Table of contents:

What you should know about WiFi mesh repeaters
What you should know about WiFi mesh repeaters

Video: What you should know about WiFi mesh repeaters

Отличия серверных жестких дисков от десктопных
Video: What is Mesh Wi-Fi? 2023, February
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With improved data transmission and optimized range, mesh WLAN networks promise more convenience for home networks. As a rule, the mesh components replace the conventional WLAN router or integrate it into the system. Below we explain what you should look out for when buying a WiFi repeater. We are also introducing four repeaters that offer very different solutions for different challenges.

Table of contents Table of contents WLAN Mesh Repeater: An overview of the most important things

  • WLAN Mesh Repeater: The most important thing at a glance
  • What is a mesh repeater?
  • What should you pay attention to when buying?
  • The best WiFi mesh repeaters
  • 1. Netgear EX7300-100PES AC2200
  • Devolo Magic 1 WiFi
  • AVM FRITZ! WLAN Repeater 1750E
  • Telekom Speed ​​Home WiFi
  • Overview of facts
  • The all-in-one mesh solution

Table of contents Table of contents WLAN Mesh Repeater: An overview of the most important things

  • WLAN Mesh Repeater: The most important thing at a glance
  • What is a mesh repeater?
  • What should you pay attention to when buying?
  • The best WiFi mesh repeaters
  • 1. Netgear EX7300-100PES AC2200
  • Devolo Magic 1 WiFi
  • AVM FRITZ! WLAN Repeater 1750E
  • Telekom Speed ​​Home WiFi
  • Overview of facts
  • The all-in-one mesh solution

WLAN Mesh Repeater: The most important thing at a glance

  • Mesh WiFi networks ensure stable WiFi in large living areas.
  • Mesh repeaters offer the opportunity to take advantage of mesh technology without having to replace the existing router.
  • The Powerolo function from Devolo offers the possibility of overcoming transmission obstacles via the power grid.

What is a mesh repeater?

The term "mesh" comes from the English and means something like "mesh". The name says it all. Because mesh systems ensure an intelligently controlled WLAN, in which the individual components communicate with each other and thus offer the end devices the best possible signal strength depending on the location. In contrast, a router controls the entire network in conventional WLAN systems. The repeaters integrated in the system only extend the signal, so that depending on the length of the “repeater chain”, there may be severe drops in performance.

Netgear Vernetzung
Netgear Vernetzung

If home WLAN is crippling because too many end devices and smart home components are integrated into the network, or if the signal strength is missing in more remote corners of the home, then mesh networks can help.

Photo: Netgear

Mesh systems usually consist of a mesh router or a main device that is connected to the DSL modem and one or more mesh repeaters (also called satellites) that intelligently distribute the signal in the living area. However, the installation of a complete mesh system is not always necessary. In small and medium-sized apartments, a mesh repeater linked to the existing router is often sufficient to take advantage of a mesh system, such as a uniform network name throughout the living area or the possibility of moving around the living area with a smartphone or tablet, without the signal strength suffering or even tearing off.

Magische Powerline-Technologie
Magische Powerline-Technologie

Thanks to the devolo Magic 1 WiFi, you can stream your music on the terrace or in the basement and are not disturbed by connection problems.

Photo: devolo

What should you pay attention to when buying a WiFi mesh repeater?

In terms of appearance, mesh repeaters mostly appear unspectacular. Thanks to their small size, most devices can simply be plugged into a free socket, assembly is not necessary. However, the often simple optics should not hide the fact that the repeaters have very different performance features. We therefore explain below what you should pay attention to when buying a mesh repeater:

  • SSID: While conventional repeaters often create their own WLAN network in which all end devices must be registered, mesh networks usually consist of a single WLAN. This is particularly advantageous when using smart home devices, such as radiator thermostats. If these are logged into different networks, the functionality may suffer.
  • Roaming: The roaming function of the mesh repeater offers the possibility of moving freely in the living room with an end device, without this having to register in the different networks; a common reason for disconnections. Instead, the device is passed intelligently from network to network, always to the device that can offer the best connection at the current location.
  • AC-WLAN: Faster is not always better. Many smart home systems do not use the faster WiFi frequency of 5.0 GHz, but the slower 2.4 GHz frequency, which can, however, achieve a longer range. Modern routers can serve both frequency ranges ("dual band") and can also achieve a higher overall speed by bundling the transmission rates (for example FastLane technology). The same applies to WLAN repeaters with the AC standard. By the way: The transmission rate of the repeater is indicated by the number that is specified after the letters "AC". All repeaters in our comparison comply with the AC standard.
  • Band steering: With the help of the so-called band steering, intelligent mesh repeaters recognize when a terminal device uses both the 2.4 GHz frequency range and the 5 GHz range. If this is the case, the repeater always switches automatically to the frequency range that offers the best data throughput.
  • Requirements: Some mesh repeaters have specific performance features. The Devolo Magic 1 WiFi presented in our comparison uses the power network to bridge transmission interference through thick walls or reinforced concrete ceilings. Together with an update of a (newer) FRITZ! Box, the AVM repeater 1750E offers the option of retrofitting mesh technology in the FRITZ system. Many devices also support the MU-MIMO standard, which allows streaming on multiple devices.

