Best Mesh Wi-Fi Systems and Routers 2020

Best overallBest valueBest for Wi-Fi 6Best for parental controls
Google Nest Wi-FiAmazon eero Mesh WiFi SystemNETGEAR Orbi RBK852 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 SystemGryphon AC3000 Smart Mesh Wi-Fi System
$239.00$199.00$522.37$399.00
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Which mesh Wi-Fi system is best?

Different mesh routers have different strengths, but we recommend the Google Nest Wi-Fi system because of its great balance of price, features, and ease of use. All things considered, it’s an expandable and easy-to-manage Wi-Fi system that can work well in most households.

Best mesh Wi-Fi systems

Best forModelMax throughputRangePriceGet it
Best overallGoogle Nest Wi-Fi
(2-pack)
2,200 MbpsUp to 4,400 sq. ft.$239.00View on Amazon
Best valueAmazon eero Mesh Wi-Fi System
(3-pack)
350 Mbps*Up to 5,000 sq. ft.$199.00View on Amazon
Best for Wi-Fi 6NETGEAR Orbi Mesh Wi-Fi 6 System
(1 router + 1 satellite extender)
6,000 MbpsUp to 5,000 sq. ft.$522.37View on Amazon
Best for a budgetTP-Link Deco M5 Mesh Wi-Fi System
(3-pack)
1,300 MbpsUp to 5,500 sq. ft.$172.85View on Amazon
Best for parental controlsGryphon AC3000 Smart Mesh Wi-Fi System
(2-pack)
3,000 MbpsUp to 6,000 sq. ft.$399.00View on Amazon
Best forBest overall
ModelGoogle Nest Wi-Fi
(2-pack)
Max throughput2,200 Mbps
RangeUp to 4,400 sq. ft.
Price$239.00
Get itView on Amazon
Best forBest value
ModelAmazon eero Mesh Wi-Fi System
(3-pack)
Max throughput350 Mbps*
RangeUp to 5,000 sq. ft.
Price$199.00
Get itView on Amazon
Best forBest for Wi-Fi 6
ModelNETGEAR Orbi Mesh Wi-Fi 6 System
(1 router + 1 satellite extender)
Max throughput6,000 Mbps
RangeUp to 5,000 sq. ft.
Price$522.37
Get itView on Amazon
Best forBest for a budget
ModelTP-Link Deco M5 Mesh Wi-Fi System
(3-pack)
Max throughput1,300 Mbps
RangeUp to 5,500 sq. ft.
Price$172.85
Get itView on Amazon
Best forBest for parental controls
ModelGryphon AC3000 Smart Mesh Wi-Fi System
(2-pack)
Max throughput3,000 Mbps
RangeUp to 6,000 sq. ft.
Price$399.00
Get itView on Amazon

Google Nest Wi-Fi (2nd Generation)

Best overall

Price: $239.00*

  • Max throughput: 2,200 Mbps
  • Max range per router: 2,200 sq. ft.
  • Max range per point: 1,600 sq. ft.
  • Max # of mesh devices: Up to 5 points
  • Max supported Wi-Fi connections: 100 per Nest Wi-Fi point or router
  • App: Google Home
  • Smart assistant integration: Google Assistant

Google Nest Wi-Fi is easy to use and powerful enough to keep up with your Wi-Fi use in every corner of your home. We love that it’s extremely user friendly with its setup and management app, automatic updates, and connection optimization.

There are a few different components you can use to build your Nest Wi-Fi network. You’ll need at least one Nest Wi-Fi router, which can cover up to 2,200 square feet by itself.

To expand your network, you can add either more Nest router devices or Nest Wi-Fi points. The routers each have two Ethernet ports, support a faster Wi-Fi standard, and have better range than the points, but the points are less expensive and feature a built-in smart speaker (they also come in different colors). Nest Wi-Fi is also backward compatible with the first generation Google Wi-Fi devices.

