wish.
 
Last edited:

Wardy257

Well-known Member
My Tendas have been faultless and spread my pathetic broadband speed such the it is pathetic everywhere. My father-in-law also uses Tenda for his much better broadband and it has again been faultless.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Samsung S95B QD-OLED Review - A Quantum Leap for OLED!
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom