Forum Thread

Mesh vs powerline adapter?

474 48 May 8, 2019 at 02:10 PM
What's the best choice? I'm mostly unaware of the drawbacks of mesh. Seems fairly expensive.

My situation is about 2400sqft house with a router in living room throwing off a 500mbps into quite a bit of the house but, of course, my office up on the second floor is barely connected. I figure if I went with mesh I'd probably put one unit in the office and another in daughters bedroom, also on second floor.

Those work in tandem with the router right? I'm wondering if I'd need 2vs3 units going that route.

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Quote from Golbez01
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What's the best choice? I'm mostly unaware of the drawbacks of mesh. Seems fairly expensive.

My situation is about 2400sqft house with a router in living room throwing off a 500mbps into quite a bit of the house but, of course, my office up on the second floor is barely connected. I figure if I went with mesh I'd probably put one unit in the office and another in daughters bedroom, also on second floor.

Those work in tandem with the router right? I'm wondering if I'd need 2vs3 units going that route.
A typical router is usually 3 things.*
A Router
A WiFi Access Point
A Hardwired Switch.
*it may also be your modem

If you went mesh, you'd probably would disable your WiFi on your Router in favor of the Mesh equipment.

If you have Hardwired runs throughout the house, then you could simply put AP's at these locations to blanket the house in an Ad-hoc "Mesh" for what could be a savings on cost of the mesh gear.
A proper mesh setup takes into consideration overlap and what channels to broadcast the WiFi signal on.
A Hardwired back end for the Mesh is the way to go.
DIY Access Points would rely on you to manage what channels to broadcast on, etc...

You get what you pay for.

I have 2 Access Points to cover my 2,100 sqft house and they work fine for me.
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I've had bad luck with routers that usually last like 2 or 3 years and then go kaput. Are these mesh devices or are the powerline adapters going to last longer?
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#4
  • The wifi cards and antennas in your computers and devices have a big impact on how they preform. Lots of variables and different protocols (a/b/g/n/ac; 2.4 / 5 GHz; NxM MIMO). You may have to make some upgrades to your wifi card to see much improvement.
  • An ethernet cable is be more reliable and faster than wifi. If you're up for cutting a few holes in the wall you can save some money and get better performance.
  • Powerline networking is a last resort option. It's occasionally useful but usually painful.
  • If you don't want to drop a few cables down the wall, a mesh wiif system is a good option. https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/t...ystem/view
  • Depending on where you have coax in the house for cable/sat and what the cables are hooked to, you may have another option: MoCA or G.hn which work over your coax wiring and could be connected to a switch or second access point.
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Last edited by jkee May 9, 2019 at 06:39 PM.
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Quote from Golbez01
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I've had bad luck with routers that usually last like 2 or 3 years and then go kaput. Are these mesh devices or are the powerline adapters going to last longer?
This doesn't answer your intended question, but to better clarify things here goes....

You have to have a Router not matter if you go powerline or mesh.

The Router allows you to have more than 1 device connected to the internet.

Whomever is your internet provider is, They are only assigning you 1 Internet Protocol Address aka 1 IP address.
Every device on the internet needs an Internet Protocol Address.(Example 68.123.4.149)
123 Main Street,
Sometown, XX 99999
Think of it as your street address for your house.

If you lived in an apartment, you'd have an Apartment Number or a sub-address of the apartment building
123 Main Street,
Unit 3 (192.168.1.88)
Sometown, XX 99999
The Router holds your "Street Address" (IP Address that your provider gave you)
The Router has the ability to hand out IP Addresses (just like a landlord rents apartments)
So now every device you hook to your internet has an IP Address. (192.168.1.x)
Notice that the IP Addresses from your provider are different than what your router is handing out.
The router knows each of your devices and gives them an IP, in this example I'm using the 192.168.1.1 through 192.168.1.255 Class C IP Range)
Since the Router knows what devices you have and has assigned an IP address to them, it knows where and how to route the traffic within and out to the world. It keeps any 192.168.1.x traffic contained within your house...say you printed something, there is no need for it to go out to the internet when both your laptop and printer are connected to your router.
But say you want to search something on Google, the router knows to pass that web page request out to the internet.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TLDR;
You have to have a router if you want more than 1 device on the internet.
It plays the role of the mailman for your devices.
It doesn't matter if your router lasts 1 day or 5 years as to if you should go mesh or powerline and their durability. Its like picking what tires to buy based on how long your brake pads last.

