All of us have struggles with our Wi-Fi. There are all kinds of hacks and finest practices that will help you get the perfect sign out of your router, however at a sure level a house can simply be too large for a single router to deal with. You may find yourself with rooms that get terrible sign as a result of there’s too nice a distance and are too many partitions between units and the router. Even worse, units with poor connections in your community can negatively impression the opposite devices on the Wi-Fi. If that is your predicament, a mesh Wi-Fi system will help you get out of it.
In lots of circumstances, a Wi-Fi vary extender could also be easier to show to if most of your own home is roofed and also you’re simply struggling to get that final little little bit of protection to a nook of your own home. However, in the event you’ve bought a whole lot of house and lots of obstacles in the best way of sign, a Wi-Fi mesh system might be a greater wager. These techniques unfold out round your own home, creating an excellent community. In addition they take rather a lot much less fuss to get arrange, since they often configure the community themselves. And, regardless of being composed of a number of nodes, they will create a single community, so your units will simply change to whichever node is delivering the strongest sign with out you needing to raise a finger.
Here’s a broad collection of mesh routers to select from, so you possibly can decide the mannequin that’ll work finest on your residence setup, whether or not the precedence is a large protection space or a lift to on-line gaming speeds. In the event you’re looking within the UK, click on right here to search out out the place you possibly can go to search out the perfect mesh-wifi routers. In the event you’re hoping to discover a deal, you need to head over to take a look at all of the licensed refurbished routers on eBay.
TL;DR – Listed here are the Greatest Wi-Fi Mesh System
1. Eero Professional 6
Greatest Wi-Fi Mesh System
Wi-Fi Know-how: Tri-Band IEEE 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) ● Frequency: 2.4GHz, 5GHz Lo, and 5GHz Hello ● Processor: 1.6GHz quad-core processor ● Reminiscence: 1GB ● Storage: 4GB ● Options: 4×4 MU-MIMO, Bluetooth LE 5.0, Zigbee, VPN passthrough, WPA3
Eero has lengthy been forward of the sport when it got here to mesh Wi-Fi. It was the primary with a business answer, and its newest Eero Professional 6 continues to set a excessive bar for what a mesh Wi-Fi system ought to do. This new system is prepared for severe wi-fi efficiency as a three-pack the place, relatively than having one router and a number of lower-power nodes, all three items are the identical. This implies you’ve got bought three Wi-Fi 6 items with quad-core processors, twin ethernet ports, and tri-band connectivity.
The Eero Professional 6 system can successfully cowl a 6,000 square-foot residence in high-speed wi-fi sign, and it may possibly hold a staggering variety of units linked on the identical time. Every unit additionally helps Zigbee, so the Eero Professional 6 can function a wise residence hub. Since Eero makes its units cross-compatible with each other, you too can add this setup to your current Eero community and simply make it that a lot stronger.
2. TP-Hyperlink Deco M5
Greatest Funds Wi-Fi Mesh System
Wi-Fi Technology: Dual-Band IEEE 802.11ac Wi-Fi 5 (5GHz), IEEE 802.11b (2.4GHz) ● Frequency: 2.4GHz, 5GHz ● Signal Rate: 400Mbps (2.4GHz), 867Mbps (5GHz) ● Processor: Quad-core CPU ●Features: MU-MIMO, Auto Path Selection, Self-Healing, AP Steering, Band Steering, Beamforming, Bluetooth 4.2
By their nature, mesh Wi-Fi systems tend to be a bit more expensive on account of the extra units required. TP-Link’s Deco M5 set takes some of this price pain out of the equation. For a little over $100, you can get a set with two units. For a small price bump above that, you can snag a three-unit set which should readily cover most apartments and small homes with a strong signal.
The Deco M5 is a dual-band system, offering one 2.4GHz band and one 5GHz band. This is part of where TP-Link has cut costs, as more premium options opt for tri-band setups that can dedicate one band for communication between the main unit and nodes in the mesh network. This perhaps plays into why the ideal setup for this system is with the main unit somewhere near the middle of the network and the nodes at opposite ends of the arrangement. Despite its shortcomings, if coverage is a larger concern than sheer speed, the TP-Link Deco M5 should do a decent job. If you pay for a Gigabit internet plan from your ISP, you may want to check out one of the faster kits, though.
