Best Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Systems of 2020

READ MORE:  Best Wi-Fi 6 Routers of 2020
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The AmpliFi Alien Kit is one of the coolest Wi-Fi 6 mesh system.

You’ll find in this post the best Wi-Fi 6 mesh systems you can get right now.

It’s worth noting that even when you don’t have updated clients, Wi-Fi 6 is still superior to Wi-Fi 5 when you use multiple hardware units in a system. Thanks to the high bandwidth backhaul link, you can place the broadcasters farther out to get extensive coverage, and still have the fast speeds for your needs.

A mesh is only necessary for a large home, however. So those living in a medium home and needing only a standalone router, check out this list of best Wi-Fi 6 routers instead.

Dong’s note: This is a frequently updated post.

Best Wi-Fi 6 mesh Wi-Fi systems of 2020: The list

There are not many Wi-Fi 6 mesh systems on the market and this post indeed includes all those I’ve tested, in the reviewed order, latest on top. I’ll add (or remove) the options as more systems become available. So do bookmark this page.

Scroll down to the bottom to see how their performance stacked up. Or check out this post on Wi-Fi 6 competing pairs to see how some of them pan out as direct competitors.

READ MORE:  Home Wi-Fi 6 Solutions Compared: Which to Consider


6: TP-Link Deco X60: A Wi-Fi 6 mesh for a wired home

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The TP-Link Deco X60 is a 3-pack dual-band 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 mesh system.

The TP-Link Deco X60 is quite slow when working as a wireless mesh system. However, if you have wired your home Gigabit Ethernet, it’ll work out very well, especially considering a relatively affordable price of less than $350 for a 3-pack.

TP-Link Deco X60 AX3000 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System

7.8

Performance

7.0/10

Features

7.5/10

Design and Setup

8.5/10

Value

8.0/10

Pros

  • Reliable Wi-Fi performance, good coverage
  • Super user-friendly, comparatively affordable
  • Wired backhaul support, can work as in AP mode as a system
  • Useful QoS, Antivirus, and Parental Control features
  • Eye-catching design

Cons

  • Slow as a wireless mesh, no real-world 160 MHz channel width support
  • Requires an account with TP-Link to work
  • No dedicated backhaul band
  • Antivirus require a subscription
  • Zero Wi-Fi customization
  • Limited web interface, no USB port
READ MORE:  TP-Link Deco X60 Review: A Reliable but Slow Wi-Fi 6 Mesh System

5. Linksys MX10: The best Velop mesh to date

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech Each Linksys MX5 Velop AX router is quite massive. It’s the biggest Velop hardware I’ve seen.

The Linksys MX10 is a 2-pack system consisting of two Linksys MX5 Velp AX router. Frankly, it’s quite expensive considering what it has to offer.

However, it still has more features than the Arris SURFboard mAX below and, most importantly, it drivers in terms of performance. If you’ve had experience with a Velop system before, the Linksys MX10 is the best of its type.

Linksys MX10 Velop AX WiFi 6 Mesh System

8

Performance

8.5/10

Features

8.0/10

Easy of use

8.5/10

Value

7.0/10

Pros

  • Reliable and relatively fast Wi-Fi performance
  • Helpful mobile app, full web interface
  • Effective backhaul that delivers Wi-Fi 6 throughout in a mesh setup
  • Fast NAS speeds when hosting an external drive

Cons

  • Expensive with comparatively low Wi-Fi specs
  • No support for 160MHz channel bandwidth
  • Mobile app and login account required for initial setup
  • Spartan Wi-Fi settings, modest feature set
  • No multi-gig network ports, Dual-WAN or Link Aggregation
  • USB port awkwardly place, not mountable
READ MORE:  Linksys MX10 Review: The Best-to-Date Velop for a Price

4. Asus ZenWiFi AX: The best AiMesh system to date

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The ZenWiFi AX XT8 includes two identical routers.

The ZenWiFi AX XT8 is Asus’s first Wi-Fi 6 system built around the company’s popular AiMesh feature. Though not the fastest on the market, nor is it the one that gives you everything an Asus router has to offer, the XT8 has an excellent combo of performance, features, and cost.

