Phones, tablets, PCs, and smart home tech is a lot of fun but all of it needs great Wi-Fi to work its very best. It can be tempting to do nothing and stick with the disappointing one-size-fits-all solution provided by your service provider but as your needs (and speeds) continue to climb as you add more tech to your life, you'll want a Wi-Fi system that can keep up.
Rather than putting an RGB monster with eight antennas in your living room, you can get a clean-looking, high-performing mesh Wi-Fi system that performs just as well in day-to-day use.
I'm going to start with a little tech explanation to help you understand the numbers the products plaster all over their headlines. First and foremost is the speed rating. This is two letters and a number such as AX3000. The letters stand for the generation of tech being used with AX referring to Wi-Fi 6 and AC referring to Wi-Fi 5. Faster is obviously better but there's a point of diminishing returns and it's probably a lot lower than you think. Wi-Fi 6 (AX) is beneficial to gamers and those looking for top download speeds on modern devices.
One last thing to remember about mesh Wi-Fi speeds is that they need to share their connection between your devices and the connection to the other mesh nodes. For this reason, you'll often want to skew your choice a little higher than you would with a single standalone router.
Unless you plan to upgrade your internet speed, you should pick a router that fits the speed of your plan. Check your bill to see how fast your connection should be. Your provider may list it in slightly different units but just keep in mind that 1000Kbps is roughly equal to 1Mbps and 1000Mbps is roughly equal to 1Gbps. I'll be using Mbps in these recommendations.
Internet speeds 400Mbps or lower
Netgear Orbi RBK13 AC1200 (3-pack):
$199.99 $79 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
The Orbi RBK13 is one of Netgear's cheapest mesh kits even before this Cyber Monday discount is applied. While the AC1200 dual-band wireless tech isn't breaking any records, it should have plenty of performance for snappy web browsing and buffer-free 4K streaming. This pack comes with a router and two satellites to extend coverage to 4,500 square feet.
TP-Link Deco S4 AC1200 (3-pack): $149.99 $109.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
The Deco S4 is an entry-level mesh kit from TP-Link with AC1200 speeds and up to 5,500 square feet of coverage with three nodes. This kit should have no trouble with internet connections under 500Mbps.
Unless you're working from home or are a gamer, you might not need internet speeds over 500Mbps at all. For these people, an AC1200 mesh kit like the Deco S4 could be the perfect fit. It's a Wi-Fi 5 kit meaning that it uses an older generation of Wi-Fi but it should still have more than enough power for anything from social media apps to 4K video streaming.
There are some other strong picks in this category such as Google Wifi and Nest Wifi which also have some Cyber Monday discounts available. Google Wifi has nearly identical hardware specifications to the Deco S4 but some people will prefer to use Google's software, especially if they already have
Internet speeds 500Mbps+
Gryphon Tower AC3000 (2-pack):
$349 $179.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
The Gryphon Tower is a tri-band mesh Wi-Fi kit with a quick AC3000 connection. That means it has a dedicated band for the backhaul (the mesh link) so the system doesn't need to split its speed with devices. Gryphon is also laser-focused on security with great parental controls and an affordable security add-on subscription.
TP-Link Deco X55 AX3000 (3-pack):
$279.99 $184.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
The Deco X55 could almost with a gigabit connection thanks to its Wi-Fi 6 connection and wider 160MHz band support but in areas with a lot of congestion (like and apartment building) it won't quite keep up. This is an excellent pick between the more expensive tri-band Wi-Fi 6 kits needed for reliable gigabit speeds.
eero 6+ AX3000 (3-pack):
$299 $194 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
The eero 6+ was one of my favorite mesh Wi-Fi kits I used in 2022 with reliable speeds and software throughout my entire home. This router has a dual-band AX3000 Wi-Fi 6 connection with 160MHz support allowing for support for internet connections over 500Mbps even in congested buildings.
Each of these three mesh kits should technically be able to deliver gigabit speeds but from my testing, I found they often fell a little short of that mark in a congested area. That's not to say these won't work with a gigabit connection, but you may be leaving performance on the table with these mesh kits.
The Gryphon Tower is a bit of an outlier here as a Wi-Fi 5 mesh but it's a tri-band system with a dedicated 1.7Gbps backhaul to connect the mesh. That leaves an 867Mbps band for devices. If you're interested in Gryphon's parental control and security features but don't want to splurge on the Wi-Fi 6 model, the Tower is still a good pick.
TP-Link Deco X55 and eero 6+ are very similar in terms of hardware with an AX3000 connection featuring 160MHz support. That boosts the 5GHz band to 2402Mbps leaving plenty of room for a fast internet connection and the device you're using. In my eero 6+ review, I found the performance to be very strong and to provide great performance for the price.
Internet speeds 1000Mbps (gigabit)
eero Pro 6 AX4200 (2-pack):
$399 $259 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
The eero Pro 6 is a fairly simple tri-band mesh kit with AX4200 speeds. That means you get a fast 2402Mbps band for the backhaul and a 1201Mbps connection dedicated to devices on each node. This gives the eero Pro 6 the headroom it needs to maintain gigabit speeds in challenging conditions.
