Orbi wifi extender best buy

Orbi wifi extender best buy DEFAULT

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Even if you don’t live in a large house or sprawling apartment, you may still run into dead zones that make staying connected to the Wi-Fi a problem, which is even more important if you’re still working from home. A single router can sometimes struggle to provide complete internet coverage depending on your space’s layout and construction, or if there’s interference from nearby networks or other household devices.

If the problem isn’t just with your router, you’ll need to boost those Wi-Fi signals with a range extender. But if you have a really large house or an especially problematic space, you may want to look into upgrading to a mesh Wi-Fi network for the best results.

Check out quick reviews below of our top five Wi-Fi extenders and mesh systems, or keep scrolling for helpful buying info and full reviews of these models and other high-ranking options.

Most Powerful

Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000

Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000

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A large, fast mesh extender with plenty of ports.

Best Value

TP-Link RE220 AC750

TP-Link RE220 AC750

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This budget-friendly device doesn’t skimp on features.

Speedy Plug-In

TP-Link RE650 AC2600

TP-Link RE650 AC2600

TP-Linkamazon.com
$149.99

$111.73 (26% off)

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This plug-in with four antennas promises high speeds.

FOR GAMING

Netgear EX6200 AC1200

Netgear EX6200 AC1200

NETGEARwalmart.com

$109.07

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Broad coverage and five ethernet ports to keep you connected.

Mesh Wi-FI System

Eero Pro + 2 Beacons

Eero Pro + 2 Beacons

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It’s hard to beat the Eero’s expansive coverage and user-friendly app.

How to Tell if You Need a New Router or Extender

With lagging internet speeds, it can be difficult to determine whether your entire router needs to be replaced or if you can just opt for an extender. If your signal works fine close to the router, but drops off in certain areas like the basement, upstairs, or patio, then a cheap extender is likely all you need. An extender should simply be placed somewhere where it can reach the router’s signal, so that it can then rebroadcast it to cover more area.

However, extenders won’t be as fast as your typical router, and they can reduce your bandwidth further. If you find that your internet speed is subpar everywhere in your home, it may be worth revamping your entire system. In these cases, we recommend going with a mesh Wi-Fi system, which can replace your router and any extenders by placing the units around your home to create more seamless coverage without any separate networks. As mesh systems become more popular, they’re becoming more affordable too—though new systems will still cost much more than the average extender. In addition to the six standard extenders we recommend here, we’ve also included three mesh systems at the bottom of this roundup that we’ve tested and recommend.

The Differences Between Extenders

Wi-Fi extenders can vary considerably in features and capabilities. The majority support 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz frequency bands and are known as dual-band devices, but some cheaper options are only single-band and use 2.4 Ghz frequency to transmit data. Typically, dual-band extenders provide a faster connection because they have more bandwidth and experience less interference, which makes them a better choice for gaming and video streaming. However, single-band extenders have a farther range that can provide better coverage in spaces with many obstacles, such as walls and furniture. Higher-end tri-band extenders, which feature two 5-GHz bands and one 2.4-GHz band, cost more but give you the best coverage with the least interference.

By the same token, you can also generally expect to pay more for extenders with more antennas, which you might or might not need depending on the size of your house or apartment. Antennas can be external or internal, and the more a device has, the better it’s able to pick up and transmit Wi-Fi signals.

Like routers, extenders are rated in different classes, such as AC750 and AC1200, where the number simply indicates the combined maximum speeds they are capable of supporting (measured in mbps, or megabits per second). They come in a range of different shapes and sizes, from small plug-in units that will largely go unnoticed to bulky, desktop-style units you’ll need to clear some space for.

How We Selected These Wi-Fi Extenders

To choose these Wi-Fi extenders, we surveyed the market, evaluated models based on coverage, speed, cost, and design, and tested a few ourselves. When we weren’t able to test the products, we relied on expert sources, including Tech Radar, CNET, and PC Mag, as well as customer reviews from various retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart.


—MOST POWERFUL—

Netgear Nighthawk EX8000

NETGEAR WiFi Mesh Range Extender EX8000

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  • Expansive coverage
  • Three bands

The Nighthawk’s huge size may rival that of a cereal box, but it holds six internal antennas, providing a strong signal and near-blanket coverage. It dedicates one of its three bands to communicating with the router, so there’s never any competition between the two. Netgear claims that the EX8000 mesh extender won’t reduce the existing speed of your router, and it also combines Wi-Fi coverage under one network name. Plus, its four ethernet ports allow for multiple devices to hook up to the wired connection.


—BEST VALUE—

TP-Link RE220 AC750

RE220

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  • Fully featured
  • Budget-friendly

TP-Link’s RE200 was already one of the most widely recommended extenders around, and the company’s new RE220 model only improves on it while maintaining the same low price tag. It also keeps the same space-saving design with similar features as before, with three antennas and a dedicated ethernet port, but adds cloud-based app support for easier setup and configuration. The RE220 is universally compatible to any router, but also can function as part of a seamless mesh system when paired with the Archer A7 router.


—SPEEDY PLUG-IN—

TP-Link RE650 AC2600

RE650

TP-Link
$149.99

$111.73 (26% off)

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Many of today’s extenders are now discreet units that look more like a nightlight or air freshener, but the RE650’s four antennas make it clear that it’s broadcasting something. Though it’s bulkier and pricier than many other plug-in extenders, many reviewers such as PC Gamer and Tom’s Guide praise its performance and range of features, including AC2600 speeds and a gigabit ethernet port. Plus, it has a smart light indicator that helps you find the perfect placement if you’re unsure of the right area to put your extender.


—FOR GAMING—

Netgear EX6200 AC1200

Netgear EX6200 AC1200

NETGEARwalmart.com

$109.07

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  • Good coverage
  • Five Ethernet ports

Ideal for video streaming or gaming, the Netgear EX6200 will match your gaming computer with its large but sleek and aggressive design. The dual-band extender features four antennas for powerful coverage with speeds up to 1200 Mbps, perfect for covering a few more devices—but not, say, 15—in a remote room or backyard. It also has an impressive total of five ethernet ports for when you need wired connection for devices like a hardwired printer, smart TV, or gaming console.


—SLEEK DESIGN—

Linksys Max-Stream AC1900

AC1900 Max Stream RE7000

Linksysofficedepot.com

$99.99

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  • Large coverage area
  • Inconspicuous design

Wi-Fi extenders don’t get much more minimalist or inconspicuous than this one from Linksys, which makes for a great choice if your only placement option is somewhere particularly visible in your home. Despite its sleek, compact design, it doesn’t sacrifice on any features—including dual-band AC1900 speeds, an ethernet port, and promised coverage area of up to 10,000 square feet.


—SIMPLE SETUP—

D-Link DAP-1520 AC750

D-Link DAP-1520 AC750

D-Linkamazon.com

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  • Networking monitoring app

If you just need a boost in a distant room and don’t want to spend a lot of money, the D-Link DAP-1520 is an affordable, simple option. Just plug it in, hit a single button, and you’re all set. There are no wired ports, but many of us don’t need those anyway. But it does have a helpful app that lets you monitor your network traffic to see what—or who—might be slowing down your signal.


