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  • Forfatterens bildeMesh Wifi Installer

What is Mesh Wifi and what's the difference?

Oppdatert: 2. feb. 2021

There are two main infrastructure components that make up a WiFi network:

  • The WiFi clients or stations (laptops, smartphones, tablets, home devices etc).

  • The WiFi Access Point (or WiFi Router) which all the clients connect to.

The WiFi technology has gone through multiple enhancements and updates both on the protocol standard level and on the actual devices manufactured by vendors.

At the very beginning, a WiFi network could be implemented by a simple central WiFi router device.

WiFi Mesh Networks have emerged as the new trend. These mesh systems consist of 2 or more wifi routing nodes creating a wireless “net” (or mesh) that clients connect to it.

The advantage of these new mesh systems is bigger and better coverage of the space, faster wireless speeds and seamless connectivity of clients without dead-spots by allowing mobility and roaming from one node to another.

The original 802.11 standard has gone through multiple iterations and improvements such as 802.11b/g, 802.11n etc.

The newest version of the standard is the IEEE 802.11ac which utilizes the 5Ghz radio band

Here is how the “ACxxxx” specification was born. It means basically that the wifi device supports the 802.11ac standard and its sub-variations in wireless speeds represented by the 4 numbers after the “AC” part.

The number after AC shows the maximum combined theoretical wireless speed (measured in Mbps) of the router device (i.e from client to router).

  • AC1200 router: 1200Mbps

  • AC1750 router: 1750Mbps

  • AC1900 router: 1900Mbps

  • AC2200 router: 2200Mbps

  • AC3000 router: 3000Mbps

Nowadays, in modern homes with 4K streaming, online gaming etc, I wouldn’t recommend anything lower than AC1900.

Usually the modern WiFi routers supporting the AC standard work with 2 (dual-band) or 3 (Tri-band) radio bands (for example 1 band in the 2.4Ghz frequency and 2 bands in the 5Ghz frequency). Older models work with 1 band only.

The main operating speeds is 2.4Ghz and the 5Ghz bands.

Here are some characteristics and differences between the two:

  • The 2.4Ghz band is more crowded because there are a lot of different devices that operate in this band such as microwave ovens, cordless phones, Bluetooth devices etc.

  • There are less available channels in the 2.4Ghz band compared to 5Ghz band.

  • The 5Ghz band can accommodate and transmit more data in higher speeds compared to 2.4Ghz.

  • Being a lower frequency, the 2.4 Ghz band can travel longer distances and can pass through walls and obstacles easier than the 5Ghz band.

As shown from the points above, there are some pros and cons of both frequencies. By combining the two bands in routers (dual-band and tri-band models) you get the best of both worlds.

Popular Mesh Wifi Brands:

The AC wifi standard has been embraced by almost all WiFi router manufacturers nowadays. The most popular router manufacturers/brands that implement the AC specification standard are:

  • Netgear

  • TP Link

  • ASUS

  • Linksys

  • Motorola

  • D-Link

  • Google WiFi

  • Eero

  • Tenda

  • Arris

  • Ubiquity

  • etc


The majority of WiFi routers in the market right now implement and support the 802.11AC standard as we have described above.

However, you will see a few wireless routers supporting the ultra-high-speed 802.11AD standard.

802.11AD operates at the 60Ghz frequency band (compared to 802.11AC which operates at 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands) and has been developed for high-bandwidth speeds which in theory can reach up to 7Gbps.

As you may know already, the higher the frequency of a wireless signal the lower distance it can travel. Therefore its effective range is approximately 30 feet

802.11.AX - The latest innovation:

is called WiFi 6 and uses the newest WiFi standard namely 802.11ax.

This new standard will be using both 2.4GHz and 5GHz concurrently therefore creating and supporting more channels and better speed and utilization.

Moreover, MU-MIMO will be working bi-directional in AX standard, while this is only one-directional in the AC standard. This will improve performance and wireless capacity.

That’s why the new AX standard will support more wifi clients and will be better suited in dense environments such as airports, smart homes with many IoT devices etc.

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