WiFi [extender]

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straws46
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WiFi [extender]

Post by straws46 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:54 am

Anyone have experience with a GOOD wifi extender? Bought a Linksys WiFi range extender and it is giving us fits. Always losing connection.
Thanks in advance for any input.

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wander
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Re: WiFi

Post by wander » Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:15 am

D-Link WIFI extender is good, a friend of mine uses in his home to get Wifi to his car garage and has been happy with the purchase.

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htdrag11
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Re: WiFi

Post by htdrag11 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:20 am

A forum member was kind enough to give me an older Apple Airport Express which I used as my main router and got myself a used Securifi Almond (the older model is better; do not get the Plus) for $40 as a range extender in a 3,500 sq ft home. Now my upstairs connection shows full bars. I can even pickup the Almond in my garage.

YMMV.

mhalley
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Re: WiFi

Post by mhalley » Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:23 am

The latest thing is to use the new mesh network. I have no personal experience. I used a regular range extender for a while but it wasn’t great. Eventually I upgraded my regular router and the signal was better with it. I finally got a power line adapter and switch and plugged my TiVo and ps4 etc into that, and that works well. Another option would be a combo power line/wireless adapter, if you just want a good signal in one room.
https://www.pcmag.com/roundup/350795/th ... rk-systems

Mako
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Re: WiFi

Post by Mako » Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:31 am

I use a tp link power line wifi extender and have no complaints.

takeshi
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Re: WiFi

Post by takeshi » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:54 am

Be careful assuming that the problem is that you didn't buy the right range extender. It's certainly possible that a WiFi extender just isn't a suitable solution for your situation. You may be better served with other solutions such as running wire, powerline adapters, MoCA adapters, etc. Also be aware that when you extend wirelessly you end up with half the bandwith as the best case and may get less than that depending on the specifics of your situation.

Five Scoop
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Re: WiFi

Post by Five Scoop » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:13 am

You want a Mesh network. I have Eero and it is fantastic. Google Wifi also is good, per other reviewers.

See this thread:

viewtopic.php?t=213195

bloom2708
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Re: WiFi

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:39 am

Updated to Google WiFi early in the summer.

3 nodes. So far it has exceeded my expectations. Quite easy to set up. We have a node on each floor and I spaced them out for maximum coverage.

Speed has been very good. I haven't had to reboot the Google router once. But I did have to reboot the cable modem on one occasion when the speeds seem to drop one evening.

I think there are other more configurable mesh systems. But, if it works, there is really no need for any configuration.
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead

RetireSomeday5
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Re: WiFi

Post by RetireSomeday5 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:04 am

I've been pretty happy with TP Link Dual Band with beamforming--very strong signal. Recommend setting it up to only broadcast 2.4ghz with the 5ghz directly connected to the router (easy to do and allows for speeds to not be cut in half like traditional set ups). Use the same SSID as your main router for seamless transition when walking around the house. Should be had for around $100.

Also Netgear has a new extender that's probably the best you can get but its over $200.

stan1
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Re: WiFi

Post by stan1 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:26 am

+1 for mesh technology and Eero in specific. Very easy to set up with just one situation in the past year where I had to unplug one for 30 seconds then plug it back in (worked great after that).

123
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Re: WiFi

Post by 123 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:44 pm

A few months back I bought a NETGEAR AC750 WiFi Range Extender (EX3700-100NAS), about $40 on Amazon. I plugged it in about 20 feet away from our primary router/wi-fi. It seems to help with coverage in some back rooms of our home that were "iffy" before. I had thought about replacing our router with one of those wifi matrix solutions but they just seemed a lot more costly. We have an ethernet cable between our router and our smart TV so streaming UHD video over wifi isn't a issue that impacts us.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

rterickson
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Re: WiFi

Post by rterickson » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:38 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:39 am
Updated to Google WiFi early in the summer.

3 nodes. So far it has exceeded my expectations. Quite easy to set up. We have a node on each floor and I spaced them out for maximum coverage.

Speed has been very good. I haven't had to reboot the Google router once. But I did have to reboot the cable modem on one occasion when the speeds seem to drop one evening.

I think there are other more configurable mesh systems. But, if it works, there is really no need for any configuration.
This has been my experience as well. It's more pricey, but it works better than all of the other systems I've tried over the years.

