Does BTO really need mesh setup?

lalalalalala

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I've been seeing so much discussion on mesh for BTOs and friends spending thousands on mesh network for their homes.

But is there not a cost effective setup of single router to AP in every room especially for the newer BTOs with inbuilt LAN port in every room?

Do we really need wifi6 mesh to watch our youtube videos?

If you're gaming then you're always better off with lan

feels like alot of marketing that you need a mesh to have wifi internet these days
 

cyberet

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actually what u need is 802.11k/r/v to enjoy seamless wifi AP roaming. Mesh is just a marketing word for consumers to associate this feature with.

so those who spend thousands on mesh network for their homes could be using SME products for that extra reliability

but if its for youtube only, a single router strategically placed can suffice
 

abstrax

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As long there is internet connection, be it using - mesh, router or AP.

Right now, I am using 1 x router n an AP to cover my whole house(4rm flat) wifi and wired connections...with no dead spot.
 

Qubicfactor

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I've been seeing so much discussion on mesh for BTOs and friends spending thousands on mesh network for their homes.

But is there not a cost effective setup of single router to AP in every room especially for the newer BTOs with inbuilt LAN port in every room?

Do we really need wifi6 mesh to watch our youtube videos?

If you're gaming then you're always better off with lan

feels like alot of marketing that you need a mesh to have wifi internet these days
Not really. I recently set up a network for a new 5 rm BTO and a single router was all it needed. If one really needs to use mesh, then let it be via a wired backhaul rather than an excuse for not having a proper wired lan setup.
 

xiaofan

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I've been seeing so much discussion on mesh for BTOs and friends spending thousands on mesh network for their homes.

But is there not a cost effective setup of single router to AP in every room especially for the newer BTOs with inbuilt LAN port in every room?

Do we really need wifi6 mesh to watch our youtube videos?

If you're gaming then you're always better off with lan

feels like alot of marketing that you need a mesh to have wifi internet these days

I think you have a mis-understanding of the word "mesh". I think you kind of think that "mesh" is using wireless backhaul and mesh is expensive. That is not true.

Dual Band Mesh solution with Ethernet backhaul is not expensive at all. They are really good for BTO flats and you do not need triband mesh solution at all. Consumer mesh systems are easier to set up compared to use consumer AP (basically consumer router in AP mode) and roaming is kind of automatic (802.11 k/v/r or proprietory solution like Asus AImesh).

There is really no point for average users to tweak the APs to have seamless roaming. Of course power users can go with AP based solution, including the higher end AP like small business oriented Ubiquiti Unifi APs.

Some examples:
Below S$100 per pair: TP-Link Deco M4 (AC1200) 2-pack at S$89, this is not Wifi 6 though.
Below S$200 per pair: TP-Link Deco X20 (AX1800) 2-pack at S$179
Below S$200 per pair: Xiaomi AX3000 2-pack Global version at about S$169-S$189
Below S$300, Asus AImesh solution: Asus RT-AX56U (S$179) + RT-AX55 (about S$110)

Ref: https://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/threads/how-to-choose-a-mesh-router.6452151/

Only for older HDB flat without LAN ports in the rooms, then yes they have to spend quite a bit on the triband mesh solution, if single router is not good enough. Triband AX mesh are not cheap, especially the good ones. Even in that case, usually you do not really need to spend over S$1000 for a typical flat, unless they go for the top Netgear Orbi RBK852 (S$1099); or if they have a very large flat which needs 3-pack.

Asus Zenwifi XT8 triband AX6000 2-pack: S$749
Netgear Orbi RBK752: S$599 (router plus satellite)
Netgear Orbi RBK753: S$949 (router plus two satellite units)
 
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hairymonster

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Here's another proposal for cost effective. This will work for wired back haul.

Budget approximately 50 bucks on carousell. It's not WiFi 6 but you get wonderful speed.

3x netgear EA7500v2 flashed with openwrt

1st router serve as the main router. The other 2 configured as APs.

