The best Wi-Fi 6 mesh routers take whole-home wireless speeds to the next level. Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) has allowed mesh systems to deliver full gigabit speeds quickly throughout a large house by getting even more performance out of the available spectrum. Wi-Fi 6 lets compact routers hit gigabit speeds on their own and over 500Mbps while deployed as a mesh. With more phones than ever, including Wi-Fi 6 support, and families asking more of their internet connections than ever, it’s an excellent time to upgrade to Wi-Fi 6.
What are the best Wi-Fi 6 mesh routers?
If you’re looking for a nice balance that’s a great fit for an internet connection over 500Mbps, the Netgear Orbi RBK752 is a solid choice, thanks to a tri-band AX4200 setup. This Orbi system dedicates a fast Wi-Fi band to connecting the mesh, keeping speeds high and consistent throughout your home.
The second-best option is the Netgear Nighthawk MK62, designed for people who want a compact mesh system with enough speed for most people. A compact router and satellite design allow you to blanket your home in Wi-Fi for great coverage without needing to dedicate a ton of space to each unit.
The TP-Link Deco X90 is one of the fastest and most powerful mesh systems you can get with an AX6600 tri-band connection and great coverage. It’s an excellent choice if you’re looking for a mesh system that can keep up with a high-speed internet connection.
Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 System (RBK752)
The best Wi-Fi 6 mesh router overall
Bottom line: The RBK752 is a great fit for most people, with enough speed for just about any web activity. Orbi’s dedicated backhaul band keeps your rates consistent even when you’ve got a lot of devices connected to a satellite.
- Top speeds: Tri-band AX4200, 1200Mbps + 2400Mbps @ 5GHz, 600Mbps @ 2.4GHz
- Top features: 5,000 sq ft. coverage, 3x + 2x Ethernet ports, dedicated 5GHz backhaul, easy setup
- Three Ethernet on base, two on satellite
- Tri-band Wi-Fi keeps speeds consistent
- Approximately 5,000 square feet of coverage
- Too large to easily conceal
- Slower than others at this price
- Limited expansion options
The RBK752 is laser-focused, delivering a consistent WI-FI 6 experience with a ton of mesh capacity and excellent software. It includes one base router and a satellite and can cover approximately 5,000 square feet with its tri-band, six-antenna setup. This Orbi is in line with the older Orbis regarding size and appearance, with a two-tone gray and matte white housing.
Wi-Fi 6 speeds come in at AX4200, which breaks down to 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz channel and 1200 Mbps on the 5GHz band. The remaining 5GHz channel can operate up to 2,400Mbps. However, it’s dedicated to the connection between the Orbi units. This speed should be more than enough for most home network use, including multiple 4K video streams.
The base unit has one uplink gigabit Ethernet port and three Ethernet ports for wired devices. You can also combine the uplink with the other Ethernet ports for link aggregation, allowing for a faster uplink to your router. The satellite has two Ethernet ports to connect more wired devices. This makes it a good fit for a home office or media center that needs a wired connection.
Netgear Orbi RBK752 is controlled by the robust Orbi app that allows you to control each device individually. The Android version of the app lets you test and record your connection throughout your home to determine the best place for your satellites for top speed. A traffic meter is included to keep an eye on your usage if you have a data cap. An optional Netgear Armor subscription adds great security features for your network with enhanced parental controls.
Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 System (RBK752)
$350 at Amazon $450 at Best Buy $450 at Dell
Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6 brings the next wave of mesh with fast AX4200 speeds. It’s ideal for broad coverage with a lot of devices.
Netgear Nighthawk MK62
The best value Wi-Fi 6 mesh router overall
Bottom line: If you want a compact router with more than enough speed for most people, the Netgear Nighthawk MK62 is a solid choice. With a tiny housing, Wi-Fi 6 allows you to get more speed than ever without dedicating a bunch of shelf space to a large mesh node.
