WI-Fi communication technology is undoubtedly the most used at home and more compatible devices are added every day, therefore it is important to have good speed and coverage throughout the house. It is important to make a decision regarding our Wi-Fi network as soon as possible so as not to have to reconfigure many of the devices that we already have connected at home.
Usually the Wi-Fi network that our operator provides us is of low quality, and they are not able to connect many devices at the same time in a stable way.
Surely in most cases it is enough to start but it is likely that as we add devices, the time will come when we begin to suffer stability problems and even some devices lose connection.
In the past, to solve coverage problems, the solution was to buy a wireless repeater, they are cheap but of low quality, in addition, connection cuts are suffered when we disconnect from one repeater and connect to another and they do not avoid the problem of the maximum limit of connected devices.
Another alternative is to buy a good quality router and connect it directly to the one provided by our operator, this is a good option but routers that allow many devices to be connected simultaneously are expensive and although they usually offer better coverage we are limited to a single router. in one room take care of all communications. The solution: Mesh technology.
Mesh or mesh networks have been the solution for some time, which would be a combination of the two solutions mentioned above but working jointly and transparently. What this technology does is create a single network with several devices.
This solution is usually sold in packs of 2, 3 or more devices and we can add as many as we want later, we will have one connected to our router, which we will call the central station, and the rest we will call satellites that are responsible for broadcasting the signal arriving from the central station. All of them communicate internally and for us there is only a Wi-Fi without cuts when changing from one to another and we will always be connected automatically where we have the best coverage and speed.
There are multiple solutions for mesh networks on the market but you have to pay close attention to the technical characteristics, we will detail the most important ones:
Most important features
Simultaneously connected devices
Many of these solutions do not allow connecting more than 50 devices, which may seem sufficient a priori, but it must be taken into account that over the years we have gone from connecting 4 or 5 devices to expanding the number to more than 40 as is the case of who writes these lines, Therefore it is possible that in a few months or years it will not be enough with 50 devices.
Obviously one feature is the Wi-Fi standard that it uses, which is directly related to the maximum connection speed, currently the normal thing would be the AC standard, which allows connections of up to 867 Mbps in the 5Ghz band. The 5Ghz band allows much faster connections although they may have more problems to pass through walls, the 5Ghz are recommended for high quality streaming and other services that require high speed, for example computers, SmartTV or mobile phones / tablets.
In addition, all the solutions incorporate a 2.4Ghz network for devices that do not have 5Ghz Wi-Fi, such as most of the home automation devices that are sold today and old phones and computers. The 2.4Ghz network, although slower, is more capable of crossing walls and is perfectly functional for devices that do not need much speed.
Connection between Satellites and Central Station
And last but not least is how the connection between the different Mesh devices is made. The normal thing is that they connect with each other by Wi-Fi, although in houses with several floors or in more remote rooms there may be connection problems. Although it could be solved by adding more satellites.
Another option would be solutions with integrated PLC, PLC technology has been around for a long time and is based on using home electrical cables as if it were a network cable without any type of installation. These solutions are usually more expensive and depending on the age and distribution of the electrical installation, it may have connectivity problems.
The other option is to connect with the traditional network cable, it is very important that both the devices and the cable itself be Gigabit (1000 Mbps) and not 100 Mbps. Many of the connections we have at home exceed 100 Mbps even reach 1000 Mbps which would make us lose a part of that contracted speed.
In addition, connecting by cable we would have a much more stable speed and connection since we would have physically connected the satellites with the central station, thus leaving the Wi-Fi network only for us. By cons we would need to install network cable at home.
After analyzing many solutions from XmartIT we bring you the one that we believe is the most recommended, both for quality and price. This solution is what TP-Link brings us.
Mesh TP-Link Deco Devices
Tp-Link offers us a wide range of devices to cover the needs of any situation and not only that, but we can combine the different models that they offer us to have the best connection.
The Deco range is controlled and installed from a simple application that allows you to view and control connected devices as well as configure the connection priority, see the speed you are using, put them on a black list or establish parental control. It also allows you to configure a guest network.
We have from the most expensive with the best connection and PLC included to the simplest that may be somewhat limited by the connection speed.
For this last reason, we discarded the E4 model that only allows cable connections of up to 100mbps.
The most recommended and economical would be the M4 model, which for a reasonable price we will have a pack of 2 to cover houses of up to 260m2 with a connection speed of 1000mbps by network cable, AC1200 wifi technology with a speed of up to 867mbps.
Possibly more interesting is the new s4 model with the same characteristics and a smaller size.
In the middle part of the range we find the M5 model that improves Wi-Fi technology to AC1300 and allows connections of up to 1300mbps
Although for the price of the M5 the new M9 model is almost more interesting, in addition to improving the Wi-Fi up to AC2300 with speeds of up to 2134mbps, it incorporates bluetooth and zigbee connectivity.
Devices that add PCL are distinguished by the model having the letter P, starting with the P7 model with AC1300 wifi
But the one that would be the most interesting at the top of the range would be the P9 model