To find the best WiFi mesh systems for your home or office, we began by looking at the factors that help to ensure stable, high-speed connections, including their coverage range, network speed, smart features, and form factor. Depending on the size of your home, apartment, or office space, you may need a mesh system with a full coverage area to ensure no device gets left out. On the other hand, you may favor speed for intense online activities such as video games and 4K Ultra HD movie streaming. No matter your online routine, we have an option for you.
In our testing, we found the TP-Link Deco P9 Mesh WiFi System to be our top choice thanks to its massive 6,000 square foot coverage rating and powerful inbuilt Powerline system that enables WiFi to reach beyond thick walls. The P9 Mesh system also keeps up to 100 devices online with high-speed 802.11ac WiFi, providing speeds of up to 867 Mbps, perfect for watching 4K Ultra HD content on multiple machines or downloading large attachments. Keep reading to learn more about the TP-Link D9 and other mesh WiFi systems.
Top 6 Best Router Mesh Router
#1 TP-Link Deco P9 Mesh Router
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: TP-Link offers a powerful mesh solution with the Deco P9, delivering a massive 6000 square feet range of coverage, even through thick walls, while supporting up to 100 different connected devices.
- Large coverage area (6000 sq.ft.)
- Ability to support up to 100 devices
- Includes robust parental controls
- Questionable choice for smart homes
If you’re looking for the best WiFi mesh system to install in your house, the TP-Link Deco P9 will be your best bet. The system features one of the most extensive ranges of coverage out of the systems we reviewed, able to cover large living spaces or offices, up to 6000 square feet. The seamless roaming ability even allows you to move throughout your house while maintaining a smooth internet connection. If you have a collection of devices at home, there are no worries with the Deco P9 system, as it supports up to 100 devices connected at once.
If you’re a concerned parent, you can also set up robust parental controls for each of your children, selecting web filters for restricting inappropriate content, adding time limits, and suspending connections at the push of a button. One thing to note about the Deco P9 is that its two WiFi broadcasts (2.4Ghz and 5Ghz) can not be separated, making setting up smart home devices that only support 2.4Ghz WiFi a bit tricky, but still possible. All in all, the TP-Link Deco P9 is the best mesh WiFi for thick walls and other tricky scenarios. You can compare it to the best modem.
#2 Amazon Eero Mesh Router
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: Amazon delivers with a Mesh WiFi system that is easy to set up in under 10 minutes, while blanketing your property with up to 5,000 sq.ft. of WiFi. Eero also provides powerful internet security tools out of the box to keep your family safe.
- Easy 10-minute set up
- Control with Alexa devices
- Powerful security tools
- Dual-Band design limits devices
Amazon is a brand that has likely already invaded your home — whether it be via a Kindle, FireTV, or Prime membership. Now, Amazon can help ensure the devices in your home stay connected with the Eero mesh WiFi system. One of our favorite aspects of the system is its easy setup in less than 10 minutes and the support provided by Amazon if the need arrives. Once connected, you’ll have up to 5,000 square feet of internet blanketing your home or office. Best of all, Amazon includes a collection of fantastic security tools to keep your connection, and everyone using it, safe.
Amazon’s Eero system allows you to scan for threats, block content, and even advertising. Those who opt to upgrade to Eero Secure+ for a fee can then access security apps such as 1Password and Malwarebytes. You can also control your entire setup via an Amazon Echo device using voice commands. Just know that the dual-band design of the router is a bit limiting, so if you have a vast array of devices, you may want to check other options available. Like the best network switch.
#3 Meshforce M1 Mesh Router
Award: BEST BUDGET
WHY WE LIKE IT: Mesh WiFi systems have always been expensive, but Meshforce is changing that trend with the M1. Easy to set up, offering parental controls, and covering 4500 sq.ft., the M1 is an excellent option for anyone on a budget.
- Expandable for enhanced coverage
- Control via mobile devices
- Set up temporary guest WiFi
- Limited advanced functionality
When mesh systems were first introduced, they were prohibitively expensive for most individuals. Now, Meshforce is attempting to make a difference in the market with the M1 system by providing it at a more affordable price, and they are doing an excellent job. Featuring all the features you would want to see from a top-tier routing including 802.11ac WiFi for fast speeds, a coverage range of 4500 square feet, and secure WPA encryption options; the M1 is a choice most users won’t feel they sacrificed anything for increased affordability. Additionally, if you need more coverage, you can use up to six satellite devices for increased range.
