Google WiFi, Open Mesh made simple?

doug_7506

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Hi all,

I live in a ~2,300 square foot house. The way my networking was done requires the router to be on one side of the house. The router i'm using is no slouch (ASUS RT-AC87U), but the wireless signal is still very weak on the opposite end of the house. I've been looking into Open Mesh for a while now and was about to pull the trigger when google dropped Google WiFi.

Price looks to be pretty much the same with Google Wifi being about $100 cheaper though if you get 3 of each.

OM5P-AC Dual Band 1.17 Gbps Access Point $140 for one.

Google WiFi $130 for one, $299 for three.

Both have dual band AC and two ethernet ports.

For someone not too network savvy, the Google WiFi seems like the way to go. I'd imagine the Open Mesh system would have more features and customizations, but would require greater networking knowledge.

Just wondering what everyone's thoughts are on this.
 

NIZMOZ

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I also have the same Asus and looking to get the google wifi as well. We have a large 1 story 2300 sq. ft as well. The office has the router and it barely reaches the other side of the house. So I had to use a netgear extender to help with that. I would like a Mesh setup though. I do know for it to work right, you need to get all 3 and not just 1. There is another brand that costs $500...euro brand. I also saw a Lupo brand too...not sure how much those are.

My plan is to just turn off the asus wireless, and use it for my main router and have these connect behind the router for the wifi. Asus has more features I like than any mesh for a router.
 

doug_7506

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I had used an Almond as an extender for the longest time, but it wasn't very fast. I'm hoping this mesh system works a lot better.

Yeah, I plan on getting three. One on each side of the house and one in the patio out back.

I wonder how that would work? I'm currently going from modem->asus router->switch. With the google wifi, I wonder if I'll be able to go modem->google wifi->switch
 

bds1904

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I was unaware open-mesh was hard to set up?

  1. Buy devices
  2. Download app
  3. Create username/password
  4. Create network
  5. Add all access points to network
  6. Plug the first AP directly into your existing router and let it do its thing until you have wifi
  7. Plug the rest of the AP's into power, with or without an Ethernet feed (obviously having ethernet to every AP is a good thing, but not required)
  8. The devices self-configure and you have wifi
I wouldn't touch that Google branded crap with a 10ft pole while someone else was holding it. Google has a long history of abandoning products and services leaving you high and dry, especially with hardware.
 

doug_7506

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Oct 17, 2004
Messages
3,244
I was unaware open-mesh was hard to set up?

  1. Buy devices
  2. Download app
  3. Create username/password
  4. Create network
  5. Add all access points to network
  6. Plug the first AP directly into your existing router and let it do its thing until you have wifi
  7. Plug the rest of the AP's into power, with or without an Ethernet feed (obviously having ethernet to every AP is a good thing, but not required)
  8. The devices self-configure and you have wifi
I wouldn't touch that Google branded crap with a 10ft pole while someone else was holding it. Google has a long history of abandoning products and services leaving you high and dry, especially with hardware.

Have you done it before? Sounds like you have experience. Would love to know more about it. Thanks.
 

Nate7311

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I had used an Almond as an extender for the longest time, but it wasn't very fast. I'm hoping this mesh system works a lot better.

One thing that you'll need to understand is that WiFi already suffers compared to wired connections as it is. Adding an extender/connecting through one, only halves that bandwidth again. i.e. it'll never be FAST. Usable? yes. Fast? no. It doesn't matter the type/brand or anything else, it's physics. If you can get a cable over to the remote location for the additional AP, you will see gains, otherwise, no.
 

doug_7506

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Well to compensate for the issue I hardwired every room in my house. So every room has a cat 5 access. The problem has always been getting everything to work on a single SSID. My house is small enough where the signal reaches the whole house, but big enough where the signal is god awful slow in the exterior rooms.
 

klank

Killer of Killer NIC Threadz
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Well to compensate for the issue I hardwired every room in my house. So every room has a cat 5 access. The problem has always been getting everything to work on a single SSID. My house is small enough where the signal reaches the whole house, but big enough where the signal is god awful slow in the exterior rooms.

Turn down the transmit power.
 

NIZMOZ

[H]ard|Gawd
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One thing that you'll need to understand is that WiFi already suffers compared to wired connections as it is. Adding an extender/connecting through one, only halves that bandwidth again. i.e. it'll never be FAST. Usable? yes. Fast? no. It doesn't matter the type/brand or anything else, it's physics. If you can get a cable over to the remote location for the additional AP, you will see gains, otherwise, no.

This is not true for Mesh systems. Like Eero, Lupa, Google Wifi.

These units have an antenna to receive the signal, and then another to transmit it. It doesn't half it like normal repeaters do. That is why these perform so fast because they don't have the negatives of repeaters.

