The Future of Networking: Mesh Network Advantages and Disadvantages
Many people are introducing mesh networks into their homes rather than traditional networks. Here are mesh network advantages and disadvantages to know.
How Does a Mesh Network Work?
A mesh network is a system that works off of several nodes. They connect wirelessly to one another, extending the Wi-Fi signal to a broader area, minimizing dead zones.
The nodes connect in a non-linear pattern. Therefore, each node can communicate with each other. This means, if one module cannot relay information to another, it will try a different route.
There is no "one-stop" communication point.
This is a more advanced option for internet users, but it's not a complicated one. It can be beneficial for most people, including those with modest-sized homes.
Mesh networks have been around for years. In the past, they have been completely wired. This made them expensive and complicated.
However, experts have found a way to create mesh networks using wireless hardware. This eliminates the cost of the complicated wire installation. This also makes the networks more adaptable and accessible to businesses and homes.
This type of networking has been on the rise, ever since the birth of IoT, or "The Internet of Things". A mesh network is a low-power, low-cost alternative that can connect many internet devices. A multi-faceted wireless mesh network with no data loss or connection issues.
Mesh Network Advantages and Disadvantages
Advantages of a Mesh Network:
A mesh network is a group of internet hubs working together. Using a network instead of a single point of access, you don't have to rely on just one router for your Wi-Fi. They work together to ensure a strong wireless connection in every nook and cranny of your home.
Minimizing Dead Zones
Traditional routers tend to lose Wi-Fi signal the further away you are. A mesh network eliminates those dead zones. The stations piggyback on one another, so it acts like a continuous link no matter where you are in your home.
Most mesh systems include a user-friendly smartphone app. The app helps you understand the ins and outs of your system. This means you don't need a large company to play middle man to manage your system anymore. You can manage it at your fingertips.
Most people use handheld devices and smartphones to connect to Wi-Fi at home. It's no longer the norm to have a stagnant "computer room" with a single desktop.
In the past few years, there has been a rise in several other internet-based devices. Smart speakers, televisions, watches, and even bathroom scales. These devices are scattered throughout the different rooms in our home.
Mesh networks will cover each of those devices no matter which rooms they are in, with less chance of internet interruption.
Your mesh network can be any size you'd like. Each hub is a single piece in the entire network. So if you feel you need another module, you can add one. If you feel you have too many, you can take one away.
There is minimal setup and it's not difficult to add or take away as many hubs as you need.
A mesh network works on many nodes in one network. Since this is true, you would imagine it would be difficult to configure them all.
However, you don't have to manually set up and configure each satellite hub in your system. They easily do it themselves.
Less Connection Failure
Mesh networks are extremely resilient. It's constantly "discovering" path changes and any rerouting. The nodes find this information and relay it to the other nodes.
This means if there is a failure somewhere in the system, the other pieces will pick it up and find a fix on their own.
As with any piece of growing technology, mesh networks are not perfect and may have to be updated through time.
The biggest fallback is that for every "hop" the system makes, you lose a little bit of speed.
Let's say your main station is in the basement, and you have two hubs in the upper level and none in the bedroom. Your speed in the bedroom is going to be slower.
This is because your primary station makes a copy of the data you are reaching. Then, each hub makes another copy until it reaches its final destination. So, it takes a little extra time to travel from the main hub.
Depending on your home's size and layout will determine which mesh system is best. Regardless, the price is much higher than a traditional router.
There are currently three main home systems in the market today to consider when you are shopping for a wifi mesh network.
2) Google Wifi
3) Orbi by Netgear
The average package with any one of these ranges between $300-$400.
Piggybacking on the price point is the scalability of a mesh network. If you need a network to cover a large amount of space, you will need more modules.
After all, Wi-Fi coverage is only as good as the number of hubs you can afford. For each added node, the price will go up.
Mesh networks are designed with consumers in mind. They are simple, and while this is ideal for many customers, it may mean a lack of features for more advanced Wi-Fi users.
For example, current systems lack the ability to change the DHCP IP. Users cannot add a custom DNS. Power-users may get frustrated that they cannot run both a 2.4GHz and 5GHz band network.
There are a number of mesh network advantages and disadvantages. They are ideal for many Wi-Fi users, especially if you need to cover a large area with Wi-Fi access. Ditching traditional routers can mean more coverage for current trends in Wi-Fi devices.
But, the use of a simple system comes at a cost. It's not a cheap option, no matter what company you purchase from, and, there are issues with speed.
If you're willing to pay for better coverage, a mesh network may be the perfect option for you. Contact us today for more information and to get started.