Entertainment Best mesh Wi-Fi routers 2022: connect even the large homes
Best mesh Wi-Fi routers 2022: connect even the large homes
Upgrade to one of the best mesh Wi-Fi routers if you’ve been experiencing the connection blues. They not only help get rid of dead or weak spots in your area of coverage, but they’ll make sure every part of that home or office gets a strong, uninterrupted signal.
For people experiencing those kinds of connection issues, these mesh Wi-Fi systems might be the best solution. That’s because they work differently than traditional routers. Instead of one unit, there are several with one connected to the modem and the rest positioned strategically around your space so that you’re always in range.
A more traditional solution gives you that strong, continuous signal when you’re close to that router but gets weaker the farther away you get. Though there are some other ways of minimizing that issue such as adding a Wi-Fi extender, switching to one of the best mesh Wi-Fi systems will also future proof your network. They’re also ideal for handling a network with a lot of devices vying for bandwidth.
Since they’re newer tech, they also come with some forward-thinking features like support for Wi-Fi 6 so you can also experience even faster internet speeds. Some, such as the Google Nest Wifi, even have a built-in smart speaker for even more functionality.
We’ve tested a lot of routers over the years including all our picks for the best mesh Wi-Fi routers so you know we’ve put a lot of thought into this list. And, to help you find the best deal available, take advantage of our included price comparison tool.
What’s better than the best mesh router? Well, a mesh router with a smart speaker, that’s what. Especially if you’re a smart home fiend, you will appreciate the pure genius of this upgrade in Google’s Wifi line. The Google Nest Wifi kicks things up a notch, taking Google Wifi’s incredible yet simple design and performance then merges it with the convenience of a smart speaker so you’ve got a two-in-one device in an even sleeker and more attractive package. And, if you’re tired of the color white, this one also comes in Mist and Sand colors. As far as the best mesh Wi-Fi routers go, the original Google Wifi is still the one to beat. This one just gives it that extra oomph.
Read our full Google Nest Wifi review
With the Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8), Asus has managed to introduce Wi-Fi 6 to that other cutting-edge tech in connectivity; mesh routers. While it is among the more expensive options out there and limits you to two mesh routers, the Asus ZenWifi AX offers blazing fast speeds as well as plenty of flexibility in its setup – such as the option to set up one or two networks using the 2.4 and 5GHz bands. With excellent security features to boot, this is a fantastic choice if you’re looking at the best mesh Wi-Fi systems.
Read our full Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8) review
The Netgear Orbi Quad-Band WiFi 6E’s price is not for the faint of heart. But, if you need a very large space, up to 9,000 square feet, covered then this might be the mesh Wi-Fi system for you. Not only can it cover an incredibly large space but it’s more than capable of handling the most crowded of networks, supporting up to 200 connected devices at a time. And, thanks to its Wi-Fi 6E connectivity – the “E” stands for extended – you get access to an incredibly speedy 6.0Hz frequency band.
Read our full Netgear Orbi Quad-Band WiFi 6E review
Sprawling mansions and big companies have demanding network coverage needs that only the best mesh Wi-Fi systems can meet, which is why such routers as the Netgear Orbi Pro WiFi 6 exist. This is a powerful piece of kit, even at its most basic configuration, delivering superb Wi-Fi connection over a remarkably large area. If you want the most powerful mesh Wi-Fi, you’ve found it. However, it also comes at a lofty price that most households shouldn’t spend. Invest, but only if it makes technical sense.
Read our full Netgear Orbi Pro WiFi 6 review
The Linksys Velop WiFi 6 AX4200 is proof that Wi-Fi 6 mesh systems can be affordable and accessible, giving big households on a budget an excellent option that still delivers admirable performance and ease of use. If you want to improve your home network’s speed and connectivity, this state of the art mesh system is an ideal solution. That’s especially if you’re ready to future-proof your network with Wi-Fi 6 technology. Those who aren’t as computer savvy will also appreciate that easy-to-use Linksys app.
Read our full Linksys Velop WiFi 6 AX4200 review
Netgear has changed the home and business WiFi landscape with its Orbi range of routers and satellite hardware.
The latest Netgear Orbi 5G WiFi 6 Mesh System provides a triple-channel Wireless platform with a single satellite that can be added to if you live in a stately home. Rated for AX4200 connections with a single 2.4GHz channel and two 5GHz with full MU-MIMO implementation, this equipment can cope with up to 40 simultaneous users.
