Do You Need a Mesh WiFi Router? If you are on a crucial Zoom meeting or making a trade on your smartphone, you do not want to lose your WiFi connection due to a dead zone. Mesh routers can prevent dead zones from happening. You can also use WiFi extenders to avoid dead zones. Keep reading to determine if a mesh WiFi router setup is a good fit for you or if you can survive with WiFi extenders.
How Traditional Routers Work
A traditional router has a single access point that broadcasts signals. When you move away from the router, the signals get weaker. If you walk out of the coverage area, this is called a dead zone, when the WiFi signal cannot reach your trading computer or laptop. Your device loses connectivity.
You can use WiFi extenders to increase the reach of the router signal. You have to place the extender within the range of the router. The extender talks with the router and extends the signal range to your trading computer or device. However, the problem with extenders is that setup is complicated.
As you move away from the router, once the signal drops, it switches from the router to the extender. This switch can cause glitches in live applications like video streams.
How Mesh Routers Work
Mesh WiFi routers started showing up in the market around 2015. The technology is designed to make the multiple access points seamless. With WiFi extenders, your device will show multiple WiFi networks like MyWiFi, MyWiFi_Ext1, MyWiFi_Ext2. While you can make the network names the same, this leads to confusion when determining which one to connect to since you have to choose.
Mesh routers work together to create a single WiFi access point. The access points communicate with each other and show up as a single network for your trading computers and devices. Mesh WiFi router technology dynamically determines which access point in your mesh network can provide the best service for your device. The signal is faster and more reliable, and you don’t have to manually switch networks.
Pros of Mesh WiFi Routers
1. Easier Setup: Mesh routers are designed to recognize other access points automatically. After your mesh router purchase, you can just set up the devices in different locations in your office or home, power up, and get the network coverage you need. With network extenders, you have to configure the extenders yourself to connect with your primary router.
2. Single Connection: Your mesh network looks like a single access point to your trading computers and other devices. Your device doesn’t have to switch from one access point to another as you move around in your office or home.
Cons of Mesh WiFi Routers
1. Expensive: Mesh routers are more expensive than general routers and extenders, although the prices have decreased significantly. You could be spending close to $200+ for a mesh router system. You can get the same range for half the cost with a traditional WiFi router and one or two range extenders. If you need to purchase more than two range extenders, you may be better off with the mesh router.
2. Compatibility Across Vendors: The technology behind mesh routers is not standardized. You may have to buy all the access points from the same vendor or manufacturer.
To Mesh or Not to Mesh?
Mesh WiFi routers make sense if you have a large office or home area. A mesh network will cover all your trading computers, laptops, and smartphones. But a mesh system can mean a significant investment if you only need to extend coverage to one corner or floor of your space.
If you only need to cover a small office or home area, a combination of changing the router position and adding an extender or two might be a more cost-effective solution. However, the mesh network is still the superior performance solution if you use mobile devices such as your trading laptop while your trading desktop will work perfectly fine off an extender.
Helpful Tips and More
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