October 1, 2020 | internet | No Comments
Whether you’re a gamer, working from home, or just want a better connection, WiFi mesh is sure to improve your network. We’ve read the reviews and scoured the internet to bring you some of the best options out there to give you flawless internet connection throughout your living space.
Is there anything more frustrating than unreliable internet? If you’re someone who works from home, likes to scroll during your Netflix and Chill time, or simply has a lot of housemates all eating up the internet at the same time, then a WiFi mesh system is for you. Read on to discover what that is, why you need it, and which options will work best for your needs.
What is a WiFi mesh system?
Designed to blanket your entire home in uninterrupted connectivity, WiFi mesh is a wireless internet system comprising a main router as well as several nodes strategically placed throughout the household to reduce spotty service.
The nodes help to cover areas the main router can’t reach, making it the ideal solution for large homes and properties, or areas that struggle with WiFi connectivity, ensuring that even the furthest rooms have flawless connection. Mesh keeps all the nodes within a single wireless network, with the same SSID and password, so you’ll be able to seamlessly walk from room to room without losing your service, rather than WiFi range extenders that need multiple network names and passwords.
Mesh is easily expandable, so you can even extend coverage out to the backyard, garage, and basement at any point.
How to choose a mesh WiFi (or whole home WiFi) system
The best mesh WiFi options have a multi-node system and feature security software, smart home compatibility, and most importantly, spotless connectivity throughout your space. WiFi mesh is usually a bit more tastefully designed than your typical router as well.
The most important thing to keep in mind when switching to mesh WiFi is the size of your home or the space you’re looking to connect. Most WiFi mesh systems will advertise how big their coverage area is. Some come in two, three, or even six packs, offering several nodes to place throughout your home or workspace to expand your network. Each node will offer an additional number of square footage to the network. Most systems also allow you to purchase additional nodes to cover an even greater area. It’s best to start out with a system that advertises a coverage of about your home’s size, and then adjust from there with additional nodes if needed.
What is the best mesh WiFi option?
Whether you’re a gamer, working from home, or just want a better connection, WiFi mesh is sure to improve your network. Read on to discover some of the best options out there to give you flawless internet connection throughout your living space.
Easy setup • Four ethernet ports • Easily expandable
Not as customizable as other mesh options • Must use the app, cannot be opened in a webpage
This is a great mesh system, and you’ll love how easy it is to set up.
1. Google Nest WiFiThis is great for basic browsing, but may not have enough oomph for gamers.
4,400 square feet
This two-router pack can cover up to 4,400 square feet, but you can easily add more satellite routers to extend your network. Plug one WiFi router into your internet provider’s modem to create your Wi-Fi network. Place the other router elsewhere in the home to extend the wireless network to wherever you need it.
The best part of Nest WiFi is that it’s easy to set up via an app. The app also allows you to set priority devices for faster speeds, set parental controls, and manage screen time for kids. Each router can handle up to 200 devices, with the ability to stream multiple 4K videos at once.
The device works intelligently behind the scenes and automatically updates to keep your internet fast and secure.
Unmatched speed • Easy setup
Expensive • Some users have had issues getting help from tech support
If you’re looking for unparalleled performance and the best connection available, this is the system for you.
The system is more expensive than other WiFi mesh and it may be a bit overkill for just normal internet use, but for gamers and heavy internet users, this is the best of the best.
Inexpensive • Easy setup • Pairs with Alexa
Mediocre coverage • Updates a lot midday
This is a great, affordable option, but doesn’t offer top-tier connectivity.
3. TP-Link Deco M5This is a good, wallet-friendly system for normal or light internet use, but won’t support heavy usage or gaming.
3,800 square feet
You don’t have to break the bank to switch your household to WiFi mesh. With this two-pack, you’ll be able extend coverage to up to 3,800 square feet and support more than 100 devices. Or, if you need to, extend your coverage with extra nodes.
The TP-Link Deco M5 pairs with Alexa, so you’ll be able to ask the smart assistant to pause the internet, set screen time limits, and more via voice command. The system also has a built-in antivirus, allows you to set parental controls, and is easily managed from an app.
The best part of this system is that it’s easy to set up. All you’ll have to do is plug it in and follow the simple instructions. The downside is that the coverage can be a bit mediocre as compared to others on this list.
Three-pack allows more versatility in coverage • Easy setup • Affordable
No noticeable improvement in speed • Not as reliable as other mesh devices
This is a mid-range device that will do the trick, but may not be as reliable or as fast as other products.
4. Amazon Eero Mesh WiFi SystemThe best thing about this mesh network is that it’s a three-pack, so you’ll be able to extend your network to where you need it.
5,000 square feet
Before being bought by Amazon, Eero was an early pioneer in mesh systems. While Eero may not make a big difference in your internet speed, the router and two nodes will extend your internet further throughout your home.
Since it’s a three-pack, this is a great system for a larger home or a home with several floors. Setup will take less than 10 minutes, and you’ll be able to easily manage devices and screen time via the app.