You will see gains with a MESH system over a normal Repeater/wifi.

a good example.
 

bds1904

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This is not true for Mesh systems. Like Eero, Lupa, Google Wifi.

These units have an antenna to receive the signal, and then another to transmit it. It doesn't half it like normal repeaters do. That is why these perform so fast because they don't have the negatives of repeaters.

You will see gains with a MESH system over a normal Repeater/wifi.

a good example.

No, open mesh does not have 2 radios for each frequency.

The advantage to open-mesh is you can use it with or without an Ethernet link. With an Ethernet link the mesh traffic (and regular traffic) happens over the ethernet link which results in a full-speed connection. Without an Ethernet link the AP acts as an extender, this configuration happens automatically without user intervention. In extender mode either the 2.4ghz or the 5ghz radio can/will be used for the uplink to the network. Again, the selection will happen automatically without user intervention based on signal level, speed and quality. While in "extender mode" both bands will still be usable for devices to connect.

The other advantage to open-mesh is the seamless roaming. Open-Mesh handles the handoff and routes packets so you have a true zero-loss handoff. This also brings me to my next point, when you have multiple AP's with an Ethernet link they select different channels and still do seamless roaming. This results in full-speed wifi with 0 interference between AP's while maintaining all the benefits of a "mesh network".
 

NIZMOZ

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No, open mesh does not have 2 radios for each frequency.

The advantage to open-mesh is you can use it with or without an Ethernet link. With an Ethernet link the mesh traffic (and regular traffic) happens over the ethernet link which results in a full-speed connection. Without an Ethernet link the AP acts as an extender, this configuration happens automatically without user intervention. In extender mode either the 2.4ghz or the 5ghz radio can/will be used for the uplink to the network. Again, the selection will happen automatically without user intervention based on signal level, speed and quality. While in "extender mode" both bands will still be usable for devices to connect.

The other advantage to open-mesh is the seamless roaming. Open-Mesh handles the handoff and routes packets so you have a true zero-loss handoff. This also brings me to my next point, when you have multiple AP's with an Ethernet link they select different channels and still do seamless roaming. This results in full-speed wifi with 0 interference between AP's while maintaining all the benefits of a "mesh network".

Mesh does have two radios. Please read up on the tech. Mesh systems that have TWO RADIOS. One to receive, one to transmit.

 

bds1904

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Mesh does have two radios. Please read up on the tech. Mesh systems that have TWO RADIOS. One to receive, one to transmit.


Some mesh products have 2 radios, not all.

As of today all open-mesh products have 2 radios.

If you have a 2.4GHz radio and a 5GHz radio on an Open-Mesh AP and the 5GHz radio is used for uplink the 2.4GHz radio will not be in "repeater mode" it will be broadcasting on it's own channel. The 5GHz channel however will be in repeater mode.

For any mesh radio to do what you are talking about, which is running at full speed all the time you need to either:
  • Have 2 independent radios, one for uplink and one for broadcasting wifi. No matter what frequencies are used you wll end up with a single band AP. For example clients will be able to connect on 2.4GHz OR 5GHz, NOT BOTH.
  • Have 3 independent radios, one for uplink, and 2 for broadcasting wifi. For example clients can connect on 2.4GHZ AND 5GHz
I was not saying you were wrong about EERO or anyone else, but you are wrong about Open-Mesh.

If you are using an Open-Mesh AP as a repeater (without an ethernet cable) and the 5GHz channel is selected the AP will brocast both 2.4GHz and 5GHz, but the 5GHz band will technically be "repeated" because there is only 2 radios.

Bottom Line:

Wireless is half-duplex. A wifi radio can not send and receive data at the same time, no matter what. If you have one radio that is acting as a client & broadcasting an SSID you will see a slower speed. Please Note: I'm specifying 1 radio, not 1 AP. AP's can have more than 1 radio.

Taken from eero

Once your new system is up and running, your eeros dynamically determine how to pass traffic between your connected devices as efficiently as possible. This enables you to access a strong WiFi signal no matter where you are in your home. And since eeros have two radios for simultaneously sending and receiving information, they support multiple hops with minimal signal loss. Additionally, your eeros can communicate with the cloud to receive instructions and updates. This means your eeros are self-updating, self-fixing, and self-improving all the time

Note, eero specifies 2 radios. See above for explanation on how 2 radio systems work. Their marketing is a lie if it truly has 2 radios, not 3 or 4.


The reason why some of these newer products are "so fast" isn't because they have more than 2 radios, it's because the 802.11AC bitrate. Even after a hop or 2 it's still faster than the vast majority of internet connections. Add strong antennas and the fact that you have multiple AP's, managed roaming and a single SSID into the mix you get a nice setup but still not as fast as multiple hard-wired AP's.
 
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