Will a mesh network or wireless extender improve my wifi coverage?

Do I get black spots for wifi within my property?

Despite having the latest router, not all properties and homes are built for the wireless signal to be carried throughout the whole building giving a strong signal throughout. This can be down to many factors including the building itself, its size and any interference or obstacles within.

This can lead to blackspots in certain areas where wifi cannot reach.

What options do I have to get better wifi coverage?

In most homes and properties, the most common ways are to use either a wireless extender or use a mesh network.

Wifi extenders work by taking the existing signal from the router and boosting it further. It would need to be within range of the router unless it is a powerline based extender in order to do so.

The advantages of wireless extenders are:

  • The are ideal when your property is not too big
  • They are low cost to purchase
  • You can use your current router

However, there are disadvantages to wireless extenders such as:

  • They can be tricky to set up
  • They may not give as smooth coverage overall throughout the house and there may be some loss in speed unless a powerline based repeater is used and even then there may still be some loss
  • It will often create another network SSID to connect to rather than the original one

A mesh network is a more modern type of network where each “node” acts as a router itself and is placed within range of each of the other hubs, taking the wifi signal from around it covering the area whilst talking to all over “nodes” around it to create a blanket coverage within the property.

This system has many advantages including:

  • One wifi network throughout meaning you can walk around the house without having to change networks
  • Better for larger properties
  • Easy to set up and manage
  • Better coverage than an extender

These main disadvantages of these are:

  • They are more expensive to purchase than wireless extenders
  • They may require several of them throughout the property

Which is the best option for me?

Very often it is possible to achieve better wifi coverage by means such as re-positioning your router, upgrading your router or its firmware, or just simply replacing your routers aerials.

However, if a further option requiring hardware is needed then we recommend the following:

A mesh network when:

  • Budget is less of an issue
  • You have a larger property and want better coverage¬† throughout the property. i.e. large homes, businesses, hotels and guest houses
  • You want one wifi network throughout

A wireless extender when:

  • You want a lower cost solution
  • You have a smaller property
  • You want less devices throughout
  • You don’t mind having more than one wifi network to connect to

We have experience of setting up both types of wireless network for both private homes and businesses. If you would like any help with choosing which is best for you or would like one supplying and setting up then please do not hesitate to contact us.

We always stock a range of different networking hardware in our Skegness computer shop.

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