Nothing beats mesh Wi-Fi systems when it comes to setting up high-speed wireless internet connectivity across the entire home. Having a Wi-Fi router with an extended range is great, but it doesn’t quite suffice for establishing a high-speed connection that’s backed by reliability, especially in large-sized homes/properties.
Think of a mesh Wi-Fi system as similar to using two or three separate Wi-Fi routers in your home, except they are connected to one single network. By using one or more extenders/nodes, a mesh Wi-Fi router blankets your home with strong Wi-Fi coverage and eliminates dead Wi-Fi spots, regardless of the type of room layouts and wall materials you have in your home.
If you are planning to upgrade the wireless internet connectivity in your home with a mesh Wi-Fi system, we have got you covered with this list of 10 best mesh Wi-Fi routers.
4 point checklist to consider while choosing the best mesh wi-fi routers in 2021
We recommend going through these interesting topics first to best prepare yourself for choosing the right mesh Wi-Fi router.
- Single mesh Wi-Fi router vs mesh Wi-Fi system set – Choosing between a single mesh Wi-Fi router and mesh Wi-Fi systems set is quite a debatable topic. However, from a technical point of view, a mesh Wi-Fi system that includes a router and one or more extenders/nodes delivers better performance when compared to a single mesh Wi-Fi router.
- Internet service provider compatibility – One of the most important factors to consider when buying a mesh Wi-Fi router is to check whether or not it is compatible with your internet service provider. Some of the best mesh Wi-Fi systems, including Google Wi-Fi, NETGEAR Orbi, and Linksys Velop work with major ISPs such as Spectrum, COX, and Xfinity.
- Network setup/management – Mesh Wi-Fi router systems that include multiple extender/nodes may seem advanced and challenging in terms of network configuration at first. However, it’s just the complete opposite. Home-use mesh Wi-Fi systems, such as Google Wi-Fi, ease network setup/management.
- Wireless connectivity security – Similar to regular Wi-Fi routers, mesh Wi-Fi router systems are available with different types of security features, including built-in firewall, VPN protection, guest network, and built-in antivirus/antimalware.
Popular mesh Wi-Fi router systems in 2021
There are more options for mesh Wi-Fi router systems now than ever before. Some of the most popular options available online include Google Wi-Fi, NETGEAR Orbi, Linksys Velop, Amazon Eero, and NETGEAR Nighthawk.
Here’s a brief overview of how these mesh Wi-Fi routers compare against each other:
- NETGEAR Orbi vs Google Wi-Fi – Both of these options are great for home use. NETGEAR Orbi comes as a good option if you want more options for network configuration and management. On the other hand, if you prefer simplicity when fiddling with the settings, Google Wi-Fi is the right choice for you. Both of these mesh Wi-Fi routers are available at similar price points.
- Linksys Velop vs Google Wi-Fi – Linksys Velop currently is one of the trending options as it has a slightly-less price point and offers impressive performance. Google Wi-Fi, on the other hand, is the right choice for you if you want configuration simplicity and expand your Google devices ecosystem.
- Google Wi-Fi vs NETGEAR Nighthawk – Google Wi-Fi gives NETGEAR Nighthawk a tough competition in terms of simplicity; any non-technical person will be able to figure out his/her way through this router. On the other hand, NETGEAR Nighthawk outcompetes Google Wi-Fi when it comes to offering advanced configuration settings.
- Amazon Eero vs Linksys Velop – Amazon Eero is similar to Google Wi-Fi in terms of offering simplicity and pricing. Linksys Velop, on the other hand, is a bit less-priced and offers a wide array of advanced configuration options. Amazon Eero is more compact when compared with Linksys Velop.
Review of best mesh wifi routers of 2021
Google mesh Wi-Fi router – best overall
for easy accessibility and configuration
Google has been pretty successful with the re-release of their original Google mesh Wi-Fi router. This new-generation model is undoubtedly one of the best-looking mesh Wi-Fi routers available in the market. It packs a compact form factor and a premium look and feel.
Google mesh Wi-Fi router is the best option when compared to other brands if you want an easy-to-configure mesh Wi-Fi router system. The best part is, you can either choose to buy just one single unit as the main router or buy several of them to create a high-speed mesh Wi-Fi network in your home.
The perfect replacement for a traditional Wi-Fi router
If you have plans to upgrade your Wi-Fi network and get your hands on one of the best mesh routers, you cannot go wrong with Google mesh Wi-Fi router. With just a single unit of this model, you get up to 1500 sq ft of coverage. If you want more coverage, you can go for the three unit pack for 4500 sq. ft.
