What Is Mesh WiFi – What’s Behind It, Advantages & Disadvantages


More and more devices and applications are exchanging data and require a stable and fast internet connection at home. Mesh WiFi is the name of a technology that meets this increased demand. We explain to you what’s behind it and what you get from it in addition to an increased WiFi range.

Our Internet at home is becoming faster and more powerful thanks to ever-better offers from Internet Service Providers (ISP). In order for fast internet to reach your television, smartphone, computer, and other devices, the WLAN must be equipped for the flood of data.

What Is Mesh WiFi?

WLAN as a distribution network for the Internet at home has established itself as the standard since the triumph of smartphones around 2010. Since then, new routers and WLAN adapters that support ever faster transmission standards have been continuously developed. Mesh WiFi, on the other hand, has nothing to do with the transmission itself, but rather with the optimal illumination of your home with WiFi.

In a classically structured home WLAN, there is a router somewhere in your apartment or house that does heavy work all by itself. It radiates the WLAN that you use to connect all of your wireless devices. This can lead to problems, especially in angled or large buildings, because areas are no longer covered with the full transmission strength. Mesh WiFi extends the range and brings the wireless connection to the Internet to every corner of your home.

Also Read: This Is How You Fix The Problem When There Is No Internet Despite WiFi

How Does Mesh WiFi Work?

There is also a router in a mesh WLAN, which establishes the Internet access and provides a WLAN. The whole point is what comes after that. The English verb “mesh” means something like “interlocking” – and with a mesh WLAN, further network components come into play after the router, which does just that.

To increase the WiFi of your router and bring it to less accessible areas of your home, you use mesh-enabled WiFi repeaters. These are connected to the router and then serve as additional WLAN sources. If you distribute these “satellites” well in your apartment or house, you will have stable and fast WiFi everywhere – and, accordingly, quick access to the Internet.

What Are The Benefits Of Mesh WiFi?

Anyone who has already dealt with the expansion of their WLAN in the past might ask what the advantages of such a mesh WLAN are. After all, the wireless network could already be expanded using access points – and repeaters are not new either. In contrast to older components of this type, however, the bandwidth of your connections does not decrease when you move away from the base station. So you surf everywhere at your full speed.

Mesh WiFi repeaters enlarge the network that is already being sent out by the router, which has several advantages.

One large WiFi instead of multiple networks

All your devices are only connected to a WLAN. Especially with devices that are in different rooms but work together, this can prevent problems compared to a solution with several coupled networks. Good examples of this are smart home components such as multi-part alarm systems as well as smart shutters, lamps, and thermostats.
It is also practical that the mesh components can communicate with one another and synchronize settings. For example, you don’t have to update each device individually.

No interruptions when changing rooms and floors thanks to roaming

If you move your smartphone from the catchment area of ​​one repeater to that of another or the router, the roaming function of the mesh WiFi hardware pays off. Your end devices switch seamlessly from one WLAN source to the next without you noticing. The internet connection is always stable.

The mesh WLAN constantly monitors which access point has the best performance available. So you always have an optimal connection, even if you move through the apartment with your smartphone or tablet.

Mesh repeaters can also be integrated via PowerLAN

Mesh WiFi repeaters, which establish their connection to the router and the rest of the network via the power grid, are particularly useful with solid walls or high radiators. This type of connection is often called PowerLAN or Powerline. Depending on the manufacturer of the components, other designations such as DLAN (D-Link) are also used.

Intelligent frequency band change thanks to band steering

WLAN-enabled devices such as smartphones and laptops usually transmit both in the fast 5 GHz and in the 2.4 GHz frequency range, which is slower but offers more range. Modern network components often master what is known as band steering. This function enables you to independently select the area for the data exchange that creates the optimal connection in each case.

Reliability: Access Points Represent Each Other

Admittedly, this advantage only really comes into play when you have integrated several access points or mesh WiFi repeaters into the network. Failure safety can be an important aspect, for example, if you are in the home office and work with critical data. The nodes of a mesh WLAN are connected to each other and form a large network. If a single one fails, the other nodes within reach can take over its task.

The Advantages Of Mesh WiFi In Brief

  • The mesh WiFi consists of only one (large) network, which makes setting up a smart home easier
  • Uninterrupted change of rooms and floors. Perfect for home office use
  • Mesh-enabled PowerLAN adapters are available to penetrate massive walls or other WLAN barriers
  • The band steering function of modern network components can increase data throughput
  • Increased reliability: If access points fail, other nodes within range can take over the connection to end devices

What Are The Disadvantages Of Mesh WiFi?

  • The disadvantages of mesh WiFi are limited and obvious
  • The acquisition of the additional WLAN nodes is associated with increased costs
  • At the same time, the additional devices consume more electricity
  • Anyone who has already found it difficult to place the router in the living room or hallway for optical reasons will probably be reluctant to install additional repeaters

How Do I Go About Switching To Mesh WiFi?

When setting up your mesh WiFi, you start with the internet access point.

  • If you only have a modem and no WiFi hardware at all, you have a free choice. But pay attention to the recommended properties when buying a router/base station and repeaters Do you establish the Internet connection via a WLAN router or is there already a router connected to your modem that connects your end devices to the Internet? First, check whether your router is mesh-capable.
  • If you only have an old device that does not support Mesh WiFi, first check whether a software update is available before replacing the hardware. Some manufacturers provide updates for their hardware mesh support.
  • If the router is already mesh-capable or you were able to upgrade the function via an update, you should check in the manufacturer’s support area which devices are suitable for expanding the mesh network.

What to look for when selecting additional mesh network components:

  • If you want it to be as easy as possible when setting up the mesh network, stick with components from one provider. On the one hand, manufacturers certainly test the functionality of their repeaters most extensively in conjunction with their own routers. On the other hand, the chance that manufacturer support can help you in the event of a problem is much greater if there is no third-party hardware involved.
  • Think in advance where you want to place repeaters at home and how you want to connect them to the base station or your router. Sometimes packages with multiple WiFi mesh repeaters or access points attract a special price. Maybe a mixture with powerline adapters makes sense.
  • Ensures that the devices you want support band steering, roaming, and the AC WiFi standard. If the latter is the case, the devices are also dual-band capable and can distribute the data traffic to the 5 and 2.4 GHz frequency band.
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