The best mesh Wi-Fi systems 2023on September 5, 2023 at 15:00 Tech Advisor


Does your broadband router give you a strong Wi-Fi signal in every room of your home? Of course it doesn’t, and that’s exactly why you’re here.

You don’t even have to live in a particularly big home to have Wi-Fi blackspots. The typical ISP-supplied router is a basic device that don’t offer the best range and can struggle if you have lots of devices that need Wi-Fi.

Even if your current router manages to provide a Wi-Fi signal in every room, the speeds are probably quite slow in rooms farthest away. And it almost certainly doesn’t adequately cover outdoor areas, such as a garden, or outbuildings such as a garage or shed.

Upgrading to a newer, better router is one option, but a better alternative for almost everyone is a mesh Wi-Fi system.

These kits of two or three “nodes” connect to your existing router and effectively work as a single super-router that can deliver fast internet to every room.

In smaller homes, including apartments, mesh Wi-Fi might not be required. You could save money by upgrading your old router, but if you want excellent Wi-Fi across your home and garden, then a mesh system is the answer.

So if you’re still struggling along with the Wi-Fi router you got years ago, a mesh Wi-Fi system will be a revelation. No more stuttering Zoom calls, no web pages loading really slowly and no buffering when streaming Netflix or YouTube videos. 

Mesh systems are simple to install. You don’t have to change your internet provider, and you keep your old router. Ideally you should disable its Wi-Fi so it doesn’t interfere with the new network, but quite a few manufacturers now say you can simply leave it on if you want to.

The best news is that mesh Wi-Fi systems don’t have to cost a lot. Prices start from as little as $80/£70, but if you want the latest, fastest models, you’ll pay a lot more. What’s important is to match the speed of a mesh Wi-Fi system to your broadband speed. There’s no point in paying over the odds for one that delivers gigabit speeds if your broadband has download speed of 70Mbps or less.

It’s also useful to know that Wi-Fi 5 systems aren’t necessarily slower than Wi-Fi 6 kits, even though many people assume they will be. Prices usually reflect the speeds you can expect.

Coverage isn’t always dependent on price. Mesh kits usually include two or three devices – called nodes – which communicate with each other wirelessly and provide a single Wi-Fi network over a much larger area than a single router can. Your devices will disconnect from one node and connect to a closer one as you move around your home.

So no matter whether you have a large single-storey home, such as a bungalow, or a town house with several floors, a mesh system will be a huge upgrade. And if you discover you need more mesh routers, you can usually buy them individually and add them to the system using the companion app on your phone.

Some mesh systems – such as our top pick here – can even use your home’s mains wiring to talk to each other using powerline networking instead of Wi-Fi. This is useful if your home has very thick walls, or is constructed from materials which block Wi-Fi (such as metal).

We’ve reviewed a lot more mesh systems than those you’ll find below. The rest, such as the Amazon Eero Pro 6, Devolo Magic Wi-Fi 2 and Plume SuperPods, didn’t make the grade.

That means we each and every system below is worth buying for one reason or another. Whether you need an upgrade on a tight budget, or want the fastest possible speeds, you’ll find the right kit right here.

Best mesh Wi-Fi systems

1. TP-Link Deco PX50 – Best mesh Wi-Fi 6 with powerline


Good performance for the price

Three Gigabit Ethernet ports on each node


No option to buy single units at time of review

App nags you to subscribe to HomeShield Pro

Price When Reviewed:

255,82 €

TP-Link’s Deco PX50 is the best mesh Wi-Fi system for most people. That’s because it’s easy to set up, provides good speeds that should be faster than your broadband speed and is a sensible compromise between price and the very latest tech.

One of the main reasons it’s our top pick is because it has built-in powerline tech, the newer type. This means the three units can talk to each other using your home’s electricity wiring, so thick walls or other obstacles which usually reduce Wi-Fi range aren’t a problem for this kit.

And, in turn, it means that you get a good, fast Wi-Fi connection wherever you put the units: they can be further apart than those from other kits which have to use Wi-Fi. Plus, because they don’t use Wi-Fi to communicate with each other, you get the full Wi-Fi speed for your devices without paying the higher price for a tri-band mesh kit.