- Top speeds: Dual-band AX1800, 1200Mbps @ 5GHz, 600Mbps @ 2.4GHz
- Top features: 3,000 sq ft. coverage, 1 open Ethernet ports per node, easy app setup, Compact nodes
- Small housing
- Modern WPA3 security
- Future expansion with EasyMesh
- AX1800 speeds aren’t much faster than Wi-Fi 5
- Only one Ethernet port for a wired device
While you give up some speed compared to the larger and more expensive mesh systems, the AX1800 speeds of the Netgear Nighthawk MK62 should be more than enough for most homes. These speeds break down to 1200Mbps on the 5GHz band, with 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. 4K streams should be a breeze, and if you need a few more wired connections, a network switch could connect to one of the gigabit LAN ports available on each router.
Netgear claims these routers can cover a 3,000-square-foot home, and of course, more satellite units could be added down the line. This is helped by compatibility with Wi-Fi Certified EashMesh. EasyMesh is a Wi-Fi standard developed to help ensure future compatibility with mesh products. It’s all brought together with Netgear’s robust Nighthawk app.
The Nighthawk Mesh Wi-Fi 6 System from Netgear takes on compact AC-only mesh systems with compact housing and an understated design. Measuring only 4.8 inches wide and 2.5 inches tall, each router has a smaller footprint than a CD case. This compact design makes this mesh system one of the easiest to integrate into a home.
Netgear’s Nighthawk app is used for management and setup, making it easy to monitor your network usage and add satellites. You can even manage your network remotely if you find you need to add or remove internet connectivity from devices, even when you’re away from home. You can also subscribe to Netgear Armor, which adds internet security from Bitdefender and enables more in-depth device controls.
NETGEAR Nighthawk Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi 6 System (MK62)
$228 at Amazon $230 at Dell $200 at B&H
Fast enough for most people in a small housing that can blend in anywhere, build your Wi-Fi 6 mesh with the Nighthawk MK62 system.
TP-Link Deco X90
The best Wi-Fi 6 upgrade
Bottom line: The TP-Link Deco X90 is one of the fastest mesh systems around, with great coverage and a fast mesh link thanks to a tri-band connection. It covers up to 6000 square feet out of the box and can be expanded with any other Deco router.
- Top speeds: Tri-band AX6600, 4804Mbps + 1201Mbps @ 5GHz, 574Mbps @ 2.4GHz.
- Top features: 6,000 sq ft. coverage, 1x Gigabit Ethernet port + 1x 2.5Gbps Ethernet per node, Easy app setup, HomeShield security and parental controls included
- Fast AX6600 Wi-Fi 6 speeds
- 2.5Gbps Ethernet on each node
- Great coverage
- HomeShield parental controls and security
- Large nodes
- Only two Ethernet ports per node total
The TP-Link Deco X90 is a very fast mesh Wi-Fi router with an AX6600 tri-band connection. The speeds break down to 4804Mbps on one 5GHz band and 1201Mbps on the other. The 2.4GHz band offers an additional 574Mbps for older devices or those that need a little more range. Four antennas provide dedicated coverage, with two more connected to other Decos. With eight streams, each Deco X90 node has plenty of power for just about anything.
A Deco X90 set with two nodes covers up to 6,000 square feet. TP-Link’s AI-Driven Mesh uses the router’s software to provide the best coverage possible, depending on the specific challenge of your home. Still, if you find you need more coverage, the Deco X90 can be expanded with any other Deco router. This means you can use more X90 nodes, other Wi-Fi 6 Decos, or even older Wi-Fi 5 Decos.
The Deco X90 nodes are rather tall at 8.3 inches, so you’ll need to think a little more about how you place them. With a matte white housing, the X90 nodes don’t stand out too much and really wouldn’t look bad if left visible. Keep in mind, each node only has two Ethernet ports. One is used for internet connection. So if you have many wired devices, you may need to pair this system with a switch.
The Deco system is easy to set up with the Deco app and only takes a few minutes. HomeShield is included with this system and incorporates parental controls and some security features. While there is a paid tier, most people will have everything they need with the free version, including content filters, profiles, and schedules.
TP-Link Deco X90
$450 at Amazon
$450 at Best Buy
The Deco X90 is one of the fastest Wi-FI 6 mesh systems you can get with tri-band AX6600 speeds and ample expansion capabilities.
