Any hindrance in smooth internet connectivity impacts your browsing experience. Fortunately, with time, internet technology has grown by leaps and bounds. There is no shortage of networking devices which can help you browse the internet without any hiccups. From routers to WiFi extender, all it takes is knowing which networking device you need. For long, a debate has been going in the tech community. The question that’s on everyone’s mind is – Who is the winner in the WiFi Extender vs Mesh? The information below has the answers. Let us first start by understanding what a WiFi extender is.
The WiFi extender is a small networking device which helps you connect to the primary Wi-Fi network and repeats the signal. The extender has its own SSID (broadcast name). For example, if you have a Netgear Wi-Fi extender then it will show up on the network as Netgear_ext.
However, the primary function of an extender is to relay traffic back to the main router. If your internet router is in another room then an extender will help you connect to the network without any hassle.
Now, let us take a look at the benefits and limitations of this networking device.
WiFi Extender – The Pros
A major advantage of WiFi extenders is these are not that expensive to buy. They offer a cost-effective solution for Wi-Fi dead spots in your home. Also, extenders are quite easy to set up and deploy on a WiFi network.
For example, if you have purchased the Netgerar EX3700 and looking to perform Netgear EX3700 setup, all you need to do is visit the default web address through the web browser and follow the instructions to set it up. WiFi extenders function pretty well when it comes to extending the network in a private or commercial establishment.
These days, the basic models of Wi-Fi extenders can provide network coverage up to 1200 square feet. Spending a little extra gets you an extender that covers area as high as 4500 square feet.
Unfortunately, there are a few limitations to WiFi extenders.
With a WiFi extender, you have to switch between different networks manually. Sometimes, you might even have to work with a weak network signal. In other words, there might be bad network receptivity unless the switch is done from your side.
Moreover, users – at times – get stuck with the issues like mywifiext local not working while executing the setup process of their extenders.
Now, let us check out what mesh routers are.
A mesh router does not function like a WiFi extender. It has several nodes deployed throughout the establishment. The nodes provide stronger network coverage and create a wireless network which covers the entire building. You can keep the nodes in different rooms to balance out the WiFi signals.
One node is connected to the physical Ethernet connection. Unlike WiFi extenders all of these broadcast using the same network SSID.
Let us now take a look at the benefits of investing in a mesh router.
Advantages of Mesh Router
The best advantage of a mesh router is that a single network covers the entire establishment. You have access to seamless WiFi connectivity, no matter where you are in the building. No need to worry about WiFi dead spots or switching to different networks.
Another benefit of Mesh WiFi router is these are self-configuring. The setup process is simple and the access point detects the network automatically. You need not worry about setting up different nodes. For managing the number of nodes, all you need to do is use a software. It is a simple process.
But, even the best networking devices have some limitations. Come! Let us see.
Although mesh routers are the latest networking devices, but these suffer from certain limitations. Firstly, in comparison to WiFi extenders, these are quite costly. The pricier models can easily cost you thousands. Investing this much to get rid of WiFi dead spots is not a wise decision.
Secondly, the installation process, although easy yet it is time-consuming. Mesh routers are not plug-and-play devices like a WiFi extender. You have to place each node throughout the establishment strategically. This means you have to drill or place the router on a higher surface.
Time for the final verdict! Let’s see who is the winner.
WiFi Extender vs Mesh Router – The Winner
Both of these networking devices have their benefits and limitations. So, if you are someone with money to spare, then go for a mesh WiFi router. But, if you want WiFi network coverage without raking too much money then WiFi extender makes sense. Here ends our guide on WiFi extender vs mesh router. Hope you like reading it!