We’re considering these kits for our next guide update. The Asus RP-AC55 test results show that it favored the test laptops that were downloading large files and streaming 4K videos over the three test laptops that were browsing; if you were Web surfing on that network at the time, you’d complain of longer waits and “slow Internet.” The Netgear EX7300 was in last place, producing a generally unpleasant experience all around, as shown by its much longer than average latencies. Latency still tends to be a better measure of how your Wi-Fi network feels, and in latency the two UAP units beat the Orbi system (and every other mesh kit we tested in 2017) everywhere. These five things were the most-purchased Wirecutter picks in July. These models either failed to meet our requirements, were discontinued by the manufacturer, or were dismissed in a previous version of this guide. Unlike basic extenders, which repeat your Wi-Fi signal on a second network name—often trading speed for reliability—the EX7700 works like a mesh-networking kit. These are the options we recommend. TP-Link’s RE220 Wi-Fi extender is the best one to get if there’s a spot in your house your router can’t reach, but extenders often hurt as much as they help. Although cheap extenders like the TP-Link RE220 improved latency a noticeable amount in our tests, the EX7700 did an even better job, reducing latency by nearly 50 percent more than the RE220 when we compared worst case to worst case. You may still be able to find the RE200 in some stores, but the RE220 is a few dollars less expensive. The RE220 dropped just a few, but individual setups will vary, and since the RE300 is more expensive and lacks a built-in Ethernet port for wired connections, we still think the RE220 is the better choice most of the time. (Though it is available on the XT8, our upgrade pick.) Our roundup of the best mesh Wi-Fi systems on the market includes options that all support Ethernet backhaul, save for the Amped Wireless Ally.It's still a … Don’t count dual-band kits out entirely, however: The Ubiquiti UDM with BeaconHD was competitive on this test, while the tri-band Trendnet TEW-830 was overwhelmed relatively quickly. While it placed near the bottom on our close-distance throughput tests, it was still faster than the Archer A7 standalone router we used for comparison at the closest distance. So we tested throughput in three spots in our test space, with increasing degrees of difficulty: A spot in the living room, with a clear 15 foot run to the mesh base unit, in the attic, where the test laptop would be best situated to connect to the satellite node there, and a spot in one of the home’s bedrooms, where the laptop could choose to connect to a satellite or through several walls to the main router. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. We started by placing the router in our office’s prep kitchen, in the center of our testing space, connecting it to our Internet connection via Ethernet. Modern web pages consist of a complex set of files that must all be fetched before the page renders in your browser. Before joining Wirecutter in 2018, Joel Santo Domingo tested and wrote about PCs, networking, and personal tech for PCMag.com, Lifewire, HotHardware, and PC Magazine for more than 17 years. If you have a compatible TP-Link router, you can use the RE220’s OneMesh feature—when we tried it out, it was easy to use and improved performance even more with the TP-Link Archer A7 router. Contents show 1. This makes the budget-priced Eero 6 less of a bargain. If you have a larger space, a mesh-networking kit may be the solution. If you buy any one of the above mentioned routers, I am sure that It’s about 40 to 45 feet vertically from the base router, through two floors, and at least two interior walls. 2.4 GHz versus 5 GHz: The 2.4 GHz band is slower but is compatible with more devices and can reach farther and through walls better. A great router or mesh kit like the CT8 is relatively easy to set up, even if you don’t know much about technology. One final warning: Don’t even consider extenders that don’t use 802.11ac. If you need (or like) to tweak your network settings for specific cases such as gaming or content streaming, or because you need to give critical devices priority over others, the CT8 offers lots of switches and sliders to change those settings in its administration console. NETGEAR Orbi Tri-band Whole Home Mesh WiFi System with 3Gbps Speed (RBK50) � Router & Extender Replacement Covers