Banish black spots
Mesh networking is the new hotness in Wi-Fi. Are you ready to take your network to the next level?
The days of the traditional router may be numbered. We all live in complex homes. We all have those corners that stubbornly refuse to give up a decent signal. And most of us have to put up with an awkwardlylocated central access point, which just makes solving the problem more difficult. There are options out there like powerline and Wi-Fi repeaters, but mesh networks do it better: they send signal between individual nodes, usually using a dedicated radio channel, meaning you can place them in those murky areas of your home that really need the boost. Still got black spots? Then you can seamlessly add another. It’s easier, it’s faster and it’s all app-controlled.
ONE FOR RAW POWER NETGEAR ORBI RBK50 $620 (router and node), netgear.com.au
Netgear’s high-end kit gets pretty much everything right when it comes to mesh networking. Perhaps its most notable advantage is its tri-band support. Where most mesh kits use the same radio channel for communicating between mesh nodes as they do for regular communications, the Orbi RBK50 has a channel devoted entirely to relaying data between the satellite(s) and router. That’s a big deal, and it shows. Here, the router and satellite both have a generous collection of Ethernet and USB ports, and setup is very simple.
ONE FOR TECHNOPHOBES GOOGLE WIFI $499 (three nodes), store.google.com
Google’s marketing muscle fired up the mesh Wi-Fi revolution, and the product itself doesn’t disappoint. Immensely simple to set up, it’s USB-C powered for maximum flexibility, looks cute and features two Gigabit Ethernet ports. Google Wifi does a great job at shaping traffic for top speeds while streaming or gaming, and effectively filled our home despite its relatively lowpower AC1200 signal. The accompanying app is a masterwork, making keeping tabs on your network and configuring individual devices an absolute breeze.