How to design a Wi-Fi mesh network at home? It s simpler than you think

In our homes we have several devices connected to the Wi-Fi network, and in time will come. How to ensure a stable and trouble-free connection? A mesh is a great choice, which does not have to be expensive.

If you live in an apartment - especially in the area with not the largest one - the topic of Wi-Fi network is quite simple. It's all about choosing a router that will provide wireless access to all home appliances. You buy one device and have a problem with your head for years.

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When I was designing a Wi-Fi network in my home, which I moved to last year, I came across a lot of problems that I did not have while living in an apartment. While in the block "I saw" even the networks of neighbors through the walls, there were places in the house completely out of my own network. Being on the ground floor I could not connect to the router on the floor.

Unfortunately, reinforced concrete ceilings are real killers of the 5 GHz signal, and yet at home the signal will hit such an obstacle once or even twice, if we also think about providing coverage in the basement or garage.

What to choose? One powerful router? Two cheaper routers, one per floor? Or maybe a router and pointy access?

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It is difficult to know which solution works best without practice. It is known, however, that all require configuration, and therefore less or more knowledge about creating a network. This is not secret knowledge, and a person, though a little technology-oriented, can handle the configuration, but if I had to think that I have to explain to my parents on the phone how to do it, then ... I prefer to put on mesh technology.

Mesh networks are based on mesh topology and are characterized by a simple way of configuration, which usually comes down to a simple configurator in the form of a mobile application on a smartphone. Mesh units only need to be set up in different rooms (usually 2-3 devices), after which they will communicate directly between themselves creating a network. If point A does not have access to point C, then nothing will happen, because it's enough to act with an indirect point B.

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It may sound complicated, but the principle of operation of such a network is not really important for the user. From the mesh user's point of view, this is the simplest solution that absolutely everyone can handle.

When I was designing a Wi-Fi network in my home, I did not think about mesh. I would do it differently today.

tp-link deco m4, jak zaprojektować sieć wi-fi mesh

Not so long ago, the devices needed to create a mesh network were relatively expensive, because the prices of reasonable sets began from around 1500 zlotys. I know in my example that just after finishing the home, you do not feel like spending any more, especially if they are not necessary.

I put the topic of the mesh network aside, but recently I tested the new TP-Link Deco M4 system , which surprised me with the price-quality ratio. A set consisting of two basic devices costs about PLN 440, which is less than some router. Deco M4 surprised me with the quality of work, because it completely met my needs. Actually the only downside was quite a simple software against the competition. Personally, I'm not particularly demanding in this matter, so TP-Link turned out to have all the features that I need, including parental control, creating a guest network, or viewing connected devices.

It is difficult to find other mesh devices on the market with such a good price-performance ratio.

How to properly design a mesh network at home?

Since the mesh is so easy to use and configure, how does the creation of such a network look like? They will show it on their own example.

tp-link deco m4, how to design a wi-fi mesh

Let's start from the very beginning: from the internet mailbox . In my case, I have a Fiber To The Home fiber optic connection in the garage, where my supplier has installed his own modem. The first TP-Link Deco M4 mesh device must be connected to the modem via an Ethernet cable. As I have to distribute the wires in the walls, I put the first Deco M4 in my office on the first floor, plugged them into the power supply and plugged in the Ethernet socket in the wall. The socket has a physical connection to the modem.

At this point, we begin the configuration process in the Deco mobile application available on Android and iOS. The next application screens show step by step how to connect devices. It comes down to connecting the right wires, without the need to enter any data to make the system work. At the end, we can of course choose the name of the new Wi-Fi network and give it a password.

Once the network is up and running, we can extend it to another mesh device. The second point of the Deco M4 included in the set is enough to set up in a place where the network has a weaker range (for me it was a living room on the ground floor) and connect to the electricity. After a few clicks in the application, the new point expands the Wi-Fi network created by the first device.

tp-link deco m4, how to design a wi-fi mesh

The mesh network has it to itself that it can be expanded by subsequent devices. Two TP-Link Deco M4 points are able to cover the surface up to 260 sq m, but it all depends on the distribution of walls and building materials used. Points provide 802.11a / b / g / n / ac Wi-Fi network (frequency 2.4 or 5 GHz) with speeds up to 1200 Mb / s. Each of the points has also two Ethernet ports, in the same time if we would like any device to connect to the network by wire. I took advantage of this possibility by plugging in a NAS drive.

Building such a home mesh network will not be a challenge even for people who are not interested in technologies.

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If you need a stable Wi-Fi connection over a large area, I definitely recommend mesh networks. All the more so because they do not have to be expensive, which is well proved by the TP-Link Deco M4 set. I also invite you to a wider test of these devices , where I showed the coverage maps and the speed of transfers that I obtained in individual rooms in the house.

* The material was created in cooperation with the TP-Link brand.



How to design a Wi-Fi mesh network at home? It's simpler than you think

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