What is Mesh WiFi?

Learn everything you need to know about a mesh WiFi network

What is Mesh WiFi?

Mesh WiFi is a whole home WiFi system built to eliminate dead zones and to provide uninterrupted WiFi throughout your home.

Mesh routers enable devices in your network to have faster speeds, greater coverage, and a more reliable connection. While traditional routers broadcast WiFi from a single point, mesh WiFi systems have multiple access points.

Benefits of a WiFi Mesh Network

Mesh WiFi is built for all types of homes specifically mid size and large homes that have suffer from weak or incomplete WiFi coverage. Usually when you experience dead zones or slow wifi, you might opt into a range extender but find that it doesn’t provide you with the fastest speeds or connectivity throughout your home. Whereas mesh wifi routers are built to fully cover large homes up to 6,000 sq. ft., with two stories or more, interior brick walls, or an unusual layout. With more family members being home, a typical wifi router will have issues with maintaining strong internet access to all devices like phones, computers, or tvs. With multiple mesh nodes, everyone can easily connect more smart home devices simultaneously without slowing down your wifi bandwidth.

They also represent a great option for people who are interested in a powerful WiFi system but don’t want to deal with the complicated setup and configuration that most regular routers come with.

Features of a Whole Home WiFi System

One Network for Your Entire Home

Mesh technology is smart and intuitive, letting you stay online even if one of your mesh nodes fails. You can skip signing into a new network every time you go upstairs and stay connected to a single sturdy network no matter where you are.

Stable Long-Range Connectivity

With a mesh router, you can get a powerful and stable connection no matter where you are in your home. Because each mesh node piggybacks off the other nodes signal, you can get powerful WiFi whether you’re at the top of the stairs or the bottom of the basement.

Easy Setup and Management

Most mesh routers on the market today come with easy network setup and management controls allowing you to toggle network settings, check speeds, and enact parental controls.

Control Your Smart Home

Mesh systems like our Deco M5 (3-Pack) or Deco X60 WiFi 6 are so advanced that they function as a WiFi router and a smart hub, connecting your Zigbee and WiFi devices and enabling you to manage all your connected smart devices through the Deco app.

Deco Mesh WiFi Home Security

Hardware Security

Deco only gets better and more secure with free over-the-air firmware updates, and its firewall only allows approved packets onto your devices.

Advanced Encryption

Deco automatically protects every wireless connection using advanced encryption, whether it’s between each Deco unit or between Deco units and your WiFi devices.

Real-Time Antivirus

Select Deco models featuring HomeShield automatically protects every device from viruses, malware, ransomware. That includes devices that don’t normally have protection, like WiFi cameras and smart locks. 1

Content Filtering

Create profiles and filter content using preset or customized lists while Deco automatically blocks malicious websites using a continuously updated database. 1

1. Free lifetime subscription to TP-Link HomeCare™ is included with purchase on select TP-Link routers at no additional cost. “Lifetime Subscription” refers solely to the life of the purchased device and can not be transferred. TP-Link reserves the right to modify the service and feature at any time. Please visit and check: HomeCare

Behind Mesh WiFi Network Technology

Mesh WiFi works by using two or more devices or “nodes” to create a secure and strong wifi network.

These nodes are important in efficiently delivering WiFi, as each node serves as a “daisy chain” for other nodes in the system. Even nodes that are furthest from the router can still deliver a strong signal. Nodes communicate with one another in order to determine the fastest band for your devices, and to reroute traffic in the event that one node fails with its self-healing technology.

What’s the difference between Mesh WiFi and a Range Extender?

While mesh WiFi and Range extenders might appear to have the same functionality, there are some key differences.

Mesh technology is meant to cast the strongest wifi as you’re roaming room to room.

Range extenders require you to sign on to a new network manually in order to maintain a strong connection once you’re far enough away from your router.

Mesh WiFi is faster and more efficient at delivering a WiFi signal than a range extender. This technology has grown quickly and been the go-to for wifi routers for its long-range signal, ease of use, and quick setup. Check out TP-Link mesh wifi systems to see all Deco routers.

Does this replace my existing WiFi?

Deco Mesh units replace your current router, therefore, your current WiFi.

What is the best mesh WiFi system this year?

Explore our Deco routers that are rated as the best mesh wifi systems.

What is the best router for a 1500 square foot home?

There are several Deco systems that have coverage for up to 6,500 sq. ft. For a 1,500 sq. ft. home checkout Deco M5. For a 5,800 sq. ft home see our Deco X20. For even faster wifi speeds there’s our Deco X60 WiFi 6 Mesh system.

Is mesh WiFi better?

Mesh wifi alone offers stronger WiFi coverage but when paired with the latest technology of WiFi 6 you get the ultimate in WiFi performance. More speeds and greater wifi coverage. Check out our Deco X90 Wifi 6 Mesh system for best in mesh performance.

Can I add more Deco units to my existing Mesh network?

Yes! The great thing about mesh systems is they grow as your home grows or your needs change. All deco units work together regardless of the model and adding new units is as easy as powering on and following the guided steps in the Deco app.

Will Mesh WiFi work if I have brick, stucco, or concrete walls in my house?

