Zigbee signal extension: what is the most effective way?

Hello community members,

I’m reaching out for advice on extending my Zigbee coverage throughout my entire house. Currently, I have a zbbridge pro, around ten zbmini-l2 devices, some snzb-02, and a few snzb-01 sensors. Unfortunately, the coverage provided by the zbbridge pro is not effectively reaching all areas of my house.

I’m contemplating a few options and would appreciate your insights:

  1. Purchasing an S26R2ZB: Even though I don’t need smart plugs, I’m considering using it as a repeater. Can anyone share their experience with its signal strength effectiveness?
  2. Purchasing a ZBMINI: Even though I don’t need another smart switch, I’m thinking of using it as a repeater. Can anyone share their experience with its signal strength effectiveness?
  3. Getting an additional zbbridge pro: I’m considering flashing all zbbridge devices with Tasmota and using one of them as a repeater. I hope this could provide a stronger signal. Additionally, this would help me break free from the ewelink cloud and reduce the dependency of my Sonoff ecosystem on the internet connection (I use Home Assistant). Has anyone successfully implemented this setup?

I would greatly appreciate any advice, recommendations, or personal experiences with these options. Thank you in advance for your assistance!

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Do not buy S26R2ZB it has extremaly weak signal. It has problems to connect coordinator which is located 5m from the plug and because of weak signal it does not work as a router for any device (in my network).
I’ve noticed all Sonoff devices (acting as a router) have very weak signal.
Buy Tuya zigbee plug. You can connect it to sonoff bridge or ihost and signal i perfect. And it is 3 times cheaper then sonoff.
In the past I was using sonoff dongle E flashed with router firmware - it was working OK.
Cheaper solution is tuya or ewelink zigbee repeater for about 6USD from Ali. Both working great.

My experience is that it’s a bit random what extends well and what doesn’t. The best extender for me is actually not a Sonoff device but a Zigbee RGB LED and they don’t even sell an equivalent. This is the link from my purchase history:
It works with the iHost. I don’t have a Zigbee bridge Pro to say. I just got it on the off chance because I also have Home Assistant Zigbee.

I would avoid the plugs because people could turn them off and you’d loose your meshing. The Zigbee Mini don’t extend as much as I thought they would.

You wouldn’t need the pro version of the Zigbee Bridge. If you can get a non-pro and flash it with tasmota it’d work. Another option you could consider is getting a Zigbee dongle and changing the firmware so it acts as a router rather than a coordinator.

Edited to add: the link defaults to the cheaper wifi version. Change it to Zigbee. I made the mistake before and have a spare RGB LED strip.

I have the same expirience. Tuya zigbee led is the king. I didn’t write about it in my previous post because he has written he doesn’t need additional devices.
I’m using ZHA in HA but my expirience is tuya devices are cheaper, have MUCH better receprion, looks better and usually there is no problem to pair it with sonoff hub.

Pretty sure TUYA is a computing platform rather than a manufacturer of PCB, so the PCB manufacturers can sign up for a developers account at Tuya and get their devices working, so the quality is variable. Also I have a few devices that are Tuya and Zigbee2MQTT compatible but not iHost. One device is only Tuya because Zigbee2MQTT mis-identifies it. One device (Zigbee Moes Fingerbot Plus) sort of works on iHost, but it lacks some features. My experience with Sonoff stuff is that is all mediocre, not terrible but not good either. I suspect it’s all chip related. As the newer ESP 32 chips (C7 and H2 have Zigbee/matter) and how much experience with ESP chips I actually expect it to get better.

Thanks to everyone for the advice. Now I have several more factors to consider in making a decision.

It all depends how much money you want to spend and if you are familiar with flashing router firmware.
Sonoff dongle E or P flashed with router firmware are working great (about 20USD).
Tuya plug from Elvico for 5 USD works great as well but DO NOT BUY S26R2ZB - it’s crap.
To be honest the only devices that have reception problem are sonoff devices.

Could the Sonoff dongle E or P flashed with router firmware be compatible with the ZB-Bridge with original firmware? I’ve realized that I’m not willing to give up on the ewelink cloud due to its integration with Alexa.

I’d like to detach from the ewelink cloud due to its latency and internet dependency issues, but I don’t want to forfeit Alexa. Can you think of any other solutions to manage Zigbee devices on a local network without giving up integrations with voice assistants?

Dongle P or E are 100% compatible with ewelink. You’ve written you wanr detach from ewelink cloud. Good decision but do not buy iHost I’ve made that mistake It works locally but it’s funcionality is 80% worst then the cloud, so many bugs and you don’t have remote acces (only tailscale). It is possible to run HA in docker but only core version. So my device is in the box since about 6 months. But witin a few months we shuld have possibility to run HAOS on it. Anyway till then I’m running HA on android tv box - fast, power eficient, stable and it uses dongle E as a coordinator.

Thank you for the suggestions. iHost seemed like it could fit my needs, but besides the fact that you pointed out it’s not a mature product, I am heavily invested in the openness of Home Assistant.
Alright, I’ll probably stick with using the ewelink cloud and employ a Sonoff dongle as a repeater.

HAOS can be installed on iHost, thanks to @darkxst

Good night!

I have a Sonoff Zigbee 3.0 Dongle Plus which I would like to use as a Router. After flashing the router firmware, can it just be paired to my zigbee network through eWeLink app or do I need to add it to my zigbee network through HASS (ZHA or M2QTT)?

My coordinator is a Sonoff zigbee bridge pro.

Thank you for the help!