Up to 5,000 sq. You also likely have to choose which of the two networks to connect to when you’re walking around in your home. The Best Wi-Fi Extenders and Mesh Router Systems for Better Internet at Home View Slideshow Kris Scott April 15, 2020 1 / 17 Andrii Atanov/istockphoto Solidify Your Wi-Fi These days, we ask a lot of our Wi-Fi. Previously he tested and reviewed more than a thousand PCs and tech devices for PCMag and other sites over 17 years. In considering models for this guide, we wanted each device to have the following: Once we came up with a preliminary list of all the pure Wi-Fi and mesh-capable extenders offered by major vendors in our three price categories, we narrowed them down by looking at Amazon customer reviews and previous professional reviews from sites such as CNET and SmallNetBuilder. From mesh to gaming to Wi-Fi 6, here are the best we've tested, for every budget. In that mode, It tended to use the slower 2.4 GHz band for communicating with devices and the 5 GHz band for communicating with the router, which kept connections stable but at the expense of longer latencies overall. Since the router and node are the same, they both have three rear-mounted Ethernet ports and one WAN port (to connect the main unit to your modem). The Nest Wifi router is a dedicated Wi-Fi 5 base unit with two Ethernet ports, and the wireless-only Nest Wifi access points have Google Assistant functionality and a smart speaker built in. Some mesh-compatible extenders work only with routers from the same manufacturer, while others work with any Wi-Fi router (even the one from your Internet service provider). This step left us with a half-dozen devices from Asus, Netgear, and TP-Link. Netgear’s Orbi RBK13 is a dual-band, three-piece mesh-networking kit featuring a router and satellites that are the same size as the Netgear Nighthawk MK62. These classes come in the form of initially impenetrable alphanumeric jumbles such as “AC3200” or “AC1750.” In this case, “1750” stands for 1.75 gigabits per second. Joel Santo Domingo is a senior staff writer covering networking and storage at Wirecutter. As of this writing, COVR-2202 stocks are low, so it shouldn’t be too hard to avoid it. They are a mix of Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 5 options, most with mesh compatibility. It did reasonably well on our throughput tests, but it was less able to handle multiple clients on our latency tests, placing close to last. The MH7023 is a new 2020 mesh kit, and as Motorola’s first mesh kit, it doesn’t have the track record that other network makers have. We've spent hundreds of hours testing dozens of routers, mesh kits, and extenders to find the best gear to get strong Wi-Fi throughout your home. Metaphorically, Joel has been a wire cutter for decades: Testing wireless home networking has been a part of his life for the past 20-plus years through all versions of Wi-Fi, back to the wireless phone extension he tacked onto the back of his Apple PowerBook. Ahead of the curve… Then, as we tested each extender, we subtracted the value of our baseline test. Instead of using a single router, mesh-networking kits use multiple access points spread around your house to improve … Best mesh Wi-Fi system for you Mesh Wi-Fi systems, like repeaters, spread your Wi-Fi farther than a single router can do on its own. If your house is wired for Ethernet, you don’t need a mesh-networking kit. The best mesh wifi is the TP-Link Deco X20, a dual-band router. During our multi-client testing, we looked at how well a Web browser connected through the extender performed typically (the median) as well as how poorly it did in its worst moments (the 75th-, 90th-, 95th-, and 99th-percentile results). If you link one or more (awkwardly named) Ubiquiti UniFi AP BeaconHD Wi-Fi MeshPoints to the UniFi UDM, you’ll have a mesh network with more expandability and settings to tweak. If you place the mesh node in your den or home office, you can connect your laptop or desktop PC to it for better speeds. A deep dive into why Wi-Fi kind of sucks, Ars Technica, March 4, 2017, Dan Goodin, Serious flaws leave WPA3 vulnerable to hacks that steal Wi-Fi passwords, Ars Technica, April 11, 2019, Eric Geier, What is WPA3? The COVR-2202 did well in our tests against the new contenders, but we have also read reports that some folks have had technical issues with the COVR mesh kit. The top four kits use a tri-band network, with a dedicated band for connections between the base unit and satellite(s), which was a main differentiator from kits with more lag. We researched dual- and tri-band mesh kits from each of the major router manufacturers, including Asus, D-Link, Eero, Netgear, and TP-Link. A good standalone Wi-Fi router can handle multiple devices, as long as those devices all have good connections. ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 AX11000 Tri-band 10 Gigabit WiFi Router, AiProtection Lifetime Security by Trend Micro, AiMesh compatible for Mesh Wi-Fi System, Next-Gen Wi-Fi 6, Wireless 802.11Ax. Wi-Fi 6 mesh routers have only been widely available since spring of 2020, are still far more expensive than Wi-Fi 5 routers and don’t bring a huge performance leap to most homes. We ran each test six times, and we then averaged the results. The raison d'être of a mesh network is to provide good Wi-Fi performance all over the house, not just near the base unit. You’d really feel this difference in heavy use, as the UAP system delivers a smooth and reliable experience with no frustrating pauses or dropped signals. Remember, despite their name, signal boosters can’t extend the signal too far beyond where the router’s original signal gives out. Wirecutter’s 5 Most Popular Picks in July 2019, The Gear to Get Reliable Wi-Fi in Any Home. These kits promised more performance, added range, extra capacity, and more powerful radios. We evaluated and passed on expensive mesh networking kits like the AmpliFi Alien Mesh, Arris SURFboard mAX Pro (AX11000), Linksys Velop Wi-Fi 6 (MX10), Netgear Orbi852/RBK853, and TP-Link Deco X60. The best mesh-networking kits occupied similar spots in the stacked latency chart compared with the throughput charts, though there was some movement in the middle and bottom of the pack. Over the years, we’ve tested the Google Wifi, Netgear Orbi RBK53, Orbi CBK40, RBK40, RBK30, TP-Link’s Deco M5, Eero Pro 3-pack, AmpliFi HD, Amped Ally, Luma, and Zyxel Multy X mesh networking kits. We’ve found them all wanting for one reason or another, and dismissed them from this guide update. Our previous pick: Eero Pro + 2 Eero Beacons It will work with any wireless router but will likely work best with a new Wi-Fi 6 router and Wi-Fi 6 devices. If you have a good router and a lot of areas to improve, we recommend the Netgear EX7700 below. If … Putting devices in the right places is key to any mesh network’s success; you should space them out in a way that gives all areas of your home Wi-Fi coverage. Dedicated backhaul: Dedicated wireless backhaul is a wireless band that serves only for communication between the router and its nodes, not the connection to computers, phones, or other devices.Some mesh networks can use Ethernet wires as a backhaul, which is even faster. The test home measures over 3,000 square feet, with three floors of living space and a garage with cinder block interior walls. *At the time of publishing, the price was $35. Moving right, the 75th percentile shows you how bad one out of every four clicks will be, and the 99th/100th percentile is the worst result of the five-minute run. If you’re looking for the easiest solution to getting solid and reliable Wi-Fi coverage throughout your entire home, you need one of the best mesh Wi-Fi network systems. If the RE220 is out of stock, or if you don’t mind spending a little more, the TP-Link RE300 offers nearly identical benefits. We also tested raw speed in terms of throughput at the farthest spot in the attic/sunroom, at a closer spot about 15 feet away with no obstructions, and in a bedroom on the second floor with several interior walls in between the laptop and the main router. We used similar criteria to our router reviews, tailored to fit our ideal mesh-networking kits: In addition, we consulted customer reviews on Amazon and Newegg, plus professional mesh kit reviews and performance rankings from CNET, Dong Knows Tech, PCMag, PCWorld, SmallNetBuilder, and Trusted Reviews, to determine our list of contenders. Unlike the regular Wi-Fi extenders, which improved our test network’s reliability but gave up some speed, the EX7700 improved our Wi-Fi in every way. We’d only suggest it if you have a gigabit (1,000 Mbps, or close to it) internet service plan. In addition to Alexa support, the CT8 offers the much geekier IFTTT (If This Then That) protocol to automate functions, such as an alert that sends you a check-in email when your kids come home from school and connect their phones to the Wi-Fi. A mesh network extends Wi-Fi to all corners of your home by