Mesh Wi-Fi Systems


Eero Pro + 2 Beacons

Eero Pro mesh WiFi system (1 Pro + 2 Beacons)

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  • Covers over 5000 square feet
  • Easy app and setup

The Eero Pro is dead easy to set up: Simply connect it to a modem through the smartphone app and follow the app’s instructions. There’s no need for networking smarts, but know that the Eero Pro is a tri-band Wi-Fi network, meaning there’s just one network that connects devices at the speed they require. In a 2,900-square-foot stone house with two-foot-thick walls, we never had an issue with signal strength inside, but connecting on the patio or adjacent outbuilding has been problematic. After installing the Eero with one beacon near a window and another in the outbuilding, we had almost two acres of property covered, including a barn another 100 feet away.

This expansive coverage was impressive enough, but the power to manage the network through the app is another bonus. The app shows all connected devices and their status, so you’ll know if the kid is streaming Netflix or doing homework. If that’s a regular issue, you can even set schedules for certain devices to access the internet. While the Eero Pro with two beacons claims to cover a 5,500-square-foot home, if you don’t need nearly that much square footage covered, the standard Eero router for 1,500 square feet is a good alternative for much less.


Google Nest Wi-Fi

Google Nest Wifi Router 2 Pack

Googlewalmart.com

$269.00

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  • User friendly
  • Voice control
  • High speed

Although more expensive than most range extenders, Google’s Nest Wi-Fi is an appealing mesh alternative, which forms a complete system instead of secondary networks. Each hub, which Google refers to as points, doubles as a Google Assistant-powered speaker that can stream music or podcasts, control connected devices, and do a lot of other voice-enabled skills. If you’re already living in Google’s ecosystem, you won’t find a better Wi-Fi option. Setup is remarkably easy; it took us less than 10 minutes from unboxing to surfing on our new network.

Performance is great, too. Google says one router and point covers up to 3,000 square feet, which proved accurate in our testing, delivering very fast internet download speeds to areas of our test home that were out of reach with a single router. Our speed test showed download rates of 201.6 mbps a foot away from the router, 195.2 next to the upstairs hub, and 161.8 in a distant upstairs bedroom, about 45 feet away from the hub. Speeds dropped to 81.5 mbps at the point in the house farthest from a router or hub (about 70 feet), but that’s still fast enough for streaming movies and Zoom video conferences.


Netgear Orbi Voice RBK50V

Netgear Orbi Voice Mesh WiFi System

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  • Could have clearer instructions

The whole Netgear Orbi RBK50V system claims to cover an impressive 4,500-square-foot area with one Orbi router and a satellite that also functions as a smart speaker with built-in Alexa. If you already have a router and just want to add the satellite as a two-in-one extender and smart speaker, it’s rated to cover an additional 2,000 square feet with speeds up to 2.2Gbps. If you already have or don’t want a speaker, Netgear also offers Orbi satellites in desktop, wall-plug, or outdoor tabletop versions depending on your needs.

In our testing, this tri-band mesh system seems to be providing consistent, if not faster, internet. For instance, we’ve been able to connect an Amazon Fire TV direct to the network and stream Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO Max without any lagging or buffering. When downloading some large 30+GB files to a Playstation, its download speed wasn’t particularly quick, but it was steady, whereas in the past, the modem would struggle with the files and cause long pauses during downloading. We also felt like the setup instructions could have been clearer. For instance, it explains what cord to plug into the router, but not to plug the other end into your existing modem, so clearer instructions could have saved some time.

Sours: https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/gear/a28747578/wifi-extenders/

Best mesh Wi-Fi systems for 2021: Mesh Wi-Fi routers and points

The best mesh routers let you cover the largest of homes with speedy Wi-Fi, and upgrading to one of the latest Mesh Wi-Fi systems can upgrade the experience for every device on your network. With multiple devices creating a single, seamless Wi-Fi network, a mesh router is the best way to blanket a large home with signal, eliminating dead spots in the farthest rooms and even out in the backyard. Whether you're dealing with a multi-story home or signal-dampening brick walls, a mesh router can do what a standalone router simply can't, pushing strong Wi-Fi signal to every part of your home. 

Whether you want better Wi-Fi in the farthest room, the top floor of the house, or even getting coverage in the garage or backyard, even a basic mesh system is a step up. We've tested and reviewed the most popular mesh routers you can buy, from wireless-AC models to the best Wi-Fi 6 mesh kits, evaluating the performance, range and usability of each one to help you find the best mesh system for your home.

From everything we've tested and reviewed, here are the best mesh Wi-Fi routers to buy now.

What are the best mesh routers?

Our pick for the best mesh routers is the Nest WiFi, Google's own mesh Wi-Fi solution. It offers excellent performance throughout the house, and features easy setup and great smart home integration. It also has a killer feature the other best mesh routers can't match: Built in Google Home smart speakers in every mesh extension, giving you voice interaction that can extend to every room of the house. 

The Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 (RBK852) is another mesh networking favorite, with great Wi-Fi 6 performance and easy setup. The individual units deliver some of the best data speeds available, and Netgear offers a range of extensions, including weatherproof outdoor extensions and the Netgear Orbi Voice, which has Amazon Alexa built in.

The best mesh routers right now

1. Nest WiFi

The best mesh router

Specifications

Wi-Fi Spec: 802.11ac/dual band

Number of Antennas/Removable: 4/No

Ports: Two 1-Gbps LAN

Peak Throughput: 653.2 Mbps

Size: 4.3 x 4.3 x 3.6 inches

Reasons to buy

+Excellent performance+Google Assistant built in+Easy setup

Reasons to avoid

-Short range-Minimal configuration options

If you want the best mesh Wi-Fi solution available, Google's Nest WiFi is the best you can get. It offers superb performance, a dead-simple setup process and it delivers Wi-Fi coverage that can expand coverage to handle everything from a small home to large estate.

But the Nest WiFi has something no other mesh kit does, with a Google Home smart speaker built into every mesh extension. The compact units let you control the router with voice commands, along with every other connected device in your house, from smart lights to your smart TV.

Adding additional Nest extensions adds new Google Home units in other rooms, seamlessly giving you a voice assistant in any room of the house. And if you still have an old Google WiFi system gathering dust, you can add those to extend the mesh coverage, too. If you want the best and simplest mesh WiFi solution for your home, this is it.

Read our full Nest WiFi review.

2. Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 (RBK852)

The best Wi-Fi 6 mesh router

Specifications

Wi-Fi Spec: AX6000/Tri Band

Number of Antennas/Removable: 8/No

Ports: Router – 1 WAN/4 LAN; Satellite – 4 LAN

Peak Throughput: 883.6Mbps

Size: 10.0 x 7.5 x 2.8 inches

Reasons to buy

+Top Wi-Fi 6 mesh performance+Malware protection+Excellent wall and ceiling penetration

Reasons to avoid

-Very expensive-Large

The Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 (RBK852) is the Orbi we have been waiting for, combining everything we love about Netgear's premiere mesh Wi-Fi solution with the futureproof capabilities and blinding speeds of Wi-Fi 6. Easy setup and a great performance are the hallmarks of the Orbi model line, and the newest model doesn't disappoint.

The RBK852 serves up category leading performance with strong signal that punched through ceilings, floors and walls with ease, and built-in security blankets your home with a layer of online protection along with the zippy Wi-Fi. If you’re looking for the easiest and fastest mesh networking kit on the market, the Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 (RBK852) does the trick with excellent performance, particularly for those in older homes with lots of walls. When it comes to mesh Wi-Fi 6 devices, the Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 (RBK852) is the one to beat.

