How Does Mesh Wi-Fi Work?

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Updated August 9, 2022

If you are thinking about upgrading your wireless network, you may wonder how does mesh WiFi work. Some of the best new routers, after all, include integration for mesh networks. Keep reading to learn all about mesh Wi-Fi and what you need to get started.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Mesh wireless networks, otherwise known as whole-home wireless networks, eliminate dead spots in your network for faster speeds and a stronger Wi-Fi signal.
  • A mesh system tends to include the router itself and a number of connection nodes that can be placed throughout the home.
  • Many mesh Wi-Fi systems are also modular, meaning you can buy more nodes later and easily add them to the network.

What is Mesh WiFi?

Mesh Wi-Fi, or whole-home WiFi, is a relatively new technology that helps homeowners and business owners eliminate network dead spots in their homes or office. Whereas traditional wireless networks feature only one access point, the router, a mesh network features multiple access points. Mesh wireless networks are, in a sense, the ultimate WiFi extender, if you are wondering how to connect a WiFi repeater to a router. Alternatively, you can use a router as a WiFi adapter, too.

Insider Tip

Mesh systems can be expensive, so it is a good idea to wait for a sale, such as around the holidays.

So how do these mesh networks work? It all boils down to the router technology. Sure, placing a router in a good spot helps, but mesh networks do much more.

Mesh Routers

At the core of any mesh Wi-Fi system is the mesh router itself. The technology here is not dissimilar to traditional routers, so you’ll need to physically connect to your modem via Ethernet cable. Also, these mesh routers include a number of exterior ports for further wired connections. If you are wondering, then, how to add more Ethernet ports to your router, the process will be the same whether it is mesh or traditionally designed. Mesh networks are designed to offer a better wireless Internet experience, not necessarily a wired one.

Nodes

Here is where the magic happens. While the router features more or less a design you are familiar with, the beauty of a mesh system is that it also ships with various nodes. These nodes can be placed throughout the home and, essentially, act as another starting point for the wireless connection. The end result? You’ll get fantastic Internet speeds no matter where you are, thanks to the seam roaming capabilities on offer. The speeds offered by nodes go above and beyond what is typically found with WiFi range extenders.

Modular Design

Though most of these mesh systems ship with the router and a couple of nodes, most of them are modular in nature. This means you can buy more nodes down the line and add them to the network. Installation tends to be easy, as these mesh systems are built for amateurs, and adding new nodes is more or less a plug-and-play affair.

F.A.Q.S

Are mesh Wi-Fi networks for you?

This depends on how many square feet your home is and if you want to provide Internet to the whole house via a single network.


How many mesh Wi-Fi systems are out there?

Many wireless routers are available as part of a mesh package, including Google Nest. These systems tend to integrate well with Wi-Fi 6, offering the fastest speeds.


What should you look for in a mesh Wi-Fi router?

Look for Wi-Fi coverage in a Wi-Fi network that goes above and beyond a range extender or a Wi-Fi extender. You should also consider the number of nodes that ships with the router.



STAT: Mesh WiFi is built for all types of homes specifically mid-size and large homes that have suffered from weak or incomplete WiFi coverage. (source)

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