Doug just bought a new, two story house and he needs a mesh router. What's the best? Leo says that mesh routers have taken over because Wi-Fi congestion causes devices to drop off. It's not uncommon to have over 50 devices connected to Wi-Fi! And that doesn't include neighbors. So Doug will need a better router to handle that traffic. Leo says the three best mesh routers for his money are the Netgear Obi, the Plume, and the Eero.
Matt is building a new house and has run cat 5 ethernet around the house. But should he also use a mesh router? Leo says he uses Eero at home, but here is one mesh system that's great specifically for Matt's situation: Plume. Plume sells tiny little access points that plug into the wall with an ethernet port. It's still part of a larger mesh network, but it creates very localized access from the ethernet.
Ron and Jackie are having trouble getting wireless signal upstairs. What can they do? Leo says that any router will be compatible, but with all the congestion and a second story, Leo would recommend a mesh router system. The old router system is just not designed to handle the load. Mesh routers start at $300, but they are completely worth it because they will have no dropouts or dead spots and they are regularly updated to remain secure. Mesh routers will also automatically manage the network according to the quality of service.
Peter recently switched from the Netgear Orbi routers to the Eero. Leo says he likes them both, though. The Netgear is more of a standard router than a mesh router, though. He has three base station units and a beacon. When he goes into the app, however, it's not connecting to the closest Eero unit. Leo says that the Eero is smart, so one of the things Eero and other mesh routers do is decide where things should go. Unless he's getting bad results, Leo thinks he should just let it be.
Cindy wants to know what the best mesh router is. Leo says there's a bunch of them, including Plume, Eero, and the Netgear Orbi. They're all very good for people struggling with dead zones in their own home, or if there's a lot of WiFi congestion in the area. Mesh routers work by having a base unit along with extenders positioned all over the house to pass the signal around (much like a "mesh").
Ken has an Eero mesh router, but he's concerned because he has several "internet of things" devices and he hears that mesh routers don't like them. Leo says that is the current problem, and it may be that the devices aren't smart enough to handle the mesh way of handling the network. They're working on it and Leo says that a fix will some sooner or later. But in the meantime, hardwiring to the router may be the best solution.
Jeff is thinking about buying an Eero mesh router. Is it worth it? Leo says that Eero is a great mesh router, and he uses it. They aren't the only game in town, however. Plume is not as fast, but it's more consistent. The NetGear Orbi is a more tradition router style option, but it does the same thing.
(Disclaimer: Eero is a sponsor)
Melissa's Wi-Fi is really slow of late. Leo says that everyone is experiencing bad Wi-Fi these days because we're doing more with it and dozens of devices are typically connected to it. Congestion is a serious problem. To eliminate her ISP as the problem, she should connect directly to her router and see how it performs. If it's just the same, then she'll know that the ISP needs to fix the problem. But if it improves, then it's her Wi-Fi network.
Fred gets really bad bandwidth with Wi-Fi. Leo says that's a common problem and three companies, including Plume, have started up to address it. Leo says that Eero is currently the only one that has a device out to solve the issue. It costs about $500 for three extenders that he would place all around his home, creating a mesh Wi-Fi network. Luma is a little less expensive, though.