First of all, to be able to find the best mesh Wi-Fi routers you should understand what a mesh Wi-Fi is. Basically, a mesh Wi-Fi is a network architecture that connects Wi-Fi access points over a wide range (up to kilometers) together, and these access points will connect together to provide a unified network of access points and coverage of certain areas, data is routed automatically to optimize connectivity and stability. Additionally, when one of the access points fails, the others automatically replenish the traffic and take over the position of the faulty access point until it is completely corrected.
Think of the Wi-Fi Mesh system as a network of multiple Wi-Fi range extenders, but much easier to install, and does not require multiple network names or any other requirements. All you have to do is plug in the routers in the system and follow some simple steps in the included apps. Once all is set up, managing your network is also a lot easier because most of the sophisticated, advanced features are out of the ordinary while the important ones are. It is easy for all users to access and use.
In a nutshell, a mesh Wi-Fi is a network of WiFi hotspots, uniformly interconnected and capable of transmitting WiFi over a very wide range.
Thus, a Wi-Fi mesh is a system of two or more devices, consisting of a primary router and one, two or more auxiliary devices that work to create a single Wi-Fi network name that covers the entire home. When moving from ground floor to floor, you do not need to reconnect to any closer models for a strong network. Mesh will do it for you and make your home virtually free of Wi-Fi dead spots. Equipping a powerful mesh Wi-Fi system also helps smart home devices operate better, minimizing latency.
In order to get the best mesh Wi-Fi routers, you should base your network speed on:
Select the good Wifi Mesh based on the transmission speed. This is a very important criterion to meet your entertainment and work needs.
In fact, if you have an average Wifi connection, choose Wifi Mesh with a good price for any line. Because with the request of about 50Mbps (average speed), any Wifi Mesh can meet. Even when the bandwidth of the system is reduced, it still ensures a strong and stable speed that is superior to the normal Internet speed.
If you need to use Wifi waves to do jobs with higher requirements than normal access, you should choose an Internet connection of 150Mbps or more. Also, don't forget to prioritize third-band products to connect the Hubs for stability, for maximum bandwidth.
For the Internet system with high speed of over 500Mbps or more, you should use the Hub connection form by wire to ensure large-scale data storage and sharing stability.
In this case, instead of buying Wifi Mesh with 03 bands, you only need 02 bands. Because the third frequency is never needed. Asus Lyra Trio is currently considered as the optimal solution that many businesses choose when the Internet connection is at a high speed, the demand is large and frequent.
And here is a list of the best mesh Wi-Fi routers in 2020 that you can consult:
1. Google Nest WiFi - the most comprehensive overall
A few years ago, Google Wi-fi became a breakthrough thanks to its easy setup and fast connection speeds. Last year, Google launched Nest Wifi - the second generation with higher speed and better coverage. In addition, each point also has built-in Google Assistant. This helps you own one more smart speaker in the house, thereby controlling other smart home devices in the system more easily.
Google Nest Wi-fi router can handle up to 100 connected devices at the same time, coverage is up to 200 m². The coverage for the Nest Wifi router & 2 points is up to nearly 400m².
Installing Nest Wi-fi is also relatively easy. You can control children's Internet usage time, check network speed, share wifi with friends, block access to devices...
However, the drawback of this product is that there is no Ethernet port on the points like the previous version.
2. TP-LINK (Deco M5) - compatible with Amazon Alexa
TP-Link is a leading provider of network equipment in the world. With advanced Deco Mesh technology, Tp-Link Deco M5 might be the best mesh Wi-Fi router for you.
Tp-Link Deco M5 provides coverage up to 350 m² - 500 m² and network speeds of 1267Mbps.
Deco can handle the traffic of large and complex networks, providing seamless connections for up to 100 devices. TP-Link's HomeCareTM feature helps users enjoy a secure and personalized connection, including parental controls, built-in Antivirus system.
In addition, the system is compatible with Amazon Alexa, making it easier to manage and control mesh wifi in the home. And in the future, the Tp-Link Deco M5 may soon integrate with Google Assistant.
3. Samsung SmartThings - both a control center Hub and a Wi-Fi router
Known as a 2-in-1 product, Samsung's SmartThings Wifi acts as both a control center hub and a wifi router. A hub with a coverage of about 140 m², connects up to 100 devices using the Samsung SmartThings standard. The highest coverage is more than 400 m².
Devices that can use Bluetooth, Wifi, Zigbee or Z-wave protocols all can access Samsung SmartThings Wifi. And users can remotely control compatible devices via applications, such as lights, security cameras, sensors...
