Best Mesh Routers

A mesh router is a type of networking device that allows you to connect wirelessly to the internet by creating a mesh network. A mesh network is created when multiple devices, called nodes, are connected together wirelessly. After a lot of tests and research, we came up with an in-depth guide to make sure you will find the best mesh routers of 2022.

Ben Grindlow

Ben Grindlow is the founder of ProXPN, a company that provides reviews about VPN products and services. Ben's interest in cybersecurity and privacy led him to start ProXPN, which has become one of the most well-respected VPN providers in the world. Ben is passionate about his work, and he is constantly exploring new ways to improve ProXPN's in-depth guides.

Last updated: 10:10AM 7/5/2022

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Do you move from one position to another in your home and notice that your Wi-Fi signal drops drastically or completely disappears?

If this is your situation, you need a broader Wi-fi system to give more bandwidth to your connected devices. A good mesh Wi-Fi system gives you a wider Wi-fi coverage, so your internet connection remains at peak height regardless of the distance.

#1 Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6 RBK852

Best Mesh Wi-Fi System of 2022

Scorecard: 9.8 out of 10

To enjoy top-notch wired and wireless connections, choose Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6. Although the price is on the high side, when you buy the Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6 set, you enjoy a fast and reliable connection in your home. Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6 is the best mesh router to use in 2022.

  • WiFi standards: 802.11ax and older
  • Frequency bands: Simultaneous tri-band
  • MU-MIMO: Yes
  • 2.4 GHz speed: 1200 Mbps
  • 5 GHz speed: 4800 Mbps
  • Ethernet ports: 9

#2 TP-Link Deco M5

Affordable Mesh Wi-Fi System of 2022

Scorecard: 9.0 out of 10

Are you looking for an affordable way to distribute your mesh Wi-Fi system throughout your home? TP-Link Deco M5 is the best pick. Although this Wi-Fi mesh system is not as fast as some in our top 5 mesh Wi-Fi systems, it is a budget-friendly option, especially when you need a stable network over top speeds.

  • WiFi standards: 802.11ac and olderFrequency bands: Simultaneous dual-band
  • MU-MIMO: Yes
  • 2.4 GHz speed: 400 Mbps
  • 5 GHz speed: 867 Mbps
  • Ethernet ports: 6

The 5 Best Mesh Systems at a Glance

  1. Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 RBK852 – Best Mesh Wi-Fi System with Fast Speeds
  2. TP-Link Deco M5 – Affordable Mesh System with Decent Speeds
  3. Google Nest WiFi – Best Mesh System with Support for Google Home Products
  4. Ubiquiti AmpliFi AFi-HD – Stylish Mesh System with Fast Speeds
  5. Asus AiMesh RT-AX92U – Best Mesh Wi-Fi Router for Gamers

What is a Mesh Router?

Using a mesh router is a massive boost to your Wi-Fi network. The best Wi-Fi mesh systems work well with satellites.

Mesh routers share a Wi-Fi network with satellites, while normal routers function by spreading the network. The Wi-Fi signal strength of the mesh Wi-Fi kit is stronger than normal routers.

Another benefit of using Wi-Fi mesh routers over third-party Wi-Fi amplifiers is that it suffers little or zero signal loss. Without an attenuated Wi-Fi signal, third-party Wi-Fi amplifiers will not work. Before rebroadcasting signals, amplifiers have to switch between the reception and transmission of signals quickly.

Mesh routers use Ethernet and WiFi to connect to satellites. Although this method is more reliable and faster, connection via Wi-Fi is the preferred choice by many.

With mesh routers, you may experience minimal speed loss. The reason why it is minimal is that connected devices match with the routers.

The price of mesh Wi-Fi systems and WiFi amplifiers differ. Powerline adapters are better options if you need a good Wi-Fi network with fast speeds and better connectivity.

The Best Mesh Routers, Detailed

#1 Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6 RBK852

The Best Mesh System of 2022

WiFi standards: 802.11ax and older

Frequency bands: Simultaneous tri-band

MU-MIMO: Yes

Speed 2.4 GHz: 1200 Mbps

Speed 5 GHz: 4800 Mbps

Ethernet ports: 9

Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6 RBK852 is one of the best mesh systems of 2022 to try out. Although the powerful mesh network has one satellite, users with a large house can connect up to five satellites to ensure better internet connectivity and speeds.

