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Best non-mesh system for a century home with a lot of IoT Devices?

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I need a router recommendation for a century home with a LOT of 2.4ghz IoT devices. I am a networking novice and I have sub-gig service to my home.

 

We previously ran a Google Wifi (non-Nest) system, before switching to Verizon who provided the feature-packed CR1000A router. Now that we've switched ISPs again, I need something a little more modern and speedier than going back to Google Mesh.

 

Both my partner and I are remote workers with a lot of video conferencing, we game on living room PCs (through WiFi) and a Nintendo Switch. We have a lot of smart bulbs, smart sockets, and smart speakers around the house. It's only possible to direct-wire my partner's work laptop. Everything else would require major wall cutting, which we are not keen on.

 

The Google mesh system we used to use topped out around 380Mps between devices and download speed while we're now getting around 600 from the wall coax. The lack of a dedicated backhaul on the Google Mesh seemed to cut into performance when we were gaming and smart home automation stuff was happening in the background. Wired Cat6 backhaul is not possible in my home, and MoCa adapters for backhaul would be too complex to install from the router location as we have cable internet service coming through the coax. Only a few devices like TVs and computers have ethernet ports, but it's only feasible to 

 

We especially had trouble with the amount of devices on our network including a ring doorbell, smart bulbs, smart switches, a few appliances, a few smart TVs, plus phones and game systems. All in all, we max out around 30 devices connected at one time.

 

Many of the IoT devices are 2.4ghz only, which I think performs a bit better than 5ghz in older homes like mine. Some of those 2.4ghz need to receive signal through many layers of lathe and plaster, old wiring, and in the basement. The CR1000A has 4x4 2.4ghz which seems to do better with the number of devices than the 2x2 found in the Google WiFi system.

 

As I said, I'm a novice, I could be totally off-base in what I think my needs are. I'm hoping yall could recommend me something.

 

House: 100yo, plaster and lathe, old wiring, 3 floors (including basement), about 1900sqft across them all.

Router: sub $300, WiFi6, minimal tweaking and setup

Network: 30-some devices, most 1x1 2.4ghz (appliances, lightbulbs, smart plugs), Several Amazon Echos, 2x work laptops, 3x TVs with Wifi5, two gaming computers with WiFi 6.

ISP: 500Mbs Cable with dedicated modem with 2.5g port

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Sounds like a job for Ubiquiti - with an EdgeRouter and some Unify APs, you could have a 1200Mbps mesh network set up for a low budget, with a nice big DHCP pool. The old Google mesh stuff was slow, but newer mesh is actually quite good and fast. Just make sure you're only 1 hop away from the primary AP and it'll be fine for your use case.

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A mesh isn't bad but I think for you the main issue is that you are multiple devices away from the original internet source. The solution would be to have a couple points wired so that in every case possible you are at worst going through one extra hoop before you reach a wired access point.

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Sounds like a job for Ubiquiti - with an EdgeRouter and some Unify APs, you could have a 1200Mbps mesh network set up for a low budget, with a nice big DHCP pool

Going with a Ubiquiti system, with a central router and satellite APs, presents a lot of the same issues as setting up a true mesh system with wired backhaul. If I'm going that far, I might as well send Cat6 cable to each room and go wired where I can, but I'm specifically trying to avoid wiring.

 

The CR1000A kinda opened my eyes to the fact that I don't really need a mesh system in this house. Ideally, I'm looking for a single box I can go grab for less than $300 bucks and set it up simply.

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7 minutes ago, such_a_clever_name said:

Going with a Ubiquiti system, with a central router and satellite APs, presents a lot of the same issues as setting up a true mesh system with wired backhaul. If I'm going that far, I might as well send Cat6 cable to each room and go wired where I can, but I'm specifically trying to avoid wiring.

 

The CR1000A kinda opened my eyes to the fact that I don't really need a mesh system in this house. Ideally, I'm looking for a single box I can go grab for less than $300 bucks and set it up simply.

If you're willing to test and have the ability to return items you're not satisfied with, I'd give the Synology RT6600ax or Ubiquiti UniFi Dream Router a try. They're a little out of your budget, but given that you don't want to run ethernet, you might as well get something robust. If you're strict on the budget, the ASUS RT-AX86U goes on sale every now and then, but keeps within the $200-300 range and is a solid performer. You can also add more ASUS wireless routers to run in AiMesh.

 

As an aside: The Synology RT2600ac (older brother of the RT6600ax and from the WiFi 5 wave 2 generation) performs rather well and you can even get it with the MR2200ac for mesh. 

 

With a home layout like that, you'd ideally want at least 2-3 wireless APs, but you might get lucky if signal penetration is good through the walls.

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Just to add on to what @Falcon1986was saying. I have the Synology RT2600AC and can confirm its a beast of a router. Lots of features. I live in a 2 story house + basement about 1300sqft. Now part of the house was built in 1937 but all the walls have been upgraded to standard dry wall. We get full 5Ghz coverage, not 100% speed in all locations but good enough for streaming, like 200 Mbps vs 300 Mbps. This router has been out forever and they are still updating it. Id probably spring for the AX model just because its the latest standard. 

 

On thing I do what the stress though. In the case of where I live the modem and router are on the second floor, So I think thats part of the reason I get such great coverage. Plus I get some outside. Furthermore I haven't tested the WiFI in the basement as Michigan basements are more cave like and not really a usable space outside of doing laundry and some storage. 

I just want to sit back and watch the world burn. 

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