Read our full Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 (RBK852) review.

3. TP-Link Deco X20

Best value mesh Wi-Fi system

Specifications

Wi-Fi Spec: Wi-Fi 6/Dual-band

Number of Antennas/Removable: 4/No

Ports: 1 WAN Gigabit Ethernet, 1 LAN Gigabit Ethernet

Throughput: 574 Mbps (2.4 GHz)/1201 Mbps (5 GHz)

Size: 4.33 x 4.33 x 4.49 inches

Reasons to buy

+Small router and satellites+Inexpensive+Excellent range+Extra security

Reasons to avoid

-No dedicated backchannel for data-Lack of customization options

Inexpensive, small and easy to set up, TP-Link’s Deco X20 mesh networking kit is a cheap thrill that can help fill a home with Wi-Fi 6 data while protecting a family’s identities with an extra layer of online security. If you want mesh capability and Wi-Fi 6, the TP-Link Deco X20 is the best budget option for covering larger homes with better speed and capability than any older 802.11ac system can match. It even earned the runner up for best mesh router in our 2021 Tom's Guide Awards. Selling in a 3-pack of matching units, the Deco X20 covers up to 5,800 square feet, and can manage up to 150 separate connected devices.

With dual-band connectivity and two gigabit wired connections on each node, the Deco X20 offers great coverage and connectivity with easy setup and management. TP-Link gives you all the tools you need in the accompanying Deco app, which lets you set up your network quickly and control the individual features of the network with illustrated, easy-to-navigate menus. It also protects, with WPA3 encryption and a lifetime subscription to TP-Link HomeCare security and antivirus included with the set.

Read our full TP-Link Deco X20 review. 

4. Linksys Velop AX4200

Affordable Wi-Fi 6 for bigger homes

Specifications

Wi-Fi Spec: Wi-Fi 6/Tri-Band

Number of Antennas/Removable: 8/No

Ports: 1 WAN/3 LAN, USB 3.0 (per unit)

Peak Throughput: 507.7Mbps

Size: 9.6 x 4.5 x 4.5 inches

Reasons to buy

+Inexpensive mesh kit+Good throughput with dynamic tri-band operation+Three-year warranty

Reasons to avoid

-No security software-Slow set up

The Linksys Velop AX4200 mesh kit offers tri-band Wi-Fi 6 that can cover a large home in Wi-Fi signal without the higher prices of many Wi-Fi 6 mesh systems. That was enough to get it named the best mesh router in our 2021 Tom's Guide Awards. With decent throughput and great range – the three-pack we reviewed can fill 8,000 square feet, and is easily expanded with additional units – this affordable mesh system offers simple configuration tools and a generous three-year warranty. It also has USB connectivity, a small touch, but one that some users will hugely appreciate.

But it's not the fastest mesh kit on the block, lagging behind more expensive competitors and offering none of the extra security and customization options you'd get from other manufacturers. That said, the three-pack Linksys Velop AX4200 is one of the best bargains in mesh networking at the moment, offering a relatively cheap way to set up a wide-ranging Wi-Fi network in a big house.

Read our full Linksys Velop AX4200 review.

5. Eero Pro 6

Wi-Fi 6 speeds with incredible convenience

Specifications

Wi-Fi Spec: Wi-Fi 6/Tri-band

Number of Antennas/Removable: 7/No

Ports: 2 Ethernet on each unit

Throughput: 438.2Mbps

Size: 5.3 x 5.3 x 1.9 inches

Reasons to buy

+Great range+Dynamic tri-band operation+Easy fast setup

Reasons to avoid

-Devices have only two Ethernet ports-Moderate throughput close up-No USB ports

The Eero Pro 6 combines tri-band Wi-Fi 6 networking with a mesh setup that's quicker and easier than pretty much any mesh system we've reviewed, making it the best way to get great performance throughout your home without much hassle. With a single unit covering 2,000 square feet with reasonably fast Wi-Fi, the three-pack Eero Pro 6 will blanket up to 6,000 square feet with ease - and we set up the three-piece system in about 11 minutes.

It may not have the highest throughput, but the Eero Pro 6 mesh kit does well at mid-range distances where others peter out, is quick to set up and automatically adjusts just about everything. If you want granular customization, then tools like band steering, local DNS caching and home automation tools, it's got those, too. But the Eero Pro 6 does it's best when it lets you set it and forget it, giving you speedy Wi-Fi 6 without the hassles.

Read our full Eero Pro 6 review. 

6. Netgear Orbi RBK752

A less expensive version of the Wi-Fi 6 Orbi

Specifications

Wi-Fi Spec: Wi-Fi 6/Tri-Band

Number of Antennas/Removable: 6/No

Ports: Router – 1 WAN/3 LAN; Satellite – 2 LAN

Peak Throughput: 506.7 Mbps

Size: 9.4 x 6.5 x 2.0 inches

Reasons to buy

+Malware protection+Tri-band operation+Easy setup

Reasons to avoid

-Large-90-day support policy-Short range

The Netgear Orbi RBK752  is the smaller and cheaper alternative to one of the best Wi-Fi 6 mesh systems on the market, the highly ranked Netgear Orbi RBK852. Selling in a two-pack that can cover up to 5,000 square feet, the cheaper Orbi RBK752 has fewer internal antennas and a less powerful processor, which translate into reduced throughput and range. That makes it well-suited to mid-sized homes, but you'll want to step up to the 3- or 4-packs for larger coverage areas. They may be more expensive, but buying them as a package will be cheaper than adding single satellite units.

The cheaper Wi-Fi 6 Orbi doesn’t place as much emphasis on raw performance, but does manage to include an impressive array of customization options, and offers a way to get the ease of Netgear's excellent mesh networking gear and decent speeds throughout your home for less than the more expensive version.

Read our full Netgear Orbi RBK752 review.

7. Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8)

A great whole-home solution

Specifications

Wi-Fi Spec: Wi-Fi 6/Tri-band

Number of Antennas/Removable: 6/No

Ports: 1 WAN (2.5Gbps)/3 LAN (Gbps), USB 3.0

Throughput: 701.0Mbps

Size: 6.6 x 6.3 x 2.9 inches

Reasons to buy

+Good Wi-Fi 6 performance+Protects against malware+Tri-band design+Two-year warranty

Reasons to avoid

-Can take long time to reconnect satellites-Short range

The Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8) puts Wi-Fi 6 mesh networking into an easy-to-use package that's excellent for all sorts of mid-range homes. With its tri-band design and Wi-Fi 6 performance, the Asus ZenWiFi AX comes through with the ability to fill a moderate-sized home with wireless data. It may not be the fastest mesh kit, but the ZenWiFi AX’s two-year warranty and built-in security can give a family network “administrator” the peace of mind that the data will get through.

The sleek-looking design isn't festooned with antennas, nor is it blinking with an array of lights. Instead the ZenWiFi keeps things sedate with a design that could be used as bookend on a shelf, and a size that makes competing mesh systems look downright bulky. Plus, if you already have an Asus router at home, chances are pretty good that you can add it to the ZenWiFi's mesh network for even more coverage area, making it a great way to expand the coverage without giving up current hardware that you love.

Read our full Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8) review.

