10 Best Mesh WiFi Systems

0
94
Best Mesh WiFi Systems

The best solution compared to traditional wireless routers and extenders would be to use Mesh WiFi systems. We’ve rounded up the best Mesh nodes for 2022.

The ubiquitous Wi-Fi has long been taken for granted, and even with the advent of LTE, we are not going to abandon it – nevertheless, specific tools are better suited for solving different problems. But few people look deeper, often believing that any router will become an excellent basis for both a home and a public network, although even living in a small apartment you may encounter problems with signal quality and access speed.

The increased area and more users will only highlight the disadvantages. You can put up with this, fight in the most obvious ways (by buying another router or repeater) or pay attention to new solutions – Mesh systems, which are becoming more and more popular. We have already talked about individual kits many times, but today we will talk about them from a general point of view.

Network architecture

Conventional routers work in a simple way. Clients connect to a router connected to the Internet, use it to transfer data among themselves and access the global network. The speed in this case is determined by the technical characteristics of the devices and depends on the distance between them, the presence of interference and other factors. As a rule, in any room there is a place where the signal quality drops so much that the overall speed becomes uncomfortable.

A Wi-Fi repeater or cable routing to connect a client or install a separate access point can solve the problem, but only partially. The cable is not always convenient, and the repeater creates a separate Wi-Fi network that repeats the main signal – you need to connect to it either manually, or wait for the device to understand that it is worth switching. Moreover, the access speed when connected through a repeater is almost always lower than in the main network with a good signal.

10 Best Mesh WiFi Systems|The Consumer Reports

Commercial developers face the same problems, just on a larger scale, and have been using Mesh networks for a long time. Moreover, in fact, each of us uses the largest Mesh network, that is, the Internet.

But before moving on to similar analogies, let’s dwell on the differences in comparison with conventional routers. A mesh network consists of individual devices, each of which is responsible for connecting clients and transferring data within the network. Only the first module (node) is connected to the Internet, but they are all connected to each other and each creates its own Wi-Fi network, due to which the problem of coverage quality is solved.

10 Best Mesh WiFi Systems|The Consumer Reports

Mesh network takes into account all connections between modules, devices exchange information about connected clients, so the network itself can decide which “node” is best to connect the client to. Moreover, the transfer of data between devices within the network does not have to go through the main module, and maintaining a high speed of access to the Internet is achieved due to the fact that many Mesh solutions have a separate channel for exchanging data with each other and data is transmitted along the shortest path. In fact, such a network consists of several connected routers – they could be called repeaters, but this is already too rough a simplification.

Advantages and disadvantages

The advantages of Wi-Fi Mesh solutions are obvious – for the user this is one of the easiest ways to create a fast network with excellent Wi-Fi coverage over a large area, without laying cables and without delving into the essence of the process. Often you only need electrical outlets to power the modules and a smartphone with a mobile application for initial setup.

“Home” solutions allow connecting about a dozen modules into one network, so that it will be possible to create a network both in a large house and in the surrounding area. Everything else works by itself. For example, when you add or remove modules, the network will change its configuration itself – handy if you find that you need to add another module to expand the network.

Coverage, performance and ease of customization are the main advantages of Mesh solutions, but their design cannot be mentioned either. Each Mesh module is essentially a router, but often smaller and more beautiful than classic devices with similar characteristics.

There are also disadvantages. Designed with ease of use in mind, Mesh systems cannot boast all of the settings available for conventional routers, which can be a limitation for advanced users.

Likewise with wired connection of devices. Although each module is analogous to a router, it cannot boast of a large number of LAN ports, and USB ports are usually simply absent – if you decide to buy a printer, you will have to look at models with Wi-Fi modules or use it with only one computer.

The Best Mesh WiFi Consumer Report 2022

1. Linksys Velop Mesh Router

10 Best Mesh WiFi Systems|The Consumer Reports

BUY NOW FROM AMAZON

Linksys Velop provides Wi-Fi coverage and seamless roaming for your entire home. It is stylish, easy to install and offers high bandwidth for both single user and multi-user using MU-MIMO technology, making it the best choice for Wi-Fi systems.