Yes! Mesh WiFi systems will work in houses with these conditions. However, most routers (including mesh WiFi) may experience some drop in connectivity due to environmental factors. If you have overly thick walls, you might be better served by getting a powerline extender.

How many devices can be connected to a Deco network?

Depending on the Deco Mesh WiFi system you choose, you can connect up to 200 smart home, gaming, and streaming devices. Each Deco Mesh system will provide information on how many devices you can connect based on the pack size. Visit the product page of your favorite Deco for additional details.

How many Deco units can I have in my home?

It is best to connect 10 or fewer Deco units in your home to maintain better performance; however, there is no limit on the number of Deco units you can add to your network. Current 3-packs can cover as much as 7,000 sq. ft., which works for most users.

Where can I find mesh WiFi products?

Many solutions are on the market. You can find mesh networking products on Amazon, Walmart, Costco, Newegg and other places where electronics are sold.

Источник



Лучшие Wi-Fi Mesh системы на 2019 год

У вас большой загородный дом с «мертвыми» Wi-Fi зонами? Лучшим решением по сравнению с традиционными беспроводными роутерами и расширителями будет использование Mesh систем. Мы собрали в обзоре лучшие на 2019 год Mesh узлы.

Покрытие всего дома беспроводной сетью на сегодняшний день стало необходимым из-за роста количества «умных» домашних устройств и популярности сервисов потокового мультимедиа, таких как Netflix, IVI.ru, Itunes и др.

Обычно Wi-Fi роутеры обеспечивают достаточное покрытие одноэтажного загородного дома площадью до 100 кв.м.

Однако, бОльшие площади, дополнительные этажи, наличие железобетонных стен и металлических перекрытий являются конструктивными препятствиями для прохождения сигнала. В таких случаях требуются дополнительные точки доступа для полноценного охвата всего пространства Wi-Fi сетью.

Wi-Fi расшерители хорошо справляются с устранением мертвых зон, но, при этом, пропускная способность сети падает вдвое по сравнению с исходной производительностью роутера.

Принцип работы расширителя Wi-Fi сигнала

Точки доступа обеспечивают бОльшую пропускную способность, чем расширители, но требуют проводного подключения к основному маршрутизатору.

Однако перемещаясь по дому, абонент вынужден принудительно переключаться на новую сеть, создаваемую расширителем. При этом рвутся TCP-сессии и происходит потеря пакетов с данными. При отсутствии переключения сигнал становится слабым и скорость в канале падает.

Что такое ячеистая система Wi-Fi?

Схема работы Mesh сети

Есть основной роутер, который напрямую подключается к интернету, и несколько дополнительных модулей, которые вы размещаете по дому. Все они являются частью одной беспроводной сети и используют один и тот же SSID и пароль.

Wi-Fi Mesh состоит из равноправных модулей, которые распространяют сигнал на все помещение и создают единую бесшовную сеть.

Один из них обязательно подключается к маршрутизатору через Ethernet кабель, а остальные модули располагаются в тех комнатах, где вам нужен Wi-Fi. При этом клиент автоматически подключается к узлу с самым сильным сигналом, а при перемещении обеспечивается бесшовный Wi-Fi роуминг.

Простая настройка устройств и управление через смартфон

Как правило, они поставляются с удобным мобильным приложением, которое проведет вас через процесс установки с помощью простых и понятных иллюстрированных инструкций.

Приложение подскажет вам, где расположить каждый узел для максимального охвата, и выбирает лучший Wi-Fi канал и радиодиапазон для оптимальной пропускной способности. Это обеспечит надежное беспроводное соединение во время передвижения по дому.

настройка mesh узлов и управление через смартфон

Расширение Mesh системы производится добавлением нового узла (без ограничения количества) путем его включения в электрическую розетку. Все настраивается автоматически. А управлять ими с помощью смартфона настолько просто, что с этим легко справляются даже дети.

Дизайн и особенности

Mesh системы не похожи на традиционные роутеры и Wi-Fi расширители. Эти устройства используют внутренние антенны и почти всегда выполнены со вкусом, их можно размесить на видном месте, а не в шкафу или под столом. (Не ожидайте найти много мигающих светодиодных индикаторов — эти системы спроектированы таким образом, чтобы гармонировать с интерьером вашего дома.) Они имеют, по крайней мере, один LAN порт для подключения телевизора или игровой приставки, а вот USB порт является редкостью.

Wi-Fi Mesh системы — это многополосные сетевые устройства, которые работают в диапазонах 2,4 ГГц и 5 ГГц и используют беспроводную технологию 802.11ax и ac. Для связи между узлами сети используется отдельный магистральный канал на частоте 5 ГГц, алгоритмы адаптивной маршрутизации направляют пакеты кратчайшем путем на маршрутизатор подключенный к интернету. Многие модели поддерживают технологию многопользовательского MIMO (MU-MIMO), которая передает данные нескольким беспроводным клиентам одновременно, а не последовательно.

Во многих устройствах заявлена функция Beamforming – адаптивное формирование диаграммы направленности луча, что способствует более эффективному использованию полосы пропускания беспроводной сети и увеличивает радиус ее действия.

