The way we connect to the Internet today has changed compared to just a few years ago. We can say that in most cases we connect through wireless networks. This is partly due to the great rise of mobile devices, but also the improvement of Wi-Fi networks. However, one of the problems that remain is wireless coverage. Our router is limited and this means we have to look for alternatives to improve it. Today we are going to talk about it. We will explain the differences between Wi-Fi Mesh and repeaters . They are two methods that we can use to improve the signal.
The importance of having an adequate Wi-Fi network
It is a reality that the Wi-Fi network is necessary in many cases for our day to day. As we mentioned the rise of mobile devices, as well as the Internet of Things, makes it essential to have wireless networks capable of offering what we really need.
This means that in our homes we need to have a quality Wi-Fi router , which can cope with the problems that may arise, as well as allow us to surf the network in a fluid, stable and good speed way. The problem is that, as we mentioned earlier, a router is limited. It has the ability to offer signal up to a specific distance.
To overcome this obstacle we can use different devices and tools. In this way we can extend the coverage and that the Wi-Fi signal reaches other places in the home. A way to connect from different points , but also connect very different equipment. What does this mean? We will be able to connect our televisions, Wi-Fi bulbs, devices to play videos … A large number of IoT devices that we have distributed throughout our home and that in the coming years will multiply.
Now, we must bear in mind that not all the devices we use to amplify that signal will work the same. Depending on the objective we have, we can use one or the other option. That is why we wanted to talk about two of the devices that we can use for it. We will explain the differences between Wi-Fi Mesh and Wi-Fi repeaters.
What is a Mesh Wi-Fi system and how it works
A Mesh Wi-Fi system aims to improve the coverage of our wireless home network. It is a very interesting option and also offers very complete functions. Basically we can say that it is composed of a router or main station and also has one or more satellites.
All these satellites , as well as the router itself, are communicated with each other. Thus it is able to create a unique quality network, with a unique name or SSID and password. Precisely communication between satellites is one of the most important differences with respect to Wi-Fi repeaters.
The satellites communicate with each other . This means that it does not matter if the router or main base is too far away. Logically, if all satellites had to communicate with the router, we would lose coverage and the quality would not be the same. We could not take advantage of the capacity offered by a Wi-Fi Mesh system in the same way.
A Mesh Wi-Fi system allows us to connect to the satellite that offers the highest quality at that time. In this way we can move around our home or workplace and we will always be connected to the highest quality access point. It does not mean that we connect to the nearest point, since it may not offer maximum speed or quality due to walls, for example.
We can say that a Wi-Fi Mesh system makes intelligent management in this regard. It is able to connect devices to the best option they have at that time. A Wi-Fi repeater does not have this technology.
Advantages of using a Wi-Fi Mesh system
Among the advantages of using a Wi-Fi Mesh system we can mention the ability to create a unique network . It does not generate independent access points, but all are connected to each other and form a single network. This is an important value if we want maximum quality.
It should also be noted that all these satellites use the same software and ultimately make up the same group of devices. This means that we will have less compatibility problems and more agility when sending or receiving packages.
Another advantage is that these devices usually come perfectly equipped . They bring internal antennas capable of giving very good coverage in our home. They are devices that take quality into account and are designed to offer the best in terms of Wi-Fi coverage.
Disadvantages of a Wi-Fi Mesh system
One of the main disadvantages is the compatibility with the routers. It is true that today many routers are compatible with Mesh Wi-Fi systems, but we may have problems if ours is older. Of course, we must bear in mind that many Wi-Fi Mesh systems bring their own built-in router, so this would be forgotten.
The economic issue is also an inconvenience. If we want a quality Wi-Fi Mesh system with several satellites we will have to make a significant economic investment. Especially it will be expensive if we want to install it in a large building.
What are Wi-Fi repeaters and how do they work?
On the other hand we have the option of using Wi-Fi repeaters . They are undoubtedly more common among private users. Its operation is simpler, since basically what they do is repeat the signal. This means that we will have two or more networks. On the one hand we will have the normal Wi-Fi network, the one offered by our router, and on the other hand other networks that belong to the repeaters.
What a repeater does is receive the signal from the router and forward it. This can make it reach more strongly to certain areas of the home, but logically the quality will not be the same. Of course, it is a useful option to take Internet from one plant to another, for example.
However, there are some Wi-Fi repeaters that allow you to connect to the router using an Ethernet cable . This means that they will receive the signal better, with more quality and therefore they will offer more speed to a certain area of the home.
It is, in short, a simple solution to amplify the network in our home. There are different types, many models and devices for all budgets. We can expand the Wi-Fi network to other areas of the home or workplace in a simple and fast way.
Advantages of Wi-Fi repeaters
An important advantage is what we have commented on the price . They are cheaper devices than Wi-Fi Mesh systems. There are many options.
We must also bear in mind that it is easier to install and we will not need any complex configuration. They are devices that are designed to work in our homes without having complex knowledge.
In addition, the broad compatibility with routers should be noted. We will not need to buy a specific model, since it is normal for anyone to be compatible with current routers.
Disadvantages of Wi-Fi repeaters
Among the disadvantages we can highlight the fact of having to connect manually to another network . This is something that does not happen with a Wi-Fi Mesh system, which does this process automatically and always keeps us connected.
The speed we will get will not be the same, especially if that repeater connects wirelessly to the router.
It should also be noted that it is not the most optimal option to expand the Wi-Fi network in large places. It is rather for more specific areas.