Setting up this mesh Wi-Fi router is very easy; a couple of taps on the Google Home app and you are ready to go. When connected with other nodes (points), this router helps you prioritize performance for the devices that require higher connectivity performance. You also get the option to create a dedicated guest network so that the performance remains uncompromised for your high-priority devices.
Google mesh Wi-Fi router also comes with several security features. It offers robust parental controls along with automatic security updates. For connectivity, this mesh Wi-Fi router comes with two ethernet ports, one LAN gigabit port, and one WAN gigabit port.
- Dual band connectivity
- Up to 1500 sq ft of coverage with one single unit
- Beamforming function included
- Pairs with other similar units and Google’s Nest mesh Wi-Fi system
- One of the easiest setup
- Limited controls over hardware configuration
- AC rating is a bit lower
- Bridging option is limited
NETGEAR Orbi RBK23 – best performance
If there is one brand that does not back down in keeping up with the competition in the market, it’s NETGEAR. The brand has upped its game in the mesh Wi-Fi system realm with its Orbi lineup and holding up strong against other competitors such as Google Nest and Amazon Eero.
NETGEAR Orbi RBK23 helps you create an extensive mesh Wi-Fi system in your home which works to your high-speed internet usage advantage. From working remotely to streaming online entertainment content, this mesh Wi-Fi router system meets most of your family members’ varied internet usage requirements.
tri-band connectivity for more performance bandwidth
NETGEAR Orbi RBK23 uses tri-band connectivity to offer more performance bandwidth and better connectivity speeds. Even if you connect 20+ devices to this mesh Wi-Fi system, you are assured not to face any performance lag. With two separate extenders/nodes, you get up to 6000 sq ft of coverage.
This mesh Wi-Fi system is designed to work the best for internet plans of up to 200 Mbps. Every device that is connected to this mesh Wi-Fi system gets to access uninterrupted, high-speed internet connectivity as the brand has included MU-MIMO and beamforming function.
NETGEAR Orbi RBK23 has also received good feedback in several mesh router reviews in terms of security as well. Features such as guest Wi-Fi access, WEP/WPA/WPA2 encryption, and parental controls ensure a high level of online protection. The main router has one WAN port and one LAN port; the two satellites (nodes) have two LAN ports each.
- Tri-band connectivity speed reaches up to 2.2 Gbps
- MU-MIMO and beamforming supported
- Up to 6000 sq ft of coverage
- Backhaul function between the router and satellites
- Plenty of security features
- Pairing of the satellites can take a bit of time
- Changing settings via the app can be a bit time-taking
Amazon Eero mesh WiFi system – best for smart home
Amazon has already gained a strong foothold and in the tech devices market with its voice assistant-enabled smart speakers and streaming devices. The brand is now gradually gaining popularity in the mesh Wi-Fi router domain with its Eero lineup of mesh Wi-Fi router systems.
Amazon Eero is the best mesh Wi-Fi router for you if you already use several Amazon devices and/or have an Apple device ecosystem in your home. Similar to Google Wi-Fi, Amazon Eero is easy to set up, configure, and use.
A great choice for smart home connectivity
This set of Amazon Eero includes two units that function as a router and extender. You can also go for just a single Eero mesh Wi-Fi router to figure out whether or not it works well for your requirements.
With the two mesh Wi-Fi units, you get up to 3000 sq ft of coverage. Apart from pairing seamlessly with Alexa devices, Amazon Eero also offers great compatibility with Apple HomeKit-enabled routers. Setting up and configuring network settings becomes easy with the dedicated Eero app.
Amazon Eero comes with family-grade security features, including ad-blocking, content warning, threat scan, WPA/WPA2 encryption, and parental controls. Users can go for paid Eero security services to get a higher level of protection. The two auto-sensing gigabit ports of the devices are dedicated to WAN and LAN connectivity.
- Best for 550 Mbps internet speeds
- Best for smart home devices
- Bluetooth 5.0 supported
- Beamforming and MU-MIMO functions supported
- IPv6 supported
- Compact form factor
- A single Wi-Fi router unit may not offer the best coverage
- Pairing of the devices can be a bit time-taking
TP-Link Deco M5 3 pack – best budget
TP-Link Deco M5 is a tough contender in the mesh Wi-Fi system competition as it offers plenty of high-end features at a competitive price point. With up to 5500 sq ft of coverage, this mesh Wi-Fi system is well-suited for large-sized homes.
