Dual Band vs Tri Band Mesh Router

My wife is working from home, & now wants to work out on the deck since the weather is cooling off. We currently have a Netgear N750 WNDR4000 router. It’s several years old. Last year we replaced our modem, & this router seemed to work well with it. We have Comcast Xfinity WiFi.

When we bought a Roku TCL tv last year, we had a bit of trouble connecting to wifi, but moving the router seemed to solve the problem. The coverage to the deck is spotty. So we were thinking a mesh system might be in order.

Most mesh systems I’m looking at seem to be dual band. I keep reading that tri band is the only way to go. Yet the Google Nest 3 pack seems to get high marks from many publications. It is dual band.

We have an iMac, a work Windows laptop, 2 iPhones, 2 iPads, 3 Alexa units, & 3 roku TV/boxes dependent on the system. At any time several can be in use at a given time.

So I’m asking for guidance from people more knowledgeable than I. Is the mesh system the answer? Is dual band enough? Would eero be a better choice given our Amazon units? Is there anything else important I’m missing? Is the lack of ethernet ports on the Nest satellite units a consideration?

I would appreciate any guidance you might have to offer. BTW we have a 2 story house with a finished basement. Somewhere around 2500 to 3000 sq. feet.

Thank you so much for any help you could offer!

Mesh is the answer for more coverage with less interference. Dual band is probably plenty for what you are connecting, frankly you aren’t connecting very much. I have upward of 60 devices that connect in my house so I use a tri band but even then it could be handed fine on a dual band.

You probably want a mesh system with at least 1 satellite depending on the size of your home and where the main router is going to be located maybe a second satellite would be needed.

Good luck and enjoy.


Thanks for the advice. It’s kind of what I was expecting, thinking the Tri-band might be overkill for our use.

Since we are deep in the Amazon system with 3 Alexa units, I might be looking at the error system. It seems fairly comparable to the Nest, from what I can tell.

Eero is supposed to be one of the best, I’ve never used it myself but @Leo I know was using it as one point and seemed to like it a lot.

1 Like

I looked around at all the reviews and Google Nest was 1st on most lists (Tom’s, CNET, etc.) And we found 9 to 5 toys had found it at Amazon for $249.00 for the 3 pack. It is $350 everywhere else. So Google Nest it is! Again, thanks for your help!

1 Like

No problem, I hope it does what you need and more :smiley:

The idea behind tri-band is that there is more bandwidth for the backhaul channel from the mesh nodes to the node connected to the modem. If you have some wired Ethernet connections you could use, back-haul over wired Ethernet is going to be more reliable and make more bandwidth available for devices. I don’t know that all mesh networks can support wired backhaul, the one I know that does support it for sure (as I own it) is the Linksys Velop.

Now might not be the optimal time to make a new purchase, because WiFi 6e is on the cusp, and if you buy WiFi 6 you’ll miss out on the ability to do the extra channels included in 6e. (These were just approved by the US government a few months ago.)


Thanks for your reply. I read about that, and thought about it as it pertained to our situation. My wife is anxious to take advantage of the outdoors for work until the cold weather sets in. We live in Illinois. So our need was rather immediate, and keeping her happy is a good thing. So getting the Nest under $300 seemed a relatively safe buy at this time.

Thanks for the info @PHolder. I would also like to upgrade my router at some point, and I have a wired ethernet in the room adjacent to our patio. Will wifi 6e improve wifi 6 devices?

In a word: No.

WiFi 6e is using the same technology as WiFi 6 with an additional band, the 6GHz band. This band was previously reserved for government (military) use, and there is some sort of sharing arrangement. (BTW this also may make WiFi 6e exclusive to the USA, as other governments may not be inclined to make this use available.) The biggest benefit is that to use WiFi 6e you need NEW DEVICES. At first that may not sound like a benefit, but when you consider how crowded current WiFi bands are with old legacy devices, you can see how it may be interesting to start over and not have the old crowd join in. The downside of WiFi 6e is that the higher the frequency, the less the signal travels, so it will have less reach that 5GHz WiFi. I suspect we’ll need to see how things develop to know for sure the benefits and failings of 6GHz WiFi.

