Best mesh Wi-Fi routers in 2021

Best mesh Wi-Fi routers in 2021

Best mesh Wi-Fi routers in 2021

Consider getting one of the best mesh Wi-Fi routers and leaving behind that old-school router collecting dust in the corner of your office. If you want to ensure a robust, uninterrupted signal in a big area of coverage or in a crowded network, these are the way to go. While it’s true that you could always add Wi-Fi extenders to boost typical wireless routers and get a similar result, a mesh router will do it better and more efficiently.So, what’s so special about mesh Wi-Fi routers anyway? It has to do with the way they’re designed. Mesh routers, unlike typical routers, are not just one unit but are made up of several units instead that can be placed around the area you want to be covered. Because of that, they’re able to provide a strong, continuous connection no matter where you are in your office or home.

If you have a network that has a ton of devices all fighting for bandwidth or you need to extend your range of coverage, you should invest in one of the best mesh Wi-Fi routers available. Once you have one of these, your connection problems will be a distant memory. Since no one should live or work with a poor network connection these days, take a look at our top picks so you can upgrade your network to the next level.

Best mesh Wi-Fi routers at a glance

  1. Google Nest Wifi
  2. Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8)
  3. Netgear Orbi Pro WiFi 6
  4. Linksys Velop WiFi 6 AX4200
  5. Netgear Orbi WiFi 6
  6. Netgear Nighthawk MK63
  7. Netgear Orbi AC1200
  8. TP-Link Deco M5
  9. Ubiquiti Amplifi HD
  10. Linksys Velop

Google Nest Wifi

The Google Nest Wifi kicks things up a notch. (Image credit: Google)

1. Google Nest Wifi

Google Wifi and Home together at long last

Speed: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2.4 GHz/5 GHz simultaneous dual-band | Connectivity: Dual Gigabit Ethernet ports | Features: Advanced security chip, Nest Wifi point with Google Assistant, privacy control

Excellent design
Smart speaker(s) included
Even simpler controls
No major performance gains
Not worth replacing the existing mesh

What’s better than the best mesh router? Well, a mesh router with a smart speaker, that’s what. Especially if you’re a smart home fiend, you will appreciate the pure genius of this upgrade in Google’s Wifi line. The Google Nest Wifi kicks things up a notch, taking Google Wifi’s incredible yet simple design and performance then merges it with the convenience of a smart speaker so you’ve got a two-in-one device in an even sleeker and more attractive package. And, if you’re tired of the color white, this one also comes in Mist and Sand colors. As far as the best mesh Wi-Fi routers go, the original Google Wifi is still the one to beat. This one just gives it that extra oomph.

Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8)

(Image credit: Asus)

2. Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8)

Wi-Fi 6 meets mesh routers

Speed: 802.11ax 4804Mbps down | Connectivity: 2.5 Gigabit Wan, 3 x Gigabit LAN, Gigabit Wan, USB 3.1 | Included mesh nodes: 2 | Features: MU-MIMO, Traffic Analyzer, Adaptive QoS, AiProtection Pro

Great Wi-Fi performance
Good security features
Limited to two routers

With the Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8), Asus has managed to introduce Wi-Fi 6 to that other cutting-edge tech in connectivity; mesh routers. While it is among the more expensive options out there and limits you to two mesh routers, the Asus ZenWifi AX offers blazing fast speeds as well as plenty of flexibility in its setup – such as the option to set up one or two networks using the 2.4 and 5GHz bands. With excellent security features to boot, this is a fantastic choice if you’re looking at the best mesh Wi-Fi routers.

