Mesh it up: The Best Mesh Wifi Routers

mesh wifi routersNowadays, modern homes highly depend on the internet. Imagine having a 100 Mbps internet plan only to find out that there are spots in your house that don’t exactly get the same speed as others. This is a common scenario dealt by homeowners especially in areas far from the router. Walls made of concrete, brick, or metal can obstruct the signal creating dead zones. For instance, your traditional modem may not be able to reach parts of your home such as the backyard or your basement.

Mesh Wifi, also known as Whole Home WiFi systems, has become popular over the years. Since more and more homes are now using Mesh Wifi, what makes it different than your traditional WiFi extender?

Just continue reading to find out what mesh wifi system is the best on the market today.

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What is Mesh Wifi?

Mesh WiFi consists of different router-like devices that provide strong WiFi connections to the different parts of the home. For the non-techy consumers, just think of it as your modern-day WiFi extender. The only difference is that Mesh WiFis are easy to set up, users don’t need to think of different network names and they don’t have to deal with other confusing technical quirks usually encountered with WiFi extenders.

To put it simply, the router-like devices are all included in a single wireless network. It means one SSID and one password to simplify everything for its users.

How does mesh wifi work?

Mesh Wifi works using different wireless mesh nodes. These nodes communicate with each other and share the connection maximizing the area covered by your Wifi. The mesh nodes are small radio transmitters. These devices function the same way as wireless routers. The nodes are using a software that allows them to interact within the network.

Information travels from point A to point B wirelessly. It means that it connects from one mesh node to the next. The nodes are the ones that decide the best way to connect in a process that is known as dynamic routing. This technology allows Mesh Wifi to function in a truly wireless sense.

The main advantage of this technology is that it is truly “wireless” in the essence of the word. Only one node needs to be connected to an internet modem. From this one wired node, the connection is then shared with the other nodes within its network. Each node shares the connection to the closest node to them within this network.

Top Reasons why you should invest in a Mesh Wifi System?

Reliability

The number one reason why you should consider using a Mesh Wifi system is how it provides access to different parts of the home. It’s a reality that homes deal with a lot of dead zones.

With Mesh Wifi, you get an equally strong wifi connection on different parts of the home even if you are dealing with weird architecture or with a large space in your home. It is convenient considering that you don’t need to walk your device to a room with a strong internet connection or you don’t have to stop in the middle of your way to the bathroom because of weak internet once you closed the bathroom door.

Mesh Wifi can broadcast the same strength across different nodes. It eliminates the problem that you are a bit too far from the WiFi router. If your router has an effective radius of around 100 feet, nodes can be used to replicate the same strength by reproducing the signal in different parts of the home.

Maximize your internet subscription

It’s a common problem wherein you can’t use the internet in some parts of the home. It means that you are not getting as much from your internet subscription. Mesh Wifi solves this problem by giving stable internet connection across different parts of the property.

For those property owners that list their property on Airbnb, this can even help minimize complaints from guests especially those who end up staying in dead zones.

Easy to Install

Probably the number one reason why Mesh Wifi is so popular these days is the fact that it is easy to install. You don’t need to be technically knowledgeable to enjoy a stable internet connection in different parts of the home using Mesh wifi.

Mesh network solves issues within the network

Maintaining and improving the Wifi network used to be tricky before Mesh Wifi. Often, it requires that you will be calling a pro to get the job done. If not, you will need to have technical knowledge on how to optimize signal strength.

On the part of Mesh Wifi, you have an app that can simplify the process. It becomes user-friendly to modify your network even if you are not at all connected to it. You can access the primary router, modify the passwords and more.

In addition to this, nodes are designed to communicate with the nearest node to them. If one node isn’t responding, the node will automatically find the next best option to communicate with another node.

Security

Security is a great concern for a lot of users today. One thing that first time users usually ask is will their network still be secured even if they boost their signal? With Mesh Wifi, you have every control possible to change the password or even kick every device that is connected to your WiFi.

