Are you looking to upgrade your internet? Then you’ve probably heard of mesh WiFi. For most people, a regular WiFi router serves their needs, but for those who want better performance from their internet, mesh WiFi is the best. Introduced in 2015, mesh systems join two or more access points. It aims to build and share a strong WiFi network, one that’s capable of covering large buildings and homes.
Unlike traditional WiFi networks, mesh networks don’t use a central hub to control traffic. Rather, each device in a mesh network communicates with other devices. It does this by relaying traffic and creating a mesh-like pattern of connections.
Table of Contents
- What Is a wifi Node? How Does It Work?
- How Many Mesh Nodes Do I Need and Where to Place Mesh Nodes
- How to Place Mesh wifi
- Mistakes to Avoid When Placing a Mesh Router
- Advantages of a Mesh Network
- Where to Buy Mesh
- How Much Does Mesh Cost?
What Is a wifi Node? How Does It Work?
WiFi nodes are an essential part of mesh network systems. But how do they work? Nodes communicate with each other, sharing a wireless connection within large areas, like across rooms and different floor levels.
One WiFi node serves as the main router, connecting to your modem or wireless gateway (which comprises a modem and wireless router).
Router with blue WIFI signal
Once routers or switches connect to this modem, they can tap into the internet and transmit signals to your paired devices so they can access WiFi. Think of it as having multiple routers linked to one seamless network in your area. This system increases wireless internet coverage within the home.
How Many Mesh Nodes Do I Need and Where to Place Mesh Nodes
Though mesh networks are wireless, you still have to figure out where to place mesh nodes. There’s also the question of numbers. Before starting the process, ask yourself, how many mesh nodes do I need?
The larger the building, the more nodes you’ll need to distribute the network evenly throughout the home. Typically, any space measuring 1500 square feet or less only requires one router and satellite. A space between 1500-3000 square feet needs one router and two satellites.
For 3,000-5,500 square feet, you’ll need to cover more space, so get one router and three satellites. If the space gets larger than 6,000 square feet, you’ll need one router and at least four satellites, possibly more if the building has more than one floor.
Satellite signal over the city
How to Place Mesh wifi
You probably don’t know how to place mesh WiFi unless you’ve used it. Worry not; if it’s your first time, you’ll find it’s a simple process. A general rule of thumb is to place the second node halfway between the router and the WiFi dead zone. Ensure you keep the distance to no more than two rooms (roughly thirty feet) apart.
If you’ve got more than one satellite, place each node in the open, on a tabletop, or next to a power outlet. Besides, you’ll want to minimize the distance in a multi-story home. Sometimes between satellites placed upstairs and downstairs to no more than thirty feet.
Mistakes to Avoid When Placing a Mesh Router
Putting Nodes Too Close
When you put nodes too close together, it burdens the mesh system and connected devices. Placing nodes too close together also creates radio congestion, which makes it difficult for your devices to figure out which node to use.
Placing Nodes Far Apart
Conversely, placing nodes too far apart degrades the signal quality. This leads to slower load times, inconsistent connection, and other network issues.
Poor signal problem
Placing Nodes Close to Radio Absorbing Materials
Materials like fridges, metal plumbing and fixtures, and anything with high metal content tend to absorb WiFi energy. Try to avoid placing them close to these radio-absorbing materials.
Wifi network connection concept
Advantages of a Mesh Network
Easy to Scale
One of the biggest advantages of a mesh network is that it doesn’t need extra routers. It’s because each node works as a router. Even better, changing the size of the network is a quick and easy task for users.
Easy to Increase Range
You connect the nodes to gateways when you want to add range to a mesh network. This allows messages to pass through the network. Mesh networks can also self-optimize, finding the fastest route to deliver messages.
Resistant to Interference
Because they can receive and translate information, mesh networks have a lot of redundancy. This unique feature means mesh networks continue running even if problems pop up. The network switches to other nodes to complete the system. When one node goes offline, it makes it efficient and resistant to interference.
Where to Buy Mesh
You should always buy mesh from trusted and reliable sellers. Get a supplier with years of experience in the field. Some excellent options include the Asus Zen WiFi and TP-Link’s range of routers.
How Much Does Mesh Cost?
The cost depends on the make and model of the mesh system. Some units are more expensive than others. Also, because they offer better features than their competitors. Companies like Vilo offer customers affordable $20 dollar nodes. While satellite internet provider Starlink has much pricier $130 nodes. Ultimately, it’s up to you to balance cost and performance according to your home’s unique needs.
Is It Worth Getting Mesh WIFI?
Mesh networks give you improved coverage and speed. Therefore, it is ideal for homes and businesses with connected devices or users. It edges out traditional WiFi, which sometimes lacks the speed and range to handle such loads.
Is WiFi Mesh Better Than an Extender?
Mesh WiFi solves speed issues for most people. It is because mesh systems work much better, expanding your signal using a smarter network than extenders.
Concept of fast internet
Does the Mesh System Replace My Current Router?
Yes, mesh systems do replace your current router. However, if the need arises, you may use mesh systems with your existing router.
Nothing beats mesh network systems when it comes to speed, widespread coverage, and strong, reliable connections. They’re more efficient and powerful. They eliminate worries about dead zones and slow connectivity when you’re in different rooms. It’ll easily support multiple devices and users Without compromising the internet quality for each user.
Even WiFi extenders can’t compare to the power of mesh networks. And if your traditional WiFi can’t support your needs anymore, then you should look into mesh routers as an alternative. Despite their novelty, they’re easy to use and set up. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about getting stuck due to technical issues.