Asus ZenWiFi XT8
The best Wi-Fi 6 mesh router for home network security
Bottom line: Asus has created one of the best fast tri-band mesh systems and takes it to the next level with good compatibility and included software. AiMesh software allows any AiMesh router to expand the mesh, and free AiProtection Pro adds network security and advanced parental controls.
- Top speeds: Tri-band, 1201Mbps + 4804Mbps @ 5Ghz, 574Mbps @ 2.4Ghz
- Top features: 5,000 sq ft. coverage, 3x + 2x Ethernet ports, dedicated 5Ghz backhaul, easy setup
- 2.5Gbps WAN port is excellent for a fast NAS
- Fast speeds
- Tri-band setup
- Up to 5,500 square feet of coverage
- Tons of expansion with other Asus routers
- Three LAN Ethernet ports limit wired devices
Asus was one of the first networking companies to commit to mesh networking with its robust AiMesh software that works on most routers regardless of whether they were explicitly designed for a mesh. Asus has repeatedly proven its abilities with the ZenWiFi XT8, which features a sleek and reasonably compact design with incredible capabilities. The routers come in white or charcoal colors and have three available Ethernet ports on the back of each.
The ZenWiFi XT8 is capable of wireless speeds up to AX6600 with a tri-band setup. That is 574Mbps at 2.4GHz as well as 1201Mbps and 4804Mbps on its two 5GHz bands. While most connections today max out at 1Gbps, the ZenWifi is ready for the future with a 2.5Gbps input for faster internet speeds or, more realistically, a fast wired home network.
If you want to expand your mesh, you’ll need an Asus router that supports AiMesh and will be best served by a tri-band Wi-Fi 6 capable router. The ZenWiFi XT8 can cover up to 5,500 square feet, so most homes should be covered. Still, it’s nice that you can use an older Asus router as an expansion in low-priority areas.
AiProtection Pro is an unmatched value in home networking. AiProtection Pro is included for the product’s life and comes with network security using Trend Micro’s official database. It also has advanced parental controls that allow you to control all of your kids’ devices with schedules and content filters.
ASUS ZenWiFi AX Whole-Home Tri-Band Mesh WiFi 6 System (XT8)
$445 at Amazon $450 at Newegg $445 at B&H
The Asus ZenWiFi XT8 is one of the fastest Wi-Fi 6 mesh systems available with a fast 2.5Gbps WAN port and easy AiMesh expansion.
Eero Pro 6
The best Wi-Fi 6 mesh router for easy expansion
Bottom line: Eero’s fastest router ever enables gigabit mesh speeds thanks to a quick tri-band AX4200 setup. With compact housing and compatibility with all other Eeros, this is easy to upgrade an existing Eero mesh or create a new one.
- Top speeds: Tri-band AX4200, 2402Mbps + 1201Mbps @ 5GHz, 574Mbps @ 2.4GHz
- Top features: 2,000 sq ft. coverage, 2x Ethernet ports, Expand with any other Eero, compact design, Eero Secure available
- Tri-band Wi-Fi 6 allows for gigabit internet
- Great Eero app and software
- Works with all other Eeros
- Compact size
- Coverage per node is less than the competition
- Only two Ethernet ports per Eero
More people than ever are upgrading to gigabit internet. Unfortunately, getting a mesh system fast enough to support it usually means you’ll have to find space for a reasonably large node in several rooms of your house. Eero Pro 6 goes a long way to fix this with its tri-band AX4200 speed in a compact 2.1-inch tall and 5.3-inch wide housing. The rates break down to 2,402 Mbps and 1,201 Mbps on either of the 5GHz bands, with 574 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. With eight spatial streams, even high-end laptops should be able to make the most of the connection.
Each Eero Pro 6 node can cover up to 2,000 square feet, with the three-pack covering 6,000. Like all wireless routers, this can vary greatly if your home has a lot of interference, like dense walls. Still, with three less powerful nodes, Eero’s approach with the Pro 6 should allow for a lot of flexibility in the mesh setup. If you have any older Eeros, you can use them to expand your Eero Pro 6 mesh, thanks to full compatibility with all Eero routers. Keep in mind that in areas where you connect to the slower Eeros, your speed will only be as fast as those older Eeros.
