What Is Whole Home Wifi

Adding Mesh Routers To Your Existing Network

What is Whole Home Mesh WiFi?

While most mesh Wi-Fi systems are sold in a package of 2-3 devices, with the option of adding additional nodes for wider coverage, a lot of modern routers and extensions are made to offer mesh capability. If you like your existing router, but want to get that same coverage across a larger area, you can often do that by adding a second router or extension, creating a mesh system without replacing the hardware you already have.

Many routers, like the Linksys Max Stream MR9600, can be doubled up with other routers from the same brand, and used to create a mesh network. It’s a handy function that gives you the choice of of a single unit for smaller homes and apartments or a more expansive mesh system for larger homes.

Wi-Fi extenders traditionally aren’t capable of creating mesh networks, but that’s also changing, with products like the Netgear AX1800 Mesh Extender . When paired with other devices, it offers the same coverage and network, with no need to manually switch networks or bands when you move from one end of the house to another. And the best part? It’s not limited to Netgear products, but works with any wireless router, including the modem/router gateway devices provided by many internet service providers.

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What Is Whole Home Wifi

Whole Home WiFi is a connected system of one or more access points to extend and share wireless signals throughout your entire home. As a result, a mesh network is created providing greater internet connectivity and reliability when compared to traditional WiFi setups.

Whats The Difference Between Mesh Wifi And A Range Extender

While mesh WiFi and Range extenders might appear to have the same functionality, there are some key differences. Mesh technology is meant to cast the strongest wi-fi as youre roaming room to room. Range extenders require you to sign on to a new network manually in order to maintain a strong connection once youre far enough away from your router. Mesh WiFi is faster and more efficient at delivering a WiFi signal than a range extender.

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Standout Features Of The Whole Home Wifi System

Here are a few key features to look for in a whole home WiFi system:

Wired and Wireless Expansion

In a modular system, theres one node connected to your modem that acts as a router. Each additional node finds the best channel and path to wirelessly connect to the previous one, creating a seamless and reliable WiFi connection throughout your entire home.

However, if your home is already wired with Ethernet cables in every room, some mesh systems can still connect the nodes together using an Ethernet cable to create a whole-home WiFi system. Even using the wired option, youll still be able to expand your signal to hard-to-reach areas such as the garage or basement.

One Network and Seamless Roaming

The name mesh network itself implies that every component of your WiFi system is working together, and seamless roaming is a perfect example of that. When you use a router and range extender combination, you have to switch between the networks manually as you move from one coverage zone to the other.

But with seamless roaming, you only have one network with one name and passwordthat means that as you move about your home, youll never have to manually switch from one network to the other. So go ahead, stream video in the living, kitchen, or bedroom without worrying about buffering or a dropped connection.

Guest Network

Prep Your Home For Greatness

What Is Whole Home Mesh WiFi

You wouldnt expect a single light bulb to light every room of your home, you cant expect a single router to bring WiFi to every nook and cranny. enTouchs enhanced Whole Home WiFi powered by eero uses multiple access points and TrueMesh technology to make sure you can stream, work, and play from every corner of every room.

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Asus Zenwifi Ax Specs

Wireless Specification
Number of Wired LAN Ports3 on router, 4 on node
MU-MIMO
Coverage Area for Hardware as Tested5500 sq ft

Asuss newest mesh Wi-Fi system, the ZenWiFi AX XT8 is tri-band system that’ll run you $449.99 in the two-device kit we tested. It combines the latest Wi-Fi 6 and mesh networking technologies to eliminate wireless dead zones throughout your home. This system is very easy to install and sets itself further apart by including a free lifetime subscription to parental controls and network security tools powered by Trend Micro. Most importantly, it delivered outstanding throughput scores on our performance tests. Overall, its a worthy pick for our Editors Choice award in the whole home networking category.

Get Even More From Your Wi

More than just a seamless wi-fi experience, Whole Home Wi-Fi comes with a bunch of extra features to give you more control.

Create more quality time at home

Now you can have even more control over your home wi-fi with smart scheduling. One tap of the Whole Home Wi-Fi app will pause the internet for everyone – perfect for mealtimes! And you can set up access schedules for individual users or devices to help with homework or bedtimes. Be in charge of screen time, all the time.

Connect friends and family

Want to get your visitors online? Our guest network means no more scrabbling around for the wi-fi password. Get guests connected in a couple of clicks by sharing network details via the app. Plus, using the guest network helps keep your home network secure. You can see who’s connected, with the option to block any devices you don’t recognise.

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Easy Guided Set Up And Management

Most mesh systems use a mobile app for a guided setup.The app walks you through the set-up process for optimal placement of nodes throughout your home. It will help you find dead zones, so you can place nodes in those areas that otherwise wouldnt receive WiFi coverage. The mobile app also incorporates some cool features to help you manage your WiFi, such as parental controls, device prioritization, guest access, and more.

