What is Wi-Fi EasyMesh?
The growing popularity of Wi-Fi mesh networks lies with their core benefit – fast, reliable Wi-Fi in every corner of the house. However, as connectivity and wireless technology continue to evolve, the number of available options from different vendors hit the market at an ever-increasing rate.
Wi-Fi companies such as Eero, Netgear, Google or Mercku often implement a proprietary mesh networking protocol that only allows their mesh systems to mesh with each other. The networking principles and features between the different mesh systems from these providers are mostly the same but, all of them operate independently. For example, it’s not possible to mesh one Mercku M2 Queen router with two Eero nodes to create one network. With so many options, there was a lack of a reliable industry standard for mesh networks that operators and consumers could reference when selecting their next best Wi-Fi mesh solution.
Historically, the Wi-Fi Alliance leads new initiatives around Wi-Fi standards, and in 2018, they introduced EasyMesh certification to make a mesh industry standard a reality. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED EasyMesh™ is a Wi-Fi Alliance® certification program that brings a standards-based approach to multiple AP home Wi-Fi networks. EasyMesh establishes controller routers to manage and coordinate activity among the mesh nodes and ensures that each AP does not interfere with the other, bringing both expanded, uniform coverage and more efficient service.
Source: Wi-Fi Alliance
One key benefit of this standard is allowing consumers to combine EasyMesh certified Wi-Fi access points from multiple vendors to create unified mesh networks - regardless of the product line or brand. This feature gives consumers and operators more freedom in deploying their Wi-Fi 5 or Wi-Fi 6 Mesh systems in the future.
What are the benefits of the Wi-Fi EasyMesh standard?
Wi-Fi routers that are Wi-Fi EasyMesh certified will provide a list of useful features to improve the overall user experience. Some of the most important are:
- Effortless set up: Wi-Fi routers that support EasyMesh will be able to quickly discover each other and set up the network with as little user intervention as possible
- Flexible deployment: This allows the user to get the best placement of multiple access points in their unique environment, providing extended coverage with high throughput
- Client steering: AP coordination to steer a client to a specific AP for optimal user experience and effective load balancing
- Intelligent Networking: Mesh points can self-organize and self-optimize by collecting data on network performance and health, and respond to changing conditions to maximize the performance
As with every new technological standard, there are some limitations to consider as well. For instance, a standardized protocol could mean the loss of unique network features from individual equipment manufacturers. Moreover, it can be hard to pinpoint the cause of bottlenecking or other performance issues on the network with a variety of different APs.
As Wi-Fi Alliance is continuing to develop the standard, EasyMesh R2 brings about even more enhancements to Mesh networking, with standardized Wi-Fi diagnostics, improved channel management, traffic separation mode and enhanced client steering, which we will cover in the future blogs (subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss it!).
Last year, we released the Mercku M6 Wi-Fi 6 Mesh system, which supports EasyMesh R2 standard out of the box. We can’t wait for our users to start deploying the M6 in their custom Mesh networks - alongside other best EasyMesh certified routers in 2021!