Is there anything more frustrating than unreliable internet? If you’re someone who works from home, likes to scroll while streaming your favorite shows (we’re multitaskers okay?) or simply has a lot of housemates eating up the internet at any given time, then a mesh WiFi system is the solution you probably didn’t even know you needed.
Fortunately, we’re here to help you discover what a WiFi mesh system is, how it can help you out, and which mesh WiFi router options will work best for your needs.
What is a WiFi mesh system?
Designed to blanket your entire home in uninterrupted connectivity, WiFi mesh is a wireless internet system comprising a main router and several nodes or WiFi points strategically placed throughout the household to provide maximum coverage and reduce spotty service.
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The aforementioned nodes help to cover areas the main router can’t reach, making it the ideal solution for large homes and properties. A WiFi mesh router system can also help out in areas that struggle with WiFi connectivity, boosting your existing connection while ensuring that even the furthest corners of your home have a flawless connection. Mesh keeps all the nodes within a single wireless network — with the same SSID and password — so you’ll be able to seamlessly walk from room to room without losing your service. (This is in contrast to WiFi range extenders that need multiple network names and passwords.)
Another bonus when it comes to mesh WiFi systems is that they’re easily expandable; just purchase additional nodes or WiFi points as needed to extend WiFi coverage out to the backyard, garage, basement, attic — truly wherever. When they say “whole home WiFi” coverage, they mean whole home!
Do I really need a mesh WiFi system?
These days, we use the internet for everything: streaming entertainment, video calls, gaming, and all sorts of work, like homework, school work and work work. And with smart home tech at its peak, we have so many more devices that demand reliable connectivity from our home’s internet router; it’s not just laptops, smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs, but also smart home hubs, game consoles and all the various tech they’re connected to. (And that’s not even considering all the demanding devices that enter our homes when we have guests over.) So yeah, don’t scoff when you see a mesh WiFi system that says it can handle dozens upon dozens of devices — they really do add up!
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In order to ensure optimal performance across all of your devices throughout your home — from attic to basement, front porch to backyard — you’ll want the reliability of a mesh WiFi router and a system of nodes you can place wherever needed to eliminate dead zones and simultaneously improve your wireless internet speeds. (And if you’re looking for top speeds and less bandwidth congestion, be sure to seek out a mesh router that’s compatible with WiFi 6.)
An expandable and scalable mesh WiFi system would also come in handy for businesses, whether you run a small one from your home or manage a larger office space with a team of employees.
How to choose a mesh WiFi (or whole-home WiFi) system
The best mesh WiFi options have a multi-node system and feature security software, smart home compatibility and, most importantly, spotless connectivity throughout your space. WiFi mesh is usually a bit more tastefully designed than your typical router as well.
The most important thing to keep in mind when switching to mesh WiFi is the size of your home or the space you’re looking to connect. Most WiFi mesh systems will advertise how big their coverage area is. Some come in two, three or even six-packs, offering several nodes to place throughout your home or workspace, with each node offering additional square footage to the network.
Depending on the size of your home, however, a multi-pack may be overkill, and you might wind up spending more than you need even if it seems like a really great deal. Most systems allow you to purchase additional nodes to add to your mesh WiFi system, though, so you can always expand down the road.
With that in mind, it’s best to start out with a system that advertises a coverage roughly equivalent to your home’s size, and then adjust from there with additional nodes if needed.
What is the best mesh WiFi option?
Whether you’re working from home or just want a better connection for your family’s myriad devices, mesh WiFi is sure to improve your network. (Though if you’re big into online gaming, you may want to seek a more dedicated mesh WiFi for gamers.) Whatever your need, these are some of the best mesh WiFi options out there to give you flawless internet connection throughout your working or living space.