If you’re looking for a system that can deliver your Gigabit-class internet connection in full and has a ton of useful features, including a free-for-life built-in online protection, without having a hole in your wallet afterward, the ZenWiFi AX is the one to get.

ASUS ZenWiFi AX Whole-Home Tri-Band Mesh WiFi 6 System (XT8)

8.9

Performance

8.5/10

Features

9.5/10

Design and Setup

8.5/10

Value

9.0/10

Pros

  • Fast Wi-Fi performance and large coverage at a comparatively affordable cost
  • Improved and flexible AiMesh
  • Lots network settings and useful features, including free real-time online protection for life
  • Full 4x4 dedicated backhaul band with optional wired backhaul support
  • Multi-gig WAN port with Dual-WAN and WAN link aggregation

Cons

  • No 160MHz 4x4 support for Wi-Fi 6 clients, for now, in a wireless setup
  • No Guest networking throughout when working with non-ZenWiFi AiMesh routers
  • No multi-gig LAN port or LAN link aggregation
  • Only four network ports on each hardware units
  • Not enough instructions on network settings
READ MORE:  Asus ZenWiFi AX Review: The Best AiMesh System to Date

3. Netgear Orbi RBK852: The expensive Wi-Fi 6 mesh that delivers

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The Orbi Wi-Fi 6’s hardware units are almost identical.

The Orbi Wi-Fi 6 AX6000 (model RBK852) is not for everyone since it’s so expensive. But if you’re looking for a sure and easy way to blanket a large property with fast Wi-Fi that can deliver Gigabit-class Internet, it won’t disappoint.

Orbi WiFi 6 System AX6000 (RBK852)

8

Performance

8.5/10

Features

7.5/10

Design and Setup

8.5/10

Value

7.5/10

Pros

  • Fast, reliable Wi-Fi with large coverage
  • Full web interface with all common settings and features
  • Useful, well designed mobile app
  • 2.5Gbps multi-gig WAN ports
  • Support WAN 2Gbps Link Aggregation

Cons

  • High cost
  • No 160MHz channel support, limited Wi-Fi customization
  • No compatible with Wi-Fi Orbi hardware
  • No multi-gig LAN port, intermittent lags
  • Bulky design
READ MORE:  Netgear Orbi AX6000 Review: Great Wi-Fi for a Hefty Price

2. Ubiquiti AmpliFi Alien Mesh Kit: An Odd Pair of Wi-Fi 6 Tango

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The AmpliFi Alien Kit comes in a fancy box.

The AmpliFi Alien Kit includes an Alien router and an Alien MeshPoint. The pair is permanently synced. This means this kit is great for a home that needs a 2-pack system. If you need more than that, you’ll have to get another Alien router.

Despite that odd hardware configuration, the expensive price, and other oddities, this mesh system has enough to make almost anyone happy.

AmpliFi Alien Router and MeshPoint

8.5

Performance

8.5/10

Features

8.0/10

Design and Setup

9.5/10

Value

8.0/10

Pros

  • Dead-easy to set up and manage
  • Excellent Wi-Fi coverage
  • Fast performance, wired backhaul supported
  • Users can manage backhaul link and virtual Wi-Fi networks
  • Useful VPN and ad-blocking feature
  • Cool hardware design

Cons

  • MeshPoint has only one LAN port, and only works with the one router of the same Alien Kit
  • No dedicated backhaul band
  • Expensive
READ MORE:  Ubiquiti AmpliFi Alien Mesh Kit Review: An Odd Pair of Wi-Fi Tango

1. ARRIS SURFboard mAX Pro: Fast but barebone Wi-Fi 6 mesh system

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The ARRIS mAX Pro is the first tri-band 4×4 Wi-Fi 6 mesh system.

The SURFboard mAX Pro is ARRIS’s very first Wi-Fi 6 offering, and it’s a mesh system, a quite souped-up one. The performance was excellent in my testing, and I also like the design. It’s a bit thin on the settings and features, however, so make sure Wi-Fi speed and coverage are all you care about before getting your own.

