Are you tired of dealing with slow Wi-Fi speeds and dead zones in your home? It’s time to upgrade to a mesh Wi-Fi router. Mesh systems are the latest and greatest in home networking technology, offering fast and reliable Wi-Fi coverage throughout your entire house.
But with so many options on the market, how do you choose the best one for your needs? In this ultimate guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about mesh Wi-Fi routers, including their benefits, features, and key considerations when choosing one. From ease of use to range and speed, we’ll cover it all so that you can make an informed decision and enjoy seamless internet connectivity in every corner of your home.
🤔 What Is A Mesh Wi-Fi Router?
A mesh Wi-Fi router or system is a game-changer for those looking to expand their Wi-Fi network coverage. Instead of relying on a single Wi-Fi access point, a mesh system joins two or more access points together to create a seamless and uninterrupted network.
This is particularly useful for larger homes or buildings that may have Wi-Fi dead zones due to thick walls or unusual layouts. With a mesh Wi-Fi router, you can ensure that every corner of your home has fast and reliable internet access. Plus, the system can be easily expanded to cover even larger areas as needed. home.
🌟 The Best Mesh Wi-Fi Routers
💡 Asus ZenWiFi AX XT8 (2-Pack)
The Asus ZenWiFi AX XT8 is a mouthful to say, but it’s worth the effort. This top-ranking router boasts speedy performance, an impressive range, and plenty of extra features. I had the pleasure of testing out the two-pack and was pleasantly surprised by the straightforward setup through the mobile app, which took only a few minutes.
The only caveat is that you need to keep the node close during setup before moving it to its final location. These routers come in either black or white and are quite large, but they’re unobtrusive and look quite stylish. Their side vents help dissipate heat, which is essential for maintaining a smooth operation. And with three gigabit Ethernet ports per router (not to mention a 2.5 gigabit WAN port and USB 3.1 port), this router’s generosity knows no bounds. All in all, the Asus ZenWiFi AX XT8 is a solid choice for anyone looking for top-of-the-line performance and features from their router.
The XT8 is a true gem when it comes to Wi-Fi routers. Whether you’re looking for short, medium, or long-range coverage, this system consistently ranks at the top in terms of speed and reliability. And what’s more, speeds never drop! But that’s not all – the inclusion of AiProtection Pro takes this system to the next level. With anti-malware and parental controls powered by Trend Micro, you can rest assured that your network is protected from threats while also keeping your family safe online.
The Asus ZenWiFi AX XT8 (2-Pack) mobile app is a treasure trove of options, and the web interface takes it to another level. You can easily split bands or set up a guest network without any hassle. What’s more, the app does a great job of recognizing most devices, which can be a lifesaver when dealing with complicated hardware names in router apps. Plus, the support for AiMesh is a real game-changer.
💡 TP-Link Deco S4 (3-Pack)
The Deco S4 from TP-Link is a great option for those looking for a mesh system that won’t break the bank. While many mesh systems can be quite expensive, this three-pack of routers comes at a reasonable price while still offering wide coverage and stable connectivity. The cylindrical design is sleek and familiar, fitting in well with most home decor.
Setup through the Deco app was a breeze and didn’t cause any headaches or frustrations. Each router boasts two-gigabit ports, making it easy to connect multiple devices without sacrificing speed. And if you need even more coverage, you can wirelessly link up to 10 nodes with additional ones priced at just $50 apiece.
The Deco S4 may not support Wi-Fi 6 but don’t let that fool you. This dual-band system is a force to be reckoned with, delivering impressive performance even under heavy loads. Whether you’re streaming multiple videos or engaging in intense gaming sessions, the Deco S4 can handle it all with ease. While its range is generally good, keep in mind that speed drops off quickly when faced with obstacles or distance. If you’re not yet ready to leap into the world of Wi-Fi 6, or if stability and range are more important to you than sheer speed, the Deco S4 is still an excellent choice.
TP-Link’s budget mesh system may not offer all the bells and whistles of its more expensive counterparts, but it still gets the job done. While there are no additional security features, the parental controls do include basic filters and time limits for added peace of mind. The QoS feature allows for device prioritization, although it’s worth noting that this is a Wi-Fi 5 system without WPA3 security support. However, you can create guest networks and split the 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz bands for added customization. The Deco app may be a little slow and basic, but its simplicity is intentional for those who prefer the ease of use over advanced tinkering.
💡 TP-Link Deco X20 AX1800 (3-Pack)
The TP-Link Deco X20 AX1800 (3-pack) is an excellent choice for families who need reliable and secure Wi-Fi coverage in their homes. With parental controls and antivirus protection included, this package offers peace of mind for parents who want to keep their children safe online. The three routers are easy to set up and have a sleek cylinder design that seamlessly blends into any home décor. Each router also features two gigabit Ethernet ports, making it easy to connect your devices to the network.