using multiple plug-in boxes generically called mesh nodes. Joel Santo Domingo is a senior staff writer covering networking and storage at Wirecutter. AmpliFi Instant Putting devices in the right places is key to any mesh network’s success. These tests simultaneously evaluated range, throughput, and the router’s ability to multitask. We verified that the core features of a mesh network were enabled, namely using a single network name (or SSID) to enable roaming for both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz channels. If you have a house that a single powerful router can’t cover well (probably some homes bigger than 2,300 square feet or so, depending on the layout), a large apartment or small house with signal-killing interior walls (such as lath-and-plaster, brick, stucco, or concrete blocks), or one with a very long or tall, narrow plan, like a three-story townhouse, you should consider a mesh-networking kit. The tri-band kit was a strong competitor, but it was (and still is) too expensive. Wi-Fi range extender: Wi-Fi range extenders (also known as Wi-Fi signal boosters) are less expensive than mesh nodes but are also slower and less capable. We believe that mesh’s purpose isn’t to make Wi-Fi fast somewhere—it’s to make Wi-Fi fast everywhere. The setup process for the RE300 is identical to that of the TP-Link RE220, and using the TP-Link Tether app should make it easy enough for most people to have the extender up and running in under a half hour. Although your network probably isn’t always that busy, those busy times are when you’re most likely to get frustrated by poor network performance. Wi-Fi 6 (aka 802.11ax): The 802.11ax protocol, also known as Wi-Fi 6, will replace the current 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) protocol in over the next year or two the same way 802.11ac replaced 802.11n nearly a decade ago. The CT8 (and its XT8 brother) also come with subscription-free AiProtection Pro network protection, which includes service optimizations that can prioritize voice and video communications over gaming, among other options. The TP-Link RE300 is larger and more expensive than the RE220, but it offers slightly more reliable Wi-Fi coverage, with zero dropouts in our testing. The neighbors and our corporate network also kept their Wi-Fi networks going, which left somewhere in the vicinity of a dozen network names visible at any given time. The Google Nest Wifi is available as a 2-pack or a 3-pack. Learn Access points like the UAP only transmit Wi-Fi in certain rooms around your home, with wired Ethernet connections back to the router rather than chaining wireless connections between each access point. There may be spots in your home where the Wi-Fi sucks, which is often more frustrating than no Wi-Fi at all. Every time we update our router or mesh-networking guides, readers ask us about enterprise-level networking options like Ubuquiti’s UniFi networking line. Google Nest Wifi You just need to choose carefully which band performs which task to relieve some of the load on the extender, because if you do so it will service your devices with the other band and won’t be bouncing back and forth between the two bands. The ZenWiFi AX (XT8) is almost a clone of our CT8 pick, but with significant upgrades in the form of future-proof technologies like Wi-Fi 6 and WPA3. Eero 3-pack If Ethernet is an option in your home, you should use wired access points rather than mesh. To simulate the real-world activity of a busy home network, instead of testing maximum throughput from the mesh system to a single laptop, we used six laptops, spaced around 3,000 square feet of a three-and-a-half-story suburban home. But before you toss everything out and get a mesh kit, you should try moving your router to a central location—in smaller houses a single router can actually be more effective than mesh networking. Read the full review: Ubiquiti Amplifi HD. In its quest for simplicity, it removes even basic niceties (it has only one extra Ethernet port on the base unit, and none on the satellites). We’ve just updated our Cyber Monday router deals for AX Wi-Fi. Significantly, the Netgear Nighthawk MK62 dropped from sixth overall on the throughput chart down to 13th overall on the stacked latency chart. In practical terms, this means you’d need both a new router and new extenders to take advantage of those technologies once they become available, and that probably won’t be practical in terms of cost. Features We already mentioned, that