What router to pick for mesh?

Can I get a list of devices and the output of 'iw phy | fgrep mesh'???

For example, I'd love to know what the NETGEAR R7800, or even better, the NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S shows.

I need to find a router I can use for a mesh network that has is relatively inexpensive, and has a much better range than the GL.iNet 750S. Throughput is important, but so is range.


It may say it supports, but not actually work in practice.

What range are you looking for? On 5 GHz, or on 2.4 GHz?

What throughput are you expecting / wanting to get over your backhaul, aggregate, across all clients of each AP?

What is "relatively inexpensive"?

Do you really need mesh (meaning you've got at least three devices interconnected)?

(Also be aware that just because the driver "advertises", for example 802.11s, it may not support it.

What range are you looking for? On 5 GHz, or on 2.4 GHz?

As much as possible. With the GL.iNet 750s I got 350 feet reliably. I only did one test. Could be better, but with that range for a 2 mile requirement, I'd need 35 nodes. Longer range = fewer nodes.

What throughput are you expecting / wanting to get over your backhaul, aggregate, across all clients of each AP?

As much as possible

What is "relatively inexpensive"?

$100 or less would be real nice.  But since we're looking to have a board built for us, for this purpose (a demo), I could go a little higher.

Do you really need a mesh?


(Also be aware that just because the driver "advertises", for example 802.11s, it may not support it.

Yes, but it's a starting point ...

The NETGEAR Nighthawk X8 would be real nice ..., but I don't see it listed in the supported devices table, and I don't know if it works with 802.11s.

The IPQ4019 seems like one likely candidate at a modest price-point, as it supports PCIe for a second, 5 GHz card, such as in the EA8300 (supported) or some of the upper-range Netgear "repeater" devices (such as the EX8000, EX7700, EX7500, none of which are supported at this time). The second, 5 GHz radio means you're not sharing time slots between clients and backhaul. (The IPQ4018 lacks both the PCIe and native NAND interfaces of the IPQ4019, from what I understand from this block diagram or from this promotional blurb.)

On the other hand, 2.4 GHz, 802.11n may have better range, depending on your environment, though its capacity under high-SNR conditions is significantly less than that of 802.11ac.

The EA8300 has been bouncing around US$150 for a while now.

One thing to be aware of with "tri-band" devices is that the two radios are sometimes (often?) locked to disjoint band segments. For example, one below ch. 100 and the other above ch. 100.

You might want to contact GL.iNet directly. I don't know where the balance of engineering costs against off-the-shelf hardware lies, but I do know that they offer OEM/ODM services.

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Thanks. The EA8300 might work. I see that it's supported as "snapshot". Do you know if the mesh (802.11s) works?

Also, we're looking at lots of OEM possibilities. Just for example: Abicom QCA9558 Scorpion, modified to be a 4x4.

You're trying to connect two points that are two miles apart, or serve an area two miles long (and how wide) that is full of users?

There are off the shelf devices with beam antennas that can make a two mile point to point link if it is line of sight.

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mk24: It's 2 miles, but not straight. I'll use as many nodes as possible to get coverage, but would like to reduce the count from 35 to much less. Because it's an irregular shape, antenna shaping is not really an option. Hmmm. Not sure how to describe this ... think of it as a 2 mile irregularly shaped closed loop in once use case, and not closed in another.

Yes. I have two meshed over 802.11s along with a "legacy" Archer C7. I've had a third EA8300 in the mix from time to time. The EA8300s are running -CT drivers, the Archer C7, being a "Wave 1" device, needs the "plain" ath10k driver for 802.11s support.

Thanks!!! I'll pick up a couple and test. Fingers crossed.

I have a similar setup testing somewhere: 2 Archers C7v5 (ath79+ath10k(Wave1)), and an B1300 (ipq40xx+ath10k(Wave2)), and a s905x with MT76 in a mesh.

The performance is not good, and the IPQ40xx device is finicky. It regularly loses contact to the Archers. All of them run snapshots less than 2 days old, and the CandelaTech drivers on all, and the CandelaTech+firmware on the B1300 IPQ40xx.

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Strategies: Thanks. My environment would be homogeneous. All devices would be the same.

Good luck/fun. Please post results. :slight_smile:


I'll be very curious to know, if the IPQ40xx+Ath10k-CT+FW-CT combination behaves better, if it only needs to talk to others like it. (And which parameters you found best working).

I hope, you are planning to run some network encapsulation over the mesh, and as such will be likely to test raised MTUs. Please test MTUs over 1532 all the way up to 2304. :smiley:

I'm willing to test just about anything you want. As I get more of this stuff in place, I'll give anything a shot. Definitely the higher MTU. Plus anything else.

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The Unifi AC Mesh would be worth trying.

Dual band ath9k / ath10k (Wave1) 2x2 on both bands
16 / 128 memory
Outdoor case
High power transmitters
Detachable external antennas (RP-SMA)
Approximately $90.

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Here's what my x4s Nighthawk returns:

iw phy | fgrep mesh
* mesh point
* #{ managed } <= 1, #{ AP, mesh point } <= 16,
* mesh point
* #{ managed } <= 1, #{ AP, mesh point } <= 16,