What are the Best Mesh Wi-Fi Systems?
The best mesh Wi-Fi system for your home or business delivers a robust and speedy connection ideal for working from home, gaming, and streaming. A strong mesh system goes beyond a traditional router by pushing wide-ranging Wi-Fi connections to eliminate dead spots in the areas farthest away from your router.
If you are looking for the ideal mesh Wi-Fi system to create a single, seamless network that supports multiple devices, we’ve compiled a list of top-rated products for your consideration.
The big players
Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8)
The ZenWiFi AX is a best-in-class Wi-Fi mesh system equipped with the latest 802.11ax hardware to eliminate wireless dead zones throughout your home. It comes with top-notch parental controls, anti-malware software, a 2.5 LAN port, and loads of other features to meet all of your needs. It’s easy to install and delivers outstanding throughput scores compared to other devices in the same category. The device features two identical nodes to provide strong networks in homes of up to 5,500 square feet. The latest 802.11ax technology supports WPA-3 encryption, 1024 QAM, and orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA) data transmissions. Other notable features include three wired gigabit Ethernet ports, a power jack, and a power switch.
- Excellent performance
- Lifetime parental controls
- Easy to install
Linksys Atlas Max 6E
The Linksys Atlas Max 6E delivers impressive performance thanks to a host of top-notch features to push signals across large areas. You will get throughput of 1189Gbps of data at 15 feet and 1008Gbps at 25 feet, making it ideal for larger homes of up to 9,000 square feet. It is equipped with the latest Wi-Fi 6E technology, comprising 4X4 multi-user, multiple-input, multiple-output (MU-MIMO) transmissions that can handle 12 independent streams of data and multiple connected devices. Inside each node are 12 antennas, 1GB of RAM, 512MB of flash memory, a 2.2GHz quad-core CPU, and Bluetooth radio. Apart from Wi-Fi 6E, Max 6E uses the latest 802.11ax technologies, including MU-MIMO simultaneous data streaming and direct-to-client signal beamforming.
- Impressive overall performance
- Can push its strong signal through walls
- Three-year warranty
- No added security protection
Netgear Nighthawk MK83
If you are looking for the best mesh system for a multi-room, multi-device smart household, consider the Netgear Nighthawk MK83. This mesh system comes with a router and two satellite extenders to deliver excellent performance, capable of covering 6,750 square feet. It also comes with three nodes, each equipped with tri-band Wi-Fi 6 capabilities at AX3600 speeds. This delivers 600Mbps at 2.4GHz, and 1800Mbps at 5GHz. With a compact design and a good software package, this device supports WPA-3 to protect your household. You will also have more control over who accesses your network, thanks to robust parental controls and advanced security features.
- Super-fast AX3600 speeds
- Great coverage
- Excellent parental controls and security
- Expansion is limited to two satellite devices
Vilo Mesh Wi-Fi system
If you are in the market for a budget Wi-Fi mesh network system, consider the Vilo Mesh. The device delivers exceptionally strong Wi-Fi to every room in your home. It is a dual-band 802.11ax mesh system that delivers stellar throughput to get any job done, provided you don’t stream a lot of heavy video or downloads simultaneously. The system is equipped with three identical nodes to offer adequate coverage for spaces of up to 4,500 square feet at speeds up to 300Mbps. It also supports MU-MIMO simultaneous data streaming and is powered by a 999MHz MIPS processor. You can install and manage the device using the Vilo Living mobile app for Android and iOS devices.
- Basic parental controls
- Easy to install and manage
- Lacks malware protection
TP-Link’s Deco X20 mesh Wi-Fi 6
The TP-Link Deco X20 is an affordable mesh Wi-Fi 6 system with impressive performance, strong parental controls, and robust network security software. Ideal for homes of up to 6,000 square feet, this mesh system comes with three stylish nodes, each with internal antennas, a 1GHz quad-core CPU, 512MB of RAM, and 128MB of flash memory. It boasts a dual-band AX1800 system that delivers up to 575Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and a maximum of 1200Mbps on the 5GHz band. It supports the latest Wi-Fi 6 technology to deliver MU-MIMO simultaneous data streaming and signal beamforming. Managing your Deco X20 is also easy, thanks to the TP-Link Deco mobile app that includes a dashboard displaying all online and offline devices and users.
- Robust parental controls
- User-friendly app
- No support for 160MHz channel bandwidth
Netgear Orbi RBKE963
The Netgear Orbi RBKE963 leverages the 6GHz band to deliver the fastest speeds you can hope for. The three-piece Wi-Fi 6E mesh system is loaded with best-in-class hardware, making it ideal for larger homes needing systems to defeat dead spots. It’s equipped with a router node and two satellite nodes to provide adequate coverage for homes of up to 9,000 square feet at speeds of up to 1200Mbps on the 2.4GHz band, 2400Mbps on the 5GHz band and 4800Mbps on the 6GHz band. The router node has a 10Gbps WAN port, a 2.5Gbps LAN port, and three 1Gbps LAN ports. It is also equipped with a sync button for pairing the router to the satellite nodes. The satellite nodes provide a 5Gbps LAN port, three 1Gbps LAN ports, a reset button, and a sync button as well.
