Eero or a Router with access points?
I'm really seeking some good solid advice here folks regarding upgrading my existing Apple AirPorts to a mesh or router with access point system. I'm not a big pro here, I do know some as you'll see below. But, I am definitely drawn to the convenience of the mesh system all working together in one app with easy setup etc. After much effort, my Airport setup still dissapoints with frequent slow loading video, poor range overall etc. It's time to upgrade. Here's my situation:
1. I have 1 Airport Extreme and 2 Airport Expresses.
Airport Extreme connects via thernet to both Expresses, cable I've run one way or another when using them as repeaters wirelessly failed miserably. It's a pretty big house I'm covering here.
2. Whats so important is that I have MANY many devices connected well beyond phones and tablets. I need a router system that can handle that. Also, I need a system that can handle playing music via AirPlay through iTunes flawlessly. Currently, my wired speakers handle it great and my 4 wireless speakers work 90% of the time, which is acceptable, barely. I've read that Orbi has had some issues with reliability when it comes to airplay, so that's a concern.
Scenario 1: Orbi or Eero
1. Replace the 3 Airports with a 2 unit Orbi or 2/3 unit Eero system. I could still keep my Airport expresses connected in bridge mode and use them for airplay speakers, connected via ethernet branched off the main router. The wifi would need to feed the rest of the wireless speakers in the house however.
2. I currently have 3 WIRED locations, and with Orbi I cannot connect them via ethernet for the backhaul, it MUST be done via wireless tri band. Eero however does allow this. So, this begs the question, is Orbi SOOOO good and reliable that even running wirelessley it's better/as good as a router with wired access points? Is Eero sooo good that with the devices being ethernet connected it will be better than a router and access points? The signal strength is not as strong as the Orbi, so that's a factor.. but I'd get 3 (and pay more to do so) if needed. Will the backhaul required when using airplay suffer since the rest of the system is forced to use the wireless backhaul on Orbi and not ethernet? Or is it all just so amazingly perfect and range extending that it will all beat the 3 Airports I have spread through my 3,000 sqft home? Will Eero handle Airplay well??
Scenario 2: TriBand Router plus access points
1. I could easily just swap out my existing 3 units for 1 Nighthawk AC3200 router and 2 AC1900 access points. Is there a system that is already bundled or MADE to work flawlessly together in this configuration? Netgear recommended a powerful Nighthawk but the only "access point" type device I could find was the AC1900, which is dual band while the router I would get would be 3 band.
2. this begs the question, what is the TriBand used for in a wired system? Is it used to manage traffic better or is it relatively pointless as it's there to run the backhaul for wireless devices, and since I'm wiring all 3 of them together, this Tri Band dream I'm holding onto is irrelevant? Should I just get a strong dual band with dual band extenders and call it a day?
3. Again, I'd really like this to be somewhat future proof, I don't want to bother with the wifi again for a long long time. I want it to be able to grow and handle it. I'll throw a decent amount of money at it to get that too. Please, any other model configuration or brand suggestions are VERY welcome.
Lastly, I know the Eero system supports the ethernet backhaul (and maybe even the Velop). Is there a benefit to a wired mesh system OVER a wired routher/access point system?
Many thanks for any advice, thanks for your time, I know it's not a short post:-)
I came from Costco orbi (3 units) with a similar setup. It was a nightmare - head to the Netgear Orbi forum to read about how it has been going. Now with main Eero Pro and 2 ethernet connected pro satellites, it's fabulous. Easy setup. Better interface. Kids profiles are great. Excellent support with normal, nice, helpful people answering the phone. Thankfully was able to return my $500 Orbi to Costco 6 months later. A few weeks in and very happy with the switch. Good luck.
Ethernet is great - probably 30+ devices at any given time (Sonos, Tivos, iPhones/iPhones, SmartHome) in 6000sq house and 3 has been plenty using ethernet. What didn't work with Orbi - where to begin? Biggest issue was daily disconnects from the internet (requires power cycle to get back) and terrible connections to iPhones with disconnects. Worked for months on fixing the issues. Forced firmware updates would cause new problems. Tech support was awful and after 90 days, not interested. Interface was clunky BUT doesn't require phone connection which is an Orbi advantage. Only other issue has been inability to hairpin (for me limits setup of IP camera server software and viewing the server while on the network) but I've found a workaround. So, biggest plus is having a good/fast connection. I'm also liking the family profiles/filters interface - works well.