Mesh Wi-Fi routers are all the rage, but they currently force you to purchase the same router in order to take advantage of the functionality. That’s not always the best option, as mixing-and-matching could be the better way forward to ensure the home gets exactly what it needs. Thankfully, routers from different manufacturers will soon be able to form a mesh network thanks to a new industry standard called EasyMesh.

EasyMesh will set a common standard for mesh routers to work with ones manufactured by other companies, and the first device to adhere to that standard has finally arrived. Arris has announced the VAP4641 Wireless Extender and it’s the first to be EasyMesh-certified. The extender uses 802.11ac wave 2 technology, and will pair with other certified devices when they finally become available.

Other manufacturers have yet to say when they plan to add EasyMesh support, and Arris’ device has yet to receive an official release date. So installers will have to make do with routers without mesh support, or opt for a set made by the same manufacturer.

Mesh routers are beneficial for custom installers, as more often than not the type of clients installing a smart home or home cinema are the type of clients that have large houses that a typical router won’t cover. It’s also simpler for that client to run everything off one Wi-Fi network, rather than having to rely on several different networks throughout the home. Mesh networks also have less of a chance of being affected by interference, something that is important to take into account when thinking about a myriad of internet-connected devices dotted around the house.

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