New WiFi router or Mesh network

ShaneTrot

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I have an old Apple Airport Extreme base station that has served me well but it's about 8 years old and it tops out at 802.11n. I have a three story house ~2300 square feet and I have the Airport in the basement. I keep it down there because the kids have an Xbox one and PS4 in the basement. I speed tested around the house and I was getting around 10 Mbps (~1.26 MB/s) in most rooms except the kitchen and the master bedroom where I get half that. My service is TWC 300 Mbps. We are the typical digital family. 2 laptops, 5 iPhones, 2 iPads, Apple TV etc. I am intrigued by the thought but not the expense of a mesh network. But because I mostly get the same wifi signal around the house, I am wondering is I just purchased a modern dual band wifi router would I be OK. One issue I have is two of my kids have iPhone 7s and strangely these fall off the wifi every once and awhile.
 

johnmd20

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Google Wifi Mesh Network would be ideal for your needs. 300 bucks, easy set up, pretty good speeds. And you are guaranteed to cover all three stories of your house.
 

saintnick912

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I've had good luck with Eero myself. We typically have 10-15 devices attached at any given time, and I've never noticed any degradation. I've got a strange shaped space as well with multiple levels and thick walls that cut off a couple of rooms, and it covers the whole house well enough to stream Netflix.

The Google WiFi is pretty comparable from what I've heard, and at a lower price, it wasn't out yet when I bought my Eero set.

Overall I'd say expensive but a major quality of life improvement vs the mishmash of repeaters and/or powerline units that I'd used before to try to work around it.
 

uncannymanny

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We share a single router with the other 2 floors in a 3 family. We're the most "connected" and the landlord just upgraded the Fios to gigabit which has helped some of the issues we were having.

Google Wifi looks pretty interesting. Would I need to connect anything directly to the router or could I just set them up wirelessly? I can't gather that from their website.
 

saintnick912

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I can't speak to the Google unit, but for Eero you would hook one up to the Fios router in "bridge mode" and the others would connect off of that. You'd use the network that the Eeros provide rather than the Fios router one (which could be disabled).
 

johnmd20

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We share a single router with the other 2 floors in a 3 family. We're the most "connected" and the landlord just upgraded the Fios to gigabit which has helped some of the issues we were having.

Google Wifi looks pretty interesting. Would I need to connect anything directly to the router or could I just set them up wirelessly? I can't gather that from their website.
You can get a Ethernet switch and use that to connect wired devices. That is what I did and it helps, my desktop wired speed is 342Mbps and my wifi speed is about 140Mbps. But you can set all of them up wirelessly, but obviously you have to wire the modem to one of the mesh devices.

I have heard the Eero is pretty good but I can personally attest to Google's reliability, speed, and ease of setup and customization. It's incredible.
 

canderson

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Buuump. I am soon(ish) going to need to replace my modem and figured I should finally replace my old AirPort Extreme. I have Xfinity Blast (Internet-only,) 250/10.

My house is 3 stories, built similar to a row home but around 2000 sq feet. Modem is in first floor rear corner. With my current setup I have no issues using WiFi in on the third floor or on the 2nd in the opposite corner of where the modem is located, speeds and connection are strong.

I live in a city, so there are many nearby networks.

I’ll be using a Motorola MB8600 modem. My question is: should I go with eero or something like the Netgear Nighthawk R7800.

I want simplicity. I don’t use any special features or have any advanced settings. Stability, security and speed are my most important features, cost no issue.

What’s the better approach?

Edit: I should add everything is connected via WiFi due to house wiring, I have no way to run wires and existing coax isn’t on Comcast’s network. I have multiple Nest cameras, an Echo, and your typical,iPhone/iPad/Fire Stick/etc for two adults.
 
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santadevil

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I do love my Google WiFi

I use them in Bridge Mode though, as most of my house is wired with Cat5(e).
So it allows my wireless devices to talk to my wired devices, like having YouTube stream to my TV from my phone, and me using Kodi to stream movies to my phone from my Synology NAS
 

Rod Becks Mullet

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So I need to improve the router situation in my house. It's approximately 2500 sq feet, 2 floors, router is on the first floor in the middle, but we get almost no service on the 2nd (had to add an extender to get even a weak signal).

The current router is probably 7 years old, so not sure if a totally new router would be powerful enough to impove that or if I need to go to a mesh system.

We are a Google family, both my wife and I have Pixels, but I'm reading that there is speed loss with the system. We both work from home during the week (and I need to do some big downloads on occasion). We also switched to YouTube TV, but I've hard wired my Roku.