8. TP-Link Deco M9 Plus

Convenience meets security

Specifications

Wi-Fi Spec: 802.11ac/Tri-Band

Number of Antennas/Removable: 8/No

Ports: Two 1Gbps LAN, USB (“reserved”)

Peak Throughput: 570.5Mbps

Size: 6.0 by 6.0 by 1.5 inches

Reasons to buy

+Home Automation connections+Simple, straight-forward setup+Network security software

Reasons to avoid

-Need to use TP-Link Deco app

With a quick setup process and the ability to offer whole-home Wi-Fi connection while controlling all sorts of smart home devices, TP-Link's Deco M9 Plus Smart Home Mesh Wi-Fi System (sold in a three pack) can almost do it all. The Deco M9 Plus uses a trio of compact extensions that are easy to hide or mount on the wall and can cover up to 6,500 square feet with a strong wireless signal.

Built-in conveniences like security – including intrusion prevention, a malicious-content filter and infected-device quarantine – make it easy to manage your home network, but we did find the overall performance to be mediocre when the system had to deal with walls and ceilings.

While it lacks top performance, the Deco M9 Plus is still the best mesh Wi-Fi kit to get if you care more about a simple setup procedure than about top speed. And while each Deco unit has a built-in USB port, it's not enabled (yet), so there's no way to connect USB devices like printers and storage.

Read our full TP-Link Deco M9 Plus review.
  

9. Eero Mesh Wi-Fi Router

A great mesh bargain

Specifications

Wi-Fi Spec: 802.11ac/Dual Band

Number of Antennas/Removable: 4/No

Ports: Two 1Gbps LAN

Peak Throughput: 342.1 Mbps

Size: 3.9 x 3.9 x 2.4 inches

Reasons to buy

+Easy setup+Small, easy-to-hide devices+Extra security available

Reasons to avoid

-Low performance-Expensive security options

If you want a simple Wi-Fi solution that won't leave dead spots in your home, the 2019 Eero mesh router is one of the best bargains in mesh networking today. The Eero three-pack of mesh devices is affordable, and each unit is easy to hide away, thanks to its compact design. While the range and performance aren't groundbreaking, it's easy to fill a home with capable Wi-Fi signal without spending an arm and a leg.

Set up is easily handled with a smartphone, and configuration is designed for anyone to use. There's even an option for robust network security, though it comes with a monthly subscription fee. You can also connect the Eero system to an Alexa smart speaker if you want to add voice controls to your home network.

Read our full Eero mesh router review.
  

10. Linksys Max Stream MR9600

Our favorite mesh-capable router

Specifications

Wi-Fi Spec: Wi-Fi 6/Dual-band

Number of Antennas/Removable: 4/No

Ports: 1 WAN/4 LAN gigabit per second, 2 USB 3.0

Throughput: 822.0 Mbps

Size: 11.0 x 6.8 x 5.6 inches

Reasons to buy

+Can create mesh network with other Linksys equipment+Small and easy to hide

Reasons to avoid

-Mediocre performance-Lacks port aggregation

The Linksys Max Stream MR9600 is a dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router that is among the smallest and least obtrusive Wi-Fi 6 routers, but promises huge coverage when you need it. Able to work either as a standalone router or to create a mesh network by linking it with other Linksys networking gear, the MR9600 offers the choice of a single unit for smaller homes and apartments, or it can be incorporated into a mesh setup with other Linksys networking devices, giving you the unique ability to expand coverage for larger homes.

The small size makes it easy to fit onto a shelf or desk, but the streamlined design does leave little room for ports -- with only a WAN port, four LAN ports and two USB 3.0 connectors, the rear panel of the Linksys Max Stream MR9600 is uncluttered, but we wish it offered the two-line aggregation seen on many competing Wi-Fi 6 models.

Read our full Linksys Max Stream MR9600 review.  

11. Netgear AX1800 4-Stream Mesh Extender (EAX20)

Best mesh extender

Specifications

Wi-Fi Spec: Wi-Fi 6/Dual-band

Number of Antennas/Removable: 4 internal/No

Ports: 4 gigabit Ethernet

Throughput: 375.4Mbps

Size: 9.5 x 6.7 x 2.5 inches

Reasons to buy

+Wi-Fi 6 support with 802.11ax operations+Customization and built-in security+Offers mesh compatibility with other devices

Reasons to avoid

-Large-No USB ports

If you want to switch to a mesh network without ditching your current router, there's no better option than the Netgear AX1800 Mesh Extender (EAX20), a desktop Wi-Fi extender that can create a mesh network with just about any Wi-Fi router or ISP gateway. With Wi-Fi 6 speeds and even mesh capability built right in, the Netgear EAX20 is one of the best Wi-Fi extenders you can get, and the only choice for adding mesh coverage to a standalone Wi-Fi 6 router.

While not everyone will be excited about it's large desktop design – without a plug-in design, there's no hiding this extender behind the couch or in the corner – and a price that's more expensive than some routers, the proof is in the performance. And boy, does the Netgear EAX20 deliver, with category-leading speeds and an awesome 95-foot range.

Read our full Netgear AX1800 Mesh Extender (EAX20) review.

How to choose the best mesh router for you

Finding the right mesh Wi-Fi system starts with deciding whether you even need one. 

Coverage: If you have a large home of 3,000 square feet or more, a regular router won't cut it. The same is true of multistory homes and oddly laid out houses, which don't necessarily match the range pattern of coverage most standalone routers deliver. And even if your home looks like it may be well-served by a regular wireless router, there are plenty of obstacles and signal-disruptions that can make it difficult to get strong Wi-Fi coverage in every part of your home.

The basic guideline is this: If your router leaves you with dead spots in your home or even in your yard, you would probably be better off with a mesh Wi-Fi system instead.

Speed: Picking the right mesh Wi-Fi system is much like any other Wi-Fi device. Our reviews look at design, range and throughput performance,  setup, and which settings you can adjust. We look at security protections and parental controls. We even look at whether a mesh extension is easy to adopt into your home decor, or whether it's something you'll want to tuck away out of sight. Any of our reviews will dig into these aspects of a product, and will also highlight any unique features you may want to consider in your decision making, like whether you want voice interaction, or how well a mesh solution pairs with other connected devices in the home.

Ports: Though wireless connectivity is the main thing you want from a mesh Wi-Fi kit, you'll also want to think about wired connections. Ethernet offers faster connectivity for devices like game consoles and smart TVs that use more bandwidth, and USB ports are handy for attaching a printer or storage to your network. But not every mesh system has physical ports, so make sure you get a system that will meet your needs.

Price: For many shoppers, though, it all comes down to value — which extender provides the most for the lowest cost. So we also consider what you really get for your money, weighing what features and performance are worthwhile, and how any given product compares with other devices from other manufacturers.

Mesh routers range in price from $120 to $400 or more. Because mesh systems use multiple devices, you can generally buy a complete mesh system as a two- or three-unit package. You can also buy individual satellite units to extend a mesh network to a broader area. Individual units generally sell for $100 to 200, although specialized units offering added functions may cost more.

In the end, our top picks are listed here because they are the best mesh Wi-Fi systems you can buy. Whether it's a question of performance, value or features, we call out the products that deliver the best bang for your buck, and explain why it might be the right choice for your home.