Mesh системы vs традиционные роутеры

Mesh узлы поддерживают

  • автоматический выбор наименее загруженного канала в радиодиапазоне для достижения наилучшей производительности;
  • простые в использовании функции родительского контроля;
  • развертывание гостевых сетей;
  • настройку приоритетов устройств и трафика;
  • настройку параметров проброса и переадресации портов;
  • безопасность беспроводной сети;
  • поддержка MU-MIMO.

Но при этом отсутствуют расширенные параметры управления сетью, которые вы получаете с традиционным роутером.

Традиционные роутеры

  • изменение ширины полосы;
  • стандарты направленные на адаптацию роуминга: 802.11k, 802.11r, 802.11v
  • поддержка динамического DNS для подключения из внешней сети к «серому» IP;
  • параметры брандмауэра и маркировка пакетов;
  • параметры скорости и мощности беспроводной передачи;
  • возможность использовать сторонние прошивки WRT для повышения производительности и мониторинга сети.

Mesh системы vs Wi-Fi усилители: какое решение лучше подходит для покрытия всего дома?

Цены на Wi-Fi Mesh начинаются от 15 000 рублей для одноузловой системы и до 36 000 рублей для системы из трех устройств.

Похожее:  Характеристики Apple iPad 2010 16Gb Wi Fi 3G

Аналогичное решение, состоящее из роутера и 2-х усилителей Wi-Fi сети, обойдется минимум в два раза дешевле. Но при этом вам придется достаточно потрудиться с их настройкой. Mesh системы просты в настройке и управлении, предлагают бесшовный роуминг по всему дому. Однако если вам нужен полный контроль и управление параметрами пропускной способности вашей сети, тогда лучший выбор обычные роутеры.

12 лучших Mesh систем на 2019 год

Linksys Velop Tri-band AC6600

Linksys Velop Tri-band AC6600

Скорость: 802.11ac 5GHz down: 117.46Mbps | Порты: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet ports per unit (1 WAN and 1 LAN port each) | Количество узлов: 1-3 | Функционал: Guided setup, Modular, Easy parental controls, Auto-fix

Стоимость: 36 000 рублей за 3 устройства.

  • стильный дизайн;
  • простота установки и управления;
  • удобное мобильное приложение;
  • MU-MIMO;
  • очень хорошая пропускная способность в тестах.
  • дорого;
  • Нет портов USB;
  • Система двухдиапазонная, выделенного магистрального канала нет.

Итог: Linksys Velop обеспечивает Wi-Fi покрытие и бесшовный роуминг для всего дома. Он стильный, простой в установке и обеспечивает высокую пропускную способность как для одного пользователя, так и для нескольких используя технологию MU-MIMO, что делает его лучшим выбором для систем Wi-Fi.

TP-Link Deco M9 Plus Mesh

TP-Link Deco M9 Plus Mesh

Стоимость: 32 000 рублей за 3 устройства.

  • простота установки;
  • солидная пропускная способность в тестировании;
  • выделенная полоса для магистральной связи между узлами;
  • встроенная защита от вредоносных программ и вирусов;
  • надежный родительский контроль;
  • управляет многочисленными устройствами умного дома, совместимость с Alexa и IFTTT.
  • дорого;
  • нет поддержки Z-Wave;
  • невозможно разделить радиодиапазоны.

Итог: Mesh Wi-Fi система TP-Link Deco M9 Plus является отличным устройством, которое предлагает надежный набор функций. В их числе возможность выступать в роли центра домашней автоматизации, который управляет многочисленными устройствами умного дома.

Netgear Orbi High-Performance Tri-Band AC3000 (RBK50)

Netgear Orbi High-Performance Tri-Band AC3000 (RBK50)

Стоимость: 35 000 рублей за 2 устройства.

  • простота установки;
  • высокая пропускная способность, служебный магистральный канал между устройствами связан по MIMO 4×4;
  • многопользовательский множественный вход, несколько выходов (MU-MIMO) и технология Beamforming;
  • управление домашней сетью с помощью голосовых команд;
  • много различных настроек.
  • дорого;
  • крупногабаритные точки доступа;
  • ограниченная функциональность USB.

Итог: Netgear Orbi RBK50, предназначен для больших площадей. Представляет собой мощную систему Wi-Fi, которая обеспечивает высокую производительность беспроводной сети во всех уголках вашего дома. Его легко установить, имеет множество LAN портов и поддерживает MU-MIMO.

Комплект из роутера Amped Wireless Ally и усилителя Ally Plus

Комплект из роутера Amped Wireless Ally и усилителя Ally Plus

Стоимость: 20 000 рублей за 2 устройства.

  • очень хорошая пропускная способность 2,4 ГГц и 5 ГГц в тестировании;
  • многопользовательский множественный вход, множественный выход (MU-MIMO);
  • порт USB 3.0;
  • простая установка и настройка;
  • расширенные возможности функции родительского контроля;
  • встроенная защита от вредоносных программ.
  • средняя производительность MU-MIMO;
  • только один порт LAN на сателлите;
  • дополнительные узлы пока недоступны.

Итог: Amped Wireless Ally Plus использует два компонента для обеспечения стабильной работы Wi-Fi на площади до 1200 кв. метров. Его легко установить и использовать, и он предлагает расширенный родительский контроль.

