What’s the Difference Between Mesh Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Extender?

What’s the Difference Between Mesh Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Extender? It’s everyone’s nightmare—you’re trying to stream a movie or working on an important presentation, and suddenly, your Wi-Fi connection drops out.

Whether it’s because you have a large house or there are too many devices connected to your network, sometimes a traditional router can’t provide the coverage you need. That’s where mesh Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi extenders come into play.

Table of Contents

What is Mesh Network, and How Do They Work?

3d rendering router with blue wi-fi sign

3d rendering router with blue wi-fi sign

A mesh network is a network made up of multiple nodes connected. It uses multiple access points to create a single, seamless Wi-Fi network that can cover large areas. Each node in a mesh network is connected to the other, allowing for data to be shared between them.

This means that no matter where you are in your house, you’ll be able to connect to the same Wi-Fi network, no matter how far away from the main router you are. It is especially useful for people who live in large homes and need a reliable connection regardless of where they are in the house.

What are Wi-Fi Range Extenders, and How Do They Work?

Two wi-fi range extenders

Two wi-fi range extenders

A Wi-Fi range extender, also known as a repeater or booster, is a device that acts as a bridge between your router and the dead spots in your home. This device picks up the Wi-Fi signal from your router and amplifies it, extending its range to places where the signal is weak or non-existent.

Wi-Fi range extenders are ideal for people with smaller homes who need to extend their network coverage a bit further.

Mesh Wi-Fi Vs. Wi-Fi Extender: Detailed Comparison

Split testing A and B

Split testing A and B

Network Connection

Mesh Wi-Fi networks are created with multiple access points throughout your home, giving you reliable coverage and fast speeds in larger areas. The access points act as a single network, so you don’t have to switch networks when you move around the house.

Wi-Fi extenders, on the other hand, extend an existing Wi-Fi network by connecting to a router and rebroadcasting its signal. This means you can get coverage in places that were previously out of range, but since it’s still the same network, you’ll still have to switch networks if you move out of the range of one extender to another.

Installation Process

When setting up, mesh Wi-Fi systems are generally easier to install. You must plug in each access point and connect them all using a single app—no additional hardware or configuration is necessary.

Wi-Fi extenders can be a bit more complicated to set up. You’ll need to manually configure each extender by connecting a laptop or another or configuring it through the accompanying software. It can also be more complicated to link multiple extenders together, especially if they are different models or brands.


Mesh Wi-Fi systems offer a wider coverage compared to extenders. A typical mesh system can easily cover up to 3,200 sq ft. with a single access point and up to 6,000 sq ft. You can use more nodes to get even broader coverage.

Wi-Fi extenders, on the other hand, can only extend your existing Wi-Fi signal at most by adding one or two additional access points—this means that coverage is more limited and specific.


You can have more than one access point with a mesh Wi-Fi system. This allows you to put your access points in different rooms and adjust their settings according to the needs of each room. You can also add additional nodes to your mesh Wi-Fi system as needed.

Wi-Fi extenders lack this flexibility since they have a single access point. You have to place them at the most optimum for them to work effectively. Each extent has its network.


Price and cost or expense concept

Price and cost or expense concept

Mesh Wi-Fi systems cost more than Wi-Fi extenders, but you get a better range and coverage for your money. A basic mesh Wi-Fi system can cost around $100, with more advanced starting at $500. A Wi-Fi extender will cost anywhere from $25 to $100.

Pros and Cons of Mesh Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Extender

Easy to install and configureMore expensive than a Wi-Fi extender 
 Wi-Fi Mesh
Wider coverageRequires more power to operate
Can be customized and adjusted for each room
Wi-Fi ExtenderLow cost compared to mesh Wi-Fi systemsLimited coverage compared to mesh Wi-Fi systems
Ideal for smaller homesDifficult to link multiple extenders together, especially if they are different models or brands. 

Which Of the Two is Better?

Better is normally subjective, and the suitable type of Wi-Fi system will depend on individual preferences and needs.

The Mesh Wi-Fi system is a great choice for you if:

  • One, you have a large area to cover and multiple devices to connect
  • Secondly, you want the convenience of easy access, configuration, and management
  • Lastly, you don’t want to rely on Ethernet cables.

The Wi-Fi Extender is a great choice for you if:

  • For starters, you want a simpler and less costly solution than a Mesh Wi-Fi system
  • Secondly, you don’t mind sacrificing some speed for the lower price
  • Finally, you are not as concerned about uniform coverage throughout the home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Wi-Fi Extenders Reduce Speed?

You may experience some speed reduction when using a Wi-Fi Extender due to the signal having to travel further. However, most modern extenders are designed to minimize this effect.

Do Mesh Networks Reduce Speeds?

Every hop or link in a Mesh network will reduce the bandwidth by half. This is because the links can transmit or receive data simultaneously, but not both.


In summary, mesh Wi-Fi networks and range extenders are great solutions for boosting your home network. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, so it’s important to consider your needs before deciding which system is right for you.

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