You’ll feel safe with Eero’s security features, which will conduct threat scans, give your family content warnings, and provide ad-blocking software. You’ll even get the option of upgrading to Eero Secure+, which offers an exclusive bundle of awesome security apps, such as Encrypt.me, 1Password, and Malwarebytes.
Awesomely styled device • Great connectivity • Further-reaching than most systems
Expensive • May not be worth the price for smaller homes • Design of mesh points limits where you can place them
This is a system for large homes, but won’t be worth the price for smaller homes or apartments.
5. Ubiquiti AmpliFi Dual-Band Mesh WiFi SystemNot many people need mesh to extend up to 10,000 feet, but this powerful system will have your internet running from the tippity top of your home to the very bottom.
10,000 square feet
Ubiquiti AmpliFi Dual-Band Mesh WiFi System is a sleek, handsome system that is powerful, reliable, and great for larger homes.
With two extender nodes, you’ll be able to expand your network to the furthest reaches of your living space, ensuring top speeds throughout. It can cover up to 10,000 square feet (!!!), so you’ll have as much internet connection in your basement as you have on your main floor.
The router has an easy-to-use touchscreen display, a rare feature for routers. The intuitive, straightforward AmpliFi app, which is available for Android and iOS smartphones, should have you up and running in about five minutes. The app also features configuration options, powerful reporting metrics, parental controls, remote access, and easy guest access.
Powerful, fast internet • Great security features • Easy setup
Expensive • Not easy to expand
If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line mesh system, this is a powerful and reliable one, however, it is on the expensive side.
6. Asus Zen WiFiGreat for gaming and those in need of fast, spotless internet.
5,500 square feet
Banish your dead-zones with this mesh system that will cover up to 5,500 square feet, or six or more rooms. This is a very powerful system, but is also one of the most expensive options on the market.
One of the best features of this system is that it includes a lifetime of free network security powered by Trend Micro, ensuring privacy on connected devices. While other systems have a subscription-based security system, this one has security included.
You’ll also love how easy setup is— just three steps to connecting your entire home. You also have the option to set up one or two networks using the 2.4 and 5GHz band.
Simple setup and use • Modular
Inconsistent performance • Expensive if buying several nodes
This is a great, simple system, that doesn’t offer all the bells and whistles that others do.
7. Linksys VelopIt might be best to start with one node, and then expand as needed.
2,000 square feet (per node)
This completely modular system allows users to buy just as many nodes as needed, so it’s a great mesh WiFi system whether you’re working with a large or a small space. Each node covers up to 2,000 square feet.
It’s a simple option, with an extremely easy, guided setup. You’ll also be able to set up parental controls.
The system also comes in two packs and three packs if you know you want to cover more than 2,000 square feet.
Stylish nodes • Low profile
May not support a lot of devices at once • Some users say the nodes are cheaply made
This is a more affordable three-pack, with moderate speed and reliability.
8. D-Link CovrLooking for a sleek, cool system that won’t break the bank? Covr will work for your home.
5,000 square feet
With a great low profile and three nodes, this system will support up to 5,000 square feet of coverage. You can even change the color plates to make these devices better match your decor.
You’ll be able to set up your home for WiFi connection within minutes with the easy-to-use app, where you can also access parental controls, set schedules, and manage any device. Flawless WiFi service allows users to stream 4K and HD video and games throughout the home.
You’ll also be able to add nodes as you need, adjusting your network coverage.
Great for consolidation • Budget-friendly • Reliable coverage
Nodes must be bought separately • Users say it’s better as a WiFi router than a smart hub
This device does double duty, expanding your WiFi capabilities as well as consolidating your smart home devices.
9. Samsung Smart Things WiFi MeshYou’ll need to buy nodes separately, but this system is expandable to up to 32 nodes.
1,500 square feet (but expands easily)
You’ll be able to consolidate all your smart home devices and extend your WiFi network at the same time with the Samsung Smart Things WiFi Mesh router. This super smart system works not only as a mesh router, but as a hub for all of your connected home devices, such as thermostats, light switches, timers, window shades, and various Samsung smart home products.
One router provides up to 1,500 square feet of coverage, but expand with up to 32 nodes as needed.
With the app, you’ll be able to see what’s connected, prioritize devices, create network access for guests, set up parental controls, set Internet usage schedules, and more, all from your smartphone.
Compatible with WiFi 6 • Covers 3,000 square feet • Affordable
Not as fast as other systems • Devices are somewhat large and unattractive
The bottom line:
If you’re looking to use Wifi 6 on a modestly priced device, you’re looking for the Nighthawk Whole Home Wifi 6 System.
Working seamlessly with WiFi 6, this system connects up to 3,000 square feet of space and will support more than 25 devices. It offers four powerful streams, which deliver up to 1.8 Gbps of speed for reliable streaming of HD video gaming or internet surfing and downloads.
This two-pack comes with a router and satellite node, each of which have ethernet ports. The guest network allows you to provide internet access to friends and family without sharing your password.
While you will most likely see a speed improvement, WiFi 6 is capable of much higher speeds than this mesh system carries. However, those systems will also come with a much higher price tag.