Computers & Electronics

Dual-band vs. Tri-band Mesh WiFi - Which Solution Works Best For Me?

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  • Dec 28th, 2021 2:44 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 18, 2007
3640 posts
3246 upvotes

Dual-band vs. Tri-band Mesh WiFi - Which Solution Works Best For Me?

I would like to upgrade my current WiFi network to a mesh system without spending a fortune as WiFi 6E is just released, but is in no shape and form to be mainstream for awhile. I would like to extend the capability of my current WiFi router for as long as possible before my next major upgrade. I live in a 2-storey detached house approx. 2500sq ft.

SETUP 1:
Presently, I have a 150Mbps home internet connection running on an Asus AC68U Dual band router. I am THINKING of buying an AC66U Dual band off of Amazon, and run a wireless backhaul to use as an AIMESH system

A) If I setup aimesh using 5GHz as a wireless backhaul, then I can only use the 2.4GHz frequency, which means I can never take advantage of the full speed of my home network connection due to 2.4GHz limitation. At present, with speedtest, I max out at 90Mbps on 2.4GHz standing right next to the router.

B) If I setup aimesh using 2.4GHz as a wireless backhaul, and use 5GHz to connect to my devices. I will run into more problems.
  • 5 GHz has shorter range. I may have shorter overall coverage around my home than before.
  • I will still not be able to get full download speed as I will be constrained by the 2.4GHz wireless backhaul.
  • Any other cons?

C) Run a wired backhaul to the AIMESH via. MoCA 2.5 - This would be the most solid setup, but the most expensive. It's out of my budget. It will cost me over $300 via. Amazon excluding the cost of purchasing the AC66U. At this price point, I might as well buy a new mesh system.

SETUP 2:
https://www.amazon.ca/TP-Link-Smart-Who ... r=8-5&th=1

This is probably the most ideal setup for NOW, but I don't know if I want to sink $300 for a new mesh setup where it will likely be obsolete within 2-3 years.

Please advise!

P.S.
I do have a handful of WiFi 6 capable devices within the household right now.
12 replies
Deal Addict
Sep 13, 2011
1265 posts
850 upvotes
Québec
AsianXL wrote: I would like to upgrade my current WiFi network to a mesh system without spending a fortune as WiFi 6E is just released, but is in no shape and form to be mainstream for awhile. I would like to extend the capability of my current WiFi router for as long as possible before my next major upgrade. I live in a 2-storey detached house approx. 2500sq ft.

SETUP 1:
Presently, I have a 150Mbps home internet connection running on an Asus AC68U Dual band router. I am THINKING of buying an AC66U Dual band off of Amazon, and run a wireless backhaul to use as an AIMESH system

A) If I setup aimesh using 5GHz as a wireless backhaul, then I can only use the 2.4GHz frequency, which means I can never take advantage of the full speed of my home network connection due to 2.4GHz limitation. At present, with speedtest, I max out at 90Mbps on 2.4GHz standing right next to the router.

B) If I setup aimesh using 2.4GHz as a wireless backhaul, and use 5GHz to connect to my devices. I will run into more problems.
  • 5 GHz has shorter range. I may have shorter overall coverage around my home than before.
  • I will still not be able to get full download speed as I will be constrained by the 2.4GHz wireless backhaul.
  • Any other cons?

C) Run a wired backhaul to the AIMESH via. MoCA 2.5 - This would be the most solid setup, but the most expensive. It's out of my budget. It will cost me over $300 via. Amazon excluding the cost of purchasing the AC66U. At this price point, I might as well buy a new mesh system.

SETUP 2:
https://www.amazon.ca/TP-Link-Smart-Who ... r=8-5&th=1

This is probably the most ideal setup for NOW, but I don't know if I want to sink $300 for a new mesh setup where it will likely be obsolete within 2-3 years.

Please advise!

P.S.
I do have a handful of WiFi 6 capable devices within the household right now.

Wired backhaul is good, but then why not just add an access point to your router is wire is possible ? , automatic roaming ?

Tri-band Wifi is the best option if you go with the wireless backhaul.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 18, 2007
3640 posts
3246 upvotes
elgros4 wrote: Wired backhaul is good, but then why not just add an access point to your router is wire is possible ? , automatic roaming ?
Can you explain in detail?
Unfortunately, I cannot have a wired backhaul as my house isn't properly wired with ethernet cable.
Sr. Member
Dec 6, 2020
816 posts
875 upvotes
If you're budget limited to the point that $300 is too much, doing nothing may be the most cost-effective option unless you have specific problem(s) that you need to solve with your current setup.