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Toons
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Re: WiFi

Post by Toons » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:56 pm

Google Mesh.
I have been using it quite a while,
Superb performance. :happy

https://store.google.com/product/google_wifi_learn
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

curious george
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Re: WiFi

Post by curious george » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:09 pm

It depends upon how your living space is arranged - walls, etc and where your router is located.
The simplest solution is to upgrade your router -cnet usually has good recs and if you live in a bigger space or a multi-level dwelling than I would go with a MESH network - lots of solutions depending upon what you need/want.
Personally I didn't like the LUNA but do like the ORBI and the amplifi by ubiquiti.
For years, I paid for high speed internet but didn't get the full use/functionality until I splurged on a MESH system.
Happy that I spent the money.

mmarreco
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Re: WiFi

Post by mmarreco » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:14 pm

Toons wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:56 pm
Google Mesh.
I have been using it quite a while,
Superb performance. :happy

https://store.google.com/product/google_wifi_learn
Same here. Highly recommend.

masteraleph
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Re: WiFi

Post by masteraleph » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:26 pm

Like curious george, big fan of the Netgear Orbi.

Glasgow
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Re: WiFi

Post by Glasgow » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:47 pm

Google Wifi. Easy to set up and pause any device I want remotely from my phone.
Coverage is fantastic.
All in all easy to use and very robust.

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: WiFi

Post by FrugalInvestor » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:57 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:39 am
Updated to Google WiFi early in the summer.

3 nodes. So far it has exceeded my expectations. Quite easy to set up. We have a node on each floor and I spaced them out for maximum coverage.

Speed has been very good. I haven't had to reboot the Google router once. But I did have to reboot the cable modem on one occasion when the speeds seem to drop one evening.

I think there are other more configurable mesh systems. But, if it works, there is really no need for any configuration.
+1

Our extender was causing connection problems for us as if our machines were getting confused which node to connect to. I finally bit the bullet and upgraded to Google Wifi after much research on which 'mesh' system is best. I also decided that configuration isn't important to me...simplicity and reliability were at the top of my priority list. Google wifi has filled the bill completely. I no longer have any connection problems with our computers and my Voip system no longer has any hiccups. It's great to not worry which node I'm connected to and to get full speed all the time no matter where I am in the house. Our wifi life is good!! Wish I would have done it sooner.
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

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bogleblitz
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Re: WiFi

Post by bogleblitz » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:03 pm

as others mention. wifi extender is not good. you have to switch between the 2 wifi which causes headaches.

I use netgear orbi mesh wifi. Any of the mesh wifi mentioned in this thread is good as well.

3feetpete
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Re: WiFi

Post by 3feetpete » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:04 am

I have a Linksys extender and it works fine. Try experimenting with the location of the extender. It could be either the extender is too far from the router or the extender is too far from your computer. The extender should be about half way in between.

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pondering
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Re: WiFi

Post by pondering » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:27 am

I've bought 4 of these. They don't seem to come with the software to make them easy to monitor or work well.

A couple of typical problems: If you give the extender a different network name than your regular network, i.e. WIFI1234 and WIFI1234_EXT then you are stuck on that network as you move around the house until you manually switch over.

I haven't been able to find logging software that works with my iPhones to automatically track signal strength, actual bandwidth and latency.
--Robert Sterbal | 412-977-3526 call/text

JBTX
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Re: WiFi

Post by JBTX » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:40 pm

htdrag11 wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:20 am
A forum member was kind enough to give me an older Apple Airport Express which I used as my main router and got myself a used Securifi Almond (the older model is better; do not get the Plus) for $40 as a range extender in a 3,500 sq ft home. Now my upstairs connection shows full bars. I can even pickup the Almond in my garage.

