Best Wi-Fi 6E mesh routers 2023

eero Pro 6E review
(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Wi-Fi 6E is an evolution of Wi-Fi 6 that takes advantage of newly available spectrum at 6GHz to offer much greater capacity than 5GHz Wi-Fi making it the perfect tech for a fast mesh Wi-Fi 6E system. While the speeds in a lab environment will be about the same, there are significantly more 160MHz Wi-Fi channels available so you and your neighbors won’t be fighting over the same spectrum. This keeps speeds higher and more consistent on supported devices. The ASUS ZenWiFi ET8 makes the most sense for most people thanks to its adequate speeds, compact node size, and great set of features.

Best Wi-Fi 6E mesh kits

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Asus ZenWiFi ET8 Wi-Fi 6E mesh router review

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The sensible 6GHz pick

Reasons to buy

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Fast enough for most people
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Can use 6GHz as backhaul
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Compact nodes
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2.5Gbps Ethernet
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Works with other AiMesh routers

Reasons to avoid

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Must share bands with backhaul
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Speeds at 5GHz are unimpressive

The ZenWiFi ET8 from ASUS is a tri-band AXE6600 mesh Wi-Fi system with enough power for most people, though it won’t blow your socks off if you’re using a gigabit connection. The connection breaks down to 574Mbps at 2.4GHz, 1201Mbps at 5GHz, and a massive 4804Mbps at 6GHz. Note that your fastest Wi-Fi 6 devices will top out at 1201Mbps and your Wi-Fi 6E devices will top out at 2402Mbps. That means that Wi-Fi 6 devices won’t be able to make the most of this system.

Perhaps the best part of ASUS’ products is the software. The ASUS Router app on Android has easy-to-use controls and the ability to quickly and easily configure your system the first time. This is also home to ASUS’ AiProtection settings including parental controls. This software is able to detect and block connection attempts from malicious websites. The parental controls are also easy to use with profiles for each member of your home and specific rules that can be set for each. ASUS also has a web browser interface with more settings than the majority of other mesh systems.

As for the mesh, ASUS claims up to 5,500 square feet of coverage with two nodes and 2,750 square feet with just one. You can expand your mesh with more of the same nodes or with any other ASUS AiMesh compatible routers. You could even set up a mesh with a fast gaming router like the ROG Rapture AXE11000 with the two ZenWiFi for the best of both worlds. ASUS’ software is also the only one on this list that lets you choose your backhaul type, so if you want to force it to use 6GHz over 5GHz to link your nodes, you can.

TP-Link Deco XE75 review

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The best value Wi-Fi 6E mesh

Reasons to buy

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Solid AXE5400 speeds
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Balanced 5GHz and 6GHz speeds
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Compact nodes with easy Deco expansion
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Good software with parental controls
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Cheap

Reasons to avoid

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No multi-gig Ethernet

The TP-Link Deco XE75 is one of the best values when it comes to any mesh system, not just Wi-Fi 6E models. The Deco XE75 is a fairly basic kit with an AXE5400 tri-band connection with 2402Mbps available at 5GHz and 6GHz. Unlike the ZenWifi ET8 which prioritized speed on the 6GHz band, the Deco keeps things balanced so that 5GHz, most of our Wi-Fi devices, will have plenty of capacity for gigabit connections.

Speaking of gigabit, one of the Deco XE75's biggest weak points is the complete lack of multi-gig Ethernet. That means the fastest internet connection supported by this mesh is 1Gbps. While our Deco XE75 review found this limitation to be acceptable for most people, it's worth considering if you have or plan to upgrade to a multi-gig wired network in the future. If you know you'll need multi-gig, you can grab the upgraded Deco XE75 Pro on Amazon (opens in new tab) with 2.5Gbps Ethernet on each node.

For the price, it's hard to find too much fault with this mesh kit but you should be sure you're picking a system that has the features you need. If you've upgraded your fiber internet connection to 2Gbps or 5Gbps service, this isn't the kit for you. If you're happy with strong gigabit speeds, as most of us are, the Deco XE75 is a fantastic value.