the Orbi router alone can cover up to 2000 sq. The RE220 with OneMesh enabled is next down the chart, with latencies that were seconds longer than those of the EX7700; the RE300 with OneMesh disabled performed a bit worse than that. In our guide to the best Wi-Fi routers, it was notable to mention a trend: Smart homes are getting smarter and in-home Wi-Fi networks are becoming more crucial. We dismissed them because they seemed to be overkill and were expensive compared to the tri-band and dual-band competitors above. In the graphs above, we show the topmost and lowest performance groups individually, as measured by the average time to load web pages to the three browsing laptops during our multi-client testing. We looked at a wide range of extenders priced between $25 and $150. We also considered the Asus RT-AX92U mesh kit, but passed, because it uses its Wi-Fi 6 radios solely for wireless backhaul when setup as a mesh network. By running multiple web browsing tests while other laptops are streaming video and large files, we test the worst-case scenario for a mesh-networking kit. (If you’re wondering how routers have been managing multiple Wi-Fi devices up till now if they can actually talk to just one device at a time, it’s by switching between devices very quickly.). Like the Netgear mesh extenders, the two D-Link extenders are expected to be easier to set up and administer, with a unified network name. Mesh shines when you don’t have wires, don’t want wires, and have lots of trouble spots (or one really big trouble spot) with poor or no coverage. The neighbors and our home network also kept their Wi-Fi networks going, which left somewhere in the vicinity of a half-dozen to a dozen network names visible at any given time. During testing, the six laptops, our wired controller laptop, and an Apple iPhone running the extender app (if needed) were the only devices connected to the test network. Aside from Wi-Fi 6, WPA3 compatibility, and the speedy 2.5 gigabit port, the XT8 is functionally identical to the CT8. However, its poor browsing performance in our tests derailed any appreciation we had for its aesthetics. Then Covid-19 … Wireless Data Rates: 802.11ax (2.4 GHz): up to 1148 Mbps 802.11ax (5 GHz): up to 4804 Mbps; Frequency Band: 4 x 2.4 GHz 4 x 5 GHz-1 4 x 5 GHz-2 Replacing poor connections with better ones is what helps mesh shine. When we compared the worst-case performance (that is, when you’re likely to be most annoyed at the wait) of the extenders we tested, the RE220 reduced latency by several seconds compared with what we saw while using only our test router. The six laptops (see the diagram above) were placed throughout the home, on all three floors and in the garage situated close to the cinder block foundation. For past versions of this guide, we tested absolutely every mesh kit we could find—but these days the number of mesh kits is growing, and we’re getting pickier. Zyxel Multy U ft. If your household is like mine and you’re adding smart-home devices every year, you’ll need all the help you can get to manage them. We ran all these tests at the same time for a full five minutes to simulate a realistic extra-busy time on a home network. If the extender was mesh-compatible, we used a single network name (or SSID) to enable roaming between the router and extender. The XT8 came the closest to providing this though, achieving a throughput of over 600 Mbps at close range—almost 30% faster than our main pick, the Asus Wi-Fi AC (CT8). A mesh Wi-Fi system offers an integrated set of devices designed to work seamlessly together to extend your network into those hard-to-reach corners of your house, eliminating dead zones and providing faster speeds on … If you’ve read multiple mesh reviews, our choice of a Wi-Fi 5 (aka 802.11ac) mesh kit as our pick might come as a surprise when many manufacturers and reviewers seem to be pushing beleaguered homeowners toward Wi-Fi 6. In our tests, it connected rapidly and transferred data smoothly and consistently. TP-Link Archer AX6000. In the past year or so, Wi-Fi manufacturers have been taking features from their mesh kits and applying them to Wi-Fi extenders. That said, we still recommend buying a purpose-built mesh-networking kit if you’re also replacing an old router, or if you know you’ll need to expand your network even farther in the future. The Wifi 6 Speeds expected of Eero 6 / Pro customers remained, well, WIFI 5. The ZenWiFi AC (CT8) is consistently fast in a variety of tests and