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      01-09-2020, 02:13 PM   #101
Second Lieutenant

Drives: 228i
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: South Florida

iTrader: (0)

Originally Posted by FCobra94 View Post
What systems would you recommend in a residential environment?

Also, what type of "extenders" are you specifically referring to?

Although powerline extenders/adapters aren't ideal, at the end of the day, they've worked plenty well enough for me in both wired and wireless applications to rely on them more often than not.
Great question, depends on the home and type of walls/floors. Older homes with plaster covered mesh are very tricky since they are basically faraday cages.
Modern stick construction is different since its practically open.

Long story short, that just means the layout will differ but the product stays the same.
In the overwhelming majority of cases where they want to stay to a budget I get them a netgear orbi set. (I've done the EERO's and Nest wifi and Plume, and while EERO is the best here for the phone app based wifi, objectively none of them are as good as Orbi.)
These can be worked on by non-tech people which is the goal. No requirements for POE, or any fancy network stuff. It's a self contained wifi management system (you just turn it on, give it an SSID name, and tell it to act in AP mode). The only drawback is they aren't ceiling mounted, they need to sit on a shelf or credenza/nightstand. Basically it's a decor decision.

For more demanding applications at the lowest price Ubiquity works but require someone IT savvy. It also requires a wifi controller separately, and a non-standard POE network which is annoying. They can be ceiling mounted of course. I've learned over the years, that, especially in residential, it's better to dumb down the setup and isolate. Easier to troubleshoot.

At the higher levels I do Ruckus and Meraki/Cisco. But never recommend the latter, it's just too expensive for what it offers. Ruckus is the best extant and if this is someone who demands aesthetics, wants a self contained product with no 3rd party software, this is the way to go. (we're now at the commercial/enterprise level here, but if you get something second hand you save a buck).

As for 'extenders' - anything and everything called an extender or booster. They actively hurt wifi by design. Sure they extend the ability to see the SSID, but at the cost of usable bandwidth. The opposite of what mesh does (mesh just means more wifi, it doesn't extend anything, it just adds more where there was none with the ability to roam between wifi bubbles (extenders can't do this)).
As for power line, or any network expander that relies on something other than the main network to function, yes they serve a need, but for long term reliability, and repeatable performance, you're better off finding a way to avoid them. (believe it or not, one of the perks of Orbi is that it replaces powerline saving some money, it has the option for dedicated network backhaul over wireless if you can't run a cable to it, and it has spare ports inside, so not only does it add wifi coverage, it adds wired coverage).


Last edited by sethwas; 01-09-2020 at 02:20 PM..