Best Mesh Wi-Fi Kits: Mesh Networks Reviews

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Although mesh networks aren’t a new invention, this is the first year that they’ve become popular for home use. We’ve reviewed many of the new systems available in the UK including Google Wi-Fi and BT Whole Home.

What is mesh Wi-Fi?

Put simply, a mesh network is two or more routers which work together to provide much wider Wi-Fi coverage than a single router can.

Some kits have just two units and can’t be expanded, while others can be bought in one, two or three-packs and allow you to add extra coverage when you can afford it, or you need it.

Does it 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.

That’s the theory, anyway.

Are powerline adaptors a cheaper alternative?

Yes. If you just need to get a Wi-Fi signal in one room that your current router can’t reach, you might be able to save money by buying a Wi-Fi-enabled powerline kit.

Check out our powerline reviews for more, but bear in mind that not all powerline kits include Wi-Fi.

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.

Anything else to watch out for?

Yes. Some mesh systems (but not all) prevent Wi-Fi devices from talking to other gadgets that are connected to your main router’s wired network ports.

For example, you might find you can’t print from your PC as your printer is connected to the Wi-Fi network but your PC is connected via a network cable to your old router.

We explain these limitations in each of the reviews here, though.

Best mesh Wi-Fi systems: Mesh Wi-Fi reviews 


1.

TP-Link Deco M5



2.

BT Whole Home Wi-Fi


BT Whole Home Wi-Fi


3.

Google Wifi


Google Wifi


4.

Linksys Velop Wireless AC-6600


Linksys Velop Wireless AC-6600


5.

Devolo Gigagate


Devolo Gigagate


6.

Netgear Orbi


Netgear Orbi

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