And since there are Mesh Wifi satellites that are affiliated with Google, you can use the same security on your network just like how you do it on your Google account. You also get to enjoy authentication and security questions. It means that your personal information and your access to your Wifi can still be secured.

Cost-Effective

Imagine paying for a maintenance guy to fix your internet connection regularly. Or maybe, just imagine paying for wires to be installed a property simply because you want an internet connection for different rooms?

Mesh Wifi is a cost-effective solution. Simply put, you will only have to pay once. Just pay the WiFi satellites once and you are ready to go. Now, the cost differs depending on the size of the property that you want to cover. As a rule of thumb, the larger the property, the more nodes that you will need. For an average-sized home, homeowners can spend a small amount just to make sure that there are no dead zones in the house.

What are the Best Mesh Wifi Routers

Ahh, finally..

We will now show you the best (in our opinion) mesh wifi routers and system that are currently available.

We’ll start with the best overall.

Best overall: Netgear Orbi*

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NETGEAR Orbi Tri-band Whole Home Mesh WiFi System with 3Gbps Speed (RBK50)...

Last update was on: July 6, 2020 11:02 am

$289.99 $369.99

The Orbi by Netgear is probably THE best Wi-Fi mesh system out there.

It offers a robust and reliable wi-fi signal for your whole home by using Tri-band mesh.

Buffering? A thing of the past. Slow download rates? Forget it.

Not only is it affordable, it is also super well reviewed Amazon.

Let’s get to the technical specs for the Netgear Orbi.

Specs & Details 

For starters, the Orbi uses the very powerful Quad-Core 710MHz processor and has a memory of up to 512MB (NAND flash) and 512MB Ram.

On the back of the router you’ll find three Gigabit Ethernet ports that you can hook up to your devices (TV, Console, etc.)

But where it really shines is the Wi-Fi: The Orbi uses AC3000 Tri-Band Wifi resulting in a super robust and incredibly fast wi-fi connection. The router alone has six high performance antennas to send the wifi signal throughout your entire home. The range is insane and the speed is incredible.

Streaming and gaming with up to 3Gbps has never been easier and makes cable connections redundant. Plus, it looks fantastic and very elegant.

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Features 

We already mentioned, that the Orbi router alone can cover up to 2000 sq. ft.  But you can add additional so called “Orbi satellites” into the mix to cover up to 5000 sq. ft. and create a seamless network for your whole home. So if you move from the living room to the office, the connection won’t drop. In addition, each satellite has a whooping 4 ethernet ports on the back. Awesome!

According to netgear you can add up to 25 satellites into your mesh system. That’s a lot. You could cover Bezos mansion with that…

Netgear also has a built-in security software called Armor, that protects your network from malicious attacks (hacking, malware etc.) and added parental control settings via an app to pause the internet or filter certain websites (for your kids).

How to install it/ How to set it up

Orbi is an expandable wifi system that works with most of the big ISP providers.

You simply hook up the Orbi main router to your modem via the ethernet port on the back of the router. Then you download the Orbi app and follow the instructions.

You simply install the Orbi app on your smart phone, hook up the Orbi router to your modem and follow the guidelines on the screen. It’s completely idiot proof and you will be done in no time.

Adding additional satellites is also super easy. However, the number of satellites will depend on the size of your home. For a smaller apartment or house, you can easily get aways with just the Orbi router (up to 2000 sq. ft.). For anything bigger, we’d suggest to add at least one Orbi satellite into the mix.

Why it is the best overall Mesh wifi system?

Netgear’s Orbit simply steals the show. By using a dedicated Tri-Band technology, it offers a super fast and super reliable connection throughout your entire home. The range of the router alone is insane. But you can expand it by adding additional Orbi satellites, which is seamless and easy to do.

It also offers a few more ethernet ports than the competition.

Further, it is incredibly easy to set up, you simply use the Orbi app on your phone and follow their guidelines. Here you can also select the settinsg for the built-in security software that protects you from malicious attacks and configure the parental control settings (Circle® Smart Parental Controls). You can pause the internet, block websites or set schedule on when the internet can be used. This is great if you want to limit the screen time of your kids to certain hours.

