Though most people choose one or the other, it’s more than doable to have a setup that uses both a WiFi extender and a mesh network at the same time.
I’m a long-time technology user who’s been messing with WiFi networks most of my life. That personal experience, combined with extra research, has taught me a lot about the different ways to get more from a connection.
The following article will look at mesh networks. By studying them as a whole, it will be much easier to understand how they stand up against more traditional WiFi extenders, as well as why someone would be compelled to use both at the same time.
- Key Takeaways
- Using an Extender with a Mesh Network
- How Do I Add a WiFi Extender to My Mesh Network?
- Should You Use a WiFi Extender or a Mesh System?
- Final Thoughts
- WiFi extenders are perfectly compatible with mesh networks, even if both exist for the same reason.
- Hooking up an extender to a mesh network is simple, and something anyone can do via either a wired or wireless connection.
- Mesh networks tend to be
Using an Extender with a Mesh Network
Before getting into finer details, it’s first important to discuss the ways WiFi extenders can interact with mesh systems. For those that don’t know, that term refers to a specific wireless setup that uses multiple connectivity spots rather than a single device.
In a mesh system, several spots (known as nodes) work together to bring WiFi throughout an entire space. Doing so enables the signal to reach all throughout a house in an attempt to severely limit or cut down on any dead zones.
As mesh networks are so effective, many assume that they don’t need to use them with a WiFi extender. That’s generally true. The two do very similar things (increase your personal signal) and are often covering the same ground.
Even so, they can be used together if needed. It’s not something that’s going to happen a lot, but even mesh systems aren’t perfect. There’s nothing wrong with bringing in an extender in order to get even better coverage than what the mesh system allows.
If you want more information on mesh systems, check out the video here.
How Do I Add a WiFi Extender to My Mesh Network?
WiFi extenders are some of the simplest and most intuitive devices on the market. That’s a big reason so many people use them, and one of the advantages of pairing them with a mesh network. It doesn’t take much to get everything up and running.
If you plan on combining an extender with a network, there are two ways to make it happen. You can either use an ethernet connection or you can set them up wirelessly.
For a wired connection, find a spot for the extender that’s within range of the mesh router. Then, connect the devices together via an ethernet cable and finish setting up the extender with the mesh network’s mobile app.
While the wired connection sets up almost right away, you’ll have to take a few extra steps when going wireless. Simply find your mesh network online and then follow the individual instructions to pair the two together. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.
Should You Use a WiFi Extender or a Mesh System?
As mentioned, extenders and mesh systems both take up similar spaces. While using them together is a great option, it’s not always needed. If you’re someone who wants a better signal and isn’t sure which one to pick, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Mesh WiFi tends to be more effective than a WiFi extender. Both increase range and spread out a signal, but mesh networks tend to be a lot smarter and can get to places that many traditional extenders cannot.
For that reason, they tend to be much better for gamers and users who spend a lot of time streaming. Lag or buffering are two of the most annoying aspects internet users face. Though extenders cut down on both, mesh networks do it a little bit better.
Not only that, but the increased range of mesh networks makes them more effective for extremely large homes. Most big buildings will need more than one extender for full coverage. A mesh network has no such issue.
All of that being said, one of the biggest downsides of going with mesh over an extender is the cost. Mesh networks tend to be much more expensive, which can be a barrier for some people. That’s especially true because they are still just giving you a boost at the end of the day.
Mesh networks can also reduce internet speed. It’s often not something most people will notice, but that’s never going to be an issue with an extender.
This section touches upon some of the most asked questions regarding extenders and mesh networks.
Should I Use a WiFi Extender or a Mesh System?
It completely depends on your situation. WiFi extenders are more affordable and do a great job on dead zones, while mesh systems are more effective over a wider area.
What’s the Difference Between a WiFi Range Extender and a Mesh Network?
WiFi extenders are individual devices that add extra range to your home network, while mesh systems are complete replacements for that network. Mesh replaces your WiFi. Extenders just increase its range.
How Do I Extend My Mesh Network’s Range?
If you want more from your mesh network, an extender is one of the best ways to go. You can also place the router in a clear spot away from other objects, keep the software updated, or get a stronger antenna.
If you need to get the absolute best signal at all costs, there’s no reason you can’t use a WiFi extender with a mesh network. Most of the time users go with one over the other depending on their needs, but putting them both can give you more bang for your buck.
Have you ever used a WiFi extender with a mesh network? Why, and what were the results? Let us know in the comments below!