Best Wi-Fi 6 mesh routers 2023

TP-Link Deco X55
(Image credit: TP-Link)

With the never-ending rise of devices and applications relying on a reliable Internet connection, consumers are looking for the best Wi-Fi 6 mesh routers that can accommodate bandwidth-intensive services such as Xbox, Netflix, and YouTube. Besides traditional routers, mesh Wi-Fi systems are well suited to larger homes and office spaces, especially those with multiple devices all connected at once.

Wi-Fi 6 mesh routers offer the best of both worlds: wireless networking and the modern 802.11ax standard, the latest iteration of Wi-Fi. Spreading this high-bandwidth wireless signal throughout your home with mesh Wi-Fi means all devices can seamlessly connect as you move around the building. From the most popular brands like TP-Link and Netgear, we list the best Wi-Fi 6 mesh Wi-Fi router available with some alternatives to fit your budget.

What is Wi-Fi 6?

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Wi-Fi 6, sometimes known by its official label 802.11ax, is one of the latest Wi-Fi standards designed for faster and more efficient networking with improved support for several devices connected at once and better overall performance in crowded homes and offices.

Wi-Fi 6 is backward compatible with previous generations, but products that officially support the 802.11ax standard will enjoy the best experience while operating in the 2.4 and 5GHz bands. For example, the Xbox Series X|S both use the 802.11ac standard, also known as Wi-Fi 5, and will still connect to a modern mesh network without issue.

Technical features of Wi-Fi 6, such as OFDMA (orthogonal frequency division multiple access) and MU-MIMO (multi-user multiple input multiple output,) can sound overly complex to a networking beginner. Still, they bring improvements to communication speeds and reductions of network congestion with very little user input needed if using the factory settings for most Wi-Fi 6 mesh systems.


(Image credit: TP-Link)
Best overall

Specifications

Coverage: Up to 6,500 sq. ft. (3-pack)
Bandwidth: Up to 3,000Mb/s
Ports: 3x Gigabit Ethernet

Reasons to buy

+
Subtle, stylish design.
+
Simple setup with mobile app.
+
Plenty of LAN ports for wired devices.

Reasons to avoid

-
No USB ports.
-
Short power cords.

One of the longest-standing networking manufacturers, TP-Link, knocked it out of the park with its Deco X55 mesh system. Available as a single unit, a 2-pack, or a 3-pack, the AX3000 whole home Wi-Fi 6 set provides an effortless setup process with the help of its companion mobile app for iOS and Android devices. Proving a genuine solution to wireless dead zones caused by thick-walled home foundations in our TP-Link Deco X55 review, it remains my permanent mesh solution to home networking.

Using a modem or an ISP-provided combination router set to modem-only mode, you can take advantage of the comprehensive dashboard available in the Deco via a web browser or the mentioned app. Set three units in the optimal positions around a home and watch the software run a network optimization tool to automatically select the Wi-Fi channel least affected by interference or congestion, repeatable whenever you wish.

Each Deco has three Gigabit LAN ports perfect for connecting desktop computers, smart devices, or anything else that otherwise performs better with a wired connection. Keeping my home office connected is critical, and the Deco X55 set has never failed me during a full year of use. Its dual-band setup offers up to 3,300Mb/s of combined bandwidth, pairing with the Ethernet ports making it an ideal solution for most people with any Internet package rated up to a Gigabit.

(Image credit: Amazon)

ASUS ZenWiFi XT8

Best alternative

Specifications

Coverage: Up to 5,500 sq. ft. (2-pack)
Bandwidth: Up to 3,000Mb/s
Ports: 3x 2.5G Ethernet, 1x USB 3.1 Gen 1

Reasons to buy

+
USB connectivity.
+
Easy to manage with an app.
+
Supports Multi-Gig Internet speeds.

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive.
-
Only two-pack maximum.

The ASUS ZenWiFi XT8 2-PK comes up against TP-Link variants as a powerful tri-band two-pack mesh Wi-Fi system that delivers a fast and stable connection to wireless devices throughout your home, packaged in a chunkier case that still looks good on display. Equipped with Wi-Fi 6 features such as OFDMA technology, it can easily handle the demands of multiple users while offering speeds that are perfect for streaming high-definition video and playing games.

The XT8 system consists of two or more wireless routers that create a seamless network allowing you to enjoy broader coverage than traditional routers, controlled by ASUS' companion app. It also supports voice control through Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, so you can manage the online activity of your whole family from anywhere using voice commands.

While the XT8 2-PK can realistically support up to 200 devices, the actual number may vary depending on several factors. The type and speed of your Internet connection, the distance between the routers, and the software running on each. Its 2.5G WAN port supports Multi-Gig ISP packages, so anyone with high-speed Internet should be fine.

The ASUS ZenWiFi XT8 has several ports available for different purposes. On the back of each router, you will find 1x Gigabit WAN port for your modem and 4x Gigabit LAN ports for joining wired devices to the network. A single USB 3.0 port on each can connect to a network-attached storage or printer, allowing you to share files and print wirelessly.

(Image credit: Netgear)

Netgear Orbi RBK752

Best tri-band

Specifications

Coverage: Up to 4,000 sq. ft. (2-pack)
Bandwidth: Up to 4,200Mb/s
Ports: 1x Gigabit WAN, 3x Gigabit Ethernet

Reasons to buy

+
Tri-band signal.
+
Supports Multi-Gig Internet with aggregation.

Reasons to avoid

-
No USB ports.
-
Gigantic.

The Orbi systems from Netgear were another mesh solution featuring the Wi-Fi 6 standard launched in 2020, ready to provide speedy and reliable Internet coverage around the home. The RBK752 two-pack is equipped with the usual 802.11ax luxuries, such as beamforming, to deliver stable traffic to each connected device, and built-in parental controls make it easy to manage activity for each.