Thanks for the help;
 

NortheasternPJ

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The main issue is your router is probably a crippled piece of crap at this point. Nevermind the fact that it probably doesn't support G/N/AC which many modern devices use. Any router should be fine in the middle of a 1250 sq foot floor plan unless your house is made out of lead.

If I were you I'd go with a Google Wifi or Eero with no beacons if cost is an issue, see how it works and then add a beacon if necessary. With either with one beacon you'll be more than covered.

Our house is roughly 1,700 sq ft per floor with the router in the middle of the first. Even with a crappy router it was pretty good. The only reason I went to eero was for coverage in our backyard and in my kid's room. Directly between the router and her room is a fireplace and chimney that seems to be a barrier any type of signals.
 

Joe Sixpack

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Agree with previous post.

My house is similar in size except the router is in the basement and I still have plenty of signal strength on the 2nd floor. You shouldn't need any boosters or a mesh or whatever if you just get a halfway decent modern router.
 

LondonSox

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My house is around 3,500 square feet, three floors but build on a steep hill so the floors barely overlap, if you can picture. So the house is more spread than a normal three story.

We also have connected patios and balconies.

I have att and not great connection speed as I'm RURAL. Good for network noise, bad for high speed connection.

I have no idea what solution will come out soon, but for now I'm stuck on shitty lines, but the router sucks.
It is bad at handling two bands, and enough devices nukes it. It also can't handle streaming steam games from my PC (which is WiFi connected).

My TV and consoles are connected hard wired.

I need something that can handle a decent spread of distance and ideally allow me to stream my xbox to my surface without being next to each other and also stream steam from PC to surface. I need 2g for a weather station but everything else is pretty new.

I am prepared to pay up if something is worth it. Few hundred bucks not silly silly unless there's something that helps my high speed connection generally that I'm unaware of in which case cost be damned (they quoted me 30k to run cable to my house lol)
 

johnmd20

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My house is around 3,500 square feet, three floors but build on a steep hill so the floors barely overlap, if you can picture. So the house is more spread than a normal three story.

We also have connected patios and balconies.

I have att and not great connection speed as I'm RURAL. Good for network noise, bad for high speed connection.

I have no idea what solution will come out soon, but for now I'm stuck on shitty lines, but the router sucks.
It is bad at handling two bands, and enough devices nukes it. It also can't handle streaming steam games from my PC (which is WiFi connected).

My TV and consoles are connected hard wired.

I need something that can handle a decent spread of distance and ideally allow me to stream my xbox to my surface without being next to each other and also stream steam from PC to surface. I need 2g for a weather station but everything else is pretty new.

I am prepared to pay up if something is worth it. Few hundred bucks not silly silly unless there's something that helps my high speed connection generally that I'm unaware of in which case cost be damned (they quoted me 30k to run cable to my house lol)
I have suggested it before in the thread and I'll suggest it again. The Google mesh network, with three pods, is incredible. It can cover your house, inside and out. And you can buy a router switch and hard wire as many devices as you want, if they are close to one of the pods.
 

LondonSox

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I have suggested it before in the thread and I'll suggest it again. The Google mesh network, with three pods, is incredible. It can cover your house, inside and out. And you can buy a router switch and hard wire as many devices as you want, if they are close to one of the pods.
Oh so I could put one pod near my PC for example and hard wire the PC to that pod and increase the speed that way? Huh ok.
 

saintnick912

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I do something similar with an Eero system. I have my gateway node behind my TV since that's where my cable comes in, with a small wired switch off of that. Then I have a node in my home office with another small switch for my PC and home NAS (so they can communicate at gigabit). Then a node in my bedroom (outside a thick wall) and a node below the master in my basement that covers that whole level. It has worked perfectly though I'm considering how I could cover my yard better.
 

cgori

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@LondonSox, I would look into a mesh setup (Google mesh, Eero, etc) - the "gold standard" in blanket home wifi coverage (not mesh, actually - needs wires run to each point you install) is Ubiquiti: https://store.ubnt.com/ - but you'll almost certainly want a guy to install that for you, as it is more oriented to a network-wonk than the others, needs a management console app installed, etc.

An eero (or google mesh) is simple/easy to setup.

