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Best mesh Wi-Fi routers 2022

eero Mesh WiFi System (gen 3)
eero Mesh WiFi System (gen 3) (Image credit: Hayato Huseman / Android Central)

The best mesh Wi-Fi systems are networking versions of working smarter, not harder. Compared to a traditional router, mesh systems use several smaller Wi-Fi routers placed around your home to cover you from multiple angles and dodge things like thick walls that can kill your signal. So whether you want top speed and customizability or simplicity and consistency, there's a mesh system that will work in any home. Our top pick goes to eero, which hits all of the sweet spots of a Wi-Fi system in a small, understated housing that loses obtrusive articulating antennas.

Affordable and easy-to-use mesh Wi-Fi

Eero Mesh WiFi System (gen 3)

(Image credit: Hayato Huseman / Android Central)
Compact and powerful mesh Wi-FI

Reasons to buy

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Eero works with all other Eero models
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Small and easy to place
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Two Ethernet on each unit
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Great Android and iOS app

Reasons to avoid

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Limited "power-user" settings
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Not as fast as the competition

The third-generation Eero has the best blend of advanced networking features of any system available, thanks to the small size and compatibility with previous Eeros. It's also compatible with all other eeros so if you're looking to add capacity to an existing eero system or think you may want to upgrade in the future, your eero nodes won't have to be thrown out. This version is equipped with an AC1300 dual-band Wi-FI connection that eero rekons is suitable for a 350Mbps internet connection.

Eero isn't trying to be the fastest router with. Instead, its primary goal is to offer a solid and reliable connection. The speeds will be fast enough for all browsing and streaming to most people, including 4K content. There are also two Ethernet ports on each unit if you need them.

If you need a bit more speed, you can go and step up and start with the faster Eero Pro or Eero 6. The best part is that all Eeros are compatible, so you can focus on speed where you need it and keep things compact where you don't need as much.

TP-Link Deco M5

(Image credit: TP-Link)
Whole-home coverage for less

Reasons to buy

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Inexpensive
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TP-Link HomeCare includes security and parental controls
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Native Alexa support
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Solid AC1300 Wi-Fi (867Mbps + 400Mbps)

Reasons to avoid

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Limited "power-user" settings

If you want to set up a mesh network that covers the whole house (up to 5,500 square feet) and don't want to break the bank, grab a TP-Link Deco three-pack. You'll get whole-house coverage without ever-changing networks or hopping onto an extender, plus features like prioritizing and parental control. TP-Link also uses adaptive routing to make sure the whole network is as fast as it can be.

From a hardware perspective, you get plenty of speed on Wi-Fi with AC Wi-Fi delivering 400Mbps at 2.4Ghz and 867Mbps at 5Ghz. Two Ethernet ports on each help you keep all your devices connected, even the older ones. Not to mention, it's a smaller size than some, which makes this an easy router to hide in any room's decor.

Holding a Nest Wifi Router

(Image credit: Nick Sutrich/Android Central)

Nest Wifi Router and Point

Stylish design with smart speaker nodes

Reasons to buy

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Each router has two Ethernet ports
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Expands with other Nest Wifi routers or points plus Google Wifi
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Excellent Google Assistant integration
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Fast security updates
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Up to date security with WPA3

Reasons to avoid

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Google collects analytical data
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Most settings require an active internet connection
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Nest Wifi points lack Ethernet

Nest Wifi starts where Google Wifi left off with a subtle circular design that takes the internal specifications to the next level. The speed gets an upgrade to dual-band AC2200 speeds in the 802.11s standard created for mesh networks with 3,800 square feet of coverage from a router and point. This helps a remote Nest Wifi router or point connect to the strongest possible path, whether direct to the base router or through another mesh point.

WPA 3 support is included with backward compatibility for older devices. Nest Wifi is managed with the Google Home app, which also maintains your other Nest devices. Each Nest Wifi point also comes with a built-in smart speaker with Google Assistant. It's a great bonus for someone deeply invested in Google's ecosystem.

You can expand your Nest Wifi system with additional Nest Wifi routers, the fastest option with the most reliable coverage. You can also connect Nest Wifi points or Google Wifi points in areas that don't need as much speed. The Nest Wifi points are significantly slower with an AC1200 connection and don't offer quite as much coverage at 1,600 square feet. If you want wired Ethernet ports on your node, you will need to use a Nest Wifi router or Google Wifi as the Nest Wifi point does not have any Ethernet ports.

TP-Link Deco X55 mesh router

(Image credit: TP-Link)
Affordable but powerful Wi-Fi 6 mesh

Reasons to buy

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Solid AX3000 connection is suitable for most families
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Three Ethernet ports per node
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Works with other Deco models
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Supports 160MHz connections
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Free HomeShield has solid parental controls

Reasons to avoid

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Subscription required to make the most of HomeShield
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Fewer data streams than some other AX3000 systems

TP-Link's Deco series has continually been one of the best values when is comes to raw performance in mesh systems. The Deco X55 continues to evolve TP-Link's offerings with a dual-band AX3000 connection. Unlike the earlier Deco X60, this router supports 160MHz bands for improved speeds on compatible devices. This model also adds an Ethernet port for a total of three per node.

This Deco, like other Decos is designed to work with all other Deco models so if you start with this system and find that you need more coverage down the line, you have a lot of upgrade options. While not everyone's devices can make the most of Wi-Fi 6 just yet, in a mesh system it has the side effect of increasing the link speed between nodes leading to overall better performance.

