The Wi-Fi Alliance, the organization that oversees the standard of Wi-Fi usage, has introduced a new standard called EasyMesh. It allows mesh routers made by one manufacturer to work with models made by other companies, as long as they support EasyMesh.
Wi-Fi mesh networks have been used to strengthen home Wi-Fi in the past years. Although the technology and related products are becoming popular, there’s a limitation, which is users need to buy all routers from the same company. In other words, if consumers want to switch the brand of their home mesh Wi-Fi, they will need to replace every unit.
EasyMesh is likely to simplify things. If Linksys and Netgear, for example, both make their products EasyMesh-compatible, consumers will be able to use Netgear’s Orbi Outdoor access point with a Linksys Velop router.
Netgear currently is the only manufacturer that offers an outdoor mesh access point. However, the product only works with Netgear Orbi routers.
The Wi-Fi Alliance expects to see more consumers starting to adopt mesh networks with EasyMesh.
Implemented in the software layer, EasyMesh isn’t going to standardize everything of mesh routers. It focuses only on letting routers from various manufacturers to communicate and work with one another.
Other things that mesh routers do, including prioritizing transmissions, broadcasting signals and parental controls, are still decided individually by each manufacturer.
The Wi-Fi Alliance sees EasyMesh as a means to possibly inspire innovation in making routers smart. When each router device can work together, manufacturers are likely to invest more time and effort on creating premium features.
For router companies, however, forcing consumers to stay with one company is good for the business. When homeowners bought a mesh router from A brand, they are required to buy access points from A brand too.
There have been no router companies releasing support statements after the unveiling of EasyMesh. Existing mesh routers can be updated to support EasyMesh, but it depends on whether manufacturers choose to do so.
The Wi-Fi Alliance doesn’t have an estimate on when the first EasyMesh router will hit the market.