The app is user-friendly, making it easy to set up a guest network with just a few clicks. What’s more, TP-Link’s HomeCare is free and offers antivirus protection powered by Trend Micro along with robust parental controls. You can easily set up profiles with time limits and scheduled bedtimes, apply basic filters by age, and review activity on both the app and website.
The Quality of Service feature lets you prioritize activities like gaming or streaming or set priority devices. And if that wasn’t enough, you can split 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz bands to show as two separate Wi-Fi networks – making this device a must-have for anyone looking for a top-quality Wi-Fi experience!
The TP-Link Deco X20 AX1800 (3-pack) may not have the most impressive web interface, but fear not! The easy-to-use app is here to save the day. While the app may be a bit slow to update and still has some limited settings, it’s still a better option than the basic web interface. Unfortunately, the device recognition could use some work, as it often lists obscure hardware manufacturer names instead of recognizable device names, making it difficult to figure out which devices to add to your kid’s profiles. Despite these minor setbacks, the system is fast and dependable enough for most average homes.
💡 Eero 6 (3-Pack)
If you’re in the market for a new mesh Wi-Fi system, Amazon’s Eero 6 should be at the top of your list. Not only is it easy to set up, but it also offers wide coverage and delivers stable connectivity. The sleek design of the Eeros makes them a great addition to any home, as they blend seamlessly into any table or shelf.
The compact design may not leave much room for ports, but with two-gigabit ports on the routers and none on the nodes, you’ll have all the connectivity you need. While it may not be one of the fastest systems out there, especially at longer distances, the speeds from the nodes are still impressive and comparable to those from the main router.
The mobile app of the Eero 6 mesh system offers a user-friendly interface that provides an easy-to-understand overview of connected devices. With just a few taps, you can pause the internet, set up a guest network, create profiles, group devices, and set schedules. You can even establish bedtimes if you’re worried about your kids staying up too late.
However, some of the more advanced features like content filtering, parental controls, ad blocking, and activity insights require an Eero Plus subscription that costs $10 per month or $100 per year. While this may seem like an additional expense, it’s worth noting that these features could provide an extra layer of security for your family and give you greater control over your home network.
Eero, an Amazon company, is revolutionizing the world of routers with its innovative features and Alexa support. With the Eero skill enabled, users can now pause the internet with a simple voice command through their Echo device- perfect for those moments when your child simply won’t put down the computer! Not only that, but the Eero 6 router also supports Thread and doubles up as a ZigBee smart home hub in the same way as Echo devices. This allows you to easily connect some smart lighting, smart locks, and other ZigBee devices directly to your router without needing any additional hardware.
Eero is a great option for those who value simplicity in their home networking setup. With its user-friendly interface, you won’t have to dig into complicated settings to get started. However, there are some drawbacks to the Eero systems. One major drawback is the lack of Quality of Service features for prioritizing activities, which can be frustrating for users with high bandwidth needs.
Additionally, Eero systems do not allow you to separate bands, which can limit your ability to customize your network. Finally, in my testing, I found that all three Eero systems were comparatively slow in transferring a 2-GB file from one PC to another connected to a node. Even the fastest system, the Pro 6, took over 15 minutes – a significant amount of time in today’s fast-paced world. Despite these cons, Eero remains a popular choice for those seeking simplicity and ease of use in their home networking setups.
💡 Google Nest Wifi Pro (3-Pack)
Mesh systems have become increasingly popular in recent years, and Google’s Nest Wifi Pro is a prime example of why. This system is incredibly simple to use, with no app installation required – you can add it via Google Home. The shiny pill-shaped routers come in packs of one, two, or three, and are available in four colors. They are also small enough to sit unobtrusively on a shelf, making them perfect for any home or office setting. Each router boasts two 1-gigabit ports and the setup process is super simple – just scan QR codes and follow positioning feedback to ensure a strong signal.
The Nest Wifi Pro router is a reliable and solid choice for those looking to cover large areas and connect multiple devices. With coverage of up to 2,200 square feet and the ability to connect up to 100 devices, this router is perfect for both homes and commercial settings.
During testing, the performance was consistently strong with minimal glitches or buffering. However, while the speed was good, it came mid-table in raw speed at short, mid, and long range. The Wi-Fi section in the Google Home app is basic but functional with options such as guest network support, parental controls, and device prioritization. Overall, the Nest Wifi Pro is a dependable option for those in need of expansive coverage and multiple-device connectivity.
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✍️ Final Words
Choosing the best mesh Wi-Fi router for your home can seem overwhelming, but with the right knowledge and considerations, you can make an informed decision that meets your needs. Mesh routers offer many benefits, from seamless connectivity to ease of use and enhanced coverage. By focusing on key factors such as range, speed, and compatibility with your devices, you can narrow down your options and choose a router that will provide reliable internet access throughout your entire home. With the right mesh Wi-Fi router in place, you can enjoy fast and reliable internet connectivity without any dead zones or interruptions. So why wait? Start exploring your options today and take the first step towards seamless internet connectivity in every corner of your home.