Netgear Orbi Pro WiFi 6

(Image credit: Netgear)

3. Netgear Orbi Pro WiFi 6

Superb Wi-Fi performance

Speed: 802.11b/g/n/ax 2.4GHz 2,400Mbps, 802.11a/n/ac/ax 5GHz 2,400Mbps, 802.11a/n/ac/ax 5GHz 1,200Mbps | Connectivity: 1 x Gigabit or 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet WAN or LAN port, 2 x Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, Link Aggregation Mode4 optional; 2 x Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports | Included mesh nodes: up to 4 | Features: Insight App, 4 SSID wireless networks, up to 4X more devices than with WiFi 5

Easy to deploy
6Gbps backhaul
Hardly inconspicuous

Sprawling mansions and big companies have demanding network coverage needs that the regular mesh Wi-Fi routers simply can meet, which is why such systems as the Netgear Orbi Pro WiFi 6 exist. This is a powerful piece of kit, even at its most basic configuration, delivering superb Wi-Fi connection over a remarkably large area. If you want the most powerful mesh Wi-Fi, you’ve found it. However, it also comes at a lofty price that most households shouldn’t spend. Invest, but only if it makes technical sense.

Linksys Velop WiFi 6 AX4200

(Image credit: Linksys)

4. Linksys Velop WiFi 6 AX4200

Smart design and speedy performance

Speed: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax 2.4 GHz/5 GHz | Connectivity: 3 x Gigabit LAN, 1 x Gigabit WAN, 1 x USB 3.0 | Features: 4×4 MU-MIMO, Next-Gen OFDMA Technology, Tri-Band Dynamic Backhaul

Impressive Wi-Fi 6 performance
4x Ethernet and 1x USB ports
Defaults to single, merged network

The Linksys Velop WiFi 6 AX4200 is proof that Wi-Fi 6 mesh systems can be affordable and accessible, giving big households on a budget an excellent option that still delivers admirable performance and ease of use. If you want to improve your home network’s speed and connectivity, this state-of-the-art mesh system is an ideal solution. That’s especially if you’re ready to future-proof your network with Wi-Fi 6 technology. Those who aren’t as computer savvy will also appreciate that easy-to-use Linksys app.

Netgear Orbi WiFi 6

The Orbi WiFi 6 is your best bet when it comes to getting the best mesh Wi-Fi routers. (Image credit: Netgear)

5. Netgear Orbi WiFi 6

Netgear brings Wi-Fi 6 to its Orbi mesh range

Speed: WiFi 6 (IEEE 802.11ax) tri-band with 1x 2.4GHz (1200Mbps), 2x 5GHz (2400Mbps) | Connectivity: 2.5Gbps WAN, 4x Gigabit Ethernet; satellite – 4x Gigabit Ethernet | Features: Beamforming implicit and explicit for 2.4GHz/5GHz bands

Excellent Wi-Fi range and speed
Simple set-up, and easy-to-use app
Seriously expensive
Little support for Wi-Fi 6 right now

If you’re ready to jump on the Wi-Fi 6 bandwagon, the Orbi WiFi 6 is your best bet when it comes to getting the best mesh Wi-Fi routers. It’s not by any means a casual purchase, with its steep price tag, but if you’re looking to upgrade to a faster and more reliable router to cover a massive space – like your countryside mansion, perhaps, or your crowded smart home – then this one’s absolutely worth the money. Plus, it’s easy and straightforward to setup, making it great for people who don’t have too much experience with Wi-Fi networks.

Read the full review: Netgear Orbi WiFi 6

Netgear Nighthawk MK63

(Image credit: Netgear)

6. Netgear Nighthawk MK63

Fast mesh networking with Wi-Fi 6 for gaming and video

Speed: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz | Connectivity: 1 x WAN 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet port, 1 x LAN 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet port | Features: WiFi 6 technology, remote management via Nighthawk app

State-of-the-art Wi-Fi 6
Strong Wi-Fi performance
Easy to set up and use
Best suited to home over 2000 sq. ft in size

Larger homes need more robust solutions, and while the Netgear Nighthawk MK63 might be overkill for smaller homes, it’s just the ticket if you have a space of up to 3500 sq.ft and need an extremely reliable network for gaming and 4K video. There are some neat features you’re getting here as well, including the ability to create a guest network and a network map for monitoring all devices connected to your network. There are no parental controls, however, and as long as you can live with that and the high price tag, this might be the best mesh Wi-Fi router for you.

