How Does Whole Home Wifi Work

What Does Bt Complete Wi

BT Whole Home WIFI Unboxing & Review

Put simply, BT Complete Wi-Fi increases the strength of your broadband using Wi-Fi discs. And we have to say, on paper its an impressive bit of kit.

It’s compact, reliable and, according to BT, guarantees flawless Wi-Fi in every room of your home.

What’s more, if you live in a four-bedroom house, BT claims you could potentially see increased speeds of up to 25% – and thats thanks to just one disc.

Heres the best part, though: BT is so confident in its assertion that if you dont get a seamless connection throughout your home for any reason, itll send you two more discs to boost your signal free of charge.

And if that doesnt work, itll give you £100 cashback.

How To Get Whole

First, you’ll need broadband internet and a modem. Any internet provider is fine. Then choose your system. Shop our whole home Wi-Fi. Check the features of each to see which suits you best.

The number of devices you need depends on things like the size of your home, its layout and what the walls are made of. Here’s a rough guide based on size of home – but you will need to check when you buy:

Once you have got your new mesh wifi home, you can download the relevant app for your system. This will help you position the devices for the best coverage and link up your different points to give you a complete mesh network!

So, if you’re planning a smart home set up or suffering from patchy internet, whole home Wi-Fi is definitely worth a look.

How Much Is Bt Complete Wi

That depends on what equipment you already have. At the time of writing you can get Smart Hub 2 & Wi-Fi Disc for £200.

Or if you already own at Smart Hub 2 you can get a single disc for £100, two discs for £300 and three for £300.

You can also add Complete Wi-Fi to your package if you’re signing up for BT broadband as a new customer. At the time of writing, this added a charge of £10 per month to your bill. So you’re effectively spreading the cost of the equipment over the course of your contract.

If you like the sound of BT Complete or would like more information, click on the link below to be taken to their dedicated page.

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Work Together For Improved Signal Strength

Mesh enables many devices to work together on the same network, whereas a range extender always creates another network in addition to your routers network. Consequently, range extenders are only able to capture WiFi signal and rebroadcast it, not communicate with the main router. This is a problem because Internet data goes through the air on channels or bands, but the number of these channels is limited and so is capacity. All the time different devices and WiFi networks are competing for that limited space making it very crowded. If we use the comparison of driving in a busy city, good traffic information can help us get on less crowded roads while if we dont have that information we can get stuck in a jam.

With range extenders your data has no eye in the sky to help, whereas whole home WiFi devices can communicate about the amount of data on various channels and then make decisions on the best channel or band to send it on. They can also learn over time about traffic patterns, why traffic may have slowed down, and then optimize WiFi speed and strength for the future.

Google In The Smart Home

What Is Whole Home Mesh WiFi

Coverage and reliability is great: As a single unit or as a system of three units, the Google Wifi passed my 48-hour stress test with flying colors. During the test I set it to transfer lots of data between multiple wireless clients . The Wifi did this without any disconnections. The system also had excellent signal hand off, allowing you to walk around your house, seamlessly connecting from one unit to another without getting disconnected from the internet. I tried this while making a and the conversation wasn’t affected at all.

Google claims the system is constantly analyzing the air space to figure out the cleanest channel and the best Wi-Fi band for a client to connect to. I used it in a home with many other routers and the Google Wifi network remained stable, which definitely adds credence to its claim.

Each unit has a Gigabit WAN and a Gigabit LAN port and can work as a router or an extender.

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How Many Mesh Wi

These days, there are plenty of options in the mesh networking space to choose from.

Most traditional networking brands like Netgear, Linksys, TP-Link and D-Link incorporate mesh Wi-Fi systems into their wider product portfolio in one way or another.

Read more

In 2020 and 2021 we’re seeing new releases from these brands featuring upgrades, the biggest of which is Wi-Fi 6 functionality. Wi-Fi 6 not only delivers faster Internet, it also allows more Wi-Fi devices to connect to your router without affecting your Wi-Fi connectivity.

