Ditch That Wi-Fi Repeater - There's a Better Way

Mesh Wi-Fi allows you to create a healthy, reliable home Wi-Fi network quickly and easily. Say hello to your new Wi-Fi MVP.

There’s nothing quite as frustrating as a home Wi-Fi network filled with dead zones and slow speeds. When you discover, even after lifting your devices to the heavens Lion King-style, that a single router just isn’t going to cut it, the next step on the DIY Wi-Fi route usually involves adding a repeater to the mix and hoping for the best.

As convenient as repeaters are – they’re relatively affordable and offer the opportunity to increase the range of your network by simply plugging a device in – as anyone who’s used a repeater will tell you, there are a couple of downsides too.

Desperate times, desperate measures

As detailed in our video below, repeaters are a great way to increase the range of your network in an instant. But, because repeaters work by receiving your Wi-Fi signal and rebroadcasting it, while they may extend the range of your network throughout your home and eliminate dead zones, the speed of your network suffers as a result – sometimes by about as much as half…

Related: When Wi-Fi becomes WHOA-FI: Surviving Poor Connection

Single band repeaters (ones that operate on the 2.4 GHz frequency only instead of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) are the worst offenders here, as they must receive and retransmit data using the same radio on the same channel, cutting down your bandwidth in the process.

A new Wi-Fi home frontier

This is where mesh Wi-Fi comes in. Mesh Wi-Fi not only extends the range of your network, it doesn’t sacrifice as much speed as a repeater would to do it either. Oh, and it creates a single network while doing so, which means you can enjoy a seamless Wi-Fi experience throughout your home.

You’ll need at least two mesh APs (access points) to get started – it just so happens we sell two-packs – this is because the mesh devices act as ‘nodes’ throughout your home to create a seamless Wi-Fi system.

One unit will act as the primary access point, connecting directly to your router, while the others can be placed around the home where coverage is needed.

Related: Take your home Wi-Fi network to the next level

As the solution is scalable, you can start small and add more units as you go. These nodes also communicate with one another to determine the fastest band for your devices and re-route the traffic accordingly. If one of the nodes goes down, you don’t lose your network along with it – it simply re-routes the traffic to the next available node.

To avoid any loss in performance due to meshing wirelessly, mesh access points can even be connected via network cabling. Although it may seem counterintuitive to add cabling to your “wireless” network, this will improve performance and your Wi-Fi experience.

Yes, the buy-in for mesh is slightly more than for your average repeater, but we have a rental solution to suit your budget there too. So, what are you waiting for?

About Author:
Guin Davies
Guin Davies

Guin is an avid storyteller with a love for random pop culture facts and, yes, dad jokes. After writing about everything from celeb gossip to pool covers for magazines (remember those?) she's thrilled to join the team at Vox as...