The entire Meshforce network can be set up with a mobile device running iOS or Android, and once established, tweaks can help to create an even better experience. For example, the ability to create a guest network allows you to provide individuals with access to your internet, but without sacrificing the security of your WiFi devices. Just note that the Meshforce does lack some more advanced features to support DDNS, VPN clients, and static IPs. Don’t know what those mean? Then don’t worry, you likely won’t need them! If you want an AC router, read about the best ac router and see if it fits your needs.
#4 NETGEAR Orbi Mesh Router
Award: MOST DISCREET
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re looking to set up a mesh system that doesn’t announce itself to every guest that enters the house, then the NETGEAR Orbi is a solid bet with its versatile wall plugs that don’t take up counter space.
- Compact wall plug satellites (no wires)
- Reliable tri-band connection
- Gigabit port for fast wired connections
- Parental controls require subscription
- Low number of supported devices
While some of us may be proud to show off our new mesh WiFi systems, most will want to hide them away as yet another electric box. Not only does the NETGEAR Orbit present a more attractive router design than most other brands, but it includes several satellite units (as well as a base unit) that plug directly into your AC outlet — no need for additional counter space. These smaller units also don’t keep the system from being reliable as a tri-band connection keeps everything up and running.
We also appreciate the inclusion of gigabit ports on the back of the Orbi for fast wired connections. The two features we aren’t thrilled about are the parental controls which require a paid subscription to use, and that the manufacturer only claims support for up to twenty devices. That being said, the NETGEAR Orbi makes an excellent option for homes with only about a dozen and a half internet devices. For your gaming needs, read about the best router for gaming.
#5 Google Nest Mesh router
Award: BEST COVERAGE
WHY WE LIKE IT: Google knocks it out of the park with its Nest Mesh WiFi system, able to connect up to 200 devices while providing coverage over up to 6600 square feet — perfect for large homes and offices. Plus it’s easy to set up.
- Compact wall plug satellites (no wires)
- Reliable tri-band connection
- Automatically updates itself
- Extremely expensive
We’ll say it off the bat, the Google Nest Mesh WiFi System is fantastic, but your wallet better be prepared to pay the admission price. Best for households that have a seemingly endless number of devices, the Google Nest mesh WiFi system can support up to an impressive 200 device connections at a time. The system doesn’t fall easily either, as it provides fast AC2200 MIMO WiFi signals for both reliability and speed. In essence, you can even stream multiple 4K Ultra HD videos at the same time without worry if you have the internet plan to support it.
Coming from Google, we see a durable product that is easy to set up through the Google Home app on both Android and iOS devices. We also like that the Google mesh WiFi system will automatically update itself with new features, unlike some other routes which make the processes much more complicated. Just be sure you can swing the price as we felt it is prohibitive for most individuals.
#6 NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro XRM570 Mesh Router
Award: BEST HIGH-SPEED
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re a gamer, look no further than the NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro, optimized for intense online gaming with low ping optimization. You can even view real-time bandwidth usage for complete control over your network.
- Best for gaming
- Network monitor for identifying lag
- Geo-filter to reduce gaming ping
- No mobile app for control
Are you looking to increase your multiplayer game? Take your online matches to the next level with the Nighthawk Pro from NETGEAR, specifically optimized for gaming. As soon as you set it up, you’ll gain access to the Gaming Dashboard, enabling advanced control over your network. Use the dashboard to identify network lag via the network monitor or add geo-filters to prevent long-distance gamers from joining your game. Bandwidth prioritization even allows you to pick which devices on your network receive priority.
The NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro extends its range thanks to its tri-band WiFi system, able to handle up to 2.6Gbps of bandwidth at a time — optimal for video gaming, 4K Ultra HD video watching, and other high-demand activities. Without a doubt, the Nighthawk Pro is the best mesh WiFi for gaming. We only wish that NETGEAR offered a mobile app, as the only way to control this router is through a web browser, making it a bit more cumbersome than needed.
How We Decided
When selecting the best Mesh WiFi systems, we looked at the essential factors, including each system’s coverage range, network speed, smart features, and form factor. Then, to ensure that you always receive the best quality no matter your selection, we established minimum criteria, so only the best options would be presented to you. Our picks also take into account the different ways individuals use their internet, whether it be for necessary email, high-speed gaming, or smart home devices, such as HUE light bulbs or wireless security cameras.