ARRIS Surfboard Max Pro Mesh Wi-Fi 6 AX11000 System

7.4

Performance

8.0/10

Features

5.0/10

Design and Setup

9.5/10

Value

7.0/10

Pros

  • Gigabit-class Wi-Fi speeds
  • Dedicated backhaul; exceptional Wi-Fi coverage
  • Easy to use mobile app
  • Well-thought-out, compact, fan-less design

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No web interface, mobile app feels unfinished and severely lacks features and Wi-Fi settings
  • Each router has only four network ports and no multi-gig port
  • Not wall-mountable
READ MORE:  ARRIS SURFboard mAX Pro Review: Excellent Wi-Fi Stunted by Zero Multi-Gig Port and Scant Customization


Best Wi-Fi 6 mesh Wi-Fi systems of 2020: The performance

Find below the satellite mesh performance of the above-mentioned systems. I tested all of the in a wireless setup with the satellite place 40 feet (12 m) away from the router unit. I tested the routers using 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 and 4×4 Wi-Fi 5 clients.

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech

Note that I don’t test Wi-Fi 6 mesh systems’ 2.4 GHz band separately because some of them don’t allow for separating their two bands as two networks. That said, the numbers you see on the charts are likely those of the 5GHz one.

For legacy devices, I use 4×4 Wi-Fi 5 clients for the mesh’s router unit and 3×3 Wi-Fi 5 clients for the satellite unit.

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech

Also, even though all of these systems support wired backhaul, I generally don’t test mesh systems in a wired setup. That’s because, via wired backhaul, the performance of the satellite unit is generally the same as that of the router unit.

READ MORE:  Best Wi-Fi 6 Routers of 2020

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25 Comments

  1. Appreciate the feedback! (Yes am using cable, a Arris TM1602A was provided)

    I actually put 3 RT-AX92U’s on order but am now considering running Ethernet cables between devices to create a wired backhaul. A few quick questions:
    1) Given I’m getting max ~400mb from the ISP should I only run Cat 5e or upgrade to Cat 6 cables?
    2) What would be your router/satellite recommendation for this setup (again, a $600 total budget)
    3) Trying to minimize the number of lines I need to run between the subfloor.
    So, 3a) Can I a single line from the main router half way under the house and add a switch and then run independent lines to each satellite?
    3b) Better off running independent lines from the main router to each satellite
    3c) Daisy-chaining from satellite #2 to satellite #3

    (alternatively I can just stick with the RT-AX92U’s and then add in wired backhaul when I get the motivation)

  2. Hi Dong,
    Your advice, please. I live in a ranch adequately served by existing WiFi router placed next to the DSL MODEM.

    While I doubt WiFi 6 really benefits me due to the slowish DSL service, nevertheless I’m interested in a WiFi 6 mesh because of a detached building 100′ behind the house. FWIW, I connected it to the house with two Cat 5e cables (underground within PVC, one for regular network traffic and the other cable for the security system). Anyway, I put a WiFi router in that building (but with DHCP disabled, e.g. IP addresses assigned by the primary router). So basically, it’s working as a switch for the two computers and printer, but with WiFi for my phone service (needed because the building is all metal and effectively a Faraday Cage so getting any bars is iffy). Problem is the hand off from one router’s radio to the other when I go back and forth between the house and the building.

    So what I’m wondering is, can I use a WiFi mesh, instead, to address the handoff issue and have just the one WiFi? What I am thinking is for a WiFi 6 mesh router to replace the existing WiFi router, and then add the second WiFi mesh node within the building (connecting it to a switch that would replace the secondary router), Basically, by using the Cat 5e as a backhaul it connects to main WiFi 6 mesh router (thus replacing the existing WiFi router in the building). I think this solves the issue of switching off from one router radio to another nicely. Your thoughts?

    Last thing, I’m really interested in a 3-pack or even a 4-pack system because the WiFi router by the MODEM is very close to the back bedrooms (it’s in the garage which shares a wall with the bedrooms) and with a second node in the house, I could put it in the living room (also wired with Cat 5e) where I already have a 4-port Gigabit switch for the laptop computer and NAS. I’m thinking adding a node there would put it within 10′ of where we spend a lot of time browsing using an iPad or a 2nd laptop using WiFi. The 4th node would go in the building to spread the WiFi love more effectively. Thoughts?

