Everyone has heard of mesh Wi-Fi systems, and they’re a great alternative to traditional routers. We’re going to learn about them and why you want them for your home. On top of that, we look at the best five mesh routers on the market so that you get the best Wi-Fi for your home. Monitor all the devices connected to the network with ease.
It’s important to learn how to select the right mesh Wi-Fi system. Just like repeaters, the best Wi-Fi mesh router spreads the Wi-Fi farther than one router can do by itself. Unlike repeaters, though, each unit talks to the others intelligently, giving you a smart home setup that you want.
This means that the traffic is only routed when it needs to be. That can negate some of the slowdown that a typical mesh system offers.
Now that you’re shopping for mesh routers, you probably came across some confusing jargon, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are a few features to consider when selecting the best mesh Wi-Fi system for your smart home.
Number of Units
Most of the best mesh systems come in a two-pack, though some offer three-pack options. You may also be able to choose between them. When comparing prices, make sure you focus on how many units you’re getting.
Medium-sized homes can often use two, but larger homes need three or more.
Remember, you’re going to have a main router, and the mesh systems are placed throughout your home. That way, the single router bounces the signal to the rest of the group.
Number of Bands
Just like your standalone routers, the best mesh Wi-Fi routers come with tri-band or dual-band variations. Both do the job well, but I think the tri-band models are better. They can dedicate a full band to just communicate between your units (called backhaul). This gives you a high-speed rate than with other mesh routers. Don’t sell yourself short on the dual-band variant, though. They can work great and are often less expensive.
Most routers tell you a number in the description, such as 3000 Mbps or 1200 Mbps. This doesn’t really tell you how fast the internet is going to be. Ultimately, it depends on your ISP and internet plan. You’ve also got to consider how far away from the mesh router you are.
However, those numbers can tell you the bandwidth loads your mesh system can maintain and have available for connected devices.
In other words, this isn’t something you’re guaranteed, but it gives you a better idea of the capabilities of the mesh Wi-Fi router for speed, especially if more than one person is using it.
Some Wi-Fi mesh systems include ethernet ports on the unit’s back, but many of them don’t. If you’ve got ethernet wiring in the house or want to add some with the help of a trained electrician, you are going to get a better experience.
Wireless mesh does work in a pinch, but it might not be the best, even if you do have the tri-band feature instead of the dual-band. Well-wired mesh Wifi options are better if you’re equipped with ethernet.
Wi-Fi 6 System
Wi-Fi technology presses forward all the time, and in the last couple of years, it’s soared to be greater. The latest mesh routers offer Wi-Fi 6. In theory, this means you get faster speeds, better battery life for your laptops and mobile devices, and better handling of congestion.
Wi-Fi 6 routers can save you money. However, if you don’t have the budget for it, you can still get sufficient usage from an older model.
An advanced mesh network can come with extra features. You may get more advanced routing options and parental controls.
Netgear Orbi RBK13
The Netgear Orbi RBK13 is the top Orbi, and what we’ve been waiting for. It comes with all the features we love about the Netgear premier mesh WiFi solution, but it also includes blinding Wi-Fi 6 speeds and futureproof capabilities.
Since it features a great performance and is easy to get started, you’re going to enjoy the Netgear Orbi. We like the strong signal that can go through walls, floors, and ceilings effortlessly. Plus, there are security blankets built into the Netgear system.
If you want a high-end product, you need the Netgear Orbi. It has the fastest mesh network kit and offers whole-home capabilities. Plus, it gives a range of 5,000 square feet and works with 2.4GHz and 5GHz.
With the Netgear Orbi, you get MU-Mimo technology and four gigabit Ethernet ports!
- Malware protection
- Top performance for Wi-Fi coverage
- Excellent penetration for ceilings/walls
- More expensive
Eero Pro 6
Those who have a simple home network and want all the top features are sure to appreciate the Eero router. It doesn’t offer Wi-Fi 6, but it does have a dual-band speed. Plus, the Eero is the best bargain for mesh networking today.
Everyone can appreciate the MU-MIMO technology of the Eero. You can even hide the Eero because of the compact design. Though performance and range aren’t exceptional, you can get a decent signal without spending a lot when you choose the Eero Pro.
- Easy to use
- Extra security possible
- Small devices; easy to hide around the home
- High price tag for security options
- Low performance
One reason to like the TP-Link Deco is that it gives you whole-home Wi-Fi for all of your smart home devices. This router comes with three units and does almost everything you could imagine. This is definitely a best-buy product!
TP-Link is one of the top brands on the market. It focuses on compact extensions that can be mounted on the walls or hidden easily. That way, it doesn’t mess with your overall decor, but you still get every device hooked into the network.
There are so many reasons to like the TP-Link Deco, but the one we like most is the security options. It filters malicious content and quarantines your infected devices automatically. Though it may not be the top in performance, it is a great kit if you don’t need the best speeds.
- Network security software included
- Easy setup
- Home automation connections
- Requires the use of the Deco App
The Linksys Velop Router features three tower mesh units, so it works well for big homes. You don’t have to add other ones because it covers a 6,000 square-foot home effortlessly. Plus, it features daisy-chain support, so it moves the coverage away from the base for as far as you need.
We think the Linksys Velop could be a best buy for sure since it’s highly flexible. However, it does contain a few issues. For one, the ZigBee radio connects and controls it, but the brand doesn’t enable it for you.
However, you do get two-gigabit ethernet ports, which means your network is going to runs smoothly. Ultimately, there are no USB connections, so you may have trouble connecting it to a printer or external storage options.
- Strong medium range
- Dedicated connection between the devices
- Uses the latest Wi-Fi technology
- Inconsistent results at times
Google Nest Wifi
Those who want a great solution are sure to appreciate the Google Nest WiFi. Though it isn’t a Wi-Fi 6 mesh router, the Google WiFi provides superb performances. Plus, you can expand your coverage, even if you’re in a large estate.
Each extension piece of the Nest WiFi includes a Google WiFi speaker. Therefore, you can control it with your voice, as well as other connected devices within the house. On top of that, you get parental controls, which help you monitor what your kids do online.
- Great performance
- Built-in Google Assistant
- Easy to set up
- Minimal configuration options
- Short range
It doesn’t matter what you’re looking for in a router. Most people aren’t tech-savvy, and you shouldn’t have to be to get the best wireless internet for your house.
Typically, people have devices like a smartphone or laptop and want to connect to the internet. Ultimately, these five products have what it takes. However, we feel that the best mesh WiFi system comes from Netgear Orbi.
The Orbi is quite large when compared to others, but that makes it stronger. Netgear offers great products, and if you want a mesh router, you can’t go wrong with the newest model.
Though the price is a little higher with the Orbi, it offers tons of great security features that are going to keep you safe while you browse online. Ultimately, you want the best, and you can’t go wrong with this model. We like that it penetrates through solid objects to bring you the internet you need for streaming and other purposes.