We saw speeds of around 800Mbps at close range, and very good coverage from the system. You can save money if you live in a smaller home by buying the 2-pack instead. Eventually you’ll be able to buy single units to add to an existing PX50 system but those weren’t available at launch.

Read our full

TP-Link Deco PX50 review

2. Linksys Atlas 6 – Best mesh Wi-Fi 6 system


Good speeds and coverage

Competitively priced

Ethernet backhaul supported


No dedicated wireless backhaul

Basic parental controls only

Price When Reviewed:

183,58 €

The Linksys Atlas 6 provides fast and reliable whole-home coverage for a sensible price. It also offers an impressive array of features, most of which are easy to use thanks to the great Linksys app.

It isn’t the cheapest Wi-Fi 6 mesh system you can buy, but you wouldn’t expect it to be considering the features and performance on offer, which include four Ethernet ports on each unit.

The best speeds require you to have up-to-date devices (such as phones and laptops), but don’t forget that you won’t get much of a benefit from speeds that are faster than your broadband connection.

But for a price that’s a lot less than most Wi-Fi 6E mesh systems, it hits that sweet spot between cost and value. Available in packs of 1, 2 or 3 depending on the size of your home.

Read our full

Linksys Atlas 6 (MX2000) review

3. Amazon Eero 6 – Easy to manage Wi-Fi 6 mesh system


Great speeds

User-friendly app


No Ethernet ports on satellites

Security features require subscription

We were impressed with the original Eero system, but this is Amazon’s Wi-Fi 6 version – hence the 6 in the name. It’s a dual-band kit, and if you want better performance there’s the Eero 6 Pro which is a tri-band system.

The Eero 6 has a Zigbee hub built in, which could be handy if you have Philips Hue or other Zigbee-based smart home devices.

Note that the satellites in the kit aren’t identical to the main router: they don’t have any Ethernet ports (unlike the original Eero) which could be a deal-breaker if you need to connect a PC or any other device that doesn’t have Wi-Fi.

Assuming that’s not a problem, the Eero 6 is just as impressive as the original, with a great app and easy setup. Of course, performance is also excellent, though you’ll need devices with Wi-Fi 6 to get the best speeds from the system.

The original Wi-Fi 5-based Eero system is still on sale and is cheaper, and a good alternative if you don’t need Wi-Fi 6 yet – or Zigbee.

If there’s one drawback, it’s the fact some features are locked away behind a subscription. On most rival systems there’s no subscription to worry about.

Read our full

Amazon Eero 6 review

4. TP-Link Deco P9 – Best budget mesh Wi-Fi with powerline


Uses powerline networking to connect the units

Good parental controls


Not the fastest speeds

Price When Reviewed:

127 €

It’s easy to set up, has a well-designed and feature-packed app and can offer fantastic coverage. That’s because, unlike most other mesh systems, the Deco P9 uses a combination of mesh Wi-Fi and Powerline networking which uses your home’s mains wiring to provide a reliable connection even through thick walls, which is something other systems can’t do much about.

It’s a dual-band Wi-Fi 5 system, but technically it’s tri-band because it can use Powerline for ‘backhaul’, which means the mesh units can talk to each other even if they’re further apart than Wi-Fi allows.

While it was originally available only in a set of three offering up to 6000 square feet of coverage, TP-Link has since launched a two-unit set ideal for smaller homes, and it’s great value.

If you want a mesh Wi-Fi system that doesn’t depend on Wi-Fi for the units to communicate with each other, the Deco P9 is ideal.

Read our full

TP-Link Deco P9 review

5. Asus ZenWiFi XT9


Gigabit Wi-Fi speeds on the latest devices

Built-in VPN and parental controls


Relatively expensive for two units

Not Wi-Fi 6E

Price When Reviewed:

280,13 €

The Asus ZenWiFi XT9 is a great mesh system that’s packed with features, many of which will appeal to power users. But you don’t need to be one to benefit: it’s easy to set up and delivers fast, reliable Wi-Fi.

As with some of the others here, to take advantage of the fast Wi-Fi speeds you’ll need compatible phones, laptops or other devices that support 160MHz channels. And with devices that do, it’s possible to get over 1Gbps.