SmartThings Wifi is completely automatic and optimized for Internet connection distribution, ensuring the best speed. In addition, users can filter access for children, receive notifications when unexpected activity occurs, set on/ off when triggered by motion, time, humidity or temperature and create routines.
The downside of this device is that it has to use 2 applications to control.
4. NETGEAR Orbi Whole Home - Tri-band Wifi technology
With NETGEAR's patented tri-band Wi-Fi technology, Orbi Whole Home establishes a dedicated transmission connection that maximizes internet speed for 4K streaming and connects to multiple devices. The high-performance antenna will extend Wifi to far corners of the house, completely eliminating the weaknesses of dead corners.
To expand the range of use, you can choose to Add on Orbi Satellite or Add on Orbi Outdoor Satellite. Satellite Outdoor outdoor installation is designed to withstand extreme weather so users are completely assured.
In particular, the device is compatible with Alexa virtual assistant from Amazon, which makes voice control easy.
With NETGEAR Orbi application, you will check the network speed, who is connecting, control the accessibility of devices, ... In particular, parents are completely assured to manage Internet access. Children with Circle: limit the time to connect to YouTube, Netflix, Instagram... set separate access filters for each family member in accordance with age and preferences.
5. Linksys WHW0103 Velop - Voted “best mesh Wi-Fi system” at CES 2017
The Linksys WHW0103 is constructed like a bluetooth speaker with a slim white box structure, a rubber base and vent holes on the surface. With such an exterior design, the product not only ensures durability but also helps to dissipate heat more effectively so that the product does not overheat when operating continuously for a long time.
Next, inside the network device there is a router with 2 broadcasting bands simultaneously integrated with 6 high-power discrete antennas, facilitating coverage over a large area, contributing to a product with stable performance and especially suitable for high-end apartments or villas.
In addition, with the Linksys App software to be used completely on smartphones, the process of setting up the product management system is simpler. You can also monitor activity, performance as well as update the device's Firmware so it is always in the best state every time.
In theory, you can choose any button as the main button, the rest of the buttons don't need to be plugged into the network anymore, users can easily install through the mobile app with just a few taps. simple.
Velop always guarantees 100% performance at the furthest points, which is completely different and superior to the wave extender we often use. The reason is that the extender works by amplifying the Wi-Fi signal, it cuts the data transfer rate in half to deal with the simultaneous up and down bandwidth so the signal and bandwidth are degraded by 50% or more.
With a simple yet sophisticated design, coupled with wide coverage for easy re-installation, the Linksys WHW0103 is a good choice for homes, villas and even offices with large spaces.
1. Why should I buy a mesh Wi-Fi router?
Compared with the Wi-Fi extender, a mesh Wi-Fi router is easier to set up, and doesn't require a lot of network names. What users need is just plug in and then follow the instructions in the app provided by the manufacturer. Besides being easy to set up, managing mesh Wi-Fi systems isn't as complicated as Wi-Fi extenders.
Here are the reasons why you should have a Wi-Fi mesh:
Broader coverage area: Wi-Fi signal is usually strongest when the router is placed in the middle of the house. However, most of us put the router where the network wire goes (usually a corner window), so half the Wi-Fi signal is covered... outside the house, causing speed in some parts of the house will be very weak, sometimes unable to connect. With the mesh Wi-Fi, devices will replay the original Wi-Fi signal in a single network name, giving users a wider connection area.
Stable speed: Traditional Wi-Fi routers can only transmit maximum signals at a certain distance. If you connect at a longer distance, the signal will be weaker, which means lower speed. With the Wi-Fi mesh system located around the house, you will no longer experience slowdowns because wherever you connect, they are still within range of nearby devices. Not only in homes, businesses can use mesh Wi-Fi with multiple hubs to keep the network speed stable throughout the company.
Easy management: Most mesh Wi-Fi comes with a smartphone app provided by the manufacturer. With that app, you can set up, rename, view the list of connected devices or block devices with an intuitive, easy-to-use interface.In short, people who are not too Internet savvy can set up mesh systems easily with the included application.
Better security: One of the most concerned issues is whether the mesh Wi-Fi is safe. The answer is very safe. Most mesh systems come equipped with new encryption technologies that automatically install security patches when supplied by the manufacturer, without the need for manual installation. The timely patching, equipping with new technology helps the system to avoid cyber attacks.
Only one investment: The biggest plus of Wi-Fi mesh is that you only need to pay once for the whole system. If upgrading is required, simply purchase an additional hub or two instead of the whole new system. Of course, if the area of the house is large, you will need to spend more money to buy more hubs than usual. After purchasing a mesh Wi-Fi router, you won't have to spend any extra equipment costs.