3. Google Wifi
Best Mid-Range Wi-Fi Mesh System
Wi-Fi Technology: Dual-Band IEEE 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) ● Frequency: 2.4GHz, 5GHz ● Processor: Quad-core ● Memory: 512MB ● Features: MU-MIMO, Beamforming, Band Steering, Parental controls, WPA3
A lot of mesh setups cost a serious sum, but you don’t have to go in for one of the most premium platforms if you just need a system that covers some extra distance and a lot of devices with fairly standard Wi-Fi. The Google Wifi system is a straightforward system, and it gets bonus points for its minimalistic and compact design.
With Google Wifi, you can get a three-pack for just $200, which is enough to cover up to 4,500 square feet and up to 300 connected devices. The Google Wifi nodes use dual-band Wi-Fi 5, giving you a 2.4GHz band for connecting most devices and a 5GHz band that can deliver faster speeds for needier devices like TVs and computers. You can also take advantage of the Ethernet ports on the nodes to connect certain devices if you have a node positioned near a device that would benefit from a wired connection. The Google Wifi system is also interoperable with the Nest Wifi system, so you can add it to an existing Nest Wifi setup or add Nest devices to your Google Wifi later if find them at a lower price later on.
4. Netgear Orbi
The Best Non-Cloud Mesh Wi-Fi Option
Wi-Fi Technology: Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6 ● Frequency: 2.4GHz, 5GHz ● Signal Rate: 866Mbps (5GHz), 400Mbps (2.4GHz) ● Processor: 710MHz processor ● Memory: 512MB ● Storage: 512MB NAND Flash ●Features: Implicit & Explicit Beamforming, MU-MIMO
While Netgear’s Orbi system had some growing pains in the beginning, but several software updates have brought it up near the top of the pack, offering stellar performance at a competitive price. Orbi comes in many varieties, but the $300 Orbi Ultra-Performance kit is probably the one you’ll want to go with. You’ll get two full-featured units, each of which boast tri-band Wi-Fi with one band dedicated to backhaul between nodes.
Each unit also has four Ethernet ports so you can wire up any stationary devices, and doesn’t rely on a cloud service like most mesh systems, which is becoming rarer and rarer these days. Netgear even makes an Orbi satellite with Alexa built-in, which is a cool accessory (though its speeds match Orbi’s slower units, not the Ultra-Performance kit linked above).
Finally, Orbi also comes with the ability to subscribe to Disney’s Circle service, which is chock full of fine-grained parental controls like time limits, bedtime, rewards, and more. If you have kids, this can be a valuable addition for $5 per month.
Netgear’s track record with the Orbi is a bit spottier than Eero’s, though, and despite a few more features, a seemingly higher-than-normal number of customer complaints makes us hesitant to recommend it as the go-to for everyone. Netgear has improved their system a lot, though, and time will tell if they’ve gotten better at releasing new features without glitches.
Ultimately, both systems have their advantages—Orbi with its higher number of Ethernet ports and parental controls, Eero with its security features and smaller design—and which one you choose will depend a lot on what you need.
5. Linksys Atlas Max 6E
Best Wi-Fi 6E Mesh System
Wi-Fi Technology: Tri-Band IEEE 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6E) ● Frequency: 2.4GHz, 5GHz, 6GHz ● Signal Rate: 1,147Mbps (2.4GHz), 2,402Mbps (5GHz), 4,804Mbps (6GHz) ● Processor: 2.2GHz quad-core processor ● Memory: 1GB ● Storage: 512MB NAND Flash ● Features: 4 x 4 MU-MIMO, WPA-3 encryption, USB 3.0 port
The Linksys Atlas Max 6E is built for some of the most demanding home Wi-Fi setups, and its speeds won’t leave you hanging. This three-node mesh Wi-Fi system has heaps of bandwidth, allowing it to communicate with all of your client devices and transmit data between nodes even under heavy loads. How heavy are we talking? Well, the 2.4GHz band alone can handle over 1,000Mbps, and with all three bands combined, each node offers up a signal rate of 8,400Mbps.
Showing its commitment to performance, the Linksys Atlas Max 6E includes 4×4 MU-MIMO on not just the 6GHz band but also on the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands. That not only makes the connections to client devices more capable but also helps with communication between nodes. And, since this kit is built for speed, you’ll even find a 5Gb WAN port on each unit to ensure you’ve got a ton of bandwidth for even the best home internet connection.
