If you live in a large household or have a large place, it’s imperative to get a mesh-based wireless routers for seamless internet connectivity. Since WiFi 6 is the latest wireless standard, it’s advised to get a WiFi 6 (802.11x) mesh router, but with so many options being available, finding the right one can be a difficult task.
Since you’re here, it is evident that your place is large and you want seamless wireless connectivity that won’t leave a dead spot. The good thing is, whether you live in a 2 storey building or your place has thick internal walls, the mesh-routers in this list won’t interrupt your internet usage.
If you’ve used a mesh router before, you must know that unlike a single standalone router, mesh routers use multiple devices to provide WiFi at different places. Basically, it’s like using more than 3-5 routers at your place. However, you can’t just rely on a random setup for internet connectivity at your place.
That’s why I have looked into multiple WiFi 6 Mesh routers. After analyzing the features like internet speeds, link aggregation, and operating frequencies, QoS, bandwidth management, etc I have shortlisted devices for different scenarios that are not limited to gaming support, smart home automation and enterprise solutions.
- 10 Best WiFi 6 Mesh Routers in 2021
- 1. Best Overall: Linksys MX12600
- 2. Best Tri-Band: NETGEAR Orbi Pro
- 3. Best For Large Homes: ASUS ZenWiFi AX 2PK
- 4. Best For Hostels: ASUS XD4
- 5. Best With VPN: Eero Pro 6
- 6. Best Security Features: ARRIS SURFboard
- 7. Best For Gamers: AmpliFi Alien
- 10. Best Under 250: TP-Link Deco X20
- 9. Best With Parental Control: Linksys MX8000
- 10. Cheapest Option: Netgear Nighthawk MK63
- Frequently Asked Questions
- The Verdict
10 Best WiFi 6 Mesh Routers in 2021
After a comparative analysis of Mesh Routers from Netgear, Linksys, ASUS, Google, Eero, I have narrowed it to the 10 best WiFi 6 based Mesh routers. My list is a mix of both Dual-Band and Tri-band routers ranging from budget-friendly solutions for medium households to routers designed for small enterprises.
1. Best Overall: Linksys MX12600
The three-pack Linksys MX12600 offers support to the latest WiFi 6 standards with backward compatibility. With smart security features, parental controls, the system ensures a secure, unhindered connection to smart devices in your backyard outdoors.
The Linksys WiFi system operates at three frequencies, with the capacity to deliver data at a high speed of 600mbps on 2.4GHz, 1200mbps, and 2400mbps on a dual 5GHz band and is compatible with various ISPs like Cox, ATT Uverse, etc. Vast coverage of 8100 sq ft and support of 120 devices gives an upper-hand over other mesh WiFi systems.
Weighing 2.08 lbs approximately, rectangular nodes stand tall sporting a simplistic white body with a ventilated top. The trio of 1.4GHz quad-core processor, a RAM of 512MB, and flash memory of 512MB ensure the router can handle everything including gaming, 4K streaming, video calls a large household throws at it.
Equipped with MU-MIMO and OFDMA, 9 internal antennas ensure stable signals and no dead spots. The router comes with one WAN port, three LAN ports, one USB 3.0 port with every node that gives comprehensive wired connectivity for storage devices, printers, and smart devices.
The Linksys application, although not comprehensive as the web GUI, keeps the setup simple and allows control away from home. Parents can possess control over when and what your kids can access. With WPA-3 encryption, guest access, port forwarding, the router prevents unauthorized usage, and cyber-attacks.
Despite the lack of 160MHz and inbuilt malware protection, the Linksys MX12600 offers the best combination of port selection, high-speed internet, and coverage. It makes the Linksys router a viable solution for large multiplex homes and farmhouses.
- Extensive coverage
- 1.4GHz Quad-core processor
- Dynamic backhaul
- WPA3 encryption
- No support for 160Mhz
2. Best Tri-Band: NETGEAR Orbi Pro
The NETGEAR Orbi Pro brings network security features and a comprehensive customization through its web interface. Superfast speeds of WiFi 6, complemented by powerful antennas geared with bi-directional MU-MIMO, OFDMA makes this a powerful network solution for your business.
The Orbi Pro complements your ultrafast internet connection by supporting speeds up to 1200mbps in 2.4GHz and 2400mbps in dual 5GHz frequency. Geared for seamless business conferences, streaming 4K media on firestick, or supporting a professional gaming environment, the system can handle up to 60 devices across 6000 sq ft.