But the most significant selling point is that alongside the WiFi 6 hardware is a 5G and 4G LTE electronics that can be used to connect to the internet or as a fail-over mode in the event of cable broadband issues.
However, the mobile phone technology in this hardware does increase its price considerably over the WiFi-only versions of this hardware. The twin pack with a router and one satellite is £1,099 ($1099.99), and the extra satellites cost £250 ($199) from Netgear.
Making this a substantial investment even for those with the 4,000 sq. ft. property that this system can cover.
Read our full Netgear Orbi 5G WiFi 6 Mesh System review (opens in new tab)
Although there are opportunities for improvement here – that Nighthawk app is disappointingly sparse and demands additional subscriptions for extra vital features – the Nighthawk MK83 still delivers excellent connectivity for two- to three-bedroom homes. It’s capable of covering 6,750 sq.ft with its three-piece kit and offers Wi-Fi 6 for more efficiently transmitting data to lots of devices all at the same time. This is just what you need for a multi-room, multi-device smart household, especially if you have some cash to spare.
Read our full Netgear Nighthawk MK83 review
The tri-band Orbi Whole Home AC1200 offers solid performance at a reasonable price, and will be a good choice for most small and medium-size homes that need to improve their Wi-Fi coverage. It’s simple to set-up and use for newcomers, although Netgear’s decision to use Disney’s subscription-based Circle service for parental controls is discouraging, considering that rival routers and mesh systems have often provided better parental controls for free. The lack of Ethernet ports for wired connections as well as more advanced features in the Orbi app might turn off experienced users as well.
If you’re looking for a way to spread Wi-Fi throughout your home without having to spend a lot of dough, then look into the TP-Link Deco M5. It’s not as speedy as some of the other best mesh Wi-Fi routers on this list, but if you’re not too concerned about getting the maximum theoretical throughput, which you probably won’t be able to take full advantage of anyway, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Setup, similar to the other devices here, is a breeze, even if you’re not tech-savvy. The TP-Link Deco M5 is among the best wireless mesh routers for those who don’t want to get too technical.
Read our full TP-Link Deco M5 review
While it’s expensive and not quite as powerful as the other Wi-Fi mesh routers on this list, there’s something to be said about the simplicity that the Linksys Velop offers. It might come with a heftier price than the competition, but the Velop will appeal to people who need to create a Wi-Fi network and want to avoid setting it up. More tech-savvy users will most likely look elsewhere – why spend money when you can do the work yourself for free? However, for most users, the Linksys Velop is among the best wireless mesh routers because of the convenience it offers from the start. It’s also completely modular, so you only have to pick up as many nodes as you actually need – one node will cover up to 2,000 square feet.
Read our full Linksys Velop review
How we test mesh Wi-Fi routers
We test every mesh Wi-Fi router that lands on our desk before we can recommend it to you. Much like with any peripheral or device we test, we check everything from its design and features to its performance.
We take a look at its design, of course, because if you’re going to have several routers spread around your space, they should blend in with your home or office aesthetics. We also check its ports and any extra features it might have – like the ability to create a guest network and set up family controls – as well as ease of initial setup and use.
Then we move on to its performance. We check its range and strength of coverage as well as perform the Ookla speed test and our file download test, jotting down any information we collect. Naturally, we also test it against our everyday network usage to give you a glimpse on its real-world performance.
We then take everything we’ve learned and measure all that against its price tag to see if it’s a great value to consumers.
Is mesh Wi-Fi better than a traditional router?
So, should you buy a mesh Wi-Fi router? In some cases, mesh Wi-Fi is considered better than a traditional router, but it really comes down to what you need your Wi-Fi devices to accomplish. If you live in a large home, you may want to consider mesh Wi-Fi in place of a regular router because it can better cover a large area with an unwavering Wi-Fi signal.
Conversely, if you live in a small home or apartment where one traditional router does the job well, you might not need to switch. If you’re a gamer, you may also want to pass on a mesh Wi-Fi router because, as good as a mesh system is, it will never match the speeds one of the best gaming routers is capable of.
Mesh Wi-Fi routers are also typically designed to blend in with home decor, but if you’re someone who doesn’t like dealing with one router, you may not want the responsibility of dealing with a few small ones placed around your home. The best mesh Wi-Fi routers can be a great upgrade for your Wi-Fi signal, but ultimately it’s up to you and if you’re ready to make the change.