Here's a good summary of your mesh options: https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-wi-fi-mesh-networking-kits/
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I should have come to this thread before this weekend. Our router gave out this weekend, and so I was stuck going to the store without doing much research for a house full of people who wanted their internet. I went with a $200 Orbi system and actually it ends up working great and we're getting good coverage. The google was only $70 more, though, and given the reviews here about it I probably would have done that if I'd been up to speed.
 

daburgaman

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Wanted to bring this topic back up as I am looking into getting a mesh network and can’t decide which one to go with. Most of the big review companies recommend either Netgear orbi, Eero or google mesh. Wanted to see if anyone had any personal recommendations.

for reference, my Verizon modem is in the basement and we have 3 main living floors with the office up on the 3rd. Currently renting the fios router and extender. Extender is located on the first floor - office gets good service with the current set up. Just feel like I’m pissing $17 a month down the drain with the rental charges.

leaning toward doing an Eero pro with one Eero beacon but open to suggestions
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I have the Google mesh and even though I may be living in an Alphabet simulation where they have data on every aspect of my life, its pretty fantastic. Its easy to set up, simple to control from the app and troubleshooting, to the extent that its needed, is a breeze. Needless to say, I am a big fan of this product.
 

VORP Speed

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I just installed an Eero system last week. It’s awesome. I have kind of a crazy house with lots of brick and it’s a bear to get full coverage. I used to have an Apple airport extreme base station with 4 of the Apple airport expresses scattered throughout the house and I still had some dead spots here and there. I put in an Eero pro and 2 eero beacons and I have rock solid signal throughout the entire house. Plus the eero beacons are totally unobtrusive, as opposed to something with a cord that is always getting in the way.
 

daburgaman

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I just installed an Eero system last week. It’s awesome. I have kind of a crazy house with lots of brick and it’s a bear to get full coverage. I used to have an Apple airport extreme base station with 4 of the Apple airport expresses scattered throughout the house and I still had some dead spots here and there. I put in an Eero pro and 2 eero beacons and I have rock solid signal throughout the entire house. Plus the eero beacons are totally unobtrusive, as opposed to something with a cord that is always getting in the way.
I do like that the beacons plug right into the wall outlet with no extra wires. Only downside though is they have no ports to hardwire anything into them.
 

CodPiece XL

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Another vote for the Eero here. I'm in a fairly largish older two story brick house, I have 1 pro and 3 beacons. Wifi throughout no problems with little degradation. I'm on two acres and there isn't a spot outside they I can't connect to the wifi. Tech support is awesome too. After I transferred DTV to this property there was a noticeable decrease in signal throughout, and the set up looked off: lot's of wires and a splitter at main entry point. When I was talking to their tech support they asked for a pic of the DTV setup and said that it was all wrong and the extra cables were unecessary. DTV came back and redid it to a simpler configuration and everything went back to normal. They will also email you if there is a sale on and if you are sitting on the fence wanting to add another eero wait for a sale and you can save an extra $60-70 on each eero. I'v had the system for about 3 years in total...love it. Stupid easy to set up but I think most mesh systems are.
 

Catcher Block

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No complaints with my Google Wifi setup. Bought the 3-pack, but two routers cover both floors of our 1,500 sqft house without issue (1950s construction), and I'd say I have the routers in far from ideal locations to keep them hidden. The app is simple, but has everything I've needed (speed / connectivity tests, guest network, etc), as what little troubleshooting I've done has been a breeze.

I haven't gone this route, but the routers can be easily mounted on the walls with a third-party bracket, and the light rings can be dimmed so they go largely unnoticed.
 

jmm57

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Our current wireless router is in our bedroom on the second floor of our house. Between that and a cheap netgear extender, we have always been fine - YouTube tv on both floors, phones/iPads/laptops, etc.

We recently finished our basement, and while movies usually look fine down there, I haven’t had much luck getting the best clarity streaming sports.

Would I be better off going with one of these mesh 2-3 satellite systems, or replacing our current router which is probably like 8 years old and was likely the cheapest option at the time we bought it?
 

johnmd20

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Our current wireless router is in our bedroom on the second floor of our house. Between that and a cheap netgear extender, we have always been fine - YouTube tv on both floors, phones/iPads/laptops, etc.

We recently finished our basement, and while movies usually look fine down there, I haven’t had much luck getting the best clarity streaming sports.

