What are mesh Wi-Fi systems and how do they work?


Tired of dead zones in your home or office? Consider mesh Wi-Fi, which offers all the benefits you need for multiple people streaming at the same time.

If your house has dead spots, you might consider a mesh Wi-Fi setup. Recently increasing in popularity, it differs from other conventional signal-extending technology.

So what is mesh Wi-Fi? That’s what we’re here to explain today.

what are mesh wi-fi systems, and how do they work?
A laptop outdoors

What is mesh Wi-Fi?

A popular option for a poor network is a Wi-Fi extender. However, with the evolution of mesh Wi-Fi in the last few years, many users are choosing it instead because it’s very easy to use and set up.

Mesh networks have been around for quite a while now. And eero is a company that’s introduced mesh Wi-Fi for the home. Other companies, such as Linksys and Netgear, have begun to do the same.

It’s easy to set up.

A mesh Wi-Fi system includes 1 or 2 devices that look like a router. They work in conjunction to provide a Wi-Fi blanket for your house.

They are really simple to set up and don’t require a lot of network names like other extenders. Just plug in the units and follow a few easy steps in the connected app. Then you can easily manage the network.

It suits all home sizes.

Mesh Wi-Fi networks have been built for all kinds of houses, especially for large- to mid-size ones that usually suffer from incomplete or weak internet reception. Generally, if you have slow Wi-Fi or dead zones, you may opt for a range extender.

However, those don’t give you the fastest connectivity all over your house. On the other hand, mesh Wi-Fi networks cover an average area of 6,000 square feet, 2 or more stories, unusual layouts, and brick walls.

It serves many users at once.

When there are a lot of members in the family, a Wi-Fi router typically will have some difficulty. This is particularly the case when everyone is trying to access devices at the same time.

With a mesh Wi-Fi network, there are several nodes. Plus, everybody finds it easy to connect almost all the devices at the same time without hampering the Wi-Fi bandwidth. 

What are the features of a whole-home Wi-Fi system?

A whole-home mesh Wi-Fi system uses intuitive and smart technology. If 1 or more of the mesh nodes fails, it doesn’t require you to login to the network over and over. When you go downstairs or upstairs, it keeps you connected to a single robust network.

Likewise, mesh Wi-Fi provides stable internet connectivity in large houses, as every node can piggyback the other node’s signal. So you get robust Wi-Fi irrespective of where you are.

What management and setup does mesh Wi-Fi require?

With easy setup, many mesh routers have simple network management. They also give you control over the network speed. In addition, they provide parental controls and settings for checking the speed.

Is a mesh Wi-Fi system different from an extender?

As Jeremy Clifford from Router Ctrl says, “When you fix the first two units in the house, you needn’t worry about positioning a third unit that is near the first. You can easily get a signal from across the first or the second unit that you have already set up. This allows you to get more extensive coverage in comparison to using a Wi-Fi extender. The best way to describe how a mesh Wi-Fi network works is by comparing it to a relay race in which a runner passes the baton to the successive runner for covering the track. A mesh Wi-Fi system functions in a similar way.”

Their signal quality differs.

An extender can simply improve the main router signal, whereas a mesh Wi-Fi system creates an entirely new signal that is separate and distinct from the current router. Also, it’s simple to make changes to settings and oversee the network via connected apps.

Their communication varies.

A conventional Wi-Fi extender only communicates with the primary router. And, when you set up several Wi-Fi extenders, they can’t easily communicate with one another. However, mesh Wi-Fi networks allow a lot of routers to communicate with each other in a sequence they like.

They transmit data differently.

With conventional Wi-Fi extenders, you need to manually shift between the networks. Alternatively, a mesh Wi-Fi system acts as a single network, and the devices automatically switch between the different units.

While a few Wi-Fi extenders may be able to do this, they have a downside: they utilize Wi-Fi to communicate with the router and the other devices. They can add to the stress of the Wi-Fi extender, which results in slow speed.

Mesh Wi-Fi network devices, such as eero’s, have several radios in every unit. Therefore, 1 radio may handle communicating with the other units, and the other radios can communicate with the devices. This way, they effectively spread out their responsibilities and prevent any bottleneck. As a result, you can get a strong Wi-Fi signal and fast speeds across the entire house without any degradation.

what are mesh wi-fi systems, and how do they work?
A Wi-Fi router

What is best for a home office?

Places that have dead spots can benefit from mesh Wi-Fi networking because it can improve the signal coverage and strength.

Nevertheless, it may be very expensive if your existing router needs to be overhauled. A mesh Wi-Fi network is definitely overkill if there aren’t many users and devices competing for bandwidth. If you prefer to expand your connectivity, Wi-Fi extenders make a lot of sense.

At the end of the day, a mesh Wi-Fi network isn’t for everybody. For example, advanced users who like to enjoy total control perhaps don’t want one. However, if you live in a large house with many dead spots, you can easily benefit from it.

Amy Poole is an Editor and Writer at Gadget Flow. When she’s not indulged in everything gadget-related, she enjoys spending time with her dog, Rosie, and keeping fit.