A mesh Wi Fi router or mesh system connects multiple Wi-Fi access points to form a single seamless Wi-Fi network. It can be extended to reach larger homes and buildings.
A mesh Wi-Fi router system may be the best solution if the Wi-Fi router in your apartment is not providing the wireless connectivity that you need in a bigger house.
Wi-Fi dead zones are likely to occur if you have a large house (at least 3,000 sq.ft.) or a home with unusual layouts such as brick walls or rises above two stories. Your home may be a candidate for a mesh system, instead of a traditional Wi Fi router.
Modern mesh Wi-Fi systems are extremely easy to set up and allow you to fill in any gaps in your coverage. You can have wireless internet access in any room, as well as your garage or backyard.
This article will tell you everything you need to know to determine if a mesh Wi-Fi system is right for you.
A Wi-Fi router is a regular router that creates an access point and broadcasts WiFi signals to a restricted area. Mesh networks connect multiple access points, also known as nodes.
A mesh Wi-Fi router acts as a router or base station. It connects to one the best broadband modems for internet access. The other nodes are satellites and receive internet access from the base station, then broadcast it to nearby devices.
Each unit shares data and provides multiple Wi-Fi signals. A mesh system has the advantage of sharing data back and forth, unlike Wi Fi range extenders. They all share the same network so that you don’t have to switch networks as you move around your house.
Many of the major players in consumer networking equipment offer mesh-router options. Google’s Google Home mesh router is our current favourite. It has excellent performance, simple setup, and works as a Google Assistant speaker.
Another long-standing favorite is the Netgear Orbi range. It delivers great performance across a growing ecosystem, including the Netgear Orbi WiFi 6e and the original Orbi RBK50 as well as the Orbi Voice addon.
We love the TP-Link DecoX20 for mesh networking that is more affordable than standalone units. It provides Wi-Fi 6 speeds and great coverage throughout the house, without being more expensive.
You might be curious if a mesh router is worth your consideration, given their increasing popularity. This overview will help you determine if mesh routers are right for your home.
These are the basics of a Wi-Fi mesh router
The router is at the heart of traditional Wi-Fi networks. It broadcasts a wireless signal and connects to all devices.
As its name implies, a router seamlessly routes internet traffic from a connected modem to Wi-Fi enabled devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers. Until their Wi-Fi signal drops, most people forget about their routers.
Traditional routers have a problem with their Wi-Fi signal range. Many large buildings with multiple floors that need internet access often have areas without service. This is often called dead zones.
Mesh routers can be used to eliminate dead zones. Mesh routers can be used to broadcast Wi-Fi signals from multiple points, rather than broadcasting them from one point. The router acts as the router by connecting to one node. Other access points, also known as satellites, take the signal from the router and broadcast it.
If you are unsure if you need a mesh system or are moving soon, you don’t have to buy a whole pack of mesh units.
You can set up many of the new standalone routers as base stations for mesh coverage. This allows you to expand your Wi-Fi network by adding additional nodes from the same manufacturer. You don’t need to throw out your existing equipment.
Mesh routers have many benefits
Mesh-router systems not only provide strong Wi-Fi signals throughout your entire home but also offer a number of other benefits.
- Simple Network Management: The main difference between mesh routers and traditional routers is their easy access to the internet. Mesh routers can be managed remotely via a mobile app. It is much easier to set up a mesh router using a smartphone app than plugging in a computer directly to a router and configuring it via a browser dashboard.
Many mesh router apps let users quickly scan their speed, cut off Wi Fi access to certain networks and create guest networks. They can also test the quality of various connections points, connect to smart home devices, and even test the quality of other connection points. Although some high-end routers offer similar features, you will need to connect to your local network via a web interface.
- Streamlined connections Traditional routers often use range extensioners to extend the signal further. Even the best range extenders will require that you create a separate network with a different name for the extender. You will likely need to manually switch Wi Fi connections when you move around the house.
Mesh routers, on the other side, don’t need constant reconnections even though you move from one room to another. A mesh router will not have to deal as much with lag because the access points broadcast the same signal and don’t need to route requests through multiple networks.
- Mesh routers offer good security and easy management. It’s easy to manage your devices thanks to the ease of network management. Many automatically check for and update firmware.
Mesh routers have their drawbacks
Like all networking equipment, mesh-router systems have their limitations. These are some of the more serious ones.
- High prices: A two-piece mesh router kit costs $200 to $400, with $100-$600 worth of add-on satellites. Our top Wi-Fi routers list includes standalone models that cost between $80 and $250. Range extenders can be purchased for $20 to $100. Even for the most basic mesh router setup, this is a significant price difference.
- Wasting resources: Mesh routers are often a more expensive solution for small buildings and homes. A simple mesh network of two units can cover 3,000-5,000 square feet.
Mesh routers may not be the best choice if you aren’t constantly dealing with Wi-Fi connectivity issues or don’t have a lot of internet traffic. You can fix a few Wi-Fi dead spots by installing a range extender or upgrading to a traditional router with a greater range.
- More equipment. While most mesh-router access points are small and discrete, you might need several to fully take advantage of their capabilities. Users who want to limit the number of devices in their home may find it difficult to locate them.
Are you looking for a mesh router?
Traditional routers are not designed to cover large homes with many floors or walls that block wireless signals. Mesh routers also offer smart-home features such as remote management via mobile apps.
If you are a homeowner or renter who only deals with intermittent drops in Wi-Fi, mesh routers may be an option. To patch dead areas, a simple range extender or long-range router would be sufficient.
You don’t need to worry about slow internet speeds and gaping dead zones. You don’t have to deal with constant router resets and antenna adjustments. Now is the time to get a new router that can reach longer distances, a mesh router kit, or an extender. Whichever product suits your needs and budget best. They are all designed to connect homes on multiple frequencies and can deal with obstructions at home.
There are many wireless networking products available that can boost your home’s Wi-Fi signal. Make sure to analyze your Wi Fi needs and determine the best solution for you.
Add mesh routers to an existing network
Most mesh Wi-Fi systems come in packages of two to three devices. You can add additional nodes to increase coverage. However, many newer routers and extensions offer mesh capability.
You can add one or more mesh nodes to your router to achieve the same coverage over a wider area.
To create a mesh network, multiple routers can be combined with mesh nodes of the same brand, such as the Linkys Max Stream. This handy function allows you to choose between a single unit or a larger mesh system for larger homes.
Wi-Fi extenders have not been able to create mesh networks in the past. However, that is changing with products such as the Netgear EAX20 Mesh Extender (EAX1800). It can be paired with other devices to provide the same coverage and network. There is no need to manually switch bands or networks when moving from one end to the other.