Home Get better internet Tips and guides Optimise your setup Mesh system versus extenders - what's right for you?

Mesh system versus extenders - what's right for you?


3 mins average read time

Mesh system versus extenders - what's right for you?

No matter how fast your broadband service is, when it comes to having reliable internet in the home or office it’s critical to get your wifi set up right. That’s because wifi networks use radio signals to connect devices to a modem and things like flooring, doors and walls can get in the way. Distance can also be another culprit and there can even be interference sometimes with appliances like a microwave being able to distort your signal.

Fortunately, though there are solutions to get around these challenges and deliver stress free wifi for larger homes or those with a complicated layout. The main two pieces of equipment are wifi extenders or a mesh system. The below will give you a bit of an idea of which one is right for you.

What is a mesh system and what does it do?

Mesh systems are typically complete replacements for your home wifi. You can use them with your current modem, but there's usually little reason to (unless your service provider requires it). The system consists of a main router that connects directly to your modem. From there, a series of satellite modules or nodes are strategically placed around your property. This all work together to help blanket your home with wifi coverage.

The mesh system is all a part of a single wireless network which shares the same network name and password, so as you walk around your space, your devices should connect to the node closest to your physical location.

The primary node becomes your wifi networks mesh router. In short, it will wirelessly share its internet connection with the other nodes that you have placed in other spots. Contemporary mesh systems are quite clever in their design. For instance, if one node stops working at peak performance then the system will reroute itself to a more efficient signal distribution.


  • Entire home or business wifi coverage
  • Eliminates dead spots
  • Easy to add and remove nodes
  • Easy set-up and configuration process
  • Cool aesthetic design


  • Cost more than an extender but you do get what you pay for

What is a wifi extender?

A wifi extender is a simple device that extends your wifi signal via re-broadcasting it deeper into your home. Also known as ‘boosters’ or ‘repeaters’ they can be a good value solution if you’re looking to improve wifi to one part of the property.

Different from mesh systems, you need to manually switch from your router’s wifi network to the extender’s network. Extenders typically connect to your router via wifi but some models use ethernet cables. One thing to be aware of when selecting a wifi extender is that some broadcast on a new wifi network with its own name. That means that you would need to connect to a different wifi network in one part of your home and potentially a different network elsewhere.

Your devices will often stay on one until it's completely out of range. This means you'll still have slow Wi-Fi at multiple points in your house unless you manually switch back and forth between networks as you move around which can be a hassle. For this reason, you should ideally pick an extender that rebroadcasts on the same network name to prevent the inconvenience of having to switch networks


  • Extenders are a simpler solution for extending your signal
  • They plugs straight into a power outlet
  • More affordable than mesh system


  • You have to manually switch over to the extender’s network
  • Harder to configure

No matter whether you are living on your own, do a lot of gaming or are constantly streaming you obviously want the fastest broadband speeds possible. Both wifi extenders and mesh systems tend to offer higher speeds than going without.

Extenders have their place if you need to boost a signal to a certain part of a property but if you’re really looking to blanket your home in wifi coverage mesh systems are worth the extra investment if you can afford them.

More tips and tricks

All about speed
All about speed

How to test and improve your internet speed.

Optimise your setup
Optimise your setup

Things you can do to get the most out of your connection.

Smart homes
Smart homes

Tips for making your home smarter and more connected.