Dealing with pesky WiFi dead zones in your property can be stressful, especially if you heavily rely on an internet connection every day. Unfortunately, there are situations where a WiFi extender or repeater doesn’t just cut it. When you need a super-strong signal that can go across multiple floors or large areas, it may be time to consider investing in a WiFi mesh system.
In this article, we will dive into all the nitty-gritty details of WiFi mesh systems, what it really is, how it works, and why they might be the right choice for you.
So, What Is a WiFi Mesh?
A WiFi mesh is a system of multiple devices (aka nodes) that are strategically placed in various locations around your house, business, or property. The connected nodes help to create a strong and reliable wireless network throughout the whole building. The main router acts as the “master” node while all other nodes connect to it wirelessly. All data from the devices on your network are then sent back and forth between the nodes, increasing your WiFi coverage through the system.
How Do WiFi Mesh Systems Work?
Mesh networks make it simple to extend your home WiFi network, which is excellent because traditional networks are constrained to having only one router to distribute the signal.
A mesh network configuration requires you to install numerous nodes throughout your house, with one node serving as the primary WiFi router that connects the others. Your modem is used by this central node to connect to the internet and broadcast information to the other nodes in your house.
For example, you have Dish Network Internet in your home, but your home is too large that your typical router cannot cover every area. With a WiFi mesh system, the WiFi signal can be broadcasted from the central router to all of the other nodes, giving you a wider coverage area — resulting in a fast, dependable internet connection that connects to all of your devices throughout your entire home with ease.
WiFi Mesh Systems vs. WiFi Extenders
WiFi mesh systems are a great way to get better coverage in your home or business, but they’re not the only option out there. WiFi extenders can also be used to increase a signal’s range. However, there are some key differences between the two that should be considered when deciding which is best for you.
While WiFi extenders tend to be less expensive, they don’t always provide a reliable connection. With an extender, you typically only get a single connection point which requires your device to switch from the primary router signal and back again as you move around the house. This can cause unstable connections that drop out or slow down frequently.
On the other hand, mesh systems are more reliable, with no need to switch between signals as you move around. All of the nodes in your system communicate with each other and act as a single unit, creating a strong and dependable WiFi connection all over your home that won’t drop out or slow down. Additionally, mesh networks can usually be configured and managed more easily than traditional extenders.
Advantages of WiFi Mesh
Traditional routers only offer limited ranges, making it harder for people who have large homes to get the coverage they need. Fortunately, mesh WiFi systems can help with this problem. Here are some advantages you can experience with WiFi mesh.
Stable Connection: With a mesh system, you get an uninterrupted connection throughout the entire house without having to switch between signals.
Simple Setup: Installing a mesh network is easy. All you have to do is plug in your nodes and download the app — no additional wiring or drilling is required.
Added Security: Mesh systems come with added security features such as parental controls, guest networks, and QoS (Quality of Service) prioritization that can help to protect your network.
Easier Smart Home Control: Many mesh networks come with their own app that can be used to control your network and other connected devices. This makes it easier to manage your smart home from any location.
Disadvantages of WiFi Mesh
WiFi mesh systems are not perfect, just like other types of networks. Here are some potential drawbacks you should be aware of before investing in a mesh system:
Expensive: Mesh systems can be more expensive than traditional routers and extenders. It’s important to compare prices and features when deciding which type is best for your needs.
Interference: If there are too many nodes in your network, it can cause interference issues or slow down your connection speed.
Heavy Workload: The mesh’s other nodes must support the network when one of them shuts down, giving a heavier workload to other nodes than usual. This can affect your connection, especially if your mesh system is poorly set up.
Who Needs a Mesh WiFi System?
Mesh WiFi is intended for individuals who need a simple, quick-to-install WiFi system, as well as people who live in houses with poor or limited WiFi coverage. The best thing about mesh WiFi systems is that they can be used with different internet types and providers, whether you have fiber internet from Verizon or satellite internet from HughesNet.
Traditional routers sometimes fall short of completely surrounding large or multi-story homes due to their restricted range. A mesh WiFi system might be useful if your house is larger than 3,000 square feet, has two floors, interior brick walls, or has an odd layout.
For those who want a strong WiFi system but don’t want to deal with the difficult setup and configuration that most standard routers require, mesh WiFi is a fantastic alternative. It is also an excellent option for those who have range extenders and don’t want to transfer networks when they travel upstairs or downstairs because mesh functions on a single network.
Overall, mesh WiFi systems are a great way to extend the range of your existing signal and provide consistent coverage throughout your entire house. They’re easy to install and configure and come with added security and smart home control features. However, mesh WiFi systems are usually more expensive than traditional routers and range extenders, so it’s important to consider your needs before investing in one.