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How to Choose the Best Mesh Wireless System For Your Home  

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(@kamutz)
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17/07/2018 1:56 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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12/08/2018 9:38 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 11 months ago by pjs_boston

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pjs_boston
(@pjs_boston)
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12/08/2018 9:43 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
(@davehamilton)
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13/08/2018 3:10 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 11 months ago by Dave Hamilton

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Jay7
 Jay7
(@jay7)
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13/08/2018 4:10 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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13/08/2018 11:45 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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15/08/2018 12:54 pm  

thnkew for sharing this info


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Jay7
 Jay7
(@jay7)
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27/08/2018 2:42 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 11 months ago 2 times by Jay7

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Dave Hamilton
(@davehamilton)
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30/08/2018 6:03 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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17/10/2018 3:38 am  

Thanks for this article! 🙂


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(@mary_lovato)
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10/11/2018 10:43 am  

thanks for that


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Ari Laquidara
(@tech_hero)
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10/11/2018 12:57 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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Dave Hamilton
(@davehamilton)
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14/11/2018 10:49 am  

Great distinction, @tech_hero! The original Plume pods are NOT impressive in my tests (or any of the anecdotal reports we've had from listeners and readers). They tend to be pretty weak in terms of range.

The new Plume SuperPods, however, are quite stellar. They added another 5GHz radio, but this one is 4x4, which really gives it a leg up on the competition out there.


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Azcaddyshak
(@azcaddyshak)
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23/11/2018 5:10 am  

In the conclusion, you cited Plume's adaptive management service as one of the features that earned Plume its recommendation. However, I have scanned the article (albeit from my phone) and cannot find any mention of such a service. Can you help me by pointing to what I am missing?


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(@seran_seran)
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06/12/2018 3:01 pm  

thanks for that


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