Mesh WiFi hardware for old house?

There’re several older threads on this, but I’m looking for refreshed advice.

We have an older two-story + basement house, with several brick walls and the rest are lath and plaster. The optical service is in a room behind a brick wall on once side of the room – not the best location, but it is what it is. My base wifi router placement hanging off the optical router is near the center of the house, which is a good thing.

I use an older (7 yrs, I think) Eero system, which has never fully cut it when it comes to getting the wifi service all around the house. I’ve resorted to using 6 Eero devices on the network, which has always seemed crazy, but it worked moderately well – but not well enough to take the best advantage throughout the house of the gigabit optical service we have.

I would like to modernize, and hopefully reduce the amount of wifi hardware scattered around the house. I am thinking that a 3-unit ASUS ZenWiFi set up looks like a good possibility. We have a lot of devices, and several users who move around the house and stream a lot, so there’s good reason to have a beefy capacity and the fullest coverage on all three levels that I can deliver.

Any thoughts? Experiences pro/con with ASUS wifi routers?


From a holistic perspective, consider hiring a low-voltage contractor to run a few Ethernet wires.

That will allow you to hardwire to the most critical areas of your home, and if you get any mesh or regular WiFi system, interconnecting the units back to the primary entry point over Ethernet will make a huge difference.

Brick, concrete, steel, wood, lath, plaster, can all be handled by a proper installer and the cost isn’t impossible.

Remember, an Ethernet wire can last 15 to 30 years, all the Wi-Fi gear you are buying now, whether entry-level $99 off-brand or premium Wi-Fi 7 for up to $500 or more per unit, will all be replaced again in a few years.

Do the math - invest in some wiring and go with mainstream, but not bleeding-edge Wi-Fi and network gear and you’ll get the best results.

(Some people will say go with fiber if running new wiring, that’s fine too. But really a second-order discussion only after the decision to do some wiring has breached the psychological barrier of consumers willing to spend hundreds or thousands on gear but not a cent on wiring.). :smile:


Thank you for the kind explanation. Very gentlemanly, and I appreciate it. As you might imagine, I am balancing all sides of the economics, and posted my question here merely to flesh out the equipment option so I can be fully informed.

If anyone has advice on the equipment questions, above, please let me know.


Hi, Katie –

We live in a rambling old two-story farmhouse with plaster and lathe; the construction is classic Vermont, with one half as the original 1790s cape and the other half the (remodeled) 1830s barn – with an “exterior” wall mostly dividing them. We’d had DSL coming into the basement from the front; now we have Starlink coming into the basement from the opposite side. Wi-fi has been a challenge.

We’ve tried several approaches with different hardware over the past 25 years; our current setup is the best so far by far: it’s basically a hub-and-spokes setup with ethernet leading from the centralized ASUS router (a GT-AX11000) to several satellite ASUS RT-AX92U access points. I’d originally tried using ASUS’s mesh mode, which worked fine for all of our computers and devices, but definitely not for our smart bulbs and outlets, which had a problem with it even when we followed advice to shut off the 5GHz network altogether.

So I worked out a scheme and set everything up manually, which took a bit of work but has been working flawlessly now for many months. Basically, using only channels 2, 6, and 11 for 2GHz and similarly well-spaced 5GHz channels, with any units happening to be on the same channel spaced as far apart (electromagnetically speaking) as possible.

Using ethernet for the backhaul is the “best” answer, but if it’s not practical these same units each have three transceivers, so they can communicate with one another exclusively on one 5GHz band, while making the household network available on another 5GHz band and on 2GHz as well, of course.

Good luck with your project!


I’ve been using an Eero mesh system for a few years in two different houses. It works ok using radios for backhaul but using Ethernet cables makes a significant difference. I’m talking about speed test results jumping from 300-400 mbps to over 800.

Old houses do present some problems, especially with brick and lathe&plaster. However some creative thinking can make it work. In one house I ran wiring from the bedroom used as an office up into the attic then down through a closet and into another closet below it, then into the unfinished basement, across the basement and back up into the 1st floor.

As mentioned a good network wiring expert can run wires places you would never think could work.

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Have you looked into ethernet over power or ethernet over coax type setups? We are using the coax in the house and have two routers (Verizon Fios)…so it has a bit of a mesh wifi setup, but it also gives me two locations I can run hard ethernet from. In a similar situation with an older brick house with plaster & lathe walls.

Good luck!

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Best site I’ve seen for in-depth mesh wifi reviews & comparisons, and advising on all the topics covered in this thread is Dong Knows Tech

Afaik, it’s all the work of one guy, and, well, he seems to know his stuff.


Thank you, @shandy. Very helpful information. Exactly the advice I’m looking for.

I’m not looking to wire up the house, and not looking to connect devices by ethernet, or ethernet over wireline.


I’ve got a two story house with exterior brick and steel columns inside and some sort of metal mesh on the interior center hallway, full 2-story height. Never had good wifi over the years until I installed an Eero mesh network. Probably only needed 3 of 'em, but ended up with 5–one is located to push the signal into backyard. Happy camper.

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I like the options presented where you wire your AP’s/Hubs with Ethernet to the weaker locations, then rely on wireless from there.

Running cable isn’t that tough (usually) if you’re willing to put in some time. Even if you ran a wire on the outside of your house for a bit, it would be doable.

This takes the brick, lathe etc out of the equation and takes some of the load off your Wifi.

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Plus, potentially a huge overall cost savings as one can use powerful, but inexpensive Wi-Fi access points that cost $99 or less instead of the complex new-fangled mesh units which have as many lovers as haters.