YMMV.
A year or so ago got a securefi almond. When it worked it worked reasonably well. But anytime the network went down I’d have to reset the thing and eventually it just stopped connecting to the network. I finally gave up on it. Eventually I will spring for an Orbi or other such mesh network.

queso
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Re: WiFi

Post by queso » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:09 pm

123 wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:44 pm
A few months back I bought a NETGEAR AC750 WiFi Range Extender (EX3700-100NAS), about $40 on Amazon. I plugged it in about 20 feet away from our primary router/wi-fi. It seems to help with coverage in some back rooms of our home that were "iffy" before. I had thought about replacing our router with one of those wifi matrix solutions but they just seemed a lot more costly. We have an ethernet cable between our router and our smart TV so streaming UHD video over wifi isn't a issue that impacts us.
I have the same one. I only had range issues after going to 5G and only in one room so placing this device in that room solved the issue. Granted, it is a little bit of a hassle to switch networks when in that room, but not a big deal and the price was certainly reasonable. I would have looked into a mesh system if I had more than one room to deal with.
pondering wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:27 am
I've bought 4 of these. They don't seem to come with the software to make them easy to monitor or work well.

A couple of typical problems: If you give the extender a different network name than your regular network, i.e. WIFI1234 and WIFI1234_EXT then you are stuck on that network as you move around the house until you manually switch over.

I haven't been able to find logging software that works with my iPhones to automatically track signal strength, actual bandwidth and latency.
The AC750 works exactly like this - advertises by default as <yourexistingSSID>_EXT.

dsmclone
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Re: WiFi [extender]

Post by dsmclone » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:21 am

I've tried a bunch of different types of extenders and most were disappointing. Google Wi-Fi has been wonderful throughout the house (3 stories).

jwtietz
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Re: WiFi [extender]

Post by jwtietz » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:15 am

I bought the Amped Wireless ATHENA-EX from amazon. Cost was $199. Set up was not too bad and I have gotten pretty good range outside in the back yard. Much better than before with just the ac1900 router. Dual band, streams well.

tigerdoc93
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Re: WiFi [extender]

Post by tigerdoc93 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:39 am

Say no to extenders. Say yes to Google WiFi ! As others have pointed out, it works spectacularly.

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pondering
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Re: WiFi [extender]

Post by pondering » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:48 am

Does anyone know the price curve of google wifi and the other home mesh networks?

Would a sub $100 per device solution be expected in 1, 2 or 5 years?
--Robert Sterbal | 412-977-3526 call/text

dbr
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Re: WiFi [extender]

Post by dbr » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:04 am

It is possible you don't need an extender. Some Wifi problems can be fixed by selecting the appropriate channel. I had that problem. The extender did not solve anything but changing the channel used by the WiFi did solve the problem.

lightheir
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Re: WiFi [extender]

Post by lightheir » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:22 am

pondering wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:48 am
Does anyone know the price curve of google wifi and the other home mesh networks?

Would a sub $100 per device solution be expected in 1, 2 or 5 years?
Don't cheap out and suffer the indiginity of inferior wifi for a few years just in hope that some vaporware <$100 device will save the day.

It's $230 for 2 google wifi units. That will cover the vast majority of single family homes. And it really is that good - there is no extender that can match the ease and error-free function of the mesh networks. You won't ever have to worry about the handoff of signal from one wifi point to the farther extender unit when walking through your house. It's as close to set it and leave it as you can get.

Given how many hours of frustration it can take when even a single thing goes wrong with an extender or other nonmesh setup, save yourself the time and frustration and just get the mesh network.

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pondering
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Re: WiFi [extender]

Post by pondering » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:09 pm

Right now the ISP’s router is in my office, and we get lousy signal in our bedroom, and the living room below it.

We get ok coverage in the kitchen below the office.

Very little coverage on the back deck or in the basement.

I’ll keep my eye open for this, thank you.
--Robert Sterbal | 412-977-3526 call/text

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Sandtrap
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Re: WiFi [extender]

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:20 pm

NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Desktop WiFi Range Extender (EX7000-100NAS)https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00R9 ... UTF8&psc=1
This is on the top floor corner of my home. 3 stories, 6000 sf, covers entire home (wood, concrete, stucco), also reaches to the stables which is about a par 3 away. It extends the range of the main router.
Also had one in my office building. Has worked trouble free for many years.

rg422
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Re: WiFi [extender]

Post by rg422 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:09 pm

I installed a Netgear AC750 a few weeks back and it definitely helpeds 'extend' the wifi range/speed on the 2nd floor of our home. Downstairs, where the router is located, it's usually 150Mbps, however upstairs it gets down to about 10-25Mbps depending on location. After installing the extender, speed is up to 45-90Mbps depending on location. It was easy to set up and would highly recommend, especially for $40!

lightheir
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Re: WiFi [extender]

Post by lightheir » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:18 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:20 pm
NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Desktop WiFi Range Extender (EX7000-100NAS)https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00R9 ... UTF8&psc=1
This is on the top floor corner of my home. 3 stories, 6000 sf, covers entire home (wood, concrete, stucco), also reaches to the stables which is about a par 3 away. It extends the range of the main router.
Also had one in my office building. Has worked trouble free for many years.
I have this one. Google wifi is definitely better in my house - in fact, I had to specifically get the Google wifi to address the inadequacies of that Netgear router despite its scary-looking antennae.

