Are you in need of boosting your home network system? WiFi extenders vs. mesh systems, which one will work for my home or office?
Choosing Wi-Fi systems at this point is quite complicating, but once you have the facts, you will make a quick and sound decision.
Our homes are becoming smarter by the day. You will find multiple devices located throughout the house and outside. They include smart TVs in the living room, smartphones spread throughout the house, smart thermostats in the house, smart door lock on the garage door, smart sprinkler in the garden, and smart light bulbs among others.
In this article, I will present facts and comparisons between the WiFi extenders vs. mesh systems. Such knowledge will enable you to make the best choices of the most effective method of having a proper system upgrade.
A Wi-Fi extender is a device that widens the range of Wi-Fi coverage. At times they may be referred to as Wi-Fi boosters or Wi-Fi repeaters. The Wi-Fi extenders allow connectivity through wireless devices and those with cables.
The extenders are kept far from each other. The connections from one extender to another are made through a cable in most instances. However, the links to your wireless devices are through wireless targets.
The Wi-Fi extender plays a significant role in ensuring that there is a stable connection maintained by fewer routers.
- Less expensive to install
- Ability to choose the best channel
- Fast internet speeds
- Manual setup
- Slightly difficult to configure
Mesh Wi-Fi uses several wireless devices to boost your home network. Each method in this network is called a node. A single node gets connected to the internet via Ethernet while the rest use wireless technology to connect.
The outcome of the connection is a single big Wi-Fi area of coverage. Each device connects to the closest node without any interference. Moreover, the nodes are placed at a reasonable, measured distance that ensures that the signal is not lost.
Mesh Wi-Fi ensures that there is a robust and stable connection by connecting many routers within a shorter range hence covering a full area.
- Easy to configure
- One unit Wi-Fi
- Expensive to upgrade
- Too many nodes
Similarities between Wi-Fi extenders and mesh Wi-Fi
These two internet range extenders come with various features that make them look alike. The features such as those highlighted below make the range extenders look alike and serving a shared role.
Both mesh Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi extenders achieve their primary purpose of extending the network connection. They both reach various corners of your house or offices, giving a perfect service and stable connection to their users.
They fill up space that they cover with an adequate network. The Wi-Fi networks both include a more extensive area offering sufficient support for internet users. Depending on your ISP you can choose the Wi-Fi extender that will work for your home.
Ease of installation
Both the mesh Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi extenders are easy to install. For the mesh Wi-Fi, you simply need to have one node connected to the source of the internet then pair up the remaining with a simple pair-up process. Configurations are done using a mobile app.
Installing the Wi-Fi extenders is also another simple process. You only need to connect the cables from one router to the other. The inputs are apparent, and the outputs are clear too.
Compatibility with new devices
Mesh Wi-Fi is highly compatible with the new devices. Installing a new device is straightforward. You only need to add it up to the others and have your network extended. It therefore easily pairs with the latest tools that are added up to the network
Connecting the Wi-Fi extenders is also not a complicated thing. So long as you have the Ethernet cable and your new router has an input, you just plug and do a small configuration, and you will have your internet running.
Removing signal dead zones
Do you have specific points in your house where your internet signal never reaches? Both the mesh Wi-Fi and the Wi-Fi extenders will have your challenge solved. Both range extenders cover specific areas with less technical hitches.
Focusing at one point using any of the range extenders will have your problem solved permanently. However, each one of them has a specific way of addressing such a challenge.
Stability of the network
The two range extenders offer adequate stability to the network. The connection of the mesh ensures that the nodes are close enough to cover most of the area.
The Wi-Fi extender also ensures that the is a stable and reliable network for the routers places at a specific distance with an Ethernet cable to keep them well powered and connected.
Configuring both the mesh Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi extender is a straightforward process. They both use mobile apps to have them set up.
Moreover, you can leave the Wi-Fi extender on permanent default settings. You can change them easily if need be.
The contrast between mesh and Wi-Fi extenders
The mesh networks use the nodes to connect to each other wirelessly while the Wi-Fi extenders use Ethernet cable to connect.
