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The best mesh routers to keep Wi-Fi signal strong across large spaces

Forget dead spots and weak signals! It's time to upgrade to a mesh router.
January 1, 2021
google nest wifi review on top of box
Andrew Grush / Android Authority

Whether you’re stuck working from home or just looking for something to do in your spare time, 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 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.

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 an ample space with a Wi-Fi signal.

The best mesh routers are usually best suited for houses or offices that are 2,000 square feet or larger, as traditional Wi-Fi router signals 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 more robust throughout the building.

Read: How to speed up your Wi-Fi while you work from home

Why not just get a Wi-Fi extender?

wi fi extender feature image
Gary Sims / Android Authority

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 use 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.

Still want one?: Here are the best Wi-Fi extenders

The best mesh routers

Editor’s note: We’ll continue to regularly update this list of the best mesh routers as new ones launch.

Google Nest Wi-Fi

Google Nest Wi Fi color options on a shelf

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 excellent. The design is elegant and clean. The secondary points double as Google Assistant speakers, making the deal even sweeter!

The Nest Wi-Fi system is meant for the everyday consumer, offering easy management, a simple set-up, and pretty powerful specs. It can handle up to 200 devices simultaneously, and three units can cover up to 6,600 square feet of coverage.

Google Wi-Fi

staff picks google wifi mesh router

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 set-up process, a convenient app for management, and a simple design that should look good in any room. It’s also not a bad contender. Google Wi-Fi routers can cover 4,500 square feet with three nodes, and speeds can reach 1.2Gbps.

NETGEAR Orbi Wi-Fi 6 System

NETGEAR Orbi Wifi 6 at angle - best mesh routers

The NETGEAR Orbi Wi-Fi 6 is one serious network system, and is easily one of the best mesh routers around. While you pay a very high premium for the NETGEAR Orbi Wi-Fi 6, it’s a competent product.

It can cover up to 2,500 square feet per node, with Wi-Fi speeds reaching 6Gbps. It also supports 100 simultaneous device connections. It’s a popular option for those who need performance from a quality mesh network system.

Amazon Eero 6

Amazon is known for creating affordable products with quality in mind, and the Eero mesh router system is no exception. The Eero 6 system has a $279 MSRP, but we often find it at a discount. Wi-Fi 6 is supported too. It can cover up to 5,000 square feet with speeds of up to 500Mbps. The set-up is done through a simple app, and it works with Alexa if you are invested in the platform.

Those features are pretty good, but the Eero 6 is also notable because it supports 75 devices simultaneously. It also comes with a built-in Zigbee hub, so your smart products don’t even have to count against said quota.

NETGEAR Nighthawk Mesh Tri-band Wi-Fi 6 System

NETGEAR Nighthawk Mesh Tri band Wi Fi 6 System

Netgear’s Orbi Wi-Fi 6 system is impressive, but boy is it expensive! Those looking to get one of the best mesh routers without breaking the bank should consider the NETGEAR Nighthawk Mesh Tri-band 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 3.6Gbps speeds, thanks to the network’s three bands (1.8Gbps, 1.2Gbps, and 600 Mbps). All units can cover up to 6,750 square feet, and you can continue adding satellites. It also supports over 40 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.

TP-Link Deco X90 Mesh Router

TP Link Deco X90 Mesh Router

The TP-Link Deco X90 mesh router system is for demanding users. This 2-unit set-up can cover up to 6,000 square feet, more than most 3-unit systems can handle.

More: What is Wi-Fi 6?

You should have no problem connecting all your devices, as this thing can handle up to a whopping 200 connections. If you need fast speeds, the Deco X90 units can push up to 6,600Mbps. While TP-Link’s alternative isn’t exactly cheap, it isn’t expensive for all it offers.

Linksys Atlas Max 6E

Linksys Atlas Max 6E

The Linksys Atlas Max 6E is the only system in this list graced with Wi-Fi 6E, making it one of the best Wi-Fi mesh networks we recommend. How good is Wi-Fi 6E? We have a specific guide for that, which you can check out below. All you need to know for now is that this system is beastly.

More: What is Wi-Fi 6E?

The tri-band network offers up to 8.4Gbps speeds. Depending on how many nodes you choose to get, the network can get even more impressive. Say you get the 3-unit bundle; that can cover up to 9,000 square feet and support over 195 simultaneous connections. Just be ready to pay a pretty penny for all this performance.

AmpliFi Alien

Amplifi Alien Mesh Router

Are you looking for a high-end mesh router with a gaming look? The AmpliFi Alien may check all the boxes. This one is expensive, but every penny spent on it is 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 7,685Mbps speeds. A couple of units will make a network covering up to 6,000 square feet, but you can also use a single device for smaller spaces. Using an integrated touchscreen, you can control an AmpliFi Alien router, but there’s also a handy app for managing your network.

ASUS RT-AX92U Wi-Fi system

ASUS RT AX92U Wi Fi system

ASUS has a reputation in the gaming industry, and they’re also great at making routers. The ASUS RT-AX92U Wi-Fi system is one of the best mesh routers for many reasons. For starters, it looks great! Of course, that is if you like the typical gaming aesthetics. If you care about mostly gaming performance, you’ll like this system.

You get features like OFDMA and MU-MIMO for stable, more robust connections. The system can cover up to 5,500 square feet, supports Wi-Fi 6, and speeds can reach 4,804Mbps. It even comes with features for minimizing mobile gaming by using the app, or you can reduce latency with Adaptive QoS and wtfast.

NETGEAR Nighthawk EAX80

NETGEAR Nighthawk WiFi 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 2,500 square feet, and 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!