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

PROS

  • stylish design;
  • ease of installation and management;
  • convenient mobile application;
  • MU-MIMO;
  • very good throughput in tests.

CONS

  • expensive;
  • No USB ports;
  • The system is dual-band, there is no dedicated trunk channel.

2. TP-Link Deco Mesh WiFi System

10 Best Mesh WiFi Systems|The Consumer Reports

BUY NOW FROM AMAZON

The TP-Link Deco M9 Plus Mesh Wi-Fi System is an excellent device that offers a robust feature set. These include the ability to act as a home automation hub that controls multiple smart home devices.

PROS

  • ease of installation;
  • solid throughput in testing;
  • dedicated band for backbone communication between nodes;
  • built-in protection against malware and viruses;
  • reliable parental control;
  • controls multiple smart home devices, compatible with Alexa and IFTTT.

CONS

  • expensive;
  • no support for Z-Wave;
  • it is impossible to separate radio bands.

3. NETGEAR Orbi Tri-band Whole Home Mesh WiFi System

10 Best Mesh WiFi Systems|The Consumer Reports

BUY NOW FROM AMAZON

Netgear Orbi RBK50, designed for large areas. It is a powerful Wi-Fi system that brings high performance wireless network to every corner of your home. It is easy to install, has many LAN ports, and supports MU-MIMO.

PROS

  • ease of installation;
  • high bandwidth, service trunk channel between devices connected via MIMO 4×4;
  • multi-user multiple input, multiple output (MU-MIMO) and Beamforming technology;
  • home network control using voice commands;
  • many different settings.

CONS

  • expensive;
  • large-sized access points;
  • limited USB functionality.

4. Google WiFi system

10 Best Mesh WiFi Systems|The Consumer Reports

BUY NOW FROM AMAZON

If you’re looking for the easiest way to have seamless Wi-Fi throughout your cottage, go with Google WiFi. Google engineers know exactly how to make a seamless wireless network. The system is very easy to install and configure, looks great and provides consistent bandwidth.

PROS

  • ease of installation and management;
  • high throughput;
  • there is MU-MIMO 2×2 and Beamfoming;
  • hardware implementation of 802.11s (Mesh) on the Infineon SLB 9615 cryptoprocessor;
  • beautiful, discreet design;
  • two gigabit network interfaces can operate in transparent bridge mode;
  • top-notch management and customization app.

CONS

  • no USB connection and 3 bands for backbone data transmission.

5. GRYPHON – Advance Security & Parental Control Mesh WiFi Router

10 Best Mesh WiFi Systems|The Consumer Reports

BUY NOW FROM AMAZON

Gryphon Smart WiFi Mesh System is a robust system that offers advanced parental controls and comes with built-in malware protection and an intuitive mobile app.

PROS

  • Good testing performance;
  • Easy to install;
  • There is MU-MIMO;
  • The most advanced parental controls. When a child accesses a blocked resource, you receive an alert on your phone, you see which resource you requested access to and make a decision – to allow or deny;
  • Built-in protection against malware;
  • A very convenient mobile application for setting up the system.

CONS

  • expensive.

6. Synology MR2200ac Mesh Wi-Fi Router

10 Best Mesh WiFi Systems|The Consumer Reports

BUY NOW FROM AMAZON

The Synology MR2200ac is a tri-band router that can be used as a single device or paired with other nodes to form a mesh network. It is reliable equipment that offers many advanced control and configuration functions.

PROS

  • ease of installation;
  • seamless roaming support: 802.11k / r / v;
  • excellent performance;
  • many basic and additional settings;
  • reliable parental control;
  • there is protection against malware;
  • dedicated band for the main communication channel.

CONS

  • only one LAN port.

