What Is a Mesh WiFi Network?

Mesh WiFi can cover your whole house on just one network – but this technology doesn't come cheap.
Man Holding a Wifi Icon

What Is a Mesh WiFi Network?

Mesh WiFi is a single wireless network spread over multiple devices. It goes by different industry names — you might see "whole home WiFi," TrueMesh, or EasyMesh.

Mesh WiFi creates a single WiFi network using multiple nodes that can cover your entire property.

But whatever you call it, mesh WiFi creates a single WiFi network using multiple nodes that can cover your entire property without the inherent compromises of WiFi extenders.

Whole Home WiFi vs. Wifi Extenders

WiFi extenders often create two different networks, forcing you (or your phone, or your tablet, or your home assistant...) to choose whether to connect to your router or the extender.

SEE ALSO: How Can I Buy the Best Mesh Router for My Needs?

Additionally, extenders with only one built-in radio can seriously decrease your bandwidth as they pass traffic from point to point. (A deep dive into the details could eat your entire afternoon.) Mesh topology creates one giant network with neither of these downsides.

What's the Downside of a Mesh WiFi System?

The biggest disadvantage of a mesh network is cost. A traditional WiFi router and WiFi extender costs about a hundred bucks; expect a 3-node mesh WiFi setup (or a mesh router and two beacons) to start around $230.

Sean Flynn
Contributing Writer

Sean is a freelance writer and photojournalist working in the Hampton Roads region. He has been a writer, adventure motorcyclist, drag racer, data nerd, shade-tree mechanic, and tornado chaser. Recommend good beers to him on Twitter at @wxgeek.
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