What is a Mesh WiFi Network?



In the ever-evolving landscape of wireless technology, understanding the different WiFi systems is crucial. Today, we're delving into the world of WiFi mesh networks, dissecting their mechanics, and contrasting them with traditional WiFi setups. As we explore this, we'll touch upon how NETGEAR's Orbi fits into this advanced ecosystem.

How Mesh Networks Operate

WiFi mesh networks are sophisticated wireless internet systems that employ multiple mesh router satellite nodes, along with the main router access point, plus a modem for connecting to the internet. Mesh WiFi is designed to deliver blanket WiFi coverage with a strong, uninterrupted WiFi signal. This system overcomes the limitations of traditional single-router setups by ensuring consistent coverage throughout your home or office space.
In a mesh network, a router access point connects directly to your internet modem, while additional satellite nodes are placed strategically around your premises. These nodes communicate with an overlapping WiFi signal to form a single cohesive network. Your devices automatically connect to the nearest satellite node, ensuring optimal signal strength and a seamless online experience.

Traditional WiFi vs. Mesh Networks: The Differences

Nearly everyone is familiar with old-school traditional routers and modems that establish an internet connection using Ethernet cables. In some cases, a combination modem/router, called a gateway, is used. Mesh WiFi routers are a newer innovation, first arriving on the scene around 2015. Mesh WiFi systems can be adapted to suit large multi-story homes and offices by increasing the number of satellite nodes. The positioning of the nodes can be adjusted to eliminate WiFi dead zones.

However, traditional WiFi setups aren’t obsolete, and they can be the most suitable and cost-effective system for one or two people living in small home units and studio apartments. On the other hand, blazing-fast home WiFi is in demand for large homes and busy households with multiple connected devices. This is where whole home mesh WiFi systems are in a class of their own.
If your single network router system is struggling to meet the demands of modern lifestyles for work and play, it’s probably time to upgrade to a WiFi mesh system. Here are five important mesh WiFi differences.

Mesh Network Connections

Because wireless router network systems include multiple mesh nodes, they are a good option for big homes with complex floorplans. Wireless mesh networks are interconnected, with each satellite node communicating with its nearest neighbour to relay the signal. With this system, the signal remains strong because it doesn’t need to travel far between the nodes. Plus, wireless connection delays are minimised because the data can take the fastest path to reach your wireless devices.
In contrast, when a device communicates with a traditional router, the signal has to travel the full distance from a single point. This can create weak signal areas or total dead spots, particularly if the signal has to travel through solid walls or doors. In smaller homes and units, the addition of a WiFi range extender can be enough to overcome weak WiFi signals. For larger homes and offices, mesh WiFi, such as NETGEAR Orbi 970 WiFi 7 systems with greater bandwidth are the answer.

Mesh Network Speed

When evaluating baseline WiFi speed over a short distance, traditional routers with wired Ethernet connections edge out WiFi mesh routers. However, there is a lot more to consider when connecting to multiple devices simultaneously in large homes. The further a signal has to travel, the more it degrades, and it’s not often practical to have Ethernet cables running through the ceiling or under the floor to connect to every device.
A strong WiFi signal can only reach so far before you will begin to experience lag, buffering, and dropouts. In addition, a single router can’t handle lots of simultaneous transmissions and devices will have to wait their turn to connect. In today’s fast-moving connected world, slow throughput download and upload speeds are simply unacceptable. Mesh WiFi solves these local area network problems, delivering superfast wireless connection speeds throughout the entire home – upstairs, downstairs, and even outside by the pool.

Mesh Network Performance

Mesh networks intelligently manage WiFi connections for home networks, guest networks, and smart home Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Traditional routers, on the other hand, can become overwhelmed in high-demand scenarios and congested WiFi environments, leading to diminished device performance. Signal issues are easily addressed with mesh router nodes that communicate with one another. Plus, you can reposition the nodes to adapt to changing household or office dynamics.
Most importantly, WiFi mesh system node antennas connect seamlessly. WiFi extenders used with traditional routers can be a helpful alternative, but you may need a separate SSID and an additional password. The best WiFi mesh routers operating with WiFi 6, WiFi 6E, and the latest WiFi 7 standard offer internet access like never before for HD streaming, conferencing, gaming, virtual reality, smart home devices, and a whole lot more. NETGEAR Orbi can make it happen for you.

Mesh Network Scalability

Expanding coverage with traditional WiFi can be cumbersome, often requiring additional routers or range extenders that create separate networks. Mesh networks simplify expansion by using satellite nodes to extend coverage. WiFi mesh systems deliver far better network scalability and performance than a mish-mash collection of WiFi extenders. For the vast majority of internet users in Australia, a multi-node mesh WiFi system will solve all their WiFi woes. There’s no easier way to get wall-to-wall WiFi coverage than switching to a mesh network configuration.

