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Suggestions for Mesh Network with Fios +TV and Smartthings Hub
MoreMeTime
Newbie

Good evening!  Hoping for some suggestions from experienced homeowners with Fios.  I recently moved into a home that was initially occupied by another family member.  I have existing setups for Smartthings using a hub, but the mesh wifi system along with it is not generating the speeds I hoped for.  I upgraded the fios connection to 1GB, and would like to replace the smartthings mesh, keeping the hub for the existing devices.  

I have approximately 25 devices hooked up, Alexa and Google, ring doorbell and security devices.  I was thinking of deco mesh, but open to suggestions as I am concerned about compatibility.

Thanks for any suggestions!

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Re: Suggestions for Mesh Network with Fios +TV and Smartthings Hub
Cang_Household

Given you have purchased (is this right?) a G3100 and the coax wiring of your house, spending $600 on 3 E3200 would be the best option for you.

Standalone access points + MoCA adapters are undesirable for your situation because of G3100's MoCA incompatibility. I don't think you want to invest on some used gears and relative old (yet still serviceable) technology. I won't mention them here.

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Re: Suggestions for Mesh Network with Fios +TV and Smartthings Hub
Cang_Household

@MoreMeTime wrote:

I was thinking of deco mesh, but open to suggestions as I am concerned about compatibility.


If you are concerned about compatibility and interoperability (more importantly), mesh network is not the way to go. Buying one brand's mesh devices locks you into their niche for future expansion and replacement. Unless the mesh devices implement EasyMesh protocol, which is still rare. If you are buying mesh devices to achieve a seamless access point steering experience, I don't recommend mesh at all on this merit. The logic goes: access point steering is a client decision. Legacy clients are not smart enough to accept the recommendation to steer to a different AP. Up-to-date clients are smart enough to steer themselves even without recommendation.

A mesh system would be recommended when you do not have existing Ethernet or coax cables running around the house, or the cost to pull new Ethernet wires exceeds the long-term performance value.

To consolidate my recommendation, I need more details. Do you have Ethernet or coax wires running around the house? What is your current router? What is the wireless throughput you are looking for (175Mbps, 300Mbps, 600Mbps+)? What additional latency you can accept (+3ms Ethernet -> WiFi, +6ms MoCA -> WiFi, +9ms mesh WiFi two hops, +12ms mesh WiFi three hops)? Are your client devices relatively new or old?

Re: Suggestions for Mesh Network with Fios +TV and Smartthings Hub
teardownthesky
Enthusiast

Hey there, thanks for the reply.  Understood regarding mesh wifi maybe not being the best solution here...

There is not a plethora of ethernet ports throughout the home.  The only ports really are in the room where the main Verizon router is hooked up.  There is one ethernet access point in that room that leads to a line in the unfinished room below which works out perfectly since I will need a direct ethernet port in that room.

I am using Verizon's newest router (Model # G3100).

There are coax hookups throughout the house.  There is one in the living room where one of the cable boxes is set up.  I also have one of Verizon's WiFi 6 extenders (doing a rental for the time being) hooked up to the coax there since WiFi signal in that area of the house is particularly poor.  That seems to help immensely as I did a speedtest and was seeing download speeds over 700 mbps.  If I can get over 600 throughout the rest of the house, that would be ideal.

All of the client devices are relatively new.  Not well versed on the latency question you posed.

I am wondering if it may be better to purchase 2 additional Verizon WiFi 6 extenders and also buy the one I am renting outright.  Could keep the one I have in the living room and add one in the basement and one upstairs as there are coax hookups on both floors.  This might allow the fastest download speeds and would allow my devices to remain logged in to the main WiFi network.  Then I could just keep the one SmartThings bridge plugged into the main Verizon router to maintain some of the leak sensors throughout the home and do away with the remainder of the SmartThings hubs.

Let me know what your thoughts are.  Thank you for taking the time to talk me through this!

Re: Suggestions for Mesh Network with Fios +TV and Smartthings Hub
Cang_Household

Given you have purchased (is this right?) a G3100 and the coax wiring of your house, spending $600 on 3 E3200 would be the best option for you.

Standalone access points + MoCA adapters are undesirable for your situation because of G3100's MoCA incompatibility. I don't think you want to invest on some used gears and relative old (yet still serviceable) technology. I won't mention them here.

Re: Suggestions for Mesh Network with Fios +TV and Smartthings Hub
teardownthesky
Enthusiast

Excellent, I will go that route then.  Techincally the G3100 router is a rental but my monthly rental fee is waived for being a new customer so I'll have it as long as I have the services here.

Thank you so much for your advice, really appreciate the help!

Re: Suggestions for Mesh Network with Fios +TV and Smartthings Hub
nanohead1
Enthusiast

Most of the suggestions are ok, but they didn't actually answer your question.  In reality, there are plenty of Mesh solutions that work perfectly fine.

It very much depends on your house layout, but most of the answers around mesh not working with "legacy" devices is simply not valid.  Almost everything works perfectly fine in modern mesh implementations.   The discussion about being "locked in" is silly too.  Who cares...  As long as the stuff is working, and its in your price range, what difference does it make?  If you need broader wifi coverage than a single unit will provide, then mesh is a no brainer.

I use both Orbi, as well as Ubiquiti (2 different locations).   They both work perfectly fine, and they are both affordable and easy to manage.  In our house, which is a 100 year old stone farmhouse with metal/lathe walls, I have 6 Ubiqiuti Acess Points, all running AC (2.4/5Ghz).  The APs are relatively cheap, and the system has been rock solid for years.  They are connected to the pseudo useful Verizon G3100 router, which is adequate for basic routing, but brain dead for anything beyond that.

I also have a multi node Orbi system running in a cabin.  It works fine with a wired backhaul, but for me at least, the wireless backhaul was unreliable.  There too, it is affordable, works fine, and has been mostly reliable once Netgear sorted its firmware maladies about a year ago.

As far as Smarthings, it will work fine with a mesh topology, as long as you don't move it around.  The Smarthings hub will likely sit on a shelf somewhere and do its thing.

I abandoned the Smarthings hub after too many bad updates from Samsung, and now direct connect most things except the Schlage locks, which are no longer connected.  But it worked fine when connected to the Ubiquti network

Re: Suggestions for Mesh Network with Fios +TV and Smartthings Hub
Cang_Household

To mesh or not to mesh, that is the question. Still subject to debate.

Ethernet backhaul is better than MoCA backhaul, MoCA backhaul, I guess, is better than no wire at all (i.e. wireless). Every mesh node increases latency. If your household uses latency-sensitive applications, such as multi-player games, live feed, or even stock exchange, wired connections are better than no wires.

Regarding interoperability and cost, I like niche-less devices. For example, you can get used Fios-G1100 from Ebay for $37. You can configure it to be a wireless access delivering 500Mbps+ along with 4 Ethernet ports and some layer 2+ capabilities, such as static routing.

G3100 is "brain dead for anything beyond" simple routing? If you are familiar with the Verizon firmware, you can do many things. Just to name a few: static routing (on both LAN and WAN side), static NAT (if you are a business customer), MAC address-based access control, Syslogs, and etc.

If you are just unsatisfied with network solution companies, you can build your own gear too (if you have the knowledge and time). We have a CL here who builds his own router with a Linux box running IPtables and two NICs. That's pretty much what you need for a router. You can add Deep Packet Inspection and VPN servers on that Linux box with no restrictions what so ever. Home PCs should has an internal switching capacity of 3Gbps. You can easily repurpose a retired PC into a router or a switch with a few network cards. This, of course, requires you to have extensive network knowledge.