The initial setup of the mesh Wi-Fi is quite simple. You only need to get a single Ethernet source and connect it to one node. The rest will just be a simple pair-up process.
The Wi-Fi extenders use an Ethernet cable to connect one router to the other. The process of connectivity is bulkier because of the wires. You will, therefore, ensure that each router in every room is well connected to the other.
Cost of installation
Wi-Fi extenders are cheaper to install while mesh Wi-Fi is a little bit expensive to install.
When installing some Wi-Fi extenders, you simply add up another router using an Ethernet cable. All you need to do is to buy an Ethernet cable and a router.
When installing new routers, you only need a few whose range will easily connect to the nest one hence maintaining a well-covered field.
On the contrary, installing the mesh Wi-Fi means merely buying a completely new system to replace the existing one. The installation is costly, as the purchase of the new nodes is not low. To cover a whole house, you will need several routers that are costly to acquire.
The signal strength of the Wi-Fi extenders is more robust compared to mesh Wi-Fi.
The Wi-Fi extenders simply connect using a cable; hence no signal gets lost on the way. They deliver a powerful and long-range message at all points. Each speaker gives an equal amount of signal as the first one hence quite powerful.
Affection by obstacles is minimal because each router is placed to serve a specific point. It covers the dead points perfectly.
On the contrary, the mesh Wi-Fi has a weaker strength. This is because they depend on one source of connection, which gets extended using nodes. As the nodes connect, they lose signal strength. It gets to a place where it becomes slower. It also gets severely affected by obstacles making it not reach some significant points.
However, mesh Wi-Fi is more stable than Wi-Fi extenders.
Number of devices
Mesh Wi-Fi uses the most significant routers as opposed to Wi-Fi extenders, which use limited and specific routers.
For a mesh Wi-Fi to maintain network stability, it needs several devices placed very close to each other. If the internet has to be connected from the house, then outside the home, you will use so many nodes to maintain a quality signal. Too many routers within a short coverage make your house look congested and too occupied.
On the contrary, when using the Wi-Fi extender, you don’t need so many devices to maintain the connection. All you need is an Ethernet cable long enough to connect two routers. It is more specific hence a limited number of devices. It also makes your house look more decent.
The mesh is compatible with its wireless nodes and devices. Once installed, they easily pair hence maintaining a stable connection.
However, this may not be the case with Wi-Fi extenders. Despite its inability to handle wired connections, it pairs with all its wireless supported devices.
Wi-Fi extenders are not compatible with all routers. Some fail to respond to the signal making it a complicated design to operate. It requires a lot of caution when buying routers so that you do not get an incompatible router.
The extender has to be compatible with the ISP network. For example, you will require a top choice of AT&T Wi-Fi extenders if you use AT&T.
The Ethernet cables may also fail to connect to other devices like computers.
Once installed, the mesh Wi-Fi is easier to use than a Wi-Fi extender.
The mesh Wi-Fi uses just a single password to all its nodes instead of a Wi-Fi extender, which may have each router using a specific name and a unique password. They copy the same SSID code and add a number to the end to uniquely identify each router.
As you move to the next sphere of coverage, your devices will need to connect to a new network hence an inconvenience. On the contrary, the mesh Wi-Fi once connected the nodes act as one network and do not need connections.
The Wi-Fi extender does not receive information at the same time compared to the mesh. Mesh Wi-Fi receives its information at once because the nodes and the router work as a single unit.
The Wi-Fi extender will, therefore, experience latency and delays, which is not the case with mesh Wi-Fi. The signal latency delays streaming and gaming. Video conferencing and conversations experience delays hence becoming problematic.
Configuration of the mesh Wi-Fi is simple compared to Wi-Fi extender
The mesh Wi-Fi uses a smartphone up to set and configure settings, which is also the case with a Wi-Fi extender. However, the Wi-Fi extender involves some manual processes that make the configuration process a little bit complicated. The process not only becomes longer but also confusing.
