If you live in a multi-story home, especially those that are concrete, you may be dealing with weak and incomplete WiFi coverage. You may already have your own wifi router that is powerful but you don’t want to further complicate your wifi system with multiple wifi networks throughout your home. I recently experienced a similar situation and had to rethink my approach to setting up the wifi network in my home.
While living in Japan I needed to have two separate wifi routers for business service and another with a US IP for streaming home entertainment. To ensure complete coverage, I purchased two routers, a Netgear Nighthawk R7000 Wifi Router and a Linksys EA7500 Max-Stream AC1900 Wifi Router. Now that I am back in the US and since moving into a new place, I discover my traditional routers have a limited range; they are often unable to fully cover my multi story home. In addition it was further apparent that a Mesh WiFi setup would be beneficial because of the interior brick walls, and the unusual room layout.
Mesh WiFi network represents a great option for people who are interested in a powerful WiFi system but don’t want to deal with the complicated setup and configuration that most regular routers come with. Since mesh operates on a single network, mesh WiFi is also a great option for people who own range extenders and don’t want to switch between networks as they move upstairs or downstairs.
Mesh WiFi works by using two or more mesh WiFi devices or “nodes” to create a mesh WiFi network. One node is connected to an internet modem, while the rest can be placed throughout your home to create a powerful wireless network. Unlike traditional routers, these nodes are all part of the same network and share the same SSID and password. This makes setting and scaling up your mesh network as easy as adding another node. These nodes are important in efficiently delivering WiFi, as each node serves as a “daisy chain” for other nodes in the system. Even nodes that are furthest from the router can still deliver a strong signal. Nodes communicate with one another in order to determine the fastest band for your devices, and to reroute traffic in the event that one node fails.
In this particular case, instead of using a Mesh Wifi System, I expanded on my network by using my existing routers to create my own Mesh Wifi System. In my setup, I am using the below routers and extenders.
1 Netgear Nighthawk R7000 Wifi Router
- Fast wifi performance: Get up to 1800 square feet wireless coverage with AC1900 speed (Dual band up to 600 + 1300 Mbps)
- Recommended for up to 30 devices: Reliably stream videos, play games, surf the internet, and connect smart home devices
- Wired Ethernet ports: plug in computers, game consoles, streaming players, and other nearby wired devices with 4 x 1 gigabit Ethernet ports
- Loaded with advanced technology: Designed with a 1GHz dual core processor, 3 amplified antennas, Beamforming+, Dynamic QoS, Smart Connect, Amazon Alexa Voice Controls, and more
- USB connections: Share a storage drive and printer with any connected device, and create a personal cloud storage to access from anywhere, using the 1x3.0 and 1x2.0 USB ports
- Smart parental controls: Pause device internet access, view site history usage, and filter websites for free. Set online time limits, schedule device internet access, and more for $4.99/month (1st month free trial)
- Netgear Armor Powered by BitDefender: The world’s leading cybersecurity protects all your home devices from virus, malware, and data theft with a 30-day free trial
- Safe & secure: Supports WPA2 wireless security protocols. Includes Guest WiFi access, DoS, Firewall, VPN, and more
2 Linksys EA7500 Max-Stream AC1900 Wifi Router
- Provides up to 1,500 square feet of Wi-Fi coverage for 15+ wireless devices
- Works with existing modem, simple setup through Linksys App
- Enjoy 4K HD streaming, gaming and more in high quality without buffering
- Dual band Wi-Fi speeds up to 1.9 Gaps (2.4 GHz/ 600 Mbps) + (5 GHz/ 1300 Mbps). Minimum system requirements - Internet Explorer versions 8 and newer, Safari 5 (for Mac), Firefox 8, Google Chrome
- MU MIMO (Multi User Multiple Input Multiple Output) provides Wi-Fi to multiple devices at once, at the same high speed
3 TP-Link AC1750 Range Extenders
- Fast AC1900 Dual Band WiFi - Simultaneous 600Mbps on 2.4GHz + 1300Mbps on 5GHz
- Better WiFi Coverage with 3 Antennas - Three adjustable external antennas provide optimal Wi-Fi coverage and reliable connections
- Gigabit Ethernet port - Act as a wireless adapter to connect a wired device to your network at Gigabit speed
- Intelligent Signal Light - Help to find the best location for optimal Wi-Fi coverage by showing the signal strength
