Buffering, Stuttering and Unloadable Pages and Streams
If you’ve ever watched Netflix (or any other streaming network) from a wireless device and suffered through constant stalling and restarting, you’ve experienced “buffering.” These continual stoppages, stutters, stalls and restarts happen when the wireless signal from a network isn’t strong enough to transfer the minimal amount of data to a device for smooth, steady playback.
A weak signal can also cause low quality video playback and webpages that take excessive time to load. If the signal is weak enough and a page sufficiently complex, certain elements might never load correctly.
Wi-Fi Dead Spots
If a wireless signal is too weak to connect to the internet or if the signal is completely blocked, webpages or video streams won’t load at all. This a situation is known as a “dead spot.”
Do You Need to Improve Your Home Wi-Fi Coverage?
Do you experience weak signals or dead spots in your home Wi-Fi network? Are there certain areas where you can’t quickly or completely load a webpage or watch a streaming video? Or maybe where you can’t watch without extreme patience because of constant buffering? Maybe you’ve considered buying a cheap Wi-Fi “booster” from Amazon, Walmart or another retailer. Maybe you’ve begun noticing the “mesh networking” products offered at big box stores in recent years and are considering one of those.
GVEC’s Mesh Network Solution
If you’re a GVEC Internet customer, we recommend against cheap Wi-Fi boosters. If you’ve begun thinking about a wireless mesh network, though, you’re on the right track. However, we suggest steering clear of mesh networks found at “big box” stores and instead considering a mesh network from GVEC. Why? Read on.
What is a Mesh Network?
Mesh networks, which represent a relatively new type of signal-boosting technology, combine a primary router with up to four individual, network-dependent miniature routers. These separate routers are known as “pods” or “satellites” and communicate wirelessly with the primary router, retransmitting its signal to areas in the home with low or no coverage.
Setting up a mesh network in your home isn’t a matter of merely “boosting” your router’s signal; mesh technology can significantly expand your network’s footprint all over the premises. Areas around your home where you never previously even expected coverage—outside in your car, sitting in the driveway; the storage shed behind your home—can become viable hotspots. Dead spots and weak coverage in areas where you otherwise expect a signal can become a thing of the past.
Repeaters and Extenders: Old Guard Booster Tech
Before the arrival of mesh network solutions, the two most common devices for improving home Wi-Fi coverage were repeaters and extenders. Both device types still exist, of course, and remain quite common, but neither offers the increased signal strength or extended coverage of GVEC’s mesh network solution.
Wi-Fi Repeaters – These compact devices receive a router’s signal and retransmit it to areas in the home with weak or nonexistent coverage. Repeaters operate at only one wireless frequency, meaning they consume bandwidth just like every other device on the network. If you use Wi-Fi repeater, then, your connected devices will have overall less bandwidth to use, which can slow connection speeds. This can be especially problematic for resource-intensive applications like video streaming and online gaming or if multiple users log onto the network at the same time.
Wi-Fi Range Extenders – Wi-Fi extenders, as they’re frequently called, are comparable to repeaters, but operate at both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bandwidths, giving them a distinct advantage: Extenders receive the Wi-Fi signal at one bandwidth and retransmit it on another. This preserves the network’s full signal strength for use by connected devices. There is a drawback to extenders, though: Separating the bandwidths for receiving and retransmitting creates an extender-based network alongside the original. Users must therefore log into the extender separately to use the signal.
Why GVEC’s Mesh Network Solution is Superior to Wi-Fi Repeaters and Extenders
Unlike repeaters, mesh networks don’t deprive other devices on your network of precious bandwidth. Unlike extenders, mesh technology doesn’t create another network, separate from the one broadcasted by the primary router. Instead, this technology enhances existing bandwidth, making it stronger and further-reaching. When a device connected to a mesh network switches from the primary router to a pod or from one pod to another, the only thing the user experiences is strong, consistent internet coverage—nothing else.
Why GVEC’s Mesh Network Solution is Superior to Big Box Mesh Networks
GVEC’s mesh network solution is much better than the mesh systems found at found at big box and other retailers for a few reasons:
Cost – If you purchase a mesh network from a retail outlet, you’ll pay at least $300—and that’s just at the low end. Many of these systems cost significantly more. On the other hand, GVEC’s mesh network solution costs just $2 monthly for each pod. And you won’t need a router or other equipment upgrade, either. Most homes require no more than two pods, and many need just one.
Equipment Overkill – Mesh networks sold through major retailers offer little or no flexibility regarding how much equipment you can buy. These systems generally come with three or four pods; if one or two is all you need, you’re wasting money on unnecessary equipment.
With a mesh network from GVEC, you’ll never have to worry about wasting money on equipment overkill. We’ll start you with one pod, add another if it proves necessary and only add additional ones—up to four—if your home Wi-Fi truly benefits from the extra equipment. And remember: You’ll only pay $2 per month for every pod added to your system.
Guaranteed Support and Compatibility – If you buy a mesh system from a big box store, you’re responsible for installing it. If you need help with setup or troubleshooting, you’ll have to rely on the device manufacturer and, maybe, the retailer. If you’re a GVEC Internet customer and purchase your mesh system through us, you won’t worry about setup or installation or whether the equipment is compatible with your existing setup. We can’t guarantee any knowledge of or familiarity with a non-GVEC mesh solution, but we stand behind our equipment and installation 100 percent. We guarantee complete compatibility with your existing GVEC equipment, too.
Learn More About a Mesh Network from GVEC
To learn more about GVEC’s mesh network solution, call us at 800.699.4832. A GVEC customer service representative will be happy to explain the process of choosing the right mesh components for your home network and getting them installed and setup.