I continually had handoff problems with that Netgear between the base station and the Netgear extender. It was so bad that my wife blew up at me over it, demanding to know why our internet sucked so bad (and we get 100Mbps at the base station!) To add insult to injury, the Netgear router could not reliably push signal through an adjacent wall into my garage (for my treadmill TV) that probably has some wires in it - I literally went from 100% signal to <5% signal in <10 feet of distance.

The Google wifi actually gets through this wall no problemo - it's like its not even there. I'm not under any illusion that it's brute forcing its way through it, but there's probably something about the 2-node setup that allows it to bounce signal around the wall in such a way that it works 100% better. My google wifi node is in the EXACT same spot as that netgear router, in fact.

edge
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Re: WiFi [extender]

Post by edge » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:14 pm

I have fios. Bought the fios one. Plugged it into Ethernet on same LAN as FIOS router. Immediately worked.

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patrick013
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Re: WiFi [extender]

Post by patrick013 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:41 pm

I used a 10db gain antenna for awhile. If centrally located it
will transmit/receive thru most houses, or even a higher gain
antenna. Try eBay.

Had some devices that plugged into the wall electrical outlet
and were supposed to use the electrical wiring in the house
like ethernet, no speed loss, but never hooked them up. Room
to room service only.
age in bonds, buy-and-hold, 10 year business cycle

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pondering
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Re: WiFi [extender]

Post by pondering » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:12 pm

--Robert Sterbal | 412-977-3526 call/text

crumbone
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Re: WiFi [extender]

Post by crumbone » Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:30 am

If you have any CAT5 wiring (or can run some), adding access points is much, much better than a range extender. Try Ubiquiti. In a pinch even just one of their pro or LR access points at max radio can cov r a LOT of ground. (Turn off wifi on your router if you do this.)

yolli71
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Re: WiFi [extender]

Post by yolli71 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:35 am

Another vote for Google Wifi. I was having issues with my old Apple Time Capsule router and Netgear Wifi extender. I bought the Google Wifi and it was like night and day...even areas out on my deck get great coverage.

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wageoghe
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Re: WiFi [extender]

Post by wageoghe » Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:23 pm

We got an eero recently and could not be happier.

ThisTimeItsDifferent
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Re: WiFi [extender]

Post by ThisTimeItsDifferent » Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:13 pm

How about a powerline wifi extender? It would use the house power wiring to carry the data from the powerline adaper connected to the router to the powerline wifi extender providing wifi at that remote area.

madbrain
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Re: WiFi [extender]

Post by madbrain » Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:05 pm

I have an Orbi mesh. Have a hard time recommending it due to the forced firmware updates that break things all the time.

Some devices just don't play well with mesh also, like the 15 Chromecast audios I just added - they behave fine with a single router or AP, but with mesh, they randomly disappear. Had to use AV1200 powerline ethernet and buy an ethernet interface for each one to get them to work reliably without disappearing.

Orbi provides great coverage and great speed when it works, but when it doesn't work with your devices, or stops working due to a firmware update, it's a real headache. Orbi may work fine if you only have a few devices, but if you have 40+ like I do, it's really hard to keep everything working.
I wish there was a single router I could use to cover my entire place instead, but that's never going to happen unfortunately.

pochax
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Re: WiFi [extender]

Post by pochax » Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:14 pm

madbrain wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:05 pm
I have an Orbi mesh. Have a hard time recommending it due to the forced firmware updates that break things all the time.

Some devices just don't play well with mesh also, like the 15 Chromecast audios I just added - they behave fine with a single router or AP, but with mesh, they randomly disappear. Had to use AV1200 powerline ethernet and buy an ethernet interface for each one to get them to work reliably without disappearing.