One of the biggest highlights of this mesh Wi-Fi router set up is it features the innovative adaptive routing technology. This feature works great in offering the fastest speed for every device that is connected to the mesh Wi-Fi network.
For an advanced mesh Wi-Fi network performance
TP-Link Deco M5 helps you create a seamless, high-speed mesh Wi-Fi network on which you can connect 100+ devices. This set includes one mesh Wi-Fi router and two dedicated extenders; it is well-suited for family use where connecting multiple devices to the Wi-Fi network is the primary requirement.
As one of the best mesh Wi-Fi systems, TP-Link Deco M5 ensures consistent connectivity speed on all the connected devices by using MU-MIMO technology. The bandwidth prioritization option also helps you prioritize better performance for your main devices, such as your work computer.
Connectivity security of TP-Link Deco M5 is simply one of the best. With high-level security features such as WEP/WPA/WPA2 encryption, built-in antivirus, content filtering, and robust parental controls, users get the best protection. The router unit includes two gigabit ports, one WAN, and one LAN. The two extender units come equipped with two LAN gigabit ports each.
- Up to 100 devices supported
- Up to 5,500 sq ft of coverage
- MU-MIMO function supported
- QoS supported
- Robust configuration options included
- Extender pairing can take a bit of time
- Backhaul function works the best for only high-speed internet plans
Tenda Nova MW6 – affordable home mesh Wi-Fi network setup
When it comes to gaining a leading position in the affordability pricing segment, Tenda knows the drill: offer feature-packed products with high performance. This is true with the brand’s Nova lineup of mesh Wi-Fi systems as well.
Tenda Nova MW6 gives tough competition to Google Wi-Fi, Amazon Eero, and NETGEAR Orbi in terms of performance as well as pricing. What’s more interesting to know is that this mesh Wi-Fi system is compatible with different types of voice assistants, including Amazon Alexa and Google assistant.
High-performance connectivity with affordability
The main router and two extenders included in this Tenda Nova MW6 set work great in offering a coverage of up to 6000 sq ft; they also offer support for up to 90 devices. This set is designed to work with major internet service providers, including Verizon, Spectrum, Comcast, AT&T, and others which makes it one of the best mesh Wi-Fi systems in terms of compatibility.
Setting up this mesh Wi-Fi system is a breeze as the dedicated Tenda app, together with the positioning LED indicator, helps you set the extenders in the right distances. With the support for beamforming and MU-MIMO functions, this mesh Wi-Fi system delivers precisely-targeted connectivity speeds for each device that is connected to it.
Tenda Nova MW6 also comes with a host of security features, including a guest network, parental controls, WEP/WPA/WPA2 encryption, and content filtering. Each unit includes two gigabit ports; one port is dedicated for LAN connectivity while the other one supports WAN as well as LAN connectivity.
- Up to 6000 sq ft of coverage
- Up to 90 devices supported
- Compatible with major ISPs
- MU-MIMO function supported
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
- Not the best option for advanced network configuration
- Not the best wireless speed
Google Nest mesh Wi-Fi router – for simplicity and seamless scalability
Google has been regularly upgrading their mesh Wi-Fi system to compete against other brands, including Amazon, NETGEAR, TP-Link, and Linksys. The latest mesh Wi-Fi router launch from the brand is the second generation Google Nest mesh Wi-Fi router system.
Google Nest mesh Wi-Fi router is an upgrade over the original Google Wi-Fi. But it is interesting to note that the second generation Nest mesh Wi-Fi units perfectly pair with the original google Wi-Fi units. Similar to the original Google Wi-Fi, Google Nest comes as one of the best mesh Wi-Fi routers in terms of simplicity.
Simplicity made more simple
This Google Nest mesh Wi-Fi router alone offers a coverage of up to 2200 sq ft. You get double the coverage if you go for the two unit set. Each router unit of the Google Nest ecosystem is designed to support up to 100 devices, making it the best for smart home setup requirements.
The initial setup process of this router is one of the most simple, thanks to the easy steps listed in the Google Home app. Proactive band steering is one of the biggest highlights of this mesh Wi-Fi router. The feature automatically chooses the best channel for your devices in order to ensure optimum connectivity performance.
For ensuring uncompromised security, Google Nest mesh Wi-Fi router offers several security features, including guest network, WPA3 encryption, and parental controls. Each Google nest router unit includes two gigabit ethernet ports, one for LAN connectivity, and one for WAN connectivity.