Mesh Network Ease of Management

Mesh networks are easy to set up and manage using a user-friendly app such as the NETGEAR Orbi App. Mesh network mobile apps also often include setup tips, notifications for placement of the nodes, and other features for conveniently addressing mesh network issues. In addition, NETGEAR Orbi mesh systems come with enhanced and encrypted WAP3 security and smart parental controls to ensure everyone in your local network or wide area network (WAN) is safe from malicious intruders.

NETGEAR Orbi: A Mesh Network Solution

While focusing on mesh network topology, it’s worth learning more about the latest NETGEAR Orbi system advantages. Orbi tri-band and quad-band technology is state-of-the-art, delivering extensive coverage and robust mesh networking solutions. WiFi mesh networks represent a quantum leap forward in wireless technology, offering superior coverage, performance, and scalability compared to traditional WiFi systems.

The transition to a low-latency mesh network is a game-changer, and NETGEAR’s Orbi 970 WiFi 7 is an example of best-in-class WiFi technology in action. NETGEAR Orbi is leading the way in transforming the digital world. For starters, the main Orbi 970 router access point contains a 10 Gbps Ethernet port, four 2.5 Gbps Ethernet ports, and a 10 Gig Internet port. The Orbi satellite nodes have a 10 Gbps Ethernet port and two 2.5 Gbps Ethernet ports.

NETGEAR delivers an entirely new level of WiFi networking, including the option of NETGEAR Pro Support with 24/7 priority access to NETGEAR experts, plus accidental damage coverage and replacement. Orbi 970 systems are compatible with any internet service provider (ISP). Here are some more major Orbi 970 system highlights in a nutshell.

  • -Blazing-fast speeds of up to 27Gbps (potentially 40Gbps) for unparalleled square feet of WiFi coverage and performance.
  • -2.4x faster speeds than WiFi 6 and fully backward compatible with older WiFi-enabled laptops and desktop computers.
  • -4K/8K streaming, video conferencing, HD gaming, virtual reality, the Metaverse, and more, for everyone under one roof.
  • -Patented quad-band technology and enhanced dedicated backhaul for delivering reliable WiFi across all your network devices.
  • -Elegant Orbi 970 satellite node design and high-performance antennas for 360° WiFi coverage across your entire home or office space.
  • -The fastest available internet speeds with dedicated built-in 10 Gbps and 2.5 Gbps Ethernet ports.
  • -Seamless roaming by always utilising the strongest available signal, without the fear of losing your connection.
  • -The ability to sync NETGEAR Orbi 970 WiFi 7 with any internet service provider (ISP), plus easy setup and management of your Orbi 970 WiFi network using the Orbi app.
  • -NETGEAR Armor security software with WPA3 encryption for protection against malicious intruders across all your connected devices and applications.

NETGEAR Orbi 970 mesh internet will future-proof your entire network. Whether you’re streaming in HD, gaming against overseas competition, or working from home, Orbi 970 ensures a stable and speedy connection. NETGEAR Orbi is a leader in the world of wireless connectivity. Orbi offers next-level wireless internet for today’s smart homes and businesses.

Orbi Entertainment, Gaming, and Smart Homes Connections

NETGEAR Orbi 970 systems are user-friendly, and you don’t need to be a tech whiz to take advantage of faster WiFi 7 speeds. Here are some ways Orbi 970 WiFi 7 can dramatically improve your connected experience.

Orbi for entertainment
Orbi WiFi 7 opens up new home entertainment opportunities. You can conveniently stream 4K and 8K content and browse the web without frustrating slowdowns. Advanced applications such as virtual reality, augmented reality, animation, music creation, and the Metaverse are all at your fingertips with NETGEAR Orbi.

Orbi for gamers
WiFi 7 has changed the world of online gaming. You will immediately notice low latency that removes buffering and annoying lag. In other words, you will have the upper hand over your competition. With Orbi WiFi 7, games can be rendered in a fraction of the time compared to earlier WiFi standards. Users can now play high-definition games with real-time responsiveness.

Orbi for smart homes
WiFi 7 offers dramatic improvements for today’s smart homes. With Orbi 970, glitchy streaming and slow downloads are a thing of the past. WiFi 7 offers more bandwidth, faster speeds, and amazing tech innovations for handling multiple devices concurrently. Available in classic black or classy white, Orbi 970 WiFi mesh systems are attractive decor units that will future-proof your entire smart home network.


Can mesh networks work with existing internet setups?

Yes, mesh networks are designed to work with your existing internet service provider (ISP) router and modem. Alternatively, you can upgrade to the latest NETGEAR router and modem for even better connectivity.

Are mesh networks secure?

Orbi mesh networks offer advanced encrypted NETGEAR Armor security features to protect the online activities of everyone in your network.
Is a mesh network suitable for all home sizes?
Absolutely. Mesh networks are scalable, making them ideal for small units, family homes, and large estates.

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.

Can I prioritise devices or control access on a mesh network?

Yes, most mesh networks, including systems like NETGEAR Orbi, allow you to prioritise devices and control access, offering a more tailored online experience. Orbi 970 mesh networks showcase advanced features and unbeatable performance for Australian homes and businesses.