Mesh routers first made a splash early in 2017, and since then, one of the fastest growing sectors of the home networking market. But what is mesh networking and how mesh routers actually work? Read our guide on routers network to find out!
What is Mesh Networking
By all accounts, it would be easy to get confused with a mesh network with a wireless router / range extender combo.
That said, among the basic technology is what makes these two methods different from multiple wireless always from your wireless router.
While a range extender relies on the same transmission technology that a wireless router uses to communicate with your devices, rely on sending and receiving data (2.4GHz or 5GHz radios) to use mesh networks every additional router in the network as an independent signal amplifier based ad hoc technology.
Each node communicates with the other node to create a “blanket” of coverage that can be more than reliable and more consistent than range extender based on the architecture and layout of your home.
Mesh networking has been used for years, but until recently mainly by the military, cities, and hospitals in disaster areas to receive signal in areas that could be hundreds of meters, even miles from a dedicated Ethernet port. Any “hop” in the network does not degrade or slow the signal, because as long as there are a bunch of mesh nodes all hooked up together they will always be able to pick up the slack for one node when another starts to lose connectivity ,
The greater the number of nodes you have in the chain, the more reliable and reliable the connection will be.
Who is Mesh Networking for?
Even though the primary implementation of mesh networking has been exclusive to both industry and business for many years, now technology has made its way into the homes of millions of consumers and the results are not argued with.
Although standard routers have made significant improvements in the range and performance of their signals over the years, often increasing this performance on the tradeoff buying larger, bulky routers sprinkles over all sides of the device with more and more antennas coming.
This can make them far less visually appealing, and cause most people who want to hide them in a dark corner of their home or leave them relegated to their home offices, in technology that usually looks like this.
But what does that mean for the actual use case of wireless networks?
Now the problem starts, considering that most people prefer to use their wireless devices in central hubs of the house like the living room, their bedrooms and the kitchen.
If you have hidden your big bulky router in a more distant corner of the house, this weakens the signal to central hubs and makes it difficult to get a reliable connection anywhere except the areas that are close to your home office.
Similarly, a home router will only work if it is connected to the main Ethernet port of your home, a position that can vary greatly from house to house and apartment to apartment.
If your main Ethernet line is not centrally located to your home, you could be stuck with just two options: get a super-strong main router, or connect a less-powerful home router with a range of range extender used elsewhere.
This means that in larger homes or apartments with lots of walls and doors between your devices and the main hub, a mesh network is always the better choice to keep a strong, solid connection, no matter where you try, or stream to the game from anytime of the day.
Mesh networking is also great for less tech savvy users who do not have the skill or knowledge necessary to connect to a wireless extender to their existing network implementation.
Mesh networks have not only streamlined the design of traditional routers, they have also made it ridiculously easy to get the systems set up throughout the home. Mesh routers are the definition of “plug and play” simplicity, often relying on smartphone apps and automatic Bluetooth connections to get your network out of the box, connected and running within 15 minutes or less.
Mesh Networking Makes Router look good
Mesh router networking solves this problem by providing a sleeker, smaller alternative to the two routers and range extenders, adding the benefits of mesh networking in addition to some pretty sleek design notes on top of it.
We’ve tested several mesh networking systems here at Gadget Review, and I’m happy to announce that almost all of them would look great in any home decor. Due to the ad-hoc technology, mesh nodes can be much smaller than a standard router, and even the base router itself can shrink in size because it does not need large antennas to get its signal from one mesh node to the next ,
Network systems such as the Linksys velop and AMPLIFI HD are just a few of the new mesh networking systems that have incorporated modern design elements into the core construction of their devices.
These mesh systems are dainty, beautiful and would look great no matter where you connected them in your home. Because of the smaller form factor, systems like the AMPLIFI can use a tiny little box with a gorgeous LCD display as the main hub, while all other nodes are implemented as antennas that can be plugged directly into the outlets.
That means that if you want to have an antenna hooked up in every bedroom of your home (as well as others in the kitchen, living room, and an outlet next to your back yard), you can do so without having the aesthetic screwing that you have built for the rest of your home.
If you live in a big house and have found yourself struggling to keep a decent signal on the current router (and already own one of the more powerful base stations out there), then you could consider upgrading your network to a mesh system soon ,
Yes, they cost a bit more than a standard router, but the benefits you get both on the design and reliability of the connection simply can not be rivaled by standard wireless router options.