Wi-Fi Mesh Recommendations

I will be able to hardwire one of them, next to the modem, but won’t be able to wire the other one(s).

I’m very, very happy with my Eero system; it “just works”. If you’re looking for lots of custom configuration options then it Eero may not be for you, but if you want to just set something up and not have to fiddle around much then I’d take a look.


People always say that they can’t run cabling but I’ve rarely seen a house where it can’t be done. Takes some creative thinking and the realization that a straight run is not always the best. In one house I ran cable into the attic, across to a closet that had a closet below it, all the way into the basement across the basement and back up into the living room.


In a lot of cases, “won’t be able to” doesn’t mean “is impossible.” :slight_smile:

I “won’t be able to” at my house, though I could certainly crawl around in the attic, fish cables through walls, cut grooves in the slab, etc. :slight_smile:


Extremely happy here with my eero (previous model, not the just-released one). I get great coverage using just RF for the second and third units, but YMMV of course so I agree with @glenthompson on hardwiring if you are able to.

1 Like

For completeness:

At something of a tangent, I have been humming and ha-ing about this.

I have an Airport Network of 2 extremes and at least 2 expresses. One extreme is at the front of the house where the cable comes in. The second is in the middle where there are a number of ethernet ports. They are connected to each other via ethernet. One of the expresses is also connected into Extreme No 2 by ethernet; the other “has” to be via wireless connection. It serves an area of the house with double brick walls and a different powerlines circuit so I can’t use one of those extenders.

Every now and then, connection where the wireless Express (and the Apple TV) dies. The problem is corrected by powering down and restarting Extreme No 2.

I am wondering if this is an indicator Extreme No. 2 is failing?

If it is, I could replace it with a (claimed) new Extreme for about $200.

We can’t get the new version of Eeros here only equivalent gen 1. I have also looked at TP-Link Deco M9 units - which would require 4 units for around $650+. These are also not the latest high speed devices: around 400MBS. Getting latest gen products with much greater speeds will push me well over $1,000.

At best our “high” speed cable (NBN) is at best providing download speeds around 100 - 120 MBS.

I know Airport Extremes are long in the tooth, but when the system is running, it more than adequately covers all the Netflix. Am I just throwing good money after “bad” if replace the Extreme?

Interesting. I have a RT2600ac and have absolutely no issues. In fact, I think it’s the best router I ever owned.

My ISP (Vodafone) installed a mesh network for free, as part of my WiFi package. This has made a huge difference, and didn’t cost anything more. They install and manage it and it works well so that devices are connected depending on usage and it is all managed through the cloud professionally by the ISP.

This is an idea if you don’t want the hassle of managing it yourself (which I don’t!), although some ISPs do charge extra for it.

I read quite a few reviews and most suggest that especially for a large house Orbi is superior to Eero. I am certainly pleased with my Orbi system.

Other thoughts comparing the two?


Rentals. If you don’t own your abode, getting permission to run cabling can be very difficult.

Also, old houses. My old house (originally built in the 1860s, added on to a couple times in the early/mid 20th century) would have been a nightmare to attempt to run cable. Brick walls, weird framing, thick plaster, you name it. Could it be done? Probably, how much time do you have, how much do you want to spend, and how big a mess do you want to make?

Wifi was spotty in areas of that house for similar reasons.

I got an Orbi RBK50 (base plus one satellite) a year ago and it’s okay but in hindsight, I probably should have sprung for Ubiquity. To properly support my kids’ Chromebooks for school, I had to locate the satellite directly above the base station, both at one end of the house (basement and 2nd floor). As a result, my office at the other end of the house is now nearly a dead zone (fortunately, I built the house with an Ethernet drop there so I can plug in). I paid $300 for the set and it’s another $250 to get a second satellite, which I really don’t want to pay.


Just bought this Saturday the new Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 and IT…IS…AMAZING! Previous mesh was an AmpliFy LR and it did an okay job but ran into a number of coverage areas.

Orbi setup is super slick and easy to configure. The app is neat as it shows the link rate between all of the connected devices. On the other end of the house I was getting 843 mbps. That is just just stupid fast compared to the AmpliFy.

I was concerned about just having two units but this sucker blasts out signal. Having the dedicated WiFi back haul has clearly made the difference for us.

I was looking for my first mesh setup a few months ago and the general consensus from trustworthy reviews was that the Eero was great but it and the others that are tied to a data-hoarding company (e.g., Amazon, Google) come with that caveat. I’m a fan of privacy so I opted for the one most recommended, the TP-Link Deco M9+ was the best option unless you wanted to spend the extra cash on a Ubiquiti setup.

I wound up getting a refurbished 3 pack for $130 from bhphoto and they work very well. At the time there weren’t any wifi 6 options out there or recommended but obviously things have changed.

We are two years into using the Google mesh network with 3 nodes for a 2600sq ft home. It’s worked well almost all the time. Has been critical over the past year since wife and I are both now working remotely.

You hit the two cases where it can be very difficult. Depending on planned length of stay, rentals may not justify the time investment for the wiring. Old houses can be a real a pain. Also consider that there might be knob and tube wiring in places that you don’t want to disturb. If drilling through framing lumber is needed the wood is so old it can be super hard. Even then there can be creative options. A colleague had a 3 story house that was built in the early 1900s. It had a laundry chute from the attic down to the basement. He was able to run wiring through it.

Depends on where you live. Cabling is a PITA here.

Yes because you build houses out of concrete and stone. Not sticks and plywood :wink:

1 Like

I’ve had the Orbi for a few years. It has worked pretty well in that time. Prior to the Orbi I had a hardwired Ubiquiti Unifi system with an Edgerouter and three APs. But I had to switch to a mesh system because we changed ISPs to get gigabit and the installer needed to use some of the ethernet cabling that I was previously using for my APs. So I found myself needing mesh and needing something that supported speeds closer to gigabit. That is what led me to the Orbi because it was the fastest at the time.

When I started working from home more due to COVID, I moved the satellites around a bit and hardwired one of them. That helped with coverage and I haven’t had issues since.

There are some scary stories in the Orbi forums about software updates causing big issues. I haven’t seen that, but I have also been VERY wary of running firmware updates, even though I know it is not safe to ignore them from a security standpoint. When there’s an update available I always try to wait a few months and read the forums before going with it. And when I do finally update, I have my fingers and toes crossed that it will all come back up after the update.

If I had to do it over again, I would probably get the Eero. That is what I have recommended to others who are non technical and they have all reported they were able to install it without issue.

I’m in a very similar case.

On one hand tempted to get another satellite (which is very costly ); on the other hand tempted to get an entire new mash system (likely Eero).

One of the downsides of Orbi’s satellite is that it’s not possible to wire them hence depending on the wifi connection to the base.

In such scenario would it make sense to keep both orbi (base + satellite) and get a good router to the office?