Mesh Network brands

Cougurr

Member
A friend and myself recently learned that Time Capsules were no longer available from Apple ( or it appears any other location like London Drugs).
Both of us are running home WiFi from our Time Capsule’s (his newer being the tower/mine older being the flat 8” square). Both of us have extended our range with Airport Express (mine cat 5 his wireless). I also have added a wireless Airport Extreme into my mix. We are both loosing WiFi in areas or having buffering issues with Netflix. Failure to Airplay to our Apple TV's from our iphones. We are both on Shaw 300. Both our residences 1 1/2 split levels or two levels total area about 2800 sqft,
We both realize our systems are getting older and newer better technology has arrived on the market to improve home networking coverage and speed. We have researched too much of course and got bogged down in the vast selection. So far we are focused on the following 3 band systems (however not even sure we need 3 band system):
Eero WiFi Mesh System (Now Amazon item) Pro units with 3 in set. (Most Costly $500+on sale all others around $395 Sale Prices)
Linksys Velop WiFi Mesh System also 3 units.
Nertgear Orbi AC2200 3 unit system
Netgear Orbi AC3000 2 unit system
Ubiquiti equipment last one brought to our attention just to confuse us further.

Anyone out there with experience with any of these products or can recommend one over the other for some specific reason?
(First time posting so hope this is the correct location for this question.)
 

chas_m

Well-Known Member
I suspect that one of the problems you are seeing with otherwise still-supported models of AirPort (the last hardware releases of both the AX and AE got software updates just last year) is that only the most recent models support 802.11n (sometimes now referred to as "Wi-Fi 4"), which can handle the Internet 300(Mbps) speed you have from Shaw. That older square Time Capsule you have -- if I recall correctly -- can only do 802.11g, which has a max speed of 54Mbps. That plus your obvious range issues do indeed call for a mesh-type system to give you whole-home coverage while on the same network. Regarding the AirPort stuff, the tall Time Capsule or Extreme models or the 802.11n Express are still quite useful and could be passed on for someone else to use after you switch to the mesh network.

I can't recommend Eero anymore because Amazon owns it. Like Google (which also makes a mesh system), the amount of data you are giving those companies about your home, usage, and the content you stream on them is -- to me -- unacceptable. The Netgear and Velop systems are sold at London Drugs and I have personally set them up for customers. Either should be good, I found the Velop system to be a bit easier to set up. I have no opinion on Ubiquiti because I haven't used any of their stuff.
 

Cougurr

Member
Thank-you so much for your clarity on this situation. I have forwarded your response on to the friend I mentioned in the original question. I will follow up with you at the next VMUG meeting this coming week.
 

Cougurr

Member
Back to the questions again Charles.
Following our discussion at the recent VMUG meeting I determined with you I could run my Shaw Router as well as my Time Capsule to both supply WiFi into my home. I assume I would have to contact Shaw to take my Shaw Hitron router OUT of bridged mode as I currently cannot connect to it using their 192.168.0.1 access directions?

•So to continue, once taken out of bridged mode my single shaw IP supplied address now stops at the Hiltron Shaw Router where it is used by that box to provide me with my new LAN and WiFi. So on their Shaw Router I now I have 4 available cat5 outlets on the back. Can I assume the Hiltron now has a range of 192.168.0.1-255 LAN IP's shared between fixed IP's I can assign and a range of DHCP's OR is it restricted to DHCP only with limited administration?

•Next I would gather I can leave the current connection from my old Time Capsule to the back of the Hiltron Shaw Router. The Time Capsule would continue to function as I currently administer it using it 10.0.1.1to 255 sequence of IP's as I have already designated to my equipment and its DHCP assigned range. I assume it would be using one of the 192.168.0.? numbers to pass thru the Shaw Hiltron Router to get to the outside world OR DO I have to ask Shaw for a Second IP address??

•I currently have 2-8Port Switches attached to my Time Capsule for distributed access points in my home. My desire would be to take one of the two switches and move it to be on the Shaw Router so it would become the second item plugged into the back of the Shaw Hiltron Router. However I understand any static IP attached to this particular switch would then have to be changed over to the 192.168.0.sequence of IP's.

•The equipment and and remaining 8port switch on the Time Capsule continues life unchanged except everything passes thru one port of the Shaw router to get to the outside world now where before it directly connected to that one shaw provided outside world IP address they provide me with.

If all of this hard wired aspect of activating the Shaw Hiltron Router works as I have reasoned out above (WITHOUT the need for a second Shaw IP address) it appears to me I effectively have divided my home network into two LANS. For example lets call it SHAW and TIME CAPSULE. This also suggests that it provides each LAN with its own WiFi. Again by example names a new to me SHAW Home WiFi and SHAW Guest WiFi option and my already existing TIME CAPSULE Home WiFi and TIME CAPSULE Guest WiFi options. This leads me to further questions.

•Have I improved my security to my system by adding in the SHAW router which currently is not using NAT as I understand reading their web site?
•Can I still file share between computers if they are on different routers easily? will they show up under Browse option of connect to server?
•Have I slowed down the Time Capsule Lan equipment and increased the speed of the now active Shaw Router Lan equipment because the Shaw Router is much newer technology than my first generation Time Capsule? (My current configuration thru the Time Capsule gives my main computer directly pluged into the back it a Shaw speed test level of 223 down and 16 up as an average on a Shaw 300 account.)
•Appropriate locations apart for each of the boxes (Shaw Router, Time Capsule + Wired Airport Express + WiFi connected Apple Express) should increase my WiFi network coverage to be better than not having the Shaw Router working at currently with its WiFi.
•Mobile devices within the home will have to have the Shaw Router WiFi names and passwords added to their lists to allow shifting between the two WiFi networks in the home. Will they automatically shift to the stronger signal or not?

