Can I Add Mesh WiFi to My Existing Router?



When navigating the world of home networking, a common query is the compatibility of mesh WiFi systems with existing routers. Let's explore how you can expand your WiFi network and improve your connected experience with a whole home WiFi Mesh system.

Combining Mesh WiFi with Your Current Router

Mesh WiFi systems are specifically designed to provide expansive coverage that a traditional router setup can’t match, but what if you’ve already recently invested in a high-quality access point router? The good news is that it is entirely possible to integrate mesh WiFi with your existing router. By combining your router with a WiFi 6, WiFi 6E, or WiFi 7 whole home mesh WiFi system your home network, guest network, and smart home Internet of Things (IoT) network will reach a whole new level of WiFi range and reliability.

How Does a Mesh Router System Work?

Mesh WiFi systems operate with a main router/modem plus a network of nodes that communicate with each other to provide consistent blanket WiFi coverage throughout your home. When you integrate a mesh system, the satellite nodes connect with one another and to the router, effectively enhancing and expanding your existing network. This setup allows the mesh network to improve the quality of your WiFi signal upstairs, downstairs, and even out in the backyard. Mesh WiFi isn’t your average stand-alone WiFi setup.

Mesh WiFi systems allow connected devices and smart home applications to automatically connect to the strongest available signal. This makes mesh WiFi a great alternative to range extenders in large homes and businesses where a single router can’t meet WiFi device demands. Advanced WiFi 6E and WiFi 7 Mesh systems give you the flexibility to place the satellite nodes for optimal WiFi coverage. Whole-home mesh WiFi eliminates WiFi dead zones, allowing everyone under one roof to enjoy the best WiFi connections and the fastest available speeds.

What Is Mesh WiFi Networking?

Mesh network WiFi satellite nodes combine to form a unified network. The entire network, consisting of a home network, guest network, and IoT network, can be accessed with a single login if that is your preference. The satellite nodes create an overlapping wireless signal for whole-home square feet WiFi coverage. This setup allows you to move from room to room with your devices without losing your internet connection.

Mesh networking devices can include laptops, desktops, Apple iPads, iPhones, Android smartphones, Amazon Alexa smart speakers, Google Home tech, Google Assistant, gaming consoles, digital art frames, smart TVs, security systems, and a whole lot more. The best NETGEAR Orbi and NETGEAR Nighthawk routers and satellite nodes also include broadband Ethernet connections for blazing-fast multi-gigabit mesh WiFi router performance.

The latest tri-band WiFi and quad-band WiFi systems deliver unparalleled performance, including low latency and prioritised backhaul for optimised streaming, conferencing, gaming, creating, and entering into the virtual reality Metaverse.

Is WiFi 7 the Best Mesh Router System?

WiFi 7 (IEEE 802.11be) is the latest WiFi standard incarnation. It is also known as Extremely High Throughput (EHT) WiFi. WiFi 7 is the natural evolution from WiFi 5 systems, WiFi 6 routers, and WiFi 6E systems. Each WiFi standard builds upon the capacity and potential of the previous standard. To enjoy the full benefits of WiFi 7, you will need WiFi 7-enabled hardware on both ends of the connection. However, NETGEAR WiFi 7 is backward compatible, allowing your legacy devices to function as normal when connected with WiFi 7.

As you upgrade your older devices, you will experience an entirely new level of seamless, real-time networking and connectivity. If your current WiFi system is more than a few years old, or you are someone who wants the latest WiFi tech performance, it’s probably time to upgrade to the WiFi 7 experience. The latest NETGEAR Orbi 970 Whole-Home Mesh Systems also include Ethernet compatibility, giving you more options than ever for establishing fast and stable connections for work or leisure.

Benefits of Adding Mesh WiFi to Your Existing Router

WiFi 7 mesh is a genuine upgrade over WiFi 6 mesh systems, including optimised utilisation of the 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz bandwidths. Each band offers multiple WiFi channels of different widths, such as 20MHz, 40MHz, 80MHz, and 160MHz. A wider channel offers more bandwidth to create a stronger, faster, and more reliable connection. In addition, the WiFi data can move in dual-band, tri-band, and quad-band streams. Here are five significant WiFi 7 improvements that tech-savvy users are excited about.

All-new 320MHz channel bandwidth

WiFi 7 offers a new and wider 320MHz channel. This offers double the bandwidth achieved by WiFi 6/6E. WiFi 7 can double the speed from 1.2 Gbps on the 160MHz stream, to 2.4 Gbps on the 320MHz stream. In theory, a quad-band WiFi 7 router can offer up to 9.6 Gbps of bandwidth. WiFi 7 also supports up to 16 partial streams. Theoretically, WiFi 7 can deliver data transfer rates of more than 40 Gbps. As mentioned earlier, you will need compatible WiFi 7 client devices to utilise the all-new 320MHz channel width.