When it came to coverage range, we opted not to select any products that covered less than 4000 square feet; more massive than the average home, it should be suitable for most individuals without any WiFi drops. Additionally, we ensured all of our selections use the latest 802.11ac network standard and at least a dual-band connection, making them reliable options for streaming movies and other modern activities.
Your network should be advanced, which is why we only selected options that include advanced smart features such as parental setup, smart roaming, and device control. Lastly, when it came down to form-factor, we ensured we picked a selection of different devices so that you could best find the option for you. Somethings are just personal taste after all, and we wanted to ensure everyone was satisfied.
Best Mesh Router Buyer’s Guide
- Coverage Range: It is critical to purchase a mesh WiFi system that will cover your entire home or office; otherwise, you will find yourself losing signal constantly. Generally, systems are sold with a rating of square footage. Be sure that the square footage is sufficient; if it is not, you can typically purchase an additional add-on satellite to expand the range.
- Network Speed: Most mesh systems will be fast enough for everyday tasks, but to be sure, make a selection that supports 802.11ac WiFi — the latest wireless standard. If you have a particularly demanding network with online video games and 4K Ultra HD streaming, a tri-band router should be on your shopping list for increased bandwidth and reliability.
- Smart Features: Whether you are a parent, a gamer, or a power-user, selecting a mesh system with smart features can give you greater control over your network. Seek out options with parental controls for keeping an eye on the kids or, if you are a power-user, make sure the choice you are selecting gives you access to an advanced dashboard.
- Form-factor: Many people want to throw their WiFi systems into a closet, but the best performance is given when the devices are out in the open. Select a form-factor that can fit into the spaces you intend on placing your new mesh system, and make a selection that you won’t feel is a constant eyesore.
- Smart devices: Typically speaking any smart device should work with any mesh router or network. Which is to say, all today’s routers are compatible universally with most devices. However, the frequency ban can be a factor in some of Smart Devices, but generally speaking, this isn’t an issue in today’s world. That said, and to be clear, frequency band refers to 2.4 and 5 GHz, which are the two frequencies today’s routers operate on. Some mesh routers, will require some advanced configuration to enable the 2.4GHz and 5 GHz frequency band. To do this, refer to your manual, though we default to Youtube videos and each respective model to enable the frequency band of the mesh routers we test. These devices are also sometimes called “internet of things”, though that terminology isn’t nearly as popular as “smart devices”.
- Signal Strength: while signal strength is vital to any router, in the case of mesh routers the heavy lifting isn’t done by a single router. Instead, the signal strength to your computer or laptop is sent from the individual nodes, which means there is less degradation in single strength to reach your devices. Conversely, your devices won’t work as hard, as the source of the signal will be physically closer and thus maintain a better connection.
- Network Security: Network security, by default, is enabled in all mesh routers. That in mind, many mesh routers offer advanced features to improve your network security. This could include parental controls, bandwidth limitations, firewall features, device rejection based on Mac address, and more.
What is a Mesh Router?
A mesh router is a new type of networking hardware that replaces traditional wireless routers with a series of smaller, often much more stylish “nodes” which make up a “mesh” of coverage around your home, creating a wifi signal that blankets the entire home.
Mesh networking works by creating an ad-hoc link that stretches from node to node, removing the need for additional accessories like range extenders and routing repeaters to get a powerful and consistent signal to every area of your home completely unimpeded. It also eliminates the need for a wifi range extender.
Mesh systems are often preferred by customers with larger homes or those who want to browse in areas that can present challenges for less powerful traditional routers. This includes browsing in areas like your backyard, basement, or attic, and can also make it easier to get a more consistent signal to all of your devices at once no matter where you’re trying to surf from in the home.
Some mesh router brands include Deco, Netgear, Zyxels Multy, Asus, Orbi, Tp-Link and others. Some of the more popular mesh routers include Tp-Link Deco M9 plus mesh, the Ally plus whole home smart wifi system, the Asus Lyra home wifi system, Luma whole home wifi, Ubiquiti Amplifi HD, Netgear Orbi high performance ac3000 and many more. In fact, the m9 plus mesh wifi system is very highly rated. The point is that there are many to choose from.
Most wireless mesh routers, like the Orbi RBK50 work with your other smart home devices like the Samsung Smartthings hub, which is why a mesh router can be considered a smart wifi system. A smart wifi system is easier to use and it makes it easier to manage your wifi networks, set up a guest network, and keep your internet connections more secure. Models like the D-link Covr also have great parental controls. Some can even connect to a hard drive.
