Expand your network coverage to every corner of your space with the best mesh Wi-Fi router 2021 has to offer. Especially if you have a bigger home or office, this fairly new breed of routers will ensure that you’ll no longer suffer from weak spots and an overwhelmed network. That’s due to their inherent design: instead of a single unit, a mesh router is made up of one main router and several satellite units that you can strategically place throughout your area of coverage. That allows them to deliver a robust and uninterrupted connection throughout your space.
Sure, you can stick to your aging router and invest in a Wi-Fi extender instead. However, one of these mesh Wi-Fi routers offer a simpler, more seamless, and more efficient solution. That’s especially if you’ve been considering getting on the Wi-Fi 6 bandwagon, as many of them support the latest wireless technology. And, don’t let the multi-unit setup intimidate you. Many, like the Google Nest Wifi, are designed with your convenience in mind, offering effortless setup.
Whether it’s a large space or an overcrowded network solution you’re looking for, excellent mesh Wi-Fi routers are a stellar way to upgrade your network. To set you off to a great start, we tested quite a few of them and gathered the best ones below, alongside our price comparison tool so you can score the best deal while you’re at it.
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.
Read the full review: Google Nest Wifi
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 systems.
Read the full review: Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8)
Sprawling mansions and big companies have demanding network coverage needs that only the best mesh Wi-Fi systems can meet, which is why such routers 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.
Read the full review: Netgear Orbi Pro WiFi 6
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.
Read the full review: Linksys Velop WiFi 6 AX4200
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 systems. 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
Although there are opportunities for improvement here – that Nighthawk app is disappointingly sparse and demands additional subscriptions for extra vital features – the Nighthawk MK83 still delivers excellent connectivity for two- to three-bedroom homes. It’s capable of covering 6,750 sq.ft with its three-piece kit and offers Wi-Fi 6 for more efficiently transmitting data to lots of devices all at the same time. This is just what you need for a multi-room, multi-device smart household, especially if you have some cash to spare.
Read the full review: Netgear Nighthawk MK83
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.
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.
Read the full review: TP-Link Deco M5
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.
Read the full review: Ubiquiti Amplifi HD
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.
Read the full review: Linksys Velop
How we test mesh Wi-Fi routers
We test every mesh Wi-Fi router that lands on our desk before we can recommend it to you. Much like with any peripheral or device we test, we check everything from its design and features to its performance.
We take a look at its design, of course, because if you’re going to have several routers spread around your space, they should blend in with your home or office aesthetics. We also check its ports and any extra features it might have – like the ability to create a guest network and set up family controls – as well as ease of initial setup and use.
Then we move on to its performance. We check its range and strength of coverage as well as perform the Ookla speed test and our file download test, jotting down any information we collect. Naturally, we also test it against our everyday network usage to give you a glimpse on its real-world performance.
We then take everything we’ve learned and measure all that against its price tag to see if it’s a great value to consumers.