Orbi provides great coverage and great speed when it works, but when it doesn't work with your devices, or stops working due to a firmware update, it's a real headache. Orbi may work fine if you only have a few devices, but if you have 40+ like I do, it's really hard to keep everything working.
I wish there was a single router I could use to cover my entire place instead, but that's never going to happen unfortunately.
this describes uniquely where Google Wifi (mesh) might work better than others since Google makes chromecasts and chromecast audios and would make sure such hardware would work on their networks for ecosystem optimization. incidentally, my 3 chromecasts devices all work well on my google wifi network.

madbrain
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Re: WiFi [extender]

Post by madbrain » Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:26 pm

pochax wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:14 pm
madbrain wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:05 pm
I have an Orbi mesh. Have a hard time recommending it due to the forced firmware updates that break things all the time.

Some devices just don't play well with mesh also, like the 15 Chromecast audios I just added - they behave fine with a single router or AP, but with mesh, they randomly disappear. Had to use AV1200 powerline ethernet and buy an ethernet interface for each one to get them to work reliably without disappearing.

Orbi provides great coverage and great speed when it works, but when it doesn't work with your devices, or stops working due to a firmware update, it's a real headache. Orbi may work fine if you only have a few devices, but if you have 40+ like I do, it's really hard to keep everything working.
I wish there was a single router I could use to cover my entire place instead, but that's never going to happen unfortunately.
this describes uniquely where Google Wifi (mesh) might work better than others since Google makes chromecasts and chromecast audios and would make sure such hardware would work on their networks for ecosystem optimization. incidentally, my 3 chromecasts devices all work well on my google wifi network.
Indeed. However, if the Chromecasts only work with Google's own Wifi mesh, then IMO there is a problem with the Chromecast design or implementation. I don't think they will work properly with Wifi extenders, either.

I don't want to be tied to a single Wifi vendor. The router/mesh is something that should be able to be replaced when superior units come out on the market. I can't have proprietary technology in my house. Already use Android phones and Chromecasts - they shouldn't require Google Wifi.

The problems with Orbi haven't only been with Chromecasts, anyway. Sometimes it's phones, tablets, EV charging stations, smart plugs, wireless printers. FYI, I tried a Linksys Velop over the weekend, and it was even worse than Orbi - less compatible, and slower speed. Much less control over the device configuration, too, at least in AP mode.

For devices that don't require a lot of bandwidth, and have an ethernet plug, or ethernet plug option, wiring in conjunction with powerline is going to be better. The most bandwidth I can achieve with AV1200 PLC is about 100 Mbps effective, but that's enough for most devices. I am having a hard time finding smart plugs with ethernet, though, even though the bandwidth requirement is minimal.

With Orbi I can get 500 Mbps effective over Wifi throughout the house between PCs, which I use to do wireless backups from PCs to a central server. I don't think I could do that with the google Wifi. Also, I bought my Orbi earlier this year, long before the Chromecast audios. It's a sunk cost.

yolli71
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Re: WiFi [extender]

Post by yolli71 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:58 pm

madbrain wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:26 pm
pochax wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:14 pm
madbrain wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:05 pm
I have an Orbi mesh. Have a hard time recommending it due to the forced firmware updates that break things all the time.

Some devices just don't play well with mesh also, like the 15 Chromecast audios I just added - they behave fine with a single router or AP, but with mesh, they randomly disappear. Had to use AV1200 powerline ethernet and buy an ethernet interface for each one to get them to work reliably without disappearing.

Orbi provides great coverage and great speed when it works, but when it doesn't work with your devices, or stops working due to a firmware update, it's a real headache. Orbi may work fine if you only have a few devices, but if you have 40+ like I do, it's really hard to keep everything working.
I wish there was a single router I could use to cover my entire place instead, but that's never going to happen unfortunately.
this describes uniquely where Google Wifi (mesh) might work better than others since Google makes chromecasts and chromecast audios and would make sure such hardware would work on their networks for ecosystem optimization. incidentally, my 3 chromecasts devices all work well on my google wifi network.
Indeed. However, if the Chromecasts only work with Google's own Wifi mesh, then IMO there is a problem with the Chromecast design or implementation. I don't think they will work properly with Wifi extenders, either.