Software isn’t the first thing most people think of when shopping for a router, but Eero’s app and consistent software updates have shown how convenient it can be to have a wealth of settings and network statistics at your fingertips. The UI is well-designed, and setup is a breeze, whether you’re setting up for the first time or adding more nodes. Eero supports some nice features like IPv6, WPA3, and even port forwarding from the app.
Eero secure is a subscription software suite available on Eero systems. The base Eero Secure subscription has improved network security, parental controls with content filtering, ad blocking, and even VIP support. For a low monthly rate, this is an excellent package to have, especially if you have students on your network. Eero Secure+ adds antivirus software, a password manager, and a VPN subscription to that for a bit more.
Amazon Eero Pro 6 tri-band mesh Wi-Fi 6 system
$449 at Amazon $449 at Best Buy $449 at B&H
The fastest Eero ever is designed to deliver gigabit Internet even when you’re connected to a remote node.
TP-Link Deco X20
The best value Wi-Fi 6 mesh router with great coverage
Bottom line: TP-Link’s Deco series is one of the best values for covering a large area. AX1800 will keep up with most standard usage, and dual Ethernet ports on each node make it easy to get your home connected.
- Top speeds: Dual-band AX1800, 1200Mbps @5GHz, 575Mbps @2.4GHz
- Top features: 5,800 sq ft. coverage, 2x Ethernet ports per router, Works with all other Deco models, easy setup
- Dual Ethernet on each unit
- Up to 5,800 square feet of coverage
- Easy to conceal
- Modern WPA security
- AX1800 won’t keep up with fiber
The TP-Link Deco X20 is an excellent value for a Wi-Fi 6 mesh system, especially considering you get three nodes in the box to provide coverage up to 5,800 square feet. In a white cylindrical housing, measuring 4.33 inches in diameter and 4.49 inches tall, it should be easy to find space for these in any room. Inside there are four antennas and powering its AX1800 dual-band connection.
It’s nice that each one also comes with two gigabit Ethernet ports on the back. This can help get some wired devices online, such as a PC in a home office. Gamers also benefit since consoles could be connected to the node via Ethernet, improving connection consistency.
All of this will be configured with TP-Link’s app so that you will need a device running at least iOS 9.0 or Android 4.4. However, this shouldn’t be a problem for most people, and the app will help you set the devices up in a robust configuration.
TP-Link Deco routers are compatible with Amazon Alexa and come with TP-Link’s HomeCare software. HomeCare comes with antivirus security for your network as well as advanced parental controls. HomeCare also allows for great Quality of Service to keep speeds up even with heavy usage.
TP-Link Deco X20 Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Wi-Fi System
$249 at Amazon $250 at B&H $250 at Newegg
The Deco X20 has three nodes that cover up to 5,800 square feet at AX1800 speeds. Two Ethernet ports on each unit make expansion easy.
TP-Link Archer AX90 Tri-band Router
The best Wi-Fi 6 mesh router for gamers
Bottom line: Not everyone knows if they need a mesh system, and TP-Link’s Archer AX90 offers outstanding standalone performance with the power and software needed to expand as a mesh easily. A fast 2.5G Ethernet port can be used as a WAN or LAN connection, allowing great gaming performance on wired PCs, and tri-band Wi-Fi 6 can keep wireless gaming fast.
- Top speeds: Tri-band AX6600, 4804Mbps + 1201Mbps @ 5GHz, 574Mbps @ 2.4GHz
- Top features: Tri-band, 4x gigabit Ethernet ports, 2.5Gbps WAN/LAN port, OneMesh expansion, HomeCare QoS and parental controls
- Fast 2.5G WAN/LAN ports
- Four Ethernet ports for fast wired devices
- Tri-band keeps connection fast
- Expand with any OneMesh router
- HomeCare offers QoS and parental controls
- Takes up a lot of space
Building a reliable router for gaming is a lot more than adding some RGB lights. With the Archer AX90 tri-band router, TP-Link set its sights on nailing the hardware and backing it up with a solid range of software that makes sense for most people. The Archer AX90 supports speeds up to AX6600, which breaks down to 4804Mbps plus 1201Mbps at 5GHz and 574Mbps at 2.4GHz. This allows for incredible speeds on connected devices with plenty of capacity for the mesh connection.