How we test mesh routers

We test every mesh router to measure performance and range, using Ixia's IxChariot software. Testing is done in a multi-story home with brick walls. As with standard routers, we test performance at a distance to provide real-world information about coverage and speeds. In addition to lab testing, we evaluate the ease-of-setup and features of each device.

We measure performance at a 5-foot distance without obstructions, so that we can gauge the maximum amount of data that the router can move. Higher throughput will serve you better in data-heavy uses, like streaming video, gaming, or connecting multiple users at once.

Range measures the furthest usable distance for the router. Longer ranges are better for larger homes, where rooms are spread out at a distance. We measure how much data a router can move at 5, 50, 75 and 100 feet, as well as what the maximum coverage area of a mesh system.

Sours: https://www.tomsguide.com/us/best-mesh-router,review-5191.html
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What's the size of your home?

Select all that apply

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RBK853

Top Pick

Great Choice

Best Seller

Orbi RBK853

557 sq. m

coverage

6 Gbps

top speed

Up to 60+

supported devices

Tri-band

Wifi bands

NETGEAR Armor Cyber Security

Smart Parental Controls

orbi-rbk-852

Top Pick

Great Choice

Best Seller

Orbi RBK852

372 sq. m

coverage

6 Gbps

top speed

Up to 60+

supported devices

Tri-band, WiFi 6

Wifi bands

NETGEAR Armor Cyber Security

Smart Parental Controls

orbi-rbk-23

Top Pick

Great Choice

Best Seller

Orbi RBK753

557 sq. m

coverage

4.2 Gbps

top speed

Up to 40+

supported devices

Tri-band

Wifi bands

NETGEAR Armor Cyber Security

Smart Parental Controls

orbi-rbk-23

Top Pick

Great Choice

Best Seller

Orbi RBK752

372 sq. m

coverage

4.2 Gbps

top speed

Up to 40+

supported devices

Tri-band

Wifi bands

NETGEAR Armor Cyber Security

Smart Parental Controls

RBK353_tech_specs_image_1

Top Pick

Great Choice

Best Seller

Orbi RBK353

348 sq. m

coverage

1.8Gbps

top speed

'30+

supported devices

Dual-band, WiFi 6

Wifi bands

NETGEAR Armor Cyber Security

Smart Parental Controls

hero_med_RBK352

Top Pick

Great Choice

Best Seller

Orbi RBK352

272 sq. m

coverage

1.8Gbps

top speed

'30+

supported devices

Dual-band, WiFi 6

Wifi bands

NETGEAR Armor Cyber Security

Smart Parental Controls

orbi-rbk-23

Top Pick

Great Choice

Best Seller

Orbi LBR20

140 sq .m

coverage

2.2 Gbps

top speed

20+

supported devices

Tri-band

Wifi bands

NETGEAR Armor Cyber Security

Smart Parental Controls

Sours: https://www.netgear.com/au/home/wifi/mesh/find-my-orbi/
TechTalk: Netgear Orbi Wifi 6 AX6000 RBK852 Review: Do NOT Buy This Router!

Best mesh Wi-Fi router 2021: Boost the range, speed and coverage of your home Wi-Fi with our top picks

Fed up with flaky Wi-Fi? Choose one of our best mesh Wi-Fi systems and you'll be able to enjoy a superfast connection in all corners of your home. These clever extensible kits cover a huge area, and since you can locate the nodes wherever you want – and even add extras – you can be certain of getting a strong signal where it’s needed. Performance is top-notch, too, leaving traditional wireless repeaters and powerline extenders in the dust.

Here's our guide to the best whole-home mesh Wi-Fi kits on the market – the ones that provided the best range and the fastest coverage in our extensive testing. We’ve included a comprehensive buyer’s guide, too, so you’ll know what features to look out for. Read on to find the mesh networking system that will wash away your wireless blues.

READ NEXT: The best wireless routers, from budget to premium


Best mesh Wi-Fi router: At a glance


How to buy the best mesh Wi-Fi router for you

What type of mesh Wi-Fi router should I buy?

Mesh systems work on the same basic principle as wireless repeaters, but they use a private radio channel – the “backhaul” – to talk to each other. This means less contention, and better performance, on your main wireless network.

As the name suggests, mesh systems are also designed to support multiple nodes, which can be deployed in a “daisy-chain” configuration, rather than each one needing a direct connection to the router. This makes it easy to extend a wireless connection over a huge area by simply placing nodes at regular intervals around your home or workplace.

Will a mesh system work with my router?

Most mesh systems are designed to replace your existing router. If you’re currently using a combined modem router, you can normally switch this into modem mode, allowing the mesh system to handle router duties.

Alternatively, you can switch your mesh kit into bridge mode, and connect it to your existing router via an Ethernet cable. Just be warned that this isn’t normally the default installation procedure, so you may need to do a bit of research when getting set up. And make sure you connect your first mesh node to a Gigabit Ethernet port on your router; a slower 100Mbits/sec port will seriously bottleneck the speed of your wireless clients.

How many nodes do I need?

Most kits promise more than 400m² of wireless coverage with just two or three nodes. In practice, the coverage you actually get will depend on mundane things such as fridges and walls – but the best kits are more than capable of filling a moderately sized home with fast Wi-Fi, even with only two nodes. If you think you might want to invest in additional nodes, check your options before you buy, as not all manufacturers sell individual units.

Do I need the fastest mesh Wi-Fi system out there?

If you’re chiefly interested in extending your internet connection around your home, there’s no need to invest in the fastest, most expensive kit you can find. Almost any mesh system will be fast enough to share the full bandwidth of a typical 40Mbits/sec internet connection around your home.

That said, it makes sense to pick a kit that won’t hold you back if you upgrade to faster broadband in a couple of years. Choosing a faster system also means traffic will be able to travel around your local network faster, so (for example) you’ll be able to copy files to and from a NAS appliance more quickly; that’s how we tested the mesh systems below to get a true picture of their maximum transfer speeds.

Are mesh Wi-Fi systems easy to set up and administer?

Most mesh Wi-Fi kits come with a smartphone app – for both Android and iOS – that walks you through the setup process. You can then continue to use the smartphone app to monitor and manage your mesh system. A web portal is sometimes available too, but it may not expose all of the available settings.

Note that, while most mesh kits do basic router duties, they’re often not as configurable as a “real” router. You may not be able to change the default address range, and not all models let you join clients to the network via WPS.

What features should I look for?

Most mesh systems can present a wireless guest network alongside your normal domestic network. Devices connecting to this will be able to connect to the internet, but can’t talk to other devices on your home network. This means visitors can’t snoop through your shared folders or unwittingly bring malware onto your home network.

Some systems also offer basic parental controls: for example, you might be able to block internet access for specific devices between certain hours. They don’t normally have the ability to filter out unsuitable content, though; if you want to keep a detailed eye on what your kids get up to online, you’ll probably need a software-based system.

A final feature worth looking out for is Alexa integration, which allows you to trigger various tasks by issuing a voice command to an Amazon Echo device. For example, you might be able to activate or deactivate the guest network, activate WPS or have Alexa read out your wireless passphrase. It might seem gimmicky, but it’s a nice bonus to have.