One of the largest in this collection, the Orbi mesh isn't as rounded as the name suggests, and you'll need enough space to position them correctly. Thankfully, their design is beautifully subtle and doesn't resemble the sci-fi aesthetics featured on some modern networking hardware.

Since it's a tri-band set, the Orbi has an extra Wi-Fi frequency band to move traffic around the network faster with more reliable connections. While many mesh systems and standalone routers use only two frequency bands (2.4GHz and 5GHz), the RBK752 adds a third 5GHz band, allowing it to quickly send traffic back to the router along a dedicated Wi-Fi backhaul. Tri-band systems are especially useful in homes with many devices, which can otherwise put a lot of strain on your Wi-Fi.

Although the Ethernet ports on each Orbi offer Gigabit speeds individually, they can combine to support Multi-Gig Internet by using link aggregation (LAG.) The method, also known as bonding, combines ports to function as a single, faster connection. If you have 2x 750MB/s connections, line aggregation can combine them into a single 1500MB/s line. The name sounds complex, but the technology isn't difficult to use.

(Image credit: Netgear)

Netgear Nighthawk MK62

Best budget

Specifications

Coverage: Up to 3,000 sq. ft. (2-pack)
Bandwidth: Up to 1,800Mb/s
Ports: 1x Gigabit WAN, 1x Gigabit Ethernet

Reasons to buy

+
Great value.
+
Stylish design.
+
Easy to set up and use.

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited ports.
-
Unsuitable for Multi-Gig Internet.

Another from Netgear, the Nighthawk MK62, is a two-pack Wi-Fi 6 system offering the same wireless mesh benefits without a steep price tag. It's also one of the most compact sets and features a somewhat art-deco aesthetic with a sharp-angled finish along the top. This affordable two-pack set is an ideal solution to poor wireless networking with a discreet yet stylish design, covering up to 3,000 sq. ft.

Featuring single Gigabit WAN and LAN ports for a modem and one other wired device could limit your options of connecting via Ethernet. Still, careful planning could see you benefit from this entry-level option and enjoy the benefits that the 802.11ax standard brings. The dual 2.4 & 5GHz bands provide a combined line rate of 1.8Gb/s (1200 + 600Mbps,) enough to serve around 25 devices simultaneously.

The MK62 still supports Netgear's Nighthawk companion software on iOS and Android devices. The app helps you manage both mesh units and monitor everything connected wired or wirelessly. Use it to set up and configure the Nighthawk mesh, use parental controls, and diagnose any potential issues. It's one of the most affordable ways to get started with a mesh Wi-Fi network, and the 802.11ax tech provides speeds up to 1.5x faster than the previous 802.11ac standard.

(Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon Eero 6

Best for beginners

Specifications

Coverage: Up to 5,000 sq. ft. (3-pack)
Bandwidth: Up to 1,800Mb/s
Ports: 2x Gigabit WAN/LAN

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible value.
+
Simple to set up and use.

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited ports.
-
Combines 2.4 and 5GHz bands.

Amazon offers its first-party Wi-Fi 6 mesh system to cover up to 5,500 sq. ft. with reliable Internet access if you choose the triple-pack of Eeros. It's one of the simplest models to set up and use, paired with a compact and discreet design to easily place around your home without taking up too much space. The companion Amazon Eero app is compatible with iOS and Android devices, using Bluetooth to make the initial connection to each node.

It is a dual-band system, but the 2.4 and 5GHz bands will combine to create a single network. It won't be an issue for novice users looking for simplicity but still something to consider for anyone looking to keep the faster 5GHz band separate for specific devices. If you're paying for a package providing around 500Mb/s speeds from your ISP, the Eero 6 will easily cover up to 75 devices in your home over its 1,800Mb/s bandwidth.

The Eero 6 is an appropriate mesh Wi-Fi choice for any household invested in the Amazon ecosystem, working alongside the Alexa smart speakers to offer parental controls and manage network traffic on any device. It's not the fastest option, so consider your desired speeds before purchase, but the Eero 6 offers an incredible range of coverage for an affordable price.

Choosing the best Wi-Fi 6 mesh router

The best Wi-Fi 6 mesh system will depend on your environment but should provide high-performance wireless networking without compromising convenience or raising costs. Ensure that your selected set can cover the full range of your home, and consider the obstructions between each room, such as the thickness of foundations and other electronic equipment.

A suitable set will reach farther than some of the best Wi-Fi 6 routers, thanks to the nature of mesh Wi-Fi sending traffic from point to point rather than relying on a single unit.

Mesh systems with higher maximum bandwidth will allow more high-speed devices to connect to your network with plenty of data to share between them. Any laptops built with components using the Wi-Fi 6 standard, like the Surface Pro 8, can take full advantage of modern enhancements like beamforming, directing the wireless signal strength towards the devices rather than in all directions.

Confirm that any mesh Wi-Fi system is compatible with the modem provided by your Internet service provider (ISP.) Otherwise, consider using access-point (AP) mode if you can't replace your current combination modem/router but still need to extend your wireless network. AP mode might not be listed on your chosen set but is available in our best overall choice, the TP-Link Deco X55.

Ben Wilson
Channel Editor

Ben is the channel editor for all things tech-related at Windows Central. That includes PCs, the components inside, and any accessory you can connect to a Windows desktop or Xbox console. Not restricted to one platform, he also has a keen interest in Valve's Steam Deck handheld and the Linux-based operating system inside. Fueling this career with coffee since 2021, you can usually find him behind one screen or another. Find him on Mastodon @trzomb@mastodon.online to ask questions or share opinions.