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Netgear Orbi or Unifi

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JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
I'm considering upgrading my WiFi to Netgear Orbi

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01K4CZOB...olid=1P2W7FK9J1VMN&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

Has anybody here had any experience with it?

I've read the online reviews...and...well...it's very rare to see a "bad" online review of anything these days. Many years back, I swore off Netgear as their stuff was just junk...when I had to reboot a router every few days/weeks...it's junk.

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Background
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My house is pretty big...3500 square feet, all on one level. The internet access is on the South East side of the house, and getting WiFi to the North East side has always been a challenge. I've tried the repeaters, and they all pretty much sucked for my application.

For the past few years, I have been running 2 WiFi Linksys devices:

- The main WiFi router near the cable modem, and a second WiFi router in the family room...about midway through the house
- The main WiFi router does all of the internet traffic routing, and is the DHCP server
- The second WiFi router is setup as a WiFi access point, with a wired Ethernet connection (via MoCA 2.0) back to the main WiFi router
- Each router has separate 2.4 and 5 GHz SSIDs
- When you are on the "south east-ish" side of the house, you connect to the SSID for the main router
- When you are on the "north west-ish" side of the house, you connect to the SSID for the second router

This "works" much better than any other solution I have come up with. The problem is when you sit midway between the two routers...like at the pool. The signal from the main router is still "good", but it won't pass any network traffic. You have to switch over to the second router to have network traffic. This is fine if the device is in a static location, but a pain when you move around a lot (like with a phone or tablet).

Hence, why I am looking at the Netgear Orbi. The main reason I am considering this device versus the competitors is that the satellite has 4 wired network ports, and I can just simply swap out the second WiFi router and connect the existing hardwired family room devices.

Thanks for any feedback!
 

knoober

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Why not use higher gain antennae and third party firmware on your existing routers? The additional configuration options in Tomato and DDWRT are excellent if your router supports them. Boosting antenna signal and using an old router as a repeater are just some of the options. Check DDWRT supported devices page and Tomato Shibby supported routers to see if your routers/s are there. OpenWRT is also an option but not one that I can give personal testimonials for.

I was looking at https://www.amazon.com/ASUS-Lyra-Tr...rd_wg=19xiK&psc=1&refRID=65KYM5K3HH400WD0CCK4 but the price was a deal breaker for me. Ubuntu has a something called Ubiquiti https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_...x=Ubuiquit,electronics,190&crid=1KBPDIBSJQVGS that has some pretty good word of mouth reputation on the internets, but again the price was a deal breaker for me. The most attractive part of the Ubiquiti line though was all the options. https://www.ubnt.com/products/#default has hardware for just about any kind of network you could want to build.

Whatever you do decide on be sure to post back, because this is a subject I revisit often in my own network :)
 
OP
JrClocker

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
I tried the "router as a repeater"...cough..."hack"...cough...early on in my journey. It was just as bad as the purchased repeaters.

The solution I am running now works, you just have to switch to a different SSID when you are on the other side of the house.

The problem with a high gain antenna, is that you can get in trouble with the FCC for having a radiated power of more than 1 W within the ISM band. It's not like the FCC just runs around monitoring people's houses. However, if you have a high gain antenna and it just happens to be pointed in a direction that swamps out somebody "important"...and they call their guy, who calls their guy, etc.

Netgear Orbi is in the same "class" of equipment as the AmpliFi system. However, the "meshpoints" do not have any wired connection points. The repurposed router (as an access point) has 4 Ethernet ports on it that I used to hard wire elements in my family room. When you are doing a lot of streaming to watch TV, etc...I don't necessarily want this clogging up your wireless bandwidth!
 
OP
JrClocker

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Doing some Google-fu, I found a few articles that talk about these types of devices. Here's a decent one:

https://www.allhomerobotics.com/netgear-orbi-vs-amplifi-hd-which-wi-fi-router-will-you-love/

The takeaway for me from this one (and the others) is that the Netgear Orbi has full router functions (port forwarding, parental controls, etc.) while the others do not. So, if you use the others, you still need another router if you use this "advanced stuff".
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
I assumed with your setup that your router was separate from your wireless networking. If you want better uptime, definitely go that route. A pfSense box plus some wireless AP's throughout the house will cover as good as anything and be bulletproof (mine is on a 300+ day uptime right now, second time I've done that and the streak was only broken by me running updates).
 
