Things to con­sider…

What you need to know be­fore get­ting started

Mac|Life - - TOUGH TESTING, TRUSTED RATINGS -

Home size 1

Do you re­ally need a mesh network? If you’re liv­ing in rea­son­ably close quar­ters, the an­swer is prob­a­bly no. Mesh net­works are best suited to larger homes, or those built of par­tic­u­larly dense ma­te­ri­als that cause Wi-Fi dead spots.

How many nodes? 2

If your Wi-Fi does need the range ex­ten­sion that mesh of­fers, how many nodes will you re­quire? Check the specs of the mesh network you’re look­ing at — there’ll gen­er­ally be a sug­gested range per node — and com­pare it to your home’s di­men­sions.

Cur­rent kit 3

If your router is cur­rently work­ing fine, don’t jump on the mesh band­wagon if you’re look­ing for speed; while mesh net­works are ef­fi­cient, you won’t find a big speed boost un­less you’re cur­rently strug­gling along on an out­dated ver­sion of Wi-Fi.

Avail­able sock­ets 4

Your nodes will each need pow­er­ing, so they must be placed close to a power out­let. This isn’t a huge deal, since nodes are gen­er­ally pretty flex­i­ble about where you place them, but they’ll need good com­mu­ni­ca­tion with other nodes wher­ever they go.

Cheaper options 5

Throw­ing ev­ery­thing away and re­plac­ing your kit with a mesh network will cer­tainly of­fer up results, but a Wi-Fi ex­ten­der, or some cheap Pow­er­line adap­tors, may be all you need to quash those dead spots. Think care­fully be­fore in­vest­ing.

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