Here’s a Verge explainer:

The 3 pack should work out well just put one of the units by a window where she wants to work outside and you should be fine. The mesh that I am using has 2 Ethernet ports and my wife uses those for her desktop and printer saves a lot of wifi traffic. if you can make sure the units are connected in a Y not a line where the signal goes from 1-2-3 you want 1-2, 1-3 since most traffic is going out to or from the internet.

1 Like

Shouldn’t they call it wifi 7 then? I thought they wanted to simplify the names. :rofl:

1 Like

One should never attempt to think like someone in marketing for fear you end up speaking in riddles and hyperbole :wink:

But yes, you do have a point there! I don’t know why they went for a letter so soon after switching to numbers… it isn’t helping their case about cleaning up the confusion.

Been using the eero mesh for about two and a half years now, the 3-pack of eero Pro’s (tri-band). Each eero node is considered as equivalent, just as each radio is considered equivalent. There are no dedicated backhaul radios, just radios, and a radio can be used for anything, including backhaul. The tri-band radios simply allow more bandwidth, no matter what it’s used for.

I’ve put in MoCA 2.5 here, that gives me faster wireless at the remote nodes. Without MoCA, all wireless, the wireless speed at the farthest eero node from the gateway is about 250Mbps on gigabit fiber. With MoCA, that goes up to about 400Mbps. So there’s a definite advantage to using a hard connection between the gateway nodes and the remote nodes. However, 250Mbps is enough for anything that I do around here, and doesn’t require adding ethernet cables or MoCA. I added the MoCA because I like to play around with networking, and I wanted to see how fast I could get the wireless to go :-).

The reason that they went for the wireless-6E name instead of wireless-7 is that it isn’t an new protocol, just using new frequencies. It’s still wireless-6, just the frequency has been changed, as I understand it. But I’m not in marketing, so this is just a guess :-).

This is exactly the point of having the third band (the extra 5Ghz band) because it makes available extra room for the backhaul channel. Even still. if it’s being used for backhaul, it can’t also be used to talk to devices, but if you replace it with wired ethernet then you free up bandwidth for use with the multiple devices that are in most people’s networks. The issue, of course, is that the end user devices need new enough WiFi abilities to also use the extra bands. A great many devices, mostly IoT, come with support for 2.4GHz only, so that band is really congested (with all the bluetooth and microwave ovens in that range too.)

The devices that I care about, the streaming and mobile ones, all work well on 5GHz. Personally, we have very few clients that only use 2.4GHz., just a wi-fi printer, that’s it. And that’s wired to the gateway eero node at the moment. Don’t have doorbells, thermostats, light controllers, etc., not much of a smart home enthusiast here. The extra 5GHz. radios are welcome, we don’t have cable TV anymore, so streaming TV from both the Tablo and the internet is a big part of our home network use. iPads and laptop also get a good bit of use. Good thing that everything currently works on 5GHz., 2.4GHz. is pretty slow around here, saturated by neighbors.

1 Like

If I could hop onto this discussion, over the last week I’ve been trying to research similar things. We have 10 google IoT devices, a camera, a few phones, pretty basic stuff and not a ton of items (yet). Looked into a Ubiquiti setup but that’s a lot of cost and management that seems overkill.

Wifi 6 and 6E seem like a ways off from affordability, thinking of doing a cheaper mesh wifi 5 setup and replacing in a few years when client devices actually support it.

Any good wired backhaul mesh systems on wifi 5 for cheap out there? My home is all drop ceiling ranch, so running cable is super easy. Or should I even bother and just get an older generation Eero/Orbi/Google setup?

Mesh is already at the top of the expensive list because you’re buying more physical hardware. If you want mesh, you’re going to pay top dollar, so I would wait for mesh to include the top features… but that is just me. If your need is urgent then obviously you can’t wait.

1 Like

One of the first mesh wifi units that I started with was called Tenda Mesh Wifi.
Its not very expensive but does have a few quarks that can get annoying sometimes but otherwise worked great. The biggest one was the fact that you can only do the setup of the units through an app on your smartphone. But it is a cheaper alternative.

1 Like

This one has caught my eye, and seems to check the boxes I’m looking for.

  • Mid-range price (when compared to other consumer products)
  • Wired backhaul
  • Wifi 6
  • Only 2 devices (I don’t need 3)
  • Plenty of ports on both (preferred over a minor satellite)
  • Looks like you can rename devices and tie them to a person (for parental control)