New Wi-Fi certification program will make interoperable mesh networks a reality

Being chained to a single-vendor wireless mesh network is annoying so wouldn’t it be great if you could extend your Wi-Fi network by adding additional routers made by different vendors?

This is about to become a reality as the Wi-Fi Alliance today unveiled a brand new certification program. Dubbed EasyMesh and aimed at makers of wireless devices, it should pave the way for routers capable of supporting platform-agnostic wireless mesh networks.

Currently, customers who want to extend their wireless network must choose mesh networking products from the same brand. The new certification program envisions multi-device mesh networks where customers are free to choose one or more EasyMesh-certified access points from brands different from their main network gateway.

Future devices will provide EasyMesh compatibility out of the box while existing devices will need to be upgraded to EasyMesh with a future firmware update. Reach out to your router vendor to inform yourself on their roadmap to EasyMesh.

This is relevant in light of Apple’s definite confirmation that it’s discontinued the AirPort and Time Capsule products. The iPhone maker even offered tips on choosing third-party routers.

“For areas that are larger or more difficult to cover, mesh Wi-Fi systems offer flexible coverage, with multiple nodes that make it easy to provide whole-home Wi-Fi,” Apple writes.

The support document caution those who’d set up or extend their wireless network to check the requirements of their router in terms of compatibility with other routers or nodes.

“Creating or extending a mesh network might require that each router and node be from the same manufacturer,” the company cautions.

Image: Linksys’s Velop Wi-Fi mesh networking devices