Asus Lyra Home

Asus Lyra Home

Стоимость: 26 000 рублей за 3 устройства.

  • пропускная способность в тестировании.
  • поддержка MU-MIMO 2×2;
  • можно создать сеть Wi-Fi с одним или несколькими именами;
  • бесплатная пожизненная защита от вредоносных программ;
  • надежный родительский контроль;
  • система проста в установке.
  • не хватает выделенного магистрального канала для связи между ячейками.
  • Нет USB-портов.

Итог: в домашней Wi-Fi-системе Asus Lyra используется собственная сетчатая технология AiMESH, обеспечивающая высокую пропускную способность во всех помещениях вашего дома. Она многофункциональная и позволяет объединять разные устройства в одну сеть, но вы не сможете разделять радиодиапазоны или подключить USB-устройства.

Google WiFi Mesh Network System

Google WiFi

Стоимость: 26 000 рублей за 3 точки.

  • простота установки и управления;
  • высокая пропускная способность;
  • есть MU-MIMO 2×2 и Beamfoming;
  • аппаратная реализация 802.11s (Mesh) на криптопроцессоре Infineon SLB 9615;
  • красивый, сдержанный дизайн;
  • два гигабитных сетевых интерфейса могут работать в режиме прозрачного моста;
  • первоклассное приложение для управления и настройки;
  • нет USB-подключения и 3 диапазона для передачи магистральных данных.

Итог: Если вы ищете самый простой способ организовать бесшовный Wi-Fi по всему коттеджу, выбирайте Google WiFi. Инженеры Гугл точно знают, как сделать бесперебойную беспроводную сеть. Система очень проста в установке и настройке, отлично выглядит и обеспечивает стабильную пропускную способность.

Gryphon Smart Mesh System

Gryphon Smart – поставь интернет на паузу

Стоимость: 30 000 рублей за 2 устройства.

  • Хорошая производительность при тестировании;
  • Простой в установке;
  • Есть MU-MIMO;
  • Самый продвинутый родительский контроль. При обращении ребенка к заблокированному ресурсу вам на телефон приходит оповещение, вы видите, к какому ресурсу запрошен доступ и принимаете решение — разрешить или запретить;
  • Встроенная защита от вредоносных программ;
  • Очень удобное мобильное приложение для настройки системы;

Итог: система Gryphon Smart WiFi Mesh — это надежная система, которая предлагает расширенные возможности родительского контроля и поставляется со встроенной защитой от вредоносных программ и интуитивно понятным мобильным приложением.

Synology Mesh Router MR2200ac

Synology Mesh Router MR2200ac

Стоимость: 11 000 рублей за 1 устройство.

  • простота установки;
  • поддержка бесшовного роуминга: 802.11k/r/v;
  • отличная производительность;
  • много основных и дополнительных настроек;
  • надежный родительский контроль;
  • есть защита от вредоносных программ;
  • выделенная полоса под магистральный канал связи;
  • только один порт локальной сети;
  • скучный дизайн.

Итог: Synology MR2200ac — это трехдиапазонный маршрутизатор, который можно использовать как одно устройство или в паре с другими узлами для формирования ячеистой сети. Это надежное оборудование, предлагающее множество расширенных функций управления и настройки.

TP-Link Deco M5

TP-Link Deco M5

Стоимость: 18 000 рублей за 3 точки.

  • высокая производительность;
  • надежный родительский контроль;
  • встроенная защита от вирусов и вредоносных программ, приоритезацию данных (QoS);
  • простая установка и настройка;
  • хорошо разработанное мобильное приложение;
  • совместимость с Alexa и IFTTT.
  • отсутствие веб-интерфейса;
  • нет поддержки служебного магистрального канала, двухдиапазонная система.

Итог: TP-Link Deco M5 — это стильная система Wi-Fi, которая обеспечивает стабильную производительность и поддерживает потоковую передачу MU-MIMO.

Samsung SmartThings

Samsung SmartThings

Стоимость: 22000 рублей за 3 точки.

  • простота установки;
  • два в одном – бесшовный Mesh и центр домашней автоматизации;
  • поддерживает потоковую передачу данных MU-MIMO;
  • высокая производительность на близком расстоянии;
  • есть Bluetooth, Zigbee, and Z-Wave;
  • до 32 устройств можно объединить в единую сеть.
  • большинство настроек требуют переключения на приложение Plume;
  • нет настроек QoS и средств защиты от вредоносных программ;
  • средняя производительность MU-MIMO;
  • отсутствует поддержка USB.

Итог: Samsung SmartThings — это комбинированная сетчатая система и центр домашней автоматизации, которые обеспечат быстрый Wi-Fi на близком расстоянии по всему дому.

Tenda MW6 Nova AC1200

Tenda MW6 Nova AC1200

Стоимость: 17 000 рублей за 3 точки.

  • поддержка внутрисетевого роуминга 802.11v/r
  • есть MU-MIMO и Beamforming;
  • поддержка Яндекс Станции с голосовым ассистентом Алиса;
  • удаленное управление сетью через интенет с мобильного приложения;
  • большая площадь покрытия (до 500 кв.м.);
  • два гигабитных Ethernet порта;
  • нет выделеного радиотракта для связи узлов;
  • отсутствие USB портов;
  • нет web интерфейса.