Why Do I Need A Whole Home Wi

Whole home Wi-Fi gives complete coverage. Reaching the parts of your home that traditional Wi-Fi can’t. No more dead zones or drop outs*.

– It’s good for internet speed. The system manages itself, keeping your network fast and reliable*.

– It’s good for smart devices. Put smart devices anywhere they’re needed and be guaranteed a good signal*.

– It’s good for parents. You can block sites, see who’s online, or pause the internet by device or for everyone*. All from a single app. Sorry kids!

– It’s good for security. Create and manage separate guest networks if you need to share your Wi-Fi. This helps keep access to your home network secure*.

– It’s good for the future. If you’ve converted the attic or want Wi-Fi in the summerhouse or garage, simply add extra Wi-Fi points to expand your network*.

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Blanketing Your Home With Wifi

A better solution is WiFi that works with your home design, instead of against it. Think of a standard router like a speaker. You could be playing music loudly in the front of your home, but the office in the back will only hear a faint echo. A standard router works the same wayyou can only move so far from it before the signal starts to wane, and eventually its going to cut out altogether.

Instead, why not install a speaker in each room of the house? Thats how whole home WiFi or mesh networks work, with multiple nodes installed around your home so youve got solid WiFi coverage from one end to the other.

How Do Wired Mesh Wifi Networks Work

How To: Setup a TP-Link Whole Home Mesh WiFi 6 System

If your home is already wired with ethernet cables, or if you want to use a wired connection, you can. Make sure your nodes are ethernet backhaul compatible. Ethernet backhaul is a fancy way of saying that the backbone of the network is composed of a wired connection rather than a wireless connection. If the nodes are compatible, theyll have ethernet ports for a successful wired installation.

The nodes will be wired to a switch, and the switch will be wired to the LAN port of the mesh WiFi router . The main node will pick up on the wired connection and transmit information through fast ethernet cables or gigabit ethernet cables.

There are some benefits to a wired installation. Any wireless form of communication is susceptible to speed slowdowns due to obstacles like walls, floors, doors, and building material however, some are affected more than others. When using cables, you bypass all obstacles, resulting in faster speeds throughout the entire home.

To learn more about the differences between ethernet and WiFi, read our article on: The Differences Between Internet, Ethernet, WiFi and Cellular

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Bt Mini Whole Home Wi

The new BT Mini Whole Home Wi-Fi is bought in packs of discs. Ive got the three-pack here, which will suit most homes but you can buy it in two-, four-, five- and six-packs too. You can also buy additional discs if you want to expand an existing network.

All discs in a pack are identical. Theyre small , so should be relatively easy to find a home for around your house. Around the back of each disc is a single Gigabit Ethernet port. The first satellite you connect must be wired, with the remaining satellites connecting via wireless. If range is a problem, then you can use Ethernet to connect satellites together.

Having a single Ethernet port isnt such a drawback here, as this system is designed to work with your existing router, so you can use your existing Ethernet ports there for wired devices.

BT has helpfully printed the default network name and password on the back of each disc, but you dont have the handy pull-out card any more. In the box, there are three stickers that you can use to write a new network name and password on, in case you change the defaults.

The rear of the satellite also tells you what the various LED colours mean, which makes things easier and should mean that you dont need to turn to the manual or Google very often.

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When Wont You Need A Mesh Router

There are plenty of reasons to upgrade to a mesh system, especially if youre already looking at upgrading to a Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E router. However, there may be a few reasons why a mesh system wont be the best solution for you.

First, if you live in a smaller apartment or home and have yet to experience Wi-Fi coverage or reliability issues, a mesh system is likely not needed. Most systems cover approximately 5,000 square feet, and that may be overkill for you if you live in a studio or smaller apartment.