- Excellent signal range
- Multi-gig connection
- Outstanding performance
- Quite pricey
Asus ZenWiFi ET8
The Asus ZenWiFi ET8 is an outstandingly powerful Wi-Fi 6E mesh system with network security and parental control software. The newest addition to the extensive Asus ZenWiFi family of products delivers seamless wireless connectivity thanks to excellent throughput and signal performance. The device reaches a maximum data rate of 574Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 4804Mbps on the 6GHz band. It supports 802.11ax technologies and leverages the 6GHz radio band to support multiple devices on 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. The two-piece mesh system comes with two identical nodes powerful enough to provide adequate coverage for spaces of up to 5,500 square feet. Each node is equipped with six internal antennas powered by a 5GHz quad-core CPU, 512MB of RAM, and 256MB of flash memory. The Asus ZenWiFi ET8 parental controls deliver a range of impressive features, including age-based web filtering, usage monitoring, and access scheduling.
- Robust anti-malware and parental controls
- Excellent signal range
- Strong throughput performance
- Fairly pricey
Orbi Tri-Band Mesh Wi-Fi 6 system
This mesh Wi-Fi system will give you up to 5,000 square feet of coverage and 6Gbps of super-fast, consistent Wi-Fi speeds. With this system, you can play games, stream, and video call on multiple devices in every corner of your home simultaneously. It leverages Qualcomm’s latest Networking Pro 1200 Wi-Fi chip powered by a quad-core processor running at a maximum of 2GHz. It can move 884Mbps to the receiving device 15-feet away, which drops to 24Mbps at 50-feet. It also delivers strong signals through walls and ceiling, pushing 783Mbps through a wall 20-foot from the router and 670Mbps through a ceiling to rooms upstairs.
- Excellent Wi-Fi 6 performance
- Malware protection
- Excellent wall and ceiling penetration
- Very expensive
There are plenty of choices for mesh Wi-Fi systems, and it is crucial that you pick one that meets your needs. The following are some of the things to look out for when shopping for mesh Wi-Fi:
You should ensure your system delivers adequate speeds to support your internet usage needs. To spot the device’s throughput, look out for Mbps indicating the upload and download speeds at which the system is supposed to transmit data from your connection to users.
Not all Wi-Fi systems have the same range. Usually, the farther you are from your system, the slower and weaker your connection will be. Depending on the square footage of your home, go for a Wi-Fi system that delivers the strongest connections and greatest range.
On each device are numbers such as 5GHz and 2.4GHz. These numbers reveal the wireless radio bands on the router. A dual-band device comes with both 5GHz and 2.4GHz radios allowing devices to connect to multiple bands to prevent overloading a single connection. Although 5GHz delivers better performance, the broadcast range will be much shorter than the 2.4GHz radio band.
Multiple input, multiple-output (MIMO) support
MIMO is the use of several antennas to boost performance and overall throughput. MIMO-enabled systems allow for numerous devices to connect to one router with minimal interference.
Without proper security features to secure your network, anyone within range of the signal from the system can potentially access your network and spy on what you are doing. They might also look for crucial information such as your bank and card details which could be used to defraud you. When selecting your next Wi-Fi system, ensure it uses at least WPA2. You should also make sure each device on the network supports WPA2 for the most secure network.
What others are saying
“The Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8) is the right choice if you currently use or are planning on upgrading to a gigabit or faster internet connection.” – New York Times
“A three-pack of Vilo’s mesh Wi-Fi system is priced incredibly low at $80 and does a good job of covering your space in Wi-Fi. ” – CNN
“And, with its support for both high-speed Wi-Fi 6E and multi-gig Ethernet, the Orbi RBKE963 provides performance that will be ideal for working from home, as well as many offices or public venues that need a wide-ranging mesh network.” – ZDNet
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Who should buy a mesh system?
If you are experiencing dead spots in your home that force you to reboot your system constantly, consider switching to a mesh system. Additionally, if you have a home with several floors or a large home of more than 3,000 square feet, consider a mesh Wi-Fi system to boost connectivity.
Does mesh Wi-Fi replace my existing router?
No. Ideally, a mesh system replaces the existing router’s Wi-Fi to create a new and more powerful Wi-Fi network that supports all your devices, including phones, computers, tablets, and smart home gadgets.
Can a mesh Wi-Fi system work by itself?
No. A mesh system can’t work by itself. You need a modem from an internet service provider (ISP).
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