If you’re planning on optimizing your home internet, you should consider buying mesh Wi-Fi. If you’re unfamiliar with mesh Wi-Fi, picture this: instead of one router from which your internet signal emanates, multiple devices around your home each provide an internet signal. That’s mesh Wi-Fi.
In addition to your router, you have a handful of other devices called nodes (or satellites, beacons, or COVR points, depending on the brand). You put these nodes at other points around your house, and they become the connection point between your router and your internet-capable devices. (For a more in-depth explanation of mesh Wi-Fi, read this). Here are 5 reasons why mesh Wi-Fi can make your home even better.
End Wi-Fi Dead Zones
It can be hard for Wi-Fi to get through brick walls, go between floors, or extend to the other end of your home. By placing nodes near these dead zones, you can build better internet coverage in your home. Is there a wall in the middle of your home that makes it hard to access the internet from your kitchen? Does your third-floor attic get spotty coverage? Wish you could watch automotive explainer videos in your garage? With mesh Wi-Fi and a few extra nodes, these things can be fixed.
Compensate for Bad Router Placement
Most experts advise that you put your router in the centre of your home, so you can get internet equally in all corners of said home. But there’s one big problem with this advice, at least for most people. Your router needs to be near your modem, and modems typically need to be near an outer wall. Depending on where exactly your internet cable needs to be, your modem and router can be pretty far from the centre of your home.
But with a mesh Wi-Fi setup, that doesn’t matter. Your router can be in the far southeast corner on the bottom floor—with a few nodes, you can spread your internet evenly throughout your home, even getting it up to the balcony in the top northwest corner.
If you have a router made after around 2013, chances are it uses the Wi-Fi 5 standard. The new hot thing in town is Wi-Fi 6. There are a bunch of technical differences, but the key things to remember are that Wi-Fi 6 is faster, is built for homes with lots of devices, is made with the smart home in mind, and is great for 4K streaming. Best of all, your new mesh Wi-Fi system will be built to the Wi-Fi 6 standard.
Your nodes are connected to each other, your router, and your many devices around your home. But to keep things organized and your data fast, your nodes and router use a dedicated channel to communicate amongst themselves.
Multiple User, Multiple Input, Multiple Output. Basically, a setup where there are multiple lanes in your bandwidth, so your router can handle requests from multiple devices at once. Essentially, a router with MU-MIMO can talk to multiple devices simultaneously.
Imagine study hall, with one teacher answering questions from multiple students. The teacher can only handle one question at any given time, and so must rotate between students. That’s what we had before. Now imagine a study hall with four teachers. Each teacher can only handle one question at a time, but because there are four, they can handle student questions faster. That’s MU-MIMO.
(If you want to know how your current gen, non-MU-MIMO router is handling more than one device at a time, here’s the answer: it’s switching between them all really fast. It only handles one device at any given moment.)
The Big Takeaway
If you want to take better advantage of your internet plan, consider getting a mesh Wi-Fi system. You’ll get better coverage throughout your home, be able to manage your devices better and take advantage of new Wi-Fi technology.