The best WiFi mesh repeaters - presented briefly and compactly

We compare two “free” repeaters that are compatible with almost any WLAN router, as well as two products that only work in conjunction with a router from the same manufacturer.

1. Netgear EX7300-100PES AC2200

Netgear Mesh WLAN Repeater
Netgear Mesh WLAN Repeater

The Netgear EX7300 has been on the market for a while, but still impresses with its solid performance and well-functioning mesh amenities (a WiFi name throughout the house, uninterrupted reception across all rooms, simultaneous streaming on multiple devices (MU- MIMO)). The Silicon Valley Group's proprietary FastLane technology ensures high transmission speeds of up to 2, 200 Mbit / s through the intelligent bundling of the 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies. This speed can also be passed on to network devices through a Gigabit LAN port. The "WiFi Analytics" app helps to further optimize the WiFi network. Overall, the AC2200 stands out positively due to its high speed and high compatibility with almost all routers.

The downside: The mesh repeater is relatively large and therefore requires a lot of space. Use in tight spaces in the house, for example behind furniture or other devices, is therefore ruled out.

benefits

+ Easy installation

+ High speed thanks to FastLane technology

+ Weakness analysis via WiFi analytics app

+ Very fast gigabit LAN port

disadvantage

- Relatively large

reviews

  • “Plus: The 5 GHz range is very fast and therefore has good range reserves; Settings explained clearly. - Minus: Attitudes are sometimes difficult for laypersons to understand.”(Good advice, 06/2017)
  • “The Netgear EX7300 is quite a 'monster', especially in the 5 GHz band. This applies both to the amazingly good access point mode, which is faster over a short / medium distance than one or the other router / 'correct' access point, as well as to the repeater function.”

Rating (Amazon): 3.9 out of 5 stars

Price: approx. 90 euros

Devolo Magic 1 WiFi

devolo Magic 1 Wifi
devolo Magic 1 Wifi

The Aachen company Devolo, founded in 2002, stands for smart network solutions via a socket. It is therefore no wonder that the Magic 1 with the Powerline function also has a feature with which even reinforced concrete ceilings and thick old building walls can be easily overcome by a detour via the power supply, making it possible to set up a smart home in an old building. For this to work, however, the counterpart of the Magic 1, the Magic 1 LAN, must close the connection between the DSL router and the socket using a LAN cable. Even if Devolo specifies speeds of up to 1000 Mbit / s for the mesh repeater, in practice these are still limited to 300 Mbit / s, also because the speed is greatly reduced by the slow Fast Ethernet LAN port. The Magic 1 is therefore not a high-speed miracle, but it can still be a reliable aid for bridging obstacles.

Good to know: For users with the highest demands on the performance of their home network, Devolo offers with the Magic 2 a repeater with a total speed of up to 2, 400 Mbit / s and MU-MIMO support. However, the more power also means a purchase price that is 50 euros more expensive than the Magic 1.

benefits

+ Easily overcome obstacles

disadvantage

- High price

- Relatively slow

- Fast Ethernet LAN port only

reviews

  • “Unfortunately, Devolo shoots himself in the knee. Because LAN sockets with 100 Mbps are installed here, so that the adapters cannot pass on the router's Internet data faster either via Powerline or WLAN.”(Computerbild, 06/2019)
  • "Very good range, stability and speed, Powerline option brings additional benefits." (Giga, 03/2019)

Rating: 3.6 out of 5 stars

Price: approx. 100 euros

AVM FRITZ! WLAN Repeater 1750E

AVM Fritz!WLAN Repeater 1750E
AVM Fritz!WLAN Repeater 1750E

With its FRITZ! Boxes, the German technology giant AVM is one of the most successful representatives on the German DSL router market. It is therefore surprising that the Berlin-based company ventured into the area of ​​mesh networks very late. With the 1750E, AVM now offers the option of setting up a mesh network and also integrating ordinary FRITZ! Boxes into the system. However, the prerequisite is that the box is still supported by AVM so that a corresponding update can be loaded onto the router. In terms of performance and speed, the AVM 1750E performs solidly in tests, but not outstanding.

However, cross-band repeating is positive, i.e. the use of different frequencies for communication with the router and signal transmission to the WLAN end devices. Installation is possible thanks to the included step-by-step instructions and the field strength display via LED on the device, but a practical installation and installation app is missing.

