What is a mesh network?
Google Wifi uses what’s called a mesh network to provide Wi-Fi. A mesh network is a group of devices that act as a single Wi-Fi network; so there are multiple sources of Wi-Fi around your house, instead of just a single router. These Wi-Fi sources are called Wifi points.
Since Wi-Fi is broadcasted from each Wifi point (and not just a single router), it can provide better coverage over a wider space. The more Wifi points you have, the more you can spread them around your house for better Wi-Fi.
And all Wifi points are connected to each other wirelessly. (No need to run Ethernet cables throughout your house!) As long as they are within range, they can communicate with one another without going through a middleman (a router). This can allow for fast, efficient routing of data.
How is this different from a traditional Wi-Fi network?
In a traditional Wi-Fi network, your phone or laptop are connected to a single router, and all communication passes through that single router.
The farther you are from the router, the weaker the signal. With Google Wifi, you can have multiple Wifi points all over your house, so you’re never far from one.
What are the benefits of a mesh network?
Here are some benefits of a mesh network:
- Flexible coverage: Additional Wifi points can be added to get better coverage in hard-to-cover areas like hallways and near walls for outdoor coverage.
- Self healing: In a traditional Wi-Fi network, when a router breaks, all communication between your devices is broken too. No more Wi-Fi. But in a mesh network, if one Wifi point goes down, communication is simply rerouted through another Wifi point. Note: This applies only if an additional Wifi point goes down. If your primary Wifi point goes offline (the one connected to your modem), so will your entire network.
- Direct path: Since all the Wifi points are connected to each other, data can take several paths toward its destination – and it’ll always choose a fast route from Point A to Point B.