4K Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM)

QAM can manipulate radio waves to allow more information to be packed in. WiFi 7 supports 4096 QAM; that’s four times the WiFi 6 capability of 1024 QAM. 4K QAM translates into better real-world performance when utilizing the same channel width, including faster speeds, greater network efficiency, and lower latency compared to previous WiFi standards.

Multi-Link Operation (MLO)

Multi-Link Operation (MLO) is another exciting feature of WiFi 7. MLO WiFi aggregation combines two different WiFi bands, usually the 5GHz and 6GHz bands, into a single WiFi network connection. This bonded link delivers higher network bandwidth and greater network reliability. With MLO, seamless roaming is a reality.

NETGEAR Orbi Whole-Home Mesh Systems use MLO to mesh the main router and satellite routers as one harmonious unit. As you wander around your home, Orbi automatically hands the wireless connection over to the satellite with the strongest signal. Multi-Link Operation delivers faster data rates over longer distances.

MLO only works with WiFi 7-enabled client devices. Older WiFi 5 and WiFi 6/6E clients will still use a single band even when connecting via MLO. Multi-Link Operation uses WPA3 security encryption, and MLO reach will only be as far as the shorter band range. This is where Automated Frequency Coordination comes into the picture.

Automated Frequency Coordination (AFC)

Automated Frequency Coordination (AFC) only applies to the WiFi 7 6GHz band, which has faster speeds and a shorter range compared to the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands. AFC is an optional feature and is not required for carrying out regular WiFi 7 functions. However, existing applications such as satellite services and broadcast companies can tap into parts of the 6GHz band, making AFC a very useful WiFi 7 network addition.

For example, 6GHz broadcasters check with a database to create an exclusive operating environment that won’t negatively impact other 6GHz users. With WiFi 7, a broadcaster can use more power and improved antenna design to maximise the operating potential. It is estimated that AFC can bring the broadcasting power up to 36 dBm, up from the current 30 dBm max.

Preamble Puncturing

This all-new WiFi 7 router feature allows WiFi devices to block off (split) a portion of the channel bandwidth. It automatically avoids connecting to channels that are occupied by dividing the channel into usable segments. Previously, if part of a channel was in use, the entire channel would become unavailable. Preamble Puncturing improves WiFi efficiency, working alongside other smart initiatives such as Multi-User – Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) and Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA).

Mesh WiFi delivers expanded internet coverage. It is ideal for larger homes and offices with complex layouts. The mesh WiFi nodes work together to provide seamless WiFi coverage without dead zones or weak signals. Your devices will automatically connect to the strongest signal for optimised performance 24/7. NETGEAR Orbi WiFi is easy to set up and manage using the handy Orbi App. The system also includes NETGEAR Armor WPA3 security and strict parental controls to ensure everyone and every device in your network is protected from malicious intruders.

NETGEAR Orbi: A Seamless Addition to Your Network

NETGEAR Orbi can perfectly complement your existing router and take WiFi performance to the next level. Orbi’s advanced technology and easy setup make it the number one choice for those looking to enhance their home network without replacing their current router. As one of the world’s most progressive WiFi companies, NETGEAR is well-placed to deliver the best WiFi 7 solutions to consumers in Australia.

The Orbi 970 system can deliver real-time WiFi performance without lag to every corner of your home. Orbi WiFi 7 eliminates WiFi dead spots for a fast and uninterrupted WiFi connection. You won’t need to run additional Ethernet cables or use WiFi extenders. Orbi 970 mesh delivers true multi-gig speeds and 360-degree whole-home coverage using an innovative high-performance antenna design.

This Orbi 970 system allows you to connect up to 200 devices for concurrent use, with faster download speeds, high throughput, multi-link operation, and low latency for an immersive online experience. Orbi instantly transfers data between the main router and satellites. The main Orbi router access point has a 10 Gbps Ethernet port, four 2.5 Gbps Ethernet ports, and a 10 Gig Internet port. Orbi 970 satellites contain a 10Gbps Ethernet port and two 2.5 Gbps Ethernet ports.

Orbi 970 WiFi Mesh Features in a Nutshell

NETGEAR Orbi 970 mesh is a WiFi game-changer in Australia. Here are some of the key Orbi 970 features and capabilities worth knowing about.