This router is positioned more as a standalone unit than a mesh system. Still, with support for TP-Link’s OneMesh solution, it can serve as the base to a strong mesh system without many sacrifices for a more focused mesh system. OneMesh can use a compatible Wi-Fi extender like the RE505X to expand your coverage under one Wi-Fi name. You could also use another AX90 to keep the benefits of a tri-band solution. If you’re unsure if you need a mesh system, this router can be a solid first step.
TP-Link has also included a fast 2.5G Ethernet port used as LAN or WAN, depending on your needs. This means that if you have an internet connection over 1Gbps, you can make the most of it. You can also choose to connect your gaming PC or NAS at full speed as many new systems are beginning to support multi-gig Ethernet. This superfast connection will give you all the speed headroom you need to game and stream from one PC. Console gamers also get great support for PS5’s max link speeds on Wi-Fi 6 at 1201Mbps.
TP-Link’s HomeCare software will keep your network running smoothly with its integrated QoS solution to help prioritize the most important traffic. It also has access to parental controls, so you can stay in charge of what your family views online. Finally, you can get reports to see how your network is being used to keep you informed of all usage on your network.
TP-Link Archer AX90 Tri-Band Router
$270 at Amazon $289 at Best Buy
The Archer AX90 is a solid foundation for a mesh network with great software and plenty of speed for gamers, wired or wireless.
AmpliFi Alien Router and MeshPoint
The best Wi-Fi 6 mesh router for remote work
Bottom line: The AmpliFi Alien is a fast router with a combined 7685Mbps of capacity. A color display on the front keeps you informed, and AmpliFi’s excellent Teleport software makes working remotely as if you were on your home network simple and secure.
- Top speeds: Tri-band, 7685Mbps total capacity, 1148Mbps + 4804Mbps @ 5GHz
- Top features: 6,000 sq ft. coverage, 4x Ethernet ports, AmpliFi Teleport app, easy setup, attractive design
- Attractive design with a color display
- Fast tri-band Wi-Fi
- Easy configuration with AmpliFi app
AmpliFi Alien is a faster router with a ton of great features. A 5GHz band utilizing Wi-Fi 5 in addition to a 2.4GHz and 5GHz band using Wi-Fi 6 allows the Alien to hit 7685Mbps, of combined wireless capacity. For Wi-Fi 6 clients, this breaks down into 1148Mbps and 4804Mbps available. It’s more than enough speed for a gigabit connection and should be sufficient for years to come.
A single Alien Router covers up to 3,000 square feet, and a pack with a similarly equipped MeshPoint takes that up to 6,000 square feet. The Alien Router has four Ethernet ports on the back for wired devices, while the MeshPoint has none. You can create a mesh with multiple routers if you need the extra Ethernet ports.
AmpliFi Alien comes in a cylindrical housing measuring 9.84 inches tall with a 4.33-inch diameter. The power and WAN port are located on the bottom, allowing for a perfect wireless-only setup. The four Ethernet ports are located on the back, vertically oriented. On the front of the router is a 4.7-inch touch screen that can show your network information in real-time.
Setting up your AmpliFi mesh is simple with the AmpliFi app. You can manage connected devices and set up family profiles to enable time-managed internet access. You also get access to Amplifi Teleport, which allows you to connect to your home network while you’re away from home securely and quickly.
AmpliFi Alien Router and Mesh Point
- $699 at B&H
Great coverage and incredible speeds make an AmpliFi Alien mesh a great choice for someone looking to get the most out of a gigabit connection.
The best Wi-Fi 6 mesh router for great software
Bottom line: Eero 6 brings excellent speed at an affordable price for connections up to 500Mbps. The great Eero app lets you add this router to your existing Eero mesh or start a new one.
