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What is a Mesh Wi-Fi System? Is Mesh Better than Simple Router?

Mesh Wi-Fi System

Introduction to the Mesh Wi-Fi System

Mesh Wi-Fi system has grown in popularity considerably during the past couple of years. Mainly due to its accessibility and user-friendly setup process. Its predecessor, the Wi-Fi extenders, is used to help expand the overall coverage of your Wi-Fi home signal. This is incredibly helpful, especially in larger residences that have a relatively weak Wi-Fi router. 

A Mesh Wi-Fi system consists of two nodes or routers instead of just one. These two devices then bounce and spread the signal, which will help increase the overall reach of the router significantly past its limit. Unlike the Wi-Fi extender, which usually requires several hoops to operate fully, a mesh system is more of a simplified version of its predecessor. 

For comparison, Wi-Fi extenders typically require the user to set up multiple networks to increase its Wi-Fi signal coverage. This can be quite a daunting task, especially for those who are familiar with setting up even a traditional router network. 

On the other hand, a mesh Wi-Fi system takes a ‘plug and play’ approach. You plug each node to a power outlet, install the corresponding app, and follow the installation procedure as instructed by the application. That’s pretty much what you can expect when it comes to setting up a mesh Wi-Fi system, as you can see, calling it “easy” is an understatement. 

Operating and setting up the mesh Wi-Fi system after installation is also quite easy. The app that accompanies a mesh Wi-Fi system usually has an extremely streamlined and straightforward to navigate the menu. The apps are designed to display and give users access to all the significant features from the get-go. More advanced users can also dive deeper into the menu to further customize their network experience.

Wireless Mesh Wi-Fi System 101

Initially, we go to traditional Wi-Fi router extenders if we wish to expand the reach of our signal. The main router at the centre of this system is the backbone of the entire network. The main router’s signal is generally affected by any solid object of considerable size such as walls.

In a standard home, positioning of the router is vital to optimizing its reach. When it comes to larger establishments, a simple router setup is not ideal if you wish to provide internet to every nook and cranny of the building. 

In some instances, with large residences, the Wi-Fi signal won’t be able to reach specific locations in the building. These are called Dead Zones and are caused by steady diminishing of the router due to several walls/obstacles in between. 

The Best mesh Wi-Fi system is specifically designed to solve the problem of Wi-Fi dead zones in your home or establishment. As we have already noted earlier, this is a far less cumbersome variation of the Wi-Fi extender. This system works by bouncing off the Wi-Fi signal from a focal point towards other nodes that are scattered around the building. 

You have a router system with multiple access points located on critical areas of a building. First, you have the modem and the router. Next, you have several nodes or satellites that capture the signal coming from the router, thus, effectively expanding the signal by rebroadcasting it towards the dead zones.

Advantages of Mesh Wi-Fi Systems

Besides the apparent benefit of expanding and strengthening your Wi-Fi signal, mesh Wi-Fi systems also have other advantages offered, which we will be discussing down below. Here are the other benefits of using mesh routers:

1) User-Friendly Design and Operation

Mesh router systems are designed to be as user-friendly as possible. In fact, most, if not all, mesh routers in the market today are almost entirely automated. Users will also get access to a mobile app (compatible with both iOS and Android) which further helps streamline network management through your mobile or desktop. 

The apps that these mesh routers use are designed so that even beginners can check and manage their networks as they see feet. Some of the standard features you can expect with mesh mobile apps include blocking Wi-Fi to specific devices, creating guest networks, checking internet speed, and even pairing up with your home Smart devices/appliances. 

2) Plug and Play Setup

As stated earlier, comparing mesh to extenders will quickly showcase the vast difference between the two when it comes to installation. Extenders will require setting up several different networks to help bounce or repeat the Wi-Fi signal throughout the residence.

As you might have guessed, this can some time and a decent amount of “know-how” to complete. Also, since you will be using multiple networks, you might be required to switch/log in to a different one as you move farther away from the router.

As for mesh routers, each node or satellite that is connected to the router using the same network. This means you won’t need to continually switch between networks as you move to different areas of the building which the router’s signal can’t reach. Mesh routers also experience considerably less lag due to all the nodes broadcasting the same signal. 

3) Improved Online Security

Another benefit of using a mesh router system is its robust built-in security protocols. This is further enhanced with its easy to operate network controls which allow users to personalize critical aspects of their network security such as who is allowed to connect.

The mesh router system is also programmed to update its firmware automatically once a new version is available online. Some mesh router products also allow users to block specific websites that may contain dangerous malware and viruses. 

Also Read: Public WIFI Security 101: What makes Public WIFI vulnerable to attack? And how to stay safe?

Disadvantages of Using Mesh Wi-Fi System

Of course, it is not all peaches in gravy with a mesh Wi-Fi system. Here are some of the downsides you will be running into if you plan on buying a mesh router system:

1) High Price Tag

In terms of pricing, mesh systems can burn through your pocket, especially if you need multiple nodes as each will cost anything in between $100 to $200. The mesh router itself will cost at last $300. If you need more satellites than what the mesh router kit provides, you can easily look at a $500 or more in total cost. 

2) It is Designed for Use in Specific Locations

 If you have a small to a normal-sized residence, mesh router system is a bit of an overkill. Mesh Wi-Fi system is designed for use in considerably large buildings or establishments. If your home experience some dead zones in a room or two, a Wi-Fi extender is a more practical solution as it will mostly cost under $50 rather than a $100 to $300 mesh router.

Conclusion

Mesh routers are handy for those who live in large homes who are not exactly well-versed in operating their wireless network. However, due to its expensive price tag, it is something you need to consider carefully before purchasing.

For larger residences with a handful of dead zones, a mesh router is a convenient way to solve this issue. Mesh routers simple and automated programming might also not appeal to more advanced users who prefer to customize their networking experience fully. 

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