Weighing 2.06 lbs each, the Orbi pro hexagonal towers have an imposing presence. The towers house high storage and operating memory that allows data-intensive activities across a small business setup.
The units have 8 high-performing internal antennas, which should ease doubts of coverage and signal strength. I tested this router with Spectrum Internet Gig 940 Plan and this wireless device performed really well.
The routing device has one 2.5 Gig WAN port, four 1 Gig LAN ports, and the satellite extender comes with one 2.5 Gig Ethernet port, four 1Gig LAN ports. The ports support link aggregation and Ethernet Backhaul and allow room for a flexible VLAN configuration.
Netgear offers a dedicated application (Insight) that enables local and cloud management. If you have to customize your network to suit your business, Netgear comes with a web-based GUI that gives you comprehensive control to customize your network.
Designed for businesses, the Orbi Pro comes with a plethora of security options. The interface allows you to block/unblock devices, limit access using keywords, enable/disable services with a schedule.
The Netgear Orbi Pro comes with a price premium. With support for WPA3 encryption, wired/wireless backhaul, VLAN bridging, and 4 SSID for network separation, it offers a perfect solution for small businesses like hostels, Bed & Breakfasts.
- Target Wake Time
- 2.5Gbps Ethernet ports
- Link aggregation
- No USB port
- No support for 160MHz Channels
3. Best For Large Homes: ASUS ZenWiFi AX 2PK
The two-pack ASUS ZenWiFi offers high-speed internet that comes with comprehensive parental controls and network security offered by AiProtection and support for WiFi 6 and 160Mhz bandwidth makes an interesting case for a perfect WiFi 6 Mesh system.
The router delivers high-speed internet at 574mbps on 2.4GHz, 1201mbps, and 4804mbps on a dual 5GHz band. With coverage of 5500 sq ft, it can support over 45 devices across multiple rooms with the support of OFDMA and MU-MIMO.
At 1.6lbs, the Asus units are lightweight and sport a simplistic round-edged rectangular design with a ventilated front. The 512MB operating memory and 256MB of storage memory combine with a quad-core processor clocking at 1.5GHz to support seamless gaming and streaming at your home.
The unit comes with 6 internal antennas. There are three Gig LAN ports, a 2.5Gig WAN port, and a USB 3.1 port to allow enough room for ethernet backhauling, high-wired connections, and sharing network drives at your home.
The Asus application has an intuitive interface that translates into a quick setup and management. The web GUI offers extended control over the customizations in the home network. If the complexity of controls bothers you, AiProtection Pro brings a plethora of control under a single hood.
Ranging from parental controls, QoS priority, real-time traffic monitoring, firewall configurations, the web GUI is comprehensive. With multiple user profiles, categorized content filters your worries regarding kid’s exposure to inappropriate content can take a backseat.
The 2.5 Gigabit ports, 160MHz bandwidth support, and a USB port make this ASUS Mesh system a viable solution for large homes with a diverse group of kids, teens, and working professionals.
- Multi-Gigabit LAN port
- 160MHz bandwidth
- Alexa Voice control
- 1.5GHz Quad-core processor
- AiProtection Pro-Lifetime
- Easy setup AiMesh
4. Best For Hostels: ASUS XD4
The Asus XD4 ASUS XD4 three-pack system equips itself with the latest wireless standards, MU-MIMO, and inbuilt network security features to find its way into one of the affordable WiFi systems for the users looking for uncomplicated network management.
Not the fastest router in the market, but it can reach speeds up to 574mbps in 2.4GHz & 1201mbps on 5GHz, contingent to support from your ISP. The three-pack system covers close to 4800 sq ft that translates into multiple devices spread over five large rooms.
Each Asus unit weighs 0.65 lbs. The compact rectangular matte-black casing leaves the impression of a speaker rather than a routing device. Inside the compact design, a power trio of a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 256MB of storage, and operating memory handles the overload of HD streaming, online gaming, and video calls over WiFi.
The mini WiFi system has 2 internal antennas and sports a limited selection of ports. With one Gigabit WAN port and one Gigabit LAN port per unit, the Asus system leaves limited room for wired connections.
Asus offers one of the most simple and intuitive user-friendly interfaces in both mobile and web platforms. Install your routers through the wired or wireless mode.