In contrast, configuring the mesh Wi-Fi is a straightforward touch process.
Putting into consideration the pros and cons of the two Wi-Fi range extenders, they both offer outstanding performance. However, if you have adequate cash, you can consider upgrading your home using mesh Wi-Fi.
The mesh Wi-Fi is expensive to install and upgrade but has the best features that make it an excellent performer.
If you have a limited budget, you should consider buying a Wi-Fi extender. It is cheaper and has outstanding features too. moreover, it also has the best signal strength that covers all your house and even the dead zones perfectly
It has a specific approach to connection. Once you do the wiring for the cables, they permanently lay there. It is, therefore, a permanent network solution.
Things to consider when upgrading your network system.
Location of the weak signal
When upgrading your Wi-Fi system, you should identify places with a weak signal or not entirely get the internet. Such identification of sites will help you know whether between WiFi extenders vs. mesh systems, which one will serve you best.
Price of upgrading
When upgrading, your budget should give you an ultimate guide. Your budget implications will guide you in choosing whether to buy the costly mesh Wi-Fi or simply to get the less expensive Wi-Fi extender.
Having a preexisting Wi-Fi router will also guide you on what compatible routers you will buy, making it more cost-effective.
It is apparent that the mesh offers a simple Wi-Fi technology to use. It is less complicated to handle and connect. However, the Wi-Fi extender is also not complicated when operated manually. It is simple to use too. you should, therefore, assess the Wi-Fi that suits you best in terms of usability and technology
Therefore, when choosing between WiFi extenders vs. mesh systems, you need to check on the installation process and ease of use to ensure that you get the device that will serve you well.
Size of your house or office
A bigger office will need more extensive Wi-Fi compared to a smaller one. The range of coverage determines the number of routers to be used. This will, in turn, tell you the amount of money that you are likely to incur to get the Wi-Fi.
This information will, in turn, help you also know which Wi-Fi is convenient with your house or office. Using this information, you can decide between WiFi extenders vs. mesh systems, which one will cover your office adequately.
Knowing the mesh Wi-Fi and the Wi-Fi extender and their pros and cons, you now understand them better. The comparison will put you at a better chance to make a wiser decision when it comes to upgrading your home Wi-Fi system.
Using the description in this article, you can easily decide between WiFi extenders vs. mesh systems on the one that will work for your home or office.
In addition, in case you prefer something different, you can explore the best router for wide Wi-Fi coverage. These routers will give your home or office complete coverage without the need of using an extender.
Mesh vs extender FAQs
Which is better mesh extender vs WiFi extender?
Wi-Fi extenders can be used to rebroadcast your home router’s signal. Mesh Wi-Fis are a type of mesh networking that covers an entire house with one big seamless network, making them more effective for larger homes where coverage might otherwise disappear due to obstacles like walls, etc., but they also cost about three times as much per unit! Thus, for a large home, go for a mesh system.
Is mesh really better?
In some situations, like if you have a large house or lots of devices to connect and want the fastest speeds possible then mesh could be worth considering. It is also more reliable than traditional routers and WiFi extenders because they’re designed with scalability in mind which means you don’t need extra equipment for your network file server or gateway device–they’ve already been included.
Will a mesh network improve speed?
Yes, a mesh system can deliver consistent speeds far from the router, unlike traditional routers and extenders where signals drop significantly as you move far from the router/ WiFi repeater. WiFi satellites with proper positioning deliver much more consistent speed for the whole home coverage
Is mesh WiFi better than a powerline?
Mesh WiFi is a great way to ensure your client’s device has access, no matter where you are in the house. Of course, powerline adaptors still provide some of the best coverage and strength but mesh routers also let users move between points with ease without any confusion or issues like we’ve seen when using other types such as range extenders that use radiofrequency waves instead.
Can you have too many mesh nodes?
Yes, you can have too many mesh nodes. Most of the mesh system manufacturers recommend a maximum of 5 or 6 mesh nodes for every connection. This will ensure there is no significant reduction in Wi-Fi speed.