Mesh hardware question

I have a Netgear R7800 which I believe supports mesh networking. What should I get to pair with it? Does this work best with matching routers or is there some other router that would work well?

Many thanks!

Mesh capability (as in 802.11s) depends on the wireless hardware, -firmware and -drivers, it's hard to tell exactly before you can get to its iw list output and put it to the test (as commercial vendors typically don't use a real mesh, but variants of WDS with some userspace orchestration around it). In general, the cards might be on your side with ath9k/ ath10k[0]/ ath11k or mt76[1] supported hardware.

At the end of the day, expect at least some 'experimenting' (and potential failure) with more exotic uses (and meshing is among them).

[0] prefer 802.11ac wave2 hardware over wave1 chipsets, as wave1 doesn't support meshing with the default ath10k-ct (but does with ath10k) and isn't quite without quirks. QCA9984, as in your r7800, is a wave2 chipset.
[1] the more client oriented mt7921/ mt7922 is probably limited in this regard, the AP centric mt7915/ mt7916 or previous mt76xx wireless chipsets should do

Thank you. Do you (or anyone else) know if mesh works with the Netgear R7800? Or know of other, perhaps less expensive hardware that works?

are we really talking about mesh, wifi talking to wifi, or roaming, wired APs ?

I intend on sharing internet with the house next door. Wifi is accessible there but spotty as you move further from the near-side exterior wall. Is there some other, better solution besides mesh?

I have no personal experience with 802.11s, but the r7800 should work (as other wave2 ipq806x devices and ipq40xx).

Your usage scenario sounds more like something that could be handled with WDS/ 4addr (which is simpler to implement and has less requirements on the APs), as I don't expect the APs to move positions regularly or to require a larger daisy-chained topology.

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Quite some time ago, I used WDS but the wiki has a WDS page that says to use mesh -- that's why I've gone down this rabbit hole trying to figure out what hardware would be compatible with my current router.

In the linked guide, there is a warning that with a particular set of hardware, if the upstream AP is running 22.03.2 then WDS is broken. Do I need to downgrade to 21.02.5? Or does this warning only pertain to the particular hardware described?