Not bigger router but fleet of smaller ones now the way to go

IN EVERY home, some poor soul is responsible for keeping the internet running. The job is a lot like voodoo: Netflix conked out? Unplug the router, then plug it in again. Wi-Fi dead zone in the far room? Give those antennas a wiggle.

So I’ve got big news for you home tech-support personnel: You can stop faking it now. A significant overhaul of the router, that blinking box of frustration that beams wireless internet, is making Wi-Fi much, much better at covering an entire home. It’ll just cost you much, much more.

This next-generation Wi-Fi isn’t about bigger routers — it’s about deploying a fleet of smaller ones. Routers struggle with long distances and interference, but can work great in teams. So in large or hard-to-network homes, the new idea is to put an access point upstairs, downstairs and in that troublesome side room. They link to each other wirelessly, forming a “mesh” that spreads internet around the house like butter on a hot bagel. Not long ago, a really, really good Wi-Fi router cost $200. Now these mesh systems cost $350 and up, way up. Are those prices worth it? Ask yourself this: How much would you pay not to have to worry about Wi-Fi anymore? When a home mesh system called Eero debuted last February, I liked it so much I bought a set of three for myself — for a budget-busting $500….more

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