Last updated: Thursday, January 24, 2019
Do you have issues with your home wireless internet connection, like poor signal in certain parts of the house or a weak signal that keeps dropping or gets slow every now and then? If yes, it might make you feel a little better to know that a lot of people with big houses with lots of levels and thick walls face a similar problem. One of the best mesh routers can help solve this problem and create a strong connection for all your devices even throughout large homes.
Sometimes regular WiFi networks don’t suffice when it comes to providing an interruption-free and seamless connection, and depending on your requirement and usage, you might need something more than just a regular wireless network to get things done.
This is where mesh router systems can make a significant difference.
If you’re into gaming then you might also want to read this article about the best standard routers available.
Mesh Router Guide Part I: What are Mesh Routers?
Mesh routers use a mesh wireless network to provide a very strong and reliable signal. This signal is strong enough to be void of any sudden drops in signal strength or quality of the connection. They also provide a lot more security and are much more difficult to penetrate. Previously only companies which required very vast and highly secure internet networks used mesh networks, which included military bases and large firms, and even some monetary institutions.
Mesh Router Guide Part II: How do they Compare Against Regular Routers?
It’s only recently that mesh routers became available, which can be used in smaller setups and offer pretty much the same benefits and features. Unlike a regular wifi router that makes use of only a single access point as the source of a wireless internet signal, mesh router has one direct connection to the router, and the source comes from “satellites,” which have multiple access points. Hence, if one access point fails or drops, there’s another access point that’s well-equipped and ready to continue the signal stream without interruption.
Let’s say you live in a house that has an unusual structure, with some oddly placed walls, or maybe there are 3-4 stories in a space that you work from, including an attic and a basement; chances are that moving your laptop or phone from one place to another might show an almost immediate drop in the signal strength, which can be quite annoying to deal with.
And, of course, there’s the issue of networks getting hacked or getting attacked by viruses. Regular wireless networks are definitely a lot easier to penetrate because their security measures aren’t good enough to deal with high-level hacking. This means that your wireless grid isn’t exactly safe. Now, if you’re worried that sensitive information might get into the wrong hands, going for a secure wireless network would be a smart choice. Mesh networks have a lot more layers of security and offer much better protection under such attacks. Beefing up your security is a good idea if you undertake a lot of sensitive operations using your wireless network.
However, with all of these great features also comes the factor of pricing. Normal routers aren’t very expensive when compared to mesh routers. Due to all the additional perks that these routers offer, they are quite expensive to install and require a lot more equipment as well. Only a few, selected brands in the markets offer mesh routers for sale, so these do come at a hefty price, and the whole set up itself involves a series of complicated steps. Unlike regular routers, you can’t really set up a mesh network at home all by yourself, unless you’re a tech geek. You’ll definitely require a professional to do it for you and also give you instructions on how to use it thereafter.
Mesh Router Guide Part III: Who Should Purchase a Mesh Router System?
- People with abstractly constructed houses or workspaces which have a lot of walls and structures should definitely consider a mesh wireless router or router network. This would greatly help with ensuring that the signal is received and doesn’t have connectivity issues even in the remotest corners of the building.
- Those of you who have a lot of devices using the same wireless internet network might have an issue with constantly fluctuating internet speeds. Naturally, the more users there are, the weaker each individual signal gets. Keeping that in mind, a mesh network would be much faster and perform at greater speeds even when there are 10 people or more using the same network.
- If you’ve been hacked in the past with your internet connection and certainly don’t want that happening again, a mesh network is surely a safer choice. Those who are specifically looking to use a network that is safe and provides additional security will have to make the switch from a regular router to a mesh router system.
- Even for those of you who want to have easier remote access to your home’s internet wireframe, a mesh network is a lot easier to access and makes the whole process much simpler. Considering that it’s definitely more advanced than a regular router, the accessibility factor makes it far more appealing as well.
- Ideally, larger companies, bigger homes and also factory setups would most definitely be able to find more utility with a mesh network, and a mesh router can truly help with getting this done. Although the expense is on the higher side, the advantages and features are worth the purchase.
