There are different ways to boost or extend your Wi-Fi signals. One of which is to purchase, install, and use specific booster devices such as a Wi-Fi extender and mesh Wi-Fi router in spots where signals are weak or areas that are complete dead spots. Nevertheless, in considering this particular option, it is also important to understand the difference between a Wi-Fi extender and mesh Wi-Fi and to know which one is the better option for a particular situation.
Wi-Fi Boosters Basics: Understanding the Difference Between Wi-Fi Extender and Mesh Wi-Fi
Note that both are collectively referred to as Wi-Fi boosters. Their purpose is to boost signals to cover dead spots or make signals stronger in areas that are far from a Wi-Fi router. However, before understanding the difference between the two, it is also imperative to define each:
• Wi-Fi Extender or Wi-Fi Repeater: A Wi-Fi extender, also known as a wireless range extender or a Wi-Fi repeater, is a device that solves dead spots by extending the signals and overall coverage of the main Wi-Fi router. It works by receiving and retransmitting the signal from the main router. This is the simplest and more affordable solution to boosting or extending Wi-Fi signals in homes or office spaces.
• Wi-Fi Mesh or Mesh Wi-Fi Router: A mesh Wi-Fi router or Wi-Fi Mesh is a wireless network configuration or setup based on mesh networking and involving the use of smaller devices called nodes. Each node has its own access point and acts like a separate router rather than simply extending the signal. Placing at least one or multiple nodes in a particular space creates a local mesh network.
The two Wi-Fi booster options have several similarities. They are accessible and relatively affordable. There are different brands available in the market. Most can be purchased online. Comparing different brands is also possible. Furthermore, as regards setting up and ease of use, both are considerably intuitive and user-friendly.
However, apart from the aforementioned technical definitions and their working principles, part of the difference between a Wi-Fi extender and a mesh Wi-Fi is their applications. Take note of the following:
• When to Choose Wi-Fi Extenders: Wi-Fi extenders are suitable for a small home or a small office space with several dead spots due to the presence of physical obstructions or because of the coverage limitation of the main Wi-Fi router. Examples include two-story to three-story homes or offices with concrete wall dividers and multiple rooms.
• When to Choose Mesh Wi-Fi: A mesh Wi-Fi is more ideal for large spaces, as well as in situations with multiple users and connected devices. Mesh networking extends access to the main Wi-Fi network while also creating individual access points. It is ideal for expensive internet plans with high bandwidth and upload and download speeds.
A mesh Wi-Fi is network the better option in most cases because it provides a more seamless, reliable, and high-performance wireless experience than Wi-Fi extenders. But implementing a mesh network is more expensive than simply extending Wi-Fi range.
Nevertheless, based on the aforesaid, a Wi-Fi extender is a simple solution to increasing the range of a small Wi-Fi network and it is ideal for small spaces while a mesh Wi-Fi is suitable for multiple-users and large Wi-Fi networks in large spaces.