ASUS ZenWiFi Pro ET12

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Tons of multi-gigabit options

Reasons to buy

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High speeds on all bands
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Can use 6GHz as a backhaul
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10Gbps Ethernet port
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Works with other AiMesh nodes

Reasons to avoid

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Must share bands with backhaul
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Very expensive

Like its little brother, the ET8, the ZenWiFi Pro ET12 is a tri-band system. Unlike that smaller router, it takes the speed up to AXE11000 with 1148Mbps at 2.4GHz, 4840Mbps at 5GHz, and another 4804Mbps at 6GHz. This increase in speed means that this mesh kit can keep up with just about any internet connection and device with ease. There’s also a 10Gbps Ethernet port, a 2.5Gbps port, and two gigabit ports that can be used in link aggregation. Basically, no matter your multi-gig Ethernet setup, you’re covered.

It also comes with AiProtection Pro for free so you can be more at ease knowing your entire network is protected from malicious connection attempts. ASUS’ excellent parental controls are also included so you can set up a profile for each member of the family to apply restrictions appropriate to each person’s age. Like the ZenWiFi ET8, setup is a breeze and can be done with the Asus Router app. If you’re looking for more advanced controls, the web browser UI is available.

This router is also compatible with AiMesh routers so you can pair it with a large number of compatible ASUS routers, including gaming routers or other ZenWiFi nodes. This allows for a ton of flexibility in your home so if you want the feature set of a massive ROG router, you don’t have to give up the coverage of a mesh system. Even so, most people would be very happy with the performance of this kit alone, with up to 6,000 square feet of coverage with two nodes.

Google Nest WiFi Pro Snow sustainability promo

(Image credit: Google)

Nest Wifi Pro

The best of Nest

Reasons to buy

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Quick tri-band AXE5400 connection
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Compact nodes come in four colors
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Thread support with Matter coming via an update
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Auto-QoS for video calls
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Competitively priced

Reasons to avoid

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Only gigabit Ethernet ports
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No backwards compatibility with previous Nest Wifi or Google Wifi nodes

If you ask a Google Wifi or Nest Wifi user why they chose their mesh system, they're probably not going to talk too much about speed. While those mesh systems were quick enough for most people, they were hardly breaking any speed records and the latest Wi-Fi 6E Nest Wifi Pro is no different. It's clear from the hardware layout that Google wanted to build a system with plenty of speed for daily tasks but stayed firmly focused on the entire user experience.

Nest Wifi Pro nodes are nice to look at with their compact circular designs and four color choices. These nodes will blend in nicely with just about any room's decor with its four colors: Snow, Linen, Fog, and Lemongrass. If you buy a three-pack, you can even get three colors at once. The point is that the routers can easily be placed in the center of the room without sticking out to provide the best Wi-Fi possible.

Under the hood, things are fairly basic with an AXE5400 tri-band connection. Around the back, you get two gigabit Ethernet ports per node. Its hardware is set up like the Deco XE75 above and like that kit, it's no good for multi-gig internet connections. Fortunately, Google has priced the Nest Wifi Pro competitively with recommended pricing right in line with the Deco XE75 for a two-pack.

eero Pro 6E mesh Wi-Fi system

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)
Middle of the road value

Reasons to buy

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Balanced 5GHz and 6GHz speeds
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Easy eero software
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Compact design
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Compatibility with other eeros

Reasons to avoid

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Expensive for the speed
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Unpredictable 6GHz connectivity

The eero Pro 6E looks a lot like the last generation Eero Pro 6, and with a tri-band connection, its specs on paper look similar as well. The Pro 6E, however, swaps out one of the 5GHz bands for a 6GHz band. This eero splits the speeds down the middle between the two higher bands so its AXE5400 connection breaks down to 574Mbps at 2.4GHz, 2,402Mbps at 5GHz, and 2,402Mbps at 6GHz. Like the TP-Link, this leaves plenty of capacity for more common 5GHz devices.

The eero Pro 6E has two Ethernet ports with one operating at 2.5Gbps and the other at gigabit. The 2.5Gbps port can be used for either LAN or WAN allowing you to choose whether you need the speed more for your internet connection or connected devices. The nodes are fairly small coming in at just 3.91 inches wide and 2.42 inches tall. If you're looking for something compact that can be easily concealed, the eero Pro 6E may be worth the cost to you.

The eero Pro 6E had some unexpected connectivity issues in our eero Pro 6E review that made it difficult to connect to 6GHz most of the time. Even so, the average speeds were strong with the 6GHz band mostly being used to connect the mesh. If you want the benefits of 6GHz Wi-Fi in a mesh and don't care whether your Wi-Fi 6E device is actually using Wi-Fi 6E or not, it's a strong pick with a reliable connection.