- AP Mode - Create a new WiFi access point to enhance your wired network with WiFi capability
- Ultimate Compatibility - Extend the range of any WiFi Internet router or wireless access point
- TP-Link Tether App - Easily access and manage your network using any iOS or Android mobile device
- All Wi-Fi extenders are designed to increase or improve Wi-Fi coverage, not to directly increase speed. In some cases improving signal reliability can affect overall throughput
4 TP-Link WiFi 6 Router AX1800 Smart WiFi Router (Archer AX21)
- JD Power Award - Highest in customer satisfaction for wireless routers 2017 and 2019
- Certified for Humans: Smart home made easy for non-experts. Setup with Alexa is simple
- Dual-Band WiFi 6 Internet Router: Wi-Fi 6(802.11ax) technology achieves faster speeds, greater capacity and reduced network congestion compared to the previous generation
- Next-Gen 1.8 Gbps Speeds: Enjoy smoother and more stable streaming, gaming, downloading and more with WiFi speeds up to 1.8 Gbps (1200 Mbps on 5 GHz band and 574 Mbps on 2.4 GHz band)
- Connect more devices: Wi-Fi 6 technology communicates more data to more devices simultaneously using revolutionary OFDMA technology
- Extensive Coverage: Achieve the strong, reliable WiFi coverage with Archer AX1800 as it focuses signal strength to your devices far away using Beamforming technology, 4 high-gain antennas and an advanced front-end module (FEM) chipset
- Powerful Quad-Core Processing For Minimal Latency: The powerful 1. 5 GHz quad-core CPU ensures communications between your wifi ax router and connected devices are smooth
5 AmpliFi HD WiFi MeshPoint
- WIFI RANGE EXTENDER REPLACEMENT: AmpliFi MeshPoints feature adjustable super antennas that can be placed discreetly in almost location in your house, wherever dead spots need coverage. Signal strength LEDs are integrated into the design to provide immediate and continuous feedback if the system is positioned for optimal performance.
- 802.11AC TECHNOLOGY FOR FASTER SPEEDS AND BETTER COVERAGE: With turbocharged 802.11ac wi-fi, AmpliFi utilizes advanced wifi antenna technology to bring ubiquitous secure WiFi coverage to any home network. Ensure that your Smart TV, digital downloads, and streaming devices have the connectivity demanded in today's modern home.
- EXPAND AS NEEDED: Featuring Mesh technology, the AmpliFi MeshPoint can be added to your AmpliFi Wifi System, AmpliFi Router, or to a third-party router. Each MeshPoint adds approximately 2,000 sq ft. of additional coverage to your mesh wifi system.
- INSTANT SETUP: The intuitive, easy to use AmpliFi app allows you to setup your system in mere minutes. It also features configuration options, powerful reporting metrics, parental controls, remote access, and easy guest access. The mobile app is available for download on Android and iOS smartphones.
- WIFI TECHNOLOGY EXPERTISE: The AmpliFi home wireless system is designed by Ubiquiti Labs, a division of Ubiquiti Networks, a global leader in developing wifi access points, wifi antennas, network switches, internet gateways, security cameras, VoIP phones, smart home and outdoor wifi solutions.
6 How it works
There are two ways to setup a mesh with your existing routers.
Amplifi HD Mesh Point
- Use the device to extend your wifi network from your existing router. It comes with mesh technology so it won't just extend the signal and cut it by 50%, it will use the same SSID or Wifi Name to make wifi transition seemless.
- The main router is in the living room and is spotty in my dining room, garage, office and upstairs bedrooms.
- In my setup I use two of them to provide coverage in all the areas mentioned in #2. Whenever we move throughout the house the signal is consistent.
- Just connect the Amplifi HD Mesh Points to your existing wifi router and it will automatically create the mesh network. It will have the same wifi name and SSID so coverage will be seamless.
TP-Link Wifi Router with OneMesh & TP Link Wifi Extender
- Use the devices to build a wifi mesh network expanding on your existing router. You can keep the existing router and connect your OneMesh enabled devices to it.
- The main router is in the living room and wifi is spotty in the areas mentioned above.
- Using the TP-Link OneMesh enabled router that is beyond excellent performance will help you build your mesh with their OneMesh enabled extenders (RE550).
- All you have to do is connect the extender to the TP-Link Router and it will automatically enable the Mesh network features.
Regardless of the setup, your wifi performance will be more reliable than what you currently have, so make the decision to upgrade like I did.