- Up to 2200 sq ft of coverage with every router
- Supports over 100 devices
- Easy to set up
- Channel prioritization function included
- Status LED lighting included
- Works the best when paired with other Nest nodes
- Configuration works just on the Google Home app and not on the Google Wi-Fi app
Rock Space Whole Home Wi-Fi System – for myriad functions with affordability
Rock Space may seem an underrated brand, but the high-performing mesh Wi-Fi systems that it has under its catalog will surely leave you impressed. The whole home mesh Wi-Fi system of the brand is similar to Tenda Nova in the sense that it offers high-end mesh Wi-Fi network performance at a relatively affordable price point.
Apart from offering good performance, this mesh Wi-Fi system also includes a robust selection of configuration options and power-packed features. All in all, it’s one affordable home mesh Wi-Fi system that you cannot go wrong with.
More options and features with less price
Rock Space Whole Home Wi-Fi System can effortlessly meet your family’s work and entertainment-related internet usage requirements as it offers up to 1200 Mbps of connectivity speed. The three unit architecture of this mesh Wi-Fi system, combined with the innovative MU-MIMO function, helps you enjoy consistent connectivity speed on all the devices.
The bandwidth prioritization feature of this mesh Wi-Fi system works to your advantage of dedicating more performance for high-priority devices such as work computers, streaming devices, and smart home security devices. Also, the availability of a dedicated app makes it easy for you to configure this mesh Wi-Fi system.
Rock Space Whole Home Wi-Fi System uses WPA2-PSK encryption, a built-in firewall, QoS, guest network access, and parental controls to offer family-friendly security. Each mesh Wi-Fi unit includes one WAN port and one LAN port for offering connectivity options.
- Connectivity speed can reach up to 1200 Mbps
- Up to 5380 sq ft of coverage
- MU-MIMO function supported
- QoS supported
- Built-in firewall offers more security
- Initial unit pairing can take a bit of time
- Not the fastest when compared to other mesh Wi-Fi systems
ASUS ZenWiFi CT8 – best tri-band connectivity
If you aren’t aware, it may come as a surprise to you that ASUS offers different types of Wi-Fi routers in its catalog. What’s interesting to know is that the brand has entered into the mesh Wi-Fi realm as a strong contender against Amazon, Google, NETGEAR, and Linksys.
ASUS ZenWiFi CT8 is one of the best mesh Wi-Fi systems from the brand. Although it is priced higher than Tenda and Rock Space systems, it offers great value not just with its performance but also with its life-time free network security.
One of the best home mesh network systems
ASUS ZenWiFi CT8 helps you access a high-powered connectivity bandwidth with its tri-band operation. The dedicated backhaul function of the mesh Wi-Fi system, combined with the bandwidth prioritization function, helps you avoid performance lags and enjoy consistent speed on every device.
This set includes two mesh Wi-Fi units. Together, they offer up to 5400 sq ft of coverage and a whopping 3000 Mbps of connectivity speed. Setting up this mesh Wi-Fi system, including pairing the two Wi-Fi units, becomes easy with the dedicated ASUS router app.
Security features available in ASUS ZenWiFi CT8 include WPA encryption, content filtering, malicious website blocking, infection detection, guest Wi-Fi access, and parental controls. This mesh Wi-Fi system adds great value in the port department as the units include one WAN port, three LAN ports, and one USB 3.0 port.
- Up to 3000 Mbps of tri-band speed
- Up to three SSIDs supported
- Up to 5400 sq ft of coverage
- Media sharing over USB supported
- Four gigabit ports
- Dedicated 3rd band backhaul function included
- Booting and rebooting can be a bit time-taking
- Not as compact as Google Wi-Fi and Amazon Eero
Ubiquiti AmpliFi Gamer’s Edition – for gaming-optimized mesh connectivity performance
Setting up a home mesh Wi-Fi network is one thing, creating a mesh network especially for gaming is quite another. It’s gaming-focused mesh Wi-Fi systems, such as the Ubiquiti AmpliFi Gamer’s Edition that helps you set up a gaming mesh Wi-Fi network.
This gaming mesh Wi-Fi system is well-suited for online competitive gaming as it has a low 2 ms MS ping. As a gamer, you can use the lowered latency to keep track of all your opponents’ moves.
Gaming mesh Wi-Fi system at a non-premium price tag
Ubiquiti AmpliFi Gamer’s Edition comes with one Wi-Fi router and two extender units. It surpasses even some of the best mesh Wi-Fi systems in this list, including Google Wi-Fi, TP-Link Deco M5, and NETGEAR Orbi RBK23 in terms of coverage as it offers a whopping 10,000 sq ft of coverage.