FAQ               

  • Does it have an app?

Yes, you need to install the Orbi app on your smart phone to set up the network. Further, you use it for parental control and security settings.

  • Is it easy to set up?

We got into that already. Setting up the Orbi mesh system is super easy and idiot-proof.

  • Can I still handle my wired devices?

Sure, the Orbi router alone has 3 ethernet ports. Each additional satellite has a whooping 4 ethernet ports.

  • Will there be speed loss when you use Orbi? 

Unfortunately, you should always expect a bit of speed loss when using a wi-fi network. While Orbi offers incredible speed and reliable Wifi, it can’t compete with a wired connection via ethernet.

Haing said that, their Tri-band allos you to connect a lot of devices without significant speed loss. It will be more than enough for streaming and gaming.

The runner up: Google Nest Wifi System*

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Google Nest Wifi Router 2 Pack (2nd Generation) – 4x4 AC2200 Mesh...

Last update was on: July 6, 2020 11:02 am

$273.50 $299.00

Regardless if you have a smart home or if you simply want to improve the connection in your entire home, GoogleNEst Wifi System is one of the most reliable options for homeowners.

Their new nest wifi routers offer strong enough connections for 4k streaming and online gaming. Their connection is robust and seamless, allowing you to freely roam your home without having to worry about interrupted signals.

Specs & Details 

For starters, each Nest Wifi router makes use of a powerful 64 Bit Quad-Core ARM CPU processor. The router has a memory of up to 1GB and has a storage of up to 4GB, as well as 2 gigabit Ethernet ports at the back of each per device.

The wifi router uses AC2200 and can cover up 2200 sq. ft.

The device itself has a minimalistic look.

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Features & Setup

Google Nest can build a strong and reliable signal throughout your home. Each Nest router can cover up to 2200 sq. ft. You can easily expand this range by adding another nest router. With the basic set of two you can easily cover any home up to 4,500 square feet.

The set up itself is also super simple. Hook up one the Google Nest Wifi router to your modem and then install the free iOS or Android Google Home App to facilitate everything without breaking any sweat. You will be asked by the app to give a new network name and set a password. Via the app you can also share your internet password, test your speeds, limit the internet time for your kids, pause the internet completely and restrict certain kinds of content.

Any additional nest routers that you want to set up (to expand the range) only need to be plugged into the power outlet.

How Does the Google Wifi work?

The Google Wifi works via different points in your home that can boost your signal. The primary router is connected to your modem. The other nest routers then communicate with your primary node increasing the signal everywhere in your home. You simply have to plug them into the power outlet. That’s it.

The number of router will depend on the size of your home. A smaller home can already work with one node which covers 1,500 square feet. Now, if you have a larger space such as properties with multiple floors, you can enjoy the three-pack set that can cover 4,500 square feet.

Why it is such a good  Mesh wifi system?

There are plenty of reasons why Google nest wifi is one of the best Mesh Wifi systems in our list. The first reason is that it is easy to set up. You don’t need to be tech-savvy to appreciate the idea behind their system. All you need to have is an app and you can set everything up for your home.

Next, it is easy to maintain and optimize. The Google nest router installs important security updates automatically to sensure maximum security for your wifi network.

For parents, Google Wifi has a feature called Scheduled Pause. It allows you to pause the internet in your network. This keeps children from using the internet late at night and even prevents you from getting disrupted by emails and other notifications when you are asleep.

They also integrate with Alexa, of course. Plus the Nest Wifi is fully compatible with existing Google Wifi systems (previous iterations of their wifi mesh systems).

FAQ               

  • Does it have an app?

Google Wifi can be set up and maintained using its dedicated Google Home app. The app is available both on Android and iOS. However, a Google account is required to set up and manage the device.

  • Is it easy to set up?

Google Wifi has easy setup functionality. You will just have to download the app and everything simply follows from there. Just follow their guide.

  • Can I still handle my wired devices?

Each Nest Wifi router gives you two Gigabit Ethernet ports that you can hook up to your devices (laptop, PC, TV, Console etc.)

