Wi‑Fi Extenders vs Mesh Wi‑Fi ‑ Which is Better?

Tired of poor Wi-Fi performance? Either a Mesh Wi-Fi network or a Wi-Fi Extender can extend your Wi-Fi to where you need it to be but they do it in very different ways. Here we explain the difference between the two:

What is a Wi‑Fi extender?

A Wi-Fi extender is one simple device that extends your Wi-Fi signal by rebroadcasting it further into your home. Wi-Fi extenders are also sometimes called Wi-Fi ‘boosters’, or ‘repeaters’, but they mean the same thing - they extend your Wi-Fi signal coverage. You have to manually switch from your home router’s Wi-Fi network to the extender’s Wi-Fi network.

Wi-Fi extenders usually connect to your home router via Wi-Fi, but certain models also allow Ethernet or Powerline connections. Extenders are good for:

  • Bringing Wi-Fi to rooms out of reach of your router’s signal.
  • Removing signal dead zones.
  • Having two separate networks, one for your router, one for the extender.
DAP-1620 Connected to a power outlet beside a sofa
Extend your WiFi network to reach all rooms in your house
COVR-2202

What is mesh Wi‑Fi?

Mesh Wi-Fi uses multiple devices around your home to create one seamless network. Each of these is called a ‘node’ and they all work together to extend your Wi-Fi signal to your whole home. One node usually connects to your home router via Ethernet cable, and the rest of the nodes are placed around your home to where you need Wi-Fi. You don’t have to manually switch to another network, the nodes automatically keep you connected to whichever node has the strongest signal, giving you seamless coverage everywhere.

Mesh Wi-Fi networks are very easy to set up, and are good for:

  • Extending your Wi-Fi to your whole home or bigger offices.
  • Moving around at home and always staying connected to your Wi-Fi.
  • Removing all signal dead zones.
Cover your whole home with WiFi

As you can see, the difference between the two is that Wi-Fi extenders are used to rebroadcast your home router’s Wi-Fi signal. The main drawback is that your devices will not switch between Wi-Fi broadcasts automatically and you experience a disconnection while switching manually.

Mesh Wi-Fi uses multiple nodes to create a single, big and seamless Wi-Fi network that covers your whole home. Your devices will connect to the closest node automatically and without any disruptions as you move around your house.

Wi-Fi Extenders

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Simple solution for extending your home Wi-Fi signal.
  • Plugs straight into a power outlet.
  • More affordable.
  • You have to manually switch over to the extender’s network.
  • Not ideal for larger homes.
  • Harder to configure.
 


Mesh Wi-Fi

Advantages Disadvantages
  • One big, seamless Wi-Fi network for your whole home. 
  • No need to manually switch to any different network.
  • Self-organises to keep you connected to the closest node with the strongest Wi-Fi signal.
  • Reliable even when one node fails.
  • Nodes can be moved to different locations.
  • Just add more nodes to increase your Wi-Fi signal coverage.
  • Easier to set up and control via a phone app.
  • Stylish node design.
  • More expensive than extenders.
  • Nodes don’t plug straight into the wall as extenders do.

 

 

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