Mesh Network Explained.

April 4, 2023

Mesh networking is one of our most common requests from our customers, but most people are misinformed about what a mesh network actually is and what it does.

Mesh networks does not give you faster internet speeds or make your network more reliable than a regular network, but it is the easiest and fastest solution to bad Wi-Fi.

Let's use an example to help you understand what a mesh network is. Imagine a house where the router is on one side of the house, in Room A. And let's say Room B, C, D and E have low or no Wi-Fi.

Using Wi-Fi extenders is the easiest and fastest way to solve this problem. Wi-Fi extenders are typically a plug and play system, where you plug the extender into an electrical outlet, and extend your current network in the new room wirelessly. No wires need to be pulled.

The old school way was to put a Wi-Fi extender in Room B, C, D and E, and then:

Room B's extender will communicate with Room A.

Room C will talk to Room B, which is will then talk to Room A.

Room D will talk to Room C, which will then talk to Room B, which then will hop to Room A.

The only problem here is that if for some reason, Room B's extender stops working or accidentally gets unplugged, then the link is broken and Room C, D, and E will stop working as well.

In a Mesh Network, Room C will link to Room B and Room A. And Room D will connect to Room C, B and A. So if there is ever a disruption with one extender, the other extenders have a backup.

NOTE: In any wireless configuration, each time a network extender is used as a "hopper" the internet speed and communication time is cut in half. For example, if you pay for a 200mbps plan from your internet provider, your router will give you 200mbps, Room B will get 100mbps, Room C will get 50mbps and so on.

The Best Solution

Run wiring. The best way to have reliability, a strong signal, and get the full speed you are paying for, is to run an internet wire (Cat6) from each extender back to the main router.

Now you don't have to worry about weak signal from one extender to another. No speed will be compromised by using wireless hops.

In conclusion, whenever possible run a Cat6 wire from extenders to the main router for the strongest signal. If you are doing a new construction, or renovation, absolutely run Cat6 wires throughout the house to get the best Wi-Fi experience.

However, if your house construction is finished and it is not cost effective to run the wires to the main router, mesh network is the best way to go.

Do not use Mesh as a primary solution, it should be a backup solution.

If you need help figuring out which solution is best for you or if you have any more questions. Please contact us.

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