NetGear Orbi

Should I buy a mesh router?

Episode 1532

Dave from New York

Dave wants to replace his Airport Extreme and wants to go with a mesh router. Leo says that's a good idea since Apple has stopped making routers. Mesh routers are good because they are always updated and they provide great coverage around a large house. The downside, is that to get additional features and updates, you have to pay around $100 a year if you want that support. Leo recommends Eero and Plume, and the Netgear Orbi. But even the stand alone routers from Asus, Linksys and NetGear have mesh features. The NetGear Nighthawk is a good one that's recommended by The Wire Cutter.

How can I extend my Wi-Fi?

Netgear Orbi

Episode 1530

Greg from Homosassa, FL

Greg has to extend his Wi-Fi in order to stream to the TVs around the house. What kind of extender should he get? Leo says the farther he is away, the less signal and speed he'll get. So he'll need to boost the signal. If he's using a modern Wi-Fi router that uses 802.11AC, then it'll be easier. But if he has to use a router provided by the cable company, he should try and see if he can put the router/modem in bridge mode and use his own router. Then he should turn off the modem's Wi-Fi radio as well.

What is the fastest router?

Netgear Orbi

Episode 1514

Carl from Savannah, GA

Kyle wants to know what router is the fastest for the money. Leo says that Netgear Orbi is an excellent mesh system for someone looking for maximum speed. It has a 4GB ethernet as well. And for under 2000 feet, one is enough. Asus also has a good router for the hardcore hobbyist. Leo says what he really will want is an intelligent routing system, so it will delegate speed to the things he needs the most at that time.

Why is my Wi-Fi so slow?

Netgear Orbi

Episode 1496

Ron from Carlsbad, CA

Ron has UVerse and an extender and it slows to a crawl when he streams. Leo suspects that it's his modem that's causing the problem. It's likely an out of date modem that's slowing the network traffic down. Rebooting could help. A better Wi-Fi router could help too. Routers do wear out over time. Leo recommends the NetGear Orbi. He can set up the AT&T router to work in bridge mode and then use the new router to route the traffic. It'll be a lot better.

What router should I buy?

Eero

Episode 1456

Ron & Jackie from Irvine, CA

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.

Why is my iPhone connecting to the Eero that's farther away?

Eero

Episode 1454

Peter from Brooklyn, NY

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.

What's the best mesh router?

Eero

Episode 1417

Cindy from Santa Ana, CA

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").