TP-Link ships many of its new routers with a software package called HomeShield. HomeShield is a subscription service that comes with improved security and parental controls. Even so, if you don't intend to subscribe, you get access to HomeShield's QoS as well as solid parental controls with profiles and easy filtering categories.

Eero 6 on a PC

(Image credit: Eero)

Eero 6 (3-pack)

A simple Wi-Fi 6 upgrade

Reasons to buy

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Wi-Fi 6 enables faster speeds on new devices
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AX1800 speeds are plenty for most people
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Compact size
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Easy setup and expansion with the Eero app
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Eeros work with all other Eeros

Reasons to avoid

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Extender doesn't have any Ethernet
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Advanced security requires a subscription

Eero 6 is the next logical step for the Eero platform, keeping a very similar small footprint while increasing speed and capacity with Wi-Fi 6. Compared to the standard Eero, rates are increased from AC1300 to AX1800 thanks to Wi-Fi 6. Eero 6 is a good fit for connections up to 500Mbps. Two Ethernet ports on the main router allow you to connect a single wired device if needed. This can be a network switch if you have multiple wired devices, though it somewhat ruins an Eero setup's simplicity.

Mesh expansion will mainly be handled by the Eero 6 Extender featuring identical wireless capabilities to the Eero 6, but it lacks any Ethernet ports. The reduced cost compared to the router will make the Extender an excellent choice for most people. You can also buy another Eero 6 router for expansion if you need the Ethernet ports somewhere, such as a home office. All other Eeros can be used for expansion if you already have them.

Eero 6 also comes with the same Eero Secure options as other Eero devices customers to easily manage their network and internet security solutions from one source.

Ubiquiti Alien

Source: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central (Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

AmpliFi Alien

Great AmpliFi design and software with Wi-Fi 6 speeds

Reasons to buy

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Wi-Fi 6 with 16 streams
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Tri-band with up to 7685Mbps total speed
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Four Ethernet ports for expansion
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Color display
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Great software, including AmpliFi Teleport

Reasons to avoid

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No multi-gig Ethernet
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Only expandable with other Alien routers or points

The AmpliFi Alien is a great mesh router even if it's a bit expensive. Even so, you get fast Wi-Fi 6 speeds with eight 5GHz Wi-Fi 6 streams delivering 4803Mbps and four more 2.4GHz streams for another 1148Mbps. There is also a third 5GHz Wi-Fi 5 band with 1733Mbps thanks to four streams which can make the most of the fastest Wi-Fi 5 devices. Four Ethernet ports around the back mean you're not giving up any functionality either. Remember that the WAN port is limited to gigabit speeds, so there's no multi-gigabit wired support here.

The AmpliFi Alien has a great, thoughtful design that puts the permanent connections, WAN, and power on the bottom of the device, allowing for a clean Wi-Fi-only setup. Keep in mind that the Alien can only be expanded with other Alien routers or an Alien extender included in a two-pack. Unfortunately, there aren't any cheap mesh expansion options available, but at least your mesh speeds will remain high.

This router only comes in matte black with a color display on the front, informing you about your network performance. So if you're the type of user that likes to keep on top of your network's performance at all times, Alien lets you stay informed without opening the app.

Asus ZenWiFi ET8 Wi-Fi 6E mesh router review

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Asus ZenWiFi ET8

The best Wi-Fi 6E mesh solution

Reasons to buy

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Fast and balanced AXE6600 speeds
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Three LAN Ethernet ports per node
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2.5Gbps WAN ports on each node
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5GHz or 6GHz wireless backhaul

Reasons to avoid

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The 5GHz band is a bit slow
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Very expensive for these speeds

The Asus ZenWiFi ET8 is an upgrade to Asus' older Wi-Fi 6 ZenWiFi XT8. This model supports 6GHz Wi-Fi 6E as well as 2.4GHz and 5GHz connections for older devices. Wi-Fi 6E, for the most part, is the same as Wi-Fi 6 with access to additional Wi-Fi bands at 6GHz. The extra real estate at 6GHz allows for many more simultaneous 160MHz connections without overlap so speeds can stay high in a congested area.

The connection breaks down to 4.8Gbps at 6GHz, 1.2Gbps at 5GHz, and 600Mbps at 2.4GHz. The 5GHz band links the nodes by default thanks to its higher power levels and superior penetration compared to 6GHz. This allows you to connect your 6GHz devices to the node at full speed with enough capacity for a gigabit connection.

Asus' software is top-of-the-line, with AiProtection Pro included for advanced security. This also includes parental controls, which are configurable for each family member with simple content filters and time controls all managed in the Asus Router app. Finally, AiMesh allows you to expand your ZenWiFi mesh with nearly any Asus router.

Bottom line

The best mesh Wi-Fi system really comes down to your home. Mesh systems are designed to provide consistent coverage all over and as such will need to be able to communicate with one another. If your home has thick walls, you may need more nodes than the coverage estimate makes it seems. It's also worth keeping in mind that the nodes must communicate with one another so if you're trying to keep speeds higher enough for a gigabit connection, it may be worth starting with the best Wi-Fi 6 mesh systems. If you have a lot of wireless congestion in your area, you could also go with one of the best Wi-Fi 6E mesh systems.

Overall, Eero manages to offer the best total package. It has enough speed for most average users while keeping its physical footprint small enough to blend in with the decor in any room. It's also nice that you can upgrade your Eero mesh down the line with faster routers. Eero also has an excellent app that guides you through everything from setting it up to adding more units or changing the user settings. The time and attention to detail in both the hardware and the app is impressive, and we think anyone in the market for a new Wi-Fi setup would love what Eero has to offer.

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.