- Mesh Wi-Fi systems are the perfect way to upgrade your wireless internet in a large home or spaces with Wi-Fi “dead zones.”
- The third-generation Eero Home WiFi System and Eero Pro are our picks for the best mesh Wi-Fi systems because they are beautifully designed, and the powerful modules ensure signal reaches everywhere.
With the advent of the connected home, connected entertainment, and our connected lives, wireless internet is incredibly important. Creating a strong, reliable Wi-Fi network in your home is now as important as the TV you watch and the computer you use. To dress your entire house in head-to-toe Wi-Fi coverage, a new kind of networking system was created, called mesh Wi-Fi.
Each of the best mesh Wi-Fi systems consist of several components, including one main router that is hardwired to your modem, and a family of smaller modules that are strategically scattered around your home to penetrate hard-to-reach areas. Each module sends the internet signal from one device to the other using mesh technology, a dedicated radio band, or in some cases both. The router and modules are all part of the same system.
Not only is mesh Wi-Fi an ultra-streamlined way to cover your whole home, it’s also simple enough for anyone to install. For our testing, we set up a variety of mesh Wi-Fi systems in a three-bedroom, pre-war Brooklyn apartment with about 1,500 square feet to see which ones worked best.
Here are the best mesh Wi-Fi systems you can buy:
- Best mesh Wi-Fi system overall: Amazon Eero
- Best mesh Wi-Fi system for Apple fans: Linksys Velop
- Best mesh Wi-Fi system for smart homes: TP-Link Deco M9 Plus
- Best mesh Wi-Fi system for reliability: Nest Wifi
- Best mesh Wi-Fi system for big homes: AmpliFi HD WiFi
Updated on 03/30/2020 by Tyler Hayes: Added the TP-Link Deco M9 Plus, Nest WiFi, and AmpliFi HD WiFi updated prices, and renewed formatting.
SEE ALSO: The best routers you can buy for fast Wi-Fi at home
The best mesh Wi-Fi system overall
Amazon’s Eero Wi-Fi system is compact, well designed, and completely effective at eliminating Wi-Fi dead zones in large spaces.
In 2014, the founders of the Eero Wi-Fi system were tired of staring at the ungainly, ugly wireless routers they saw everywhere. They also wanted to put an end to Wi-Fi dead zones in large spaces. The solution was a brand-new concept: a coordinating system of powerful networking devices to deliver strong, fast Wi-Fi in large spaces. The idea of mesh Wi-Fi caught on and the category includes lots of effective options, but Eero’s latest mesh system is still one of the best.
Eero’s attractive, simple design joins other companies focusing on design and should be delightful alongside any decor. You will have absolutely no qualms about placing the Eero router and its beacons anywhere in your home. The latest choices from Eero include a new, cheaper dual-band Wi-Fi option, and the pricier and more capable Eero Pro. The Eero Pro system includes at least one Beacon, a full-fledged access point that is both half the size of the original and 30% more powerful. As a bonus, the Beacons eschew wires and plug into any wall outlet.
A 700MHz quad-core processor is the brains behind Eero Pro’s beauty. The router also has proprietary TrueMesh software and a tri-band radio set-up that includes a 5GHz band. Perhaps best of all, the Eero gets automatic software updates, so your system is always patched and on the latest software version.
The setup was super simple when we installed the best-selling two-to-four bedroom Eero Pro system in our home. The most expensive package comes with one main Eero router and two Beacons. Obviously, depending on the size of your space, you can choose from several other options, including a larger package for a bigger house.
The newer and cheaper standard Eero is a dual-band router which can cover 1,500 square feet with a single unit. This new base-level Eero largely supports the same technology as the Eero Pro, but differs in two main ways. It’s wireless connection supports 550 Megabits per second (Mbps) compared to the Pro’s 1 Gigabits per second (Gbps) throughput and the Pro includes tri-band Wi-Fi radios instead of dual-band.
The free Eero app lets you create different Wi-Fi profiles for each member of your family, check and trouble-shoot your system, make a guest portal, and check internet speed.
You can also get the Eero Secure add-on service that bundles anti-malware protection, ad-blocking, and parental controls for $29.99 per year. The Secure+ option costs $99.99 per year, but includes access to 1Password password and Encrypt.me VPN, but it’s something to keep in mind if you want added security.
Pros: Well designed, tri-band Wi-Fi access point on Pro, newer less expensive option suitable for most people
Cons: Limited ethernet ports, Pro is expensive
The best mesh Wi-Fi system for Apple fans
The Linksys Velop is a super-fast mesh Wi-Fi system and will provide support for Apple’s HomeKit.
Linksys has been a rock-solid choice for routers and internet connectivity since its inception in 1998, so it should come as no surprise that Linksys’ Velop mesh system is among the best you can buy.
Unlike some of the more compact mesh Wi-Fi system designs, each Velop is shaped like a tower and measures nearly eight inches tall and three inches wide. Shiny and white, they are not exactly inconspicuous, but you can easily hide them behind plants or other décor.
A tri-band dual stream design acts as an AC2200 router, range extender access point, and bridge. Each node combines Wi-Fi radios and mesh Wi-Fi to operate both technologies and supports Multi-User Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MU-MIMI) data streaming for quicker speeds.
We’ve used the two-pack, which should cover up to 4,000 square feet, and it is much more than we need. For larger homes, we suggest the three-pack.