I don't want to be tied to a single Wifi vendor. The router/mesh is something that should be able to be replaced when superior units come out on the market. I can't have proprietary technology in my house. Already use Android phones and Chromecasts - they shouldn't require Google Wifi.

The problems with Orbi haven't only been with Chromecasts, anyway. Sometimes it's phones, tablets, EV charging stations, smart plugs, wireless printers. FYI, I tried a Linksys Velop over the weekend, and it was even worse than Orbi - less compatible, and slower speed. Much less control over the device configuration, too, at least in AP mode.

For devices that don't require a lot of bandwidth, and have an ethernet plug, or ethernet plug option, wiring in conjunction with powerline is going to be better. The most bandwidth I can achieve with AV1200 PLC is about 100 Mbps effective, but that's enough for most devices. I am having a hard time finding smart plugs with ethernet, though, even though the bandwidth requirement is minimal.

With Orbi I can get 500 Mbps effective over Wifi throughout the house between PCs, which I use to do wireless backups from PCs to a central server. I don't think I could do that with the google Wifi. Also, I bought my Orbi earlier this year, long before the Chromecast audios. It's a sunk cost.
I originally purchased the Orbi prior to buying my Google Wifi because it got great reviews. I had issues setting up the Orbi and found Netgear's tech support to be awful, so I returned it and bought the Google. I read the same thing in the Orbi support forum when I was having trouble...it worked great when it worked, but there were lots of issues with the forced firmware updates.

madbrain
Posts: 4522
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:06 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Re: WiFi [extender]

Post by madbrain » Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:48 pm

yolli71 wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:58 pm
I originally purchased the Orbi prior to buying my Google Wifi because it got great reviews. I had issues setting up the Orbi and found Netgear's tech support to be awful, so I returned it and bought the Google. I read the same thing in the Orbi support forum when I was having trouble...it worked great when it worked, but there were lots of issues with the forced firmware updates.
My Orbi worked great with all my existing devices during the first few months, so I didn't have a reason to return it during the 30 day window that my retailer allowed. It wasn't until the summer with one of the forced firmware updates that things really started going to hell.
I agree with you that Netgear support is awful.

Right now, on the latest 2.x firmware, things are not too bad, except for the Chromecast which I had to move to Ethernet, but that seems to be an issue more on the Chromecast side than Orbi side IMO, since it's common to several mesh systems (was problematic with Velop too).

Only the iOT switches (Wemo Mini and TP-Link Mini) have some problems with packet loss and going off the network. I think this has to do more with the fact that these devices are so tiny that they have very weak Wifi chips and antenna inside them, and not so much with mesh. The larger devices with big antennas tend to have no issues. But there are exceptions. My Canon Pixma Pro-100 has an awful wifi chip in it. It would sometimes connect to the Orbi AP much farther away, rather than the Orbi AP that was located inches from it, and print time could go up to one hour per page (!!!).
I have since disabled the wireless in that printer, and wired it to the back of the Orbi AP with ethernet, and things have been fine since.
I think that's more of an issue with the Wifi chip in that printer, though. The problem with slow printing was the same with single router far away.
Unfortunately, there is no way to predict which AP a device will connect to in a mesh system. Sometimes it chooses the AP nearby, and sometimes not. And that can lead to some strange results. This is more about the roaming implementation decision in the device themselves. Mesh really complicates things vs single router. Unless you have coverage issues, I would recommend single router. Single router left many dead wifi spots in our 4700 sq ft place, not to mention outdoors where we need some signal too.

lightheir
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Re: WiFi [extender]

Post by lightheir » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:04 pm

FWIW, I have had zero problems with any devices on my Google wifi. 6 different phones, which include seamless wifi handoffs on Republic wireless's wifi-based calling, 5 computers, 2 tablets, 2 TVs.

The few times I thought the Google wifi was going bonkers (as all other wifi routers/repeaters have done for me in the past more than occasionally), it turned out that the entire house internet feed was down, or the power had gone out completely.

I vividly recall one moment where I spent 15 frustrated minutes in my garage (where only google wifi has reached, powerlines don't even work) despairing that my google wifi solution was no longer viable - then it turned out that I had accidentally turned off the power strip to which the google wifi closest node was powered with. Turned it back on, and back to flawless wifi.

Just get the google one.