Pros

  • Integrated with Google Assistant and Google Home app
  • Backward compatible with Google Wi-Fi devices
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • No Ethernet ports on points

Amazon eero Mesh Wi-Fi System

Best value

Price: $199.00*

  • Max throughput: 350 Mbps**
  • Max range per eero: 1,500 sq. ft.
  • Max # of mesh devices: No hard limit
  • Max supported device connections: 128
  • App: eero app
  • Smart assistant integration: Amazon Alexa

The eero was the OG device that started the trend of user-friendly mesh routers for full-home Wi-Fi. Now owned by Amazon, eero’s prices are much lower than they were before but keep the same functionality.

This three-pack of Eeros includes identical devices—any one of which can be used as the main router. Each device has two Ethernet ports and can cover an area up to 1,500 square feet.

Though not the cheapest mesh system out there, this eero three-pack is a great value. It saves you about $50 compared to buying the devices individually, and you can use these eeros with basically any other eero product.

If you want to upgrade your system in the future, for example, you could just upgrade the main router to an eero Pro and keep using these guys as mesh extenders.

Pros

  • User friendly
  • Compatible with all other eero devices

Cons

  • Lower max speeds

NETGEAR Orbi Mesh Wi-Fi 6 System

Best for Wi-Fi 6

Price: $522.37*

  • Max throughput: 6,000 Mbps
  • Max range per router: 2,500 sq. ft.
  • Max range per satellite: 2,500 sq. ft.
  • Max # of mesh devices: Up to 3 satellites
  • Max supported device connections: Up to 100
  • App: Orbi app
  • Smart assistant integration: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

The NETGEAR Orbi RBK852 is a powerful Wi-Fi 6 mesh system that can handle some serious network connections. It supports multigigabit internet connections, thanks to its multigig WAN port and port aggregation, so it’s a great option if you’re an internet speed demon.

The main router and satellite devices look very similar, and their designs are a little less minimalist than most of the other devices on this list. The larger devices do have a few more features, however—like four LAN ports on every device—so you can easily customize your network with a mix of wired and Wi-Fi devices.

The Wi-Fi 6 Orbi also is a tri-band router—it uses the usual 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands for your connections, but it also has a second 5 GHz band that’s dedicated to Orbi device-to-device communication so that data doesn’t slow down your normal internet connections.

This mesh system has a high price tag, but it could definitely be worth it if you want to prep your home network for Wi-Fi 6 or if you already have Wi-Fi 6 devices and want to make use of all the new features that come with the new standard.

Pros

  • Dedicated backhaul band
  • 4 Ethernet ports on each device

Cons

  • Bulky satellites
  • High price

TP-Link Deco M5 Mesh Wi-Fi System

Best for a budget

Price: $172.85*

  • Max throughput: 1,300 Mbps
  • Max range per Deco: Approx. 1,800 sq. ft.
  • Max # of mesh devices: 32
  • Max supported device connections: Up to 100
  • App: TP-Link Deco
  • Smart assistant integration: Amazon Alexa
  • Automatic updates: No

The TP-Link Deco M5 is a great introduction to mesh networking without the higher price tags that come with some other systems. You can get a three-pack of Deco M5 mesh devices for about the same price as one Nest Wi-Fi router.

The Deco M5 does have a little less oomph than some of the other mesh systems we recommend, but it’ll get the job done. It’s a great option for houses with difficult layouts since you can add up to 32 Decos to get ridiculous coverage in your home (though TP-Link does recommend keeping it down to 10 for the best performance).

All the Deco M5 devices are the same—any of the three devices in this kit can plug into your modem to act as the main router. And each device has two gigabit Ethernet ports for hardwired connections. You can also expand your mesh network with other TP-Link Deco products to mix it up.