Range Extender and Why Mesh is Better
A range extender is a bit different. Range extenders traditionally do the same thing as a mesh router, which is to say they extend the reach of your router. However, the mesh router is an entire single system that intelligently allows your devices, such as your laptop or smartphone, to connect to the correct one. So in short, mesh is much smarter and more reliable. To that end, mesh routers are easier to manage and maintain as there is a single point of access. Whereas with range extenders it requires two points of login.
How Much Should You Expect to Spend on a Mesh Router?
Mesh wifi networking is simply the best way to get whole home wifi, but the one drawback that most of you’ve probably already noticed from the list above is that when compared against traditional routers, mesh networking systems can cost quite a bit more out of pocket.
This is because physically you’re paying for more hardware, with most mesh systems including at least two nodes and many going up to five nodes to get complete coverage around your home. Because of this, you should expect to spend at least $50 – $200 more than you would for a competing traditional router, though in our opinion if you live in a large home there’s simply no better way to go for getting the most out of your local wireless network.
Some options like the Tenda Nova are still relatively affordable with each three pack costing just a little under $100, though this can quickly add up when you need more than three nodes to get complete range and power coverage. Comparatively other options like the eero Pro will set you back a staggering $500 for the same three pack, and it’s in situations like these where you really need to break down all the features you’re looking for and if the Tenda Nova covers them all, consider going that route instead.
Mistakes to Avoid
- Not Buying Enough Antennas: Although it can be tempting to skimp on the cost of your mesh routing system by only buying the most minimal options available from the manufacturer, we recommend doing a bit of research beforehand and see what the company recommends for your size home. This can also change depending on your use case (browsing outside, in a basement, in a house with 3+ floors, etc), so be sure to read all the specs and how much range you can expect to get out of each antenna before rolling through the checkout.
- Going With Mesh Routers When a Standard Router Will Do: Even though it might be tempting to go exclusively with a mesh routing system since they’re the newest hottest product on the block of home networking, realistically they’re only designed for a specific subset of the consumer market. This includes users who have large homes or struggle to maintain a reliable signal throughout their house when they move from one end to the next, but may not make as much sense for those living in apartments. Apartments and smaller homes (generally those under 2500 sq. ft) can be serviced fairly well by a standard router (which can cost significantly less than a mesh router), but of course you may also want something that’s less obtrusive and more stylish than a traditional router, which is where a wifi mesh router might still be the better choice.
- Spending Too Much: Another common mistake that first-time wireless mesh systems router buyers might make is pretty much the opposite of not buying enough antennas — buying too many! Again, you’ll be able to find the ratings for specific mesh systems on the manufacturer’s websites that will effectively break down exactly what kind of setup you’ll need to cover your specific house layout and device count.
Mesh Router FAQs
What is the best mesh WiFi system?
According to our research, we found the top pick for a WiFi mesh system to be the TP-Link Deco P9; it delivers a massive 6000 square feet range of coverage, even through thick walls, while supporting up to 100 different connected devices. It also supports advanced parental controls out of the box.
Is a mesh WiFi worth it?
Mesh WiFi systems work to eliminate dropped connections and areas with low WiFi speeds. If you have a standard-sized home or larger, or you enjoy high-bandwidth activities such as video gaming or movie watching, you will also see the benefits of a mesh WiFi network.
Which is better mesh WiFi or router?
Due to using multiple devices, a mesh WiFi system is typically better than a single standalone router. Using a mesh WiFi system will blanket your home or office in high-speed wireless connectivity where a single router might struggle.
What are wireless mesh network disadvantages?
Wireless mesh networks used to be more complicated, but that problem has been solved mainly by better set up software. Additionally, the use of a wireless mesh network does require you to place multiple devices throughout your home, but the trade-off is a much more reliable signal.
Will this work with my ISP (Internet Service Provider)?
Your ISP shouldn't care what device you use to set up your mesh router with your Internet Service provider. On occasion, you might have to have them white list the device or have them restart your device at the source to get your mesh router to perform a sort of handshake between the Internet Service Provider and the new mesh router.
What about an access point?
In short, you don't have to worry about access points. They're really designed for those that can ethernet cable to the main router. It's something you might want to consider if your home or office has been wired with Ethernet or CAT cable.
Will my Smart TV work with a mesh router?
Yes, yes, and yes. Your Smart TV will work with any of today's mesh routers on the market. Just make sure you read your TV's instructions to determine how to connect your smart TV to your new mesh router. Alternatively, the setup should be pretty straight forward; just enter your TVs settings menu and looking for the wifi or wireless settings.