Ensure all router and AP are in the same subnet.
Same ssid and encryption. I prefer WPA2/WPA3.
Turn on fast roaming
Set the same mobility domain for all 3 router and AP.

You will experience true seamless roaming between the router and APs.
 

cstanhwz

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Here's another proposal for cost effective. This will work for wired back haul.

Budget approximately 50 bucks on carousell. It's not WiFi 6 but you get wonderful speed.

3x netgear EA7500v2 flashed with openwrt

1st router serve as the main router. The other 2 configured as APs.

Ensure all router and AP are in the same subnet.
Same ssid and encryption. I prefer WPA2/WPA3.
Turn on fast roaming
Set the same mobility domain for all 3 router and AP.

You will experience true seamless roaming between the router and APs.
Netgear or Linksys?
 

lalalalalala

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Here's another proposal for cost effective. This will work for wired back haul.

Budget approximately 50 bucks on carousell. It's not WiFi 6 but you get wonderful speed.

3x netgear EA7500v2 flashed with openwrt

1st router serve as the main router. The other 2 configured as APs.

Ensure all router and AP are in the same subnet.
Same ssid and encryption. I prefer WPA2/WPA3.
Turn on fast roaming
Set the same mobility domain for all 3 router and AP.

You will experience true seamless roaming between the router and APs.
yup agree,

i feel there isn't enough awareness for AP setups with wired backhaul as it's often seen as old tech & slow speed

but realistically majority don't need wifi6 to power their smart home or watch videos on their laptop or mobile. even wireless N can stream 1080p youtube

also AP equipment are cheap as they are a little dated ~2018. so on carousell you can find good routers at ~$20 or even brand new from shopee/lazada. and the best part is you don't need to adhere to a single brand or device because ap is usually cross compatible

i see so many of my friends bto use all the fancy trimesh or 1 node in 1 room mesh i really shake head. their setup can probably cover a whole warehouse

but ok la, end of the day they happy can liao
 

sacredrays

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anyone tried poe splitter for their mesh nodes? any recommendations?

because i think it would be cheaper to get entry level mesh system 2-3 nodes and run it with ethernet backhaul than going for ubiquiti unifi/ tp-link omada ap. not too sure about the range and speed coverage between the different products though.

then add in unmanaged poe switch, with poe splitter to power the other mesh nodes. is this set up possible?

another reason is because i don't have a habit to leave my internet stuff running 24/7, so would prefer a single on-off power switch.
 

Vodkilla

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Actually why need mesh when new BTOs all have LAN ports in all rooms?
Wouldn't a good router + access point in strategic rooms be much more cost effective?

That being said, if I run many smart devices (30+ smart bulbs + other IOT devices) what would be an ideal configuration to distribute load and have optimized network?

I was thinking of 1 good router + AP other end of house under 1 network. Any recommendations of a good combo? (prefer consumer options) WIFI 6 and looking for value for money (high cost is ok if can justify)
 

xiaofan

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Actually why need mesh when new BTOs all have LAN ports in all rooms?
Wouldn't a good router + access point in strategic rooms be much more cost effective?

That being said, if I run many smart devices (30+ smart bulbs + other IOT devices) what would be an ideal configuration to distribute load and have optimized network?

I was thinking of 1 good router + AP other end of house under 1 network. Any recommendations of a good combo? (prefer consumer options) WIFI 6 and looking for value for money (high cost is ok if can justify)

Asus AImesh.
Main router: Asus ROG GT-AX6000/RT-AX86U or RT-AX82U or RT-AX58U or RT-AX56U depending on budget
Mesh node: RT-AX82U/58U/55 depending on budget

For example: for higher budget, GT-AX6000 + RT-AX82U/RT-AX58U will be quite expensive but with very good performance.

GT-AX6000: BNIB units from M1 users in Carousell, at around S$450 to S$480, very good value. It is rated as the best Wifi 6 router by Dongknows (previosuly RT-AX86U).