When Were Mesh Wi

TechTalk Ep.1 – Whole Home WiFi Systems

The first real-life mesh network implementations were made by the US military in 1997 and then by a team at the Georgia Institute of Technology, in Atlanta, in 1999. As of 2004, the concept had seen an increase in adoption in the commercial sector. Mesh networks are used to offer broadband internet in rural areas, for large scale business applications, and in the military.

The first mesh Wi-Fi system to be made available on a larger scale for home users is Google Wi-Fi, which was launched in December 2016.

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How Many Eeros Do I Need

RCNs enhanced Whole Home WiFi was designed to be flexible to fit any home – regardless of your living situation. Here are some hints to help you decide how many eeros you need whether youre living in an apartment, townhouse, single family home or larger home.Here are some other hints to help you decide:

Benefits Of A Wifi Mesh Network

Mesh WiFi is built for all types of homes specifically mid size and large homes that have suffer from weak or incomplete WiFi coverage. Usually when you experience dead zones or slow wifi, you might opt into a range extender but find that it doesnt provide you with the fastest speeds or connectivity throughout your home. Whereas mesh wifi routers are built to fully cover large homes up to 6,000 sq. ft., with two stories or more, interior brick walls, or an unusual layout. With more family members being home, a typical wifi router will have issues with maintaining strong internet access to all devices like phones, computers, or tvs. With multiple mesh nodes, everyone can easily connect more smart home devices simultaneously without slowing down your wifi bandwidth.

They also represent a great option for people who are interested in a powerful WiFi system but dont want to deal with the complicated setup and configuration that most regular routers come with.

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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.

Supports Alexa And Google Voice Commands

Take control of your home WiFi with BT Whole Home Wi

Pros

  • No anti-malware, parental control, or QoS options.
  • No USB connectivity.

Maintaining smooth Wi-Fi performance and throughput for gaming, video streaming, and smart home devices is important, but now that so many folks are working from home with no end in sight, you’ve also got to consider important work applications and different modes of work communication, especially video conferencing. This is where whole-house coverage becomes more than a nice-to-have.

Many of the latest wireless routers can provide strong coverage to most rooms of a typical medium-size house, but larger homes and dwellings with dense walls, multiple floors, metal and concrete substructures, and other structural impediments may require additional components to bring Wi-Fi to areas that the router can’t reach. Range extenders do a good job of filling in dead zones, but typically provide only half the bandwidth that you get from your main router. Access points offer more bandwidth than range extenders, but require a wired connection to the main router. And both solutions typically create a new network SSID that you have to log in to as you move from one area of the house to another.

If you’re new to networking, you might be worrying that all of the above will leave you sitting on the floor surrounded by a lot of router documentation and questioning your life choices. Fortunately, there’s another alternative: consider installing a mesh Wi-Fi system instead.

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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.

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.

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What Is A Mesh Wi

Wi-Fi systems are a combo of numerous networking components that are designed to provide wireless coverage across your home. A primary router connects directly to your modem, and a number of satellite modules, or nodes, are installed throughout your home. Theyre all connected to the same wireless network, with the same SSID and password. Unlike range extenders, which use the 2.4GHz or 5GHz radio bands to interact with the router, most Wi-Fi system satellites use mesh technology to communicate with the router and each other.

Each node in the system acts as a hop point for other nodes. This enables the nodes furthest from the router to deliver a strong Wi-Fi signal by allowing them to connect with other nodes rather than relying on one-to-one communications with the router. Mesh networking isnt used by all Wi-Fi systems some use a specific radio frequency to interact with the router and each other. The dedicated band, like mesh, frees up the conventional 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies for client use.

Which Is Better: Wireless Mesh Or Range Extenders

Linksys Velop Whole Home WiFi System Review

If you’re worried what these systems might cost, don’t sweat it aside from a few pricey contenders, most mesh systems are only slightly more expensive than a router/range extender combination. Wi-Fi systems range in price from around $150 for a single-node system to around $500 for a multi-node setup.

The pricing looks higher with these systems because, in most cases, you’re paying for at least two devices, the router and a router node that forms the mesh. Most systems, in fact, come with twonodes, so you’re buying three devices in total. If you break it down per device, you’ll most often find that they cost only a little more than you’d pay for a similarly powered router and range extender solution. That’s especially true now that we’re seeing prices coming down on mesh systems, even the newer models compatible with Wi-Fi 6.

Also remember: Wi-Fi systems are all about ease of use. They’re a snap to set up and manage, offer whole-house coverage via a series of attractive nodes, and they provide seamless room-to-room roaming over a single network. If you want total control over your network and require the best possible throughput performance and connectivity options, stick with a traditional router solution. If you don’t want to deal with things like assigning radio bands and logging in to different networks as you move throughout your home, however, a Wi-Fi system makes sense.

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