Netgear Orbi RBKE963 review

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When you just want to go fast

Reasons to buy

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Very fast quad-band setup
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Full speed connections on both 5GHz and 6GHz
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10Gbps Ethernet port
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9,000 square feet covered with three nodes

Reasons to avoid

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Very expensive
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Can’t choose backhaul
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Limited node compatibility

With the Orbi RBKE963, Netgear took mesh Wi-Fi to an entirely new level with the first quad-band mesh system. This Orbi delivers a full AXE11000 connection to devices with another band left over for the mesh connection. This means that no matter which type of device you use, you can get the absolute best connection possible. You get up to 1200Mbps at 2.4GHz, 2400Mbps at 5GHz, and 4804Mbps at 6GHz, with another 2400Mbps 5GHz band connecting all of the nodes together. This setup allows you to cover up to 9,000 square feet with this three-piece kit

The Orbi RBKE963 is really all about speed. Whether you have a 160MHz-capable Wi-Fi 5, Wi-Fi 6, or Wi-Fi 6E device, you can connect at your device’s maximum speed. This system is even ready for the next generation of fiber optic internet connection with a 10Gbps WAN port on the router and a 2.5Gbps LAN on both the primary router and satellites. One thing to keep in mind is that Netgear only allows you to use RBSE960 satellites with this system, so if you’ve got an older Orbi mesh, you can’t use it to add more coverage. 

The software on this Orbi is easy to use and setup is quick, but with the high base cost of this system, you might expect a bit more to be thrown in. First, settings are quite basic for an enthusiast-level system, with only basic Wi-Fi controls available. Second is the subscriptions to Netgear Armor and Netgear Smart Parental Controls, which ask you to pay a monthly or yearly fee to use features similar to those ASUS offers for free.

Linksys Atlas Max 6E mesh Wi-Fi router

(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)
Plenty of speed on every band

Reasons to buy

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Fast speeds on all bands
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Can use 6GHz as a backhaul
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5Gbps Ethernet on every node
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Great compatibility with other Linksys nodes

Reasons to avoid

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Quite expensive
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Must share bands with backhaul

The Linksys Atlas Max 6E is a powerful and fast mesh system with a tri-band AXE8400 connection. This breaks down to 1147Mbps at 2.4GHz, 2402Mbps at 5GHz, and 4804Mbps at 6GHz. This setup allows for Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E devices to connect at full speed so you can make the most of your current Wi-Fi 6 devices and future Wi-Fi 6E devices. Linksys has also included a 5Gbps Ethernet port on each node alongside four gigabit ethernet ports.

This balance of speeds is a great choice for many people: it gives the system enough overhead to use both 5GHz and 6GHz as a backhaul, without a big speed impact if one proves to be more reliable than the other. Still, this mesh should have no trouble at all keeping up with the fastest consumer internet connection available today. Not only that, but as ISPs begin upgrading to 2.5Gbps, this system should still be able to make the most of it.

Software isn’t Linksys’ strongest point, with a basic control panel available in its app and on the web. Still, it’s nice that there aren’t a bunch of subscriptions getting in your way anywhere. One thing Linksys does well is maintaining compatibility with other Linksys nodes including Velop mesh nodes and MAX-STREAM routers.

Pick the right system

When you buy a new Wi-Fi router, you want something that's going to last a few years without issue. It makes sense to get one with the latest tech like Wi-Fi 6E so you can make the most of your new devices and ever-improving internet speeds. Even so, for most people, one of the best Wi-Fi 6 mesh routers may prove to be more than fast enough. It's also worth considering if you even need a mesh system. Many smaller homes or apartments will have plenty of coverage with one of the best Wi-Fi 6E routers instead.

Overall, the ASUS ZenWiFi ET8 delivers more than enough speed for most people even considering the more limited 5GHz speeds. This system also scores points thanks to its more compact design, which makes it easier to place throughout the house. Finally, ASUS' compatibility makes it a great value for those that want future coverage expansion. It's also nice that ASUS gives you the option to take off the training wheels so you can have full control of your own equipment if you want.

When Samuel is not writing about networking or 5G at Android Central, he spends most of his time researching computer components and obsessing over what CPU goes into the ultimate Windows 98 computer. It's the Pentium 3.