Cost may be a factor as well when it comes to mesh adoption. While there are less expensive systems that rely on Wi-Fi 5, also known as 802.11ac, newer Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E systems start at a few hundred dollars. A more robust multi-unit setup can cost more than $1,000.

Though some mesh systems, like Netgears latest quad-band Orbi RBKE96, can reach speeds up to 10.8Gbps, most home users are likely more limited by their home broadband plan than what their routers can deliver. Given that a majority of American homes still dont have gigabit fiber access, anything in excess of 1Gbps may be wasteful. Offices with more robust broadband speeds are likely the beneficiaries of modern mesh network speed capabilities.

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Whats Slowing Down Your Network

The weakened signal or WiFi dead spots could be the result of physical obstructions. Simple things like the floor, doors, and walls of your home can come between you and your router, especially if theyre made of metal, brick, or concrete. Or perhaps the distance is simply too great in a large home, and your traditional router is only capable of reaching as far as the kitchen, but not to the backyard, the garage, or a distant bedroom. Interference from other devices could also be the culprit, whether its your microwave, cordless phone, or baby monitor. If you live in close quarters with other WiFi networks and devicessuch as in an apartment complexthis problem increases tenfold. Think of it like a room full of people who are all speaking at oncenobodys going to be heard very well.

What Is Whole Home Wifi And Mesh Wifi


Mesh WiFi or Whole Home WiFi systems consists of a main router that connects directly to your modem, and a series of satellite modules, or nodes, placed around your house for full WiFi coverage. They are all part of a single wireless network and share the same SSID and password, unlike traditional WiFi routers.

Picture this: Youve just set up your home network with the latest WiFi hardware and a 100 Mbps Internet connection. But for some reason, you still encounter buffering when you try to stream video in the bedroom. You called your Internet Service Provider and everything checks out, so whats the deal? Chances are, your WiFi isnt set up efficiently for a mesh WiFi system.

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The Drawbacks Of Mesh Routers

Mesh-router systems, like most pieces of networking equipment, aren’t without drawbacks. Here are a few of the bigger ones.

1. High costs: A good mesh-router kit will cost $200 or more, with add-on satellites costing $100 to $200 each. The standalone models on our list of the best Wi-Fi routers usually cost in the ballpark of $100, while range extenders run anywhere from $20 to $100. That’s a big difference in price, even for the most basic mesh-router setup.

2. Wasted resources: In small homes and buildings, mesh routers generally present a bigger solution than is needed. Covering 3,000 to 5,000 square feet with a simple two-unit mesh network is overkill for many homes. If you don’t regularly deal with Wi-Fi connectivity issues, or if you don’t have extensive internet demands, mesh routers might be excessive. A few Wi-Fi dead zones can easily be remedied by using a range extender, by putting the existing router in a more central location or by upgrading to a better traditional router with a longer range.

3. More equipment: Although most mesh-router system access points are small and discreet, you may need several of them to take full advantage of their capabilities. This means finding places for multiple devices throughout your home which could be problematic for users who prefer to keep networking devices limited to one or two inconspicuous locations.

How To Install A Mesh Network

Mesh systems can be installed in minutes, you dont need to have extensive technical knowledge. There are a variety of different mesh network models and each one has a different setup process, but with similar details.

Here is what a general installation process looks like:

  • Most systems require you to download a mobile app that will walk you through an easy setup process. It will provide you with easy to follow instructions.
  • After downloading the app, log into the account, or create a new one if you dont have one.
  • Before connecting the devices, its recommended to unplug your modem or wireless gateway. Use an ethernet cable to connect the modem to the WAN port of the main node. After theyve been connected, reconnect your modem and let the devices power up.
  • Using the app, follow the instructions provided to connect the main node to the modem. You will be asked to enter the location of where the main node will be setup. In addition, you will need to create a network name for the system .
  • Once the main node has been connected, use your smartphone, laptop, or tablet to open the WiFi settings. Look for the mesh network name you created and connect to it.
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