Review: https://dongknows.com/asus-rog-rapture-gt-ax6000-gaming-router-review/
 

cyberet

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If you need wifi DFS channels, check if the node you intend to use supports it, or else the main router will "dumb" down to match the channels supported by the cheaper node
 

firesong

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There's also the issue of coverage and the definition of it. Most people don't realise that single-router coverage will fall back on the 2.4Ghz band for most areas of the house, with much lower throughputs compared to the 5Ghz band. Simple physics - the 5Ghz frequency has lower penetrative power and hence is more disrupted by your walls, furniture, etc. Do you just want coverage, or do you want acceptable surfing speeds even at the ends of the home with all doors up? Again, the definition of acceptable differs.

You will cover most flats using 802.11n on 2.4Ghz - it will be slow, and it will be old tech. You don't really need to be spending on a modern router if you're just bothered with 802.11n type coverage to meet your coverage needs. 802.11n was fully ratified in 2009, so any router from the last 13 years will do if that's all it takes to satisfy your coverage requirements. Note that on 2x2, 40Mhz, 802.11n has a maximum theoretical throughput of 300Mbps. Real world use will be typically 70% of that, and as you go further away from the router with more obstacles in between, it drops due to interference. Your ends of the home could be getting 54Mbps type speeds (again theoretical max, so 70% to get real world) or lower.

It falls back to what you want and expect from your network. If you want full 5Ghz coverage (to get your approx. 400-800Mbps real-world speeds even in the furthest parts of your home, then you will need to invest in more APs and site them accordingly.

Then the kicker: we're dealing with BITS here. The files we download are measured in BYTES, so divide further by eight (1 byte = 8 bits) and you can see file download speeds plummet still further. So suddenly my minimum 400Mbps coverage is in reality only 80 Megabytes per second - which is perfectly acceptable browsing and downloading speeds even when I'm in my room with the doors closed for zoom and all (or for some, with their aircon on).

For those of us who work in our rooms with our doors closed (because the doors also become another obstacle to penetrate), then you will see why.

Again, as an illustration, @Mach3.2's excellent heatmap of his typical BTO 5-room layout on the 5Ghz band best illustrates the effect of how the walls and doors can kill signals. One AP will not suffice even if centrally located because the walls and doors alone will kill signals. The structural wall itself will kill signals. :s13: This does not apply if you don't care for usable throughput and just want to fall back on "coverage" as sufficient barometer, but I won't be surprised if they struggle to penetrate structural walls too.
5Ghz 5 Room.png
 
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firesong

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Asus AImesh.
Main router: Asus ROG GT-AX6000/RT-AX86U or RT-AX82U or RT-AX58U or RT-AX56U depending on budget
Mesh node: RT-AX82U/58U/55 depending on budget

For example: for higher budget, GT-AX6000 + RT-AX82U/RT-AX58U will be quite expensive but with very good performance.

GT-AX6000: BNIB units from M1 users in Carousell, at around S$450 to S$480, very good value. It is rated as the best Wifi 6 router by Dongknows (previosuly RT-AX86U).

Review: https://dongknows.com/asus-rog-rapture-gt-ax6000-gaming-router-review/
Not sure if $450 is considered good value when I managed to get 3 Ruckus Unleashed APs + Managed PoE switch + Managed Switch + self-done Wiring + pfSense box for close to that amount. :s13:
 

xiaofan

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Not sure if $450 is considered good value when I managed to get 3 Ruckus Unleashed APs + Managed PoE switch + Managed Switch + self-done Wiring + pfSense box for close to that amount. :s13:

You certainly have a wonderful deal here. I guess usually people will not get such a good deal.

Quick search from Shopee shows that the cheapest new single Ruckus AP (R510, AC1200, shipping from China) is already at S$475.58. Then for local version, the cheapest one is at S$1019 from MediaPro (R550, AX1800).
 
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