Wi-Fi is one of the first things you are eager to set up when you move into a new home. You need it to order pizza while your pots and pans are in boxes, distract the kids with a movie, or find a video that shows you how to build your new Swedish furniture when you can’t understand the instructions.
Whether you’ve just moved or you’ve called your place home for a while, you want to ensure that your home Wi-Fi is set up so everyone can use it everywhere in your house.
How Does Home Wi-Fi Work Anyway?
Cable Internet comes into your house at the initial point A and connects to your router and modem. Your router connects to a Wi-Fi access point which offers and extends Wi-Fi access to a certain radius. Some routers have a built-in Wi-Fi access point, so the whole process looks and feels like it only went through one device.
In some homes, the initial Wi-Fi access point does not provide Wi-Fi to the whole house. This is especially true in many homes in Pittsburgh that are multi-level or have thick plaster walls. For long skinny apartments, you might need to incorporate second or even multiple Wi-Fi access points to extend your Wi-Fi signal throughout your home.
Extending Your Home Wi-Fi Range
You can add additional Wi-Fi access points to your Internet connection by extending the physical network with cables or connecting them wirelessly.
Suppose you need a second or multiple Wi-Fi access point(s). In that case, it is preferable to physically connect them to your router using Ethernet cables, which provides the greatest amount of stability. To ensure the cables reach all areas of the house that need access generally need the help of a professional because this setup is difficult in many homes, especially when you don’t have the right tools and materials or if you are renting.
This is where a mesh network comes into play. A mesh network consists of a primary Wi-Fi access point (the “gateway”) and several nodes or “repeaters”. You can place the nodes around your house, and they act like the monkey in the middle, connecting wirelessly to the gateway and repeating your Wi-Fi connection around the house. This turns each node into a Wi-Fi access point, spreading the signal anywhere a node sits.
Ideally, a mesh network allows all your devices to talk to each other wirelessly and get your traffic to the Wi-Fi access point in the most efficient way, and it is generally easy to set up. Running a hard line through the house is not easy if you are not a professional.
Is a Mesh Network Right For Your House?
A home mesh network seems like an easy answer to your connection problems. But the apparent simplicity of setting up and maintaining a mesh network comes with drawbacks in performance.
Mesh nodes may indeed extend your Wi-Fi signal. However, with each node away from the initial hardline connection, you inject more noise and receive less bandwidth with your connection. It’s like making a copy of a copy of a copy. You can suffer signal loss, latency, and jitter in your Internet connections. The more wireless nodes you install, the more unreliable the connection will be.
A mesh network can be more expensive and may be overkill. Unless multiple people in your home are using a lot of bandwidth in various parts of your home all at the same time, a mesh network may be overkill. If you want to make sure your laptop can connect to the Internet anywhere inside your home, purchasing a mesh network might be more than you need.
Green Light Wireless can give you direct, hardwired Wi-Fi access points, allowing you to have strong, reliable Wi-Fi connectivity everywhere in your home. Contact us today to learn more.
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