Pros

  • 2 Ethernet ports per device
  • Lower price than other mesh systems
  • Router-level antivirus software

Cons

  • No auto updates

Gryphon AC3000 Smart Mesh Wi-Fi System

Best for parental controls

*Price: $399.00

  • Max throughput: 3,000 Mbps
  • Max range per device: Up to 3,000 sq. ft.
  • Max # of mesh devices: Not specified
  • Max supported device connections: Not specified
  • App: Gryphon Connect
  • Smart assistant integration: None

All the mesh routers on this list have at least basic security measures, but this Gryphon mesh Wi-Fi system puts network security at the forefront. Alongside the features you expect from a mesh router—like an easy-to-use network management app and expandable coverage—the Gryphon mesh system also gives you daily security updates, network vulnerability scans, and top-notch parental controls.

The Gryphon Smart Mesh System makes it easy for you to get a handle on how and when your kids use the internet. From the Gryphon app, you can set internet time limits on specific devices, check browsing history, and enforce Safe Search to filter out inappropriate content in search results.

When you first purchase the router, you get one year of Gryphon’s Advanced Internet Protection Subscription ($79 per year afterward) and a 90-day trial of Gryphon HomeBound service ($4.99 per month afterward). Without these subscriptions, the router is still a powerhouse with great parental controls, but it does lose some of its security features.

Pros

  • Daily security updates
  • Great parental controls
  • Dedicated backhaul channel

Cons

  • Requires subscriptions for some features

Pro tip:

Focused on securing your network? Check out our review of the best routers for security to make sure your network stays safe.

What to look for in a mesh router

Many of the specs and features you’d look for in a traditional router—like speeds and wireless standards—also apply to mesh Wi-Fi routers. But there are a few extra things to consider as well, especially with how customizable mesh systems can be.

Wi-Fi standards and speeds

There are both Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 mesh routers on the market right now. Wi-Fi 5 (also known as 802.11ac) is the most widely used Wi-Fi standard for now. All the mesh routers featured here use Wi-Fi 5 except the Orbi, which uses the newer Wi-Fi 6 standard.

Because Wi-Fi 6 is still fairly new, routers and mesh systems that use Wi-Fi 6 are top-of-the-line devices and cost more than their Wi-Fi 5 counterparts. The advantages of Wi-Fi 6 include faster max speeds, better management of multiple devices, and improved efficiency.

Though Wi-Fi 6 is faster, Wi-Fi 5 can reach max speeds around 3,000 Mbps, which is fast enough for almost every household in the US, so the main reason you’d want to buy a Wi-Fi 6 router is to be an early adopter or if you already have Wi-Fi 6 compatible devices that you use on your home network.

When shopping for a mesh Wi-Fi router, make sure that it can handle at least the same speeds you get from your internet provider. This shouldn’t be an issue, even if you have gigabit internet, as most mesh routers support at least 1,200 Mbps. But those are max speeds, and actual performance nearly always runs slower.

Wi-Fi bands

Most mesh routers will have two Wi-Fi bands: one each for the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies. The 2.4 GHz band can reach farther but has slower max speeds, and the 5 GHz band is faster but doesn’t go as far.

Traditional routers often keep your two Wi-Fi bands as two separate networks. That means you can choose between either of the two bands for each device you want to be on Wi-Fi. In the interest of making Wi-Fi simpler, mesh routers often employ band steering, which combines the two and connects your device to the best frequency band wherever you are in your home.

Some routers have a second band on the 5 GHz frequency (for three bands total) that is dedicated to communications between the network devices. This is also called a dedicated backhaul channel. It basically keeps device-to-device communications on their own channel so they don’t interfere with your usable bandwidth or latency on the other two bands. It’s definitely a nice feature if you’re the type to max out your bandwidth.

Ease of use

You want your router to be a “set it and forget it” type of thing, so how easy your mesh system is to use should be one of your top priorities. Two ways to check for ease of use are making sure your mesh router of choice supports automatic updates and has a network management app.

Automatic updates are a godsend for keeping your network’s firmware up to date without having to think about it. Firmware updates are important to keep your network running smoothly and keeping your router’s security up to date. At the very least, you want to be able to schedule firmware updates using your router’s mobile app instead of having to log in to the web user interface.

