Everything you need to know about wireless mesh networks: There are genuine benefits behind the hype

“You would be forgiven for thinking that wireless mesh networking is just another marketing bullet point for new Wi-Fi routers, a phrase coined to drive up prices without delivering benefits,” Glenn Fleishman writes for TechHive. “But we can avoid being cynical for once: mesh technology does deliver a significant benefit over the regular old Wi-Fi routers we’ve bought in years past and that remain on the market.”

“Mesh networks are resilient, self-configuring, and efficient. You don’t need to mess with them after often minimal work required to set them up, and they provide arguably the best and highest throughput you can achieve in your home,” Fleishman writes. “These advantages have led to several startups and existing companies introducing mesh systems contending for the home and small business Wi-Fi networking dollar.”

“Some mesh routers have single-band-at-a-time radios, and are meant more as smart extensions,” Fleishman writes. “But it’s more common that the nodes have radios for two or even three frequency bands, like the latest Eero. This lets mesh dedicate bands to intra-node data, switching channels to reduce congestion, or mixing client data and ‘backhaul’ data on the same channel.”

eero's 2nd generation  Home Wi-Fi System (1 eero + 2 eero Beacons)
eero’s 2nd generation Home Wi-Fi System (1 eero + 2 eero Beacons)

 
Tons more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: With Apple seemingly out of the Wi-Fi game, the closest we’re going to get to Apple-esque good looks and ease-of-use are Eero products.

SEE ALSO:
Eero’s new mesh WiFi system packs more power in an Apple-esque design – June 29, 201
AppleInsider reviews eero Wi-Fi: ‘A solid option for Apple’s outgoing AirPort’ – February 27, 2017
With Eero, you can kiss slow Wi-Fi goodbye forever – February 10, 20177

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8 Comments

  1. Tim love of ignoring productswithoit updates for years like the airport is just another chink in having customers less reliant on all things Apple. Very sad.

  2. Storm fried my Apple Time Capsule and cable modem. Purchased new modem and hooked up an Apple Airport Extreme the Time Capsule replace even though the Extreme still worked. Dang if a quick power surge where the power went off and on again didn’t do in my Airport Extreme.

    Could have purchased new Time Capsule or Express but took the plunge and bought new 2nd Gen. eero base unit with two beacons. If more coverage is needed, one could buy an extra beacon but the base plus two satisfies my 2800 square foot house. Setup had slight glitch but more due to setting up with iPhone app and my cell signal stinks at home. Thanks T-Mobile. However, call toll free support and they were great at hooking me up. Now I am back on WiFi thank God and I get better coverage. I would lose WiFi signal if I go outside of my house into the work shed. Now, I can be in there and watch streaming YouTube on my iPad. The two beacons have a night light which is nice but you can turn them off from the iPhone app. You can from the app, see the status and what devices are connected to what items. I have 6 devices, iMac, MB Pro, MB Air, iPad, iPhone and IP web camera and each is pulling from either the base station or the two beacons. The only gripe I have is that the beacons plug into the wall outlet but seem top heavy and kind of lean out, I have to push back in. It didn’t lose connection but I think I will replace the old wall outlets with some new ones and see if it provides a tighter fit. The base station is pretty obscure. Slightly larger then the palm of your hand, not too tall and not too wide and has a soft white glowing power/connected light. So far, happy with purchase and support from eero.

    1. Things that I heard (no personal experience) is you rely upon their cloud for access and nothing but a phone app to configure, etc. Those two points kinda kill it for me, and I agree on the satellites.
      That is the one piece I think they should re-think, design wise.

  3. I have replaced 2008 apple AE last year with one AE and one TC, I had very good experience with last AE it worked flawlessly for almost 8 years, I needed updated once I started streaming 4k content. I have hard wired both apple routers like in bridge mode. Most of my media stuff has hard wired via Ethernet switches. I have 350 Mbps connection, on my mbp I get constant 320-350 Mbps connection which great, it is sad apple don’t do routers any more, I hope my TC will last for a while.
    The best thing about apple router at least my experience is the stability, I have so many smart home devices they never had any issues, always connected.

  4. Don’t let anyone tell you the NETGEAR Orbi is a mesh. Orbi uses a central router and 1 or more “satellite extenders”. Since no satellite device can talk to another satellite, all satellites on your extended Orbi network
    Communicate directly with the central Orbi Router.

    Reviews are good for the Orbi. But reality may be another thing. I upgraded my firmware and the satellites stopped working. 350 posts on the NETGEAR Orbi forum posted about the same issue during 72 hour period confirmed the predicament. $12 to return to Amazon.

    Orbi also won’t let you have two SSID’s for each band. I like to corden off my non 802.11ac devices to a dedicated 2.4Ghz band and other devices (like iPhones and Mac’s) to the faster 5GHz band.

    Beware of buying refurb NETGEAR equipment. You can’t register the device as an owner. The original owner will always be the owner. Some guy returned the Orbi in June which I got for $60 off refurbished through Amazon in July. My list of NETGEAR equipment shows “REFURB” where my name should be (and that was after spending an hour on the NETGEAR call center). The macOS version of NETGEAR GENIE locks up any time you [try to] exit. Amateurish compared to Linksys’s tools.

    Read up on 802.11s (true mesh technology) if you need to cover more than 50 feet of distance or a huge house or property with one SSID and have seamless handoff. Google has the lead on 802.11s mesh router systems.

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