    Anyway, I was considering a Netgear Nighthawk Whole Home Mesh WiFi 6 System, 3-Pack – but – I’ve read this system tests fine in the lab but isn’t that great in the real world when moving around – that would stink since moving around is the problem I’m seeking to resolve. Anyway, researching further led me to your website, where I was super impressed by your work. Bottom line? I’m quite willing to buy something other than the Netgear system based on your recommendation. Note, I’d happily backhaul all the nodes because I have Cat 5e running everywhere so I don’t plan to congest the backhaul using radio.

  3. Hey Dong,
    Thank you so much for your in-depth reviews – you have saved us all countless hours! I was wondering if you had any insider info on when the TP-Link Deco X90 will finally launch in the U.S? Everything I have read says it was supposed to be April 2020 but we are already at the end if May and I can’t seem to find it anywhere. I’m looking to upgrade from my Velop system I purchased in 2017 since we have several WiFi 6 devices in our home already and 500mbps internet (may upgrade to Cox Gigablast if I can get a good deal). I have Cat6 cables in five rooms in the home we recently moved to so I was considering the X60 since I will be able to use wired backhaul….I have also considered Ubiquiti access points although I am really just a bit beyond novice with networking so I’m not sure I’m up to the task of configuring one of those. I have pretty high hopes for the X90 since it will be the best of the three – do you think it is worth waiting for or should I just settle for the X60? Thanks for your input and again for all your awesome reviews!

  4. Great article!
    Love your advice on my setup.

    Just upgraded isp and testing 350mb at the modem.
    Need a 3 piece system due to L-shaped house.

    Wireless required from router to #1 satellite. (about 25’)
    Then a 50’ Ethernet cable from #1 satellite to satellite #2.
    LAN connection from satellite #2 to my main workstation. (Fastest speed here is primary goal)

    ~$600 usd budget. No existing hardware. ~40 networked devices. Mesh desired. Minimal WiFi 6 devices but would like to future proof. Need strong WiFi from satellites as well. No other features required.

  5. Dong, always enjoy your articles! You mention that you test with 4×4 Wi-Fi 5 clients. Can you tell me what clients are 4×4? Cell phones I think are 2×2, along with laptops. I think the MacBook is a 3×3, but that seems to be the exception.
    Thanks,
    John K.

  6. Hello, I have one story above ground and one story below. 5ghz band is terrible extending to basement below ground it seems. I have old mesh system now, and i setup one pod halfway down the steps (there is a landing) and then one pod at each end of house upstairs and all seems to work with that config…not very fast but functioning fine. I want to upgrade from the old Google AC1200 mesh to new Wifi 6 Mesh. I don’t really need Ghz speeds around the house, but would prefer to have very solid 300mhz + speeds throughout. I will setup the main router in my office upstairs on one end of house and use ethernet from my main PC. Everything else can be wireless. I also think the latest Orbi three pack at US $1000 is ridiculous! I am not wired and need to rely on great connection between pods wireless.(I thinkj I need three due to placing one halfway down steps to basement) I am ok up to about US $450 or so…Recommendations?

  7. Dong,

    Looking more into this, I think the most cost effective way to handle this would be to have a dual band router covering the house and run a network cable out to the outdoor living space. I did not know this was an option to connect other hardware to the router without having to manually switch WiFi networks (this is my current situation).

    Thank you for the suggestion! Now I am off to decide between ASUS RT-AX3000 and TPLink AX50, as well as finding some kind of hardware for the node out back. Do all range extenders require me to manually change to a new WiFi connection?

    B

  8. Good afternoon!

    I appreciate the time you took to review these mesh systems, the detail and data you present are very useful.

    I am upgrading from a nearly 10 year old Arris surfboard router. I would like to purchase a WiFi 6 router system after researching it. I would like to request your opinion on which system would work well for my set up.

    I have a 1700 sqft ranch home with a detached garage ~50-75 feet away from the back of the house that I would like Wifi in for music/movies/gaming outdoor in this converted living space. There is also an outdoor living space in between the 2.

    I keep thinking the 3 router system would work best for this so I can set one up in the detached garage, but I cannot decide between TP-Link Deco x60, Asus ZenWiFi, or another system entirely. I certainly don’t think I need the very expensive set ups considering we are only paying for 100 Mbps.

