Mesh WiFi systems are something that has taken the industry by storm. Manufacturers are beginning to place a big emphasis on crafting their own mesh wireless systems because they really think that it is the future of wi-fi. Consumers are just beginning to experience the advantages of these systems over wireless routers such as much improved coverage, blanketing the house with wireless and so on…
Below, we will be going over some of the different pros and cons of mesh WiFi systems vs wireless routers.
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What Is A Mesh Wireless System?
Mesh networks are created to seamlessly interact with one another. They are a much more advanced option in order to allow for data to leap between relays in order to reach a specific point. Therefore, instead of having a single router directing traffic to all of the devices on a single network, the systems work together seamlessly in order to properly direct and facilitate traffic to the various devices on the network. All of the ‘nodes’ connected in this type of network are able to speak to one another rather than having to go through one central hub or one wireless router to direct traffic.
The Main Advantages Of Mesh WiFi Over Traditional Routers
These are the main reasons why you might want to invest in a wireless mesh instead of just buying the next best wireless router:
1. Much Improved Coverage
One of the main pros associated with Mesh WiFi systems is the ability to cover much larger areas. This is particularly true if you have a multi-level home or a larger home with a significant surface area to cover. With a mesh system, you are not forced to rely on a single router to provide you with a signal throughout your entire home. Instead, you will be able to strategically place the different nodes apart from the mesh system throughout which can help you get better overall coverage throughout your home and eliminate potential ‘dead zones.’
2. Less Prone To Failure
Another reason why mesh networks have a significant advantage over a single router network is that you don’t have to worry about a singular router failing to broadcast signals. If you ever had a single router setup, you have likely dealt with having to reset your router. Because a mesh network relies on several nodes to deliver signal throughout your home, if one fails, it won’t completely bog up your network. It would simply connect devices to a node that is active and working.
3. Seamless Transfers
Another good thing about mesh networks is the ability to have seamless transfers when moving throughout your home and jumping from node to node. While you could set up multiple routers in your home acting as access points, each access point is going to have its own SSID name. Because of this, you have to manually transfer your device from one to another. With mesh networks, your device is automatically transferred seamlessly to the best node for your specific device location to achieve the best signal speed possible.
The Main Disadvantages Of Mesh Wireless
Let’s take a look at what mesh wireless are lacking and what traditional routers are better with in terms of performance, connectivity and advanced features:
1. Price Is Still Pretty High
The biggest disadvantage associated with mesh networks is the high priced barrier to entry. Unfortunately, these systems can be very expensive. Thus, you will need to make a hefty initial investment and it is usually more than even the best wireless routers out there.
2. Lack Of Advanced Features
Another con associated with mesh networks is that their design typically forces a lack of advanced features. Because they are designed to be user-friendly and for the most part ‘plug and play’, manufacturers typically leave out access to advanced features which power users might want and/or need from their routing solutions. If you want advanced DMZ zones, strong parental controls, and QoS systems, you might be better off with a good traditional router, especially for gaming.
3. Loss Of Speed Down The Nodes
That’s not necessarily valid for all of the systems, but the ones without dedicated backhaul channel work effectively like basic WiFi extenders. The difference between WiFi extenders and mesh is non-existent if there is no backhaul communication channel present.
Overall, there are plenty of benefits to using mesh WiFi products. They make them a compelling option for those that suffer from ‘dead spots’ or ‘dead zones’ throughout their homes. By investing in mesh wireless, you are going to be investing primarily in convenience and ease of use. These systems are designed to be effortless to install and usually ‘just work.’ To determine which option is right for you, simply look at your coverage area, figure out if a single router solution is enough, and base your decision on what kind of advanced features you need from your setup. As long as you are willing to pay a premium, a mesh WiFi setup is a very good option to consider. To check what we think is the best mesh wireless system to buy, check here.
As always, we’d love to hear any other advantages and disadvantages of mesh over routers down in the comments!