How to choose a Wifi System

I’ve recently started with HA, and am still slowly building everything up. Systematically rather than everything at once so I get things right.

I have a fast (300/30 mbit) connection that works great, and currently have an “ok” wifi connection all over the house with a 3-year old ASUS router.

I’m expecting some more interference and more intense use in the coming years, so I’d like to expand with some access points to ensure strong, stable connections everywhere. Connections for working with a wireless connection, as well as IOT devices on wifi. Will need a good connection in the garden too (we like working outside). House has wooden floors, almost no concrete, so all good. I also have UTP everywhere, so can connect my APs wired.

My question is, how do I choose a system? I can go for the Unify stuff (great, but expensive), or I can go for more “home” options like the Netgear Orbis, the TP-Link Decos, or the ugly black ASUS stuff.

How do I choose which to use? I’d want some good integration with HA (presence detection for example), etc. And I want a good and secure connection. Don’t need access blocking for kids or anything like that.

Any tips would help, even if it’s just a link to a thread that explains it well (since I haven’t found that).

Thanks!

Kind of a generic answer but definitely I would recommend Unifi.

I played around a lot with dd-wrt and Linksys routers trying to get some good coverage back in the day. It worked “OK” but was a bit of a pain.

I dropped the cash on a 3-pack of AC Pro devices. I’ve been running them for probably about 6 years now without a single problem. I don’t do any presence detection or anything but it’s certainly possible. They are all running happily from a Cisco PoE switch with the controller software on a Proxmox VM.

I’m sure there is better support these days in “home” devices for zero handoff and other such features, though.

I’m currently switching everything to unify, I do it piece by piece because of the cost.
I’m currently very satisfied with the performance.

Thanks, as expected quite a support for Ubiquity’s stuff. Just not sure I can justify an extra €400 for our house for that.

Can the TP-link and Netgear stuff also tell HA what devices are connected (is my phone connected for example), etc.? I can’t seem to find out how to see that, as the specs are all about speeds and types of wifi, but not really about the software capabilities.

Also, I guess I can’t get this Ubiquiti Dream Router and use another brand’s APs to build the mesh network?

I think you have to check if you want true mesh or just wifi with the same SSID name.
because I think if you just want wifi with the same SSID name you can cross brand stuff.

No definitely want true mesh, otherwise I know it’s buggy. :smiley:

There are also problems with true mesh, like the netgear orbi system is also fine but also pricy.
Unify is probably want of the better.
Asus has a great mesh implementation through all of their routers so you can go cheap or expensive, but I have no idea how stable it is.

Stable.
ASUS’ approach is a bit different, they do regular routers, ugly or otherwise, and then you can turn multiple of those into your mesh system - mix and match style.
What is AiMesh and AiMesh Router | ASUS
All series|Whole Home Mesh WiFi System|ASUS Global

So I have an AC68U, which was announced/released 8-9 years ago, when mesh wifi was not even a thing. Today it is still working as one of the mesh nodes with the latest wifi 6 models.
(… and I still get consistent and frequent firmware updates for security fixes and feature enhancements… the latest FW for example was 2 weeks ago. That’s really something for a company willing to back its 9yo models.)

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Yeah I know they have a different approach but I like the way to support and reuse older devices.
So asus is also a valid option apparently.

TP-Link deco is also an option, a colleague of me has these and is very pleased with the range and performance. They have different price categories in the deco devices.

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I’m switching away from unifi. Why? Not because it is bad, it is rock solid. But because I want to upgrade my wifi and I find the new wifi6 units from unifi way to expensive. I’m going over to TP-Link omada series. Also rock solid but (in the Netherlands) half the price of unifi.

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Wow that’s pretty good to hear. My current router is an ASUS, so I’ll read through your link and see if this might be an option (if I can hide the APs).

Someone here in this forum was trying to solve the zigbee vs wifi interference issue a couple of days, and then realized that “the wireless channels on the current Deco firmware are not manually configurable”…

I was like, huh? :face_with_raised_eyebrow: , so went to Tp-Link sites to verify… Looks like it is a feature request since 2018… but still no solution to this day.
I got that the auto channel tuning is a feature designed to help users who want to set and forget. But then, not allowing users to turn that off is just too much.

This is actually interesting. Is there a way to run omada controller as a container or HA add-on?

The AC68U is my only router at the moment, so I could actually use it as a node too. So you are using yours as a node, and something else as the base, from ASUS?

There is an addon for yes.

Here we are completely satisfied with Fritz!Box system. Router and LAN wired accespoints with WiFi Mesh system. Rock solid even with about 80 devices connected.