6. TP-Link Deco X20
Best Secure Mesh Wi-FI System
Wi-Fi Technology: Dual-Band AX1800 IEEE 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) ● Frequency: 2.4GHz, 5GHz ● Signal Rate: 1,201Mbps (5GHz), 574Mbps (2.4GHz) ● Processor: 1GHz quad-core processor ● Features: MU-MIMO, OFDMA, 1024-QAM, Band steering, beamforming, optional ethernet backhaul, WPA3
Your home network is one of the most useful things you can set up in your house. But, with more aspects of your home (especially with smart home devices added to the mix) relying on the Wi-Fi connection, you’ll want to make sure you get a device that has your security in mind. The TP-Link Deco X20 mesh Wi-Fi system can do just that.
The Deco X20 is a premium mesh Wi-Fi kit with the latest in connectivity through Wi-Fi 6. This allows for ultra-fast communication between the nodes and your devices. They also support the new WPA3 Wi-Fi security standard. TP-Link tops the kit off with built-in antivirus protection, parental controls to keep your children from accessing inappropriate content, and a lifetime subscription to TP-Link HomeCare for easy management of your network and these security features.
7. ARRIS SURFboard mAX
Best Budget Wi-Fi 6 Mesh System
Wi-Fi Technology: Tri-Band AX6600 IEEE 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) ● Frequency: 2.4GHz, 5GHz, 5GHz ● Signal Rate: 4,800Mbps (5GHz backhaul), 1,200Mbps (5GHz), 600Mbps (2.4GHz) ● Features: 4×4 dedicated backhaul
Wi-Fi 6 routers don’t come cheap, and neither do mesh Wi-Fi systems. But, for a hardware setup that combines both Wi-Fi 6 and mesh capabilities, the ARRIS SURFboard mAX comes at a reasonable price, especially when considering it has some high-end features that will make for a strong home internet experience. You can get two units for $400.
Many affordable mesh options will stick to dual-band technology and often only feature Wi-Fi 5. These units, by contrast, have a 2.4GHz band and two 5GHz bands. One of those 5GHz bands serves as a dedicated backhaul between the routers with 4×4 MIMO, allowing them to pass data back and forth at up to 4,800MBps. Meanwhile, you’ll get an extensive 5GHz network with speeds up to 1,200Mbps to really let you take advantage of whatever speeds your ISP provides, while Wi-Fi 6 lets even the 2.4GHz connection offer high speeds up to 600Mbps. And, if you need any devices wired, each unit has a Gigabit Ethernet port.
8. Nighthawk Mesh WiFi 6 System (MK83)
Best Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Router
Wi-Fi Technology: Tri-Band AX1800 IEEE 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) ● Frequency: 2.4GHz, 5GHz, 5GHZ ● Signal Rate: 1,800 Mbps (5GHz), 1,200Mbps (5GHz), 600Mbps (2.4GHz) ● Processor: Quad-Code 1.5GHz processor ● Memory: 512MB ● Storage: 256MB Flash ● Features: QoS, OFDMA, Ethernet backhaul, WPA-3
Netgear has spruced up its Nighthawk mesh Wi-Fi system with the new Nighthawk Mesh WiFi 6 MK83 platform. While the predecessor to this mesh setup ran dual Wi-Fi bands, this latest model bumps that up to tri-band Wi-Fi to include an additional 5GHz signal. Between the three bands, the system is able to max out at 3,600Mbps of bandwidth, which can help keep speeds between your devices and the nodes uncongested. You’ll also get the option to set up your network with a wired backhaul for more consistent performance.
For its functionality, this Nighthawk system is actually surprisingly affordable, coming in at just $400 for a three unit setup that includes a base station and two satellites. The base station and nodes all feature multiple ethernet ports, so you have the option to wire up select devices. And, keep in mind that this is a Wi-Fi 6 system, so client devices that use Wi-Fi 6 can take full advantage of the speeds available.
9. Google Nest Wifi
Best Wi-Fi Mesh System for Smart Homes
Wi-Fi Technology: Dual-Band IEEE 802.11s ● Frequency: 2.4GHz, 5GHz ● Wifi Point: Dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) IEEE s ● Processor: 1.4GHz quad-core processor ● Memory: 1GB ● Storage: 4GB Flash ● Features: 4×4 MU-MIMO, Bluetooth LE, WPA-3 encryption, Transmit beamforming, Google Assistant built-in, 40mm speaker driver
Google’s Nest Wifi mesh network system is ready to make your smart home that little bit smarter. Aside from offering the benefits of a powerful mesh network, each Nest Wifi point also doubles as a Google Assistant smart speaker. That means you’ll not just be expanding your network as you add Nest devices, but you’ll also be ensuring easier control over your smarthome.