Another benefit – if you already have an Asus router that supports AiMesh – is that you can pair it with the XT9 and upgrade your existing system and get even bigger coverage.

There’s no escaping the fact the the XT9 is expensive, and it doesn’t support the latest Wi-Fi standard (Wi-Fi 6E) that has an extra 6GHz band. For that, you’d need the ZenWiFi ET12 which is even more expensive at around $860 / £800 for a two-pack. Even if you don’t own any Wi-Fi 6E devices yet, you will at some point and mesh Wi-Fi systems aren’t the sort of thing you replace on a bi-annual basis. 

However, that said, if you simply want the fast speeds that the XT9 can deliver on newer devices then it’s still a fine choice.

Read our full

Asus ZenWiFi XT9 review

6. Tenda Nova MW3 – Best budget mesh Wi-Fi system


Costs less than many single routers


Basic app

Not the fastest speeds

Price When Reviewed:

Dès 40,95 €

The MW3 is the cheapest mesh networking system we’ve reviewed. It has dropped in price since it was launched, making it a very tempting option for those on a tight budget.

As you’d expect, it can’t match the performance of more expensive rivals, but it still does a great job of delivering a strong Wi-Fi connection and eliminating dead zones around your home. Obviously, it doesn’t support Wi-Fi 6, but instead Wi-Fi 5, which is still perfectly good for streaming video, playing games and other internet activities.

That makes it a terrific bargain if you just need to provide a good internet connection around an average-size home, rather than have the ultimate Wi-Fi speeds.

Read our full

Tenda Nova MW3 review

7. Asus Zenwifi AX Mini XD5 – Best features without a subscription


Compact units

Good performance and range


Not the easiest to use

Some issues with reliability in our tests

The follow-up to the Mini XD4, the Mini XD5 fixes one big problem with its predecessor: range. Or, more specifically, decent speeds at long range. In our tests, the XD5 gave us stable speeds of 200Mbps when the second node was placed two rooms away. That’s not the top speed you can expect, though. If you’re within 3m of the main node, you should get at around 800Mbps on a compatible device. That’s about right for a 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 system, which is what this is.

If you need more than two nodes, no problem: Asus also sells a three-pack, and whichever you go for, you get a whole bunch of features including a VPN server and VPN client, detailed QoS control, parental control with scheduling and content filtering for the kids, versatile guest network capability, and built-in lifetime virus monitoring from Trend Micro. These are the types of features some other manufacturers like to lock away behind a subscription, but not Asus, so kudos for that.

Read our full

Zenwifi AX Mini XD5 review

8. Google Nest WiFi – Mesh with built-in smart speaker


Slick hardware and app

Google Assistant built in



Not Wi-Fi 6

Price When Reviewed:

109,95 €

The current version of Google’s mesh Wi-Fi system has evolved quite considerably. The main unit (and additional ‘points’) are also smart speakers with the Google Assistant, so this mesh system will save you if you were planning to buy one or more Google Nest speakers, along with using fewer mains outlets and you have fewer devices littered around your home.

If there’s a disappointment it’s that the kit doesn’t support the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard, but Nest WiFi is plenty fast enough for the average home and will improve signal around even smaller house vs a regular router.

Of course, you also get great Google software which makes the whole process simple and easy to use. Not only it is a breeze to get set up, but the features are accessible and helpful including a guest network, priority devices and parental controls. You can even pause the network with your voice via the Google Assistant.

Read our full

Google Nest Wifi review

9. Netgear Orbi RBK762S


Gigabit speeds at close ranges

Easy to set up



Not the latest Wi-Fi standard

Price When Reviewed:

449 €

Best Prices Today:

€449.99 at Netgear

Netgear’s Orbi mesh systems are known for their high prices but, at the same time, their performance. The RBK762S is a tri-band Wi-Fi 6 system which can deliver gigabit speeds to compatible devices when they’re relatively close to one of the two routers.

This means you need to have a phone, laptop or other device that’s capable of communicating at those speeds, and you need to be within 1m of the Orbi.

However, the system still provides fast Wi-Fi further away, and the two units provide good coverage. There’s a great companion app which is used to set up and manage the system, and lots of useful features and options. There’s security software (Netgear Armour) and good parental controls, but both are subscription services, although you do get a free trial to test them out.

