When it comes to wireless connectivity in the home, as most of us have found out at some time or other, reliable coverage can often be patchy at best.
Generally speaking, the larger the space and the more rooms in question, the more unreliable 100% WiFi cover is likely to get as your router or wireless devices struggle to reach every corner of the home.
Luckily however, with smart home automation and the plethora of intelligent devices we come to rely on becoming ever more ingrained in our everyday lives, the days of questionable WiFi coverage are rapidly becoming a thing of the past.
Put simply, as every corner of our homes becomes smarter, the need for guaranteed connectivity to the rest of the network (and the wider world) isn’t a nice to have – it’s essential.
It’s here that the latest generation of mesh WiFi devices are looking to solve the problem of patchy signal and dead zones around the home and the best WiFi mesh devices ensure that every device in your home is covered by the network whether that’s in the garage, bathroom, bedroom, or kitchen.
WiFi Mesh Systems and Devices – The Basics
At the most basic level, the one and only goal of WiFi mesh devices – much like other more traditional WiFi extender systems – is to increase the coverage and overall reliability of your wireless home network to make sure that no device goes unseen or remains unconnected from the wider home wireless ecosystem.
The latest and greatest mesh WiFi systems are simple to setup and get running, effectively operating on a plug and play basis from the moment you take them out of the box.
What this means in practice of course, is that once you install a WiFi mesh device in a room or other area of your home, you’re usually only a step or two away from having the range of your WiFi system significantly extended with minimal fuss.
Whatever label the system goes under, all WiFi mesh devices effectively carry out the same job of boosting the strength of the WiFi signal throughout your home with a couple of devices scattered in far flung corners of your home acting like relays for the main signal and ultimately, creating a ‘mesh’ of WiFi connectivity to cover all the devices in range.
One way that mesh devices differ from other extension systems (such as traditional extenders or repeaters) is that nodes in the mesh network are able to talk with each other rather than simply with the main router (which was the case with older systems) meaning you maintain signal clarity throughout the network and throughout your home.
Router vs Mesh System – Understanding the Difference
The fact of the matter is that whichever way you cut it, a smart home isn’t going to be very smart without a connection the wider world.
In the traditional setup, the humble router is the interface between the internet and the wireless devices you’ve installed in your home. In this arrangement, the key piece of functionality in the router is the device’s ability to communicate with the outside world.
With this in mind, the role of the router as an internet connectivity medium remains super-important to ensuring that your home is able to remain connected with the web beyond your home’s walls.
However when it comes to activity inside your home, this is where the pressure can now be taken off of the router through the introduction of a system of WiFi mesh devices which are hooked up to the central router itself.
Mesh WiFi devices effectively take the information processed by the router and feed it on throughout the house to ensure that every smart device within the now extended range of your network gets a crystal clear signal at all times.
The setup of this process is so easy in the best systems that it’s often a case of simply entering your existing network credentials – such as username and password – into an app, at which point everything will be ready to go.
The Best WiFi Mesh Systems and Devices
If you’re looking to banish the network coverage issues in the far-reaches of your home, then you’ve come to the right place.
We’ve taken a look at the very best WiFi mesh systems which offer up the combination of reliability, ease of setup and use, and of course, affordability to help you find the best WiFi mesh devices for your home.
Netgear Orbi Whole Home Mesh WiFi System
The Orbi range of mesh WiFi devices by Netgear are pretty awesome and this is little surprise given the reputation of the brand in the world of wireless network connectivity and router systems over the years.
With a central router and two satellite extenders included in the set, the Whole Home Mesh WiFi System is a great entry point to the range providing everything you need to get setup and boosting the coverage of your network to even the furthest areas of your home ecosystem.
Providing up to 6000 square feet of coverage at speeds up to 2.2 gigabytes per second, the Orbi mesh devices are a good choice if you’re looking to maintain a lightning fast connection across larger indoor areas with the devices’ tri-band technology delivering a significant advantage over slower dual band systems out there.
As well as the semi-legendary performance and reliability that you’d come to expect from Netgear’s connectivity devices, the Orbi devices have an aesthetic design quality that makes them sit right at home in pretty much any interior decor meaning they’ll blend in with the surroundings whether they’re boosting the signal to the bathroom or the living room.Learn More About the Netgear Orbi Whole Home Mesh WiFi System Here
Zyxel Multy X WiFi System Kit
While not as pretty as some of the more visually appealing mesh systems like the Orbi, what the Multy X lacks in looks, it more than makes up for in performance.
As with the other best mesh WiFi devices on the market, the Multy X WiFi system is built around tri-band technology to ensure maximum signal strength without degradation and no matter how many wireless devices are competing for connectivity around your home.
Allowing for the creation of a WiFi mesh which delivers coverage up to 5000 square feet, the Multy X system is a solid choice if you’re looking for a ready to go set that includes a base router and satellite with the ability to extend the mesh with a simple addition of extra units if and when needed.
The inclusion of Alexa support is a nice added feature on the Multy X and allows you to carry out simple tasks on the devices such as disabling guest networks and deactivating any custom groups which you’ve created in the system.
Setup is straight forward thanks to the companion Multy app and the ability to create a separate guest network for visitors is a nice addition to the system.Learn More About the Zyxel Multy X WiFi System Kit Here
Eero Home WiFi System
If you’re looking to find a mesh WiFi setup that will happily cover a home of up to 4 bedrooms in size, then the Eero WiFi System is a good place to start.
As one of the first games in town when it came to mesh WiFi systems, Eero are somewhat of an original player in the WiFi range extension business and the latest mesh system and devices from the brand are subsequently well thought of.
Built around a system of ‘Beacons’ and a gateway device (the Eero itself), this mesh WiFi system utilizes Tri-band to deliver a highly dependable signal to all corners of your home with each Beacon simply plugging into a wall outlet to add another 1000 square foot of coverage to your setup.
Eero’s mesh WiFi system utilizes the company’s proprietary ‘TrueMesh’ technology to deliver a reliable connectivity net across your home network for all attached devices.
The Eero system is also backwards compatible with earlier iterations from the brand meaning you’ll be good to go if you’ve used Eero devices in the past as well as providing an element of future-proofing in your system should you decide to buy later models in years to come.Learn More About the Eero Home WiFi System Here