MoneyBagsRx
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:12 am

Re: WiFi [extender]

Post by MoneyBagsRx » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:11 pm

I tried the plug-in wifi extender. My devices always dropped connection when transitioning between signals. Instead I bought an access point:

Ubiquiti UAP-AC-LR Networks Enterprise Wi-Fi System

https://www.amazon.com/Ubiquiti-UAP-AC- ... biquiti+lr

I went overboard and bought their long-range (LR) model and installed it on the upper floor away from interference. Holy wow!!! I get full wifi signal at the end of the driveway and way in the backyard. Definitely overkill. I'm sure you can get away with their non-LR models. Since it probably protrudes into my neighbors' houses, I made sure the password was super strong.

madbrain
Posts: 4522
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:06 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Re: WiFi [extender]

Post by madbrain » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:31 pm

MoneyBagsRx wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:11 pm
I tried the plug-in wifi extender. My devices always dropped connection when transitioning between signals. Instead I bought an access point:

Ubiquiti UAP-AC-LR Networks Enterprise Wi-Fi System

https://www.amazon.com/Ubiquiti-UAP-AC- ... biquiti+lr

I went overboard and bought their long-range (LR) model and installed it on the upper floor away from interference. Holy wow!!! I get full wifi signal at the end of the driveway and way in the backyard. Definitely overkill. I'm sure you can get away with their non-LR models. Since it probably protrudes into my neighbors' houses, I made sure the password was super strong.
Doesn't this model require Ethernet wiring between the two APs ? If so, it's not practical for many people (isn't for me - no ethernet cabling in the house, unfortuantely). You could use powerline AV in between the two APs, though, as a substitute, if you don't care about speed.

madbrain
Posts: 4522
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:06 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Re: WiFi [extender]

Post by madbrain » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:41 pm

lightheir wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:04 pm
The few times I thought the Google wifi was going bonkers (as all other wifi routers/repeaters have done for me in the past more than occasionally), it turned out that the entire house internet feed was down, or the power had gone out completely.
Unfortunately, a lot of devices are tied to the cloud, poorly designed and really show problems when internet goes down, even temporarily.
My EV "smart" chargers for example may stop charging if the internet goes down temporarily, because the charging schedule is stored in the cloud, rather than in the device. One of them has physical buttons to override, the other does not. Both will stay on the wireless LAN, though, if internet is down, and I believe the smartphone app continues to partially work if one is in the house on the same wifi network.

The Chromecasts, even though they are now wired by ethernet, will still disconnect if the LAN is no longer connected to the internet. They will go into open Wifi mode instead, in "setup" mode , which makes them not only completely unusable, but also open to takeover by neighbors, who could then set them up on their own wifi, and start playing things in my house .
There is no technical reason why I shouldn't be able to continue streaming audio to my chromecasts from the media server on my LAN . And it's clearly a security issue to go back to setup mode when internet is offline.

Similar problem with the smartphones. The so-called "smart switch" in my samsung phone will automatically switch to another wifi band (which is good). However, if there is no internet, it will switch to cellular to get internet. This is bad, because it means I can no longer access my local devices, as the phone is no longer on my Wifi. Unfortunately, there is no "really smart" setting to tell the phone to stick to wifi and switch between wifi bands, but NOT drop to cellular even if internet is down, in order to continue to be able to use the devices on the LAN/WLAN. Assuming those devices themselves haven't committed suicide because internet is down.

I am at the end of a node on top of a hill for my cable. I have been getting multiple daily interruptions of 3+ minutes. Had Comcast look at my cable today. They removed a filter from the line. But there are still errors in the modem stats even after that. Now it's escalated to their network team.

Meanwhile, many devices become very "stupid" if internet is down. Which is unrelated to wifi. No redundancy is built into them, no resilience to loss of internet . The case of working local LAN/WLAN without Internet access seems to be explicitly disregarded by most device manufacturers. This is terribly shameful and will not end well when some of those cloud services go offline. People will be left with a bunch of unusable devices.

stan1
Posts: 4979
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Re: WiFi [extender]

Post by stan1 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:19 pm

We live in a dense area with a lot of wifi networks and surely other wireless devices like phones and baby monitors. Forcing all our devices up to 5GHz helped a lot. That's another avenue to try if you have good signal strength but slow and erratic performance.

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