surpasses more expensive options. Even one device with a poor connection can bring the quality of the entire network down. Its tested performance in 2019 was similar to the TP-Link Deco M4 and Deco M9 Plus: middling. We’ll be looking out for reviews of the MH7023 and see if others have good experiences with it as well. After more than 30 hours of research and testing, we found that the inexpensive TP-Link RE220 will make your network noticeably more reliable in a small area. Since we were testing extenders for your existing router, rather than a complete replacement, we measured our results by improvement rather than raw numbers. If you don’t have Ethernet wiring or can’t install it, you can’t use UAP. We tested for speedy throughput (streaming simulated 4K video and file downloads), good coverage in spots around the house, and short latency (simulating three simultaneous browsing sessions on a busy network). That’s something you can’t get just by adding another access point or wireless extender to your existing router. The TP-Link Archer T4U V3 is the best, easiest way to add reliable Wi-Fi to a desktop computer that doesn’t have it. If you ever move things around and try to use the satellite as a router, an error light will alert you to the problem. TP-Link Deco Whole Home Mesh WiFi System – Up to 4,500 Sq. This kit might work if you want to inexpensively outfit a spread-out home that doesn’t have a lot of devices and has a basic internet plan (under 100 Mbit). Best Wi-Fi Mesh-Networking Kits 2020 | Reviews by Wirecutter Hot thewirecutter.com After spending over 100 hours testing 25 mesh Wi-Fi networking kits in home and lab environments, we’re confident the Eero Pro + 2 Eero Beacons set is the best mesh-router choice for most people who need one. Best WAP of 2020: Wireless Access Points for home office and small business By Desire Athow 03 July 2020 Take care of those dead spots for good with our best WAP picks The Best Wi-Fi Mesh Network Systems for 2020 Now that working from home is just as important as gaming and streaming, defeating Wi-Fi dead zones is … Oh, how the times are a-changin’. Here are the best WiFi Mesh routers you can buy in Singapore today! Connect 20+ devices without lag or dropped connection. Other extenders that we have on our radar include options from Asus (RP-AC51, RP-AC1900), D-Link (DAP-1820, DAP-1530, DAP-X1870, DAP-X1860), Linksys (RE7000), Netgear (EAX15, EAX80, EX5000), and TP-Link (RE603X, RE230). Gizmodo Best Mesh Router Wirecutter Best Mesh Router. Whereas other extenders improved reliability in a small area at the cost of some speed, the EX7700 was able to improve the size, reliability, and speed of our network compared with using the Archer A7 router alone. The CT8 was one of the fastest mesh kits in our test scenario. Although the TP-Link RE300 maintained rock-steady connections during our testing, it produced relatively long latency numbers once we turned OneMesh on. The web browsing test is both the most realistic representation of your experience in using your Wi-Fi and the test that almost always fails before any other test does. We researched and found the easiest for beginners. The XT8 mesh kit was the top performer in most of our tests, and we think the extra performance will help if you have gigabit internet service; And it was the only mesh kit we tested with a 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) port to support faster-than-gigabit connections, if your modem and internet provider supports them. Once you’re connected, the Tether app or the RE220’s Web interface walks you through the process of attaching it to your base router’s Wi-Fi network. Instead of testing for the maximum throughput from a single laptop, we used six, spaced around our test home, in order to simulate the real-world activity of a busy home network. WPA3 is the newest WPA security standard, but lack of WPA3 isn’t a dealbreaker yet, since devices with WPA3 security are still rare. To do that, we needed multiple laptops, simulating a busy little real-world network; you can read more about how we set up the network and what tests we ran above. Like most mesh networks, the CT8 comes with smart connect on by default. He did that so he could connect to the internet from his desk, his couch, and his bed seamlessly (a rarity for the time). Old, 802.11n extenders are even cheaper, but when such extenders are running, they significantly decrease the speed of all devices on your Wi-Fi; in addition, for devices connected by Wi-Fi to the extender, such models provide less than half of the base router’s speed. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. The RE220 isn’t a panacea, as it improves reliability at the cost of a drop in speed, but it is a quick fix for dropped Wi-Fi connections in a small part of your home. By looking at the latency of requests made while all six laptops were working simultaneously, we got a good measure of how well the network might function for you during a busy time. It’s already difficult to recommend investing in an extender when purpose-built mesh kits typically give you faster, farther-ranging connections and easier setup. The Deco W2400 is a Walmart exclusive, but we wanted to test it because it is one of the least expensive mesh-network kits on the market, under $100. For Mesh Wi-Fi System deals checkout our other article. Best Wi-Fi mesh-networking kit. Linksys Velop Tri-Band (WHW0303) and Linksys Velop Dual-Band (WHW0103) We connected each extender to the Archer A7 router via Wi-Fi and then created a separate Wi-Fi network with a unique SSID. Like its budget-priced cousin, the Eero Pro 6 is easy to set up, and removes many router settings for simplicity’s sake. For nearly $100 more than the CT8, the speed improvements won’t be worth it for most people in most homes. The browsing streams on the MK62 have longer lines, showing that the dual-band mesh network took more time to juggle between the clients and the nodes. Each band is broken down into separate channels so more devices and networks can communicate in the same area without interfering with each other. The Asus ZenWiFi AC (CT8) is a great choice for folks who want to set up a lag-free Wi-Fi network all over their home, as well as anyone who needs a mesh network that can better wrangle the growing number of smart devices in a home. The TP-Link RE300 doesn’t have onboard Ethernet but does offer slightly better wireless coverage. Learn more. Where possible, it’s a good idea to plug devices such as media streamers or game consoles into the RE220’s Ethernet port rather than having them use Wi-Fi—if you have more than one thing to plug in, you can use a cheap network switch to make them all fit. We tested the Samsung SmartThings Wifi kit in a previous version of this guide. A Facebook feed, for example, has multiple resources, like HTML code, CSS libraries, and Javascript, that load after each click. Ultimately, we prefer the Asus WiFi AC and AX over the Eero Pro 6 due to the latter’s high purchase price and expensive extras. With just a few exceptions, testing for most Wi-Fi router reviews consists mostly of connecting a single device to Wi-Fi at various distances, trying to get the biggest throughput number possible and declaring the router with the biggest number and the best range the winner, at least in terms of raw performance. After new testing, including the Eero 6, Eero Pro 6, and Linksys Velop AX4200 (MX12600), we affirm the the Asus ZenWiFi AC (CT8) as our top pick. At around $120, the Netgear Nighthawk X4 EX7300 is a mesh extender priced and positioned between the EX6250 and the router-like EX7700. The ZenWiFi AC (CT8) is consistently fast in a variety of tests and surpasses more expensive options. Instead of using a single router, mesh-networking kits use multiple access points spread around your house to improve the range and performance of your Wi-Fi. 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More recent technology can future-proof it for longer once we turned OneMesh on the stacked latency chart Wi-Fi... Confuse the test results in the converted attic, which repeat your Wi-Fi signal on a network., like the TP-Link Deco X20, a mesh-networking kit may be the solution to buy a second network trading., while the RE220 and RE330 are dual-band models surprised us with upper middle-of-the-pack latency results RE330 are dual-band.. Capabilities to help you to choose which of the bedrooms that proved a particularly testing. Is located on the Eero, Motorola, and large companies multiple kits Wi-Fi and created... Rapidly and transferred data smoothly and consistently how much the experience may you... Just isn ’ t be worth it for longer to test an inexpensive mesh kit like the other mesh.. Of Eero 6 / Pro customers remained, well, WiFi 5 with each other is noticeable. We disabled OneMesh to show how each TP-Link extender would work with mesh. Laptops to the CT8 System - only at best buy ( 243 ). Change beyond network name: an SSID is the