Ubiquiti AmpliFi HD RouterSource: Nick Sutrich/Android Central

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As more companies start to make mesh Wi-Fi systems, there are more options than ever to find the set that fits your precise needs. Whether you need more coverage or higher speeds, there's a package that will work for you. The AmpliFi HD system from Ubiquiti is one of the most well-rounded mesh systems. It makes the transition easy with the coverage and features you expect in a traditional router with the added flexibility of a mesh network.

Simple Setup: Eero Pro

Eero Pro on tableSource: Eero

This company has a reputation for creating great Wi-Fi coverage and the second-generation Eero Pro is the fastest router Eero has ever released. With a tri-band 802.11 AC connection, this router will be able to keep up with a fast internet connection over 500Mbps. Each Eero Pro router has two Ethernet ports on the back and covers approximately 1,750 square feet.

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Eero is known for its simplicity, which can make it a breeze to set up and a great choice for someone that's not too tech-savvy. That being said, it won't have all the advanced features more experienced users may be after out of the box. For that, you have to pay for the Eero Secure subscription service. The coverage can be easily expanded with Eero Beacons, Eero routers, all older Eero routers, or even more Eero Pro routers. Of course, the fastest mesh system will have all Eero Pro routers but top speeds aren't necessary across the entire home, making the Beacons a great option for bedrooms.

Pros:

  • Fast Tri-band connection
  • Works with all other eeros
  • Two Ethernet ports per unit
  • Easy setup

Cons:

  • Fewer advanced options
  • Subscription required for security features
  • Expensive

Promoted Pick

Eero Pro

Simple but effective

Eero Pro adds speed and coverage to the Eero line with tri-band connectivity while staying compatible with older eeros.

Best Overall: AmpliFi HD

AmpliFi HD routerSource: Android Central

While other companies were removing features from their mesh routers, Ubiquiti reminded us that you can still have four Ethernet ports in a cool and compact mesh router. The AmpliFi HD (high-density) mesh system combines a base router with four Ethernet ports with two antenna-like mesh points that simply carry the wireless signal. The AmpliFi HD with two MeshPoints can cover up to 10,000 square feet, which is big even by mesh standards.

Speeds come in at a combined 1,750Mbps from a dual-band setup. Like most Wi-Fi routers, you'll never see those full speeds on any one device but this system should be able to keep up with most standard usage, including video streaming at 4K resolutions.

If you are looking to expand your AmpliFi HD system, you can add additional mesh points, or if you're looking for a little more functionality, add additional routers like the more compact AmpliFi Instant routers. This can help add wired capabilities to more areas of the home. There's also a gaming version that comes in a matte black housing with a green accent. This design hints at the NVIDIA software that keeps lag down and game traffic running smoothly.

Pros:

  • Great coverage
  • Combined 1,750Mbps speeds
  • Four Ethernet ports on the base
  • Works with other AmpliFi nodes
  • Gaming version

Cons:

  • No Ethernet on mesh point nodes
  • Only dual-band

Best Overall

AmpliFi HD WiFi System

Fast wireless with great coverage

The AmpliFi HD mesh system can cover most homes with fast Wi-Fi and can grow to fit even more.

Best for Smart Homes: Linksys Velop Tri-band

Linksys Velop on a counterSource: Linksys

When it comes to the number of features you get for the price, it's hard to find a better value than the Linksys Velop Tri-band. One of the main advantages that comes with a tri-band mesh router is that there is another 5GHz band available for the different mesh nodes to communicate without splitting the bandwidth that would be used for your connected devices. This router's AC2200 speed breaks down to 867Mbps on each of the two 5GHz bands plus 400Mbps on the 2.4GHz band.

Additionally, there are two Ethernet ports per node, which allow for plenty of connectivity. The Velop comes with support for Alexa and HomeKit is coming soon. You can also use the Velop Tri-band to detect motion in your home with a subscription to Linksys Aware. The Velop Tri-band three-pack can cover up to 6,000 square feet and the Linksys Velop series works with other Velop routers, which makes expansion a breeze.

Pros:

  • Alexa and future HomeKit support
  • Tri-band wireless
  • Linksys Aware available
  • Two Ethernet ports per node

Cons:

  • Linksys Aware requires a subscription
  • Nodes are large

Best for Smart Homes

Linksys Velop Tri-band

Intelligent coverage and speed

With great support for smart home accessories and plenty of coverage, the Velop Tri-band is a great Wi-Fi system.

