Hey Lifehacker, I'm considering using a iPad mini as a dedicated media 'hub', using Airplay to send Plex, YouTube and other content to a gen 3 Apple TV. Currently I'm using an Airport Extreme for Wi-Fi, along with a separate NetComm modem for internet connectivity. Is there any advantage to creating a second dedicated Wi-Fi network just for my media needs, or can I stay with the one network? Thanks, Media Mogul
Picture: Jon Hume
In short -– there's not going to be any significant benefit based on my experience.
I was faced with a similar question when setting up my digital lounge room a while ago and concluded that it was easier to just use a single network. Running different networks can be complex with the need to run multiple DHCP servers with different address ranges and other configuration required.
From a performance point of view, unless you're hitting your wireless access points with lots of devices – and for consumer access points I’d say around 15 devices is getting quite a heavy load – you're unlikely to hit any significant performance bumps.
I assume you're running a recently made router so you'll be using 802.11n. If you're running an older 802.11g router then upgrading to a more recent device – one that runs 802.11ac would be my suggestion – will ensure that you get enough wireless bandwidth around the house.
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