In the past few years, wireless mesh networks have become increasingly popular as a way to blanket a home or office with a strong, reliable wireless signal. But what exactly is mesh Wi-Fi? In this blog, we take a look at what it is, how it works, and some of the pros and cons of using a mesh Wi-Fi system. Through a comparison among the mesh and other Wi-Fi systems, you can decide if it’s the right choice for your business.
What is a Mesh Wi-Fi System?
A mesh Wi-Fi system is a type of wireless network that uses multiple access points (APs) to provide better coverage and reliability than a traditional Wi-Fi router. Wireless mesh networks have become increasingly popular in recent years as more devices connect to the internet and people demand higher speeds and better coverage.
There are a few different types of mesh systems on the market, but they all work similarly. Most mesh systems consist of the main unit that connects to your modem, and a series of satellites or nodes that extend the Wi-Fi signal throughout your home or office. The nodes communicate with each other wirelessly and can be placed anywhere in your space for optimal coverage.
What are the Benefits of Mesh Wi-Fi Systems?
Using a mesh network in your space poses various advantages you can leverage to increase the productivity of your business. These benefits include:
- Increased coverage. One of the biggest benefits of using a mesh Wi-Fi system is that it can help to increase the coverage of your wireless network. By using multiple access points, you can extend the signal to cover a larger area. This is especially beneficial if you have a large space.
- Reduced dead spots. Another benefit of using a mesh Wi-Fi system is that it can help to reduce dead spots. Dead spots are areas where there is no wireless signal. By using multiple access points, you can eliminate dead spots by ensuring that there is always an access point within range.
- Easy setup. Mesh Wi-Fi systems are also very easy to set up. In most cases, all you need to do is plug in the access points and connect them to your router. Once they’re connected, they will automatically start working together to provide you with an extended wireless signal.
- Scalability. Mesh Wi-Fi systems are also very scalable. If you find that you need more coverage, you can simply add more access points to your network without having to replace your entire network infrastructure.
- Cost Savings. Mesh Wi-Fi systems can also help you save money in the long run. This is because they don’t require a separate router for each access point, which means that you won’t have to purchase additional hardware or pay for extra installation fees.
Mesh Networks vs Other Systems
Given the benefits of mesh Wi-Fi systems, it’s important to take note of how it differs from other connectivity systems available in the market. By assessing the mesh network pros and cons against each type of Wi-Fi, system, you can choose the ideal connectivity system for your space.
1. Mesh Wi-Fi vs Access Points
One of the most common devices used for improved connectivity is a Wi-Fi access point. But what is it exactly?
A Wi-Fi access point (AP) is a device that provides wireless connectivity to a network. It connects users to other devices on the same network so they can share files, access resources, and use applications. An AP is like a router, but it does not have an integrated modem—it requires an existing wired connection (DSL/cable) or another AP or router to function properly.
What is the Difference Between Mesh Wi-Fi and Access Points?
At their core, mesh networks and Wi-Fi access points are similar in that they both provide wireless internet coverage throughout a space. However, they differ in terms of how they achieve this goal.
A mesh network is made up of multiple routers (or nodes) that work together as one system to provide internet coverage throughout a space. The individual nodes communicate with each other wirelessly, creating a single large network with no physical connection required between each node. This means that if any one node fails, the remaining nodes can pick up the slack and keep the network running smoothly.
Wi-Fi access points, on the other hand, are single routers or hubs that provide wireless coverage within a limited area. These devices usually need to be physically connected via Ethernet cable in order to create a consistent signal throughout your workspace. Unlike mesh networks, if one access point fails then all areas covered by that device will lose their connection until it is repaired or replaced.
Additionally, because these devices cover a much smaller area than mesh networks, businesses typically need more access points than they would with a mesh system to provide full coverage within their workspace—which can increase costs significantly over time.
When deciding between using Wi-Fi access points vs. mesh networks for your business’s wireless connection needs, consider the size and complexity of your space as well as how much upfront investment you’re willing to make into getting set up.
Mesh networks provide more flexibility in terms of coverage but require more upfront investment while Wi-Fi access points require less upfront investment but may not cover larger areas as effectively (or at all).
2. Mesh vs Wifi Repeaters
Another common comparison in terms of improving connectivity is between the mesh or repeater.
A Wi-Fi repeater is a device that can be used to extend the range of an existing Wi-Fi signal. It works by receiving the signal from the router and then broadcasting it again at a higher power, allowing it to reach further distances. This can be a great solution in cases where there are areas within your home or business that don’t get good coverage from a traditional router.
