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  • Writer's pictureJustin Levine

Building a Robust Home Network:

Single Router vs. Multi-Access Point Systems

In the work-from-home era, a robust and reliable home network is the backbone of our professional and personal lives. Whether streaming movies, video conferencing, online gaming, or simply browsing the web, a robust Wi-Fi system is essential.

Most households rely on a single router to provide wireless connectivity throughout the home, but there's an increasingly popular (and arguably essential) compliment to this: deploying multiple access points throughout the home. In this article, we'll explore the differences between a single router network and a network with access points spread around the home, highlighting the importance of a strong Wi-Fi foundation for wired and wireless connectivity.

The Single Router Setup:

A traditional home network typically relies on a single router to manage and distribute internet connectivity to various devices. The router is the central hub, responsible for assigning IP addresses, managing data traffic, and providing a wireless signal. While single routers/modems are convenient and easy to set up, they face limitations in larger homes or environments with numerous obstacles like walls and floors, along with the higher demands placed on them with the average number of connected devices skyrocketing in recent years.

Challenges of a Single Router System:

  • Limited Coverage: The most common issue with a single router setup is limited coverage. In larger homes or buildings with multiple floors, the Wi-Fi signal strength may weaken as you move further away from the router. This can result in dead zones where devices struggle to maintain a stable connection. If you are dropping off Zoom calls or notice a wireless home audio system such as Sonos disconnecting at times, this could be a culprit.

  • Interference and Congestion: A single router can face challenges in managing multiple devices simultaneously. In densely populated areas or homes with many connected devices, interference and congestion can occur, leading to slower speeds and reduced performance.

  • Inflexibility: Single router setups may lack flexibility in adapting to the changing needs of a household. As the number of connected devices increases, the single router might struggle to provide each device with a seamless and reliable experience.

The Multi-Access Point Solution:

Many homeowners are turning to multi-access point systems to address the limitations of a single router. This approach strategically places multiple access points throughout the home to create a mesh network. Each access point works together to provide unified and extended Wi-Fi coverage.

Advantages of Multi-Access Point Systems:

  • Seamless Roaming: With a multi-access point system, devices can seamlessly roam between access points without experiencing drops in connectivity. This is particularly beneficial in larger homes or spaces with multiple floors.

  • Improved Performance: A mesh network can handle more connected devices simultaneously by distributing the load across multiple access points. This results in improved performance and reduced network congestion.

  • Expanded Coverage: Access points strategically placed throughout the home create a unified and robust Wi-Fi network, eliminating dead zones and providing consistent coverage in every corner of the house.

Choosing between a single router and a multi-access point system depends on your home's specific needs and layout. While a single router is suitable for smaller spaces, larger homes or environments with obstacles may benefit from the extended coverage and improved performance of a multi-access point system. Regardless of the setup, a robust Wi-Fi system is the foundation for all connected activities in the home, whether wired or wireless. Investing in a reliable network infrastructure ensures a seamless and enjoyable digital experience for every household member.

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