Ever made a call and realized that you have just explained everything but the other party asks you to repeat what you said? It’s not you. It’s the connection. That can be because you are in a dead spot. Luckily, there are many ways available to keep your Zoom calls and streaming smooth and seamless.
Two solutions constantly compared in the market are mesh networks and wi-fi extenders. Talks about range extender vs mesh are circulating online but before you put your bet on one, a few things need to be weighed in to make sure you win.
Watch your signal and your speed
Mesh networks and Wi-fi extenders are not miracles. They work according to other factors that you may have not included in your list. The network congestion in your area can cost the speed of your internet. That is something not even a Wi-Fi 6 supportive mesh network can fix.
Still, it is helpful to determine what you need before you take a big step. Signal strength that is from -67 to -37 dBm is enough for seamless streaming and conference calls. An expert at Juniper Networks, Joel Crane, recommends using InSSIDer Lite to determine the signal strength of your router as you move from room to room. A signal lower than -80 disrupts your online activity regardless of what device you use.
You do not have to spend too much
The key to making your purchase worth it is identifying what you need. The dead spots in your house may be because you are placing your router in the wrong place. Try putting the router in a place where all corners of your house can access the connection. A few tweaks in the position of the antenna can help too. Or, if your home office is too far, try using a LAN cable. If these three cannot help it is high time for an upgrade.
What separates you from your router obstructs the connection. Taking some walls down is of course not an option. Do you live in a condominium? A two-story house? Are you considering upgrading your connection for customers in a shop? Space matters because if we speak about range extenders vs. mesh. Mesh is crowned king over spacious areas, even those divided by walls.
Differences and benefits
In size and in price, a mesh can compete well with a wi-fi extender because of the benefits. Wi-fi-extenders do not cost that much. You can easily purchase one for just $50 and you can wipe that dead spot out right away. With a price of $98, you can already have an extender that supports Wi-fi 6 with a dual-band.
Extenders are great if the space you have is relatively small. A router placed on the second floor can be accessed easily on the ground floor. Sounds great right? Not when you realize that extenders work to catch your device when you move from one place to another. This is usually automatic. The network your device connects to shifts from the router to the extender and the jump does not go smoothly. Hence the disruption. Again, that is alright if your space is small and your connection needs are not that demanding.
Take a closer look at how extenders work too. Router brand and extender brand differences require you to access a webpage for seamless communication between the two devices. If that is too complicated to think of and execute, an extender is not for you. But if your price, limited number of users, and small space are your priorities, extenders are enough. You will find many great options online.
In a comparison between wi-fi extender vs mesh, a mesh is most likely to win. That is if you have a huge office or estate that requires a fast and strong connection. A mesh can work with a router if required for ISP or can be a complete replacement.
As for mesh network vs extender, why is a mesh more seamless than an extender? Unlike extenders, a mesh network shares the same network name (extenders end with .EXT). The access points of the mesh catch your device easily wherever you are, unlike extenders that only catch your device once the router loses signal or the extender is already too far. That’s a few seconds of glitch, broken speech, or pixelated video.
Information sending and receiving are different when it comes to mesh networks. That’s the best option for networks that involve multiple devices. You will find the Amazon Eero Pro 6 useful. Mesh networks can blanket the entire household without the hassle of router SSID log-ins. That’s the advantage of technology that talks to each other rather than extends the main connection source.
Some mesh networks offer Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output technologies. That is how data is streamed to devices simultaneously instead of sequentially. This is just an addition to the 2.4GHz and 5GHz radio bands that extenders do not offer.
Dubbed as the best in the market, Netgear Orbi AX6000 costs $700. The lowest range for a mesh network is $400. Multiple speed tests with these systems will input consistent download speeds that can support a network of computers or a household with multiple internet-reliant entertainment devices.
Sure, there are other brands available in the market. AmpliFi Alien, Asus RT-AX92U, and Netgear Nighthawk are great options too. Top speeds keep themselves close to 800 MBPS. That is Wi-fi 6 supported. That by far is the fastest.
The power of the internet evolves
The demand for high-speed internet is increasing due to more businesses converting their marketing through e-commerce and online gaming becoming a top hobby for many. With entertainment becoming highly dependent on the internet, it is not a surprise there is also a high demand for the best router for gaming and router adapters in the market.
While technology advances, the best time to purchase the latest upgrade is always when you need it the most. What is popular is not always what you need. Price, space, and network need always count.