Mesh system or other options

de_yogurt

n00b
Joined
Jul 27, 2013
Messages
9
I'm looking for a new home networking solution. I currently have my main router downstairs (where the fiber comes in) and a WAP in the living room. I should also note that I am running DDWRT on both routers. The WiFi seems to drop consistently and sometimes lose connection from the main router. My wife works from home and needs better connection.

I'm either thinking of going back to stock firmware and going back to one router or a mesh system. The home I purchased has network cables running to the kitchen, the master bedroom, and other bedroom. I was thinking a mesh system with one unit downstairs, one in the kitchen, living room, and master bedroom. After the main unit, cables would run off a switch for an ethernet backhaul.

I'm wondering if I need more control with a different router than what comes with the mesh system, such as opening ports, changing passwords, printers, etc, etc.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks and have a good one!
 

SamirD

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 22, 2015
Messages
4,680
Having wired connections, the first thing you want to do is get the wife wired--this will be a night and day difference for video calls.

The next thing is that it's great you have networking cables run to various places and you'll want to use those for APs.

I don't like the mesh systems because they're just overpriced consumer units. If you want to go down that road of a single SSID, I'd look at Asus's AI Mesh.

But otherwise, you can still have the same SSID, but have to just configure your APs propertly so they have a bit of overlap and you may find it better to simply have individual SSIDs and switch as needed because it takes just a second to switch on a device once they've already been connected once, and this gives you better signal control.

As far as your current setup, I would restore your units to the shipping firmware (not necessarily the latest because that will fix bugs and introduce new ones--the shipping firmware was the most vetted/stable), set all the SSIDs how you want them and try that for the wireless component while wiring all that you can.
 

de_yogurt

n00b
Joined
Jul 27, 2013
Messages
9
The wife is hardwired and so is my desktop. One router just isnt enough for good coverage. The living will be fine and probably the kitchen. But one downstairs, in our bedroom and the kitchen would make it pretty nice. I'm running an Archer C7 v2 for the router, is it best to stick with TP Link for the APs?
 

SamirD

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 22, 2015
Messages
4,680
Good, so you've got the bases covered. I have an Archer c5 so I know the series. These are definitely good and if you got more of them and run them as APs I think you'd be in good shape. I also wouldn't pick them up new if you can save a bit used, but generally these have been cheap enough that you can get them new and not break a sweat.
 

de_yogurt

n00b
Joined
Jul 27, 2013
Messages
9
Good, so you've got the bases covered. I have an Archer c5 so I know the series. These are definitely good and if you got more of them and run them as APs I think you'd be in good shape. I also wouldn't pick them up new if you can save a bit used, but generally these have been cheap enough that you can get them new and not break a sweat.
So I can run the router itself as an AP? Even with stock firmware?
 

TheSlySyl

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
May 30, 2018
Messages
1,652
I don't like the mesh systems because they're just overpriced consumer units. If you want to go down that road of a single SSID, I'd look at Asus's AI Mesh.
I've been using AImesh for years with Merlin-WRT as my routers firmware and its been solid and fantastic for my increasingly smart home. I am using an ethernet backhaul though, with a 100ft ethernet cable from my networking closet to the far end of the kitchen on the opposite side of the house.
 

toast0

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 26, 2010
Messages
1,393
So I can run the router itself as an AP? Even with stock firmware?
Almost all wireless routers have an AP mode since quite some time. Sometimes you will lose use of the WAN port. I've tried the Asus AI Mesh for about 20 hours maybe a year ago, and ended up going back to just having the APs on a single SSID (but different channels), at least with my APs (TM-AC1900 debranded to RT-AC68U) the mesh option caused a lot of connection instability; my client devices don't always roam well between APs, but it was better than the mesh setup. Different APs and newer firmware hopefully work better. One nice thing was I was able to use the WAN port on all the slave devices, which is a free additional switch port.
 
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