Would I be better off going with one of these mesh 2-3 satellite systems, or replacing our current router which is probably like 8 years old and was likely the cheapest option at the time we bought it?
Either move would work, (8 year old router isn't powerful enough in 2020) but the mesh network covers all three floors much better than a single router ever could. Considering your expansion into the basement, the 3 router mesh network would be your best choice. Whether you go with Google or Eero(Amazon) is up to you. Both are fantastic.

edit - just to note, I personally use the Google mesh network and I absolutely love it and it took like 3 minutes to set up. I never have a problem with them, ever. And I can stream 5 or 6 screens at a time, along with a computer and whatever else is needed.
 

jmm57

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Either move would work, (8 year old router isn't powerful enough in 2020) but the mesh network covers all three floors much better than a single router ever could. Considering your expansion into the basement, the 3 router mesh network would be your best choice. Whether you go with Google or Eero(Amazon) is up to you. Both are fantastic.

edit - just to note, I personally use the Google mesh network and I absolutely love it and it took like 3 minutes to set up. I never have a problem with them, ever. And I can stream 5 or 6 screens at a time, along with a computer and whatever else is needed.
Thank you, appreciate the help.

Does the main piece of the mesh system replace the current router, or just extend the signal from the router?
 

johnmd20

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Thank you, appreciate the help.

Does the main piece of the mesh system replace the current router, or just extend the signal from the router?
The main piece replaces the router, which connects to the modem via ethernet. Then you set up the satellites wherever you want.

edit - if you have other stuff you want to connect to ethernet, you can always get this, too. It's an ethernet switch. I have a few things set up near my modem, (Xbox, SlingBox, a Desktop) so this switch works perfectly.
 

cgori

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The main piece replaces the router, which connects to the modem via ethernet. Then you set up the satellites wherever you want.

edit - if you have other stuff you want to connect to ethernet, you can always get this, too. It's an ethernet switch. I have a few things set up near my modem, (Xbox, SlingBox, a Desktop) so this switch works perfectly.
@johnmd20 not sure exactly what your setup is from that description, but just a note of caution: if you have modem <-> switch <-> router <-> rest of house and the xbox/sling/desktop are attached to the switch, then they are effectively outside any firewalling protection provided by your router. I sorta doubt you have this because you'd need an ISP that hands out multiple IPs on the modem side, but I figured I should mention it to be 100% sure, since having a PC "naked" on the modem is probably not the best idea.

The way you want it is: modem <-> router <-> switch <-> ethernet devices (where the switch is plugged into one of the ports on the router, and the other switch ports are used for the devices).

The linked switch will work just fine for anything and is nice and cheap.
 

johnmd20

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@johnmd20 not sure exactly what your setup is from that description, but just a note of caution: if you have modem <-> switch <-> router <-> rest of house and the xbox/sling/desktop are attached to the switch, then they are effectively outside any firewalling protection provided by your router. I sorta doubt you have this because you'd need an ISP that hands out multiple IPs on the modem side, but I figured I should mention it to be 100% sure, since having a PC "naked" on the modem is probably not the best idea.

The way you want it is: modem <-> router <-> switch <-> ethernet devices (where the switch is plugged into one of the ports on the router, and the other switch ports are used for the devices).

The linked switch will work just fine for anything and is nice and cheap.
Sorry, I said it wrong. I have it set up as Modem, Router, Switch. Or I don't think I said it at all. But I do have it that way, of course.
 

daburgaman

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Apr 3, 2007
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Wanted to get some opinions here. About a month ago, I had an av company come out and install a Ruckus access point in our bedroom on the 2nd floor. My fios router is located in the basement and we were using a fios network extender on the first floor but the WiFi on the 2nd and 3rd floors wasn’t great. So i paid the company to do the access point on the 2nd floor hardwired directly to the fios router (used the telephone jack that was run using cat 5e). I did some speed tests and wanted to get everyone’s opinion if these speeds make sense. I did the tests using a MacBook Pro and used the Fios speed test website. Thanks for any advice/opinions.

Hardwired to fios router - DL - 780, UL - 933
Office on 3rd floor - DL - 95, UL - 96
2nd floor Bedroom with access point - DL - 94, UL - 97
1st floor Living room - DL - 84, UL - 95
 

Couperin47

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You don't tell us if your wifi connections are 2.4 or 5G but in either case it appears whatever you are using is configured for 150Mbps with whatever protocols you're using (WPA2-PSK being most common ), in which case you're seeing roughly 65% of the theoretical max bandwidth which is actually quite good and your coverage is consistent.
 

daburgaman

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You don't tell us if your wifi connections are 2.4 or 5G but in either case it appears whatever you are using is configured for 150Mbps with whatever protocols you're using (WPA2-PSK being most common ), in which case you're seeing roughly 65% of the theoretical max bandwidth which is actually quite good and your coverage is consistent.
Thanks for the response. Those numbers are off the 2.4. I did try switching over to the 5 and got pretty much the same speed in the living room as I did on the 2.4.

