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My Home Network Sucks

It could be much better…

My home network is good enough in most cases. I currently pay for 100mps service, which should hold me down for most things. My Wi-Fi system is an Eero setup with two beacons I bought about three years ago. I don’t have much trouble watching TV, which I stream, but occasionally, I don’t have clear video. My girlfriend, who often watches streaming shows in the room the furthest away from the main router, will sometimes have trouble, primarily in the Peacock app on her Roku, which is known to be problematic across all platforms.

Both of the beacons to the main router are a room away. One is in the kitchen, to help out whenever I need to see a video for cooking instructions or just when I want to watch a show while I’m in the kitchen. The other one is in the neighboring bedroom, plugged into the wall adjacent to my girlfriend’s TV setup in the back of the apartment. One note about the bedroom is the two closets across the room from the beacon, and in a direct line from the main router. Both of those closets have a metal rail across the top to hold the sliding doors, something I’ve known to be problematic in the past in previous places.

Whenever I run speed tests on the main Eero unit, which is hooked up to the modem via Ethernet, it’s showing speed in the neighborhood of what I’m paying for. However, when I run speed tests across the apartment, the results are mixed, but usually much less than what I’m paying for. For example, I just ran a test on my Mac, which is in my office, just on the other side of the wall from the main router using macOS Monterey’s networkQuality command in the Terminal. The results were as follows:

Upload capacity: 7.698 Mbps

Download capacity: 21.201 Mbps

Upload flows: 20

Download flows: 20

Responsiveness: Medium (216 RPM)

So, I’m getting about a fifth of what I should be. I know this isn’t normal. This brings into question if my Wi-Fi system is the issue, or if it’s the apartment. I can’t fix the apartment. It’s not like I can go about restructuring walls or installing Ethernet hookups everywhere, since I don’t own the joint. So, it has me looking at replacing my Wi-Fi system. Christopher Lawley recently reviewed the NETGEAR Orbi Pro Wi-Fi 6 Mini Mesh System, and it has me intrigued. Frankly, the setup would be overkill since it would be adequate for a small office building, but maybe overkill is what I need to overcome anything with my apartment structure. Bottom line, I just want the internet I’m paying for.

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