    Thank you ahead for any advice you can offer!
    B

    1. If you can run network cables, BT, just get a 3-pack dual-band system. If not, get a tri-band one. Try a 2-pack first (one at the main house, the other at the outdoor living space), if that doesn’t work, you’ll need a 3-pack, one unit at each place. But you should read this post (and those from the links within.)

  9. My gut is telling me I should skip both of these and go with the upcoming AX86U, but from my research, it seems like the price is going to be a bit higher since it has a MSRP of 1999 Chinese yuan or the equivalent of 280 USD.

    I know theres no performance metric for this upcoming unit, but I would make a logical guess that it performs similarly to the AX88U in both wifi5/wifi6 5G metrics.

    Just questioning to my self if its worth the price hike… Maybe I should have kept my AX58U I had but I was kinda let down by the WIFI 5 performance and 2×2 limitation which impacts my old mac. I guess its the same for the GT-AC2900 in 160mhz mode as it also limits bandwidth down to 2×2 like performance.

  10. Hey dong. I know you didn’t review it exactly.. but I scored an ARRIS AX7800 wifi6 MESH router for $199.99 from a walmart clearance.. The problem is.. bought a GT-AC2900 (86u rebrand) for 169.99 the week prior and I’m not sure what to keep. The AC2900 has 160mhz channel support at the cost of overall range (pseudo wifi6 performance) The Arris only supports 80mhz or so..

    Basically these two routers (GT-AC2900 and ARRIS 7800) perform well but I’m not sure if I should keep the 7800 since the backhaul is adding lag and randomly drops performance at times. The GT-2900 is a GREAT router, but I do have an AX200 desktop and would prefer to go AX right now but theres nothing with 4×4 enabled hardware (Range benefits) except a much more expensive AX88u or nighthawk AX8 (which is on sale for 299 for Best buy members.. I had tried AX3000 and while a good router it lacks range/speed for my wifi5 clients in my front room.

    I’m just so confused what to do atm.. I know the Arris 7800 sells for around 500, but its very barebones. On the contrary the GT2900 is basically an 86u, and only supports wifi5 but very good range..

  11. Hi Dong. The reviews you are making are amazing and the best. Congratulations
    I need your advice.
    I think it is time to upgrade my current wired and wireless system.
    I already have several components with wifi 6 (computers and phones) but really the big problem is the coverage and this is why I need to take ta decisión.

    Actual System in a 4500 sq ft divided in three floors:
    1. First floor: Modem with optical service in bridge mode (200Mbps) wired to Time Capsule
    2. Thrid floor: Wired from Time Capsule to first Airport;
    3. Second floor: Wireless from Time capsule to second Airport.
    I can make a wiring to the second floor but it is an important building work

    I have thought of the following solution
    1. First Floor: Modem with optical service in bridge mode (200Mbps) wired to Asus RT-AX89X
    2. Third floor: Wired with CAT6 from Asus RT-AX89X to Aimesh AX XT8
    3. Second floor: Wireless from Aimesh AX XT8 (third floor) to Aimesh AX XT8 (second floor). In this case, I will use one band for wireless conection between AX Xt8

    What is your opinion?
    Regards, Jose

    1. That will work really well, Jose. Considering you have wired backhaul, you can even go with less expensive routers, like the RT-AX3000. But if you want to go with tri-band routers, I’d recommend using the GT-AX11000 in the place of the RT-AX89X.

  12. Thank you dong for your extensive reviews I came across your website a couple of days ago and boy oh boy i went into a deep hole .. i was upgrading my parents house setup which is almost 10 years old . I did extensive research and decided to get them the eero pro 3 pack 9 my father had a budget of 5004 approx and they live in a big house then I cam across the new orbi AX4200 I really want to hear your thoughts on it

    1. Glad you’re here, Fouad. I can’t say much about the Orbi AX4200 since it’s not out yet (and there are NDAs and embargoes) but there are many other *much* better solutions than the Eero. But if you want to learn about the Orbi AX4200, chances are it’s going to be similar to the Orbi AX6000. Also, if you consider yourself an advanced user, take a look at Asus’s AiMesh, too. You’ll have lots of options.

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