The price tag of Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6 RBK852 is on the high side. With this mesh system, you enjoy the fastest processor and lightning-fast connection speeds between the Wi-Fi router and the satellites. You do not experience speed loss due to communication issues between the mesh Wi-Fi router and the satellite(s).

Fast internet connections for your smart home devices and other devices in all areas of your house are the main purpose of purchasing a mesh system. Wi-Fi 6 compatibility is necessary if you have mesh devices and other devices with Wi-Fi 6 support.

Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6 RBK852 is suitable for office use. It offers high-end features such as a multi-gigabyte WAN port for receiving top speeds of up to 2.5 Gbps for business use.

What is the Difference Between WAN and LAN?

WAN is an acronym that stands for Wide Area Network, while LAN is an acronym that stands for Local Area Network.

WAN offers wireless connectivity that extends outside your local network to the local networks of other points. It covers everything from that range, including internet switches, routers, clouds, and data centers.

On the other hand, LAN covers all the devices in your local network linked via wired or wireless, such as firewalls, workstations, and printers.

Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6 RBK852 has an easy setup thanks to its app for Android or iOS devices. Its website is intuitive and easy to navigate. There are easy-to-follow instructions available within the app for easy setup. All you have to do is to follow them.

Through the Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6 RBK852 app, you have central control over the entire mesh network. Compared to the best mesh systems, the settings do not offer much room for customization. Still, they offer you the basic options to perform your functions, such as running speed tests and pausing Wi-Fi connections on specific devices.

What We Like

  • Super-fast Wi-fi speeds
  • Compatible with WiFi 6 (802.11ax standard)
  • Easy mesh setup and installation for all
  • Mobile-friendly apps

What We Don’t Like

  • Expensive mesh router set

#2 TP-Link Deco M5

Best Affordable Mesh System of 2022

WiFi standards: 802.11ac and older

Frequency bands: Simultaneous dual-band

MU-MIMO: Yes

Speed 2.4 GHz: 400 Mbps

Speed 5 GHz: 867 Mbps

Ethernet ports: 6

If you are looking for an affordable Wi-Fi mesh router that performs well, TP-Link Deco M5 is the best mesh router you can get for a budget price.

TP-Link Deco M5 has two satellites, making it an affordable option compared to other mesh Wi-Fi routers. Ease of use is up there with the best Wi-Fi mesh systems.

A single LED at the center of the main router shows you your current status. The LED shows you the number of connected devices, their throughput, and parental controls. You get a manual that explains what the different status means.

For a budget price, the best mesh router has an app for Android and iOS users. One drawback of this Wi-Fi mesh system is that the LED format or settings are non-detailed and broad. However, it is simple enough to operate without having to be or hire a network engineer.

Installation of the devices and the satellites takes minutes to complete. You need to carry out a quick account registration for simple installation. Because the mode of communication between the app and Deco M5 is via Bluetooth, there is no need to repeat the same information.

TP-Link Deco M5 offers you a USB-C port for power connection and two gigabit Ethernet ports on each device. The design does not leave room for holes to mount on the wall. With its simple and minimalistic design, you can leave the devices in the open.

The focus of this mesh Wi-Fi is on coverage over high throughput. The mesh Wifi router still records a stronger connection despite the throughput not being the strongest among mesh Wi-Fi routers.

For better performance, connect your devices via Ethernet to this mesh Wi-Fi router to pick the best connection.

What We Like

  • Sublime coverage
  • Striking and minimalistic design
  • User-friendly app
  • Easy setup and good network management

What We Don’t Like

  • Not the fastest mesh Wifi router
  • No holes to hang the router and satellites

#3 Google Nest WiFi

Best Mesh Router for Google Home

WiFi standards: 802.11ac and older

Frequency bands: Simultaneous dual-band

MU-MIMO: Yes

Speed 2.4 GHz: 400 Mbps

Speed 5 GHz: 1733 Mbps

Ethernet ports: 4

Google Nest WiFi has an eye-catching design for both its router and satellites. The mesh router looks almost stony and has a matte white color. Satellites are hidden in a good way.

If you are using many Google devices, the Google Nest Wifi is the best option. On the router, you find a white LED that shows a connection. At the base of the router, there are two Ethernet ports hidden by a sturdy rubber and an AC charging port.

