Google WiFi alternatives


#1

What’s out there? I know Netgear and Ubiquiti have there own mesh offerings. (As much as I’d like to, I just don’t have the time/inclination/finances to install a full wired Ubiquiti system - not in this house anyways).

Has anyone here got either setups and can list some first hand experiences with them? The only one I’ve seen in action is Google WIFI and whilst it seems to be the most user friendly in terms of setup/management, I’ve read some reports that iOS doesn’t play too well with it. My wife and I are pretty heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem.


#2

You might wish to peruse The small net builder website. This is the ranker. the site does not seem to have done the Amplifi HD which I would have thought pretty good, but otherwise worth going through to check out your options. It also spells out features to look for, which seem to be number of antennas and streams.

I just bought the netgear RBK50 and compared with the the old N router I was using performance is absolutely incredible all through the house. Full speed, no congestion. I got it on a really good deal through an eBay sale and Wireless 1. The only neg I would say is they are big, while the Amplifi HD is a lot better looking and smaller. I have posted on it on AppleTalk.


#3

I use Amplifi. It’s great. So easy to set up, literally plug in the satellites and tap them on the app to add them to the mesh.


#4

China has a solution for you - they are working on a global wifi system - free internet for the entire planet!


#5

Netgear Orbi is the same. I think most mesh routers work this way.


#6

We have TP-Link Deco and thus far it’s been great. Particularly like the permanent prioritisation that you can do for specific devices. (Yes my Chromecast wins over everyone else if I’m watching Netflix).

As with all of these systems that can be managed via an app over the internet, I do wonder what will happen one day when TP-Link shuts down the mothership…


#7

Yeah I hear Netgear’s Orbi is the kit to get for your average consumer. Amplifi is more prosumer, and Unifi is for your geeky geeks. Orbi units are quite large, but each one has switch ports which is great. The Amplifi satellite just plugs into the wall and you’re done, which is also great… but less extensible for remote spots in the house that might need ethernet.

Actually surprises me that Netgear’s Orbi rates so high. I’ve often considered Netgear to just be a journeyman brand, not excelling at anything but delivering solid basics. Nice to know they’re hitting some heights with Orbi.


#8

Yes, I have Orbi, it is a very good product.


#9

That’s one of my thoughts, but on the other hand, for me, this is going to be a temporary solution until we knock this place down and then I can properly cable for a Unifi wifi system.

That’s where I think I’m headed, pity it’s so ugly though :joy:


#10

Any chance you could show the size of the mesh points, I’ve only seen them in US reviews, want somehting local I can compare them too.

I would like to head this way, just not completley sold on only having them plugged into a power socket and not being able to locate them away from it without an extension lead.


#11

I also use amplifi but have 2 of the amplifi HD units. I have setup one to create a wireless network and the second as a meshpoint to that network. I went this way for a few reasons.

You have the option to use wireless or ethernet backbone to the first amplifi. Can add more amplifi HDs as mesh points.

Amplifi HDs are USB C powered so had better placement options than the plugin mesh points.

Each Amplifi HD has 4 ethernet ports for wired connections


#12

It’s great that you can do that with them eh.


#13

That might have just tipped me over ther edge, towards the Amplifi.

I’m guessing that its pretty easy to setup like this as all I’ve come across in my research is using the router with the supplied plug-in mesh points.


#14

All setup is via a mobile app. Its very easy. There is, or at least last time i looked at it, a beta web interface that lets you draw your house room plan, so that to show coverage of the access points


#15

TBH I wanted the amplifi HD pair, but the orbi was considerably cheaper.


#16

I managed to get a pair for each $99US( when our dollar was a lot better) during a sale.


#17

Continuing the discussion from Google WiFi alternatives:

Nice. That’s a pretty decent haul, the local prices are over twice that!

I’ve got a 188 sqm place which Ubiquiti recommend 3 Amplifi HD routers to saturate the place. Now cost wise for around $20 more I could get a basic Unifi system set up (I know at first I said I didn’t want to go this route, but the more I look around, the more I think it might just be the best option).

@recd Can you advise of the real world coverage of the amplifiHD routers when setup as a mesh?


#18

There’s a new Amplifi low end mesh system called Instant, I saw it announced a few weeks ago…A lot cheaper than Amplifi proper, but not sure if it’s globally available yet.


#19

I live in a 3BR duplex about 15 X 10 metres. Have 1st unit in 3rd bedroom towards back right side of house and mesh unit in Living Room towards the front left side. We are up to about 60 wireless devices now. using Telstra WiFi measuring App (I have a telstra modem but turned the WiFi off) WiFi coverage is good throughout the house. I haven’t noticed any issues with coverage, including outside


#20

I have three levels in my house. An upstairs mezzanine, middle living area and downstairs bedrooms. The single base unit covered all three levels fine, but putting a mesh point in the far edge of the living room did help with the TV being able to do stable 4K over Wi-Fi. But a single Amplifi base unit will happily cover a small-medium house on multiple levels. The good thing is if you don’t want to stump for the combo kit to start with, just get a base unit and add mesh points as you need them. That’s what I did.