Best Mesh WiFi Networks are currently the talk of the town when it comes to WiFi technology. These systems are the next generation solution for WiFi networks. Compared to Range Extenders, Mesh systems have proven effective in maintaining performance on a multiple node network. Apart from increasing range and eliminating dead spots, Mesh networks come with a lot of other cool features that range from product to product.
A renowned company like ASUS has even gone a step further by incorporating mesh functionality into different ASUS routers. This means you can setup a Mesh WiFi network without having to replace your standalone router. Get the facts pertaining to ASUS Mesh WiFi. It is evident that the market is getting flooded by a horde of Mesh WiFi products all from different brands. In order to get value for your money, there are various things and scenarios that you have to look into before purchasing a Mesh WiFi. Let’s get into it.
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1. Purpose and workload
Winning an online game can be a matter of how fast your network reception is. If you are looking to purchase a Mesh WiFi that is tailored for a good gaming experience, you ought to rethink your options. There are a lot of standalone gaming routers out there but wouldn’t it be great to have a setup that features gaming utility as well as all the functionality of a Mesh WiFi? AiMesh from ASUS is an excellent option for this.
Another thing to consider when looking at the workload is the expected number of devices that will connect to the network. If it’s high, consider a Mesh network that uses multi-MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output). A perfect example is the LYRA TRIO which uses 3×3 MIMO. This technology allows parallel transmission of data packets. This means more devices can communicate at the same time while maintaining latency at bay.
2. Size of premise
Mesh WiFi is capable of up to 5000sqft of range. Purchasing a kit with three nodes intended for a small home would be considered an overhaul. If you are in a small house with one to three rooms, a Mesh WiFi with one node would do. If you are in a medium house with four to five rooms, a Mesh WiFi with two nodes would do. If you are in a large and multistory house, a Mesh WiFi with three nodes will do.
A lot of mesh WiFi products give you the flexibility of choosing the number of nodes you want depending on the size of your premise. A good example is the Tenda Nova MW6.
3. Adaptive routing
This a path optimization technique that has been implemented in a number of Mesh systems. It is also known as dynamic routing. This algorithm determines the shortest path a data packet ought to take. It also uses protocols that read and respond to changes in the network topology. In the event one node fails, the rest of the nodes can still reconfigure themselves to keep the network going. This means there is less network downtime. The node that has failed can be fixed while the network is still live.
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This technique is essential for increasing performance since a data packet does not have to traverse all the nodes to reach the intended node. Furthermore, if a data packet is able to take a shorter path, there will be less processing, less forwarding between nodes and an overall reduction in latency. In order to save yourself some hustle, go for a Mesh WiFi that implements this algorithm.
4. Number of bandwidth frequencies
Different client devices operate at different bandwidth frequencies. It is crucial that your Mesh network be able to support all of them. A router can typically operate on either of the following bandwidths:
- Single-band: Uses a single frequency signal. It may either be 2.4GHz or 5GHz but not both. If a Mesh WiFi operates at a 2.4GHz frequency, it means it can only support client devices operating at 2.4GHz frequency. This is the same for 5GHz frequency.
- Dual-band: Uses two frequency signals. Such a Mesh WiFi incorporates both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. This means it is able to support both 2.4GHz and 5GHz client devices.
- Tri-band: A tri-band Mesh WiFi uses three frequency signals (Dual 5GHz & Single 2.4GHz or Dual 2.4GHz & Single 5GHz). It is able to support both 2.4GHz and 5GHz client devices better than the dual-band.
Go for a tri-band or dual-band Mesh WiFi. That being said, check our recommended list.
5. Antivirus firmware
Keeping your network and connected devices secure is crucial. Always check the antivirus program in use for the Mesh WiFi you are about to purchase. For instance, Netgear Orbi uses Bitdefender which is a renowned antivirus program for PCs. AiMesh, on the other hand, uses AiProtection which is powered by Trend Micro. Go for a Mesh WiFi that will provide comprehensive security for your network.
6. Administration capabilities
These are the features for administering your Mesh WiFi network. These functionalities vary from product to product. Some basic ones include:
- Parental control: This lets you monitor the activities of the connected device and set restrictions or schedule.
- Traffic prioritization: This lets you prioritize the network for particular traffic such as gaming.
- Guest network: This lets you dedicate a guest network with its own USSD and password.
7. Ethernet LAN support
WiFi is more convenient but let’s face it, a wired Ethernet connection has better speed than a wireless WiFi connection. It is evident that WiFi speed is progressively improving although Ethernet can give you speeds of up to one gigabit per second. When you want to download large files for a limited period of time an Ethernet connection would be ideal. Furthermore, using an Ethernet provides more stable connectivity.
When purchasing a Mesh WiFi, consider going for a system with at least two Ethernet LAN ports on each node. Just in case you need more speeds for one reason or another.