Recommended Mesh Network 2019: Google Mesh
Having a single router has always been the standard for home networks but in later years, new technology has risen mesh networks. This is where multiple nodes will work together to provide you with a wireless network.
The mesh network that I recommend is the Google Mesh Network (link to Amazon). Google Mesh is being controlled with an app, making it easy to set up and use. You can get started with just one node or put multiple nodes together. It’s well priced, the nodes fit well into most homes and you can get a wireless network that is both fast and stable.
With so many advantages with a mesh network, there is no wonder that they have become popular. Mesh networks are great for those of you with big homes, or if you only have wireless devices at home and is in no need of network cables. But, as with anything, there are disadvantages as well.
Why I Recommend the Google Mesh Network
I will be honest; I haven’t tested many mesh networks. However, I have a colleague that purchased the Google Mesh network and he has been impressed with it ever since. We spent some time at his place checking it out when he got it and it’s a great solution for those of you who just want it to work.
The speed is average, and the cost can quickly add up depending on how many you get (true for any mesh network) but it was the simplicity that got me.
The fact that Google has made its mesh network so easy to set up is one of its biggest strengths. Connecting three different devices, configuring a home network and making sure the signal is OK everywhere is taken care of in the app. And once you have its setup, it’s a set and forgets. While self-updating can have its downsides, it’s still better than never upgrading at all.
- The Mobile App
Google is not alone in having a mobile app, that’s something that comes even with most “normal” routers today. However, I like the app from Google. It is very clean and easy to use. It focuses on the most necessary things that you might need but also offers more advanced features like port forwarding or DNS settings.
I need to mention the design of these units. There are not many other routers or mesh networks that look this great. Simple white with a small, blue strip in the middle. I find them very nice looking and they are sure to fit in most of the homes in 2019. While the design is always very individual, I think that the Google Mesh might be Google’s best-looking hardware, ever.
- The LAN Connection
This system is heavily focused on wireless and that is what your devices will connect to. However, having a LAN port is always a good idea, especially since I promote having your own NAS all the time. With the extra port on the first node, you can connect an extra device like a NAS or a printer that the rest of the network can access.
- Upgrade or Downgrade
A mesh network is very flexible and it’s easy to upgrade or downgrade the network. Moving to a bigger house? Instead of purchasing a new router, or expanding with range extenders, you can simply get another node and you’re done. Adding a new node to your current Google Mesh network latterly doesn’t take more than a couple of seconds.
Want to know more? Check out the Google Mesh Network on Amazon
When You Need More than Just Wireless
By now, you know that I think the Google Mesh is a simple system that does exactly what it says it does. But sometimes, that is not enough, or the demands are higher. Personally, I need more LAN ports and having more advanced things, especially on the computer, that I can tinker with would be much better. That’s why I would purchase the AmpliFi HD from Ubiquiti.
The AmpliFi HD doesn’t come with units that looks the same. Here, it’s very clear which unit is the main unit and which units are the secondary nodes. The main unit is a small box with a little display in the front and (more importantly) four LAN ports on the back. The other units are more like antennas that you can easily hide in other places in the house. This will give you the flexibility of multiple LAN ports as well as a great WiFi.
Of course, AmpliFi HD also has an app that they want it to use and it’s here that you will do most of the configuration. But there is a web interface as well, so the app is not 100% necessary as it is for Google Mesh.
Click here to find the AmpliFi HD on Amazon
What’s Different Between a Traditional Router and a Mesh Network?
Traditionally, having a router in the middle of the home is what most people had. As with anything, there are ups and downs with this, but for most, blind spots (no coverage) in your home has been the most frustrating problem. This is where range extenders come in. The problem? There is often quite the performance hit when using range extenders.
In comes a mesh network instead. A mesh network is multiple devices that are connected to increase the range of your network, covering the toilet in the back of the house (because that’s the main problem, right?). But you will not lose any (well, almost any) performance by using a mesh network, as these devices are designed and optimized to talk to each other and transfer data wirelessly.
In a mesh network, there is one device that is the “main device”, which is connected to your modem. The other devices are secondaries and will connect to the main device. These secondary devices can connect in a chain to access the main device and the internet. But they can also jump over each other and take other routes to reach that main device. This is where the name comes from, as the devices are creating a mesh in your house.
There is a lot more going on with a mesh network, but I have already written a post about it. In that post, I’ll explain more about mesh networks, what it is and its advantages & disadvantages. You can click here to read this post.
The home network is growing fast and companies are making it easier to get up and running with a secure and fast network. Mesh networks, in particular, is something that I can see will be very big for smaller businesses, some has already found the technology and love it.
But for many families as well, where WiFi is just there, it’s nothing you spend your time on. This is where the value of mesh networks come in. No more black spots or restarting the router a couple of times per month. No, it just works. That is a mesh WiFi network solution.
Enjoy your new mesh network!