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68 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 4


Topic # 192237 2-Mar-2016 16:17
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So, frequently I'm asked by friends and family how to improve their networking setup, and more recently in my case, I've battled with making the most of my new Fibre connection with the poor ONT location chosen by a previous tenant. But in the case of family, one case has become so bad that they've given up on local help and asked me to come down to Hastings and help them out over a weekend.


Something that's caught my attention recently, was the smartly presented, simplified eero WiFi product that just launched which builds a "mesh network" effectively a collection of range extenders, offering one fast, unified Wifi network throughout a home. But at $499 US + shipping, it's a bit out of reach.


So, I ask how you would build out a network (with which products) throughout a home that offered a similar experience, but at a more affordable price?


In the case of my family members, I'll be looking to find options as follows;


  • A powerline kit for a fastest possible fixed connection in one other location
  • A WiFi range extender, as opposed to a seperate AP, to maintain just the one SSID
  • 2-3 locations throughout the home

I suspect that TP-Link's Powerline with wireless extender kit could help with that (does it extend the same SSID via the powerline as expected by the phrase extender?)



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892 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 268


  Reply # 1505162 2-Mar-2016 19:38
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Power line adapters are OK and in most cases are much better than wifi but..... if you have 100 or 200mb fibre you might not get those sorts of speeds through them. Depending on the quality of them i have heard of it going from anywhere from 10mbit to 85mbit. Some advertise more, but I dont know how well, and they may not be full duplex (someone here will correct me if im wrong).


If the ONT is in a poor location, and there is a better location to put a router in the house just run an Ethernet cable from the ONT to where you want the router to be located. Go down into the floor or Up into the roof. If its residential the chances of you ordering a second service on port 2,3 or 4 of the ONT are slim unless of course you run a business with its own separate business connection.


The other option is to stick a router next to the ONT, run the ethernet cable again back to the location where you need more plugs and shove a switch and access point there. I love the idea of PoE Access points and they do an excellent job of WiFi because its easier to choose an access point location as you don't need power there just a network cable.

1452 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 322

  Reply # 1505464 3-Mar-2016 12:05
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I think you need to clearly state exactly what you are trying to achieve smile


Im guessing you want wifi coverage through the house.


I would avoid range extenders. Often they just dont work as expected .


Wifi powerline kits do the job, and you can add additional wifi powerline nodes in other rooms . The wifi nodes also have a ethernet port for direct connect to that powerline node
BUT... they are far from perfect, the setup software is often lousey, speed varies up & down due to mains line noise etc

Mesh networks : dont buy anything without doing extensive research into how well particular units work in home enviroments (ie through walls & floors)







3 posts

Wannabe Geek

  Reply # 1570861 13-Jun-2016 10:12
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Nick Weaver, CEO of Eero was interviewed in a recent episode of the Smart Home Show podcast.  Interview starts about about 12 minutes


Sounds like a halfway decent mesh product, but I wonder if the new Gigabit, 3-wire Powerline adaptors with APs like UniFi might still be a better approach.

182 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 13


  Reply # 1571913 14-Jun-2016 19:51
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The Eero served me great until I moved house and had a chance to CAT6 the hell out of it. I still have mine for sale, and you can PM me if you're interested, but here are my thoughts on the Eero:






1. Superb (possibly unsurpassed relative to all other approaches I've tried) at getting strong signals thrown across the house without the need for cabling.


2. They are really easy to set up and run. 


3. They dynamically manage the mesh depending on the types of devices connecting and the frequency they're connecting on. 


4. Really great support via the Eero reddit forum, which I've used a few times.


5. They are throwing software upgrades like crazy to better the system on a weekly basis. 






1. It's still an unwired mesh, so never going to be as awesome as an AP


2. It's very frustrating for expert users since you can't really "hack" the device, and the configuration options are aimed at a mainstream market.


3. Eero performs best in its native mesh mode, and when you use it in bridge mode (e.g. like I did, because I needed more sophisticated router access options), it may be a little fussy - but I know this is something they've been working to fix.


4. Configuration requires patience: investing time up front in placing them well can produce infinitely better quality of service. But they don't have a configuration tool yet to give you better guidance, so it's trial and error. But when you do get it, it is wonderful.




Hope this helps.


3 posts

Wannabe Geek

  Reply # 1574459 15-Jun-2016 15:29
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That does help, thank you.  It sounds like a good option for my clients who have no structured cabling, but I'd want to buy it from a local distributor.  I'll keep an eye out for it tho, and if it is distributed locally we might be onto a winner.


But yes, hard-wiring APs around the house will still be the best way.



182 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 13


  Reply # 1574519 15-Jun-2016 16:34
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Also, FWIW, Luma is an Eero competitor and is shipping out soon.

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