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This is the one thing every smart home needs

The ideal Smart Home has changed dramatically in recent years, from some Smart Bulbs and a Thermostat to Video Doorbells [19659002] and Robot Lawn Mower . With a growing number of connected devices in your home, there is an obvious bottleneck that can occur: Wi-Fi reliability.

The more devices you hang on your network and the more they are distributed in your home, the more you'll notice holes in your Wi-Fi coverage.

So, if you're planning on crafting your home, you should have a Mesh Wi-Fi System .

What is a mesh? Network, anyway?

It should first be noted that wireless routers are much better than they were only a few recently. They support faster wireless speeds to better match the speeds provided by your ISP. They can also provide enough reach to completely cover a 279-square-meter house … assuming it is near the center of the house.

Before affordable, personal mesh networks came into play, if your router you could likely switch to powerline network adapters or convert an old router into a wireless bridge . While these solutions are affordable, they are tricky and quite complex for a network novice. And they do not always work well with smart home gadgets anyway.

A mesh network, on the other hand, is a combination of two or more wireless access points that communicate with each other to cover your entire home with stronger, more reliable coverage. Almost all available mesh kits are incredibly easy to set up and use, and they can be tailored to your needs.


Spotty Wi-Fi can render your smart home devices unusable. A mesh network, like this one from eero, can help.

Josh Miller / CNET

This means that you can add as many access points as you want with minimum setup to bring Wi-Fi to parts of your home that were previously unreachable. As CNET's own Dong Ngo put it "If you can use a smartphone and have previously plugged something into a power outlet, then you can build a mesh Wi-Fi system."

Mesh networks are also not perfect. Although prices are gradually falling, they are still unaffordable to most. Your network speeds, especially in the remote areas of your home, will be noticeably slower than near the node connected to your modem. And beware, not all mesh networks support simultaneous dual-band networks, so you may be switching to a 2.4 GHz network just to support all the smart home devices in your home. Nevertheless, the ease of use, customization, and faster broadband speeds across the board help negate most of the negatives of mesh networks.

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Watch this:

Google Wifi is the best home mesh system


How much is a mesh network?

There is no way to cover it. Mesh kits are still expensive. While you can get a stellar router for anywhere from $ 70 (£ 53 or $ 94) to $ 200 (£ 151 or $ 270), with a Starter Mesh Kit you'll get back $ 250 (£ 189 or AU $ 337) If you have a home between 139 and 279 square feet, Google suggests at least two Google Wifi (110 at Amazon.com) points. That alone will reclaim you pre-tax taxes of $ 238 (£ 179 or AU $ 320). If your home is at the top of that square foot and has multiple levels, you may need a third knot that is an additional $ 119 (£ 90 or AU $ 160). The same three-point setup with eero costs $ 399 (£ 301 or AU $ 538).

If you choose the cheapest available router, the price difference will be noticeable. This also applies to the reliability of your wireless network. On the other hand, if you are used to buying a high-end router, the price will be more tangible, and you should see an improvement in the average performance of the network in the far reaches of your home.

Do I really need a mesh network?

The $ 300 question, of course, do you really need a mesh network in your house? Since the price of Wi-Fi systems still fluctuates between affordable and a little expensive, it's hard to recommend for everyone.

But if you have a smart home, that's a completely different scenario. You are doing yourself a disservice with a smart home if you do not have reliable coverage throughout the house and beyond.

Smart bulbs, for example, are some of the simplest smart home gadgets that you can install at home. But without a trusted connection, they can quickly become one of the most frustrating products you'll ever have, offline, and unreachable by other devices on the network. And smart bulbs are one of the most common connected devices that you will install in those distant corners, because who wants to go to the other end of the house and down to the basement to turn one more switch? [19659027] google-wifi-6528-003.jpg "data-original =" https://cnet3.cbsistatic.com/img/l8reE3LaSpa2uwv6AtYZK6o01yQ=/620×0/2016/12/06/c85b1be4-8b2d-408d-923f-911cf4887c01 / google-wifi-6528-003.jpg “/>

Google WiFi can extend your wireless Internet to the remotest areas of your home.

Josh Miller

Want to take an Alexa speaker outside while you cook or work? You better hope that you have a strong Wi-Fi signal in your garden. Do you want to turn the basement into the ultimate home theater with game consoles and streaming devices? For this a mesh network is created. (Well, to stream at all.) For games, your best bet is and will be a hardwired connection in the foreseeable future.) Need a surveillance camera in your free-standing garage? A mesh network could be the best solution.

If you want your smart home to be up-to-date and working as intended, a Mesh Wi-Fi system should be at the top of your list to add things.

How many Google Home or Alexa speakers should you own ? The answer depends on it.

Internet Outdoor: Our guide to extends your Wi-Fi to your garden.

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