The Best Mesh WiFi Routers You Can Buy – February 2019
Mesh WiFi Routers are the new hot thing, in the world of routers. It is a much better option than a signal extender or repeater, as those will typically offer worse speeds since it is literally repeating the signal. Mesh routers are a bit different.
These routers use a bunch of different nodes that are organized into a mesh topology. These nodes will work together to distribute the load of the network amongst themselves. This works well, as not a single router or “repeater” will be overloaded and end up giving you slower speeds than you should be getting.
Mesh routers are a big thing now, since we have many, many things connected to our network. Including smart light bulbs, smart door locks and much more. Being able to move these devices around on the network so that every device gets the speed it needs is a great thing. But there are quite a few mesh networks out there, so which are the best to pick up? We’ve rounded up the best mesh WiFi routers that are currently available.
NETGEAR is no stranger to routers, so it makes sense that it would be a big name when it comes to mesh WiFi routers. The Orbi is a very popular option, as it does cover more area with less satellites and often times offers up better performance.
The Orbi comes in a few different variations, but you can get started with the router and satellite package. The router will plug into your cable modem, while the satellite can be placed elsewhere in your home – ideally where you have some deadspots in your home. This setup will cover 5,000 square-feet, which is going to cover most homes and then some.
NETGEAR makes it very simple to setup the Orbi, all through its app. The app also allows you to see what devices are on the network, as well as set up a guest network. So that you don’t need to give out your WiFi password and your guests will still get some impressive speeds.
There are parental controls included with the Orbi, so you are able to block certain websites, certain categories of websites, as well as limit your kids time online. All of which can be very useful, especially in the state that the Internet is in now. This is all done with the Circle by Disney app, which you can connect to Orbi from within the Orbi app. It will also allow you to give your kids rewards – more time online – if they do their chores or get good grades.
The Orbi starts at $299, which is pretty pricey for a router, but you are going to get some impressive performance here, especially if you live in a larger apartment or in a house. You can pick it up from Amazon using the link below.
If the NETGEAR Orbi sounds like it is super simple to setup, Google WiFi is even easier. It will walk you through the entire process pretty easily and everything is automated. The Google WiFi is also smaller than the Orbi. While it still offers some great performance, it doesn’t offer as great of a range as the Orbi – hence why Google offers it in a three pack versus just the router and one satellite.
The Google WiFi will cover around 4,500 square-feet, or about 1,500 square-feet each. These are good looking so you can put them out in the open. Which is a good thing since it’ll get better WiFi speeds and coverage.
Google also uses Network Assist technology, which is going to keep the router on the fastest channel at all times, so that you will never experience a slower network – unless of course your ISP is having some issues.
Google WiFi is available as a single router, which is great for those in apartments under 1,500 square-feet, or in a three-pack. That is better for those that live in houses or larger apartments – particularly those with multiple floors, as that will cover 4,500 square-feet. These go for $99 and $229 respectively. And you can pick it up from Amazon using the link below.
eero Home WiFi System
eero is another popular mesh WiFi system, which many people absolutely love because of how easy it is to setup and manage, while also offering up some great speeds. eero comes with the main router and then satellites which are referred to as “beacons”. You can get it with one beacon, two or three beacons.
eero’s Beacons are a bit better than the others on this list, since they just plug into the wall and that’s it. So there’s no need to find a place to put it, as it just sits on the wall. This also gives you better signal, while keeping everything looking good.
This mesh WiFi system is also pretty nice looking, so you can place it out in the open and not really worry about it looking terrible in your setup. It also offers faster WiFi now, with support for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks. Allowing you to really get some great speeds. On average, customers are seeing around 20-50Mbps faster speeds than they should be getting, with eero.
The eero Home WiFi System is priced at $299 with one beacon. Which is good for about one to two bedrooms. Two beacons which will be good for two to four bedrooms, comes in at $399. You can pick them up from Amazon using the link below.
Samsung SmartThings Wifi Mesh Router
If you are looking to build a smart home, then this is the router you have to buy. It is a Samsung mesh router with SmartThings included. Basically, it’ll act as a hub for all of your smart home products to work with – which is also a router. So instead of needing to use another hub, like the Philips Hue Bridge, you can use this. Basically it kills two birds with one stone. SmartThings also includes Zigbee and Z-Wave support
Like other mesh routers, this one is also pretty simple to setup, Samsung walks you through the entire setup process. It is also a pretty small router, so it’ll fit in nicely, where ever you put it. Just remember not to put it on the floor, higher-up is better as it’ll get better signal.
Each router in Samsung’s SmartThings mesh router system covers about 1,500 square-feet. So the three pack here will cover around 4,500 square-feet. That’s right on par with the others on this list too.
You can pick up the Samsung SmartThings WiFi Mesh Router from Amazon for $242 – though it is normally $279 – using the link below.
TP-LINK Deco M5 Wi-Fi system
The TP-LINK Deco M5 is one of our favorites for a couple of reasons, but mostly because it is the cheapest at under $200.
Deco M5 will cover about 5,500 square-feet with the three pack that it sells. Which actually puts it above the others on this list, rather surprisingly. This might be overkill for those in an apartment, but it does mean you would get signal down the street – which is a bit insane.
This is an older mesh system, which is why it is much cheaper, but you’re still getting some great performance. It does support 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks, allowing you to get some great speeds as well.
Amazon Alexa is included with the Deco M5, which is a bit weird. There’s not much you can do with Alexa, but she can give you the password, as well as set parental controls on the router for your kids. Which can be pretty useful for a number of reasons.
The TP-LINK Deco M5 WiFi System is a really great option if you’re looking for better WiFi, but don’t want to spend a ton of cash on a new router setup. You can pick up the TP-LINK Deco M5 from Amazon using the link below for just $161.
Mesh routers can be pretty awesome, especially if you live in an older building where the walls are thicker which leads to more deadspots. It’s also great as you can have wired internet in other rooms of your home, without being near the modem. Say you have an office upstairs and you want to use wired Internet, one of the satellites can help you out with that, which is always a nice thing to have.
With the whole Internet of Things really starting to take off, mesh WiFi is going to become a much bigger deal in the next few years. As it works great for keeping many, many more devices connected, without slowing down your network for those that need faster speeds than say a smart speaker.
You really can’t go wrong with any of the options listed here, however the NETGEAR Orbi does offer a few options that you won’t find elsewhere. Like the Orbi Voice. This is a satellite for your network, that also doubles as an Amazon Alexa-enabled smart speaker – thanks to its partnership with Harman Kardon. It is more expensive, but definitely a cool thing to have.
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