Internode Blog

What is Mesh WiFi – and do you need it?

Thursday, March 10th, 2022 by
Mesh WiFi

What would we do without WiFi – that awesome, handy way to connect devices to the internet without any pesky wires?

In your home, you might find that your WiFi is stronger in some rooms than others. Perhaps you even have some ‘dead spots’ in your house. While it can be frustrating, the good news is that there’s a way to strengthen your connection throughout your whole home: Mesh WiFi!

You may have already seen the term floating around online or even at your local electronics store. So, what’s the difference between standard WiFi and Mesh WiFi, and who needs it? Let’s find out!

What does a standard WiFi setup look like?

Most of us are very familiar with the concept of home WiFi. You plug a box into the wall and it broadcasts your internet as a wireless signal that you can join with the help of a WiFi password.

Some setups may have an additional box solely dedicated to WiFi but the end result is the same: the WiFi is only coming from one place.

Assuming no wacky outliers that would cause unusual signal interference (like house plants reaching “indoor jungle” levels or heavy metal fixtures that would rival the industrial sector) standard WiFi can generally provide enough coverage for every room in most Australian households.

For those with dead spots where the WiFi drops out or trundles along at 1 bar in certain places, Mesh WiFi can help improve your WiFi coverage.

What difference does Mesh WiFi make?

A Mesh WiFi setup consists of two or more devices plugged in at different places in your home. The Mesh WiFi devices work together to create one big, seamless WiFi network throughout your property. 

The end result? Stronger WiFi signals with fewer dead zones. If you have your mobile in hand, you won’t need to do anything when you walk out of range of one Mesh WiFi unit and into another – your phone will just stay connected to the same WiFi network.

How do I tell if Mesh WiFi is right for me?

Here’s some key indicators that your home would significantly benefit from a Mesh WiFi setup. If you can tick most of these boxes, it may be time to visit your local electronics store.

  • ✅ You live in a particularly large, long or multi-storey home.
  • ✅ Your modem/router has to plug in at one extreme end of your property, so you can’t place it in a central location.
  • ✅ Your WiFi struggles to keep up (or drops out completely) when you’re in certain spots in your home.
  • ✅ You want to invest in a more effective home network solution than a budget non-mesh WiFi extender.

What do I need for a Mesh WiFi setup?

You probably already have a modem router (which handles both fixed internet & WiFi) or a modem with a separate WiFi router in your home.

To switch to a Mesh WiFi setup, you’ll need to purchase a Mesh WiFi kit from your local electronics store. This will include:

  • A Mesh WiFi base router
    This should plug in to your modem router to take over the job of WiFi. Be wary of replacing your modem, as a VoIP phone service provided by us won’t work on a third-party modem.
     
  • One or more Mesh WiFi extender points
    These additional devices may also be referred to as “satellites”. The number of extender points you’ll need can vary depending on the size of your property, so be sure to take a look at those tech specs when you’re shopping!

Some of the most popular Mesh WiFi kits on the market include the TP-Link Deco range and Google Nest WiFi. However, you can find a broader range of recommendations over on Tom’s Guide or PC Magazine Australia.

Don’t forget to go green if you’re retiring any old routers! If you don’t have any friends or family who are interested in a WiFi router hand-me-down, check with your local council to find a drop-off point for e-waste so it can be properly recycled.

Happy browsing!