Ethernet Backhaul: How It Compares to Mesh Networks

Ethernet backhaul is one of the ways to improve the internet reach without compromising its speed and latency. 

It’s the ideal alternative to installing wireless mesh networks by solving problems like WiFi dead zones. 

In this guide, we explore the ideal scenarios when to use ethernet backhaul at the expense of mesh WiFi. 

Besides, we’ll elaborate on the ethernet backhaul setup process and its upsides and downsides.

Hence, for comprehensive insights on ethernet backhaul, read on. 

Table of Contents

What Is Ethernet Backhaul?

It’s a setup that involves using an ethernet cable to connect the nodes of a mesh network

The cardinal role is to improve the internet’s strength and stability because it is a wired connection. 

Primarily, the setup results in improved data transfer between the access points and the mesh clients. 

Also, it grants additional flexibility to the placement of WiFi access points. 

The distance is not an issue again because of the wired connection. 

Moreover, the setup provides you with additional setup options. 

You can connect your smart TV or game consoles to access points far away from the mesh clients. It will allow you to use the devices at top speeds. 

When to Use Ethernet Backhaul?

A Patch cable in an ethernet port. 

A Patch cable in an ethernet port. 

Here are some of the scenarios when using ethernet backhaul makes more sense than a wireless mesh network: 

  • If parts in your home are out of the WiFi range, an ethernet backhaul will be highly useful. 
  • Also, some walls are so thick that WiFi signals cannot permeate even when you use mesh networks. The solution is to have an ethernet backhaul. 
  • Thirdly, you need an ethernet backhaul if you have many appliances that emit waves, such as refrigerators and microwaves. The waves interfere with the wireless signal transmission and thus could impact the strength of connections. 
  • Moreover, ethernet backhaul is the best option if you are an organization requiring strong internet for large file transfers. 

The bottom line is that a wireless connection will never match ethernet backhaul’s high speed, low latency, and stability. 

Hence, a wired connection is the best bet in a scenario where these factors are cardinal considerations. 

How to Enable Ethernet Wired Backhaul?

Connecting a Network Cable to a Computer. 

Connecting a Network Cable to a Computer. 

An ethernet-wired backhaul’s essence is connecting mesh nodes to the modem via ethernet cables. Here are the main steps to follow: 

  • First, you must connect all the mesh nodes to the same WiFi. All node models have an application that you’ll use to facilitate this connection. 
  • Next, place the individual nodes at strategic points and connect them via ethernet cables. Immediately, the connection will be active, and you can start accessing the internet. 
  • During the ethernet connection, beware of a setup leading to a network loop. Ideally, you should only connect a switch to the first node and not directly to the router. Alternatively, you can do away with the switch and connect the nodes directly. 

Pros and Cons of Ethernet Backhaul

An ethernet cable. 

An ethernet cable. 


  • The primary upside is that users can access the internet faster than wireless backhaul. There’s unlimited bandwidth with ethernet backhaul. Thus, users will experience speeds close to those provided by the ISP
  • Secondly, the internet is stable throughout primarily because there are no network interferences at all times. Stable internet means you can access 


  • The high cost of setting up an ethernet backhaul is the main problem with this option. The equipment for this setup is highly costly as you also need to buy ethernet cables. 
  • Also, there are physical limitations to an ethernet backhaul in that you cannot move the components after setting them. Conversely, a wireless mesh network can easily disassemble when needed and set up again elsewhere. 

What can I do if the Ethernet Backhaul is not Taking Effect?

Network cables are connected to a switch.

Network cables are connected to a switch.

You may encounter a scenario whereby the ethernet backhaul is not operational and cannot stream on TV. Here are the measures to fix the problem. 

  • First, check if the node you’re using features an IPTV port. If this is the port you have connected your secondary node to, it’s the wrong one, as it’s probably reserved just for IPTV. 
  • Hence, connecting the secondary node to another port on the primary node makes sense. 
  • Also, check your ethernet cable, as it could be the problem. 
  • Again, the issue could be the switch. Hence, to diagnose a problem, directly connect the primary node to the secondary node and see if it works. If the connection issue is solved, the problem is the switch, and you should replace it. 


You want a stable connection, but your wireless mesh networks cannot guarantee that. The solution is to use an ethernet backhaul. 

It is easy to set up and offers better speeds, lower latency, and more stable internet than wireless mesh connections. 

Hence, set it up via the abovementioned steps, and you’re ready to go.