You are considering using an InvizBox 2 with a WiFi mesh and are wondering if this will work.
Can I use a mesh?
The short answer is yes, the InvizBox 2 works with a WiFi mesh. It is a normal router and therefore you can put a mesh behind it.
The full answer will depend on what you want to achieve with your InvizBox 2 and also with your mesh. The main element to consider here is around what functions you want to use on your mesh and what functions you want to use on your InvizBox 2 router.
How do I set it up?
Typically, the mesh out there use Ethernet to plug the main element to your Home router. So, you would plug that element into the LAN Ethernet port at the back of the InvizBox 2.
Important Note: This means the only available Ethernet port will be used for your WiFi mesh. If you need to connect more devices, you would need to use a switch into the LAN port to allow for more Ethernet devices to be plugged.
What is the impact in terms of speed?
The InvizBox 2 is best suited for a small Home/Office scenario. This is why it has a top VPN speed of around 100Mbps overall (i.e. when running traffic spread across 2-3 VPN networks and maybe some on a Clear network). The expectation is that a key device (PC or TV) which requires additional speed get plugged into the Ethernet port whilst the majority of devices are within WiFi range (10-15m / 30-50 feet) and easily switch from one VPN network to another (think one VPN location to another).
The key element by plugging a mesh on the LAN port is that the LAN port is linked to one and only one VPN network, which means there will only be one VPN tunnel (i.e. one CPU core) to support all the traffic from the mesh. This is going to limit the overall speed shared to all devices on the mesh to around 35-50Mbps using OpenVPN and 55-65Mbps using IKEv2 when using a fast server (geographically near and not too loaded).
Can I mitigate that speed impact?
Sure, you can create a second (and third if needed) VPN network on your InvizBox 2 and connect all the devices that are within WiFi range directly to them. These network would use a different CPU core thus decluttering your mesh and helping you get a better overall speed.
How about Device Blocking and Device Access?
For example, if you want to have parental control or device specific functions on the InvizBox, then the mesh needs to work in bridge mode (which for example the google mesh can't do easily - here are some discussions around this on user forums: https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/googlewifi/idqXWjr69Ek). That limitation is around MAC address filtering typically.
Typically, if the MAC address of your devices is not available to the InvizBox 2 (because all traffic comes from the mesh MAC address), you will be able to have everything working (multiple hotspots with different VPN locations, ad blocking...) but not parental control and MAC specific routing.
So, If you want the InvizBox 2 to be in charge of the Privacy and use MAC address based features, you need to find a mesh that is made for bridging (which doesn't seem to be the standard).
That sounds limiting, any other possibility?
Well, the InvizBox 2 was always designed for a proximity use and plugging a mesh to it makes it a bit of a Frankenstein. We are working on a new product called the InvizBox 2 Pro (currently expected to be available around April 2021) which is designed for those of you with a consequent networking expectation (higher speeds, bigger WiFi range, 4 LAN Ethernet ports). On that device, you can expect better speeds when plugging a mesh to one of the LAN ports since the CPU is more powerful. You also still have 3 ports available for other devices.
One limitation remains which is that all the devices connected to your mesh will belong to the same Network i.e. they will be in the same VPN Location (if you change it for one device, you change if for all of them).
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