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Message 1 of 8

3rd Party Router/Mesh System Recommendations

Evening all!

I've currently got FTTP, set up on Full Fibre 900. I don't have Digital Voice set up, so that's not something that I need to take into consideration.
After a lot of faffing around (to put it politely!) with the SH2 and the WiFi discs, it's now looking like a 3rd party set up would potentially work out much better all round.
So for those of you that have strayed from the BT hardware, what would be your recommendations please?

Many thanks!

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Message 2 of 8

Re: 3rd Party Router/Mesh System Recommendations

There are loads of factors - price, size/type/construction of property, technical experience etc. I have a mix of Unifi/Orbi. Unifi provides the routing and Orbi the mesh. The Orbi in AP mode (can be a router too) mesh has been great - fast and stable but you need to be patient when setting it up and not being able to swap between router/satellite means the router is a single point of failure. Zen Wi-Fi got some good reviews. I’d recommend buying from somewhere with an easy returns policy in case you need to exchange for an alternative. The Amazon sales often throw up some bargains if you wait 🙂 

Message 3 of 8

Re: 3rd Party Router/Mesh System Recommendations

Hi @Forthay 

Thanks for your reply - all good points for consideration.

The house is a mid (of 3) terrace, built in the 1930s, solid brick construction. 4 bed. The main point of contention WiFi wise is the two chimney breasts running through the middle of the house.

The ONT is located on the front, left wall, meaning the room at the back of the house, on the right, doesn't get great signal,  even with the current 3 BT disc set up.

Price point wise, if it works, is reliable and capable of stable, decent speeds (despite the house set up) the Netgear Orbi range would be within budget.

Technical experience- honestly, not much 😬 It was always the husband's job (he was a tech wizard!) but since his death a few years ago, I've been winging it. The BT set up was supposed to be easier for me to manage but so far, that hasn't proven to be the case! But with help from the community here, my tech knowledge is improving and I'm willing to try most stuff 😁

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Message 4 of 8

Re: 3rd Party Router/Mesh System Recommendations

After many years, going back to the old Hub 2, and incrementally to Hub 5, I finally got fed up with the endless problems with the BT hubs, the useless customer support when trying to resolve an issue, even being sent a replacement hub which made no difference. So,  in 2019 I got a TP Link AC1900 Modem Router Archer VR900. We have FTTC, so this may not be relevant to you.

It's the best thing I ever did. It just works. All the time. Stays connected. 

Sadly, I suppose sometime soon I'll be forced to change to DV and use a BT hub again. But in the meantime I'm enjoying having had nearly 4 years of trouble free internet.

Message 5 of 8

Re: 3rd Party Router/Mesh System Recommendations

With the added info of the dual chimney breasts, I wonder if any mesh system is going to be able to cope? I guess the only way to find out would be to try one.

Is there any way you could run an ethernet cable from the front to the back of the house? If so that would get the full 900Mb to the back, which could then be distributed by a Wireless Access Point. That would then solve the issue of WiFi having to penetrate the chimneys.

Message 6 of 8

Re: 3rd Party Router/Mesh System Recommendations

Interesting question...

I kind of got the mesh system working with the BT discs.

I've got the one attached to the SH, which does a good job of covering the lounge (dual aspect) and the bedroom directly above it (front facing)

I've then got another disc in the kitchen-diner, again dual aspect, which works well enough, and covers the bedroom above (again, front facing).

The third disc is then in the bedroom above the SH, which pics up a good enough signal (through the ceiling, I guess?) to cover 2 of the 3 remaining rooms well, with only the room furthest from the router suffering from a weak signal. 

The chimney breasts run down the middle of the house (front to back) with the exception of a break at the front of the house - hallway between the other two downstairs rooms- and the same at the back. So there is at least some break in the brickwork to allow the signal to pass 👍🏻

The idea of running an ethernet cable from the router/SH  to the back of the house to get the full 900mb there is a great idea! Thanks for that. It's certainly worth a try 🙂

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Message 7 of 8

Re: 3rd Party Router/Mesh System Recommendations

I have 3x mx5300 from Linksys and found them very good and fast for wifi.

Set them up in bridge mode with the SH2 as I need the hub for digital voice.

One attached to the SH2, one wireless backhaul covering the office and one with ethernet backhaul to an outbuilding.

Consistently strong signal giving 600/700 mbps wireless speed on a wifi 6 device.

Wouldn't use the SH2 at all if i had the chance..

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Message 8 of 8

Re: 3rd Party Router/Mesh System Recommendations


Thank you for your recommendations 🙂

I went for the Zen Wifi setup in the end and bought during the recent Amazon Spring Sale (saving myself £200 👌🏻)

I finally got around to setting it all up this morning which was a breeze tbh (I was anticipating much more cursing and hair pulling! 😆) and first impressions... I'm impressed. We're getting speeds of 600-700mbps everywhere downstairs, via WiFi, which is double the speeds we were getting before using the BT equipment.

So all in all, I'm well chuffed 🥳

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