Need advice on a router for a rental home

Hi! I have a house that I rent out most of the time. It’s about 400 miles from where I live, so I only get to go up there a few times/year. I’m using the cable-company supplied wi-fi router right now, because it’s easy to manage it remotely – I can change passwords and network names, I can power cycle it, and get its status.

The router is in the living room, and the signal on the third floor is pretty bad. I’d like to get a mesh network of some kind – I have the Orbi from Netgear at home.

But, whatever I get has to be epically reliable and also manageable from a distance.

Any suggestions?

Why not stay with Orbi? I am no tech person but have been working with a 4 unit Orbi system, for a very large property and it seems ok once you jump through the hoops and get them all talking with each other. We also had multiple other wifi systems running,(cox router and another Netgear ) and it appeared that they were all fighting each other. Now its just the Orbi and we are much happier.

I think? Orbi has a function (more expensive units?) that can remotely manage a network, something called “Anywhere Access”.

edit to add: if you can hardwire any of the units, it really can help expand coverage on the different mesh units. We did look at replacing the entire Orbi network, with Nest or EERO… they seem fine as well, EERO was our first choice.

eero is on the pricier side, but since we use it I can tell you that there is an app that lets you check on the status of individual units and activity. It lets you do things like individually restart the units.

I’ll second the Eero. I put one in at my mom’s condo since the spectrum is incredibly crowded and concrete walls make a mess with the cable company provided modem.

The app is great and I can restart from wherever I am.

I installed a mesh system from Monoprice not long ago, and it’s been very reliable. It’s designed to handle large structures (residences, at least).

It comes with 2 satellite boxes; you can use 0 to 2 and purchase more. I used only one, and the signal covers 2 floors and extends quite a distance outside according to my WiFi detector. I don’t have a third story, but given the ample outside coverage, it looks like it will work for you. And the price is only $120.

One advantage of the mesh system is the lack of “repeater lag” (my term). I don’t know how this is done, but related good thing is you connect to the same router name no matter where you are; you don’t have to decide which repeater node works best. I love it!

Thanks, everyone!

I didn’t realize Orbi has a remote method. When I get back to my house, I’ll give that a try - it’s what I’m most used to. (Then, I’ll turn it off on my home system, because who needs that exposed? I don’t care if someone hacks into the vacation house, but not my own house!)

The other thing I really dislike about the cable-supplied system is that it creates two networks, regular and 5G, and they don’t talk to each other. So, if I have a smart device on the 5G network, but my phone connects to the other one, it won’t see the smart device. Orbi (and, hopefully others), just creates one.

Most routers allow you to use the same SSID for both 2.4 and 5GHz, either leaving it up to the device to choose or using band steering to have devices go to the best radio. In almost all cases, even if it is a separate SSID, the devices are still on the same subnet and can communicate with each other. The only time they are different is if the router offers a guest network, which should be a separate subnet that is fire walled off from the main network and shouldn’t allow intra-network communication between devices.

So, I called Spectrum, and I don’t have the right router for that. They said I can switch it out for a better one for no charge, but this is my last day here, so it will have to wait until I get back in a few weeks.

When I get home, I’ll also try remote controlling my Orbi (turn on that feature, turn off wi-fi on my phone, and see if I can get it working). If that works, I won’t bother with the new router from Spectrum.

Thanks, all for the help!