Recently I had a few relatives and friends over to watch the first Bears game. We’ll forget about that game.. and maybe the season. It didn’t take long before word got out that I had an indoor golf simulator or what I call a golf cave. So it came half time and a group gathered to take a walk over to my golf cave.
I started to get a bunch of questions and I was more than happy to answer them. How long did it take to build? What is the cage or screen made of? Did you build it yourself? What does it take to play golf either by yourself or against others? I quickly put up a local course. I was not about to take a full shot with about 10 people standing there (for fear of a 1 in 10000 wild shot ricocheting and hitting someone) but they could understand how it worked.
How does the launch monitor work? What are you hitting off of? Where did you get the stand to hold the golf clubs? Do you need a laptop? What is that device that is sitting on top of the workbench? Ahhhhhhhh. That is a mesh Wi-Fi system. How does that work? I’m clueless as to how the technology actually works but I know it works and that is all that counts.
And so we begin. When I first started setting up my golf cave, I was ecstatic. The previous owner enclosed a carport, had someone bring electric into the carport (now a shed I suppose) and even brought a line in for natural gas. It took me a few months after moving in to set everything up and then when I went to use TGC2019 with my SkyTrak, nothing. I soon realized I had no wifi signal. I mean, I did but it was at like 2-3mbps when it wasn’t cutting out. I was completely bummed.
I don’t like taking this won’t work for an answer. So I started researching and found a way you could boost your wifi signal. Except the reviews were a mish mash of good and bad. Nothing seemed to be 100% reliable. I found that SkyTrak ran off 2.4ghz and I would need to match something up that would allow the wifi and SkyTrak to speak to each other while getting a good signal. A wifi booster or extender, although the price was right just wasn’t going to get the job done.
Mesh Wi-Fi System
So I started doing more research and found a mesh Wi-Fi system is what I would need. It literally could take the signal in my living room and make it so I would get good internet speed some 100+ feet away in my golf cave. I mean we are talking my router is in my living room. We then have our kitchen, then our family room, then our garage, then about 40 feet or so of driveway, and finally my golf cave.
Now I knew nothing about mesh Wi-Fi systems and in looking at the companies that provided these devices, a few were no names to me. But I was able to do my research and read reviews. I knew what I wanted and that would be to basically get a wifi mesh system that would provide the most coverage at the cough least out of pocket cost. A Ferrari mindset with a Yugo pocketbook.
I’ll give you some good names and I’ll even give you the name of what I bought.. but don’t recommend. In purchasing a wifi mesh system you are basically getting additional routers on top of what you already have with your internet service provider. In fact, I’m willing to guess that internet service providers most likely offer mesh systems of their own and that would probably come with a monthly fee.
The initial mesh router will sit alongside your internet providers router. My mesh router plugs into the wall and then into my internet providers router. I then purchased an additional mesh router for my golf cave. The thought process is that it extends the Wi-Fi coverage to where you need it. Some of these mesh systems provide coverage of 2,500 feet, 3,000 feet, 3,800 feet, 4,500 feet, 5,000 feet and beyond.
The company I purchased my mesh Wi-Fi system from was Taotronics and I bought the AC3000 two pack setup. You download the app that comes with the product(s) and then set it up. Easy peasy. I setup a naming convention for the new wifi (your old wifi remains the same) which would tell me it was for my golf cave. Without knowing what I was doing, I had everything setup within a matter of 20 minutes or so. It allows for a 2.4ghz setup as well as 5.8ghz. For me and because I was working from home at the time, it allowed better wifi coverage and internet speeds seemed to be increased within the house.
Get More Routers/Nodes Than What You Think You Need
But therein lies the problem. All the way out in my golf cave with the 2nd wifi mesh router, the internet speeds were nil. Meaning there seemed to be either too much room or too many walls getting in the way to give good internet speed. Arghhhhh. Not to give up, I contacted the company and pretty much found out I just needed to purchase another mesh router. The sold a 2 pack mesh system which I bought as well as a 3 pack mesh system which I should have purchased from the get go. So I told them I just needed to purchase a single additional mesh router. And the answer was no.
Literally they told me no. They said it was not an option. You know the, I need to speak to your manager. Let me get on a chat. Let me write an email. I got nowhere with the company. Here I am, I like the product. It looks like it is doing what it is supposed to do and I can’t buy a single additional mesh router because they don’t sell them that way. Well, guess what? I found one on eBay. Paid more than I wanted to but I needed that extra mesh Wi-Fi router. And it did the trick.
I can walk out into my golf cave this moment and get 100+mbps. I’m happy with the product. Not happy with the company I dealt with and I don’t believe they sell the mesh system any longer but the 3 mesh routers that I have work fantastically.
If I had to do it again. I would buy 3 routers and be done with it. Between my long house, garage, and golf cave, it is what is needed. I currently have a router in my living room, garage, and golf cave. The app that came with my mesh routers allows for a test to find what works out to be the best placement for coverage and internet speed. All told I spent about $180 on the 3 routers.
Below is a look at a video of the mesh wifi setup and speed that I use in my golf simulator.
Mesh WiFi Systems I Would Look At
If I had to do it again because of a failure in my current mesh Wi-Fi setup, I’d probably look at the Amazon eero. I’m satisfied with what I have and hope that doesn’t happen. Knowing what I know now and because of the length of where my final reach is (my golf cave) I would go with 3 routers and not 2.
I tend to look at reviews. You’ll always find complaints but if you are finding 4.5 or so stars on a product with a bunch of purchases, it is usually a trustworthy product.
TP-Link are known for making a good product as well.
Rather than calling the mesh system routers, some call them nodes. I believe the terminology is interchangeable. The end result you want if you are looking to expand your internet coverage is to (and this is a for instance) have good internet in your bedroom, living room, family room, kitchen, maybe out in the garage, and in your golf shed if you happen to have one.
If you are looking for such a mesh Wi-Fi system, make sure you get the latest technology. It doesn’t do you much good to buy a few year outdated mesh setup where you won’t get the technology, distance or speed that you may want. Most of the mesh products are not unsightly. The one I have is maybe 10 inches tall or so but others look more like cubes.
So if you are looking to extend the coverage of your Wi-Fi, whether to a golf simulator or simply out to your garage, look into a mesh Wi-Fi system. It sorta sits in the background and isn’t golf related but makes all the difference when playing simulator golf.