You need to use the app on an iOS or Android device to complete the installation process. The installation process is not always smooth and can prove a bit sketchy. If you experience difficulty the first time you try out the process, retry the connection some more to complete the whole process.

The same process for adding the main router follows for adding a Wi-Fi point (satellite). The good news, about 90% of the setup and updating is done for you by Google Nest Wifi.

The home app has a good interface and handles important functions such as creating a guest network, setting a priority connection, and setting parental controls. A drawback of the home app is its failure to handle all functions to the smallest detail.

From the Home app, you do not get to know the satellite your connected devices links to. This makes it impossible to adjust the connection. With no option for linking or adjusting connected devices to your satellites, you have to trust Google Nest WiFi to connect each device to the best satellite, which rarely happens.

Google has new cloud features that prioritize traffic types based on physical position and bandwidth needs. These features help compensate for the lack of options for manually linking or adjusting devices to your satellites.

The performance of Google Nest Wifi is good, although the speed is not the best. There are mesh Wi-Fi routers that provide higher speeds, but many do not have easy setups.

You can conduct a WiFi speed test by simply using the Google Voice Assistance feature to do it or by pressing a few buttons on the Google Home App.

What We Like

  • Integrates with your Google Home products
  • The mesh router and the satellites have a slick design
  • Easy to navigate Google Home app

What We Don’t Like

  • It is not the fastest mesh system
  • Zero control over small details of your Wi-Fi network

#4 Ubiquiti AmpliFi AFi-HD

Best Mesh Router for Style and Function

WiFi standards: 802.11ac and older

Frequency bands: Simultaneous dual-band

MU-MIMO: No

Speed 2.4 GHz: 450 Mbps

Speed 5 GHz: 1300 Mbps

Ethernet ports: 4

Ubiquiti Amplifi AFi-HD price is high, which tells so much about the quality. The design of the mesh router is beautiful, the satellites are movable and elongated, and the router has a large LCD screen.

Apple’s influence on the design of the Wi-Fi mesh system is clear from the box to the design. The box has fold-out parts and several tabs that resemble the packaging of average Apple products.

Ubiquiti Amplifi AFi-HD has a minimalist design that has many inputs and outputs. You get an Ethernet port for your modem and four Gigabit Ethernet ports for wired devices. There is space for a USB-C power port and a USB port for sharing printers and storage devices.

When you put on the Amplifi HD, the screen light comes on. You get a prompt to download the app for Android or iOS devices. You can touch the screen on the front to get more options, such as parental controls.

Installation is simple with the app. A self-explanatory video shows you how to carry out the entire process. When you install the app, it easily finds the router. The installation process is easy and quick to carry out by yourselves.

After set up, the Amplifi HD router has a good WiFi range even when you do not install the MeshPointFDs. The signal strength is decent and reaches up to the third floor.

If you want to add MeshPointHDs, the signal strength has an impressive range. Adding MeshPointHDs to your Amplifi HD router is easy to set up. Simply plug them into the router and wait for a few seconds for the app to pick them up.

The app provides access to several options. You can see several pieces of info on the LED screen, such as signal strength and the appropriate MeshPointHD location. Amplifi HD is easy to use and quick to install. The router supplies internet to all your home corners.

The Amplifi app allows you to tweak the settings. You get advanced networking tools, such as guest network access and port forwarding. Ubiquiti AmpliFi AFi-HD has an easy-to-use interface.

What We Like

  • The router coverage is excellent
  • Apple products-like design and nice router design
  • Installation process is the easy and quick
  • Fine network management

What We Don’t Like:

  • Questionable satellite design

#5 Asus AiMesh RT-AX92U

Best Mesh Router for Gamers

WiFi standards: 802.11ac and older (in mesh mode); 802.11ax and older in standard mode

Frequency bands: Simultaneous tri-band

MU-MIMO: Yes

Speed 2.4 GHz: 400 Mbps

Speed 5 GHz: 4804 Mbps

Ethernet ports: 4

Asus AiMesh RT-AX92U is the best mesh WiFi router intended for gamers. The mesh WiFi router has a small size and plenty of slots for inputs and outputs, including four Gigabit LAN ports and a Gigabit WAN port. There is room on the router for two more USB ports to connect a mobile modem, storage space, or printers.