The Linksys app walks you through setup, which is as simple as plugging one node into your router, the others into the wall, and tapping a button. The app also includes free parental controls and an Ookla Speedtest service to make sure you’re getting what you paid for. It also comes with automatic firmware updates, an optional guest network, and Alexa capability.
Pros: HomeKit support, speedy Wi-Fi, free parental controls, can cover up to 6,000 square feet
Cons: Settings not customizable, pricey, no USB ports for extra connectivity
The best mesh Wi-Fi system for a connected home
The TP-Link Deco M9 Plus provides fast wireless speeds throughout every corner of your home, is easy to set up, and doubles as a smart home hub for home automation.
If you’re looking for a mesh Wi-Fi system that will cover every square inch of your home with high-speed wireless internet, and act as a main hub for all your smart home devices, TP-Link’s Deco M9 Plus is a fantastic solution.
One of the latest Deco models to join a slew of Wi-Fi options from TP-Link is sleek and minimally designed, but packs lots of technical punch. The three-pack system can cover 6,500 square feet under ideal circumstances and can connect over 100 devices. Plus, if you’re trying to cover an even larger area, more hubs can be added for additional coverage.
Beyond its impressive speeds of 2,200 Mbps, the M9 Plus also features a dynamic backhaul up to 1.5 Gbps which can ensure fast, stable connections throughout your home during times of congestion.
The smart home hub built into the Deco M9 Plus features support for Zigbee, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi devices. You won’t need a separate hub for devices around your home like smart locks or electrical plugs. These smart devices should also be discovered automatically without a fussy setup process.
Like most similar mesh systems, TP-Link includes an app for a simple setup process. The app can be used for all of the Deco products and will work, both at home or remotely, to control and manage your home internet once it’s set up.
The handy Deco app also features parental controls to limit device connectivity, filter content, and set time limits for different users. Visual graphs will also be displayed to make controlling kids’ devices as simple as possible.
Parental controls are part of the TP-Link HomeCare feature which also includes security measures and built-in antivirus protection. Other companies do provide similar options, but some like Eero change for the functionality.
Best Buy reviewers largely agree that the Deco M9 Plus system provides the claimed coverage and the majority have been thrilled with the features and overall experience. One reviewer said, “Installation was quick and easy, and the results were instant gratification. We now have full signal strength through the house.”
Pros: Easy to set up, provides strong mesh Wi-Fi coverage over a large area, compatible with hundreds of smart home devices, lots of extra software features included
Cons: Not available at all retailers, help section confusing, can’t manually change channels
The best mesh Wi-Fi system for reliability
The Google Nest Wi-Fi mesh system is very Apple-like in its approach. The Nest Wi-Fi combines its smart home expertise with its beautiful wireless access points and merges two product categories into one in a natural evolution.
What was once called Google Wi-Fi is now called Nest Wi-Fi in its updated Google assistant-focused configuration. The shiny, white, round and small units have been rounded and buffed for an even more refined look. The experience has also been updated in several ways, notably a 25% boost in coverage range.
A Nest Wi-Fi point now contains the same quality speaker as a Nest Home Mini along with tuned microphones to be able to perform the same voice-tasks as any other Google Home voice product. This means you no long need an Alexa or other voice assistants in places you’re using Wi-Fi points for internet coverage. The combined functionality is a boost for smart home tasks and a win for decreased clutter.
The Nest Wi-Fi system can now use the Google Home app to set up and configure the basic settings. For more advanced controls, you still need to use Google’s Wi-Fi app, but those may be transferred over as well in the future for a fully cohesive user experience.
You get free parental controls, automatic software updates, a guest network, and integration with any Google products in your home, which is a real advantage if you use Android and other products in the Google ecosystem. And, we won’t lie, having 24/7 customer service is always a plus.
A single Nest Wi-Fi module now covers up to 2,200 square feet, compared to the previous 1,500 square feet, but you can expect around 5,400 square feet of Wi-Fi coverage if you use the three-pack. Google sells the modules in various configurations and you can go beyond three if your residence needs it.
Pros: Sleek design, simple to set-up and use, combined Home voice assistant functionality
Cons: Not as fast as other systems, no USB ports
The best mesh Wi-Fi system for big homes
The AmpliFi HD Wi-Fi system by Ubiquiti Labs uses a router and two satellite devices to cover up to an astounding 10,000 square feet.
Ubiquiti Labs has been slowly moving from the business and enterprise side of the networking business into the consumer space. It has been simplifying its state of the art wireless technology into a form that doesn’t need an advanced computer networking degree to set up. Now, its AmpliFi HD Wi-Fi system can cover even the largest houses and should only take a couple minutes to set up with a mobile phone app.
The actual router is a cube, rather than taking on some of the other systems’ rounded exteriors. Interestingly though, the main router features a touchscreen display to give you a quick overview of its status without needing to pull out your phone.
The two included satellite devices are also a little taller than most competitors, but remain discreet enough to hide around the house. The tall devices bring versatility others might not because they’re able to swivel around, either for signal positioning or physical constraints.
The AmpliFi system connects through an app on iOS or Android and brings a setup process that will only take a few taps to initially configure. The app also provides the ability to monitor network status, prioritize connected devices, control user access, set device schedules, and pause internet access, among other capabilities.
We used the kit, which will cover up to 6,000 square feet, though we also find that in our smaller space of just one floor, this is an extremely capable system with less hardware to plug in.
Pros: Covers a huge amount of space, also works well for smaller homes, neat hardware design
Cons: App design not as attractive as other competitors, power might be overkill for some locations