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Mesh Networking at Home - Looking for insights!

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Hey... I have a question for those of you who may be something akin to "networking geeks" (or at least more savvy/experienced than me, which would be a lot of people!).

Been having lots of perpetual (and increasing) troubles with my 4+ year old Nighthawk cable router/modem (sometimes having to reboot it as many as 6x daily to re-establish WIFI). Cable signal to the house checked out strong, but sort of dribbly out of the Nighthawk. So, last night, I pulled the trigger on a move to set up a mesh network with new equipment (eero 6+ mesh router units and a SURFboard SB8200 docsis 3.1 modem). The routers arrive mid next week, and the modem arrives this weekend.

What kind of experience do you have with switching over to and using a mesh network in your home? Also, have any of you had any issues with the brand/models of equipment I've bought?

I know these questions are best asked PRIOR to a purchase, but I am where I am. The "need" was just validated last night when I got home from work and had a cash windfall which funded the entire purchase without impacting our regular budget, so I performed a quick research effort for reviews and tech compatibility and made the purchases.

As always, any and all insights are appreciated!
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
No insights or suggestions? All the new equipment has not yet arrived, and I'm still doing some troubleshooting to validate the new equipment need. That said, any words of wisdom from those of you who know networking details could still be very helpful.
 

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OK, I'll chime in.

I don't understand why you would want a mesh network in a home. Mesh points act as many-to-many repeaters in critical systems, keeping a single point of failure from taking down other points. This is done by making reconfiguration automatic, usually with shortest-route negotiation.

We did a few mesh networks before I retired. Always in very large parking lots with no ability to pull cable. Panic buttons and sometimes cameras. I was close enough to retirement that they didn't send me to school on them, so my limited experience may be apocryphal.

How truly critical are your network points and how thick is your wallet? I see no cost-to-benefit here. Just my opinion.
 
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Routers don't last forever, the wifi usually degrades first, It's why I don't use a combo modem/router.

I expect a router to start faltering @ 3 yrs of age, after that first sign of trouble I just replace it.
Heat kills them quick btw, needs airflow. Modems give off heat as well.
 

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I've a TP Link Deco mesh with three emitters (or whatever they are called) linked to Motorola VOIP enabled router (needed with my Comcast system). One in basement, one on main floor of two-story house, and one in garage that is nearest an outdoor pool area. No problems at all inside or outside with speed or it dropping out. Reliability has been very good; one of those "I don't know its there".
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the insights, experiences, and suggestions. This project has had to sort of sit-n-simmer due to having been on call this past holiday weekend and simultaneously finishing up a 750 sqft hardwood floor install in my upstairs areas. It will be this coming weekend before I can pick it up, do some additional diagnostic work on my Nighthawk (due diligence kind of thing), and determine my best path forward for completion/resolution. Traveling for my company the remainder of this week for college recruiting.

Keep the insights and suggestions coming (and challenges). I want to kick this issue in the head very quickly.
 

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Network is installed and running. Installation went easy, and my data speeds in my upstairs office are respectable, certainly workable on a daily basis right now. I'm happy with the choice, and may still yet run a Cat-6 cable from the main floor base unit up to the office docking station due to some of the file sizes I have to work with.

Thus far, this project was a winner for me.
 

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Network is installed and running. Installation went easy, and my data speeds in my upstairs office are respectable, certainly workable on a daily basis right now. I'm happy with the choice, and may still yet run a Cat-6 cable from the main floor base unit up to the office docking station due to some of the file sizes I have to work with.

Thus far, this project was a winner for me.
Thanks for reporting back, it’s always helpful.
For anyone else coming across this, especially others like myself who don’t have a lot of experience in this area, I’ll add that the eero system has worked even better for me than I had hoped. Our house is 2 stories, fairly large, and we’re in the backyard/patio area a lot. Not excessive amounts of video streaming but adequate coverage was important, and it needed to extend to the outdoor areas. I had a local computer guy out who installed some type of linksys system with 3 extenders. Never did have the coverage I needed. A buddy recommended the eero, so I ate the linksys mistake and picked up the 3 unit package. Super easy to setup and connect to everything. The farthest I’ve checked was over 150’ from my house. I had full signal and watched video seamlessly. Not a tech guy, but I’d highly recommend.