The Air protection parental controls allow you to schedule internet access for client devices. Users can set the priority of devices, set up MAC filtering rules, setup remote authentication, configure routing table, block malicious sites and infected devices.
If you have limited wired devices and parental controls not being a major concern, the support for WiFi 6 and WPA3 encryption makes a compelling case for XD4. It can act as an affordable solution for small businesses or hostels for working professionals.
- WiFi 6
- Compact design
- User-defined QoS Rules and priority
- No wired backhaul
- No USB
5. Best With VPN: Eero Pro 6
The aggregate speeds on Tri-band, Zigbee compatibility (Alexa devices), and support for WiFi 6, executed through a powerful hardware put together in an elegant-looking design, makes this Eero Pro 6 a suitable choice for home automation.
The routers deliver an aggregate speed of 4200mbps over 2.5GHz and dual 5GHz frequency. The three-pack Eero Pro can cover up to 6000 sq ft and easily handle up to 75 devices that include smart-home devices.
The three-pack system weighs over 6 pounds. The router and mesh units sport a flat rectangular simplistic design with an inconspicuous presence. The unit houses a powerful quad-core processor, RAM of 1GB, and storage memory of 4GB which makes simultaneous gaming, 4K streaming, and video conferencing possible.
MU-MIMO and beamforming powered internal antennas offer extensive coverage. If you rely more on wireless connections, the requirement for wired connections being limited benefits you. Each Eero Pro unit has only two Gigabit LAN ports to accommodate them.
The Eero application takes you through the initial setup and guides you to pick up the right spots for the mesh units. The application keeps the network management to basic levels, targeting novice users.
The Eero mobile application allows home makers to group devices into profiles, sets schedules, pauses the internet, and applies content filters. They can categorize profiles using age-based content filters. Eero secure subscription alleviates the concerns of anonymity and security with VPN and antivirus protection.
The Eero Pro WiFi mesh router offers WiFi 6 support but costs less than its competitors. If you want a WiFi system for a crowded apartment and to keeps your smart devices connected 24/7, the Eero Pro 6 three-pack system fits right into your requirements.
- Zigbee for smart homes
- WPA3 encryption standards
- Abundant storage and RAM
- Limited customization in-app
- Expensive, No USB port
6. Best Security Features: ARRIS SURFboard
The ARRIS SURFboard has Multi User-MIMO, OFDMA, Beamforming with WiFi 6, and link aggregation makeing this a capable router to handle a plethora of data-intense activities.
High-speed internet of 1200mbps in 2.5GHz, 4800mbps in dual 5GHz falls within the realm of ARRIS Surfboard. Hosting conferences, meetings become easier with the Surfboard, owing to its support for over 100 simultaneous connections in a 3000 sq ft area.
Weighing over 2 lbs, the Surfboard comes in black cylindrical with a silver bottom. Powered by a quad-core processor clocking at 1.8GHz and complemented by 1GB of operating memory and storage memory of 512MB, the router is VR-friendly, capable of supporting 4K streaming, gaming, and video conferencing simultaneously.
With 12 powerful internal antennas to disperse internet signals, the router is equipped with three Gig ethernet ports, one Gig WAN port to facilitate wired high-speed connections. Despite the link aggregation capability, the lack of multi-gig ports may limit the high speeds exceeding one gigabit.
If you are a novice user with a preference to skip complicated settings, you will rejoice at the simplified set up of SURFboard Max manager application. On the contrary, the absence of a web interface limits the potential of this powerful device.
The applications allow you to create user profiles to create scheduled times, pause internet connections. The router supports WPA2 encryption and comes with WiFi security, firewall settings with UPnP, and port forwarding to protect your home network.
The lack of advanced security features and a limited mobile app might go against this powerful unit. It’s a strong processing unit, complemented by adequate storage, and operating memory, that finds a solution for a medium-household filled with creatives, gaming aficionados, and streamers.
- WiFi 6
- Link aggregation Capability
- 1.8GHz 64-bit Quad-core processor
- Compatible with Alexa voice controls
- Parental controls
- No USB port
- Limited mobile functionality
7. Best For Gamers: AmpliFi Alien
The AmpliFi Alien comes with a prioritization engine that prioritizes gaming and streaming activities. Combine your gaming PC’s with this beast of a router to get an improved gaming experience.