  • • WiFi 7 speeds of up to 27Gbps (potentially 40Gbps) for unparalleled performance and whole-home WiFi coverage.
  • • 2.4x faster speeds than WiFi 6 and fully compatible with older legacy devices and smart home applications.
  • • 4K/8K streaming, video conferencing, high-definition gaming, virtual reality, augmented reality, and the Metaverse.
  • • Elegant Orbi 970 satellite node design and high-performance antennas for 360° WiFi coverage, even in difficult-to-access WiFi spaces.
  • • The fastest available internet speeds of today and tomorrow, including built-in 10 Gbps and 2.5 Gbps wired Ethernet ports.
  • • Seamless Roaming without the fear of losing your WiFi connection throughout your entire home or office.
  • • The ability to sync Orbi 970 WiFi 7 with any internet service provider (ISP), plus easy setup and management of your WiFi network using the Orbi app.
  • • NETGEAR Armor security software with WPA3 encryption for powerful protection against malicious intruders.

Future-Proofing with NETGEAR Orbi WiFi 7

Orbi 970 WiFi 7 mesh network systems are changing the way we use WiFi internet in Australia. WiFi 7 can improve workplace productivity, give gamers a winning edge, and run smart home Internet of Things (IoT) applications. NETGEAR Orbi 970 is a WiFi upgrade that offers stronger signals, faster data connections, wider channels, and more frequency bands. New device releases are including WiFi 7 standard compatibility, making Orbi 970 the smart way to future-proof your home.

For the versatility needed in today’s competitive networking environment, Orbi WiFi 7 mesh systems are a savvy choice. Plus, NETGEAR Orbi systems are expandable. To grow your system, simply place additional satellite nodes in strategic locations around your home or office. You can even network outdoors by the pool. Orbi 970 beamforming antennas can direct powerful wireless signals at specific devices. Orbi 970 WiFi Advantages include:

  • • Eliminating WiFi dead zones around the home or office
  • • Bypassing brick walls, solid objects, and dense materials
  • • Providing seamless WiFi coverage for large multi-story homes
  • • Offering superfast multi-gigabit WiFi speeds
  • • Creation of private networks, guest networks, and smart home networks

NETGEAR: The WiFi Technology Leader

NETGEAR has been a leader in WiFi technology since the 1990s. Today, NETGEAR remains a trusted name worldwide at the cutting edge of WiFi evolution. NETGEAR Orbi 970 WiFi 7 systems are driving the industry forward with state-of-the-art technology development and leadership. Orbi 970 is the latest NETGEAR success story that takes existing WiFi technologies to the next level.

Recent WiFi advances have included multi-unit multiple-input multiple-output (MU-MIMO), orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA), multi-link operation, quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM), preamble puncturing, and the all-new 320MHz channel width for home and business WiFi use.
Multi-gigabit internet speeds, low latency, and seamless connectivity are all a reality with NETGEAR. You can trust NETGEAR for all your WiFi needs today and tomorrow.

Incorporating a mesh WiFi system with your existing router is a savvy way to upgrade your home network. You can utilise the robust capabilities of your current router while extending its reach and efficiency. For those who appreciate the finer aspects of home networking, this easy integration is a forward-thinking approach.

NETGEAR Orbi can seamlessly integrate into your existing setup, offering an elegant, powerful enhancement to your home WiFi network. Orbi is a quantum leap into the next level of WiFi connectivity, ensuring that every device in your home enjoys fast and reliable internet access. By thoughtfully integrating mesh WiFi with your existing router, you’re setting the stage for a superior digital lifestyle, ensuring that your home network is not just functional, but exceptional.


Will adding a mesh network slow down my current router?

Not at all. A mesh network will likely improve your network performance by reducing dead zones and balancing the load. The WiFi signal will have less distance to travel between satellite node access points, and you can use beamforming to direct the signal toward specific devices.

Can I use any mesh system with my router?

While most mesh systems are designed to be compatible with existing routers, it’s always best to check for compatibility before making a purchase. Ask your retailer for more information.

How does the cost compare to traditional WiFi systems?

While mesh systems can be more expensive upfront, their enhanced performance and coverage can offer greater value in the long run, especially for demanding or larger environments where traditional WiFi systems may falter. With NETGEAR Orbi 970, your WiFi system is ready for the best technology of today and tomorrow.

Is the setup process complex?

Most mesh systems, including NETGEAR Orbi, are designed for user-friendly setup, often guided by a mobile app. The entire whole home mesh WiFi system can be unpacked and set up in less than half an hour

How many nodes will I need?

This depends on the size of your home and the coverage of your existing router. Generally, a few strategically placed nodes are sufficient for most homes. You can always add more nodes at a later date.