Is a Wi-Fi Mesh Network Worth It?

The advantages and disadvantages of mesh Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi mesh networks are the latest option for anyone keen to expand their home network. Working differently to standalone routers, mesh networks are creating by linking together two or more routers, expanding the area in your home that is covered by a Wi-Fi signal. They can be incredibly useful for some users but they might also be overkill for your needs. Here's a look at what you need to know about whether a mesh Wi-Fi network is worth it for you. 

Is a Mesh Wi-Fi System Worth It?

For some users, this is a simple to answer question. Does your existing home network work just fine? You probably don't need a new mesh Wi-Fi system then. 

If you find your existing home network keeps dropping out or there are dead spots in your home where the signal does not reach, then a Mesh Wi-Fi system could be a good solution. Designed to fill in gaps in your home coverage, they are particularly well suited to large homes or homes with thicker and older walls.

It's important to consider how much you need extra coverage. If the dead spot is an area you never use and your home network works just fine otherwise, it might be excessive to buy a new mesh Wi-Fi system just for this when you could buy a Wi-Fi extender instead. 

Is Mesh Wi-Fi Better Than Router?

Mesh Wi-Fi has some strong benefits over a regular router. Here's a look at the key advantages.

  • Easy to manage. Most mesh systems are fully automated and work via a cellphone app, saving you the need to log into your router regularly to adjust settings. It's often far easier to manage and ideal for less experienced users of networks.
  • Streamlined network. Rather than needing to set up Wi-Fi extenders or power line adaptors, it's possible to solely use a Wi-Fi mesh network for all your network needs saving the hassle of juggling multiple devices.
  • Looks neater. Oftentimes, Wi-Fi mesh network devices look like smart speakers or similar so they blend into your home surroundings better than a traditional router or Wi-Fi extender. 

What Are the Disadvantages of Mesh Wi-Fi?

Mesh Wi-Fi isn't perfect although it solves a big issue for many users. Here's a breakdown of some of the key disadvantages of mesh Wi-Fi.

  • It's expensive. A Wi-Fi mesh network is often more expensive to set up than a regular router. That's because it comprises of a number of components including multiple units. 
  • It's overkill for some. Wi-Fi mesh networks often cover a large amount of ground and that can be overkill for some users. Owners of large homes won't have a problem but it's worth considering if you have an apartment or small house.
  • It takes up room. While individual Wi-Fi mesh network units are often fairly subtle looking, they do take up room. You'll need to ensure you have a spare power outlet and place to store each of them. 

Why Is Mesh Wi-Fi Bad?

Mesh Wi-Fi isn't bad exactly but it can be unnecessary for some users. It's worth considering whether a dead spot in your home is better solved by using a Wi-Fi extender. 

If you're a fan of tweaking network settings and being able to see exactly what's going on with your network, a Wi-Fi mesh network can also feel quite limited as they rarely offer as many advanced features as a regular router. 

It's important to weigh up how you want your network to work and which features are most important to your home. 

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