Setting up the RT-AX92U is similar to other Asus routers. You can set it up via the app for Android or iOS users or via the web interface. Asus RT-AX92U has the same number of network functions and settings as other Asus routers.

This mesh WiFi router allows you to set parental controls and has AiProtection, which provides free real-time protection online. When you buy the mesh kit, you get access to Adaptive QoS that helps prioritize internet traffic for multiple purposes.

As the best mesh Wi-Fi router for gamers, it supports WTFast Gamers Private Network. By supporting the WTFast Gamers Private Network, the gamer’s home network is part of its VPN.

The design of the Asus RT-AX92U mesh kit is for delivering the best and fastest online gaming experience. It does its utmost best to use available bandwidth to achieve this feat.

Asus RT-AX92U works excellently as a stand-alone router but is a rather odd pick to act as a mesh system. It is not so suitable as a mesh system because, in mesh mode, the second 5 GHz band performs like a dedicated backhaul for satellite communication.

Wi-Fi clients using Asus RT-AX92U can only connect via Wi-Fi 5 (the ac standard wireless router). The RT-AX92U is equal to a regular ac system when using a 2-pack as the mesh.

You can stop the ax band from serving as a backhaul for communication with satellites from the settings, but that is difficult to carry out. Stopping the ax band from its defined function will affect the opacity of this mesh set.

Leaving the ax band at its default setting and using a wired connection between the router and its satellites, it hits top seeds. The setup is not the easiest, to get everything synced (up and running) takes some time.

Coverage is fine, and you can get the Wi-Fi 6 band backhauling, and you get high speeds. The Asus AiMesh RT-AX92U outperforms many AC routers.

What We Like

  • It offers excellent speeds and wide coverage
  • Detailed router configuration
  • You can adjust your connection for the best online gaming experience with the special WTFast VPN

What We Don’t Like

  • The installation process is not so easy to set up for the laymen
  • The ax band (WiFi 6) works only as a connection between the router and the satellite, although you can configure it differently

Buyer’s Guide

You need to look out for certain features and specifications before putting your hard-earned money into buying the best mesh Wi-Fi routers. Though there are many features and specifications, I will go the extra mile to explain the essential things in this guide.

Your Internet Speed and Bandwidth

Before buying a mesh router, consider the internet speed provided by your internet provider. Internet speed is the number one thing to keep in mind when searching for a router. How fast the internet speed depends on your chosen subscription plan and the medium through which the internet reaches your home (ADSL, cable, or fiber optic). The speed of your modem is important to consider.

AC routers are suitable for most households and can handle speeds of super-fast internet traffic plans. You do not need to use ax routers that support the newer 802.11ax protocol (WiF-i 6).

However, if you want to prepare your home network for the future, you need to invest in Wi-Fi 6e. Get the ax router if you have a large budget to invest in a good router that will not be obsolete in five to seven years.

WiFi Standards and Protocols

The Wi-Fi standards show the speed of a network. Here is a breakdown of the different Wi-Fi standards from new to old.

  • 802.11ax: Another name for this Wi-Fi standard is “Wi-Fi 6.” This Wi-Fi standard increases the top speed to a minimum of 4800 Mbps.
  • 802.11ad: This Wi-Fi standard is for making fast data transfers within very short distances. 802.11ad does not support long-distance connectivity. You have to use it within a few meters of the router.
  • 802.11ac: This is the most used and most popular Wi-Fi standard that hits speeds of up to 26000 Mbps. 802.11ac can operate on the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands simultaneously.
  • 802.11n: With this Wi-Fi standard, the top speed you can achieve is 450 Mbps. 802.11n works on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.
  • 802.11a/g: This Wi-Fi standard hits a maximum speed of 54 Mbps.
  • 802.11b: This Wi-Fi standard hits a top speed of 11 Mbps, and it is the first Wi-Fi standard launched.

Frequency Bands

Modern WiFi routers function not on just frequency bands but multiple frequencies. These Wi-Fi routers usually connect to two frequency bands, but several routers can connect to three frequency bands.

  • 2.4 GHz band: The frequency band is slower than others, but it has the widest coverage.
  • 5 GHz band: The frequency band is faster than the 2.4 GHz band but has less coverage.
  • 60 GHz band: The frequency band is the fastest and only covers a distance of a few meters.

