The Best Wi-Fi Mesh-Networking Kits

The Best Wi-Fi Mesh-Networking Kits

Our pick

Eero Pro + 2 Eero Beacons

Eero Pro + 2 Eero Beacons

Best Wi-Fi mesh-networking kit

The easy-to-set-up Eero Pro + 2 Eero Beacons kit provides a stable and speedy wireless network, doesn’t stick out visually, and makes it simple to add units for complicated layouts.

Buying Options

$400 from Amazon
$400 from Best Buy

The Eero Pro + 2 Eero Beacons kit is a good baseline for homes with complicated layouts, letting you easily connect odd dead spots in your home such as a kitchen behind a masonry steel wall or a loft home office on the third floor. Adding extra Eero, Eero Pro, or Beacon units as needed is also easy. The Eero Pro + 2 Eero Beacons kit ranked near the top of the pack on our performance tests—unlike the new, third-generation Eero kit—and connected seamlessly to devices all over our test lab. Its components don’t take up as much space, and they’re not as ugly as many of their competitors. We do have a few nits to pick—for starters, the Eero Pro base unit has only a single spare Ethernet port, and the Beacons have no Ethernet ports at all. Some folks may not like the fact that Amazon now owns Eero, though so far the company hasn’t changed anything. This set is also a little pricier than rivals when it’s not on sale.

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Budget pick

D-Link Covr Tri-Band Whole Home Wi-Fi System (COVR-2202)

D-Link Covr Tri-Band Whole Home Wi-Fi System (COVR-2202)

Lower cost, speedy performance, less expandability

The D-Link COVR-2202 two-piece kit outperformed mesh networks that were hundreds of dollars more expensive. It’s not as flexible as some other kits (you can’t buy nodes individually), but it works well for simple layouts.

Buying Options

$250* from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $255.

If your home is large but has a fairly simple layout (like a three-story townhome), the less expensive two-piece D-Link Covr Tri-Band Whole Home Wi-Fi System (COVR-2202) may be a good choice. Thanks to the third band, the Covr system can dedicate one of its radios to passing data between the two units, which makes the system faster and more responsive than kits without dedicated backhaul. In our tests, its latency and throughput were among the best of the kits we tested, and this kit is typically about $200 less than the Eero Pro + 2 Eero Beacons set. There are a few downsides: First, D-Link’s app, parental controls, and router settings are more simplistic than those of the Eero and Synology mesh kits. Like the Eero Pro base unit, each Covr has only two Ethernet ports. And unlike the Eero and Synology systems, which let you add extra satellites à la carte, D-Link’s system requires you to buy another complete COVR-2202 or COVR-C1203 kit if you need to extend the mesh network’s range.

Also great

Synology RT2600ac and MR2200ac

Synology RT2600ac and MR2200ac

Traditional look, extremely adaptable mesh

The RT2600ac and MR2200ac combo isn’t as pretty or as easy to set up as other kits we like, but this pair is great for the tech-savvy, offering more Ethernet and USB ports plus many more tweakable settings. Despite the base router having only two bands, the combo has impressive throughput and latency.

Buying Options

$340 from Amazon

If you actually like fiddling with your router settings, consider a combo of the Synology RT2600ac and MR2200ac. The RT2600ac is one of our favorite routers, and adding the MR2200ac turns it into a flexible, surprisingly good mesh system with more Ethernet ports, USB ports, and more tweakable router settings than our other mesh-kit picks offer. This combo takes a few more steps to set up than other mesh kits, and these models are not the best in overall speed (though they came close to or reached the top on all our latency tests, which measure the time delay between when a computer requests data and when it gets that data, which is just as important). They’re also pretty ugly—they look like routers. But as a two-piece kit, they are significantly less expensive than the Eero Pro + 2 Eero Beacons set. Last but not least, this system also allows you to expand it by adding up to five extra MR2200ac routers (for a total of seven devices).

Everything we recommend

Our pick

Eero Pro + 2 Eero Beacons

Eero Pro + 2 Eero Beacons

Best Wi-Fi mesh-networking kit

The easy-to-set-up Eero Pro + 2 Eero Beacons kit provides a stable and speedy wireless network, doesn’t stick out visually, and makes it simple to add units for complicated layouts.

Buying Options

$400 from Amazon
$400 from Best Buy

Budget pick

D-Link Covr Tri-Band Whole Home Wi-Fi System (COVR-2202)

D-Link Covr Tri-Band Whole Home Wi-Fi System (COVR-2202)

Lower cost, speedy performance, less expandability

The D-Link COVR-2202 two-piece kit outperformed mesh networks that were hundreds of dollars more expensive. It’s not as flexible as some other kits (you can’t buy nodes individually), but it works well for simple layouts.

Buying Options

$250* from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $255.

Also great

Synology RT2600ac and MR2200ac

Synology RT2600ac and MR2200ac

Traditional look, extremely adaptable mesh

The RT2600ac and MR2200ac combo isn’t as pretty or as easy to set up as other kits we like, but this pair is great for the tech-savvy, offering more Ethernet and USB ports plus many more tweakable settings. Despite the base router having only two bands, the combo has impressive throughput and latency.

Buying Options

$340 from Amazon

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter

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