Итог: Пожалуй это самая продвинутая и недорогая MESH система на 2019 год. Через мобильное приложение Tenda Wi-Fi можно управлять всеми узлами сети. Доступна версия на Android и iOS. Вы с легкостью настроите гостевую сеть, зададите ограничения через родительский контроль и включите приоритизацию трафика (QoS). Для доступа к ресурсам локальной сети из вне включите перенаправление портов.

Zyxel Multy X AC3000 Wi-Fi Mesh

Zyxel Multy X AC3000 — Wi-Fi Mesh для загородного дома и офиса

Стоимость: 33 000 рублей за 3 точки.

  • MU-MIMO и BeamForminng;
  • перенаправление портов, UPnP, QoS;
  • большая площадь покрытия (до 700 кв.м.);
  • четыре гигабитных Ethernet порта, USB;
  • голосовое управление через Amazon Alexa.
  • дорого;
  • нет привычного web интерфейса.

Итог: Zyxel Multy X — лучшая Wi-Fi Mesh система 2019 года, обеспечивающая максимальную скорость сети, охват помещения и легкую установку и настройку. Очень стильный корпус с самой современной начинкой, три радиодиапазона: два на 5 ГГц и один на 2.4 ГГц. Скорость обмена данными между узлами в пике осуществляется на скорости 1733 Мбит/c, что позволяет обслуживать большое количество пользователей требовательных к высокой скорости подключения к интернету и стабильной работе канала. Использование технолигий MU-MIMO в сочетании с направленым формированием луча при поддержке на стороне клиента 802.11ac в теории даст скорость до 866 Мбит/c. За обработку данных отвечает мощный 4-х ядерный процессор и большой буфер памяти. Управление всеми устройсвами можно осуществлять через облачный сервис ZyxelCloud.

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Best mesh wi-fi systems for 2021: Mesh wi-fi routers and points

best mesh routers

The best mesh routers can fill your home with strong Wi-FI, no matter how big it is, or how many floors or brick walls you may have to deal with. A mesh router is the best option for fixing weak and missing signal in large homes, with multiple devices creating a single Wi-Fi network that blankets a home in strong signal. They handle all the farthest rooms and corners with ease, and can provide coverage to different floors of multi-story homes.

Even a basic mesh system can give you whole-home coverage and superb, seamless Wi-Fi performance everywhere in the house. And that includes your backyard and garage. We’ve tested more than a dozen mesh routers, from wireless-AC models to the best Wi-Fi 6 mesh kits, evaluating the performance and usability of each one to help you find the best mesh Wi-Fi kit for your home.

Whether you need a mesh router for inexpensive whole-house coverage or security that covers all of your connected devices, here are the best mesh Wi-Fi routers to buy now.

What are the best mesh routers?

Our pick for the best mesh routers is the Nest WiFi, Google’s own mesh Wi-Fi solution. It offers excellent performance throughout the house, and features easy setup and great smart home integration. It also has a killer feature the other best mesh routers can’t match: Built in Google Home smart speakers in every mesh extension, giving you voice interaction that can extend to every room of the house.

The Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 (RBK852) is another mesh networking favorite, with great Wi-Fi 6 performance and easy setup. The individual units deliver some of the best data speeds available, and Netgear offers a range of extensions, including weatherproof outdoor extensions and the Netgear Orbi Voice, which has Amazon Alexa built in.

The best mesh routers right now

1. Nest WiFi

The best mesh router

Specifications
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

If you want the best mesh Wi-Fi solution available, Google’s Nest WiFi is the best you can get. It offers superb performance, a dead-simple setup process and it delivers Wi-Fi coverage that can expand coverage to handle everything from a small home to large estate.

But the Nest WiFi has something no other mesh kit does, with a Google Home smart speaker built into every mesh extension. The compact units let you control the router with voice commands, along with every other connected device in your house, from smart lights to your smart TV.

Adding additional Nest extensions adds new Google Home units in other rooms, seamlessly giving you a voice assistant in any room of the house. And if you still have an old Google WiFi system gathering dust, you can add those to extend the mesh coverage, too. If you want the best and simplest mesh WiFi solution for your home, this is it.

2. Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 (RBK852)

The best Wi-Fi 6 mesh router

Specifications
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

The Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 (RBK852) is the Orbi we have been waiting for, combining everything we love about Netgear’s premiere mesh Wi-Fi solution with the futureproof capabilities and blinding speeds of Wi-Fi 6. Easy setup and a great performance are the hallmarks of the Orbi model line, and the newest model doesn’t disappoint.

The RBK852 serves up category leading performance with strong signal that punched through ceilings, floors and walls with ease, and built-in security blankets your home with a layer of online protection along with the zippy Wi-Fi. If you’re looking for the easiest and fastest mesh networking kit on the market, the Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 (RBK852) does the trick with excellent performance, particularly for those in older homes with lots of walls. When it comes to mesh Wi-Fi 6 devices, the Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 (RBK852) is the one to beat.

