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Wifi Mesh Solutions

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What is wifi mesh technology and should I care?

Ever wondered what is all the fuss about wifi mesh technology? Let's first understand what it is and why you might want it. A wifi mesh network (WMN) is made up of radio nodes that work together as a single network, or what is also known as a mesh cloud.

Overwhelmed by your SSID mess?

If you have already tried adding a network extender to your wifi access point and find yourself overwhelmed by the number of SSIDs you and your neighbors have created (router 2.4G, router 5G, extender 2.4G, extender 5G, and so on), then you probably know what I mean. With a mesh network, the nodes communicate with one another and you only attach to one SSID.

More importantly, if your teenage son is gaming upstairs while you're watching Netflix downstairs, he should no longer be screaming at your about "lag glitching" because the nodes are managing the traffic shaping and route handling for you.

Some decent work-arounds

If you just need to fix a dead spot and you haven't gone the network extender route, then that is a more sensible option and far cheaper. Most mesh network solutions are starting at $399 and above. Also, don't expect a mesh network to make your network faster. This is more about increasing your range and managing your network more intelligently. And don't forget, if you're on a desktop, do what you can to plug into your ethernet port. That IS faster and more stable. 

Other considerations

There are a host of mesh manufacturers worth considering: eero, luma and orbi seem to be most popular considerations. Why do they all sound like planets? Google wifi is also now out in the market and it appears to be less expensive. I have heard that eero has a very nice iOS interface and you can turn off your kid's network on your smartphone (frankly, that is priceless). 

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