As one of the best mesh Wi-Fi for gaming, it uses several features, including bandwidth prioritization, low latency, and reduced ping time to offer a well-optimized connectivity performance for online competitive gaming. It also includes NVIDIA GeForce Now support.
Ubiquiti AmpliFi Gamer’s Edition also comes equipped with several high-end security features, including WPA/WPA to encryption, QoS support, and guest network access. The main router unit comes with five gigabit ports, including one WAN port, and four LAN ports. It also includes one USB 2.0 port.
- Up to 10,000 sq ft of coverage
- 2 ms of low latency
- QoS supported
- Easy to set up and configure
- Dedicated status display included
- Mesh points do not leave extra space free on the sockets
- Coverage can be overkill for some
NETGEAR Nighthawk – best for Wi-Fi 6-enabled mesh network setup
The Nighthawk series of Wi-Fi routers from NETGEAR is focused on high performance. This is true with the brand’s Nighthawk mesh Wi-Fi system as well. Nighthawk mesh joins the design and form factor territory of Google Wi-Fi and Amazon Eero.
This mesh Wi-Fi system gives good competition to these competitors in terms of performance as well. If you want to choose a slightly-affordable mesh Wi-Fi system for streaming, gaming, and downloading, you cannot go wrong with this model.
High-end performance packed in a compact form factor
NETGEAR Nighthawk mesh Wi-Fi delivers consistently-fast connectivity speeds as it uses Wi-Fi 6 technology. It supports up to 25 devices and offers a coverage of up to 4500 sq ft. Similar to Tenda Nova MW6, this mesh Wi-Fi system is designed to be compatible with most internet service providers.
Similar to Google Wi-Fi and Amazon Eero, NETGEAR Nighthawk mesh Wi-Fi offers a simple set up which is made possible by the dedicated Nighthawk app. It also uses beamforming and MU-MIMO functions to ensure the best connectivity performance on every connected device.
This mesh Wi-Fi system comes equipped with NETGEAR Armor which includes several professional-grade security features, including data protection, anti-malware, antivirus, guest network access, and parental controls. The main router unit includes two gigabit ports, one for WAN and one for LAN connectivity. The extenders come with one LAN port each.
- Wi-Fi 6 technology delivers uninterrupted speeds
- Up to 4500 sq ft of coverage
- Up to 25 devices supported
- Beamforming and MU-MIMO functions supported
- Robust security features included
- Setting up the mesh system can take a bit of time
- Extenders have just one single LAN port
1) What are mesh routers?
Mesh routers work in sync with extenders/nodes to create a mesh Wi-Fi network within just one or multiple SSIDs. The mesh Wi-Fi network, in turn, improves connectivity performance across the entire given area. Compared to standard Wi-Fi routers, mesh Wi-Fi routers have a compact form factor.
2) Eero vs Orbi: which is better?
Both mesh Wi-Fi systems are good choices. Amazon Eero is more suitable for users who prefer simplicity when it comes to setting up the mesh network. NETGEAR Orbi offers more advanced configuration options and is the best for users who look for flexibility in hardware and network setting options.
3) How do I create a mesh network with two routers?
Mesh Wi-Fi systems feature one router and one or more extenders/nodes. Setting up a mesh Wi-Fi network using popular mesh Wi-Fi systems, such as Google Wi-Fi, Amazon Eero, and NETGEAR Orbi, becomes easy with the dedicated app. It’s important to make sure that the extenders/nodes are connected to the SSID via the main router unit.
4) Is a mesh Wi-Fi worth it?
Yes. A mesh Wi-Fi system is worth the choice if you have a large home and family. They also come as a great choice if you use multiple smart home devices and want to maintain high-speed connectivity in all the devices.
5) Is mesh Wi-Fi better than a router?
A mesh Wi-Fi system is better than a standard router for you if you have a large home and want to extend the Wi-Fi coverage. However, a standard Wi-Fi router can be good for you if you have a small home and have basic internet usage requirements.
6) Will a mesh network improve speed?
Yes. Placing the extenders/nodes at the right distances and angles will help you improve the speed and consistency of the connection.
There’s more to do than just choose the right mesh Wi-Fi system when it comes to establishing a high-speed and secure mesh Wi-Fi network in your home. It’s important to first determine the right spots to install the extenders/nodes. Doing a survey of your home will help you get this step right.
Another important step is to check the mesh Wi-Fi system’s compatibility with your internet service provider. It’s important to know that the speed of your current internet plan will largely determine the overall performance of the mesh Wi-Fi network you plan on setting up.