3. TP-Link Deco X20

Best value mesh Wi-Fi system

Specifications
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

Inexpensive, small and easy to set up, TP-Link’s Deco X20 mesh networking kit is a cheap thrill that can help fill a home with Wi-Fi 6 data while protecting a family’s identities with an extra layer of online security. If you want mesh capability and Wi-Fi 6, the TP-Link Deco X20 is the best budget option for covering larger homes with better speed and capability than any older 802.11ac system can match. Selling in a 3-pack of matching units, the Deco X20 covers up to 5,800 square feet, and can manage up to 150 separate connected devices.

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With dual-band connectivity and two gigabit wired connections on each node, the Deco X20 offers great coverage and connectivity with easy setup and management. TP-Link gives you all the tools you need in the accompanying Deco app, which lets you set up your network quickly and control the individual features of the network with illustrated, easy-to-navigate menus. It also protects, with WPA3 encryption and a lifetime subscription to TP-Link HomeCare security and antivirus included with the set.

4. Netgear Orbi (RBK50)

An excellent mesh router for the whole home

Specifications
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

The 802.11ac Netgear Orbi (RBK50) checks all the right boxes: strong performance, easy setup and flexibility to handle homes large and small. It’s a long-time leader in the mesh Wi-Fi category, and is still one of the best mesh Wi-Fi systems you can get.

Even without the mesh extensions, the Orbi’s base unit is one of the fastest routers we’ve ever tested. Pair it with an Orbi extension and the system easily covers a 5,000-square-foot home, and it does just as well through walls and up and down floors in a multistory home.

On top of this great performance, the Orbi also offers best-in-class flexibility, with add-on units that make it one of the best Alexa speakers, plug-and-play expansion and even weatherproofed satellite units for outdoor coverage. Pair this with excellent security and parental controls, and it’s no wonder so many people love the Netgear Orbi.

5. Eero Pro 6

Wi-Fi 6 speeds with incredible convenience

Specifications
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

The Eero Pro 6 combines tri-band Wi-Fi 6 networking with a mesh setup that’s quicker and easier than pretty much any mesh system we’ve reviewed, making it the best way to get great performance throughout your home without much hassle. With a single unit covering 2,000 square feet with reasonably fast Wi-Fi, the three-pack Eero Pro 6 will blanket up to 6,000 square feet with ease — and we set up the three-piece system in about 11 minutes.

It may not have the highest throughput, but the Eero Pro 6 mesh kit does well at mid-range distances where others peter out, is quick to set up and automatically adjusts just about everything. If you want granular customization, then tools like band steering, local DNS caching and home automation tools, it’s got those, too. But the Eero Pro 6 does it’s best when it lets you set it and forget it, giving you speedy Wi-Fi 6 without the hassles.

6. TP-Link Deco M9 Plus

Convenience meets security

Specifications
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

With a quick setup process and the ability to offer whole-home Wi-Fi connection while controlling all sorts of smart home devices, TP-Link’s Deco M9 Plus Smart Home Mesh Wi-Fi System (sold in a three pack) can almost do it all. The Deco M9 Plus uses a trio of compact extensions that are easy to hide or mount on the wall and can cover up to 6,500 square feet with a strong wireless signal.

Built-in conveniences like security – including intrusion prevention, a malicious-content filter and infected-device quarantine – make it easy to manage your home network, but we did find the overall performance to be mediocre when the system had to deal with walls and ceilings.

While it lacks top performance, the Deco M9 Plus is still the best mesh Wi-Fi kit to get if you care more about a simple setup procedure than about top speed. And while each Deco unit has a built-in USB port, it’s not enabled (yet), so there’s no way to connect USB devices like printers and storage.

7. Eero Mesh Wi-Fi Router

A great mesh bargain

Specifications
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

If you want a simple Wi-Fi solution that won’t leave dead spots in your home, the 2019 Eero mesh router is one of the best bargains in mesh networking today. The Eero three-pack of mesh devices is affordable, and each unit is easy to hide away, thanks to its compact design. While the range and performance aren’t groundbreaking, it’s easy to fill a home with capable Wi-Fi signal without spending an arm and a leg.

Set up is easily handled with a smartphone, and configuration is designed for anyone to use. There’s even an option for robust network security, though it comes with a monthly subscription fee. You can also connect the Eero system to an Alexa smart speaker if you want to add voice controls to your home network.

8. Linksys Max Stream MR9600

Our favorite mesh-capable router

Specifications
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

The Linksys Max Stream MR9600 is a dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router that is among the smallest and least obtrusive Wi-Fi 6 routers, but promises huge coverage when you need it. Able to work either as a standalone router or to create a mesh network by linking it with other Linksys networking gear, the MR9600 offers the choice of a single unit for smaller homes and apartments, or it can be incorporated into a mesh setup with other Linksys networking devices, giving you the unique ability to expand coverage for larger homes.

The small size makes it easy to fit onto a shelf or desk, but the streamlined design does leave little room for ports — with only a WAN port, four LAN ports and two USB 3.0 connectors, the rear panel of the Linksys Max Stream MR9600 is uncluttered, but we wish it offered the two-line aggregation seen on many competing Wi-Fi 6 models.

