In today’s connected world, having smooth Wi-Fi performance is crucial not only for leisure activities like video streaming and gaming but also for work applications and communication, especially with the rise of remote work and online education. If you rely on robust connectivity for your job or your children’s education, strong, whole-house wireless coverage becomes a necessity rather than a luxury.
This is where Wi-Fi mesh router systems come into play. These kits create a web of Wi-Fi signals, blanketing your home with reliable coverage. In this article, we will explore the best Wi-Fi mesh routers, and provide valuable insights to consider before making a purchase.
While many modern wireless routers can provide a strong signal for most rooms in an average-sized house, larger homes or those with dense walls, multiple floors, or challenging building materials may require additional components to extend Wi-Fi coverage. Range extenders can help address dead zones, but they often compromise bandwidth compared to the main router. Access points, on the other hand, offer more bandwidth but also require a wired connection to the main router. Both solutions typically create separate network SSIDs, necessitating manual login when moving between different areas of the house.
There is an alternative: a mesh Wi-Fi system. With mesh Wi-Fi, you can overcome the challenges of coverage and enjoy a hassle-free setup process. These systems, such as the popular Netgear Orbi, provide a unified network experience without the need for multiple logins or performance sacrifices. They are easy to set up and manage, making it a breeze to extend your home network and connect a multitude of devices.
By investing in a mesh Wi-Fi router system, you can eliminate dead zones, enjoy internet connections, and even benefit from features like parental controls and guest networks. With the advancement of Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E mesh technology, you can future-proof your home network and ensure optimal performance for all your connected devices.
If you’re seeking to elevate your home network to new heights, it’s easy to choose the best mesh Wi-Fi system for your needs in 2023. With improved coverage, simplified management, and advanced features, mesh routers offer a solution for larger homes and demanding Wi-Fi environments. Say goodbye to Wi-Fi dead zones and embrace a comprehensive home network experience.
Understanding Wi-Fi Mesh Systems: Seamless Home Wireless Coverage
Also known by popular brand names like Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro or TP-Link Deco, these systems update the way we experience Wi-Fi connectivity within our homes.
A Wi-Fi mesh system consists of multiple components working together to create a seamless network throughout your entire home. The setup includes a main router, which connects directly to your modem, and satellite modules, also known as nodes, strategically placed throughout your house. All these components work as a unified system, sharing the same network name (SSID) and password.
Unlike traditional range extenders that communicate with the router via specific radio bands, Wi-Fi mesh system satellites utilise mesh technology. This enables them to communicate not only with the main router but also with each other, ensuring optimal coverage and performance.
What sets Wi-Fi mesh systems apart is their user-friendly nature. While setting up and maintaining a traditional home network may be intimidating, Wi-Fi mesh systems are designed with simplicity in mind. Most systems provide a dedicated mobile app that guides you through the installation process using easy-to-understand instructions and illustrations. The app helps you determine the ideal placement of each node for maximum coverage and selects the best Wi-Fi channel and radio band to ensure optimal performance as you move around your home.
Expandability is another advantage of Wi-Fi mesh systems. You can easily add more nodes to the network, without any current limit, allowing you to extend coverage to even the furthest corners of your home. Managing your network is a breeze through the smartphone app, which grants you convenient control. With just a press of a button, you can disable Wi-Fi access to specific devices or prioritise network access for certain devices, all without navigating complicated network settings.
In summary, Wi-Fi mesh systems provide a solution for improving home wireless coverage. With their easy setup, expandability, and user-friendly management, you can enjoy uninterrupted connectivity throughout your entire home.
Choosing the Right Wi-Fi Mesh Router: Design and Features to Consider
When selecting a Wi-Fi mesh router, you’ll notice that these systems differ from traditional setups. The design of the router and nodes is sleek and elegant, often featuring internal antennas. They are specifically crafted to blend seamlessly with your home decor, allowing you to place them anywhere without disrupting the aesthetic appeal. Unlike devices with numerous flashing LED indicators, Wi-Fi mesh systems are designed to be discreet.
In terms of connectivity, most Wi-Fi mesh systems include at least one LAN port, allowing you to connect devices such as TVs and gaming consoles. However, USB connectivity is not commonly found in these systems.
Similar to standalone routers, Wi-Fi mesh systems operate on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz radio bands, offering multi-band functionality. Some models even support advanced features like Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) technology. This technology enables simultaneous data streaming to multiple compatible wireless devices, enhancing overall performance.
Wi-Fi mesh systems also typically employ band steering, automatically selecting the least-crowded radio band to optimize performance. Additionally, they provide user-friendly features such as parental controls, guest networking, and device prioritization options. While designed for ease of use, they may lack certain advanced network management settings found in traditional routers, such as individual band control, detailed firewall settings, and wireless transmission rate adjustments. It’s important to note that customizing the system with third-party WRT firmware for enhanced performance and network monitoring is not typically supported.
