SEADave HalfDork
12/9/16 10:30 a.m.

I have been reading about these new "mesh" wifi systems, and it sounds like a great solution for someone like me with a 3-story house built into a hillside who would like to be able to access the wifi out in the driveway, workshop or barn.

Does anyone have any hands-on experience? These are expensive systems, and it looks like Google Wifi is currently sold out so I don't expect to see any discounts. Is the improvement over 'normal' routers worth the additional price? Any preference for any particular system over the others?

singleslammer PowerDork
12/9/16 11:10 a.m.

I am planning on running a pair of Ubiquiti disks in my new house. This does require me to run Cat6 to each pickup point but it provides one large network for a lower cost. I am using a standard router wired directly to two UAPs. Total cost is under $200. It will require a little work to get them all talking but it is a lot less than the Mesh wifi I found.

singleslammer PowerDork
12/9/16 11:11 a.m.

Article discussing this.

Edit: I just realized that I didn't link the article

Grtechguy MegaDork
12/9/16 12:05 p.m.

Mesh WiFi has been around for over a decade. It's just now reaching the home level.

It can be accomplished with the cheap linksys WRT APs and custom DD-WRT Firmware.

asoduk HalfDork
12/10/16 1:16 p.m.

I recently bought a Google Onhub to replace the mashup of older equipment I had. It just works. I went with the Asus. It is compatible with Google Wifi devices as well, which I made sure of before ordering.

The only downside to it is that it only has a single LAN port, so if you need wired devices you'll need a switch too.

I'd start with that and go from there for the friendliest method. I'm not a huge fan of the Ubiquiti stuff in the home as its more work to install and not as easy to manage. If you're feeling adveturous, check out open-mesh too.

GameboyRMH MegaDork
12/12/16 8:59 a.m.

Mesh wifi isn't the best solution for what you want. You'd probably be better off with a multiple-AP network. I have these at home and at the office for covering a wide area with one wireless network. No proprietary/oddball or costly gear needed.

lastsnare Reader
12/12/16 9:11 a.m.

if you need a signal in a specific area, you could also look into a directional/higher-powered antenna (probably attached to an extra wireless access point),
I haven't used one myself (except that we have one at work that I didn't setup) but could be another option.

GameboyRMH MegaDork
12/12/16 9:17 a.m.

I do set up these networks so let me know if you need help. The best solution is to add access points that have a wired connection to your existing/"primary" access point. Wireless repeater/bridge setups are much slower and less reliable, and mesh networks suffer from the same problems to a lesser degree.

Our Preferred Partners