What should you do when your wireless router which was supposed to give you high-speed internet in the upstairs bedroom cannot even play a 360p youtube video without buffering? If the same problem doesn’t exist on your PC downstairs, then the problem exists with your wireless router. Since everyone uses the internet on multiple devices these days from your laptops, smartphones or even tablets, extending the range of your WiFi is a matter of prime importance. That is where the Mesh Networks come in. Here’s Mesh Wi-Fi explained along with its benefits pros and cons compared to standard WiFi networks.

Mesh Network is a WiFi setup that does the job which is technically the same as a Wireless Router. But it does the job more efficiently. To be more clear, the Mesh network uses multiple nodes that are able to distribute the WiFi signal all over your home.

How does a Mesh Network operate? Mesh Wi-Fi Explained

The Nodes used in a Mesh Network sort of look like a Hockey puck. You have to connect one of the nodes to your modem and place the other nodes around your house like your upstairs bedroom where the signal strength from your modem would be naturally at the lowest. Each of the nodes is interconnected to give you a stronger WiFi signal over a larger area compared to a single wireless router.

Mesh Wi-Fi Home

What is the difference between a Mesh Network and a Wireless Router?

The main drawback of your traditional wireless router(Range Extender) is that they degrade your network speed. This happens because the antenna of a wireless router communicates with both your smartphone/laptop and the main router downstairs. The internet speed sometimes is reduced in half because of this.

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Mesh Wi-Fi Explained

To overcome this drawback of the wireless router, the nodes in the mesh network are designed with two different antennas so they can communicate with the main router as well as with each other. This feature enables the mesh network to handle the problem of Network Backhaul.

The Backhaul is a technical term to denote all the network traffic that happens other than the ones being transmitted to and from your client device(client device can be a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop or your PC). However, if you add a lot of nodes all over your house hoping to get the same speed, it can backfire too. But using a few nodes instead of the wireless range extenders is definitely the better option to get a speedy internet connection.

 

Mesh Wi-Fi network

Are Mesh Networks better than Range Extenders with Multiple antennas?

Yes. They are.

The function of a range extender can be put into simple terms as follows. A range extender or a wireless router creates a whole new WiFi network instead of just increasing the range of the already existing WiFi from your MODEM/Router downstairs. This causes two problems.

  • If your range extender uses a  different network name or SSID, you would have to manually switch to that connection on your client device, if you want to use it.
  • If your wireless Range extender shares the SSID with your original WiFi, there is no guarantee that your smartphone would be “smart” enough to switch to the one that gives the stronger signal. To put it in simpler terms, even if your downstairs and closer to your MODEM, your phone would still be connected to the range extender that is placed upstairs. And since you are far away from the range extender, the range and speed of the wifi will be low although you are standing right next to your main MODEM/router.
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PROS OF MESH WIFI

    • This is where the advantage of a Mesh Wi-Fi Network comes in. The Mesh Network is designed to overcome this drawback and hence uses a single WiFi network. And your phone will be connected to the nearest node providing you with a steady WiFi reception and speed. In addition to this, a Mesh Network will automatically sort itself out even if you add or remove a node from the network. They will reroute the network traffic between them without you having to do anything about them.

 

  • Another advantage of using a Mesh Wi-Fi Network is that it comes with a lot of additional features that are not available with the traditional wireless routers. It comes with a mobile application that offers easy network management and integrated support for all your smart home devices like the Amazon Alexa. So once you set up the entire connections, you can forget about it. This makes the Mesh Network a perfect choice for those that are not familiar with the technologies and just want the internet wherever they go. i.e. SET IT AND FORGET IT!

CONS OF MESH WIFI

Mesh Network with all its advantages definitely comes with a price. It is definitely more expensive than your average wireless range extenders.

CONCLUSION

When it comes to delivering a constant WiFi range and speed, a Mesh Wi-Fi Network is miles better than a Wireless Router. Being costlier than a normal range extender, only go for the Mesh Networks if you really need it. For eg., A single BHK apartment wouldn’t need a Mesh Network. However, a multistorey home could benefit from using a Mesh Network over the Wireless Range Extenders.

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