Improving Forge wifi reception

Some people are having operational issues the their Forge that may be related to weak wifi reception. I noticed an Amazon one-day special on something called a “mesh” wifi system, something I’d not heard of before. The idea seems to make a lot of sense when trying to improve wifi reception over a large area. One of these units could be set near the Forge for a strong signal. Has anyone had experience with this sort of thing?

Unrelated to the Forge, I like the idea of connecting two of these units with a wired connection on opposite ends of my home, and using the third one to form a triangulated coverage region. It might be a lot better than just a single router with directional antennae.


I am using the Linksys Velop system and it is working well for us nd the Glowforge likes it, too. Another good search term for these is “WiFi system”.

Most of the reviews and documentation on these focus on use in a multi-story house. Our house is a 3600 square foot rambler (single story) that is a long L shape.

These systems are new. Many, including the Linksys system, use cloud based setup and administration. They attempt to balance the configuration based on signal performance and device usage and some allow you to give prioritization to some devices.

One thing I like about the Velop system is that it uses tri-band radios, one 2.4 GHz and one 5 GHz channel for devices, and a 2nd 5 GHz channel for the “backhaul”communications between the units. Some systems degrade performance more quickly on the remote nodes, but most can utilize a wired network for the backhaul if you have the cable available to connect them.

WiFi systems are a bit better than WiFi extenders since they tend to do better handoff of devices as you move about the house, and configuration is easier.

I’d recommend searching out reviews to get an idea of what may work best in your particular situation.


Ubiquiti makes some awesome products in this range and have for quite some time. Look for Ubiquiti UniFi AP - several versions are available. They are rock solid once setup, they get the best reviews of all products of this type. They also make some great wireless antennas if you need to broadcast to a remote building on your property, saves running cables and nearly as fast as hardwired solutions.


In the same way I prefer to have my network printers wired, I prefer to have my WiFi access points wired as well.

In the mesh networks I have implemented the majority of access points were wired to the network. The only ones that were not were a few where it was impractical to do so. Each time you make a wireless hop, you loose performance. In a mesh configuration the unwired access point should be able to “See” a few neighbors to help mitigate the performance drop. This also helps the network “Heal” if one access point goes down.

I say this, because if you buy a few mesh devices and put them in a linear configuration, without wiring them in, they will act more like repeaters, and your bandwidth will drop off as you go down the line.

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Agreed, wired access points are much prefered. Anything that uses wireless only to extend the wireless coverage will have less than stellar performance.

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Picked up the plume stuff a year ago or so. Works decently. It is slow for large file transfers, but otherwise works well. One laptop has a hard time with switching to the different nodes, so it stays on one of the router Wi-Fi channels.


In general, avoid mesh based products unless you simply can’t run wires between your access points and your switch/router.

As good as the mesh products have gotten, it is still radio and is still subject to all the voodoo interference issues of the overt the air world (example: there used to be one spot in my house where I could stand and it would cause Netflix playback to drop in the other room).

If at all possible, deploy a wired infrastructure network between your access points.

I moved to Ubiquiti’s Unifi a few years ago. Fantastic product and I’ve had zero complants from the family about networking issues (save for when the internet connection goes down). All our wireless devices work better. Music and video streaming never drop.

And, on topic, my Glowforge has never exhibited any signs of connection issues.

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Informally, it seems that as the number of people who receive their Glowforges increases, the number who try to set them up, have trouble with the WiFi, and end up here looking for help increases. Many of them have not been forum regulars for the last several years, reading all the tricks and tips ahead of time, and many of them are not the sort of people to have their whole house wired for Ethernet and an interest in being the IT administrator for an enterprise-grade WiFi network. They probably have their cable company’s modem/router/AP combo unit installed in the bedroom, or maybe whatever they picked up at Best Buy or Staples a couple of years ago. In that situation, I think steering people toward trying out a Google WiFi or Eero setup makes a lot of sense.


Yes, agree. If at all possible hardwire as much as possible. Some of us don’t quite have that option or it would take a ton of time… :frowning:
I eventually want to run Ethernet cable to the workshop and barn (also to allow for a few wired cameras), but in the meantime using the mesh setup saved a bunch of time to improve reception and to get the GF up and running

The UniFi Mesh products are fantastic, too. I’m using two UAP-AC-M with directional antennas to get about 70Mbps to my neighbor’s couch… across the street through a wall and through a patch of bamboo. :slight_smile:

Better, the management software let’s me see exactly how strong the signal is, which made optimal aiming straightforward.