January 2021 Update highlights:
Originally, this post focussed on Amazon reviews as a key factor in the decision to recommend systems. However, Amazon, and companies that use it, keep messing around with things, merging products, having multiple products on one page etc. Then reviews themselves are not always reliable.
The number of mesh systems has increased substantially too, and there has been a shift towards Wi-Fi 6. I have still included the table but placed it lower down in the post, I have updated reviews and prices as well as making it easier to distinguish between dual/tri-band and Wi-Fi 5 or WI-Fi 6. Take the reviews with a pinch of salt.
Table of Contents
What are the best mesh Wi-Fi Routers for 2021?
Mesh Wi-Fi systems seem to have become the most popular networking solution in the past couple of years. For anyone living in a property larger than a small house, a mesh system will offer you better performance throughout the whole home.
For normal users they will be the best solution, but it is worth noting that for people wanting the best performance in total, a high-end Wi-Fi 6 (or Wi-Fi 6E) router will offer the greatest throughput overall. Routers are still a good choice if most of your devices are within a reasonable range of the router.
While you can use a Wi-Fi extender, a mesh system will allow you to roam around your home using the same Wi-Fi name without suffering from disconnections. The system should work seamlessly and it is much more user friendly than older options.
Typically, mesh systems are routers only, so you will need a modem/router to handle your internet connection. Generally, you can switch your ISP supplied router into modem mode and everything should work well.
It has become increasingly difficult to choose just one Wi-Fi mesh system. There are a growing number of options at various price points, you have 2 and three pack systems and Wi-Fi 5 or 6 offering ultra fast speeds but at a premium price.
I can personally vouch for:
The Deco P series user powerline so they transfer data back to the main router via your home wiring, this, therefore, allows it to provide a bit more flexibility in the location of access points and is good for homes with thick brick walls.
Generally, from my experience, anything from TP-Link and Netgear Orbi are superb.
Overall Best Premium Wi-Fi Mesh System for 2021
Buy from Amazon International (Geo-redirected link)
The Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8) looks like an excellent alternative option, offering a similar sort of performance you find on the expensive Netgear, but with the benefit of 2.5GbE. I haven’t used any Asus router or mesh system, which has ruled them out of my top spot recommendation for now.
Buy from Amazon International (Geo-redirected link)
Overall Best Wi-Fi 6 Mesh System for 2021
If money is no object then the Netgear Orbi RBK852 is a fantastic option, offering unparalleled levels of performance and a price to match
Overall Best Mid-Range Wi-Fi Mesh System for 2021
If you can’t justify the expense of Wi-Fi 6, the TP-Link Deco M9 Plus is an excellent tri-band Wi-Fi 5 mesh system. I find TP-Link devices are very easy to set-up, you can then expand the system mixing and matching devices, so you could get a cheaper add on if you have a less important area of the house that is struggling with Wi-Fi.
An alternative option would be the TP-Link Deco P9 which is just £199 for a 3 pack. It is a dual-band system but it uses powerline for the backhaul, which transfers data across your home electrical wiring.
Overall Best Budget Wi-Fi Mesh System for 2020
If you only need a two-pack system, then the recently launched TaoTronics Mesh WiFi Router is typically £159 and offers tri-band Wi-Fi 5, this makes it perform considerably better than the next two routers I recommend.
I previously recommended the TP-Link Deco E4, but for £13 extra, you would now be better off with the TP-Link Deco M4. Both are three pack dual band systems, but the M4 has gigabit ports vs 100Mbit.
The Tenda Nova MW3 series is the cheapest you are going to find, it works perfectly well and is good to extend your Wi-Fi across the house at the same speeds you get on a sub 100Mbps connection. So most people that are on VDSL or even ADSL should be fine with this option assuming you don’t do big file transfers between devices in the house.
New Mesh Wi-Fi systems for 2021
The range mesh Wi-Fi systems have expanded considerably since I first did this post, it is hard to keep up with the options available. You have both dual-band or tri-band options, then each of those can come in Wi-Fi 5 or Wi-Fi 6.
In 2021 we will see the introduction of Wi-Fi 6E systems which will feature a 6Ghz channel which is used for the backhaul. These won’t arrive until later in the year, and they will likely be extremely expensive, so I wouldn’t worry about holding off buying a system right now.
The best Mesh Wi-Fi options available in the UK – Mesh Router Comparison
Amazon reviews should be taken with a pinch of salt, apart from fake reviews, some companies pool up products together which increases the review count. They can also do the reverse, separating products. This can result in review number jumping up or down, and also the overall scores.
Since originally writing this post, most companies have pooled their products together, allowing you to select different products from the same page. From my experience, companies like TP-Link and Netgear offer the same app, set up experience and software features. The quality of the hardware seems to stay the same too, so the different prices will normally only affect the Wi-Fi performance, ethernet ports and a few other features.
The below options are all for the 3-pack mesh Wi-Fi systems if you only need 2 devices you can select a 2 pack option in Amazon.
Original post – January 2019
Last update – April 2020
Last update on 2021-01-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API