I'd go in this order of what to use in order of choice
1 Hardwired
2 Wireless
3 Powerline

~~~~~~~Also look at jkee's post as well.
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Last edited by DC May 9, 2019 at 09:04 AM.
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#6
Quote from Golbez01
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What's the best choice? I'm mostly unaware of the drawbacks of mesh. Seems fairly expensive.

My situation is about 2400sqft house with a router in living room throwing off a 500mbps into quite a bit of the house but, of course, my office up on the second floor is barely connected. I figure if I went with mesh I'd probably put one unit in the office and another in daughters bedroom, also on second floor.

Those work in tandem with the router right? I'm wondering if I'd need 2vs3 units going that route.
Powerline as others have said are probably your last resort option. Even with new wiring max throughput speeds will never reach what your ISP is offering, happy to get 120mbps but in most cases around 80mbps.

You probably should have jumped on the onhub deal I posted last week, got two of them and set them up in a cheap mesh.

Plenty of cheap mesh options if you want to just try it out that work pretty well, urlhasbeenblocked nova mw6's can get them for under $150 and its a 3 pack, same for the TP Link Deco M5 3 pack as some options.
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I'm going to look into dropping some ethernet just in case. Appreciate the replies everybody.

I'll check out that onhub deal also.

Oh yeah, let's say I put 4-port ethernet outlets in three rooms. And let's say 12 devices are hooked up to those four outlets... can a 4-port outlet terminate into one port of a router? My router from the ISP has 4 ports on it.

I didn't know if maybe the outlets performed some kind of switch function? or if those four ports need to run down four ethernet cables to four ports at the router? Make sense?

I don't own my router, but I don't pay a rental fee for it either and it's actually a really good device. But, like I said, I've had routers die on me in 2-3yrs and it would be nice for replacing that for free to remain on the ISP rather than on me.
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Last edited by Golbez01 May 10, 2019 at 12:17 PM.
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Quote from PeteyTheStriker
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Powerline as others have said are probably your last resort option. Even with new wiring max throughput speeds will never reach what your ISP is offering, happy to get 120mbps but in most cases around 80mbps.

You probably should have jumped on the onhub deal I posted last week, got two of them and set them up in a cheap mesh.

Plenty of cheap mesh options if you want to just try it out that work pretty well, urlhasbeenblocked nova mw6's can get them for under $150 and its a 3 pack, same for the TP Link Deco M5 3 pack as some options.
I think you're right about that onhub deal. I'm going to see if the spectrum router I have would perform a mesh function and then see if I can get them to give me another one if it does.... Hmm Smilie

Mesh is all new to me. I take it that there must not be much bandwidth loss or overhead?
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Quote from Golbez01
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I think you're right about that onhub deal. I'm going to see if the spectrum router I have would perform a mesh function and then see if I can get them to give me another one if it does.... Hmm Smilie

Mesh is all new to me. I take it that there must not be much bandwidth loss or overhead?
Mesh is a special subset of router, your spectrum will not be able to do it. If they give you another router you would be running the second one as an access point which is different from Mesh.

When running in mesh depends on the kit, some have dedicated wireless backhaul which cause no real overhead or bandwidth loss. The ones that dont have dedicated do take a hit. Also even if they dont have dedicated wireless backhaul if you can setup ethernet backhaul it also eliminates that overhead/bandwidth issue.

So you have to know what to watch out for.
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Quote from Golbez01
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I'm going to look into dropping some ethernet just in case. Appreciate the replies everybody.

I'll check out that onhub deal also.

Oh yeah, let's say I put 4-port ethernet outlets in three rooms. And let's say 12 devices are hooked up to those four outlets... can a 4-port outlet terminate into one port of a router? My router from the ISP has 4 ports on it.

I didn't know if maybe the outlets performed some kind of switch function? or if those four ports need to run down four ethernet cables to four ports at the router? Make sense?

I don't own my router, but I don't pay a rental fee for it either and it's actually a really good device. But, like I said, I've had routers die on me in 2-3yrs and it would be nice for replacing that for free to remain on the ISP rather than on me.
An ethernet switch lets you connect multiple devices to a single ethernet port. For anything other than a 1 to 1 mapping, you need an ethernet switch.
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Thought so, thanks
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Quote from Golbez01
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I've had bad luck with routers that usually last like 2 or 3 years and then go kaput. Are these mesh devices or are the powerline adapters going to last longer?
So you run all your hardwired devices to a switch and then 1 connection from the switch to your router...that way you only have to replace the router should it die...switches are pretty bullet proof.
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