Do you have a problem that you need to solve or are you interested in upgrading for its own sake?
Deal Addict
Jan 11, 2002
1819 posts
911 upvotes
Midland
How about the eeros? I know they are not cheap but they do on sale and I believe you can mix wifi5 and 6. They are sold on amazon so you can return them if you don’t like them. They do require an app though.
Deal Addict
Sep 13, 2011
1265 posts
850 upvotes
Québec
AsianXL wrote: Can you explain in detail?
Unfortunately, I cannot have a wired backhaul as my house isn't properly wired with ethernet cable.
If you can buy MOCA adapter, then why not just add a TP-link EAP225 Access point.
You don't need to go with mesh to have a better coverage, an access point that plug into you main router is great too.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 18, 2007
3640 posts
3246 upvotes
middleofnowhere wrote: Do you have a problem that you need to solve?
I am trying to get full 5G coverage in my house.
My single AC68U is in the living room, located at the front of my house on the main floor, I can only get full 5G coverage at the front of my main and second floors. I have bad coverage at the back of main and 2nd floors.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 18, 2007
3640 posts
3246 upvotes
elgros4 wrote: If you can buy MOCA adapter, then why not just add a TP-link EAP225 Access point.
You don't need to go with mesh to have a better coverage, an access point that plug into you main router is great too.
If I use this AP, would the wifi be seamless? or would I need to re-connect to another SSID to gain better coverage?
I prefer to have a seamless network.
Deal Addict
Sep 13, 2011
1265 posts
850 upvotes
Québec
AsianXL wrote: If I use this AP, would the wifi be seamless? or would I need to re-connect to another SSID to gain better coverage?
I prefer to have a seamless network.
If both use the same SSID, it should roam from one network to the other.
For more info:
https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/basics/ ... fi-roaming

If this feature is a priority for you then mesh is better at this I think. My issue is with dual band Mesh, because they will augment latency and reduce bandwith.
Deal Addict
Mar 13, 2008
1820 posts
842 upvotes
I'm similar to you with a two story detached house, but my house is slightly smaller at around 2300 square feet.

Main AP is in the middle of the basement, and then I put another AP in the side of the house (also in the basement) where the bedrooms and my office are. The other side of my house is where the kitchens and entrances are, so I didn't need one there as the main AP covered it.

With this setup, I get 5GHz stable all across the house and roaming works without an issue. However, the AP in the corner is hardwired to a switch where the main AP is.

I had to run ethernet around the basement baseboards and through one wall. Was fairly cheap though as I had most of the supplies already - connectors, crimpers, cable. Just needed to buy faceplates.

I tried using wireless backhaul with a mesh system, but didn't really like it. Speeds were pretty bad as expected for a dual-band system and my house is older and there are a lot of walls. I expect the triple-band systems to be significantly better, but it costs significantly more and still not as reliable.

For a house of your size, I don't think you will need more than two APs. One in a central location and one to fill where the connection drops off. That's what I did, of course you will be limited by where you can run cabling.
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Sr. Member
Dec 6, 2020
816 posts
875 upvotes
AsianXL wrote: I am trying to get full 5G coverage in my house.
My single AC68U is in the living room, located at the front of my house on the main floor, I can only get full 5G coverage at the front of my main and second floors. I have bad coverage at the back of main and 2nd floors.
5 Ghz has very poor obstacle penetration. You will likely need two, or possibly more, APs to fill in those dead zones.

If you need 5 Ghz performance, then save up until you can budget for wired backhaul (MOCA or Ethernet) for 5 Ghz APs on your second floor and the front of your main floor. Anything short of wired backhaul will be a half-measure that you may well have to rip out and replace (more $$$$) in future.
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User avatar
Nov 1, 2017
2360 posts
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AsianXL wrote:
Presently, I have a 150Mbps home internet connection running on an Asus AC68U Dual band router. I am THINKING of buying an AC66U Dual band off of Amazon, and run a wireless backhaul to use as an AIMESH system
Make sure it's the AC66U B1 (the one with the dual core ARM processor)

The original A1 does not support mesh ai or does it support roaming assistance.

The original A1 model can be found on Kijiji for 20-30$ and still makes a good access point if you have a wired back haul.

Option C isn't worth it.


Honestly you don't need to wire your house properly.
Just find a way to fish a cable for a wired back haul.
Resort to CMP cabling in a return air duct if you really can't figure out how to do it.

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