Netgear has been a leader in mesh Wi-Fi with its Orbi brand but those kits focused on larger routers with a dedicated backhaul that sat on the more expensive end of mesh systems. The Nighthawk mesh kits have been a bit of a surprise starting with the cheap MK62 and then offering an upgrade kit with the MK83. While too expensive to really recommend at its launch price, the Nighthawk MK83 three-pack with up to 6,750 square feet of coverage is $280.24, that’s 44% off (opens in new tab) sticker.
While the MK62, with its solid AX1800 connection, was a fine option for those with slower internet speeds, it wasn’t a good fit for those with a gigabit connection. The MK83 turned that around by adding in a second 5GHz band with up to 1800Mbps on its own for a total speed of AX3600. This allows this mesh kit to keep full speed available to Wi-Fi devices without compromising the speed of the backhaul, that’s the link between the nodes.
In my review, the Nighthawk MK83 system delivered consistent speeds on my gigabit connection with most results over 500Mbps once devices got assigned to the right band. While there are a lot of mesh systems that can hit these speeds, they usually have a much faster connection. The AX4300 Gryphon AX, for example, mostly matched these speeds with technically faster hardware.
To keep this brisk, tri-band AX3600 routers have great performance when deployed in a mesh. While you won’t get the full speed of a gigabit connection, these routers get close enough that it doesn’t really matter outside of a speed test app and a Steam download. In my Deco X68 review, the similarly specced mesh kit performed comparably as well.
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Tri-band mesh Wi-Fi for less
Netgear Nighthawk MK82 (AX3600):
$499.99 $280.24 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
The Nighthawk MK83 has plenty of speed for most people with excellent coverage thanks to its three nodes. With up to 6,750 square feet covered, you can easily eliminate dead zones even in a large house.
TP-Link Deco X68 (AX3600):
$279.99 $249.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
Two Deco X68 nodes are good for 5,500 square feet of coverage with plenty of Wi-Fi speed thanks to a tri-band mesh connection. The nodes are reasonably compact and look nice with a matte white housing a ripple effect on the top.
You can still get more speed if you want, and multi-gigabit Ethernet
Don’t worry, I get it. No one really needs to get gigabit speeds on their phones in every room of the house, but it’s pretty cool we can. The next big step up for mesh Wi-FI is tri-band AX6600 mesh routers. In my TP-Link AX90 review, I not only found the design to be striking and modern, but the speeds to be excellent and consistent. While I only had a 500Mbps internet connection at the time of review, it never failed to deliver.
With a fast connection, 160MHz support, a reliable connection, and a 2.5Gbps Ethernet port on every node, the Deco X90 was my favorite mesh kit until ASUS expanded its ZenWiFi line with the XT8. The ZenWiFi has all of the above in hardware specs but ASUS allows for much more software customization. ASUS also includes a more robust parental control package for free.
While Deco allows you to expand your mesh with any other Deco, ASUS works with any AiMesh router making it possible to create a mesh with a gaming router and two ZenWiFi nodes so you can get the benefits of a gaming router near your PC or console with the coverage of a mesh for the rest of your home.
TP-Link Deco X90 (AX6600):
$449.99 $379.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
With a design that looks like a scale model of a high-rise luxury apartment building, the Deco X90 has it where it counts with 6,000 square feet of coverage with two nodes and a 2.5Gbps Ethernet port on every node.
ASUS ZenWiFi XT8 (AX6600):
$449.99 $392.44 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
Also available in white, the ZenWiFi XT8 is a fast mesh router kit with more advanced user settings than most routers. Even with these settings, setup can still be dead simple with the ASUS Router app and it comes with free parental controls.
Finally, one of the best mesh deals on Prime Day is one of TP-Link’s newest mesh systems. The Deco XE75 has a tri-band AXE5400 connection with 2402Mbps at 5GHz, and 2402Mbps at 6GHz. This Wi-Fi 6E mesh router doesn’t chase the 4804Mbps speeds possible with a 160MHz 6GHz connection and settles in a sensible 2402 on both of the higher bands. This kit is targeted squarely at those with a gigabit connection.
The Deco XE75 lets you use 6GHz as a dedicated band, perfect for those without Wi-Fi 6E devices yet, or as a standalone connection. In my Deco XE75 review, I was happy with the simple utility of this choice and disappointed when Amazon’s eero Pro 6E didn’t offer something similar in my testing. This mesh doesn’t have a multi-gigabit Ethernet option so a 1Gbps internet connection is your max, but with that being a common top speed for fiber and cable internet alike, it’s a great choice.
TP-Link Deco XE75 (AXE5400):
$299.99 $239.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
This Wi-Fi 6E mesh kit covers up to 5,000 square feet with two nodes while delivering top speeds thanks to an identical 5GHz and 6GHz speed allocation. With the new 6GHz band available as a dedicated mesh or as a separate band, it's easy to put the new spectrum to use for both new and old devices.
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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