- Top speeds: Dual-band AX1800, 1201Mbps @ 5GHz, 574Mbps @ 2.4GHz
- Top features: 1,500 sq ft. coverage, 2x (1 for WAN) Ethernet ports, great software experience
- Great Eero app and software
- Compact design
- Works with all other Eeros
- Eero 6 Extenders don’t have Ethernet
Wi-Fi 6 is taking the already solid performance of the Eero router up a notch with Wi-Fi 6. Eero 6 comes with an AX1800 dual-band connection capable of 1201Mbps on the 5GHz band and another 574Mbps for devices on the 2.4GHz band. Since the mesh will share the 5GHz band with devices, Eero only recommends this router for internet connections up to 500Mbps. If you have a studio apartment or small home, Eero 6 alone can deliver gigabit Wi-Fi speeds.
An Eero 6 alone can cover up to 1,500 square feet. This router isn’t designed to work alone and works best when deployed with other Eeros. You should pair it with another Wi-Fi 6 Eero for the best possible speed, such as the Eero 6 Extender or even the faster Eero 6 Pro. You can add it to a Wi-Fi 5 Eero mesh though it will reduce your top speeds if you’re connected to a slower Wi-Fi 5 band. Eero 6 has two Ethernet ports though one will be used for your internet connection if this is the base router for your mesh.
Eero 6 comes in at just 3.91 inches wide and 3.82 inches deep. Of course, this router is designed to sit flat on a table or shelf, so expect to dedicate a bit of space to it. Still, compared to many other similar routers, Eero 6 is remarkably compact.
Eero’s setup and management app are robust, so people want almost any option, including port forwarding and IPv6 support. Eeros will also automatically update themselves to make sure your network is secure. There is an optional Eero Secure and Eero Secure+ subscription available that can add advanced filtering for inappropriate content as well as antivirus software, a VPN service, and a password manager.
Eero 6 dual-band mesh router
$90 at Amazon $90 at Best Buy $91 at Dell
Get a compact Eero mesh router with enough speed for a 500Mbps connection while deployed in a mesh. Add this router to an existing Eero mesh or use it to form the base for a new mesh,
Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 System with DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem (CBK752)
The best Wi-Fi 6 mesh router with a built-in modem
Bottom line: Combine your cable modem and router and simplify your mesh network with the Netgear Orbi CBK752. A DOCSIS 3.1 modem can keep up with any cable connection, and an AX4200 Orbi router makes sure you have plenty of coverage for any size home.
- Top speeds: Tri-band AX4200, 1400Mbps + 2400Mbps @ 5GHz, 600Mbps @ 2.4GHz
- Top features: DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem, 5,000 sq ft. coverage, 4x + 2x Ethernet ports, dedicated 5Ghz backhaul, easy setup
- Dedicate mesh backhaul
- Fast DOCSIS 3.1 modem
- Works with Orbi RBS750 and RBS850 satellites
- Simplified network setup
- Rather large unit
If you have cable internet, your ISP probably tried to get you to pay an additional monthly fee for a router that doesn’t deliver great performance. The Netgear Orbi CBK752 is a fast AX4200 Wi-Fi 6 mesh system with a DOCSIS 3.1 modem that can handle the fastest speeds a cable ISP can deliver, with a theoretical max download speed of 10Gbps. The router side offers a fast mesh connection similar to the Orbi RBK752 and even uses the same satellites. That means 600Mbps at 2.4GHz plus 1400Mbps at 5GHz for connected clients with a dedicated 2400Mbps 5GHz backhaul.
This mesh system with a router and satellite covers 5,000 square feet though you can add additional satellites if more coverage is needed. An additional RBS750 satellite will add 2,500 square feet. The base router has four open Ethernet ports, and the satellite has two Ethernet ports. You could also use an RBS850 satellite for expansion, which comes with four Ethernet ports.
Orbi routers are a bit tall and awkward, though their minimal depth makes them reasonably easy to place. The base router comes in at 9.6 inches tall, 7.7 inches wide, and 3.5 inches deep. The Satellite is more compact, 9.1 inches tall, 7.2 inches wide, and 2.8 inches deep.
The setup uses the Orbi app, which allows for easy setup and management. For example, you can see all connected devices and restrict internet access. You can also see the quality of each satellite’s connection to ensure you’re getting as much speed as possible. You can also subscribe to Netgear Armor, which includes security features powered by BitDefender and additional device controls. The modem is compatible with all major US cable service providers, and you will need to contact your ISP to activate the modem for use.
Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 with DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem (CBK752)
$538 at Amazon $600 at Dell $538 at B&H
Combine your modem and router without giving up fast Wi-Fi 6 mesh support with Orbi CBK752. This mesh system comes with one RBS750 satellite for 5,000 square feet of coverage.
Asus ZenWiFi ET8
The best Wi-Fi 6E mesh router
Bottom line: The ZenWiFi ET8 is one of the first mesh Wi-Fi 6E routers available and it’s a great fit for many people. With a tri-band connection, it works great with both newer 6GHz devices and 5GHz devices.
- Top speeds: Tri-band AXE6600, 574Mbps @ 2.4GHz, 1201Mbps @ 5GHz, and 4804Mbps @ 6GHz
- Top features: Single or multiple Wi-Fi names, 3x gigabit Ethernet ports, 1x 2.5Gbps Ethernet port, USB 3.1 port, easy setup
- Fast tri-band AX6600 speeds
- Compact nodes
- 2.5Gbps Ethernet WAN/LAN on each node
- Not many devices support 6GHz yet
- Slower 5GHz band
The ZenWiFi ET8 from Asus is a compact tri-band mesh Wi-fi kit with Wi-Fi 6E support. The speeds break down to 574Mbps at 2.4GHz for legacy devices, 1201Mbps at 5GHz for most Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 devices, plus 4804Mbps at 6GHz for newer devices. On the back are three gigabit Ethernet ports for LAN devices and a 2.5Gbps Ethernet port that can be used for WAN or LAN. There is also a USB 3.1 port that can be used for network storage or even a phone for tethering.
Wi-Fi 6E is an evolution of Wi-Fi 6 with faster speeds and great capacity available at 6GHz. There are many more channels with 160MHz support available in this new spectrum which can significantly reduce the effects of congestion. Still, only a handful of devices support Wi-Fi 6E, such as the Asus Zenfone 8, so it’s not a great fit for everyone just yet.
Asus makes setup easy with a robust app as well as an in-depth web interface. Compared to other mesh systems, Asus gives customers a lot more access to advanced controls. For example, AiProtection is included with great parental controls and security for free. Asus also allows you to use any other AiMesh-compatible routers, including older ZenWiFi kits or another ET8 kit.
Asus ZenWiFi ET8
$529 at Amazon $530 at Newegg
The Asus ZenWiFi ET8 is a fast mesh system boosted by 6GHz support that can be used for devices, the backhaul, or both.
Most people simply don’t need much more than gigabit speeds on their home Wi-Fi networks. Luckily, even Wi-Fi 6 mesh systems are available for people that don’t need a ton of speed but still want to take advantage of the other advancements. While some great Wi-Fi 6E routers are already available, including a couple of mesh systems, Wi-Fi 6 still makes the most sense right now for an upgrade thanks to great phone compatibility and lower prices.
Most of the best Android phones support Wi-Fi 6, and Wi-fi 6 can help you make the most of them with faster and more consistent speeds than Wi-Fi 5. Wi-Fi 6 mesh systems bring features like MU-MIMO and better handling of multiple connections to your whole home. Not many devices sold in the past couple of years support Wi-Fi 6, but many new phones support the protocol. Thankfully, all of these routers support older versions of Wi-Fi to maintain compatibility, with the added benefit of better connections between the base router and satellite units.
Can you make your own mesh?
Something to keep in mind about mesh networks is that pretty much any router with a powerful enough CPU and enough RAM can technically act as a mesh router. Asus has taken this further than most other manufacturers by including its AiMesh in nearly all its routers. So it is technically possible to put together your own Wi-Fi 6 mesh with compatible routers, but the setup process will be more complicated than a complete mesh system.
This technology is more promising with Wi-Fi 6 routers, thanks to the improved capacity and speeds over previous generations. In addition, TP-Link and Linksys also started to include support in their standard routers for mesh expansion. So, this can be a significant upgrade path for those that want to start with a traditional router and only upgrade as necessary.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Samuel Contreras When Samuel is not writing about networking and carriers, he spends most of his time researching computer components and obsessing over what CPU goes into the ultimate Windows 98 computer. It’s the Pentium 3.