A powerful WiFi signal is now more important than ever given the explosive growth of smart devices, laptops, tablets, smart TVs, and other streaming devices. A new breed of WiFi routers, called mesh network systems, has become extremely popular. One that stands out for value, performance and aesthetics is the Zyxel Multy U AC2100. But are mesh network routers really worth the hype?
For starters, let’s discuss what exactly wireless mesh networks are and how they work across your house.
Mesh networks have spiked in popularity, but they’ve been used for years in places where a secure network is crucial, like hospitals, military bases and businesses. Now, residential wireless-internet users can implement mesh networking at an affordable price.
The key component of most standard WiFi networks is the router, which broadcasts the wireless signal throughout your house. Most people don’t pay much attention to routers — that is, until the WiFi signal falters. The main issue with traditional routers is that the reach of the signals is limited. If you have a large home (more than 3,000 square feet), or one with an odd layout, you probably regularly encounter WiFi dead zones. These would be a good candidate for a mesh router system.
Rather than broadcasting WiFi signals from a single point, mesh router systems have multiple access points (also called satellites or nodes). One point links to the modem and acts as a router, while one or more other nodes capture the router’s signal and rebroadcast it throughout the house for a stronger, more consistent signal. Each node of a mesh network, in essence, communicates to each other and amplifies the signal, which creates a blanket of strong WiFi coverage throughout your house.
Now, back to the Multy U set (3-pack), which has a sleek, modern design with rounded corners and an X-shaped breathing LED light that lets you visually check its operating status. Zyxel nodes have different mounting options: a clever leather strap for hanging on doorknobs, lamps or hooks, or a magnetic stand. Place the Multy U nodes vertically on a desk or hang it on the wall. It’s easy to install … no tools required.
A Multy U 3-pack can create a robust WiFi network throughout your home, with enough power for a 6,000-square foot home. It can handle up to 128 devices without encountering lag. The Multy U system can expand even beyond three nodes … you can easily add extra nodes for additional WiFi coverage.
Using three wireless bands, the Multy U delivers fast speed through its dedicated 5 GHz connection (between nodes), and broadcasts with the remaining 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WiFi network. No matter where you place the nodes, the system automatically optimizes which units to tap into for the best connectivity, even if you unplug one. The Multy U even supports direct Ethernet connections, allowing every node to be wired together with an Ethernet cable to ensure the fastest performance.
A free app (Android and iPhone) lets you test network speed connections from your mobile device. Ensure that you’re connected to the Internet with the best WiFi speed available. The zyxel mobile app lets you quickly test the Internet speed on your Multy U WiFi system.
The Zyxel Multy U AC2100 3-pack is affordably priced on Amazon for $269 and it’s Alexa-enabled, making it a budget-friendly mesh network kit with cool, modern design.