- Performance I wanted the biggest bang for the buck for Wi-Fi. I want stuff to work and I want to take advantage that I had the house wired for Ethernet.
- Appearance I don’t want hardware with an ungodly number of antennas or something mounted to the ceiling like a smoke alarm on steroids.
- Support Ideally, you shouldn’t have to worry about support. But this is the Achilles Heel for the big players in the consumer space.
After 20 years in our existing home, we are getting ready to move to a new home. The new house is still being built and I had CAT6 run to the places where I thought it would matter. Time to plan for Wi-Fi. The new house is a single floor design, with a decent sized basement. Once again, Fios will be our ISP. The ONT will be installed in the basement and at some point, I will build (or hire someone to build) an office in the basement. The plan is to have the Fios router in the basement and run the CAT6 cables to the router. I need the Fios router because cable boxes need it there in order to get their channel guides. The current plan is use a Mesh router setup on the main floor to provide the Wi-Fi. As a router, the Fios router is fine, but for Wi-Fi it’s pretty much “meh”. The Mesh router that I like right now is Eero Pro package. You get three Eero routers that work together to provide a true mesh network. The user just sees a single SSID and the device connects to the Eero device that has the best signal. It’s a tri-band system, using three radios. You have your standard 2.4 and 5 Ghz radios that handle the typical alphabet of 802.11 Wi-Fi channels. And one more 5 Ghz radio that works as a back channel for the Eero devices to talk to each other. With the Eero Pro, one of the routers is defined as the master and the other two are the satellites. If you only have the master wired to the modem (or other ISP provided device), the other two units connect to the master over the back channel. The Pro system can use a wired connection for the back channel. Wired beats wireless for speed and dealing with pesky things like walls. I haven’t decided if I want to run the Eero units as Access Points (AP) or let one be a full router and have a double NATed home network. It will work either way, but running in AP mode will port forwarding simpler. I have a QNAP NAS server and it’s useful to be able to remote access it from the outside. With a single NAT, it can more or less configure the router to forward the right ports. When you have it double NATed it gets complicated. So why Eero? It’s certainly not the cheapest option. There were several things that I looked for a mesh system.