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Working from home? The best mesh routers to keep Wi-Fi signal strong
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 eliminate 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 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, though. You’ll have to 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 ensure 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 features two physical Ethernet jacks, but everything else about the Nest Wi-Fi is great. The set-up is as simple as they get. 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. Netgear Nighthawk Mesh Wi-Fi 6 System
Netgear’s Orbi Wi-Fi 6 system is amazing, but boy is it expensive! Those looking to get one of the best mesh routers without breaking the bank should definitely consider the Netgear Nighthawk Mesh Wi-Fi 6 System. These provide much more value per dollar, and they are still great performers. Netgear’s Nighthawk gaming mesh system supports up to 1.8Gbps speeds and can cover up to 4,500Sqft. It also supports over 25 simultaneous connections and can be easily managed with a super user-friendly app.
These aren’t as discrete or blend into the environment very well, but gamers will enjoy the exaggerated design.
6. TP-Link Deco X90 Mesh Router
The TP-Link Deco X90 mesh router system is demanding users. This 2-unit set-up can cover up to 6,000sqft, which is more than most 3-unit systems can handle. You should have no problem with getting all your devices connected, as this thing can handle up to a whopping 200 connections! And if you need fast speeds, the Deco X90 units can push up to 6,600Mbps. While TP-Links alternative isn’t exactly cheap, it definitely isn’t expensive for all it offers.
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.
Linksys also offers the Atlas Max 6E system, but that one is costly! It might be worth a look if you want more performance and like Linksys, though.
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 look 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 of units will make a network covering 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. Asus Lyra Trio
There are better performers in this list of the best mesh routers, but this is definitely the coolest looking! These futuristic portal-looking contraptions will definitely start conversations. They also offer pretty good functionality for the lower price, though. You get up to 5,400Sqft of coverage and can push up to 1,300Mbps of data. Users also get free internet security and parental controls.
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!