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How to Choose the Best Mesh Wireless System For Your Home  

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(@kamutz)
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July 17, 2018 1:56 EST PM  

With the app release of version 2.17, eero introduced a new section in the app called eero Labs as well as the first feature in Smart Queue Management (SQM). This seems like their QoS implementation at the moment. Here's what it does per Jeff, an eero Community Manager, unlike traditional QoS, which only allows specific devices to receive priority bandwidth at the expense of others, SQM works automatically across your whole system – removing confusing manual steps from the process, and making the overall internet experience better at any given moment. This means all devices can benefit from better queue management without having to push other devices into a worse network experience.


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pjs_boston
(@pjs_boston)
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August 12, 2018 9:38 EST PM  

My setup uses an 802.11n Apple Time Capsule and an 802.11n AirPort Extreme connected in bridge mode using Ethernet backhaul. It covers my entire house and seems to work quite well.

I’m wondering if a newer mesh network would deliver any meaningful performance improvements compared to my legacy Apple setup.

This post was modified 3 months  ago by pjs_boston

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pjs_boston
(@pjs_boston)
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August 12, 2018 9:43 EST PM  

I’ll pass on anything from ZTE or Huawei. I’m not interested in having the Chinese government monitor my internet connection.


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Dave Hamilton
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August 13, 2018 3:10 EST PM  

I am a firm believr in the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality, though admittedly I sometimes fall prey to the "if it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is!" mindset. 🙂

If everything is working well, then it's working well. No reason to change.

Things to look for: if you start to develop dead spots in your house (not likely), if you add more simultaneous streaming devices (mesh adds more access points, and therefore more parallel bandwidth), slow speeds in areas where you need faster Wi-Fi bandwidth.

This post was modified 3 months  ago by Dave Hamilton

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Jay7
 Jay7
(@jay7)
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August 13, 2018 4:10 EST PM  

Great article, Dave! Thanks!
I currently use a Time Capsule to do Time Machine backups and I have a couple of questions...

1. Are any of these units easier (or harder) to connect a Time Capsule to in order to continue backups? And, how is that connection made?

2. My Time Machine is starting to give me occasional issues, and so it might be on it's way out. Do any of these mesh units allow easily connecting a hard drive (via either USB or ethernet) in order to do Time Machine backups that way? If so, which units allow that, which are the easiest to implement, and how is that done?

Thanks again!


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Dave Hamilton
(@davehamilton)
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August 13, 2018 11:45 EST PM  

You can Ethernet your time capsule into any of these setups, no problem. Just put it in bridge mode and disable the Wi-Fi, so it’s just sharing it’s drive.

As for sharing drives from a router, I don’t think any of the mesh options will do this, at least none that I've tried. There are some routers that will, most notably the Synology ones, but obviously those aren’t mesh. 


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amazon004
(@amazon004)
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August 15, 2018 12:54 EST PM  

thnkew for sharing this info 


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Jay7
 Jay7
(@jay7)
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August 27, 2018 2:42 EST PM  

Dave,

Thanks for the reply. It's nice to know that I can attach my Time Capsule to one of these systems to continue backups. Though it'd also be nice to be able to simply attach a hard drive directly to one of these mesh systems to do Time Machine backups (for when my Time Capsule eventually fails).

I've got a ~4000 sq ft house (one level with a basement, no ethernet in the walls) and based on your article, I'm leaning slightly toward the three piece eero system. But, they have two versions of that: one eero (3x3) and two beacons (2x2, I think) and the eero "pro" which is three eeros (all 3x3). Would the bandwidth throughout the house be significantly faster having all 3x3 units compared to one 3x3 unit and two 2x2 units? BTW, I'll very soon be upgrading to FiOS gigabit internet, if that matters (currently have FiOS 75Mb/75Mb).

Other than speed, (and with no ethernet in the walls), would there be any advantage to the three 3x3 units vice one 3x3 and two 2x2?

Thanks in advance for any info you provide!

This post was modified 3 months  ago 2 times by Jay7

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Dave Hamilton
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August 30, 2018 6:03 EST AM  
Posted by: Jay7

I've got a ~4000 sq ft house (one level with a basement, no ethernet in the walls) and based on your article, I'm leaning slightly toward the three piece eero system. But, they have two versions of that: one eero (3x3) and two beacons (2x2, I think) and the eero "pro" which is three eeros (all 3x3). Would the bandwidth throughout the house be significantly faster having all 3x3 units compared to one 3x3 unit and two 2x2 units? BTW, I'll very soon be upgrading to FiOS gigabit internet, if that matters (currently have FiOS 75Mb/75Mb).

Other than speed, (and with no ethernet in the walls), would there be any advantage to the three 3x3 units vice one 3x3 and two 2x2?

Speed, especially backhaul speed between the Eeros themselves, would be the biggest advantage to having that third radio. But the “width” of the pipe would also be better, meaning that you’d have more endpoints for the clients to attach to, as well, and that can be just as important. If you’ve got several devices streaming simultaneously, not having to share radios makes things a lot more efficient. 

along those lines, it’s very much worth investigating Plume, too, especially with their new SuperPods that each include a 4x4 radio for even higher bandwidth and longer range.


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theweekend99
(@theweekend99)
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October 17, 2018 3:38 EST AM  

Thanks for this article! 🙂


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(@mary_lovato)
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November 10, 2018 10:43 EST AM  

thanks for that 


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Ari Laquidara
(@tech_hero)
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November 10, 2018 12:57 EST PM  

@Dave -- I've heard you speak highly of Plume, though I've found the Comcast XFi Pods (which you say are white-boxed Plumes?) to be kind of crappy. I've swapped out XFi Pods for Eero more than once and found significant improvements to general network performance.


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