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Date : 05-13-2021
A Mesh Wi-Fi System is a wireless network that is designed like a blanket to cover an entire area. A Mesh Wi-Fi system is not like a conventional Wi-Fi system where you have one router broadcasting from one location to the other. But rather you have one parent node with several children nodes (the number of child nodes depends on the size of the location that is being covered) that work with each other to create a stronger and much more reliable network. Below is an example of a partially connected mesh network. A fully connected mesh network is when each node is connected to the other in the network.
Fun fact: Wireless mesh networks were originally developed for military applications so that every node could dynamically sever as a router for other nodes. This way even if one fails other nodes that are functional could continue to communicate with each other and serve as uplinks as needed.
The Basic principle of a mesh network is to relay messages using either a flooding technique or a routing technique. Using the routing technique, the signal is routed along a path going from one node to another until it reaches the end. For this technique, to work the network must allow for continuous connections and must reconfigure itself around broken paths. This is done by using the self-healing algorithm such as shortest path bridging. This allows the routing-based networks to operate even when a node breaks down or becomes unreliable. Making this type of network much more reliable. A network with nodes connected to each other is known as a fully connected network. The advantages of a fully connected wired network are the additional reliability and security. However, the drawbacks are fully connected networks tend to be more expensive due to more cables depending on all the nodes. Meaning you have to run cables to each node accordingly assuming you do not have a preexisting wire already.
Based on our experience we would strongly recommend a Mesh network/system compared to other systems especially considering how affordable they tend to be nowadays. Having a powerful router on one end of the location broadcasting to the other end is certainly possible, however, it may cost you a lot more considering you would need a significantly powerful router to do that especially if you have several walls interfering with the signal. Keep in mind for every object in the way of the signal the lower the signal gets and the lower the speed. When it comes to a mesh network especially a fully connected Mesh system you would get amazing speeds and reliability regardless of how big the location is. The best part is because it is a Mesh network the devices connected via Wi-Fi could easily switch nodes without any interruptions to your streaming or browsing while you move around the area.
As we mentioned before there are several Mesh systems that already exist but a few we would strongly recommend are Unifi’s Mesh System, Nest Wi-Fi, Eero Pro 6, Netgear Orbi AX6000, Asus ZenWifi, Linksys Velop, and Netgear AC1200. We have used most of these systems for several different projects as well as clients. We personally prefer Unifi’s Mesh system but that doesn’t mean the others are bad. The main reason we prefer Unifi’s Mesh System over others is because most of our hardware is by Unifi. So having all the same brand gives us a consistent ecosystem instead of being diverse and having several issues.