Netgear ORBI: WOW,...

WOW the AC3000 version of the ORBI are huge compared to the EERO.  They look like one of those '80s air fresheners that had a little too much steroids!

When I read that ORBI was going to have wired backhaul in the near future I had to test them.  I have a situation where I have extended networking to a nearby building that the mesh networks really cannot reach so I need the wired backhaul that I get with Apple, EERO, etc.. I am currently using a Ubiquity AP in that building but I want to eliminate that software and controls.

Now the iPhone App for the ORBI will get you up and running but it provides very limited control of the device. Using your favorite web browser gives you full access to the controls of the ORBI.  While they are a bit more "technical".  It is approachable and they appear to have support out there for you.

What I really like is that there is no reliance on cloud controller software; you own it you operate it!  NICE, and kind of WOW in this day of service based systems. 

 

Note that I have NOT needed the wired backhaul.  I have not tested coverage outside of the house but everywhere inside has been great.

 

 

 

EERO: Take 2 with their 2nd Generation

EERO has released a new generation of mesh networking gear and they have a three kits they sell.  I have been testing the middle kit with one EERO and two EERO Beacons.  

The 2nd generation of EERO has several feature improvements that I wanted to take advantage of.  First the backhaul changes which should help with not wiring a home out fully.  Second the beacons are neat as they just plug into the wall and are a night light.  The beacons do not rotate so the lighting is sideways in my home where all the outlets are horizontal rather than vertical.

I setup the EERO in the basement and the a beacon on each floor of the home.  The latest software improves the process and looks really great.  I think the software on the iPhone is one of the best features of EERO.

The coverage with the new devices disappointed me.  In the basement and on the second foor I had to add back two of the my original EEROs to get the speed I wanted.   After about two weeks with the setup I would say that overall the operation was better but the coverage was not as good when I used three 1st generation EEROs and wired backhaul.

Now you have to remember that we have about 38  devices on the network and move a LOT of data.  

I am very pleased with the improvements on 2nd generation EERO but the beacons are a bit weak and they do not rotate for horizontal outlets.

Not the best of the best but darn good.

 

NOTE:  The EERO beacons do not have the full radios that the 2nd generation EERO does so I would really lean to using their high end kit with three EEROs.

Solving the WiFi Delima!

With the proliferation of mobile devices and our “need” for always on Internet connectivity WiFi in our homes has become a utility like running water!   But good coverage around a home is elusive.

Companies like Comcast are touting their “WiFi speed” but their coverage using a single device is not much better than any other system.  There is a new kid on the block called mesh technology.  These systems work by connecting multiple “access devices” via a mesh wireless system.  The systems then provide WiFi connection to your devices.

There are multiple systems in this growing market.  I have only tested one of them extensively  and that is the first generation EERO.   The second generation EERO uses a third radio frequency band for the mesh network using that to improve throughput and efficiency   My home has wired networking on all floors and I have been using that as the back haul for the first generation EERO.  For a two story house with basement I would put an EERO on every floor.

EERO has added the EERO beacon which is smaller and plugs directly into a wall outlet.  It also has a night-light if you want it.  EERO has been improving their software over time and the iPhone controller app works very well.  

NOTE that Comcast is partnering with Plume that should fulfill some of the same promise as other mesh network systems.  

Finally, look at Netgear ORBI which was the “pick” from “The Wirecutter” review website.  Note that as of this writing you cannot use ethernet backhaul.