9. Netgear Orbi Voice

The best functional add-on

Specifications
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

The Netgear Orbi holds it’s spot as the best mesh Wi-Fi system, in part, because it has unmatched flexibility, with Netgear offering several specialty units for extending coverage and adding functionality. Our favorite add-on has to be the Netgear Orbi Voice, which combines the Orbi’s excellent performance and impressive range with speakers and Alexa voice control.

Officially called the Orbi RBS40V, the Alexa-fied extension adds a 35-watt amplifier, 3.5-inch woofer, 1-inch tweeter and passive bass-reflex port – all tuned by Harman Kardon audio engineers – to Netgear’s signature tri-band 802.11ac Orbi extension. With it, you can use Alexa as your consolidated smart home interface, stream music right from the Orbi Voice and use any of the best Alexa skills for all of the Alexa Echo devices.

10. Netgear AX1800 4-Stream Mesh Extender (EAX20)

Best mesh extender

Specifications
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

If you want to switch to a mesh network without ditching your current router, there’s no better option than the Netgear AX1800 Mesh Extender (EAX20), a desktop Wi-Fi extender that can create a mesh network with just about any Wi-Fi router or ISP gateway. With Wi-Fi 6 speeds and even mesh capability built right in, the Netgear EAX20 is one of the best Wi-Fi extenders you can get, and the only choice for adding mesh coverage to a standalone Wi-Fi 6 router.

While not everyone will be excited about it’s large desktop design – without a plug-in design, there’s no hiding this extender behind the couch or in the corner – and a price that’s more expensive than some routers, the proof is in the performance. And boy, does the Netgear EAX20 deliver, with category-leading speeds and an awesome 95-foot range.

How to choose the best mesh router for you

Finding the right mesh Wi-Fi system starts with deciding whether you even need one.

Coverage and range: If you have a large home of 3,000 square feet or more, a regular router won’t cut it. The same is true of multistory homes and oddly laid out houses, which don’t necessarily match the range pattern of coverage most standalone routers deliver. And even if your home looks like it may be well-served by a regular wireless router, there are plenty of obstacles and signal-disruptions that can make it difficult to get strong Wi-Fi coverage in every part of your home.

The basic guideline is this: If your router leaves you with dead spots in your home or even in your yard, you would probably be better off with a mesh Wi-Fi system instead.

Speed and performance: Picking the right mesh Wi-Fi system is much like any other Wi-Fi device. Our reviews look at design, range and throughput performance, setup, and which settings you can adjust. We look at security protections and parental controls. We even look at whether a mesh extension is easy to adopt into your home decor, or whether it’s something you’ll want to tuck away out of sight. Any of our reviews will dig into these aspects of a product, and will also highlight any unique features you may want to consider in your decision making, like whether you want voice interaction, or how well a mesh solution pairs with other connected devices in the home.

Price: For many shoppers, though, it all comes down to value — which extender provides the most for the lowest cost. So we also consider what you really get for your money, weighing what features and performance are worthwhile, and how any given product compares with other devices from other manufacturers.

Mesh routers range in price from $120 to $400 or more. Because mesh systems use multiple devices, you can generally buy a complete mesh system as a two- or three-unit package. You can also buy individual satellite units to extend a mesh network to a broader area. Individual units generally sell for $100 to 200, although specialized units offering added functions may cost more.

In the end, our top picks are listed here because they are the best mesh Wi-Fi systems you can buy. Whether it’s a question of performance, value or features, we call out the products that deliver the best bang for your buck, and explain why it might be the right choice for your home.

How we test mesh routers

Every router we review has been rigorously tested in our Utah and New York facilities, using Ixia’s IxChariot software to measure throughput at distances that are between 5 and 150 feet. As with standard routers, we test performance at a distance to provide real-world information about coverage and speeds.

We also test how well each router transmits and receives signals through drywall, brick, concrete and even metal walls; and how each handles coverage of a two- or three-story home.

Mesh routers get additional testing to see how well each system does when sending a signal through the main router and through the included satellite units. Beyond simple throughput tests, we also perform detailed heat map testing to determine how well a mesh system distributes signals over a larger coverage area — a test that involves taking dozens of measurements throughout our lab space. We use each mesh router with several connected devices in a real home that contains thick walls.

Other factors used in evaluating the routers include ease of setup and use, software features and available ports.

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9 best mesh wifi systems for 2021

At the moment, we all rely on having uninterrupted wifi to work from home, watch Netflix or control our smart home gadgets, like lighting and heating. Dead spots — where the signal is slower than the speed your Internet Service Provider (ISP) offers — can be a source of daily frustration. A mesh wifi system can help make this a thing of the past.

Here are our picks for 2021:

  • Best mesh wifi 6 system:Netgear Orbi RBK752
  • Best mesh wifi system:Netgear Orbi Voice RBK50V
  • Runner-up mesh wifi system: Linksys Velop
  • Best mesh wifi system for large homes:Netgear Orbi RBK852
  • Best mesh wifi system for small homes:Netgear Orbi RBK20
  • Best mesh wifi system with Google Assistant: Google Nest Wifi
  • Best mesh wifi system for extra access points:BT Whole home wifi
  • Best mesh wifi system for thick walls:TP-Link Deco P9
  • Best budget mesh wifi system:Tenda Nova MW6-3

What is a mesh wifi system?