If you want to utilize the ultrafast internet connection from your ISP like Verizon Fios, Xfinity, etc – the router makes this a reality by achieving speeds upto 1148mbps in 2.5GHz, 4804mbps, and 1733mbps over 5GHz frequency. Set aside your apprehension of dead zones or congestion as the router covers 8000 sq ft and supports over 50 devices.
The AmpliFi units weigh close to 2.65 lbs each and sport a cylindrical tower with a touch screen at its front. On the back of a powerful 2.2GHz quad-core processor and 1GB RAM and storage memory of 256MB, the routing devices breezes through data-intensive activities like 4K streaming and hardcore gaming.
The router has internal antennas geared with MU-MIMO, OFDMA, and beamforming. The AmpliFi router unit has one WAN port and four LAN ports, while the mesh point has one Gig LAN port to keep your consoles, Smart TV, and Desktop connected to the router.
The AmpliFi mobile application offers a simple setup for the router and a connection test to set up the mesh point. Creating bed-time, study time, internet schedules for your kids becomes easier by setting up family profiles. Users can set guest access, create secondary local networks, prioritize their network with QoS.
If you fancy touch screens, the router has a touch-screen interface that offers an additional modality for customizing your network.
Albeit the absence of multi-gig Ethernet and USB ports, the AmpliFi opens you to ultrafast internet speeds. With a prioritizing engine for gaming and streaming powered by a workhorse 2.2GHz processor, the AmpliFi can act as a perfect WiFi Mesh system for a household with `hardcore gamers’ and twitch streamers.
- 2.2GHz quad-core processor
- Adequate Ethernet ports
- WiFi 6 Backhaul
- Prioritization engine for gaming
- No MultiGig WAN and USB port
10. Best Under 250: TP-Link Deco X20
Powered by a Quad-core processor, the three-pack WiFi system from TP-Link supports high-speed internet with 802.11 ax support, offers extended coverage, and comprehensive control over your home network with advanced features at its disposal.Deco X20 can support internet speeds up to 574mbps on 2.5GHz, 1201mbps on the 5GHz. The three-pack dual-band router can cover large homes, offices up to 5800 sq ft, and support up to 40 simultaneous connections.
Each deco unit weighs over 2lbs,the white cylindrical towers fit into any household. The main unit houses a 512MB of operating memory,128MB of storage memory, and a quad-core processor clocking at 1GHz, ensuring seamless online gaming and HD streaming across multiple devices.
The 2 Omni-directional internal antennas, geared with MU-MIMO and beamforming, should clear your doubts over signal quality. With a limited selection of two Gigabit Ethernet ports per unit, Deco leaves the user to reserve the wired connections for the most important devices.
The deco app remains the sole controlling application for this TP-link system. The advantage of the most intuitive interface saves the trouble of identifying suitable placement for the units. The application gives complete control over the router, even if you are away from home.
If managing multiple profiles and access schedules is a concern, the mobile application has an easy interface to restrict content with four levels of age-appropriate content filters. Built-in antivirus, WPA 3 encryption standards, device blacklist and firewalls protect your network from unauthorized usage and intrusions.
Albeit its limited selection of ports, the TP-Link Deco offers an affordable network solution for a large home. The comprehensive parental controls, the security of TP-Link Homecare, and the user-friendly application make this an affordable WiFi 6 Mesh solution to keep a tab on your kid’s and teens’ internet consumption.
- WiFi 6
- TP-Link Homecare
- 1 GHz Quad-core CPU
- Comprehensive parental controls
- No USB port
9. Best With Parental Control: Linksys MX8000
The Linksys AX4000 is a WiFi 6 Mesh router that offers a budget-friendly solution for homes with large backyards. Easy installations and router management complements the high-speed internet potential of MX8000.
The Linksys router is capable of high-speeds of 600mbps in 2.5GHz, 1200mbps, and 2200mbps in dual 5GHz, conditional to the speed offered by your service provider. The router can support up to 80 devices in the network spread across a surface area of 5400 sq ft.
Weighing close to 2.08 lbs, rectangular towers sport a minimalistic design and a well-ventilated top. The tower houses a quad-core processor clocking at 1.4GHz, 512MB of operating memory, and storage memory, that provides sufficient power for gaming, video calls, 4k streaming in a large household.