Good to know: The 1750E is completely sufficient for connections up to V-DSL-50. If, on the other hand, a speed of 500 Mbit / s is to be distributed evenly in the house, the newer AVM three-band mesh repeater 3000 is recommended, which also has two Gigabit Ethernet connections, but is around 30 euros more expensive.

benefits

+ Integration of older FRITZ! Boxes into the mesh network

+ Crossband repeating

+ Field strength display

disadvantage

- Only mediocre speed

- No installation app

reviews

  • "The AVM repeater convinces with the well-known web interface, super simple set-up and WLAN expansion in the expected range: The range is almost the same as that of the router itself. The speed is quite well below the router, but in the usual range." - Note 7, 3 (netzwelt.de, 01/2018)
  • "Anyone who already has a high-quality VDSL box like the 7490, 7580, 7590 or a fast AVM cable Internet box like the 6590 or 6591 at home can buy their Fritzbox with just a single AVM repeater 1750E for a reasonable 60 euros a small dual-band WiFi mesh system. "(techstage.de, 06/2019)

Rating (Amazon): 4.6 out of 5 stars

Price: approx. 83 euros

Telekom Speed ​​Home WiFi

Telekom Speed Home WiFi
Telekom Speed Home WiFi

The Speed ​​Home from Deutsche Telekom is part of the Speedport family and therefore only compatible within the router system of the communication specialist. To benefit from the mesh advantages, users therefore need a newer Speedport Smart 3 or Speedport Pro. If a mesh network is to be established with older speed ports or routers, at least two Speed ​​Home WiFi are required.

The simple installation of the components is characteristic of the telecom system. The Speed ​​Home Wifi, which is presented in a circular design, can also be registered at the existing router with a simple push of a button. An LED signal indicator shows how strong the WLAN signal is at the respective location, so that the system can be easily optimized and a good installation location can be found. The option of determining your own device requirements with the help of an online tool is also helpful. The configuration software is also clearly arranged, but experienced users are likely to miss further configuration options. The speed of the device is solid.

benefits

+ Attractive design

+ Easy installation

+ WLAN signal display

disadvantage

- Little configuration options.

reviews

  • "The Telekom Speed ​​Home Wifi makes a good impression." (Computerbild, 09/2018)
  • "Pro: Favorable price, compact devices, two gigabit LAN ports. / Cons: Only two radio modules, therefore limited data rates. “(Connect, 11/2018)
  • "Given the price of less than 80 euros for a single Speed ​​Home WiFi, the Telekom Mesh WLAN solution is highly recommended." (Maxwireless.de, 11/2018)

Rating (Amazon): 4.4 out of 5 stars

Price: approx. 69 euros

The best mesh routers - facts at a glance

Netgear

EX7300-100PES

devolo Magic

1 WiFi

AVM FRITZ! WLAN

Repeater 1750E

Telekom Speed

Home WiFi

Price

(Amazon)

about 90 euros about 100 euros approx. 83 euros approx. 69 euros
Compatibility /

support

"open" "open" FRITZ! Box

(AVM)

Speedport

(Telecom)

WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS

technology

Dual band with

"FastLane"

(AC 2200)

Dual band

(AC 1200)

Dual band

(AC 1300)

Dual band

(AC 1700)

Encryption WPA / WPA2 WPA / WPA2 WPA / WPA2 WPA / WPA2
SSID Yes Dual band

(AC 1200)

Dual band

(AC 1300)

Dual band

(AC 1700)

Roaming Yes Yes Yes Yes
Max.

Signal rates

400 Mbit / s (2.4 GHz)

866 Mbit / s (5 GHz)

k. A. 450 Mbit / s (2.4 GHz)

1, 300 Mbit / s (5 GHz)

450 Mbit / s (2.4 GHz)

1, 300 Mbit / s (5 GHz)

tape

Steering

Yes

Yes Yes Yes
MU-

MIMO

Yes No No Yes
Ethernet

connection

1

(Gigabit)

2nd

(Fast Ethernet)

1

(Gigabit)

2nd

(Gigabit)

Weight 299 gr 890 gr 150 gr

285 gr

Dimensions 81.4 x

4.4 x 16.1 cm

18.8 x

23.1 x 9.2 cm

12.5 x

7.6 x 6.3 cm

16.7 x

16.5 x 8.0 cm

rating

(Amazon)

3.9 /

5 stars *

4 /

5 stars *

4.6 /

5 stars

4.4

/ 5 stars

Mesh router - the complete mesh solution

As smart as the application options of various mesh repeaters are, they cannot achieve the performance of a full mesh system with a corresponding router and other end devices - especially not in larger living spaces. You can find more information about the possibilities of mesh routers and our purchase recommendations in our article "WLAN Mesh Router".

Norbert Becker

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