TP-Link Deco P9Source: TP-Link

Mesh networks work by communicating your data through multiple nodes to keep coverage consistent with good speeds. However, there are some situations where a high-quality connection between mesh points may not be possible, like if you have a home with concrete walls. One solution for this is the TP-Link Deco P9, which can utilize the powerlines in your home as a separate backhaul when the signal is weak between nodes.

Naturally, the Deco P9 routers work with other Deco units, which makes expansion easy. This pack with three routers can cover up to 6,000 square feet wirelessly but this will all depend on your environment, especially in a home that requires a powerline backhaul. These routers have a dual-band wireless connection up to AC1200 speed with the maximum speed of the powerline connection being 1Gbps. Typically, the quality of networking over powerlines depends on the wiring in the home, but for the most part, the connection should be more than useable for most people and is much easier than running Ethernet cables.

Pros:

  • Works with Alexa
  • Powerline backhaul
  • Works with other Deco routers
  • Two Ethernet per unit

Cons:

  • Only dual-band

Best with Powerline

TP-Link Deco P9

Powerlines as a backhaul

Stay connected even in a tough environment with the Deco P9's powerline backhaul and dual-band wireless capabilities.

Great Security: Nest Wifi

Nest WifiSource: Android Central

Google Wifi was a great and secure mesh system from Google and Nest Wifi keeps all of the great features with a speed and coverage upgrade. Nest Wifi offers AC2200 speeds with two Ethernet ports on each router. Nest Wifi will receive automatic updates to keep security high and even support the newest WPA3 protocols for wireless security.

Nest Wifi covers up to 2,200 square feet per router. This system can also be expanded with Nest Wifi points that offer up an additional 1,600 square feet. You can also use Google Wifi routers for expansion though both the Nest Wifi points and Google Wifi only support wireless speeds up to AC1200. Still, they can be a great way to expand your Nest Wifi coverage.

Pros:

  • AC2200 speeds
  • Works with Nest Wifi points and Google Wifi
  • 2,200 square feet per router
  • Two Ethernet ports per router

Cons:

  • Expensive routers
  • Requires a Google account

Great security

Nest Wifi

Automatic updates and security from Google

Upgrade your Wi-Fi with coverage and speed from the Nest Wifi router and easily expand it with a point or Google Wifi.

Best Wi-Fi 6: Linksys Velop MX5

Linksys Velop AX5Source: Linksys

If you need more speed and capacity than most mesh systems provide, the Velop MX5 is a great starting point. Alone, it can cover an average home but for it to really shine, it can be combined with more Wi-Fi 6 Velop routers to form a great mesh. Wi-Fi 6 will have greater coverage than 802.11ac-based routers, and will be the upcoming Wi-Fi standard, but will still be susceptible to interference. The speed comes in at AX5300, which breaks down into 1146Mbps, 2402Mbps, and 1733Mbps with its tri-band setup.

While many people will need to wait for their next device upgrades to make the most of Wi-Fi 6, this router fully supports the older 802.11ac until then. Wi-Fi 6 will come into its own in a home with a lot of wireless devices connected such as in a fully-connected smart home. If your devices support it, you can also connect more securely with WPA3.

Pros:

  • AX5300 speed
  • Tri-band connection
  • Four Ethernet ports
  • WPA3 support
  • Supports Wi-Fi 6 and older 802.11ac

Cons:

  • Larger than other Velop routers
  • Expensive

Best Wi-Fi 6

Linksys Velop MX5

Get Wi-Fi 6 with mesh capability

The Linksys Velop MX5 brings Wi-Fi 6 to the Velop line with room for four wired devices and plenty of speed and coverage.

Bottom line

Netgear makes some of the best networking equipment around but the fact is, there are a ton of options for mesh networks available from some other great manufacturers. Whether you need support for a lot of wired devices, ultimate speed, or great expansion options, there's an option available for you. You can also pick one that fits in with your home's decor to blend in even more.

While some people have managed to transition to a fully wireless network, many will still want a more traditional four Ethernet ports on the back of the main router. The AmpliFi HD WiFi System has all of the best features of a traditional router with great support for expansion with its MeshPoints or even other AmpliFi mesh devices.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Samuel Contreras When Samuel is not writing about networking and carriers, 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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