2. How is a mesh Wi-Fi router different from a Wi-Fi extender?
Before Wi-Fi mesh, Wi-Fi extenders were a simple solution to eliminate Wi-Fi dead zones in the home. However, setting up and using a Wi-Fi extender is quite complicated.
The first difference is that the mesh Wi-Fi replaces the entire existing Wi-Fi system, while the extender is supported for the current router.
With the included app, managing the Wi-Fi mesh is also easier. You can change the name, change the password, view the list of connected devices or block the device right from the interface of the application instead of accessing a series of messy paths on the management page of the router or extender.
Next, a mesh system allows multiple hubs to communicate with each other, while the extender can only connect to the primary hub, it is not possible to connect with each other if there are multiple extenders. Communicating with each other helps hubs locate connected devices for optimal coverage.
For example, if you set up 2 mesh Wi-Fi hubs indoors, the third one won't necessarily design the first because it can receive signals from the second.
Finally, the Wi-Fi mesh combines multiple Wi-Fi waves from hubs into a single network name with the ability to switch connections on its own. While the Wi-Fi extender requires a private network name, forcing the user to switch manually when moving between devices.
3. Are there any downsides to the Wi-Fi mesh system that I should be aware of?
Besides the advantages of coverage, speed and stability, Wi-Fi mesh has some minus points that you need to keep in mind.
First of all, the cost of mesh Wi-Fi systems is usually more expensive than the Wi-Fi extender. On average, mesh Wi-Fi ranges from $50 to $300 for 3 hubs, while Wi-Fi extenders cost only a few tens of dollars, some new high-end models are over $50.
Second, most mesh Wi-Fi systems do not have as many advanced features as traditional routers. Some devices have more advanced features such as guest mode, limit access, child management... Of course, if you are not a network specialist, Wi-Fi mesh is the most suitable system when it's easy. Use medium for higher coverage.
4. Does the Wi-Fi mesh network ensure the same signal strength and network speed at all points?
One of the user's myths is that the mesh network can expand the coverage area and therefore the Internet connection speed will be the same at all points. When you connect WiFi devices together, whether mesh network or extension device, you will experience signal degradation.
When a hub connects and replays signals from the primary hub, it loses about 50% of the bandwidth for each function, so the bandwidth connected to your device is only half the maximum. Remember that even if your device is displaying all the wavelengths, there is still a possibility that the bandwidth is not maximized.
More specifically, with a device with 2 bands (dual stream 2x2) like Google WiFi, each hub has a maximum bandwidth of 867Mbps. When the device connects to the secondary hub, the maximum bandwidth is only 433Mbps, and if connected to the main hub, it still reaches 867Mbps. This is just the theoretical maximum, but in fact, the connection speed will be much lower depending on distance and interference.
To reduce signal loss, manufacturers offer high-end products with 3-band (tri-band) bands like Netgear Orbi. In addition to the two bands to connect to devices as usual, these devices also have a separate band to connect hubs together, called the back-haul band.
Thus, the other two bands can be connected to the device without having to reduce bandwidth because of sharing. However, if the hubs are too far apart or there are obstacles, the signal will still be attenuated. Therefore, the best way to optimize the network with your equipment is to set the standard system.
5. How to set up the mesh Wi-Fi system most accurately?
A mesh system usually consists of 2 or 3 hubs. One of the hubs - usually any, since the hubs are the same - will be set up as the primary hub, connecting to the Internet source, like a modem or router, through the WAN port.
Then you will use the mobile app or web setup interface to add the rest of the hubs to the system. Setup is complete, the hubs will automatically work with the main hub to connect to the Internet and broadcast WiFi as a homogeneous network.
The best way to connect hubs is by wired back-haul, otherwise known as wired back-haul. When using wires for connection, the signal will not be completely degraded, no matter how far apart the hubs are or whether there are many obstacles or not. However, not all systems support wired hubs connection, you should check the manufacturer's information.
If you can't connect the hubs with wires, then the wireless connection isn't that bad, as wireless connections will be simpler. The placement of hubs is now very important. There are two things to consider:
The closer the hubs are, the stronger the signal is, so the faster the connection speed from your device will be. However, if the hubs are placed close together, the coverage area will be narrower. On the contrary, if located far away, the coverage area is wide but the network speed is slow.
The hardest thing is to find the optimum balance between coverage and speed. Normally, if there is no obstruction (wall) between the two hubs, you can place them at a distance of 15-25 m, and if there are walls, the maximum distance should be only 9 - 12 m.
The network map, also known as topology, can affect the connection speed. Even if the system has more than 3 hubs, the optimal setting is for all the secondary hubs to connect directly to the primary hub, without intermediaries.