Fewer LAN ports on Mesh devices
If you have bought any WiFi Mesh system recently or if you have just looked at different options to buy them, surely you have seen that they do not come with many Ethernet ports. In fact, if you look at older versions, you may see that they did have more ports to connect cable equipment, such as computers, televisions, etc.
What has made this so? The truth is that the current trend is that we increasingly use Wi-Fi networks and less the LAN cable. We have a lot of devices around us that don’t even have the ability to use a cable. If we think about him Internet of Things, which are all these devices that we have at home that can connect to the Internet, such as smart light bulbs, temperature meters, video players … We will see that most of them connect wirelessly.
Therefore, this is the main reason why WiFi Mesh devices have currently been decreasing the number of Ethernet ports. Basically users will not need them. Perhaps with one on each satellite is more than enough or even that only the base device has ports.
This also explains why there are many models that have not been overly concerned with offering Gigabit Ethernet ports and simply have Fast ethernet, which will limit the maximum speed when connecting a computer by cable. Again, the end user will most likely not even use that port.
But what we mentioned is linked to the quality of Wi-Fi itself. It is a fact that speed and quality today have nothing to do with that of a few years ago. We can surf wirelessly and have practically the same speed as wired, in addition to good stability. This, just a few years ago, was unthinkable and it used to be much more advisable to navigate by wire.
Save costs, a reason for brands
Now, do brands have benefits by not including so many Ethernet ports? This will undoubtedly be a cost savings important. This will help the WiFi Mesh models to be more competitive, have a lower cost that lowers what the end user will pay and, also, a higher profit margin for the brands.
At the end of the day, it is not the same to manufacture a WiFi Mesh system with three satellites, for example, with three Gigabit Ethernet ports each, than to have those satellites without ports or that only one of them has one and that is also Fast Ethernet. You can see a list of the fastest Mesh devices.
In short, WiFi Mesh devices increasingly bring fewer Ethernet ports built-in. The main reason is that user habits have changed and the need to actually use the cable has decreased. Now we have more computers that connect wirelessly. But the improvement of wireless technology has also played a role, as well as an opportunity for the manufacturers themselves to save costs.