WiFi range extender or a mesh router? Which router should you buy?

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WiFi range extender or a mesh router

How to Extend Wi-Fi Range on the CHEAP video power by Ricks Gadgets.


WiFi range extender or a mesh router? Which router should you buy?


Both an extender or wireless “mesh” setup are really doing the same thing: they take packets in, buffer them and retransmit them. This means the network runs at half speed.


Sure it is easy to set up and requires no wiring of any sort. But the speed and bandwidth penalty is pretty severe.


Some things that are useful to know:

  • Wi-Fi has a maximum range of around 150–175 feet. This is through open air. In a house with a wood frame and minimal metal ducting you should be able to get 100 feet easily.
  • I had a pretty big house in Iowa that was a 2500 square foot ranch with a full basement. The house occupied a rectangle around 75×50 – so from the center of the house to the edges was maybe 40 feet at most.
  • They make some really nice routers with three radios – 2.5GHz and two 5GHz. These can talk to a lot of devices – I was running over 30 separate connections to my Netgear Nighthawk R8000 router which was placed in the basement in about the center of the house.


Now, if you have a huge house (over 10,000 square feet), you aren’t going to cover that with a single router. But almost anything under that is going to work fine with a good router placed in the center.


If you aren’t able to use a single tri-band router, it could be interference that is messing things up. There are ways to investigate this and find what is causing the problem. Investing in any Wi-Fi hardware in the face of an interference problem is a waste of money – it will not solve the problem.


Let’s say you have more metal in the walls that normal or a huge house. The real answer is a managed network with a single router and multiple access points connected to it. You can expect to pay over $1000 for such a system, but unlike a lot of other things, it will provide seamless Wi-Fi coverage throughout the entire house. And yard, swimming pool, tennis courts, etc. The access points have to be connected via cables, but you have full speed access everywhere. It is the right solution for a huge house. Why worry about spending $1000 on Wi-Fi when the house cost over a million?




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WiFi range extender or a mesh router


Do wireless mesh networks actually work Reference: Paul Crowley ( Senior software developer and Business Owner ). “Should you buy a WiFi range extender or a mesh router?”  originally appeared on Quora, the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

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