What is a mesh network and do you need one?

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Mesh networks have been around for a long time, mostly in commercial use. Military, hospital, commercial applications. The internet is the biggest mesh network as information is being bounced around routers until it reaches its destination. If you’ve ever been in a house where the internet works in the rooms closer to the router but maybe not on the other side of the house, you might benefit from a mesh network.

 

How does it work?

The average network kit has mini routers that are called nodes that bounce the signal from your router to provide an umbrella of coverage. The nodes speak to your router and expands your coverage area based on how many nodes you have. So instead of your devices trying to communicate with one access point in a traditional network set up it has multiple ways to connect. Only one node will need to be connected to your router leaving the rest to branch across your house to improve your connection. Concrete walls, or any walls won’t be an obstacle for your internet browsing.

 

Benefits

 

They provide easy network access and are usually simple to install. Some are automated and have mobile integrations that allow, you to manage and trouble shoot the connection from anywhere. You can check your speeds, cut off access to specific networks, and even create guest networks. You can find some of these features in some high-end routers, but they have the setbacks of traditional routers.

Some routers even offer some sort of support security, which can add to the protection of your network. The ease of management also allows you to keep the network secure by being able to update the software from your phone.

On top of that it provides your devices multiple points of access in order to connect to your network, being near or far does not impact how your device works. Your device will be able to bounce between the different connections instead of struggling to keep tied to the main router.

 

Drawbacks

 

One of the downsides of investing in a mesh network can be the hefty cost to set it up. Good kits usually fall between $200-300 to starts off, and if you need extra nodes, you’d have to purchase those separately on top of the initial kit. This can really add up depending on how much coverage you need, as thick walls or copious space will mean more nodes needed. Most people can get away with just extenders, which may seem like a head ache but does have its place. If you have your router in a central location, you can extend your coverage to more spotty locations at a wallet friendly price.

Another aspect to consider is how much equipment you’ll be adding to your home or business. You could be purchasing equipment you don’t need that will just take up room instead of fixing your problem. To avoid this, you can speak to and your IT specialist to see what the best option is for your situation.

 

Do you really need it?

The real benefit with mesh networks comes with a large home or office that is suffering connectivity issues. Most people just need to put their router in a central location in their home or business in order to get the most out of their router. But if you’ve tried extenders and moving your router it may be time to either consult with an IT professional or getting an affordable mesh network kit to try and solve the problem. If the building is over 2,000ft and has thick walls there is a high chance that you’d be getting the most out of your mesh network, where a smaller space with thin walls probably wouldn’t need it.

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