Mesh Networks vs WiFi repeaters: What’s the difference?
From steelsheen in our ASUS Mesh Router YouTube video: Wouldn’t it have been simpler and cheaper to get a couple of repeaters? given that the main problem to your wifi connection is blockages due to walls/ line of sight, all you really need are “dumb” devices whose main function is to grab the signal from the main router/fellow repeater and spread it around.
Hey, thanks for bringing that up! Though they may both provide a wider coverage, there are actually a lot of differences between extending your network as a mesh compared to expanding your network with a repeater. Here’s a quick rundown.
Mesh networks are generally for larger spaces and are made to provide a more seamless connection all around one space with just one ID. As this is our current setup in our new HQ, the convenience of having only one SSID, wherever you go around the place, will ensure delivery of consistent speeds over one recognized network.
While they may be generally more expensive than a repeater, each hub can act as a single router rather than just relaying the signal around. That fits a lot more with the work that we do since we’re all online and we use multiple devices at once. Plus, mesh networks are generally easier to set up and manage compared to repeaters. The speed is also more consistent throughout the area — our room has thick walls which may hamper signal distribution.
Even if they tend to be cheaper and more user-friendly nowadays, WiFi repeaters, on the other hand, tend to be quite a chore if you’re not really that familiar with how it is set up. As it’s just a repeater, its main function is only to relay the existing signal further so it can reach more areas. Not to mention they use a different SSID, so devices would have to change networks when connecting to them, which will momentarily cut internet connection. If in case we’re uploading files and need to change areas, then we’ll risk dropping the connection and reuploading again.
Using range extenders can also be confusing given that it can work with different brands and it may take more time to set up because it needs to be properly pointed to the main router. We’re using a repeater setup at our old HQ (which we still visit from time to time) and despite the presence of a relayed router closer to us, our phones still cling onto the first, further network we connect to when we enter the premises. We’d have to manually change networks from time to time, which sometimes hamper our activities.
We hope this clarifies. Do let us know more of your most awaited questions by keying in #AskYugaTech on social media and we’ll check them out.