The Difference Between a Mesh Wi-Fi and a Wi-Fi Repeater
The main difference between a mesh Wi-Fi system and a Wi-Fi repeater is how they’re used. While mesh Wi-Fi systems are intended to provide better coverage throughout an entire property, repeaters are designed to extend the range of an existing network. Additionally, mesh Wi-Fi systems are usually easier to set up and configure than repeaters.
Ultimately, the decision between mesh Wi-Fi and a Wi-Fi repeater comes down to your needs. If you’re looking for an easy way to extend the coverage of an existing network, then a Wi-Fi repeater may be your best option. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a reliable, secure connection that works no matter where you are, then a mesh Wi-Fi system may be the way to go.
3. Mesh vs Traditional Routers
Regardless of the popularity of mesh Wi-Fi systems, you may be wondering “Why can’t I just upgrade my router? That should be enough.” Well, to fully understand how both systems differ, it’s important to know how traditional routers work.
A traditional Wi-Fi router is a device that transmits and receives wireless signals in your home or office. It creates a local network, or hotspot, that allows devices to connect to the internet. Most traditional routers use the 2.4GHz frequency, which can be susceptible to interference from other devices, like microwaves and baby monitors. Traditional routers also have a shorter range than mesh Wi-Fi networks.
But traditional routers are still a good choice for people who don’t need the extra speed and range that mesh Wi-Fi systems offer. They’re also typically cheaper, and relatively easier to set up. Traditional routers offer some clear benefits.
What is the Difference Between Traditional Routers Vs. Mesh Wi-Fi Networks?
Traditional routers operate as a single point of Wi-Fi signal distribution, limiting coverage and performance in larger or obstructed spaces. Usually, you can add range extenders to address the coverage limitations, but they can create separate networks and compromise your network’s overall performance.
On the other hand, since mesh Wi-Fi networks utilize multiple nodes that work collaboratively, these nodes extend coverage seamlessly. Their design ensures even signal distribution, scalability without performance degradation, and adaptability to changes in the environment.
So, when choosing between a mesh network or a traditional router, it basically all boils down to your preference, budget, the type of area you have, and your internet speed needs. If you have a large space with many corners and walls and you’re looking for the best performance for your network, then a mesh Wi-Fi system might be a better option. If you have a smaller space and you’re not too much of a heavy internet user, then a traditional router might be the better choice.
How to Set Up a Mesh Wi-Fi System
Choosing a Mesh Wi-Fi system for your business space is a great choice. But how can you set it up? Setting up the mesh system is relatively easy. Just follow these steps to ensure seamless installation:
1. Choose the Right Mesh Wi-Fi System
There are a lot of different mesh Wi-Fi systems on the market these days. It can be tough to choose the right one, but it’s important to pick a system that offers the features you need.
That said, if you need coverage for a large area, you’ll want a system with a strong signal and a robust set of features. On the other hand, if you just need basic coverage for a small space, you can save some money by choosing a more basic system.
2. Strategic Node Placement
Setting up a mesh Wi-Fi system can be a great way to improve the coverage of your wireless network. One way to determine the best location for your access points is to use heat mapping software. This software will show you where the signal is strongest and weakest, allowing you to adjust the placement of your access points accordingly.
It’s also important to keep in mind the number of devices that will be connected to your network. Access points should be placed evenly throughout your space to avoid any potential bottlenecks.
3. Connect and Configure the Mesh Network
To connect your access points to your router, you will need to use an Ethernet cable. In most cases, this can be done by running the cable from the access point to the router. However, in some, you may need to use a different type of cable, such as a fiber optic cable.
Once you have connected the access points to your router, you will need to configure them. This can be done using the web-based interface or the command-line interface. Usually, you will need to enter the IP address, subnet mask, and gateway for each access point. Once you have entered this information, you will need to save the changes and reboot the access point.
4. Test and Optimize
Once your mesh Wi-Fi system is up and running, conduct thorough testing to ensure optimal performance. Adjust the placements or configurations if needed to maximize the mesh Wi-Fi’s coverage and efficiency.
And when you’re done, you can enjoy an extended wireless signal!
Mesh Wi-Fi Systems: Do You Need One?
Mesh Wi-Fi systems offer a lot of potential benefits for businesses—namely, extended coverage and easier installation than traditional wired networks. So, if you’re wondering whether it’s a good investment, the answer is yes! Just remember to carefully consider the connectivity needs of your space to ensure you invest in the ideal mesh Wi-Fi network for your business.
And if you’re unsure of which mesh system to get, Kital is your one-stop shop for the latest in wireless mesh network technology. We offer a wide range of products and services to keep your business connected. With our cutting-edge products and experienced team, we can tailor a solution to meet your specific needs. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you stay connected.