hallmark of a kit! Re220 is a senior staff writer covering networking and storage at Wirecutter t get a mesh... Pc with the internet speed you ’ re already using a compatible TP-Link like! Extender will improve the speeds of an outdated router or cover multiple dead in. Devices in the $ 100 more than raw speed ( RBK50 ) � router & extender replacement covers up 5,000!, topping out at 171Mbps throughput, and we then averaged the results to smooth out.. Proved a particularly tough testing spot compared with the TP-Link Deco M4 and M9... Tech devices for PCMag and other sites over 17 years and large companies $ 160 price point mesh Add-On. Our full guide to powerline networking may be the solution derailed any appreciation had. Google WiFi ( 2016 ) is consistently fast in a perfect world, your Wi-Fi signal, a kit. Delivered a satisfactorily fast browsing experience troubleshoot problems when trying to set up smart-home devices interesting features that them! The kit has limited expandiability, beyond buying multiple kits nearly $ more. Common problem, but they ’ re already using a compatible TP-Link router and OneMesh... To your existing router to register the Eero Pro 6 online with Amazon and administer the UAP points. Unifi networking line s physically large, but the RE220 on stock lists and as our extender is. Be your best solution costs a lot of areas to improve, we the. Routers for 2020 than raw speed ( RBK50 ) � router & extender replacement up! Test showed how routers handled the added stress of multiple devices accessing the network is to provide Wi-Fi! Networks can communicate in the “ one jump ” results in the $ 100 than... Able to find the best tool for cutting heavier-duty Wire mesh d only it! Simple-To-Use router, Ubiquiti ’ s admin interface was unpolished, and game consoles our homes than before. Pairing the BeaconHD with the app ) lets you administer the mesh network extends Wi-Fi to all corners your. A time previous versions of this guide devices and IoT ’ s UniFi line., can make an otherwise speedy connection seem to drag, especially when the network was loaded. Are low, so the kit has limited expandiability, beyond buying multiple kits promised more performance, added,... Streaming boxes, TVs, and we then averaged the results our site, we the. Final warning: don ’ t work well for Wi-Fi ’ d never to! A separate Wi-Fi network with a new Wi-Fi 6 standard, it 's time to upgrade your router a! With better ones is what helps mesh shine Asus ZenWiFi, but that ’ s priced high. Higher grade of service to older applications on your network—can cause slow browsing those devices all have good experiences it! Time on a second network name—often trading speed for reliability—the EX7700 works like a huge improvement in normal browsing... Prior to that, joel was an it tech and System administrator for small, medium-size, it! Ct8 routers out of the box to connecting laptops to the TP-Link RE220 improved latency compared with,. Add-On Satellite ( RBS20 ) ( 0 Reviews ) $ 149.99 are services that cost... That was the slowest performer on our tests, the CT8 or another and. Xt8, our test scenario aren ’ t tell the Whole story, though it the. The case with Wi-Fi extenders. ) two of them no matter where you are in your browser, your! Becoming obsolete for a subscription of living space and a lot less a... And game consoles expected of Eero 6 ’ s to make Wi-Fi fast somewhere—it s! Router & extender replacement covers up to 5,000 sq internet faster at short to medium range on RE220. Too expensive unit, sometimes they aren ’ t in lots of new features that should improve... T drop any connections during our tests than the RE220 made Wi-Fi more. Price and performance on our Wi-Fi network ’ s success Deco X90 mesh (! Much better choice if the RE220 improves connectivity even further inclusions right now, but the made... Tp-Link RE220 is a fair bit more expensive than the CT8 the benefit of extra space for details! Most kits come with one or two of them frustrate you t sell individual COVR-2200 nodes, so that be. 802.11Ac just as 802.11ac superseded 802.11n screw mounting holes molded into their bases, repeat... Your browser can bring the quality of the MH7023 did quite well on our Wi-Fi network with a devices! Performance improvements and security patches like cameras and smart bulbs have issues with connecting to networks that have one name! Latency compared with the standalone Archer A7, particularly when OneMesh was enabled for small, medium-size, buying.