READ NEXT: The best routers

The best mesh Wi-Fi routers you can buy in 2021

1. BT Whole Home Wi-Fi: Best-value mesh extender system

Price: £150 (twin pack) | Buy now from Amazon

BT Whole Home Wi-Fi angled

BT’s Whole Home Wi-Fi now comes in a few different flavours: the original, which we have here; the Premium version, which is faster but a lot pricier and the Mini (see below), which is the cheapest but not as fast as the original. The original system is getting on a bit these days but it's still the best value mesh W-Fi system you can buy.

The system acts as a wireless extender system for your existing router, connecting via a simple Gigabit Ethernet cable. This means it doesn’t mess with your network settings, and there’s very little to configure – although the system does offer a guest network facility and simple group-based parental controls. The nodes look a bit odd, standing upright like mini-satellite dishes, but their small footprint means it’s easy to find suitable places for them around the home.

BT claims it will cover an area of 420m², which is on the low side for a three-node network – but it certainly eradicated the not-spots in my home. No matter where I wandered, I got a rock-solid 5GHz connection, with download speeds never dipping below 11.8MB/sec.

The extender-only approach does mean that you’re stuck with your old router: if you were planning to replace it, a different mesh system might make sense. On the upside, it keeps the price almost irresistibly low: if you just want to banish those irritating dead spots with minimal upheaval, it’s an absolute bargain.

Read our full review of BT Whole Home Wi-Fi

Key specs – Nodes (as reviewed): 3; Claimed coverage: 420m²; Maximum nodes supported: 6; 2.4GHz speed: 800Mbits/sec; 5GHz speed: 867Mbits/sec (client) + 867Mbits/sec (backhaul); MIMO channels: 4x4 on each band; Ethernet ports: 1 x GbE per node; Guest network: Yes; Parental controls: Yes; Works with Alexa: No; IPv6: Yes; Custom IP range: N/A; Client IP reservation: N/A; Port forwarding: N/A; 2.4GHz/5GHz band splitting: No; Warranty: 2yr

2. BT Mini Whole Home WiFi: The best cheap mesh network

Price: £110 | Buy now from BT

There was a time when mesh Wi-Fi router systems commanded a premium, no matter the level of performance but prices have fallen dramatically in recent times and there's none more reasonably priced than the BT Mini Whole Home WiFi. It's the cheapest three-node system we've ever reviewed.

The low price does mean you have to make some compromises. It's only a dual-band system, which restricts performance compared with the faster, tri-band BT Whole Home system. The Mini's total rated bandwidth of 1,200Mbits/sec is lower, too, and this all goes together to produce performance figures that are roughly half that of the original system.

However, overall performance is still more impressive than the previous cheapest system we've seen – the Tenda Nova MW3. It's also a system that's extremely simple to install and use as it aims to extend, rather than replace, your existing wireless router.

Key specs – Nodes (as reviewed): 3; Claimed coverage: Not stated; Maximum nodes supported: 6; 2.4GHz speed: 300Mbits/sec; 5GHz speed: 867Mbits/sec (client and backhaul); MIMO channels: 4x4; Ethernet ports: 1 x GbE per node; Guest network: Yes; Parental controls: No; Works with Alexa: No; IPv6: Yes; Custom IP range: N/A; Client IP reservation: N/A; Port forwarding: N/A; 2.4GHz/5GHz band splitting: No; Warranty: 2yr

Buy now from BT


3. Tenda Nova MW6: Another great-value mesh router

Price: £140 (triple pack) | Buy now from Amazon

Tenda Nova MW6 review

Tenda’s little white cubes are undeniably tasteful, and they’re compact enough that you can easily distribute the three of them about your home. The downside is a comparatively slow backhaul speed, which means download speeds can’t match the market leaders – but I still reliably got upwards of 10MB/sec all over my home.

The feature set isn’t as generous as other mesh systems, either: there’s no band-splitting option, nor support for IPv6. You do, however, get a simple guest network feature, which you can activate for four hours, eight hours or permanently, and a group-based parental control function that lets you limit internet access to certain times of day for specified clients. There's Alexa support too, so you can use voice commands to check the router status and adjust various settings.

What really sets the Tenda Nova MW6 apart is its low price. True, the BT Whole Home kit costs a similar amount, but it only functions as an extender, whereas the MW6 is a fully standalone system. That makes it a terrifically cost-effective option if you're looking to replace an underperforming router and extend your Wi-Fi coverage at the same time.

Key specs – Nodes (as reviewed): 3; Claimed coverage: 560m²; Maximum nodes supported: 10; 2.4GHz speed: 300Mbits/sec; 5GHz speed: 867Mbits/sec (combined client & backhaul); MIMO channels: 2x2 on each band; Ethernet ports: 2 x GbE per node; Guest network: Yes; Parental controls: Yes; Works with Alexa: Yes; IPv6: No; Custom IP range: Partial; Client IP reservation: Via port forwarding; Port forwarding: Yes; 2.4GHz/5GHz band splitting: No; Warranty: 3yr

4. Asus ZenWiFi AC: Supreme speed and packed with features

Price: £278 (twin pack) | Buy now from Amazon

The Asus ZenWifi AC might be pricey but it's the fastest 802.11ac mesh Wi-Fi system around right now, topping a huge 30MB/sec download speed in every location we tested in. That's thanks in the main to its tri-band setup, which utilises a dedicated 5GHz backhaul channel to ensure transfer speeds between nodes are as high as possible.

And while most mesh systems aim to keep the complexity down, the ZenWiFi gives users access to the same advanced settings as you get on the company's high-end domestic routers. Each node has four Gigabit Ethernet ports on the rear and a USB socket for sharing printers, storage or 4G adapters. The system has built-in PPTP, OpenVPN and IPSec servers so you can access your home network securely from remote locations, and you get three independent guest networks plus a network-level firewall that lets you block individual ports, URLs and web pages containing keywords.

It is quite pricey for a two-box system but the performance you get is well worth the extra spend. This is mesh Wi-Fi done brilliantly.

Key specs – Nodes (as reviewed): 2; Claimed coverage: 400m²; 2.4GHz speed: 400Mbits/sec; 5GHz speed: 867Mbits/sec (client) + 1733Mbits/sec (backhaul); MIMO channels: 2x2 on client bands, 4x4 on backhaul; Ethernet ports: 4 x GbE per node; Guest network: Yes; Parental controls: Yes; Works with Alexa: Yes; IPv6: Yes; Custom IP range: Yes; Client IP reservation: Yes; Port forwarding: Yes; 2.4GHz/5GHz band splitting: Yes; Warranty: 3yr

5. TP-Link X60: Best value Wi-Fi 6 mesh router

Price: £373 | Buy now from Amazon

Wi-Fi 6 is the latest, greatest wireless technology promising faster, more stable connections for many more devices than the older 802.11ac standard, but mesh systems based on the tech have as yet been thin on the ground. Of the few that we have tested, the TP-Link X60 is the best value so far, costing around £373 for a three-node pack.

The system is rated for a massive 650m² of coverage and performance is very good, beating the BT Whole Home Wi-Fi system for overall speed and edging in front of even the far more expensive Orbi WiFi 6 for close up speeds. It's a little less impressive at medium and long-range but still very fast overall and performed consistently in all of our tests. Perhaps more impressively, it comes packed with useful features, including built-in antivirus protection for your whole home, intrusion protection, a malicious content filter and category-based web filtering with age-based presets.

It may be expensive, then, but the TP-Link Deco X60 delivers the most coverage we've seen from any mesh system to date and combines that with plenty of features and solid performance as well.

