Mesh-type WiFi

We’ve always had troubles with dead-spots in our WiFi around the house. Bought a 3-node Google mesh system today. So-far, so-good. I like the idea that it’s scalable. Possibly 4th node in the basement and a 5th in our guest house if required. A few extra dollars, but it seems the way forward (for now).

Anybody else had any experience? SiS, presumably will scoff at my consumer-grade ignorance and incompetence and tell me that if I’d just configured and IPv6/DNS/DHCP/WPA2 (or whatever) addresses and protocols correctly I’d be having none of these problems.

Oh dear, I hope I don’t scoff… I just try and sometimes balance some consumer marketing claims.
EasyMesh Wifi systems are aimed at consumers and some small businesses as they focus on plug and play deployment for straightforward implementations and are a lot simpler to setup than proper Mesh systems which are not really targeted at consumers.
Solutions from BT and Ubiquiti are regarded as pretty good here with the former scoring highly on plug and play straightforwardness but probably not available in Canada. But most consumer products I have seen are of the EasyMesh variety.
There appear to be reports of users having some difficulties in some instances with the Google products, but fingers crossed you should be fine… just try and keeping it doing Wifi and nothing else
So when deploying try and have your wired access point or points in the centre or main part of your coverage with using wireless access points at the edge… each wireless hop effectively drops the throughput on that path.

The best performance is nearly always with multiple Ethernet wired access points configured as an ESSID using traditional co operating access points… I don’t know if your Google products can work that way or not.
Wireless access point in an EasyMesh product sacrifice out right performance, extent of range, number of nodes/access points (often upto three or four) and wlan configuration for easy configuration and suitable ranges for domestic environments.

Unless you are doing multiple demanding things over a very large space on your Wifi (s) the chances are an EasyMesh Wifi products or your Google products should be just fine.

Wifi is not really about DNS, IPv6, DHCP etc… you will configure those items separately unless incorporated into your Wifi products.

Simon, do you mean by this that you shouldn’t connect devices to the Ethernet ports that these Mesh devices often have. I suspect for a lot of people doing this is the whole point of using Mesh or other WiFi extenders, in addition to extending wireless coverage. (I did it myself for a while with an AirPort Express quite successfully.)

Thanks Simon. We’ve just set it up with one ethernet connection at our cable modem. Physically it is in the centre of the other two. All works great.

Practically all meshing or extending Wi-Fi solutions to date have been designed with non standards based proprietary extensions that sit on top of the generic driver layer code provided by the radio manufacturer.
EasyMesh was a collaborative effort by the industry to create better interoperability between products and manufacturers. If you buy a solution in retail today designed with consumers in mind, it will be a closed ecosystem that won’t play well if you try and mix and match products. That applies primarily to extending the Access Points but can also apply to the client devices connecting to the AP’s.
Wi-Fi Alliance realised that consumers get confused by all the letters and numbers associated with the technology so worked towards easier to understand naming of which EasyMesh is one of those efforts.
The same applies to the type of Wi-Fi which is now given a number, Wi-Fi 5 is 802.11ac and Wi-Fi 6 applies to products that support 802.11ax.
Wi-Fi 6 brings a number of fundamental changes to the way the network functions, all bringing benefits to the consumer in terms of range, concurrency, speed, reduced jitter/latency and so forth.
The Wi-Fi 6 capable multi AP products are just coming in to retail now and whilst relatively expensive will bring many improvements compared to existing solutions based on older technology including Google, Plume, Orbi and so forth.

So thanks guys. Mr. M and SiS have provided exactly the sort of information I don’t care about in the slightest. I just want it to work. And it does! Brilliantly. Very happy with it.

We’ve plugged our AppleTV straight into one of the nodes. It was sitting right there, so why not?

It sounds like you’re happy with the setup you chose which is good to hear. My comments were generalised and not particular to your home setup.
I think you make a valid point though, most folks want to plug and play and not be drawn to far in to the more advanced networking options.
BTW, wiring client devices from an extender is totally fine, why put Ethernet ports on them otherwise?
I used the same setup to hard wire a Sonos amp that the other Sonos speakers could connect through Wirelessly in my case. You could just connect your Apple TV over Wi-Fi of course, one less wire.

On some mesh devices not sure about Google ones the wired ports operate on a different subnet. This can lead to discovery issues of the device by apps such as Naims app or other upnp software and Roon. I also think Googles block some multicast communication on the wifi that can also cause this. Out of all the mesh systems Googles are the ones with most support questions. If in the US or Canada I would go for Eero they are the class leader and have great support.

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Winky already has a Google multi AP system, which from what we know, works well and is an improvement on what he had previously.
If I was investing in a new Wi-Fi LAN today i’d focus on a Wi-Fi 6 solution as it is a revolutionary improvement over existing products whereas Wi-Fi 5 solutions were just an evolution from Wi-Fi 4 and have numerous limitations, interoperability being one.
I think any solution will come with some compromise even if it’s a cost consideration. I expect the google solution will be more than adequate in many situations as it appears to be for Winky,

Hi, I am saying don’t use router, NAT or DHCP that some access points might offer… just let it do the Wifi.
The Ethernet ports on access ports that support ESSIDs are designed to be connected to a switch to allow the access points to talk to each other potentially and provide backhaul connectivity.

Excellent… keep the wired node in the centre and you should be fine on a simple non demanding setup… enjoy :grinning:

Thanks Simon, that makes more sense!

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