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Best mesh Wi-Fi routers 2021: the best wireless mesh routers for large homes

Best wireless mesh routers
The best mesh WiFi routers offer a solid, unified WiFi network no matter where you are. (Image credit: Future)
PRICE
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REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

You should consider ditching that old router hiding under your desk for one of the best mesh WiFi routers on the market. There’s no better option for getting a strong and reliable signal over a big area or a crowded network. Sure, you can addWi-Fi extenders to help out typical wireless routers for a similar result, but these mesh routers are more efficient and do it better.

What’s the secret behind the best mesh WiFi routers? It comes down to their design. Whereas traditional routers are a single unit, mesh routers have several components placed all through the area of coverage. That way, they provide a strong signal in every corner, which makes them critical for homes or offices that need a strong, unbroken signal.

You need to invest in the best mesh WiFi routers if you have a large area that needs to be covered or have a network with too many devices fighting for bandwidth. With these mesh routers, you’ll get an uninterrupted signal throughout your whole home or office and your connection-related nightmares will go away. You just can’t function with a subpar connection these days, so take a look at our top choices to take 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. Netgear Orbi WiFi 6
  5. Netgear Nighthawk MK63
  6. Netgear Orbi AC1200
  7. TP-Link Deco M5
  8. Ubiquiti Amplifi HD
  9. 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

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Excellent design+Smart speaker(s) included+Even simpler controls
Reasons to avoid
-No major performance gains-Not worth replacing 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.

Read the full review: Google Nest Wifi

Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8)

(Image credit: Asus)

2. Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8)

Wi-Fi 6 meets mesh routers

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Great Wi-Fi performance+Good security features
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-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.

Read the full review: Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8)

Netgear Orbi Pro WiFi 6

(Image credit: Netgear)

3. Netgear Orbi Pro WiFi 6

Superb Wi-Fi performance

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Easy to deploy+6Gbps backhaul
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-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.

Read the full review: Netgear Orbi Pro WiFi 6

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)

4. Netgear Orbi WiFi 6

Netgear brings Wi-Fi 6 to its Orbi mesh range

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Excellent Wi-Fi range and speed+Simple set-up, and easy-to-use app
Reasons to avoid
-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)

5. Netgear Nighthawk MK63

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

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

Larger homes need more robust solutions, and while the Netgear Nighthawk MK63 might be an 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.

Read the full review: Netgear Nighthawk MK63

Netgear Orbi Whole Home Mesh WiFi System

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

6. Netgear Orbi Whole Home Mesh WiFi System

Fast, affordable, tri-band mesh Wi-Fi

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Affordable dual-band mesh Wi-Fi system+Good performance
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Incredible value +Easy to configure
Reasons to avoid
-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.

Read the full review: TP-Link Deco M5

Ubiquiti Amplifi HD

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

8. Ubiquiti Amplifi HD

Style backed by power

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Modern aesthetic+Extremely powerful
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

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

Linksys Velop

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

9. Linksys Velop

Paying for simplicity

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Simple r +Simple setup
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive 

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