7. TP-Link Deco M5

10 Best Mesh WiFi Systems|The Consumer Reports

BUY NOW FROM AMAZON

TP-Link Deco M5 is a stylish Wi-Fi system that delivers consistent performance and supports MU-MIMO streaming.

PROS

  • high performance;
  • reliable parental control;
  • built-in protection against viruses and malware, data prioritization (QoS);
  • easy installation and configuration;
  • well-designed mobile application;
  • Compatible with Alexa and IFTTT.

CONS

  • lack of a web interface;
  • no service trunk support, dual band system.

8. Samsung SmartThings

10 Best Mesh WiFi Systems|The Consumer Reports

BUY NOW FROM AMAZON

Samsung SmartThings is a combined mesh system and home automation hub that will bring fast, close-range Wi-Fi throughout your home.

PROS

  • ease of installation;
  • two in one – seamless mesh and home automation center;
  • Supports streaming MU-MIMO data;
  • high performance at close range;
  • there is Bluetooth, Zigbee, and Z-Wave;
  • up to 32 devices can be combined into a single network.

CONS

  • most settings require switching to Plume app;
  • no QoS settings and no malware protection;
  • average MU-MIMO performance;
  • no USB support.

9. Tenda MW6 Nova AC1200

10 Best Mesh WiFi Systems|The Consumer Reports

BUY NOW FROM AMAZON

Perhaps this is the most advanced and inexpensive MESH system for 2020. All network nodes can be controlled through the Tenda Wi-Fi mobile application. Available on Android and iOS. You can easily configure your guest network, set parental controls and enable traffic prioritization (QoS). To access local network resources from outside, enable port forwarding.

PROS

  • 802.11v / r intranet roaming support
  • there is MU-MIMO and Beamforming;
  • support for Yandex Station with voice assistant Alice;
  • remote network management via the Internet from a mobile application;
  • large coverage area (up to 500 sq.m.);
  • two gigabit Ethernet ports;

CONS

  • there is no dedicated radio path for communication between nodes;
  • lack of USB ports;
  • no web interface.

10. Zyxel Multy X AC3000

10 Best Mesh WiFi Systems|The Consumer Reports

BUY NOW FROM AMAZON

Zyxel Multy X Wi-Fi Mesh system provides maximum network speed, room coverage and easy installation and configuration. Very stylish case with the most modern filling, three radio bands: two for 5 GHz and one for 2.4 GHz. The speed of data exchange between nodes at the peak is carried out at a speed of 1733 Mbit / s, which allows serving a large number of users who require high-speed Internet connection and stable channel operation.

Using MU-MIMO technologies in combination with directional beamforming with 802.11ac client-side support will theoretically yield speeds of up to 866 Mbps. A powerful 4-core processor and a large memory buffer are responsible for data processing. All devices can be managed through the ZyxelCloud cloud service.

PROS

  • MU-MIMO and BeamForminng;
  • port forwarding, UPnP, QoS;
  • large coverage area (up to 700 sq.m.);
  • four gigabit Ethernet ports, USB.

CONS

  • there is no usual web interface.

Mesh WIFI vs Routers

  • automatic selection of the least loaded channel in the radio range to achieve the best performance;
  • easy-to-use parental control functions;
  • deployment of guest networks;
  • configuring device and traffic priorities;
  • configuring the parameters of forwarding and port forwarding;
  • wireless security;
  • MU-MIMO support.

But it lacks the advanced network management options that you get with a traditional router.

  • changing the bandwidth;
  • standards aimed at adapting roaming: 802.11k, 802.11r, 802.11v
  • Dynamic DNS support for connecting from an external network to a “gray” IP;
  • firewall options and packet labeling;
  • wireless transmission speed and power parameters;
  • the ability to use third-party WRT firmware to improve performance and network monitoring.

Mesh Systems vs Wi-Fi Amplifiers: Which Solution Is Better For Whole Home Coverage?

Mesh systems are easy to set up and manage, offering seamless roaming throughout the home. However, if you need full control and management of your network’s bandwidth parameters, then regular routers are the best choice.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here