Powered by the latest MU-MIMO and OFDMA technologies, 9 internal antennas disperse stable WiFi signals. The router accommodates one Gigabit WAN port, three Gigabit LAN ports, and one USB 3.0 port in every unit. Sharing network drives and high-speed wired connections for TV, PlayStations is well within its purview.
The Linksys application’s intuitive interface makes the process of network installation and management uncomplicated. The web GUI offers comprehensive control over network management.
The parental controls in web GUI let you control the kid’s internet consumption (websites and schedule). Linksys offers features like WPA-3 encryption, setting up device priority, guest network access, MAC filtering, and other advanced settings that protect your network from unauthorized usage.
While the lack of 160MHz bandwidth might be a potential downside, this sub-$300 router offers the right mix of port selection with backhaul, high-speed internet, and network security options at an affordable price for large households looking for a budget-friendly Tri-band WiFi mesh system.
- WiFi 6
- Ethernet Backhaul
- WPA3 encryption standards
- No 160MHz bandwidth support
10. Cheapest Option: Netgear Nighthawk MK63
With WiFi 6 support and other features, the Netgear makes up for its lack of advanced customization and parental controls. For people looking to equip their medium-sized homes with a budget range dual-band WiFi Mesh system, the three-pack Netgear Nighthawk MK63 would fit right into their homes.
Netgear claims the WiFi system can cover an area as large as 4500 sq ft with 25 simultaneous connections. The router brings HD streaming and online gaming under its purview with speeds up to 600mbps in 2.5GHz and 1200mbps in 5GHz.
At 0.63 lbs each, the router and units are lightweight. The compact rectangular design has an amicable presence, defined by its black body with triangular air-vents. The potent combination of 1.4GHz quad-core processor, a RAM of 256MB, and a storage memory of 128MB will handle simultaneous HD streaming and downloads.
With 4 internal antennas powered by Beamforming, OFDMA, and MU-MIMO, the router can cover large surface areas. The router has 1 Gig WAN port, 1 Gig LAN port, while the satellites come with 1Gig LAN port each. The lack of more connectivity and USB ports may limit the wired connections and shared devices across the home network.
The setup is easy with the nighthawk mobile application. The application doesn’t allow any parental controls. The web interface opens up to an inbuilt firewall that enables control over access, use keyword filtering, schedule blocking of internet and services, and prioritize traffic with Dynamic QoS.
If you are looking for a budget solution for a small hostel for working professionals and trying to avoid the complicated settings, the Netgear Mesh WiFi system offers a 3-pack system with a host of features at an affordable price.
- 1.5GHz Quad-core processor
- Explicit Beamforming
- Uplink and downlink OFDMA
- Backhaul compatible
- Limited control/customization
- No USB port
Frequently Asked Questions
The major benefits of a mesh router are easy home network management, range extension/ coverage, and security options. The mesh routers are useful in home automation enabled by easy-to-use mobile applications offering control over your network, even when you are away from your home.
Depending on the brand and underlying networking standards, the mesh systems incur high costs. With a budget mesh router costing over 250 dollars, the price of the mesh routers can escalate as the features and units increase.
Unless the surface area is enormous and there are multiple devices, a router and range extender would cover dead spots at your home. Finding a better position for a router or adding a range extender/amplifier will improve the strength of your WiFi signal.
If you are a resident of a large multi-plex house/farmhouse with a large backyard & front yard. If you are automating devices at your home and would like to monitor/control devices at your fingertip, you can consider WiFi Mesh Routers as an appropriate choice.
Ethernet Backhaul is an important feature prevalent in Mesh WiFi systems. It is a feature that enables the mesh units to be connected to the router through an Ethernet connection. The Ethernet backhauling improves bandwidth allocation and creates a more stable & faster internet connection to the devices.
A WiFi mesh system with multiple units plays a vital role in keeping the automated homes and other devices connected to the internet. Understanding the preferences and requirements helps the user to get the best out of the WiFi system.
- If you are looking for a WiFi 6 router that offers the best combination of features and overall value for the money spent, Linksys MX12600 would be your go-to device.
- For users limited by budget, Linksys MX8000 would be an appropriate choice.
- Budget not being a constraint, entrepreneurs in search of enterprise networking solutions can opt for NETGEAR Orbi Pro, and streamers/gaming aficionados looking for a powerful router can choose AmpliFi Alien.
- If you are planning to automate your smart-home, Eero Pro 6 will fit into your profile right away.