A mesh network uses two or more access points (also called nodes) around the home to produce stronger wifi coverage. The master access point connects to your main router via a cable and then shares the internet connection with the other access points.

This turns them into routers that broadcast their own wifi signal. This signal is much stronger than the one broadcast by your original router as it doesn’t pass through as many walls, doors or ceilings.

Even the best mesh wifi system can’t make your broadband any faster than the speed quoted by your ISP though. For example, if your ISP offers 10Mbps, then that’s the highest speed you’ll be able to get in your home regardless of the mesh system you use.

What’s the difference between a mesh wifi network and a wifi extender?

Wifi range extenders (also known as wifi repeaters) plug into a power socket and bounce your wifi signal further than your router can. But, if they’re not placed in line with the router, they won’t help get a signal into a room that struggles already.

As they bounce the signal on, rather than acting as a secondary router, they can’t stop it degrading the further it gets from the router. Extenders also create a new network; so, as you move around your home, your phone, tablet, or laptop will need to continuously reconnect to the extender’s network. This can create lag in your connection. These are most useful if you have problems in one room that’s not too far from where your router is situated. However, it’s worth following our guide on how to speed up your wifi, too.

If you live in a large home across two or more levels, have an unusual layout and/or internal brick walls, a mesh wifi network is your best option.

How do I choose a good mesh wifi system?

Area: A mesh wifi system should cover an area of at least 2,000 square feet but some cover more. Work out the area you need to cover by taking into account the square footage of your property as well as the number of levels you have in your home and any outdoor areas you want to be covered.

Number of access points: Most come with a choice of either two or three access points. How many you need will depend on where in your home your ISP’s router is situated and whether you want to extend the reach of your wifi on one floor (like out to the garden) or you have other rooms in the home that need their wifi signal improving.

If your ISP router is situated at the front of your house on the ground floor and you want to extend the wifi out to a garden, you’ll need a system with two units. But if you want all of this and to strengthen the wifi signal in a room (or rooms) on the first floor or higher, which aren’t in line with either access point, then you’ll need three units.

However, if your ISP’s router is situated in the middle of the house, you may find a two-unit system will be good enough. If you do find that you need an extra access point after deciding on your system, most manufacturers will allow you to purchase a single unit.

Dual or tri-band: Modern routers broadcast wifi networks on two different bands: 2.4GHz, which is good for long distances but can be slower, and 5GHz, which offers faster speeds but only covers shorter distances.

All mesh wifi networks come with both 2.4GHz and 5GHz (called dual-band), but some have two 5GHz bands as well as a 2.4GHz band (known as tri-band). This means the access points can exchange information about the wifi network between each other without slowing down the connection on your devices, and is best for homes with lots of gadgets connecting at the same time.

Parental controls and network management tools: Most mesh wifi systems have tools to manage the network built in to their apps. This includes parental controls that let you pause the internet — ideal if you don’t want family time to be interrupted by phones.

You can also activate guest networks that can easily be shared with friends and family (so you don’t have to divulge your master password) and prioritise certain internet activities over others. For example, you can prioritise file streaming over online gaming, which ensures that when the kids are playing their console online it won’t cause your Netflix session to slow down.

While some high-end routers also offer these features, often they can only be controlled when you’re in the house and from a specific internal web address. Mesh wifi systems make this simpler by building these tools into a smartphone app and most let you adjust these settings when you’re not at home too.

Speed: The maximum speed the best mesh wifi systems can achieve currently ranges between 1,000Mbps and 3,000Mbps. This is a theoretical speed and is shared across all of the devices connected to the network at the same time. For most of us, the maximum speed offered on your line won’t reach anywhere close to this.

Even if you’re using several devices at once, you don’t need to opt for the fastest mesh network system. If you’re someone who tends to plump for the speediest broadband package possible and is always looking to get faster internet access, make sure you future-proof your mesh network by opting for one that can cope with higher speeds.

Wifi 6 support: Wifi 6 is a new standard of internet connection that uses different technology to ensure it’s as fast and efficient as possible. Only new devices support this standard (other devices use wifi 5) but if you’re looking to future-proof your wifi network and plan to upgrade the laptops and smartphones soon, it may be worth getting a mesh wifi system that supports wifi 6.

Voice integration: The majority of mesh wifi networks work with Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa and allow you to turn on guest networks or pause the internet simply by asking your smart speaker. Some mesh systems have the voice assistant built into their access points too, so you don’t need a separate smart speaker. Make sure you choose a mesh network that’s compatible with the current voice assistant you use.

How we test

The Good Housekeeping Institute has assessed the performance, ease of use and design of 12 mesh wifi systems to find those that excel. We look at how intuitive the set-up is, as well as how far the mesh networks can extend wifi coverage in a home compared to a standard router.

We also look at the stability of the wifi and whether you can get the same speed in every room in the house. We test out parental controls and other features that allow you to manage your internet connection, as well as taking aesthetics into consideration.

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Wifi systems for homes

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