Key specs – Nodes (as reviewed): 3; Claimed coverage: 650m²; 2.4GHz speed: 574Mbits/sec; 5GHz speed: 2,402Mbits/sec (client) no backhaul; MIMO channels: 2x2 on client bands; Ethernet ports: 2 x GbE per node; Guest network: Yes; Parental controls: Yes; IPv6: Yes; Custom IP range: Yes; Client IP reservation: Yes; Port forwarding: Yes; Warranty: 3yr

6. Netgear Orbi WiFi 6: Fastest next-gen mesh router

Price: £644 (twin pack) | Buy now from Amazon

Netgear's Orbi WiFi 6 is the first mesh system we've seen that supports the new 802.11ax standard. That means that, if you connect from a compatible device, it can deliver much faster downloads than any other system on this page – typically in excess of 40MB/sec. Needless to say, the Orbi units work with older clients as well, and even then they still manage to outperform the competition, thanks to a dedicated ultra-fast backhaul connection.

The catch is the cost. At £644 for a two-node pack, the Orbi WiFi 6 is vastly more expensive than any regular 802.11ac mesh system. It also costs a lot more than a regular 802.11ax router, which might be enough to deliver the performance and coverage you're looking for. But if only a mesh system will do, the Orbi WiFi 6 is hands down the fastest money can buy.

Read our full review of the Netgear Orbi WiFi 6

Key specs – Nodes (as reviewed): 2; Claimed coverage: 465m²; Maximum nodes supported: Not stated; 2.4GHz speed: 1,200Mbits/sec; 5GHz speed: 1,200Mbits/sec (client) + 1,200Mbits/sec (backhaul); MIMO channels: 4x4 on each band; Ethernet ports: 4 x GbE per node; Guest network: Yes; Parental controls: No; Works with Alexa: No; IPv6: Yes; Custom IP range: Yes; Client IP reservation: Yes; Port forwarding: Yes; 2.4GHz/5GHz band splitting: No; Warranty: 1yr

7. TP-Link Deco X20: Easy to use and affordable

Price: £230 | Buy now from Amazon

Delivering WiFi 6 technology for a mere £230, TP-Link’s Deco X20 is a great-value mesh system that still delivers respectable performance. In our tests, it sustained a solid mid-level performance, not blowing away the competition but never falling to the back of the pack either.

The Deco X20 is a dual-band system supporting 2x2 MIMO, which helps to keep the costs down, but since WiFi 6 is designed to share bandwidth more efficiently across multiple connections, this shouldn’t be a huge problem.

The system’s strength lies in its ease of use – everything is managed via the excellent TP-Link Tether app – and its unusually broad selection of features. Not only do you get decent Wi-Fi coverage with the Deco X20 but it also comes with baked-in parental controls and antivirus protection for the whole of your network.

Physical connectivity is a tad limited. Each node has only a pair of network ports, there’s no USB sharing, or even a WPS button. For the price, though, the TP-Link Deco X20 is a great system with plenty of features and fast enough speeds for daily life.

Read our review of the TP-Link Deco X20 for more details

Key specs – Nodes (as reviewed): 3; Claimed coverage: 372m²; Maximum nodes supported: Not stated; 2.4GHz speed: 574Mbits/sec; 5GHz speed: 1,201Mbits/sec; MIMO channels: 2x2; Ethernet ports: 2 x GbE per node; Guest network: Yes; Parental controls: Yes; Works with Alexa: Yes; IPv6: Yes; Custom IP range: Yes; Client IP reservation: Yes; Port forwarding: Yes; 2.4GHz/5GHz band splitting: No; Warranty: 2yr

8. Linksys Velop: Most fully featured mesh router

Price: £269 (triple pack) | Buy now from Amazon

Linksys Velop 4

The Velop is an upmarket mesh system, with advanced features such as port forwarding and port range triggering. Alexa integration means that Amazon Echo owners can also turn the guest network on and off, and perform a few other tasks, with a voice command.

Linksys claims its three nodes offer a large coverage area of 560m², and setting up a daisy-chain configuration is easy. In my own home, I did see some drop-off in transfer rates towards the rear of the house, but things never dipped below 11MB/sec – so it’s more than capable of distributing the full speed of your internet connection all around a moderately sized dwelling. What’s more, you can easily split the radio bands into separate SSIDs to ensure that compatible devices always connect to the faster 5GHz band.

The Velop is a comparatively expensive system, but the three nodes give you flexibility when it comes to positioning the nodes, and few other mesh systems can match it for features.

Read our full review of the Linksys Velop

Key specs – Nodes (as reviewed): 3; Claimed coverage: 560m²; Maximum nodes supported: 6; 2.4GHz speed: 400Mbits/sec; 5GHz speed: 867Mbits/sec (client) + 867Mbits/sec (backhaul); MIMO channels: Not stated; Ethernet ports: 2 x GbE per node; Guest network: Yes; Parental controls: Yes; Works with Alexa: Yes; IPv6: Yes; Custom IP range: No; Client IP reservation: Yes; Port forwarding: Yes; 2.4GHz/5GHz band splitting: Yes; Warranty: 3yr

9. Netgear Orbi RBK752: A great all-rounder

Price: £448 | Buy now from Amazon

Netgear’s Orbi RBK752 is a premium tri-band mesh Wi-Fi system tri-band that delivers excellent coverage and wireless throughput across the board. It performed impeccably in all our tests, reaching the fastest speeds in the same room as the router, and results showed barely any drop-off in performance across the rest of the locations in our house.

The strides in speeds achieved come at the expense of some features, though. The hub of the system comes with only three Gigabit Ethernet sockets while the satellites have a mere two each, and there are no USB ports to be found anywhere, so connection options are fairly limited compared to other mesh systems on this list.

While it may not be the best in terms of features, and is certainly lacking in connectivity, the Orbi RBK752’s performance more than compensates.

Read our review of the Netgear Orbi RBK752 for more details

Key specs – Nodes (as reviewed): 2; Claimed coverage: 372m²; Maximum nodes supported: Not stated; 2.4GHz speed: 600Mbits/sec; 5GHz speed: 1,200Mbits/sec; MIMO channels: 2x2; Ethernet ports: 3 x GbE (router), 2 x GbE (satellite); Guest network: Yes; Parental controls: No; Works with Alexa: Yes; IPv6: Not stated; Custom IP range: Not stated; Client IP reservation: Not stated; Port forwarding: Not stated; 2.4GHz/5GHz band splitting: No; Warranty: 1yr

10. Google Nest Wifi: Most user-friendly mesh system

Price: £189 (twin pack) | Buy now from John Lewis

Google’s second-generation mesh Wi-Fi system includes remote satellites that double up as smart speakers, providing always-on access to the Google Assistant. This means you can use voice commands to do everything from playing music to controlling your smart home devices. They sound pretty decent too, producing warmer, cleaner audio than the Home Mini.

The Nest Wifi is also one of the easiest mesh systems to set up and administer: everything’s done from your phone, and there’s a simple set of guest network and parental control options on hand. We found the two-node pack was sufficient to deliver good wireless coverage throughout a medium-sized home, and if you’ve any older first-generation Google Wifi units knocking around, it’ll work with those too.