The bottom line was trying to improve WiFi by using all my existing equipment to the best advantage saving money. The alternative would be to retire existing Apple boxes and replace with a NEW MESH network system as I had originally asked about. You had already given me suggestions to consider for and against named brands. I know Shaw also offers a new form of MESH WiFi network system called Blue Curve I think and TELUS is not available in my area. Do you have any further thoughts on the Shaw Mesh option over the previous two you recommended?

Summary:
Is it worth setting up the Shaw (second network) at all?
Should I just try the Shaw Router alone and retire all the older Apple boxes?
If you suggest going to new MESH should one wait as the new WiFi 6 is now being mentioned as arriving soon?

Sorry this seems like a lot to ask on even this Forum.
Thanks Colin
 

chas_m

Well-Known Member
Back to the questions again Charles.
Following our discussion at the recent VMUG meeting I determined with you I could run my Shaw Router as well as my Time Capsule to both supply WiFi into my home. I assume I would have to contact Shaw to take my Shaw Hitron router OUT of bridged mode as I currently cannot connect to it using their 192.168.0.1 access directions?
yes, the Shaw modem will need to be taken out of “bridged” mode, then it will operate as it normally does, creating a wi-fi network that can exist alongside the one created by the Time Capsule.

Can I assume the Hiltron now has a range of 192.168.0.1-255 LAN IP's shared between fixed IP's I can assign and a range of DHCP's OR is it restricted to DHCP only with limited administration?
Once out of bridged mode, you will be able to access the admin functions and, if you wish, limit the range of IP addresses.

I assume it would be using one of the 192.168.0.? numbers to pass thru the Shaw Hiltron Router to get to the outside world OR DO I have to ask Shaw for a Second IP address??
i don’t believe a second IP is needed for this setup.

My desire would be to take one of the two switches and move it to be on the Shaw Router so it would become the second item plugged into the back of the Shaw Hiltron Router. However I understand any static IP attached to this particular switch would then have to be changed over to the 192.168.0.sequence of IP's.
i believe that’s correct.

Have I improved my security to my system by adding in the SHAW router which currently is not using NAT as I understand reading their web site?
it will be using NAT again once out of bridge mode. Have you added to your security? No.

Can I still file share between computers if they are on different routers easily? will they show up under Browse option of connect to server?
No. you would want to connect all the computers you want to share files and other network equipment to the same router.

Have I slowed down the Time Capsule Lan equipment and increased the speed of the now active Shaw Router Lan equipment because the Shaw Router is much newer technology than my first generation Time Capsule?
No, but neither have you give both routers the ability to use the full speed of the network simultaneously. Both routers are “sharing” 300mbps, and if both are in use there will be a splitting of resources.

Mobile devices within the home will have to have the Shaw Router WiFi names and passwords added to their lists to allow shifting between the two WiFi networks in the home. Will they automatically shift to the stronger signal or not?
They won’t. If your mail goal is to increase coverage in the home, what you really want is a mesh network. Your present plan just gives you two Wi-Fi networks.

I know Shaw also offers a new form of MESH WiFi network system called Blue Curve I think and TELUS is not available in my area. Do you have any further thoughts on the Shaw Mesh option over the previous two you recommended?
i haven’t checked recently, but Shaw’s original Blue Curve mesh was pretty poor compared to commercial solutions. They did plan on upgrading it at some point, but I don’t know if they have yet.

Sorry for the slow reply — it’s been a heck of a week!
 

Cougurr

Member
Charles
No need to worry about timing for reply. Life can be a hectic road these days for many of us. I appreciate the specific answers you have provided for my questions. I certainly am leaning towards a new mesh network to resolve the issues both for myself and also for the friend who I had mentioned early on in this dialogue. Both of us have now discussed the information you have clarified and answered with all you responses. We both have now reached the point of not quite knowing what to do with our existing Shaw routers.

In the distant past when I first set up my Time Capsule and its associated WiFi network it was with direction and assistance from Moore Associates/Byte Computers which is, as you know, now closed. One of the specific suggestions at that time was to have the Shaw Router placed into "Bridged" mode and setup all the network administration thru the Time Capsule. Hence why both mine and my friends are done this way. Even when I had to upgrade my older Shaw Router for faster internet a year or so ago I had them again set the new Shaw Hiltron Router into Bridged Mode.

So with moving to a new Mesh network, say Netgear or Linksys can you advise how one should have their Shaw Router set to function best with either of these two mesh systems? With your involvement with setting these mesh systems up, do you normally have Shaw Routers set to Bridged mode and manage everything with the Netgear or Linksys system ?? or do you have the Shaw Router set up to fully function normally and then set the Netgear or Linksys systems in some form of pass thru or bridged mode. I know you have already commented that both ones home network device can co-exist with the shaw router network device but maybe I am not clear on what bridged mode is really for.

Thanks in advance for "parting the fog" on this last concern we have before making a final decision and purchase.
 
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