OP
JrClocker

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Hrm...my main router (and the south east wireless AP) is a Linksys unit. The north west wireless AP (a router set in access point mode) is also Linksys unit.

The last time either of these were powered down was early September 2017 (Hurricane Irma).

Before that...don't know...they were up 24/7...don't remember having to ever reboot them before that. They both run off a UPS with battery backup.
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012

don256us

Uber Folding Senior
Joined
Jul 17, 2003
I'm using a Ubiquiti UAP-AC-LR-US 802.11ac Long Range Access Point

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=0XM-0013-00050&ignorebbr=1

It covers my ranch style house 1600 ft2 with no problem. It works fairly well in my yard too. I like to use it to listen to Pandora while I mow. 1/3 acre. I do have coverage gaps but right now I'm blaming it on the location of the AP. I have it in my basement where the concrete walls and all that earth block the signal. I'm planning to put it either in my attic or on the ceiling of one of my little used rooms/closet.
 
OP
JrClocker

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
The main firewall/router plus the wireless on the SE side of the house is currently a Linksys WRT1900AC I bought in 2015, and it has been rock solid.

There doesn't appear to be a lot of "bufferbloat" in this router as it handles my 300 Mbps down (usually 350 to 400 Mbps) and 30 up (usually 25 to 35 Mbps) internet connection nicely.

The router is usually handling IP traffic from over 35 devices (20 wired, 15 wireless)...sometimes as high as 50 (20 wired, 30 wireless).

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@ATMINSIDE: I looked at the pfSense route...not too sure about this yet. Can you take a look at this and see what you think of this Ubiquiti EdgeRouter for a firewall/router?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078PGCGN...olid=1P2W7FK9J1VMN&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

My initial "rollout" plan would be to use the Orbi's as only APs. I'll turn off the wireless on my existing Linksys WRT1900AC and use it only as a firewall/router. If everything is good, then I'll move to the Ubiquiti EdgeRouter to replace the Linksys WRT1900AC.
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
The EdgeRouter is supposed to be super nice and full of options. If you're going with the EdgeRouter I definitely suggest sticking with Ubiquiti APs as their stuff all integrates together very well.
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
To expound on that, you'd be able to manage the Ubiquiti APs and the EdgeRouter all through one interface, which is super handy.
 

Janus67

Benching Team Leader
Joined
May 29, 2005
I'm an owner of 2 Ubiq AC-LR APs and the Edgerouter Lite. They all work really well and you are able to set up pretty basic settings and really get into the weeds with some prosumer level customization and settings.

The Ubiquiti USG (unified security gateway) offers a slightly prettier interface but uses the same processor as the ERL I believe. There's also the ERX that is slightly different. They also offer routers and switches that support POE (power over ethernet) for the APs so you won't have to worry about using the adapters/power plugs.
 
OP
JrClocker

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
I'm leaning towards Ubiquiti Access points vs the Netgear Orbi.

My current network has two 24 port switches...but they are not PoE.

Assuming I go this route, I'll put in a couple of 4 port PoE switches to run two access points ($20 for a PoE injector...$45 for a 4 port PoE switch).

The next phase would bring in the Ubiquiti EdgeRouter ... and they replace my the 2 24-port switches with 1 48 port PoE switch.


Thanks for all the input guys...I'll let you know when I pull the trigger and get things installed!
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
FYI my Ubiquiti AP came with the PoE injector. They'll list on the contents if it's included or not.
 
OP
JrClocker

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Yup - I saw those. I'm leaning toward the "Pro" version and these do not come with a PoE injector.

Additionally, I need to replace the north-west wireless device (which is a router, in access point mode, and has a 4 port switch) with a switch anyway for the wired devices in my family room...hence my thought process.
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Yup - I saw those. I'm leaning toward the "Pro" version and these do not come with a PoE injector.

Additionally, I need to replace the north-west wireless device (which is a router, in access point mode, and has a 4 port switch) with a switch anyway for the wired devices in my family room...hence my thought process.

https://store.ubnt.com/products/unifi-ap-pro
That one, correct? It lists as included.