Netgear Orbi Whole Home Mesh WiFi System

The tri-band Orbi Whole Home AC1200 offers solid performance at a reasonable price. (Image credit: Netgear)

7. Netgear Orbi Whole Home Mesh WiFi System

Fast, affordable, tri-band mesh Wi-Fi

Speed: IEEE 802.11ac dual-band with 1x 2.4GHz (400Mbps), 1x 5GHz (866Mbps) | Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet | Features: Beamforming implicit and explicit for 2.4GHz/5GHz bands

Affordable dual-band mesh Wi-Fi system
Good performance
Free parental controls are limited
Only one Ethernet port for wired connections

The tri-band Orbi Whole Home AC1200 offers solid performance at a reasonable price, and will be a good choice for most small and medium-size homes that need to improve their Wi-Fi coverage. It’s simple to set up and use for newcomers, although Netgear’s decision to use Disney’s subscription-based Circle service for parental controls is discouraging, considering that rival routers and mesh systems have often provided better parental controls for free. The lack of Ethernet ports for wired connections as well as more advanced features in the Orbi app might turn off experienced users as well.

TP-Link Deco M5

The TP-Link Deco M5 is an affordable way to spread Wi-Fi throughout your home. (Image credit: TP-Link)

The affordable Wi-Fi Mesh option

Speed: 802.11ac 5GHz down: 76.69 Mbps | Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit ports per Deco M5 unit, 1 x USB Type-C port, Bluetooth 4.2 | Included mesh nodes: 1-3 | Features: Quad-core CPU, MU-MIMO ready, Router-based antivirus, Alexa compatibility

Incredible value
Easy to configure
Slower than compeition

If you’re looking for a way to spread Wi-Fi throughout your home without having to spend a lot of dough, then look into the TP-Link Deco M5. It’s not as speedy as some of the other best mesh Wi-Fi routers on this list, but if you’re not too concerned about getting the maximum theoretical throughput, which you probably won’t be able to take full advantage of anyway, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Setup, similar to the other devices here, is a breeze, even if you’re not tech-savvy. The TP-Link Deco M5 is among the best wireless mesh routers for those who don’t want to get too technical.

Ubiquiti Amplifi HD

You’ll find a lot to love in the Ubiquiti Amplifi HD. (Image credit: Ubiquiti)

9. Ubiquiti Amplifi HD

Style backed by the power

Speed: 802.11AC 5GHz down: 74.1Mbps | Connectivity: 1 x Gigabit WAN, 4 x Gigabit LAN | Mesh nodes: 1 x router, 2 x nodes | Features: Modular network coverage, modern design, LCD touchscreen

Modern aesthetic
Extremely powerful

If you love Apple’s design philosophy, enjoy having attractive gadgets set up around your home and have more than enough extra money sitting around, then the Ubiquiti Amplifi HD is the perfect mesh router for you. You’ll find a lot to love with this device, especially if you live in a large house and can take advantage of the full power that this mesh Wi-Fi setup provides, as it’s capable of a very large amount of throughput. You might find that the value diminishes quite a bit when you live in a smaller space however since there are more affordable alternatives on hand for small to medium homes. The Ubiquiti Amplifi HD may be pricey, but you’re paying for a piece of tech that both exudes style and a ton of substance. That’s more than enough to justify the price tag, making this a great addition to the best wireless mesh routers list.

Linksys Velop

There’s something to be said about the simplicity that the Linksys Velop delivers. (Image credit: Linksys)

10. Linksys Velop

Paying for simplicity

Speed: 802.11ac 5GHz down: 117.46Mbps | Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet ports per unit (1 WAN and 1 LAN port each) | Included mesh nodes: 1-3 | Features: Guided setup, Modular, Easy parental controls, Auto-fix

Simple r
Simple setup

While it’s expensive and not quite as powerful as the other Wi-Fi mesh routers on this list, there’s something to be said about the simplicity that the Linksys Velop offers. It might come with a heftier price than the competition, but the Velop will appeal to people who need to create a Wi-Fi network and want to avoid setting it up. More tech-savvy users will most likely look elsewhere – why spend money when you can do the work yourself for free? However, for most users, the Linksys Velop is among the best wireless mesh routers because of the convenience it offers from the start. It’s also completely modular, so you only have to pick up as many nodes as you actually need – one node will cover up to 2,000 square feet.