Mesh WiFi can be categorized as a WiFi booster. How it differs from other WiFi boosting devices, like range extenders and MoCA adapters, is that it is a whole-home WiFi system. This means that all of the devices in the system are working together. A mesh system includes a mesh router that connects directly to your modem and series of devices often called nodes that are placed throughout your home.
Mesh WiFi nodes create a blanket of WiFi coverage in your home. Wherever there is a node there is a strong WiFi signal. Even though the mesh router, modem and nodes are placed in separate rooms in your home, they all are part of a single mesh network, sharing the same SSID and password.
There are alternatives to Mesh WiFi that are more affordable ways to boost your WiFi, or more cost-effective for a smaller space. However, if you have a large home and the budget to invest in a Mesh WiFi system, there are specific things to look for in the right system for you.
Mesh WiFi Must-Haves
Not all Mesh systems are created equally. Depending on your needs, there are specific things to look for and consider must-haves.
Modern Mesh systems broadcast on 2.4GHz band and 5GHz band. Choose 5GHz band for the best performance. You might consider a system that supports band splitting if you don’t want both bands under one network name or devices connecting automatically.
Size and number of antennas
Look for nodes with MU-MIMO (multi-user, multi-in, multi-out) capabilities. This means that your Mesh system will have multiple antennas simultaneously sending and receiving a strong signal.
Delivers the speed you need
Consider how much speed you actually need. If you can get away with sufficient speeds and still stream 4K videos and surf the web, then save money by buying a mid-range system. If you require higher bandwidth usage for things like uninterrupted online gaming, choose a higher-grade system.
Supports WiFi 6
A mesh system that supports WiFi 6 will deliver fast speeds, MU-MIMO capabilities and more.
Set up and management
Lastly, a lot of mesh systems can be set up and managed from your smartphone. If this is important to you, consider the investment.
Want to learn more about Mesh WiFi? Check out Hitron’s Learn page for more resources.