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If your household takes full advantage of its Internet service with simultaneous multiple users and hearty bandwidth consumption, you may notice some devices aren’t able to maintain a strong connection to your router. It’s possible your residence is too large with multiple walls adversely impacting the wireless signal strength. And if you live in an Internet of Things-powered digital smart home, its imperative the myriad of devices connect to your home’s service.
Both scenarios have led to the development of mesh network routers — also known as Surround WiFi — a newer technology that enhances your home’s wireless network by using these smaller routers to broadcast the network signal throughout your residence. If this sound like something your home might need, read on for more details.
A Closer Look at Mesh Network Routers
A mesh network router usually comes in a dual band format, which allows you to segregate more bandwidth-intensive traffic onto the faster of the two network bands. The system ups the ante by working in concert with a series of routers (up to 10 per network) serving as access points for the network. Typically sold in packs of three, the mesh network allows you to essentially spread the wireless network signal across your entire residence.
This should serve nicely in a situation where your family’s home entertainment center is located in the opposite part of your house from your Internet modem. Simply place one mesh network router with the modem, and place another one in the room where you do a lot of video streaming. Be sure to run a quick speed test to ensure your bandwidth is sufficient for HD or 4K streaming.
Luma and eero are Early Players in the Market
Luma and eero are two companies earning praise for their mesh network products. Both are available at a price of $199 per unit, or you can purchase a pack of three for $499. Buying only one won’t give you the full advantage of multiple network access points.
The Luma is currently available for pre-order with an expected delivery date of early March. The eero units are expected at the end of January. Both devices feature an attractive design suitable for conspicuous placement throughout your home. Enterprise-level security and simple network management using a mobile app are promised by both manufacturers.
Their initial price is high, but you can expect the cost to fall once more companies enter the market. If you are an early adopter who depends on your Internet service for most aspects of your digital life, mesh-network routers offer the chance to truly optimize your home network usage. Expect this technology to truly take off in 2016.
Paul Williams brings a wide range of experiences to his writing. He worked extensively in technology, as a software engineer, technical writer, and now a technology writer. Known as the leader of one of the top American Spacerock bands, his forward-looking music continues to be heard all over the world.