Pixabay – wlan-3251871
If the WLAN in the house or apartment does not reach certain areas or only poorly supplies some rooms, this may be because the network cannot work efficiently. A mesh WLAN system can help here. The popularity of these systems has increased significantly recently. But how does a WiFi mesh differ from a conventional WiFi extender?
What is slowing down the wireless network?
The weakened signal or dead spots in the WLAN can be due to physical obstacles. Simple things like the floor, the doors and the walls of a house can be between the end device and the router. This is especially true if these obstacles are made of metal, brick or concrete.
Or maybe the distance in a large house or office is just too great. A conventional router may only reach the kitchen, but not the garden, garage, or a distant bedroom. Interference from other devices can also be the cause. Known interferers are the cordless telephone, the microwave or a baby monitor. If there are other WiFi networks nearby, this problem multiplies.
What is a mesh WiFi?
WiFi extenders have long been a popular option when it comes to providing WiFi to hard-to-reach points in an office or home. With the introduction of mesh WiFi systems in recent years, many users have considered these new systems. In contrast to extenders, WiFi mesh devices are easy to set up and use.
Mesh WiFi systems consist of two or more router-like devices that work together to provide WiFi to a home or office in all areas. The individual units only need to be connected to the power grid, the setup is done with the associated app. As soon as everything is set up, the devices can be managed with the user-friendly smartphone app and expanded easily if necessary. The mobile app also contains other important functions such as device prioritization, guest access and much more.
While extenders simply amplify the WiFi signal of the main router, meshed WiFi systems create a completely new WiFi network that is separate from the WiFi of the current router. Normal extenders can only communicate with the main router, in a mesh WLAN the devices communicate with each other and in any order. This is a great advantage because it ensures the best possible coverage of the WLAN.
Modular expansion and roaming are possible without any problems
A modular mesh WLAN for the entire office or home area is flexible and scalable and offers the administrator options for expanding the wireless network. New nodes can be placed anywhere at any time. Mesh WLAN devices are very compact and can handle a small footprint.
With a combination of router and extender, users often have to switch between networks manually when changing from one supply zone to another. This process is omitted in Mesh WLAN due to seamless roaming. Users can easily change their location within the Mesh WLAN without having to worry about switching or disconnecting.
For advanced users who like to tinker with their network and want to enjoy full control, a mesh WLAN may not be particularly suitable. People who are not as technically savvy but would like to have WiFi in all rooms will benefit from the simple setup of a mesh WiFi.
Figure 1: Pixabay © Stux (CC0 Public Domain)