  • Will there be speed loss when you use Google Wifi? 

Unfortunately, you should still expect some internet speed loss when you use Google Wifi. If you expect high-speed internet, it is better if you don’t use this wifi system. Unfortunately, it won’t give you the chance to customize your home network like what other devices can bring to the table.

  • How many Google Wifi routers do I need?

It depends on the size of your area. As a rule of thumb, one Google router can cover 2200 square feet. A three-pack set can cover 6600 square inches.

As a rule of thumb, you need one router for a small home, two nodes for a medium-sized home, and three nodes for a large home.

Best Mesh Router for Gaming: ASUS AC3100*

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ASUS Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi Gaming Router (AC3100) with MU-MIMO, supporting AiProtection network...

& Free shipping
Last update was on: July 6, 2020 11:02 am

$240.98 $249.99

The internet connection requirements for casual internet browsing and gaming are two different things. Gamers need a fast and uninterrupted internet connection to ensure that there is no lag in their game. The ASUS  AC3100 is the first home router that offers eight Gigabit LAN ports. Plus, it offers a robust web interface including network monitoring capability that can give you peace of mind about your data.

Specs & Details 

The Asus AC3100 on paper has a total WiFi bandwidth of 3167 Mbps. It makes use of a Broadcom NitroQAM chipset which is the same that is being used on routers such as Netgear R8500 and RT-AC5300.

This router also has a 1.4 GHz dual-core processor, a 512 MB of DDR memory and a 128MB storage. To put it simply, it has powerful specs that can blow the competition out of the water.

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Features

This router features four detachable  antennas and 8 Gigabit LAN ports. It also supports USB 2.0 on the back as well as USB 3.0 port by the front. The USB 3.0 port was designed mainly for a permanent storage device.

Another feature of the ASUS AC 3100 Gaming Wifi is its web interface that allows easy set up with the device. You simply have to go to the default IP address (192.168.1.1) and the interface will guide you to everything you have to know.

It also features AiProtection with Trend MicroTM that allows the user to improve overall security within their network. Plus, it has parental control that allows you to stop certain devices from logging into the network. It means that you can ban a particular device from using the internet when it is time for the child to do his or her homework.

The LAN Settings for the ASUS AC3100 Router is also exceptional considering the link aggregation capability of this device. What it means is that it enables two ports to bond and serve as 2Gbps wired connection.

How to install it/ How to set it up

ASUS provides a configuration wizard to those who simply want to use this for casual browsing. The first step will be done by the system wherein the installation wizard is going to scan the connection. If you are on a connection that requires a login, you will go to step 2. You will have to refer to your ISP for more details. And finally, you will set your network name and password.

How does ASUS Dual Band Gigabit Wifi Gaming Router Work?

The ASUS Gigabit Wifi Gaming Router AC3100 is simply a powerful router. It can be used as the only router that you will need for the entire property given its range. This 8-port router also gives users the chance to still hook their wired devices to the router.

Many technologies make this device stand out. For instance, the Revolutionary Mu-MIMO technology allows different multiple MU-MIMO compatible clients at each device with maximum speed. You also have the Link Aggregation for up to 2Gbps that gives the users the ability to connect multiple devices and still enjoy high-speed internet.

Why it works so well for gaming?

What makes this fit for gamers is the built-in game accelerator from WTFast. This was made specifically for smooth gameplay, especially for multiplayer games. The game accelerator allows 5,400 square feet of coverage. So if you already have your gaming monitor and gaming pc ready, it’s time to invest into this asus router to complete your setup.

FAQ

  • Does it cover the entire house? 

The ASUS Dual Band Gigabit Wifi Gaming Router AC3100 can cover a large area. With its game accelerator, it can reach a radius of 5,400 square feet. It means that it can cover even a large house on its own.

  • Is it good for advanced users?

If you are an advanced user, this router is perfect for you. It even has a Traffic Analyzer that gives you the chance to see how much bandwidth is consumed per week.

  • How to install it? 