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the confirming experience with eero. I don't really need it outside the house much, but I've noticed that I have fewer GPS signal drops when setting my destination while sitting in the driveway before pulling out, and that's a nice gain for me.
 

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Stay away from Eero wifi mesh, Speed is terrible.

Try the TP-Link Deco AXE5300 Wi-Fi 6E Tri-Band Whole-Home Mesh Wi-Fi System. I installed 35-40 Sets (3 Units each) during the Pandemic.
Absolutely fantastic coverage and speeds.
 

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I’m able to stream video seamlessly in my backyard with the eero, but I’d certainly listen to the guy who’s put in a bunch of them. Plus, if I looked up Deja’s rec correctly, that setup is cheaper than the eero.


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Stay away from Eero wifi mesh, Speed is terrible.

Try the TP-Link Deco AXE5300 Wi-Fi 6E Tri-Band Whole-Home Mesh Wi-Fi System. I installed 35-40 Sets (3 Units each) during the Pandemic.
Absolutely fantastic coverage and speeds.

Too late for me. I've already purchased and installed the eero6+, and besides, am having great success with it and simply cannot justify any further expense on the issue. If this system craps out, I'll be happy to explore my options again.

I'm not discounting your experience, but I will say, though, that I made my choice after consulting with a number of other highly experienced networking individuals who had installed dozens of the eero systems with great success. Sometimes, if the right modem is not connected as the up front "first component" in the system, performance for any well-designed and otherwise well-functioning routing network can suffer from that one component's limitations. Additionally, every system is going to have a bad batch at some time.

Just saying.
 

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Wireless bandwidth is a finite resource that is shared and housing density can have an effect on bandwidth.
If I use netsh wlan show NETWORKS MODE=BSSID to view systems within range of my laptop:
  • At my daughter's I see very few wireless devices
  • At my house I normally see 25 or more wireless devices
Guess which neighborhood is more dense?
 

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consulting with a number of other highly experienced networking individuals who had installed dozens of the eero systems with great success
Ok, YMMV. I have done this for 20+ years professionally, got a ton of Certifications on my Belt and just trying to help Folks out.
I did replace 2 Eero Systems that I know of, using the Tp-link Deco, and the result was mindboggling.
Of course, here on the west coast we are dealing with wireless Speeds over 500-700+ Mbps, and I don't think they can handle Speeds like that. Perhaps the new Eero Pro, maybe?
Best of luck.
 

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Ok, YMMV. I have done this for 20+ years professionally, got a ton of Certifications on my Belt and just trying to help Folks out.
I did replace 2 Eero Systems that I know of, using the Tp-link Deco, and the result was mindboggling.
Of course, here on the west coast we are dealing with wireless Speeds over 500-700+ Mbps, and I don't think they can handle Speeds like that. Perhaps the new Eero Pro, maybe?
Best of luck.

Look, I didn't mean to imply anything regarding your credentials. If you took it that way, sorry, not my intended mesage.

My point is that I did my due diligence, and for me and my needs, it is working well. I was only getting 75-100 Mbps download prior to the eero 6+, and am now getting 3-4x those speeds, and that's more than enough for my needs (for now). I do lose about 100-150 Mbps between the base router and my upstairs repeater where my office is located, but I can get that back by simply running a Cat6 from the downstairs base setup to my upstairs office, if it becomes necessary. I even deliberately chose to NOT go eero Pro because I simply do not need that level of data transfer (for now).

All that said, I'm good, and will keep your suggestions in mind when I get to my next upgrade effort.

Best to you, and thanks for your input!
 
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