Here is a quick explanation of single-, dual- and tri-band Wi-Fi:

  • Single Band Wi-Fi Band: This router type only uses the 2.4 GHz band and offers low throughputs and wider coverage.
  • Dual-Band Wi-Fi Band: This router type work with the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. However, you can not use both simultaneously; only one band can be active at a time. Simultaneous dual-band routers are active on both frequencies simultaneously.
  • Simultaneous Tri-Band: This router operates simultaneously with a 2.4 GHz and a 5 GHz band. It also operates with an additional 5 GHz band of a 60 GHz band.

Additional Features

MU-MIMO

The work of the Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology is to transmit and receive as high as 8 data streams. It uses different antennas to perform its functions for more stable and better speed performance.

Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO) technology works with the 802.11ac Wi-Fi protocol. The purpose of MU-MIMO is to give bandwidth to multiple devices simultaneously instead of consecutively.

Here is an example of the MU-MIMO in operation. Four Wi-Fi clients have their data streams and do not depend on the router to receive data. MU-MIMO can only work when the client devices and router have MU-MIMO WiFi circuitry.

Although you can easily find MU-MIMO routers in the market, MU-MIMO clients are not widely available.

Ethernet Ports

The best Wi-Fi routers have a minimum of four 10/100/1000 (gigabit) Ethernet ports. You can use these ports to carry out wired connections to wired devices such as PCs, home automation hubs, and network attached storage (NAS) servers, and other devices.

A router that supports link aggregation and faster throughput is the best option for moving many large files. Link aggregation uses two gigabit LAN ports to increase throughput up to 2Gbps. When your LAN connection drops, link aggregation gives you a fail-safe to help balance your network traffic.

You need a minimum of one USB port to connect a printer and share data in the network. You can connect to wired devices and share in the network with two ports. The more ports available, the better the connection.

When choosing a router to manage your Wi-Fi network usage, select one with a guest network feature, Quality of Service (QoS) options, and parental controls.

The benefit of parental controls is to prevent children from accessing adult sites, protect your entire network from exposure to your guests’ weird antics, and prevent your most essential network-related tasks from falling at the back of the queue.

Beamforming and Band Steering

Beamforming is a technology that directly sends WiFi signals to a client instead of the popular method of sending them in multiple directions.

This protocol is compatible with automatic band steering. Your router or amplifier can pick the most efficient radio band-based band availability and network traffic.

The Best Mesh Routers

  • Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 RBK852 – All-round use
  • TP-Link Deco M5 – Value for money
  • Google Nest WiFi – Best for Google Home
  • Ubiquiti AmpliFi AFi-HD – Style and function

FAQ

How Does a Mesh Router Work?

A mesh router connects to your modem and satellites organized in several places in your home to guarantee you strong WiFi coverage. With full WiFi coverage, it is perfect for streaming video.

Mesh routers differ from traditional WiFi routers with WiFi amplifiers in using a single wireless network and sharing the same SSID and password.

Conclusion

Reading this article before you buy a mesh Wi-Fi router is impoortant. The article goes in-depth to show you the best mesh routers for different users and purposes.

Frequently asked questions

Take into account that the theoretical gadget limit for mesh Wi-Fi systems is identical to that of traditional wireless networks because they all run on the same network with the same IP address range. However, whereas a single router can accommodate up to 32 devices, three routers (nodes) in a mesh system can each handle 32, bringing the total to almost 100.

Increasing the number of connections in a mesh network improves performance and minimizes congestion. In certain cases, mesh Wi-Fi may provide faster speeds, more dependability, and wider coverage than a traditional router. They’re also very scalable and simple to modify as systems.

Every link, or “hop,” between routers will reduce bandwidth by half in a mesh network. Because wireless connections may only transmit or receive at the same time, this leads to a very sluggish connection from beginning to end in a chain of mesh links.

The main disadvantage of a mesh topology is that it requires a large number of connections, which may be difficult to set up in some cases. Many connections need a lot of upkeep.

Mesh network systems are more seamless, efficient, and quick to update. Rather than being an add-on for an existing Wi-Fi network, mesh systems are usually complete replacements for your home Wi-Fi.

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