The dual-band design means that the Nest Wifi isn’t as fast as some other mesh systems, and it’s a little lacking in advanced networking features. Even so, it does everything the average household needs, and it’s a supremely convenient way to improve your coverage and upgrade your home with a bit of “OK Google” magic at the same time.

Read our full review of Google Nest Wifi

Key specs – Nodes (as reviewed): 2; Claimed coverage: 210m²; Maximum nodes supported: Not stated; 2.4GHz speed: 400Mbits/sec; 5GHz speed: 1,733Mbits/sec (combined client and backhaul); MIMO channels: 2x2 on 2.4GHz, 4x4 on 5GHz; Ethernet ports: 1 x GbE on hub; Guest network: Yes; Parental controls: Yes; Works with Alexa: No, Google Assistant; IPv6: Yes; Custom IP range: Yes; Client IP reservation: Yes; Port forwarding: Yes; 2.4GHz/5GHz band splitting: No; Warranty: 1yr

Buy now from John Lewis


11. Netgear Orbi RBK352: Best mid-range mesh

Price: From £226 | Buy now from Amazon

Netgear’s relatively low-cost Wi-Fi 6 mesh system, the Orbi RBK352 is one of the most accessible entries yet into the super-speedy new Wi-Fi standard. Case in point: three nodes will set you back £226, compared to £644 for the high-end Orbi RBK852 system.

The lower price inevitably means some sacrifices are made in performance, but in our experience, it holds up well when tested in various rooms across a house. As we note in our four-star Netgear Orbi RBK352 review, a test laptop switched seamlessly between nodes to keep connection fast and stable, and with download speeds never falling below 20MB/sec, the RBK352 gave us no reason to complain.

With an unobtrusive design and easy-to-use software, the Netgear Orbi RBK352 is relatively simple to set up and control using Netgear’s Orbi app. As with all Wi-Fi 6 gear, it’s backwards compatible with Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) clients but it won’t interoperate with Wi-Fi 5 Orbi units.

It ultimately runs the risk of being a halfway house between truly affordable Wi-Fi 5 systems and the full performance of a top-range Wi-Fi 6 mesh, but if you’re looking for a budget-conscious Wi-Fi 6 system, you’ll find the Netgear Orbi RBK352 to be a solid choice.

Key specsNodes (as reviewed): 2; Claimed coverage: 232m²; 2.4GHz speed: 600Mbits/sec; 5GHz speed: 1,200Mbits/sec; MIMO channels: 2x2; Gigabit Ethernet ports: primary unit - 4, satellite units - 2; Guest network: Yes; Parental controls: No; Works with Alexa: Yes; IPv6: Yes; Custom IP range: Yes; Client IP reservation: Yes; Port fowarding: Yes; 2.4GHz/5GHz band splitting: Yes; Warranty: 1yr

Sours: https://www.expertreviews.co.uk/networks/1406868/best-mesh-wifi-routers-boost-the-range-of-your-home-wi-fi

Best buy orbi wifi extender

Best Wi-Fi extenders of 2021: top devices for boosting your WiFi network

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By Matt Hanson

Get Wi-Fi in every room with the best Wi-Fi Extenders

Included in this guide:

Take a look at one of the best Wi-Fi extenders on the market if you’re having problems with your internet. Also known as Wi-Fi boosters or repeaters, these add-ons are a great way to not only extend the outer reaches of your internet connection but also take care of any weak or dead spots you may have in your area of coverage. And, if you’ve tried one before, just know they’ve come a long way since first being introduced and can really improve your network.

Not only is getting a Wi-Fi extender a great way to improve your internet’s reach, but it’s an affordable way to do so since you won’t have to replace your current router. That’s not to say that they’re the right solution for every situation. If you’re using an older router and want to cover a large home or office, upgrading to a mesh Wi-Fi router might be the ideal solution. Or, if you’re looking for better overall speed, consider something with Wi-Fi 6 support. However, most people’s routers are fine but just need a little help. So, adding a Wi-Fi booster is the more reasonably priced way to go.

Now that kids are back in school, you don’t want anyone blaming your network for not finishing their coursework. To help solve your network blues, we’ve rounded up our top picks of best Wi-Fi boosters here. If you’re not sure whether you should buy a Wi-Fi extender or not, we’ll discuss the differences as well. And, make sure to check out our included price comparison tool to get the best deals available. 

1. Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000 Tri-band WiFi Extender

The best Wi-Fi extender in 2021

Specifications

Bands: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2.4/5GHz simultaneous

Connectivity: 4 x RJ-45 10/100/1000M LAN ports

Features: Tri-band

Reasons to buy

+Fast speeds and dependable network coverage+Easy setup to create a mesh network

Reasons to avoid

-Large and bulky

If you're after a Wi-Fi extender that provides best-in-class performance for expanding your wireless network throughout your home, then the Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000 Tri-band WiFi Extender is the one for you. You can use this extender to create a mesh network, so you have a single, large, Wi-Fi network, rather than smaller separate ones. This allows you to easily roam your house, and your device will seamlessly keep connected. It's expensive, but it's the best Wi-Fi extender you can buy right now, offering fast speeds and dependable network coverage throughout your home.

2. TP-Link RE605X WiFi 6 Range Extender

Simple set-up and solid performance

Specifications

Bands: 802.11ax 2.4GHz + 5.0GHz

Connectivity: 1x Gigabit Ethernet

Features: Wi-Fi 6, Intelligent Signal Light, TP-LINK Tether App

Reasons to buy

+Affordable Wi-Fi 6 range extender+Works with any router

Reasons to avoid

-Only dual-band support, and 1800Mbps speed

If you’re looking to extend your newly-minted Wi-Fi 6 network to all four corners of your home, TP-Link’s RE605X WiFi 6 Range Extender is worth taking a look. It’s as affordable and as easy to set up as the RE650 extender while being backwards compatible with older Wi-Fi 5 routers. It isn’t just for the less savvy users, however. The RE605X also provides a web browser interface for more experienced users who want more control over their network settings.

Read the full review: TP-Link RE605X WiFi 6 Range Extender

3. Netgear Nighthawk X6 EX7700 Mesh Range Extender

The best affordable Wi-Fi range extender

Specifications

Bands: 802.11ac 5GHz and 2.4GHz

Connectivity: 2 x Ethernet

Features: Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPS), Mesh connectivity

Reasons to buy

+Small design+Powerful enough for 4K content

Reasons to avoid

-Pricier than most extenders

Bring the power and convenience of a mesh network to your home with the Netgear Nighthawk X6 EX7700. Not only does this extend the area of your Wi-Fi network, but it creates a seamless Wi-Fi network throughout your home or office - so you don't need to switch networks while moving around.

Thanks to the powerful hardware inside the Netgear Nighthawk X6 EX7700, you can stream 4K content, play games and hook up all kinds of devices to your Wi-Fi network without a hitch. The included Ethernet ports are also a nice addition for bringing your network to wired devices.

Sours: https://www.techradar.com/news/the-best-wi-fi-extenders
Is Netgear Orbi the Best Mesh Wifi? See it installed!

I became a universal favorite since all the other patients of the department were much older than me. And since I spent more than a month there, you can imagine how much I yearned for my bottles and bottle necks. But one day the doctor on duty called me for an examination.

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Yes. With an embarrassed mouse, the saleswoman could only squeak. Pack and bill, please. Hmm. I'm practically surprised.



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