Installation is quite straight forward. The unit has a configuration wizard that allows you to set everything up. It also has a web interface by logging into an IP address (192.168.1.1).

  • How many wired devices can I connect? 

You can connect up to 8 wired devices on the router.

  • Does it have any parental features?

The router offers parental control features that allow the admins to limit the access of certain devices. You can also set the access time.

Best Mesh Router with Parental Control: Gryphon Smart WiFi Mesh*

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GRYPHON - Advance Security & Parental Control Mesh WiFi Router (up to...

& Free shipping
Last update was on: July 6, 2020 11:02 am

$209.00 $249.99

Apart from a strong internet signal throughout different parts of the house, parents are also concerned about their children’s access to the internet. In this aspect, it is important that the parent can easily limit the access of children especially when they are supposed to be doing their homework or they should already be studying.

The Gryphon Smart Wifi Mesh is a great device that can help parents get superior control over their network. The company started as a startup via Indiegogo and Kickstarter. From its humble beginnings, it has become a top choice especially for parents looking for a Mesh Wifi option.

Specs & Details 

There are three Gigabit LAN ports found at the back of the Gryphon Smart Wifi Mesh. At the back, it has a WAN port, a power jack, and a reset button. It is powered by a Quadcomm 4019 chipset plus a quadcore CPU. It also has a 512MB ram plus a 4GB memory.

As a triband AC300 router, it means that it can support up to 1.7Gbps on 5GHz bands. Plus, it can go up to 400Mbps for a 2.4Ghz band.

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Features 

One Gryphon Mesh Wifi can already cover 3,000 square feet. As a triband mesh wifi, it means that it is capable of doing 3 gigabits per second. With the 4×4 MU-MIMU feature, it means that it can handle multiple devices without compromising the speed of the connection.

If you still like to have wired devices, it makes use of three Ethernet ports that allow different devices to connect directly without any issues.

Next, you also have the malware protection that can be bought which costs around $99 per year. But what makes the security feature amazing is its ability to do parental controls based on different age groups. You have toddler, elementary, middle school, high school, and adult. Parents can have the option when the kids won’t have access to the internet or if they can only do safe searching.

How to Install it/How to set it up?

The installation process is a bit tricky with the Gryphon Mesh. Though you have the app, don’t be surprised if you find yourself struggling. There were instances when tutorials online were more helpful.

Since it makes use of an app, by paper it should be easier. You will be scanning a QR code at the base of the router to be able to set up a new Gryphon unit.

Content Filtering and Parental Control Functions and How they Work? 

Gryphon offers a robust parental control feature. Aside from providing control filters based on age (toddler, elementary, middle school, high school, adult, unrestricted), you can still enhance the protection by having a safe search and YouTube filter. It stops children from viewing adult content. Plus, you also have the Store Browsing history that gives parents a chance to view the child’s browsing history.

You can also dictate the specific time when the children can access the internet. And also, you can set Homework time which only gives limited access to the internet.

FAQ

  • Do you have to pay for the malware?

The malware is only optional. You can still use the Gryphon Smart Wifi even without the malware.

  • How much space can the Gryphon smart wifi cover? 

Gryphon smart wifi can cover 3,000 square feet

  • Does it have a USB port? 

No, it doesn’t have a USB port

  • What is the size of the Gryphon Smart Wifi?

The Gryphon Smart Wifi is considered big for a mesh wifi device. It measures 4.5 x 4.5 x 9.5 inches.

  • Does it protect children from harmful content online?

Gryphon has a great parental control. You can filter based on age and even allow children to just access websites for doing homework.

Conclusion

Mesh Wifi technology can help be more than just a way to provide internet access to large spaces and homes that have weird designs. It can also be used to improve your home’s security and have more control over what your children access online.

Choosing the right one can be tricky since you will have to consider different things. Also, the best Mesh Wifi differs from one person to the next. You need to consider the size of your home, your budget, and even the features of the Mesh Wifi system. This way, you can get the best bang for your buck.

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Last Updated: March 27th, 2020.