"Mesh "Networks recommendations


With lightbulbs, doorbells, motion detectors, TVs media players, Sonos and multiple Macs & PCs we have over 50 wireless devices and its starting to show. Adding a new device usually takes a few attempts.

Currently have a Telstra Frontier Gateway serving up wireless to all my Son’s stuff and an Airport Extreme, at the other end of the house, connected via ethernet to the gateway serving the rest. A Sonos Boost, running Sonosnet, is connected via ethernet to Airport.

The Gateway can serve about 30 clients at a time, the Airport 50.

Thinking of putting the Gateway in bridge mode and replacing the Airport with Netgear Orbi or Linksys Velop.

Does anyone have experience or advice with these. Open to other recommendations. Its a 3 br duplex, so not huge.



So does the silence mean nobody would recommend a mesh network?


The issue with mesh networks is the possible affect on network speed (half duplex) and security (WPA only) with some of the cheaper units (as they are essentially running as wireless extenders only)

The only wireless mesh style networks I have set up that work well have been with Ruckus and Unifi gear, Ruckus is very expensive however the Unifi units are not too badly priced.

Do you really need a wireless mesh style network (i.e. only one AP on ethernet the others wirelessly connected) or can you actually run ethernet to all devices and just run multiple access points all on the same SSID? Keep in mind that a true mesh network has all nodes interconnected to every other node and is designed for high availability/multipath communication but a lot of providers use the term mesh in wireless to mean that the wireless devices connect to each other wirelessly rather than wired - not really a mesh network.

If you want multiple AP’s on the same network broadcasting the same SSID with automatic traffic control and band steering I’d recommend the Unifi AC-Pro for speed or AC-PR for range, just keep in mind that a computer will be needed to run the Unifi Controller software on and that the machine should ideally be left on at all times.

*Sorry if there are any obvious errors or unclear points here, it’s early and I’m on my first coffee of the day and only 2 sips in to it!


Thanks for the detailed and clear reply.
Its a rental so can’t run ethernet everywhere. Also not not all devices have an ethernet port, such as the LIFX bulbs.

Apart from the lights in every room, most devices are at the very front or the very back, about 15metres apart, hence my thoughts on 2 AP’s with the same SSID.

My understanding was that some "Triband " mesh networks used one band for backhaul to avoid half duplex effect, although not sure if this is just marketing, or if its correct which ones use it.

I’ll look further at your suggestions



No problem hopefully what I have said will be of use, I’ve not heard of the “Triband” mesh network. If you can post details of the device I’d be happy to look at it and see what I make of it (I don’t profess to be an “expert” [in fact I intensely dislike that term in general] but I have many many years of networking and wireless experience)


This article from Wirecutter mentions “Triband”, but as I said it may be marketing speak.
“The Orbi base and satellite both look like small, oddly shaped, white-plastic vases, with a “halo glow” at the top that turns on only during setup and reboot. Each is classified as a tri-band AC3000 device, with 1733 Mbps, 866 Mbps, and 400 Mbps streams. (The 1733 Mbps number refers to the dedicated 5 GHz backhaul channel that the Orbi satellite uses exclusively for communicating with its base router; the 866 Mbps and 400 Mbps figures refer to the two-stream 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands the Orbi system uses to communicate with your devices.) You should not mistake these numbers for real-world speeds, but they do add up to a very respectable chunk of Wi-Fi bandwidth that’s carefully allocated to be just as usable on the satellite as it is on the base.”

Mesh networking


That looks like a pretty good solution, the 866 Mbps 5 GHz throughput is a little on the low side for my liking as I prefer to have AC1300 (only because I’m a tech geek and for no other real reason) but in real world use it looks like a reasonably good solution


Have you tried using an Ethernet over Power backbone between the two ends of the house? I know some people who have had great experiences with them. It won’t always work, but when it does it’s a great option in a rental. Worth a try. Get them from JB Hifi or the like where they have a 7 day no questions asked return policy.


Do you have any other device you would recommend instead.

My main objective is a network that can support 100+ wireless connections and is fast.

Jaycee has suggested an Ethernet OP as an alternative. Open to this idea if its a better solution




Hadn’t thought of this option. Assume this would involve 2 AP’s; Does the Unifi AC-Pro sound a good option. Although would 2 of them be overkill, besides be expensive




If not a fan of Ethernet over power lines as I have found it extremely slow, but in honesty its not something I have looked at again in the last 6 or so years so it may be substantially better no


Yeah I wasn’t a fan when I tried it about 5 years ago, but I needed it in my new place (rented) and it seems to work well now. Hasn’t missed a beat, which really surprised me.


How many networks will it support? Anyone used it yet.