The 101 on Mesh Wi-Fi
Mesh routers were developed originally for huge buildings or offices where a connection was needed throughout, but in recent years people have been using them to upgrade their network at home. If your house has dead areas where you can’t get a good signal or have a connection that drops frequently, a mesh router can help solve your problems.
What is a mesh router?
Mesh Wi-Fi routers are made up of several devices that you can place around your home in order to encompass all areas with a good connection. This sounds very similar to extenders, which you can also purchase and place throughout your home, but the main difference is that the mesh router system can replace your current router, while extenders just boost the connection you have currently using whatever router you already have.
Mesh routers are also able to communicate between devices, while extenders can only communicate with your main router. Since mesh networks have a connection between each point you are left with a stronger connection throughout your home. For more information on the setup process and configuration check out How to Geek’sbreakdown.
Easy to Use
People rave about how easy to use the mesh router systems are. You can manage all of your devices in one app, giving you access even when you aren’t home. You can monitor your speeds, test the connection quality between devices, block your connection from certain sites and more. Traditional routers also offer some of these features, but without the app they tend to be more difficult to use.
Many home mesh routers offer greater security than a typical router. The easy management apps involved with the routers can also help by securing your router, with automatic firmware installations and updates.
A good router with costs around $100, with a few options even in the $50 range. You can also purchase extenders for as little as $20. However, good mesh routers can cost upwards of $300 with additional satellites ranging from $100-200 more. It is a fairly large jump when the average home or apartment can have an adequate connection without it.
While these networks are very secure and can greatly improve your connection, for a smaller home or apartment it may not be a necessary system. It involves more devices than a simple router and for those who only have one dead area, an extender could be a better option. Ultimately, you should assess the pros and cons before investing in one for your own home.
If you’re interested in purchasing a mesh Wi-Fi network system, visit PC Mag for the top-rated ones from 2018. If you’d rather stick to a traditional router, check out our breakdown on the best ones of 2018 at WiFi Map.