You can find out more information about the wireless routers from this comprehensive TTC article.
6 Best Mesh Router Systems of 2019
Mesh networks are fairly new to home setups, so it’s always a wise decision to do some research and find out whether or not you need to bump up your internet network a few notches. If you’re looking to up your game and experience a truly sound and smooth internet connection, then there’s nothing like a wireless mesh network. Pick the right router and service provider for your needs, and you’ll never have to worry about a dropped signal or lost data ever again!
Without further ado, here’s our top picks for the best mesh router currently available.
1. For Gaming – Razer Portal
If you’re a performance enthusiast and looking for something to provide a stable connection for gaming look no further. The Portal Mesh WiFi is the result of a Kickstart project and designed by ex-Qualcomm engineers. It even has Razer’s endorsement — you can buy it through their site if you so please. Keep in mind that you can only link 2 Portals together at a time, so don’t go buying a 3rd unit. Up to 6000 square feet of coverage, plenty of security controls, and apps for both iOS and Android are other highlights of the Portal Mesh product.
Where Portal really shines is its throughput. It has blazing fast speeds at 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Each portal unit offers 4 gigabit ports, two USB ports, and a whopping nine internal atennas. Their ‘Fastlanes’ technology is a patented multi-channel ZeroWait ZWDFS tech that allows you to bypass airwave congession. It is a really neat feature, that sets it apart from other routers out there. The main complaint we’ve seen with the Portal is that the setup process is a little cumbersome, so if you like plug and play products you may want to tryout one of the other options on our list. Even with that issue, the Portal is still our pick for the best mesh router for gaming.
2. For High Performance – Netgear Orbi AC3000
This great mesh router from Netgear comes with 5000 square feet of high-performance network coverage. It offers throughput speeds that are extremely fast, a tri-band system with 6 functional internal antennas. It can deliver speeds of up to 1735 Mbps, through a 5 GHz network, which makes the signal transmission almost instant between the router and the satellites.
Both the router and the satellite have USB 2.0 ports which allow data transfer. Overall, this tiny and sleek router has a lot to offer and is easy to use.
3. For UX Design – Google WiFi
Google is known to be one of the most reliable brands, and this tiny but mighty mesh router from the brand does pack quite a punch even in its small stature. It has a total of 3 satellite points, each of which covers approximately 1500 square feet in area in terms of coverage. So, on the whole, it offers 4500 square feet coverage.
Apart from that, it has the beamforming techno inbuilt, which ensures that any and every device is connected to the best signal possible. Its security features are good, but not as protected as its competition in the same sector. On the whole, for a smaller setup, this could be a good option.
4. For Budget Shoppers – Securifi Almond 3
This small mesh router system comes at half the price of most routers in this segment, which might be a great selling point for someone who doesn’t want to spend too much on a router. It delivers average internet speeds of up to 837 Mbps on the 5 GHz frequency, which is decent for a smaller setup.
Additionally, it also has a feature where you can connect it with certain “smart” appliances at home and connect them and also operate them using the router. With a simple design and limited security controls, this budget buy might even be a good choice for some of you.
5. For Best Security – Amped Wireless Ally Plus Whole Home Smart System
Now, if security is something that’s motivating you the most to install a mesh wireless network, then the Ally Plus is one of the best in the market. It comes with two units, the router, and the satellite, and can reach speeds of up to 1300 Mbps on the 5 GHz band.
The best part of the security feature which allows you to control and monitor your WiFi networks from absolutely anywhere, through a mobile application. This also sends you alerts if someone is trying to access your network and allows you to shut the network off remotely, which makes it very reliable.
6. For Easy Installation – eero Home WiFi System
While mesh networks are generally quite easy to set up, this particular router from eero is absolutely a walk in the park. With just a few minutes, one can follow the on-screen instructions and set up the entire network without any external help. The inbuilt application also allows you to test the speed of the network, set security codes, choose preferences and settings, and so on.
With a total of 5 internal antennas, its throughput speeds are also quite impressive. So, if you’re new to this and really don’t want much of a hassle, this is a good option to look at.