If you live in a larger home and want more coverage, then Netgear also sells a kit with two satellites instead of just one (these are in addition to the main router in each kit), but that is more expensive still.

Ultimately, the Orbi RBK762S is great if you really want the fast speeds it offers, and have devices that can take advantage of it – plus very fast broadband, of course. If you have slower broadband and don’t need gigabit speeds, there’s an argument for spending less money on a three-router system which could provide better coverage, such as TP-Link’s Deco PX50.

Read our full

Netgear Orbi RBK762S review

10. TP-link Deco BE85 – mesh Wi-Fi 7


Great for futureproofing


USB port for a file server



Some features cost extra

Concerns over Ethernet speeds

Where we’ve criticised other systems here for not having the latest Wi-Fi standard, TP-Link has that well covered with this, the first Wi-Fi 7 mesh system to go on sale. Yes, you pay handsomely for it, just like any bleeding-edge tech, but it’s also mighty impressive.

With barely any phones or any other devices with Wi-Fi 7, it was a tough one to test. But using a Xiaomi 13 Pro we saw some respectable speeds on the 6GHz band: almost 1500Mbps. However, that only scratches the surface of what this system is capable of: delivering that sort of speed to multiple devices at the same time.

Of course, such speeds are unnecessary for the vast majority of people, even those with full fibre broadband. Ultimately, while the BE85 might be technically “the best”, it’s overkill for now. And by the time you have multiple devices with Wi-Fi 7, the price should have dropped quite significantly. Time will tell.

Read our full

TP-link Deco BE85 2-pack EU review



Does mesh Wi-Fi replace my existing router?

No. It’s best to think of mesh system as a replacement for your existing router’s Wi-Fi. You attach one of the devices from a mesh Wi-Fi kit to a spare network port on your router and it creates a new Wi-Fi network to which all your phones, computers, tablets and Wi-Fi smart home gadgets connect.

You then place the second (and third if relevant) mesh device somewhere else in your house, typically on another floor.

The devices all talk to each other and create a single Wi-Fi network that’s both strong and fast across your entire home.

The only reason you may find you still don’t get whole-home coverage is if a) you have an extremely large home or b) your home has very thick stone, brick or concrete walls.


Which is better: mesh Wi-Fi or powerline adapters?

Powerline adapters can be a cheaper alternative if you just need to get a Wi-Fi signal in one room that your current router can’t reach. 

Check out our roundup of the best powerline adapters for more, but bear in mind that not all powerline kits include Wi-Fi, so cheaper kits will only connect gadgets that have an Ethernet port.


What other benefits do mesh Wi-Fi systems offer?

They’re usually controlled via an app. In some cases this exists mainly just to help you install the system in the first place, but it can also be used to monitor which devices are connected to which hub.

Some apps also let you ‘pause’ the Wi-Fi network but the best let you stop Wi-Fi on certain devices, so you could prevent your kids watching more YouTube videos, for example.

Others include parental controls or scheduling so Wi-Fi is only available at certain times or to certain devices, which is great for preventing kids having too much screen time.


What is bridge mode in a mesh Wi-Fi kit?

You’ll probably want to set up your mesh Wi-Fi kit in bridge mode. Most support this mode, which means that devices connected to the mesh Wi-Fi network can communicate with wired network devices connected to your existing router. 

It also reduces the chances of running into problems when playing online games or hosting your own game server. 

If you don’t use bridge mode you might find you can’t do things such as print from a PC that’s connected to your exiting router to a wireless printer.

The disadvantage of using bridge mode is that it tends to prevent you from using many of the mesh system’s features such as parental controls, pausing Wi-Fi and others.


Do I need Wi-Fi 6E or 7?

Probably not. These standards add a third frequency band – 6GHz – on top of the usual 2.4- and 5GHz. This means only devices that also support 6GHz will benefit. Right now that’s mostly up-to-date phones and some laptops. If none of your devices have Wi-Fi 6E or 7, you’re paying money for a feature you can’t use. You might see this a futureproofing, and that is a valid reason to opt for these latest standards, but there’s no point in paying a premium for these systems if you won’t get any compatible devices for a while.

Mesh Wi-Fi is a smart solution, but there may well be other ways to speed up your home network.


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