On how Wifi Mesh Systems work

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Currently looking into buying a router for my home as it was recommended after multiple issues with my wifi disconnecting and dropping in certain areas of the home except right next to the router (expected). So I did some digging and discovered the Mesh System. I don’t understand how it increases the signal at all, especially since I just learnt that bandwidth is limited so you can only go as fast as the 5gHz or 2.5 will allow?

Would very much appreciate a cool lesson on how mesh system and its nodes work so I can have better wifi connections lol

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3 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

If you get a bad signal between the laptop and the router then it is going to have to slow down the speed, repeat the same signals, etc. Think of how you might talk in a noisy bar. A mesh access point can act as a repeater. So if you have good connection to the access point and it have good connection to the router then you can use this point to get faster speeds to the router. You do this by placing the mesh point between the router and your laptop.

Dedicated WiFi hardware is generally better then a laptop and far better then a phone at getting a good signal. They usually have multiple radios which allow them to use multiple channels at once and have several different types of antennas they can chose between. The mesh point can therefore find an optimal radio, antenna and frequency to talk to the router on which your laptop does not have the hardware for. And it can then using a different radio and antenna talk to your laptop at the same time. This means that you can send data faster without losing any data in the noise and it does not have to repeat the data as often. So in general you get a faster network.

I would highly recommend you look at hard wiring the mesh access point as well. By connecting a long network cable between your router and the mesh access point it will have a much better connection then its wireless radio can ever get.

Anonymous 0 Comments

> I don’t understand how it increases the signal at all, especially since I just learnt that bandwidth is limited so you can only go as fast as the 5gHz or 2.5 will allow?

The term to know here is *backhaul.* It refers to the communication channel between the “main” router (the one connected to your modem) and the “nodes” (the smaller routers that make up the actual ‘mesh’).

Cheaper mesh systems will use the same Wifi bands for backhaul as they do for talking to your devices which, as you say, reduces performance.

More expensive systems will perform the backhaul on a dedicated Wifi band that *only* does the backhaul, meaning that it’s not taking away from the 2.5 and 5GHz bands used for talking to your devices. Some systems can also use a physical Ethernet cable for backhaul, which is even better, but less convenient to set up because you have to run a physical cable.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s works like venn diagram.

Each node will have a circle for 2.4, 5 and 6 GHz frequencies. 6 GHz (WiFi 6E and 7) is only found on newer devices.

Every step up in frequency has a lower range that it can travel and is more affected by walls and other obstructions.

However in order for mesh systems to achieve high performance they largely use the 5 GHz frequency to establish their connection from node to node.

This means you have to figure out the halfway point to where you can plug in your second (or 3rd, 4th) nodes to extend the range where you need it to be. They should also ideally be able to see each other or have minimal walls/obstructions between them.

Mesh systems have grown in popularity because they’re typically “smart” compared to previous repeater/extender devices you can buy and auto-configure themselves to determine the best path to the main node/router so the only thing the end user has to figure out is the physical placement and plug them in.

You can free yourself of the “venn diagram” like limitation by connecting the nodes together with ethernet cables.