What are wireless mesh systems good for?

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Why should I use a mesh system over a normal router and extenders?


Best answer by dan_w 27 May 2022, 18:19

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Mesh systems are coordinated.  Each node is aware there is another node in the system and can coordinate setting changes and manage device roaming between nodes
Range extenders are not explicitly known to the router, that is, the router doesn’t know that there’s another device on the network that is extending Wi-Fi coverage.  When there are setting changes, range extenders need to be reconfigured separately.  Device roaming between router and Range Extender is unmanaged and it is up to the wireless device to make good roaming decisions, which they often do not do. 
Range extenders are often dual band devices which may use the same radio to connect to the router and to service device that are connected to it.  Because of this, your throughput will be cut in half with each range extender.  Triband mesh systems use separate radios to connect to each other and to service wireless clients, so the bandwidth is not shared and you will have full throughput regardless of which node you are connected to.
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I’m a fan of mesh systems for larger homes or homes that have walls that inhibit wireless signals. In my experience, a mesh system won’t have the same peak performance as a flagship router but at a distance, will do much better for throughput/stability. It also offers seamless roaming between router/satellites based on your devices own roaming protocols. Plus you can add satellites as needed for additional coverage.


I usually don’t recommend range extenders to those needing more than 1 so if you’re home is large enough, a move to mesh is beneficial.