Gryphon AX AX4300 (1-pack):
$239 $191.20 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
At a hardware level, the Gryphon AX looks a lot like the eero Pro 6 but comes in with just a little more speed at AX4300. This tri-band mesh router has plenty of speed for a gigabit connection thanks to its third band. Gryphon is also known for its excellent parental controls and security software. Buying two of these single packs work out cheaper than the bundle with the current discounts.
Netgear Orbi RBK752 AX4200 (router + satellite):
$449.99 $289.82 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
Unlike some other mesh kits, Orbi systems come with a router and satellites instead of identical mesh routers. For most people, the effect is basically the same as a true mesh system. The tri-band AX4200 speeds work out to a 600Mbps band and a 1201Mbps for devices with a dedicated 2402Mbps band for the mesh link.
Linksys Atlas Pro 6 AX5400 (3-pack):
$599.99 $259.99 at Best Buy (opens in new tab)
This beefy three-piece mesh kit from Linksys is unique thanks to its dual-band AX5400 connection. That means the 5GHz band is shared between devices but with 160MHz and Wi-FI 6, there's plenty of capacity for both, especially on a gigabit connection. Each node comes with three gigabit Ethernet ports making this kit a good pick for someone with a lot of wired devices.
TP-Link Deco XE75 AXE5400 (2-pack):
$299.99 $235.31 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
TP-Link Deco XE75 is the ultimate gigabit router thanks to its overkill AXE5400 connection compared to its gigabit Ethernet port. That means that this router is physically incapable of exceeding 1000Mbps for internet. TP-Link is using a much newer Wi-Fi 6E spec to create its mesh link. It does mean a small reduction in coverage compared to a Wi-Fi 6 kit.
A fast internet connection is only half of the story. A mesh kit needs to be able to form a strong connection between all of the nodes in the kit to work properly. With slower connections, there's more than enough headroom to keep up the speed but at gigabit speeds, these routers are limited by physics and congestion. There are multiple channels for these routers to use but as time has progressed, they've grown more crowded, especially somewhere like an apartment building.
These mesh routers are all tri-band which gives these mesh systems a little extra headroom to keep up with your connection. As I saw in my Gryphon AX review and my Deco XE75 review, each of these mesh kits can deliver the majority of your gigabit connection speed, even in a congested area.
Internet speeds 1000Mbps+
TP-Link Deco X90 AX6600 (2-pack):
$449.99 $359.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
The TP-Link Deco X90 is a quick Wi-Fi 6 mesh with a 2.5GbE port on both nodes. You can use the port for local devices or your internet connection depending on which makes the most sense for you. The higher 5GHz band has a fast 4804Mbps 160MHZ connection but instead of using it as a dedicated backhaul, TP-Link's AI-Driven mesh software tech will work to distribute your connections optimally.
TP-Link Deco XE75 Pro AXE5400 (3-pack):
$499.99 $399.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
This mesh kit has a lot in common with the cheaper Deco XE75 but upgrades the Ethernet ports to 2.5GbE so those upgrading to a multi-gig internet connection can get the most out of their internet connection.
eero Pro 6E AXE5400 (3-pack):
$699 $419 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
The eero Pro 6E is another Wi-Fi 6E kit with 2.5GbE ports. This router isn't perfect with somewhat disappointing 6GHz performance but overall it nails the user experience as long as you're not concerned with which band your devices are using.
ASUS ZenWiFi ET8 AXE6600 (2-pack):
$529.99 $449.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
The ZenWiFi ET8 from ASUS is easily one of my favorite mesh kits I've tested in 2022. It has an AXE6600 connection with slightly top-heavy resource allocation. ASUS also excels at giving advanced users all of the nerdy settings they want. With 2.5GbE ports, this kit is a great fit for a multi-gigabit internet connection.
Multiple fiber and cable internet providers are upgrading their equipment to enable internet speeds over 1000Mbps. While many routers have speeds over 1000Mbps, they need to have a multi-gigabit Ethernet port around the back to hook up to your modem. Each of these routers has a 2.5GbE port for up to a 2.5Gbps connection. If you've been thinking about upgrading your connection but don't have the hardware, these are some strong picks without breaking the bank. As I saw in my TP-Link Deco X90 review, this mesh kit clears this with standard Wi-Fi 6 and does a great job.
In my eero Pro 6E review, I wasn't thrilled by the lack of controls but found the over performance and reliability to be high. My main issue was the inability to use the 6GHz band as I pleased with most devices preferring 5GHz. This won't be a problem for most users. It's also worth noting very similar 6GHz performance with the Nest Wifi Pro.
The ZenWiFi ET8 faired a bit better thanks to ASUS allowing you to completely customize how your bands are configured. This allowed me to actually test and use the 6GHz band on this Wi-Fi 6E kit, which is important given that the ET8 reserves a massive 4804Mbps of its total 6600Mbps for 6GHz. The 1201Mbps connection at 5GHz should have plenty of speed for gigabit speeds if you use the 6GHz band for backhaul.
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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.
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