Whether you’re stuck working from home or just looking for something to do to pass the time as the pandemic continues to make the rounds, a good Wi-Fi connection is essential. The best mesh routers can strengthen your Wi-Fi signal across your whole house, office, or any other space you need to keep connected. The trick is figuring out which is the right option for your specific needs. We have created a list of the best mesh routers to help you in your quest for the right product.
The best mesh routers:
Should you buy a mesh router?
Mesh networks operate with the use of multiple routers or nodes. These transmit information wirelessly, extending your Wi-Fi reach. A mesh network is for those who need to cover a large space with a Wi-Fi signal.
The best mesh routers are usually best suited for houses or offices that are 2,000sqft or larger, as traditional Wi-Fi router signal may not be strong enough to reach all areas. But users with smaller spaces may also need one as some buildings are made with concrete walls, odd layouts, or multiple floors. They may also be affected by other factors that compromise Wi-Fi signal strength. The best mesh routers could help get rid of dead zones and keep Wi-Fi connections stronger throughout the building.
Why not just get a Wi-Fi extender?
While a simple Wi-Fi extender (also known as a Wi-Fi repeater) is usually much more affordable, the best mesh routers have multiple advantages over extenders. This is because an extender simply connects and re-transmits data from your router. It also creates its own Wi-Fi signal, apart from your main router’s.
A repeater could be good if you are using it to feed the internet to static products, like a smart light bulb or a computer that is never moved around. Those who need to use something like a tablet or smartphone may be annoyed by the nature of using multiple Wi-Fi points (the router’s and the repeater’s). As you’ll constantly switch between them as you move around the house or office.
The best mesh routers act as a single entity in terms of your Wi-Fi network. You will only have one network to worry about, and the multiple mesh routers are placed intelligently across the building to make sure that the singular signal reaches all corners.
1. Google Nest Wi-Fi
The Google Nest Wi-Fi is easily one of the best mesh router systems you can buy. It may not have Wi-Fi 6 support and only has two physical Ethernet jacks, but everything else about the Nest Wi-Fi is great. The set-up is as simple as they get, and it’s done with an app. The design is elegant and simple. To make the deal even sweeter, the secondary points double as Google Assistant speakers!
2. Google Wi-Fi
The Google Nest Wi-Fi is great, but some of you may not care for the extra features, newer design, and higher price point. Those looking for something simpler and more affordable can go with the older generation Google Wi-Fi.
See also: Google Nest Wi-Fi vs Google Wi-Fi
Google Wi-Fi still has a simple setup process, a convenient app for management, and a simple design that should look good in any room.
3. Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6 System
The Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6 is one serious network system, and it is easily one of the best mesh routers around. While you are paying nearly $600 for the router and a single satellite extender, the Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6 can cover up to 5,000sqft with Wi-Fi speeds of up to 6Gbps. It can also keep over 60 devices connected simultaneously.
4. Amazon Eero
Amazon is known for creating affordable products with quality in mind, and the Eero mesh router system is no exception. The Eero system can cover up to 1,500sqft per unit with speeds of up to 550Mbps. The set-up is done through a simple app too, and it works with Alexa if you are invested in the platform.
You can also look into the Eero 6 Mesh Network System if you want faster Wi-Fi 6 speeds, more coverage, and the added feature of an integrated Zigbee hub.
5. D-Link COVR Whole Home Mesh WiFi System
The newer D-Link COVR mesh system units are smaller and much more aesthetically pleasing than the previous iteration. While a little less powerful, this is still one of the best mesh routers around. It still outperforms other more expensive systems, making it an obvious choice for this list. The 3-node system can cover up to 5,000sqft. It also features a simple app, dual-band antennas, and 1,200Mbps speeds.
6. TP-Link Deco X20 Mesh Router
The TP-Link Deco X20 mesh router system is made for demanding users. This 3-unit set-up can cover up to 5,800sqft. You should have no problem supporting an incredible 150 devices between the three units thanks to the powerful Wi-Fi 6 capabilities. The TP-Link Deco mesh system is also easy to control with the HomeCare app for parental restrictions and antivirus monitoring.
More: What is Wi-Fi 6?
7. Linksys Velop Mesh Router
The Linksys Velop mesh router Wi-Fi system can cover up to 2,000sqft of space per unit, and you can get it in packs of up to three. You can easily set up and manage your Wi-Fi network using the included app, and Apple HomeKit support is said to be in the works.
8. AmpliFi Alien
Looking for a high-end mesh router with a gaming look? The AmpliFi Alien may check all the boxes. This one is expensive, but will deem every single penny spend on it worth it. For starters, just looke at it. It’s so cool! But let’s look past aesthetics and get to the features.
The AmpliFi Alien features Wi-Fi 6, tri-band radios, gigabit mesh performance, and up to 7685Mbps speeds. A couple units will make a network up to 6,000Sqft, but you can also use a single device for smaller spaces. An AmpliFi Alien router can be controlled using an integrated touchscreen, but there’s also a handy app for managing your network.
9. Tenda Nova MW6 Mesh Router
You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on one of the best mesh routers. The Tenda Nova MW6 costs around $100 for a set of two very good-looking units. These cover up to 4,000sqft and can have up to 60 devices connected simultaneously.
10. Netgear Nighthawk Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Range Extender EAX80
Don’t want to switch out your current router? Netgear has something special for you with the EAX80. This is technically a Wi-Fi extender, but it uses mesh technology to keep a single Wi-Fi network operating throughout your space. It works with any current router and Netgear claims the set-up process should take a few minutes. The Netgear EAX80 should expand your signal by up to 2,500sqft and can connect with up to 30 devices, providing up to 6Gbps speeds.
This list of the best mesh routers should have you and your home covered with a strong Wi-Fi signal. Enjoy your improved speeds and performance!