Home WiFi Problems and Mesh WiFi

I'm frustrated with my poor internet signal throughout the house. My download speeds range from slow to unusable. I'm unsure if it's my router or my laptop. Some of my friends mentioned wifi mesh, but I have no idea what that is.

A quick google showed me that Orbi and Google have products, but I have no idea what will work for me. They are also expensive and I want to make sure I pick something that works in my house.

  Topic Computer Software & Hardware Subtopic WiFi Questions Tags mesh wifi-mesh 802.11
2 Years 9 Answers 47.3k views

Peter Yeargin

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Answers ( 6 )

  1. Chris Metsala 45 Community Answer

    Just as another option, I would recommend the Unifi Dream Machine. It's an egg shaped unit the size of a gallon of milk and works as a router, firewall, wifi access point and intrusion protection system all in one. You can add other access points to it as well to cover a larger house. I am able to manage all of the traffic and devices in my environment with an easy to read dashboard, and disable my kids devices if I need to! ;-)   On install, it will help you configure the most common features, but you have lots of options if you want to tweak and customize. The Dream Machine retails for $299 and there is no follow on cost or subscription.

    UTC 2020-07-10 07:41 PM 1 Comment
  2. Christopher Martin 1834 Accepted Answer

    After doing a fair bit of research myself, I ended up with Plume. The price for three extenders was ~$250, and while there is a $49 annual fee, you get a lot of tools to optimize and monitor the performance.  Set up was easy and now I never have to worry about a good wifi signlal, even on my deck.  It even includes the ability to set up guest accounts, if you want to keep friends on a separate network.

    UTC 2020-07-10 04:14 PM 0 Comments
  3. I just wanted to step in with another thing to consider, simply because I've had the problem from time to time. One, the age of your router - if it's over a couple years old, it may not be powerful enough, because two, your neighbors may have stronger routers that are essentially overriding the strength of your router.  

    This has happened to me twice in the past five years, just happened to me now this past week, when one day I lost signal, had a hard time getting it back, and it's been irregular and weak since then. In checking one last thing, I came to find that a neighbor installed a powerful router, and their signal now comes in stronger than my router's. They're knocking me out - and they're about 30 feet away. 

    So, I'd do a few things first - see what other networks are nearby, and look at their signal strength. If it's stronger or equal in strength to yours, they may be interfering with your signal. Next, where is your router located - is it open enough and clear of any solid interference, or is it near a window, which can dissipate signal, is there anything else electronic nearby that would interfere with the signal? The router needs to be standing clear and away from anything solid that could block the signal. And last, if it's an older router, then that may well be the issue. If you check all the rest, it may be worth getting an extender before investing in anything else, even moving it might make a difference, so move it if possible.  But be sure to check the nearby networks, see what other network's signal strength look like. 

    UTC 2020-11-24 05:18 PM 0 Comments
  4. Here are some questions I am asking to help determine a more accurate answer for you:


    1. What is your current internet/internet package (upload/download speed)?
    2. What is the speed you are getting on your router? (speedtest.net) but more accurate if you login directly in the router and do a speedtest.
    3. What is the model of your Router? 
    4. What is the model of your Modem? (if you have Cable)
    5. What is the SQ FT of your home and where is the router located in comparison to your office?
    6. Are you directly connected to the router or are you on WiFi? (I think you said wifi on your post). If it's WiFi, do you have the same issue with slow speeds when directly connected?
    7. Does this happen with all devices connected?

    Looking forward to your response!


    UTC 2020-08-04 06:08 PM 1 Comment
  5. The other answers are correct. You need to buy a WiFi extender. However, even if you have one, chances are that your signal is still going to be crap no matter where you put it or how good it is,

    What you need along with your extender is a wireless router. While your modem may have a built in router, it's not as good as a stand-alone one. So buy one and connect it with an Ethernet cable to your modem, set it up, and you should be good to go!

    You can search Walmart or Best Buy for routers and wireless extenders. I recommend buying those with high star ratings and mostly positive reviews, of course, because I'm pretty sure that you want to buy one and then be done dealing with the issue. Price shouldn't matter too much when it comes to these things.

    UTC 2020-07-13 10:06 PM 0 Comments
  6. Good question - and a lot of variables...therefore let me offer you the cheap "test" scenario. Because we're not sure it's your router/laptop/interior reception, i would humbly suggest not spending more than $25 until you have more information. That money will get you a TP Link wifi-extender (their cheapest model is probably the N300. You can take the extender (it just plugs into a wall socket) and experiment in the various rooms of your house. If NOTHING improves, then you probably have a larger issue...perhaps it's the router itself. However, if you see improvement...well then you can do a serious upgrade by purchasing some of the other products listed in this forum (they're all good)..or you may decide to just purchase a few more TP links. I had around 4 in my house for 3 years and they worked just fine for streaming and internet work in general. If you are going to spend a LOT of time gaming over the net however, it would be best to have your conole close to the router, or purchase one of the higher end products listed by the other Sages.

    best to you,


    UTC 2020-07-10 08:21 PM 1 Comment

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