A lot of router vendors marketing mesh today. It’s the latest and greatest “new technology” marketing used to sell more routers (which is exactly what mesh does, sell more routers).
So, what is mesh and is it worth your time and expense?
Q: What is wireless mesh?
A: You have a large home / office and a single wireless router does not reach some fringe locations. To resolve you add range extenders. The range extenders do solve the problem, but now instead of one wireless network you have multiple (one for each range extender) which can cause some confusion, especially when a device is moving between the wireless networks and doesn’t switch automatically.
Mesh is the same concept as the range extenders except it’s a single wireless network instead of one for each range extender. This is all mesh does – it ties multiple wireless routers into a single network.
This sounds great, and it would be great if it worked as advertised, all the time. Unfortunately in my twenty plus years of networking experience, mesh doesn’t. The problem is that mesh usually works (if done right by the vendor), but when it doesn’t – which I guarantee at some point it will not – reach into your pocket and pull out hours of you life, hours of frustration trying to figure out why something that has worked fine for months all of a sudden isn’t working right.
Although mesh shows up as a single wireless logical network, behind the scenes there are still multiple wireless routers (each one a failure point) that need to talk to each other and when a device is passed from one router to another – this is where the issues arise.
Q: Will Kibosh support mesh?
A: Maybe, down the road when we know it’s working sustainably. Currently I see it as more trouble than it’s worth. For now we recommend upgrading your wireless antenna to resolve range issues, if you can. Your life will be much easier long term dealing with a single device, a single wireless network.
If upgrading the antenna doesn’t resolve your range issues, I would add range extenders as needed.
In summary, although mesh works fine in the lab, I’ve yet to see or hear about a long term mesh setup IRL that did not have issues. At the very least you’re rebooting your mesh devices a few times per month.
Remember, every device, every feature, every app you introduce into your home LAN will at some point need to be maintained. Less is more and troubleshooting wireless issues is one of the most frustrating things you’ll ever do.
At Kibosh we are focused on effective, simple and sustainable solutions. We will sell nothing that will add more frustration to our lives. Furthermore, we have to support what we sell and I know from experience that technologies like mesh, although they sound great and sell product, will lead to more issues than it solves.
Therefor, Kibosh sells a powerful gigabit wireless AC router that be easily and inexpensively upgraded rather than mesh. I think for most of us this is the best path to a trouble-free and positive Internet experience. Of course the Kibosh produced Internet will be free of objectionable content which is a win win!