how do modems to routers to gateways to mesh nodes to extenders work?

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Trying to cover the whole house in sweet sweet (fast) Wi-Fi

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Extenders/Repeaters just receive the current signal and amplify them, but usually loses speed (often 50%).

Access Points are additional “routers” that are wired into the main hub.

Mesh nodes “talk” to the main one and receive internet from them, and can maintain much faster speeds than repeaters.

I tired some wired APs, but switched to a mesh network using 3 TP-Link AC1200’s, and it works much better.