Consider these design and feature factors when choosing a Wi-Fi mesh router that aligns with your needs. Whether you prioritise aesthetics, seamless connectivity, or user-friendly controls, finding the right Wi-Fi mesh system will enhance your home network experience.
Finding the Perfect Wi-Fi Mesh System: Our Top Recommendations
To help you make an informed decision, we have carefully selected our top choices for Wi-Fi mesh systems.
It is important to note that mesh WiFi systems are almost always less reliable than installing access points in your home.
Want to find out more about the different WiFi options for your home?
Google Nest Wi-Fi System
Google has unleashed its latest mesh Wi-Fi system, the Nest Wifi Pro, offering Wi-Fi 6E speeds and Matter support to seamlessly control your smart home devices. This compact system stands out with its refreshed design, featuring a smaller form factor compared to competitors like Netgear’s Orbi RBKE963 and Linksys’ Atlas Max 6E. Moreover, Google offers a range of colour options, allowing the Nest Wifi Pro to effortlessly blend in with your home décor.
With the addition of a new 6GHz band, the Nest Wifi Pro achieves impressive speeds, reaching 971.9 Mbps. While other Wi-Fi 6E routers may deliver even faster performance, the Nest Wifi Pro capitalises on the benefits of Wi-Fi 6E, delivering enhanced speeds at close range. However, it’s important to note that the Nest Wifi Pro is not compatible with Google’s previous mesh Wi-Fi systems.
Similar to its predecessors, Google Wifi and Nest Wifi, the Nest Wifi Pro is managed exclusively through the Google Home App. This user-friendly app allows you to control and customise your network settings.
For those with gigabit Ethernet connections at home, upgrading to the Nest Wifi Pro is a worthwhile investment. However, if you have slower internet plans or are on a budget, Google’s Nest Wifi remains a fantastic choice.
Netgear Orbi RBKE963 WiFi 6E Mesh System
The Orbi WiFi 6E, identified as model number RBKE963, is a powerful mesh Wi-Fi system that offers good coverage. With the ability to cover up to 9,000 square feet, or up to 12,000 square feet with the addition of a third satellite, it provides extensive Wi-Fi reach throughout your home.
Featuring 12 antennas and four Ethernet ports (including one rated at 2.5 Gbps), the Orbi RBKE963 is one of the largest mesh Wi-Fi systems available. The setup process involves creating channels on the 2.5, 5, and 6-Ghz bands, with an additional 5-Ghz channel dedicated to backhaul communication between units. This design ensures a strong Wi-Fi signal between the units without compromising bandwidth for your other devices.
While the Orbi WiFi 6E is undeniably a top-performing mesh router, it comes at a higher price point. If you have the budget and require high-speed internet connectivity for a large home, this system is an excellent choice.
Asus ROG Rapture GT6
Designed specifically for gamers, the Asus ROG Rapture GT6 takes Wi-Fi 6 to the next level. As part of Asus’ Republic of Gamers line, this mesh Wi-Fi system comes in a two-pack and delivers a strong Wi-Fi signal, covering up to 5,800 square feet.
Unlike traditional mesh routers that prioritise discreet placement, the Asus ROG Rapture GT6 stands out with its distinctive trapezoidal shape and eye-catching built-in RGB lighting. Its unique design makes a statement while providing exceptional performance. With nine antennas strategically positioned, the GT6 ensures superior coverage throughout your gaming environment.
On the back of the router, you’ll find a 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port, three gigabit Ethernet ports, and a USB 3.2 port. These connectivity options allow you to easily access and share data across your network, enhancing your gaming experience and supporting other devices.
While the GT6 doesn’t feature Wi-Fi 6E, it leverages a single 2.4 GHz band and two 5 GHz bands to optimize performance. By utilising 160 MHz data channels and beamforming, the router achieves impressive speeds. It creates 2X2 2.4 GHz streams and 4X4 5 GHz transmissions, delivering a maximum throughput of 10.1 Gbps.
Discover Reliable WiFi Solutions
With a nationwide network of WiFi experts, we can assess and address any connection issues you may be facing with customised solutions. By choosing The Wifi Specialist for installation, you’ll benefit from high-speed browsing and dedicated aftercare. Our team will ensure your network is reliable and tailored to meet your specific needs.
While mesh WiFi devices offer the convenience of extending your internet signal without network cable installation, they have their drawbacks. Each hub in a mesh WiFi system requires a connection to your mains power supply, making it an impractical solution for many. Due to their limitations and other reliable alternatives available, The Wifi Specialist does not recommend mesh WiFi installation.
Explore superior options such as a network of advanced access points or a wired cable installation, which provide reliable internet boosting without the inconveniences associated with mesh WiFi networks.
Contact The Wifi Specialist today to discover the ideal WiFi solution for your requirements.