One thing to keep in mind is that the Wi-Fi router is designed to be used on the same floor. Even so, even on the same floor we can have coverage blind spots that on a higher floor would be even greater. Before proceeding to buy a Wi-Fi Mesh system, you should know what it is, advantages, disadvantages and other things to take into account.
What is a Wi-Fi Mesh system
A Wi-Fi Mesh systemAlso known as mesh networks are those that are formed by a router or base station, and several access points, also known as satellites or nodes. A very important point is that it works in a very different way than a simple network with repeaters.
The main difference between a mesh WiFi network and a network with repeaters is that in the first we have all nodes that connect to each other and provide wireless clients with WiFi roaming, so that they can move from one node to another without interruption in Connection. In a Wi-Fi Mesh system, the access points are not only connected to the router but are also capable of communicating with each other, with the aim of having the minimum path from the origin to the node that acts as a router. This allows us to achieve better coverage and better management of the network.
Another difference between conventional repeaters and the WiFi mesh network is that you will not always connect to the closest point. In that sense, you will be able to decide which one is better at each moment. It will do so taking into account criteria such as:
- The saturation of the network.
- The overall quality of the connection, if a node were down, we would not be left without an Internet connection, since it would connect us to another.
In addition, we maintain the same WiFi network with the same SSID and password, with a strategically placed satellite system. This will help us to always have the best signal depending on how the connection is or where we are located. The most important difference between a normal and current WiFi repeater and a WiFi Mesh system, is that we can have WiFi roaming between nodes to go from one to another without interruption in the connection, we can continue with the call by VoIP or video call, something that with WiFi repeaters does not happen. In addition, we will also have band-steering, a feature that allows us to go from 2.4GHz to 5GHz and vice versa depending on the circumstances of the wireless network.
Advantages and disadvantages of buying a Wi-Fi Mesh system
Between the advantage buying a Wi-Fi Mesh system is that you optimize resources. Thanks to this, we have greater coverage and the quality of the signal is usually better due to the connection between the nodes. Another positive point is its easy management from the software provided by the manufacturer. In addition, it does not require a very technical installation and any user without advanced knowledge in this type of technology could install it. In the latest models of WiFi Mesh systems, the configuration is fully automatic, we do not need to configure each satellite node one by one.
Regarding the drawback is that if we do not correctly place the nodes in the right places, we can have problems when moving around the house. So it could be that we have areas where the satellites don’t really know which one they should connect to at that moment. Another negative point is that they are clearly more expensive than WiFi repeaters, but it is worth it for all the benefits they have.
What should we look for when buying a Wi-Fi Mesh system
When buying a Wi-Fi Mesh system these are the things we should look for that they have:
- A dedicated frequency band for the interconnection of the nodes: we have to have a Wi-Fi Mesh system with simultaneous triple band. One band would be dedicated exclusively to interconnecting devices. Therefore, for wireless clients we will have simultaneous dual band.
- Wi-Fi version– The latest wireless standard is Wi-Fi 6, but with the Wi-Fi 5 standard we would have great performance without spending a lot of money.
- Processor and RAM: the faster the CPU, the better overall performance we will get, and in that sense, at least 256 MB of RAM are essential.
- Ethernet ports: they have to be at least Gigabit Ethernet, and the nodes must also have ports in case we need to connect a device via cable to them.
- USB port: There are WiFi Mesh systems that have USB ports to share files on a local network.
- Firmware: it is necessary to find that they allow to configure VLANs in the Internet WAN, VLAN per port for IPTV services, that has Movistar Triple VLAN FTTH and also that it has a powerful and advanced QoS to prioritize network traffic. In addition, it is recommended that you incorporate a VPN server to connect to the home local network safely.
As you have seen, WiFi Mesh systems are here to stay, but we must look at all these aspects to make a successful purchase. We recommend you visit our ranking of the best Wi-Fi Mesh systems with their respective in-depth analysis, where you can see their main technical characteristics, how the different routers and nodes are physically, the firmware that they have with all the configuration options explained, and also the real performance that they provide us via WiFi and cable.