I have a TP-Link AX55 router, which supports their (proprietary) OneMesh protocol. My house is old and in some locations, lath and plaster or brick walls degrade the WiFi signal so I’m thinking of installing a WiFi extender in at least one location.
I don’t have a precise answer, but here is the reasoning of been using:
CAT 5e is capable of supporting 1 Gb traffic. It can not support it over runs as long as CAT6 (I can’t recall the recommended limit now).
Most of our house has CAT 5e. The more exposed, and easily accessed, I’ve upgraded to CAT 6. Every ethernet client device (computers, AirPlay, Apple Play, MusicCast, etc.) we have supports at least 1 Gb, so all the routers/extenders, etc. do too. This way it can at least take advantage of the runs short enough to support 1 Gb, and is future proofed should I get around to refishing CAT 6.
I don’t actually know if any of my runs are too long. I haven’t metered them all. But many are unquestionably short enough.
Even Cat 5 (no “e”) can support gigabit traffic. The “e” changes make it a bit more forgiving so it is easier to get a reliable connection over longer distances, but Cat 5 works just fine over smaller distances or if you are very strict about conforming to EIA/TIA standards for in-wall installation.
I bought TP-Link’s RE700x range extender because: it has a Gigabit Ethernet port, its WiFi specifications match my TP-Link AX-55 router, and I found a discounted, refurbished unit on Amazon.
I was hoping to create a OneMesh WiFi network with the RE700x in Access Point mode using its Gigabit Ethernet port to make a wired connection to my router. Unfortunately, OneMesh is not supported by the RE700x as an Access Point. Without OneMesh, users would have to manually switch among the AX-55’s single SSID (for both 2.4 and 5 GHz) and separate SSIDs for each of the RE700x’s two WiFi frequencies. It got rid of my dead WiFi spots but it wasn’t the seamless solution that I sought.
So I configured the RE700x as an Extender instead but unfortunately it can not extend a wired connection; it can extend only a WiFi connection. As a result, the speed of its Ethernet port is moot for my use.
After a little experimentation, I found an electrical receptacle location for my RX700x that got good 2.4 GHz reception from my AX-55 and reached my dead spots with its 5 GHz broadcast.
Mission accomplished! My dead spots are gone and I have a single SSID. OneMesh automatically manages iPhone WiFi connections as I roam through the house, seamlessly switching between frequencies as well as device (AX-55and RE700x).