If you’ve ever set up a wireless network for your home or office, you may have dealt with dead spots – the supervillain of Wi-Fi networking!
Dead spots are annoying, unpredictable, and make us feel like we’re not getting our money’s worth from our hardware and internet services.
Why are we still dealing with dead spots in our wireless networks in 2021? If you find yourself struggling with dead spots regardless of hardware add-ons and different configurations, it’s time to take a different approach.
This article examines the cause of dead spots and explains why they exist in your network. Here’s a hint: your standard router is probably to blame.
Mesh Wi-Fi systems are the key to eliminating dead spots once and for all. With our helpful tips, you’ll never have to worry about coverage and performance again. Let’s get started.
What Are Wi-Fi Dead Spots?
Any area in your home that isn’t covered by Wi-Fi where it should be is considered a dead spot. Maybe the signal weakens when you enter a certain room, or it even cuts out altogether.
If your router doesn’t have the range to reach a certain area of your home, we can’t consider it a dead spot. For example, if you have a router that’s supposed to cover 150 feet indoors, it’s not a dead spot when you lose service at 160 feet.
However, everything can be functioning as it should, and you’ll still find a dead spot in an unexpected area of your home. That’s an issue that you should address as soon as possible.
Dead spots weren’t a big deal just a decade ago, but now that we’re constantly using wireless devices in every room of the house, it can be a dealbreaker!
After all, you want to get the most out of your internet service. That means never having to worry about losing your signal, no matter where you roam in your home.
What Causes Dead Spots?
Several issues can cause dead spots, from the materials used to construct your home to the appliances and electronics plugged in throughout your living space.
For instance, thick slabs of concrete or plaster can block Wi-Fi signals from getting into a particular area of your home, like a garage or basement.
Even large metal filing cabinets or refrigerators can stop Wi-Fi signals from broadcasting as they should.
Identifying Dead Spots in Your Home
There’s no need to hire a team of IT pros to monitor signal strength throughout your home. Just walk around with a laptop or phone and perform speed tests in every room to discover any weak areas.
Dead spots aren’t all or nothing. Even if you still have some service, weakened or slow signals throughout your house are still a problem. If you can’t connect to the internet to run a speed test, you’ll know right away that you have a problem.
Why Standard Routers Fall Short
Dead spots can be a common issue when you have a standard router broadcasting your Wi-Fi signal, even if you don’t have thousands of square feet to cover in your home.
Standard routers tend to be inadequate in terms of coverage due to obstructions, competing signals, and the fallibility of boosters.
Obstacles and Obstructions
If you have a single standard router doing all the heavy lifting for your Wi-Fi network in a large space, you’ll probably run into issues with stability and coverage.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve got the world’s most powerful router pumping out a strong signal—some obstacles in your home are just too dense!
You can strategically position your router in a location that minimizes dead spots. Still, when dealing with a single piece of hardware, you’re usually bound to a certain area of the home and will have to make compromises.
Most standard routers use two types of radio signals to broadcast Wi-Fi, but even a dual-band signal can be thwarted by other electronics and appliances in your living space.
This is particularly true if you’ve got a huge network of smart devices operating 24/7, including security systems, virtual assistants, video game consoles, and the usual array of tablets, phones, and laptop computers.
In short, a standard router only has so much power to override constant competing signals in your home. Even top-tier hardware will have a hard time broadcasting at full capacity throughout the entire space.
Extenders and Boosters
If dead spots persist in your Wi-Fi network, why not just plug in some range extenders to fix the problem areas? That’s what many home networkers do, and it works to a degree.
However, extenders and boosters only rebroadcast a signal, meaning the strength and speed of the connection may be compromised even when you’re near the Wi-Fi routers.
Plus, many houses don’t have enough ethernet ports to truly expand Wi-Fi coverage throughout the whole home. If your extender or booster relies on a gigabit ethernet cable, you might be out of luck no matter how many three-packs of boosters you buy.
Furthermore, range extenders can be a hassle to configure and require connected devices to switch Wi-Fi networks when users enter a different area of the home. It’s not exactly a seamless, easy setup.
Why Mesh Routers Work Best
Where standard routers fall short, mesh Wi-Fi systems step up to fix wireless dead zones and improve your bandwidth with an all-around fix that doesn’t require trade-offs.
Advantages of Mesh Routers
While standard routers only broadcast from one central location, mesh Wi-Fi systems use multiple satellite units throughout the house that ensure a strong and stable connection for all your devices.
You can strategically place satellite nodes anywhere, and they will communicate with the main router unit through a dedicated radio signal. Every node is just as powerful as the base unit, and you never have to compromise on performance.
When you have strong and reliable mesh Wi-Fi routers working to broadcast your Wi-Fi, dead zones and weak signal areas will become a thing of the past.
Additionally, devices in the region automatically connect to specific nodes in your mesh system based on traffic, so throughput and speed never suffer.
Ongoing Upgrades and Improvements
If you move into a larger home or build an addition on your house, will that create more dead spots despite your mesh network upgrade? What if you build up your smart home with more smart home devices and IoT systems? And what about options like MU-MiMo and dual-band Wi-Fi?
Yet another advantage of the best mesh Wi-Fi systems is that you can install more satellite nodes as needed to expand your coverage. Devices are managed automatically, so adding more to your Wi-Fi network is a breeze.
Of course, you can always reconfigure your mesh topology and access points to ensure the best internet connection and experiment with different placements until you reach Wi-Fi perfection.
Best Mesh Router Features
Ready to defeat dead spots with a powerful mesh Wi-Fi system? Make sure you look for the following features before you invest in new hardware.
Simple Setup and Configuration
The best mesh Wi-Fi routers and satellite units are quick and easy to set up.
You should also have access to a dedicated app that allows you to manage your network from your phone at any time, instead of having to access a clumsy in-browser portal like most standard routers.
Ready for Wi-Fi 6 and IoT
Wi-Fi 6 is already here, and so is the Internet of Things. The question is not if you’ll make the upgrade to these technologies, but when.
By making the leap to a Wi-Fi 6-ready mesh router, you’ll be fully geared up for the next generation of wireless, further ensuring dead spots are gone for good.
Security Controls and Extras
Router-level security systems are often included in top-tier mesh Wi-Fi systems, which is a huge advantage when connecting dozens of devices and smart home networks.
If your home security systems, appliances, and other vital tech are connected to your Wi-Fi, you’ll want the toughest protection from threats at the network level.
You may also want access to strong parental controls if you have kids accessing the web for school and recreation. These are available on some mesh Wi-Fi systems with features like content filtering and access scheduling.
Say Goodbye to Wi-Fi Dead Spots
With mesh Wi-Fi technology now accessible to the masses, there’s no reason to deal with dead spots or weak signals in your wireless network.
The time to upgrade is now, and the next generation of Wi-Fi is already here. Make the leap and bring those dead spots back to life, so you can enjoy your network as it should be.