Wi-Fi networks are common in homes and offices these days. However, in a bigger household or office space a single router may not be able to deliver the same static speed in all nooks and corners. This is where a wireless mesh with its network of multiple routers can help overcome physical barriers such as wall, roofs and furniture and ensure consistent Wi-Fi speeds across the household. The only caveat is that users have to buy the entire mesh network from the same vendor as routers from different vendors are not compatible with each other.

To resolve this interoperability issue, Wi-Fi Alliance (the global consortium entrusted with the development and adoption of new WiFi technologies) has come up with a new wireless standard called Wi-Fi Easy Mesh. This will allow router companies to build Wi-Fi mesh systems that support third party routers. This means users will not have to buy an entire Wi-Fi mesh system with all the satellite routers from one company. They can buy the primary router from one company and the rest of the satellite routers from a more cost-effective vendor. Existing routers will not fit into the new scheme of things as all routers in the mesh system should support the new Wi-Fi standard. There is no update on when the routers with the new standard will be launched. So far no major router company has showed interest in it.

This can be a big game changer for users as they will have to spend less on building a Wi-Fi system. Single vendor Wi-Fi mesh systems can be expensive. Netgear Orbi Whole Mesh Wi-Fi system with three satellite routers and coverage area of 8,000 square feet, costs $549 (approximately Rs37,066). Google’s Wi-Fi system with three routers costs $299 (approximately Rs20,195), while a single unit is available at $142 (approximately Rs9,591).

A wireless mesh is made of multiple routers located at strategic positions in a building to create multiple access points and expand the Wi-Fi coverage. The primary router will be connected to the Ethernet while the rest of the routers will communicate with it wirelessly. As users move from one room to another, the network will automatically switch their devices to the access points with the stronger network in that room.