My mission statement is, “Strive to empower my clients through my support, not enslave them to my service.” Some say it is a bad business model but the educator in me says, “Who cares.” It does, however inspire me to write about mesh networks.
Without getting technical, a mesh network system, like Eero, Linksys Velop, or Netgear Orbi, is the best solution to total WiFi coverage in your home with minimal setup and maintenance. It just works! However, it is not cheap ($200-$400 for a starter set).
Why does my mission statement make me think of mesh networks? Because every time I install a mesh network for a client they never call me with WiFi problems. I may hear from them for other reasons but never the WiFi.
Other advantages to the mesh networks…
- No need to run cables though the house.
- No need for multiple WiFi names (like MyWiFi and MyWiFi-Ext) that you get with range extenders.
- Setup is simple through the use of an app on your phone.
- Management, if any is needed, is also simple though an app on your phone.
- Internet speeds are consistently good no matter which device you are closest to.
- No need to rent a WiFi modem from Comcast or whomever.
Let me talk a little about that last one. Since the mesh network essentially takes over your WiFi system it is advisable to disable the WiFi signals on the modem of your internet provider. Not only because it will not be used, but also because having two devices broadcasting WiFi signals in close proximity to each other, can have an adverse effect on performance. So, unless you need that modem for telephone service, I would advise getting rid of it and buying a basic modem for about $60 and save yourself the monthly rental fee (~$11/month). Calculating a little ROI on that, depending on which mesh system you buy, you could see a savings in as few as three years.
I could get into all the other useful features of the different systems, like network security, guest networks and parental controls but I will leave it with the fact that it just works.