Mesh wifi systems enable strong whole house wifi coverage, improving reception and speed for all devices. Mesh networks feature easy setup and mostly maintenance free use. They feature higher reliability and easier use than past wifi range extenders. As house sizes grow beyond 1500 square feet, mesh wifi networks greatly improve performance throughout the house. While a wide range of routers exists, the best mesh wifi options are described below.
NETGEAR Orbi Tri-band Whole Home Mesh WiFi System with 3Gbps Speed (RBK50). The Orbi tops of the list of mesh routers. It features three ethernet ports connecting devices performing better with a wired connection (tv, dvr, etc). The main router broadcasts through six antennas, covering 2000 square feet.
Additional “Orbi Satellites” extend the range to 5000 square feet. Each satellite hosts four ethernet ports. They extend the tri-band wifi throughout the house, allowing you to walk from one side of the house to the other, even up and down stairs, without losing connection. With 3 Gbps speed, one person can work, one can game and others can stream shows without anyone noticing a drop off in speed.
While 2-3 satellites should be enough for most houses, each router can support 25 satellites. Therefore, even areas of the house with poor reception should experience optimal wifi speeds. The Orbi receives top marks in Amazon reviews. Anyone planning to implement or replace a mesh network should start here. Setup is simple, with an app guiding the way.
Video by Netgear:
Google Nest Wifi Router. The Nest router is Google’s second generation, following the original Google Wifi system. Each router possesses 2 ethernet ports and can cover 2200 square feet, meaning that a two pack should easily handle a 4500 square foot house. A three pack may be a better plan for homes with odd shapes or areas with connection issues.
Setup is simple and quick with the Google Home app, which connects the main router to the secondary routers. The wifi name and passwords are created within the app and access to wifi for visitors granted through the app. While the Nest does allow for pausing the internet completely, or pausing certain devices — giving parents control — it lacks the customization of other mesh networks.
If you want, you can check out some videos on youtube that show you the unboxing and setup, for example:
ASUS Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi Gaming Router. For serious gamers, the ASUS Gaming Router deserves a hard look. The router contains a game accelerator from WTFast designed to ensure uninterrupted gameplay. It also contains 8 ethernet ports.
Setup requires a web interface rather than an app, however, the interface allows easy and quick setup. Hardware Canucks did a great video on it:
Whichever network you choose, mesh networks are needed for anything but small homes. They allow whole house connectivity without a noticeable loss in speed and allow peaceful existence among all household users.