Difference Between Wifi Extender and Mesh Network System?

Are you wondering what is the difference between wifi extender and mesh network system! First of all, wifi extender, wifi range extenders or wifi range booster all name of same network device use to extend wireless signals. Mesh Network System is wifi mesh networks. Mesh Network System really does not increase your wifi signal strength or wifi signal distance. Because you still use repeaters. But mesh network uses the same SSID for whole house coverage because it acts like one big router.

It takes longer to setup than wireless range extenders but you don’t need any Ethernet cables to connect devices to main router node or node that connects directly with ISP modem via Ethernet cable (modem-to-internet), so mesh network provides more wifi coverage than wifi range extenders. You can get mesh wifi system, like eero mesh, Google mesh network or Netgear Orbi wifi mesh network router.

Mesh Network System vs Wifi Range Extenders?

The main difference between mesh network system and wireless range extenders is that wireless range extenders work by repeating the existing wifi router’s (or another access point’s) signal, while mesh networks create a whole new “mesh” of connection points in your home so every device gets stronger, faster coverage.

You really need to install wifi range extenders and wifi mesh network system where wifi signal is not strong enough. For example, if you have wifi router or wifi access point installed in your 1st floor but it’s too far away from your basement then you need wifi repeaters (wifi extenders) for your internet connection.

Read Also: Improve Wifi Signals Upstairs

If wifi router or wifi access point is installed at the 1st floor and basement has good wifi/internet reception strength then you don’t need additional wifi network system because any wireless device can connect to it and get the signal. Mesh Network System only cost more than wifi range extender units because they do so much more than just repeating existing router’s signal to provide better coverage throughout your home.

1. Mesh Network Advantages and Disadvantages

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  • Wifi mesh networks provide seamless wireless coverage without dead zones
  • Wifi mesh network system doesn’t require Ethernet wiring to connect device to main router node.
  • Mesh wifi can be used as wireless access point or wireless bridge, so you don’t need Ethernet cable at home.
  • Wireless Bridge mode turns your existing home WiFi into an uninterrupted whole house signal that can be shared with other Wifi users and supports any device capable of receiving a WiFi signal (including other routers).
  • Wifi mesh network can be more secure network because it automatically updates itself to the most current security standards and firmware.
  • Mesh network system reduce service interruption from ISP modem issues. Mesh wifi is directly connected with internet modem, so wireless devices can stay online even if your home router or modem has connection issue from ISP provider side (connection issue can happen a lot).
  • You don’t need spending money on expensive additional cable/fiber optic cable services from ISP providers to fence off your house for redundancy reasons like Comcast business class services.
  • Mesh network system provides better wireless signal strength than standard range extenders.
  • Mesh wifi is very easy to setup and can be configured using an iOS or Android app, so you don’t need spending money on IT professional services or contractors to configure wifi mesh network for your home.


  • It’s costly as compared to the opposite network such as simple wifi extender.
  • Maintenance needs are challenging with a mesh.
  • Power requirement is higher as all the nodes will need to remain active all the time and share the load.

2. Wifi Range Extender Advantages and Disadvantages

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  • Range extenders are quite budget friendly and less expensive than mesh network systems.
  • They are quite portable and compact. you just have to insert it in any wall plug, turn on the switch and you are good to go.
  • Most WiFi range extenders nowadays come with automatic configuration with plug and play functionality. You don’t need to acquire technical knowledge to set it up to use.
  • You can unbox a device and plug it in the power socket and launch it within minutes. There are no overhead of a WiFi extender installation whatsoever.


  • Wifi range extenders have more compatibility problems with network devices than wifi mesh network system.
  • It can cover less wireless coverage area as compared to mesh network.
  • Lacks some of advanced features such as firewall or anti malware protection.

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author techswifty
John Stewart

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One comment

  1. I’m not sure about the Wi-Fi extender, but a downside of a mesh system seems to be using more data. My wi-fi data plan was not unlimited, but more than enough for my needs. After adding my mesh system, I was maxing out my data and had to pay for the extra data used. I ended up switch to a cheaper but slower unlimited plan because of mesh system.

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