Speaking of mobile apps, every mesh router on this list has one. With many older routers, you’d have to log in to your router’s web interface to change any settings. Network management apps make the whole process much easier and more accessible.

For example, a good network management app will let you set and change parental controls on your kids’ devices on the fly. And you should be able to set QoS settings to prioritize bandwidth to your most important connections, right from your phone.

Range and expandability

Mesh networks are great for homes with large or complicated layouts, personalized Wi-Fi coverage, or extending your network to a backyard or garage. Two key parts to that are your mesh system’s range and expandability.

Each mesh networking device has its own range limits, but the mesh network as a whole can have a much wider range of Wi-Fi coverage when additional mesh devices are added. Some individual devices have a larger max coverage area than others. For example, one Gryphon device can cover up to 3,000 square feet, and a TP-Link Deco M5 device’s range is about half that.

But depending on the layout of your home, you may need more mesh points as opposed to more powerful mesh points. If you have a lot of physical obstructions like brick walls, soundproofing, or even bathrooms that interrupt Wi-Fi signals, a mesh router with more points would probably work better than a more powerful router with fewer points.

Connectivity options

Mesh Wi-Fi networks are designed to be simple, but if you need a mix of wired and Wi-Fi connections, make sure to get a mesh option that has available Ethernet ports.

Because many mesh devices are kind of small, they often don’t have much room for a ton of ports. And if you decide to hardwire your mesh network together for lower latency or more stable connections, that uses up one of the few ports on each device.

That’s something to take into consideration when upgrading from a traditional router (because they usually have more LAN ports). But also, since a mesh system will probably improve your Wi-Fi, you could move some connections from wired to wireless.

Our verdict

Go with Google Nest Wi-Fi for a quality, straightforward option. We recommend any of the mesh routers listed here, but we particularly like the Google Nest Wi-Fi because it’s so dang simple yet universal enough to work well in nearly any home network. It’s especially good if you use other Google or Nest smart home devices.

Buy Google Nest Wi-Fi on Amazon

FAQ about mesh Wi-Fi systems

Is Google Nest Wi-Fi or NETGEAR Orbi better?

Both Google Nest Wi-Fi and NETGEAR Orbi mesh systems are great, but we’re partial to Google Nest Wi-Fi for most households because of its simplicity.

On the other hand, there are many more router models in Orbi’s lineup, and it gives you more options for faster speeds, Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, and device form factor. It also has Amazon Alexa integration, while Nest devices are compatible with Google Assistant.

What is mesh internet?

Mesh networking, unlike traditional home networking, uses two or more mesh devices that communicate with each other to create Wi-Fi. With a traditional router, your Wi-Fi comes from only one point. And if you add an extender or access point to the network to stretch your Wi-Fi access, you have to connect to different Wi-Fi networks to benefit from each device.

Mesh networking is an advancement in home networking tech that basically makes everything simpler and more accessible. It seamlessly blends your Wi-Fi frequency bands and different mesh Wi-Fi sources to keep you connected without interruptions anywhere within your network.

Disclaimer

Author -

Rebecca is a natural techie and the friend you turn to when your Wi-Fi randomly stops working. Since graduating from the University of Evansville with a degree in creative writing, Rebecca has leveraged her tech savvy to write hundreds of data-driven tech product and service reviews. In addition to HighSpeedInternet.com, her work has been featured on Top Ten Reviews, MacSources, Windows Central, Android Central, Best Company, TechnoFAQ and iMore.

Editor - Cara Haynes

Cara Haynes has edited for HighSpeedInternet.com for three years, working with smart writers to revise everything from internet reviews to reports on your state’s favorite Netflix show. She believes no one should feel lost in internet land and that a good internet connection significantly extends your life span (buffering kills). With a degree in English and editing and five years working with online content, it’s safe to say she likes words on the internet. She is most likely to be seen wearing Birkenstocks and hanging out with a bouncy goldendoodle named Dobby, who is a literal fur angel sent to Earth.

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