This system is designed with smart homes in mind, and is aiming to support the 802.15.4 Thread on the 2.4GHz band for future smart home connectivity, and each point in the system can support up to 100 connected devices.
10. Asus ZenWiFi ET8
Fastest Mesh Wi-Fi System
Wi-Fi Technology: Tri-Band IEEE 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6E) ● Frequency: 2.4GHz, 5GHz, 6GHz ● Signal Rate: 574Mbps (2.4GHz), 1201Mbps (5GHz), 4804Mbps (6GHz) ● Beacons: Tri-band (2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz) IEEE 802.11ax ● Processor: 1.5GHz quad-core processor ● Memory: 512GB ● Storage: 256MB ● Features: MU-MIMO, beamforming, OFDMA, up to 160MHz bandwidth, 2.5Gb WAN, USB 3.1 Gen 1, Alexa, IFTTT, Adaptive QoS, WAN Aggregation
A lot of mesh Wi-Fi setups may be focused on coverage of the number of devices you’ll be able to support, but the Asus ZenWiFi ET8 system is focused on speed, and it delivers. This mesh system combines identical base stations, so you can use nodes interchangeably. And, the system doesn’t settle for just Wi-Fi 6 but actually steps it up to Wi-Fi 6E. That upgrade brings you a 6GHz band on top of the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands that’ll support more of your legacy devices.
With Wi-Fi 6E, you’ll be looking at some extreme bandwidth. The 5GHz band is capable of Gigabit speeds, and the 6GHz band can hit 4,804Mbps. The link between the nodes in the mesh system will also stay strong thanks to these available speeds. Topping it off, the system includes 2.5GbE ports for the WAN connection, so these are ready for extremely fast internet connections. And, they have USB ports on them, so you can easily set them up for fast network storage.
What to Look for in a Wi-Fi Mesh System
The first thing you should consider when getting a Wi-Fi Mesh system is whether you need one in the first place. Wi-Fi mesh systems are mostly useful for large houses, apartments, or just homes with a lot of walls—all situations where a single wireless router would have trouble providing a strong signal everywhere.
If you live in a studio or one-bedroom apartment, you’re going to be better off with just buy a single router and the same goes for single floor houses. However, if you start encountering odd Wi-Fi dead spots in your home this is exactly what Wi-Fi Extenders and Wi-Fi Mesh systems are designed to combat. Wi-Fi Extenders are a good solution if you already own a router and just need to strengthen your wireless signal in part of your living space, but they require you to manually switch networks. Wi-Fi Mesh systems on the other hand automatically switch you between the base unit and satellites to ensure you’re getting the best signal at all times.
Where to Get the Best Mesh Wi-Fi in the UK
How to make the most of your Wi-Fi Mesh System
Mesh Wi-Fi is an impressive technology, but each unit in the system is still a wireless access point at the end of the day. That means you need to consider many of the same home network best practices with each node as you would with a standard wireless router.
To ensure each node is able to perform it’s very best, you should carefully consider positioning. You’ll want to keep nodes out in the open (don’t stuff them in closet), ideally high up, and away from any barriers that can block the signal, especially metal barriers.
Some systems may automatically try to optimize the network, but if you live in an area with a dense population, this can be difficult. If you really want to get the most out of your network, you should try to see how many networks you can already detect in your home, and consider setting up your home network on different channels than the ones you see all your neighbors using.
Another smart step you can take to get the most out of your Wi-Fi is actually to use Ethernet connections wherever you can. If you have a smart TV right next to a node, you should plug it directly into the node. This will give the TV a more stable connection, will cut down on the signal clutter in the area, and will improve the wireless connections for other devices that don’t have a wired connection as a backup.
You also need to treat your mesh Wi-Fi like any other wireless network and give strong consideration to its security. You’ll want to give it a strong password and disable unnecessary extra features like WPS, which could let people get around your password with the press of a button. You might also consider whether you want to create an additional guest network you can let visitors access that is walled away from the main network and can have more frequent password changes.
Whitson Gordon is a writer, gamer, and tech nerd who has been building PCs for 10 years. He eats potato chips with chopsticks so he doesn’t get grease on his mechanical keyboard.
Mark Knapp is a regular contributor to IGN and an irregular Tweeter on Twitter @Techn0Mark