The company I hired did all the configuration so I am not sure of the other details. But it sounds like your saying I am getting pretty good speed. And I agree with the coverage part - nice to see similar speeds on all 3 levels of the house.
 

Couperin47

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As with everything else in tech, nothing is ever capable of the named max capacity/throughput (that 2 TB drive after formatting, etc is really 1.7 at best). Overhead for security etc on wifi is even worse, last I checked no protocol ever reaches 70% of the max used for the name.
 

Lefty on the Mound

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I will be moving to a new home that has Xfinity as its provider. I'm going to sign up for the 1000 MBPS service. I have the option of paying $14 a month for their modem/router combo or bringing my own.

I'm guessing I can do much better than what they provide (I'm in seacoast NH). What equipment do you guys recommend? Hoping to hear from couperin47.
 

NortheasternPJ

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You don't tell us if your wifi connections are 2.4 or 5G but in either case it appears whatever you are using is configured for 150Mbps with whatever protocols you're using (WPA2-PSK being most common ), in which case you're seeing roughly 65% of the theoretical max bandwidth which is actually quite good and your coverage is consistent.
Is it good? I have a 5 year old MacBook Pro and 250 meg Xfinity attached to a surfboard and an Eero mesh and can easily get over 200 during a Speedtest on wireless.
 

daburgaman

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Is it good? I have a 5 year old MacBook Pro and 250 meg Xfinity attached to a surfboard and an Eero mesh and can easily get over 200 during a Speedtest on wireless.
Good question - I am paying for gig speed through fios so i would really expect to have better speeds on all my devices. Any way to change the configuration above 150?
 

Couperin47

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Is it good? I have a 5 year old MacBook Pro and 250 meg Xfinity attached to a surfboard and an Eero mesh and can easily get over 200 during a Speedtest on wireless.
Good depends on what the capabilities of the hardware allow. If the wireless router only supports 11b & g then 130/150 is the max throughput and his numbers are good, if the router actually supports 11a & n then it could be configured for 300Mbps. Which doesn't matter in the slightest if your phone or laptop only supports 11b & g. His numbers are fine for 11 b,g. If the router and his other electronics fully support 11a,n then configuration for 300 Mbps should be possible.
 

daburgaman

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Good depends on what the capabilities of the hardware allow. If the wireless router only supports 11b & g then 130/150 is the max throughput and his numbers are good, if the router actually supports 11a & n then it could be configured for 300Mbps. Which doesn't matter in the slightest if your phone or laptop only supports 11b & g. His numbers are fine for 11 b,g. If the router and his other electronics fully support 11a,n then configuration for 300 Mbps should be possible.
would a smart tv support 11a,n?
 

daburgaman

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Apr 3, 2007
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Then it should be capable. But the throughput numbers you quoted above are taken via what item ? A laptop ? A phone ? What are it's specs and how is it configured ? You have no way of knowing exactly what throughput the LG TV is achieving.
I hear ya. And I apologize for the lack of info.

I used a MacBook to do the speed tests. It’s prob about 10 years old at this point.

Ive also used the Netflix app on the LG to do a network test and was getting around 18-22 mpbs speeds.

I guess in my head I was expecting much faster WiFi speeds by upgrading to the ruckus access point
 

Couperin47

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I used a MacBook to do the speed tests. It’s prob about 10 years old at this point.
There you go, the 11a,c spec didn't exist back then, that laptop is only capable of 130/150 max as an 11bg wifi device. Find a device that fully supports 11ac, if it's an Android phone WifiAnalyzer is a free app that can easily give you a good idea of what's going on throughout your house.
 

daburgaman

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There you go, the 11a,c spec didn't exist back then, that laptop is only capable of 130/150 max as an 11bg wifi device. Find a device that fully supports 11ac, if it's an Android phone WifiAnalyzer is a free app that can easily give you a good idea of what's going on throughout your house.
Ive also used my iPhone 11. Either fast.com or speedtest.net. Still getting around 90-95. I’ll probably reach out to the install company and see if they have any ideas. Thanks for all the info.
 

Ferm Sheller

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Mar 5, 2007
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I recently bought an Eero system and I love it for all of our devices but one: my son's computer, a Windows 10 PC, which can rarely find the Eero network (but generally finds the old router okay), and even when it does the connection is super slow even though other devices have a very fast connection when they're in the same vicinity as the PC. Anyone else have this issue? Know how to resolve it?

EDIT: Never mind. Problem solved.
 
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