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What’s a Wifi Mesh Network. Do I need it?

Some buildings just aren't designed to support reliable wireless signals throughout. The traditional way to fix this is by installing a wireless extender but are mesh networks a better option?

You are talking IT again! Can you start with what is an Wireless Extender?

A wireless extender (sometimes called a repeater) is a device that is used to duplicate an existing wireless signal from the point it is placed onward to extend the original wireless devices signal. They can be used in larger homes or businesses to extend wireless coverage but typically provide less bandwidth than the original device. They are sometimes difficult to setup and require additional logons for your devices as you move between devices.

What about Wireless Mesh Networks then? 

They are specifically designed to blanket your home or business with wireless coverage and are made up of several networking components. There's usually a main unit that connects directly to your internet and a series of nodes that you place throughout your house. They are all part of a single wireless network and share the same SSID and password. Each node talks to each other ensuring you get the best speeds even when far away from the modem. Mesh networks are also designed to be simple to setup with all the nodes automatically talking to each other.

How do they Compare?

Wireless Extenders
Generally Cheaper Cost

Good for small locations

Cheaper than mesh networks

Can usually be used with your existing wireless devices

More complicated to configure

Performance is not as uniform

Speeds can degrade further from the main unit

Wireless Mesh Network
Generally Better Performance

Perfect for larger homes or business

Simple to setup

Easy management

Each node acts independently providing better throughput

Usually more expensive

Usually need multiple devices to be placed around the location

What do you recommend?

If cost is not an problem, a mesh network is usually the best way to go since you will get quality coverage for almost any sized location. However, it's also easy for a mesh system to be more than you need in a smaller location. 

Something else to consider is that you might not need to buy either if you can manage to just move the wifi box to a better location. 

We are here to help so please contact us if you would like us to recommend the solution to meet your needs.

What’s a Wifi Mesh Network. Do I need it?