With our homes full of smart technology, the need for a strong WiFi connection has become more important than ever. Mesh WiFi has become increasingly popular in the past decade and is a solution for many to keep their devices connected in the home. In this article we look at what you need to know about Mesh WiFi.
Mesh WiFi is a WiFi system that is designed to provide an uninterrupted connection to all areas of the home. The concept originated around the 1980s and 1990s, but has only established a place in the market around 2015. It works by using two or more devices, known as nodes, which connect together to create a strong WiFi network, with one main node connected directly to the internet modem. Additional nodes can be added to the network, and each node connects to other nodes, expanding the network. It is named ‘Mesh’ because all the components of the network works together.
The set-up process varies by model and brand, but in general the set-up is relatively simple to follow and requires the use of a smart phone or tablet. You firstly need to download the relevant app and connect it to the main node using the on-screen instructions, usually by scanning a QR code. This node links to your internet modem via an Ethernet cable and becomes the main hub. You can then add all the other nodes in different areas of the house to the network one at a time in a similar manner. Once it is all set-up, you can manage your Mesh WiFi network using your device via the app.
A benefit of this network type is that it is ‘self-healing’. This is because the nodes communicate with each other to reroute any traffic to the fastest band for your devices in the event any of the nodes fail. In this sense, if there are any issues in the network, it aims to resolve it itself. It is also useful for providing wider coverage if necessary. If your home expands or needs to change, you can add more units to the Mesh network you have established. This means it can provide greater coverage and you can ensure all areas are receiving a signal by adding more to your required areas, eliminating dead zones. Another benefit is the quantity of devices you can connect to the network. Depending on the brand and model you choose, you may be able to connect up to 200 devices to the network.
The only requirements you need for Mesh WiFi is having sufficient space for the nodes, nearby power sockets to power the units, and you must have a modem to connect the main node to. You may choose to keep your existing router if it operates as a modem, otherwise you would need to replace this with a modem. It is recommended to contact your Internet Service Provider to check if your existing equipment would be suitable to use as a modem if you are considering a Mesh WiFi system.
The main drawback for some may be the cost. Mesh WiFi systems are more expensive than standard routers so this is something to consider if you are setting a budget for your smart home. The price will vary depending on the particular brand or model you go for.
Overall, Mesh WiFi is great for those wanting to improve their home network connectivity. Although in the higher price bracket, the investment is worthwhile for those who want an uninterrupted connection. You can browse what we have to offer in networking and WiFi here.