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. 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 lists
- Best dual-band Wi-Fi 6 mesh systems: Affordable but wired backhaul recommended
- Best tri-band Wi-Fi 6 mesh system: Expensive but convenient
- 5. Linksys MX10: The best Velop mesh to date
- 4. Asus ZenWiFi AX: The best AiMesh system to date
- 3. Netgear Orbi RBK852: The expensive Wi-Fi 6 mesh that delivers
- 2. Ubiquiti AmpliFi Alien Mesh Kit: An Odd Pair of Wi-Fi 6 Tango
- 1. ARRIS SURFboard mAX Pro: A fast but bare-bone wireless-only Wi-Fi 6 mesh system
- Best Wi-Fi 6 mesh Wi-Fi systems of 2020: The performance
Best Wi-Fi 6 mesh Wi-Fi systems of 2020: The lists
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.
Best dual-band Wi-Fi 6 mesh systems: Affordable but wired backhaul recommended
These are mesh systems that have only a single broadcaster of each of the two frequencies (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.) As a result, in a wireless setup, the speed of the satellite unit’s 5 GHz band is generally only half that of the router unit, due to signal loss.
However, in a wired configuration, a dual-band mesh system will still give you consistent performance throughout. So, if you have run your home with network cables, this type of mesh will deliver the best bang for your buck.
3. Netgear Nighthawk MK63: The beginning of EasyMesh
The Netgear Nighthawk MK63 is an entirely new type of Wi-Fi 6 mesh system. It’s the first on the market based on the EasyMesh initiative. As a result, in the future, you might be able to use future supported hardware from other networking vendors with it.
For now, it’s an excellent choice if you have a modest broadband connection or have wired your home with network cables. Similar to the case of the Asus ZenWiFi AX Mini below, you do need a switch if you want to link all of the MK63’s hardware units together using network cables.
Netgear Nighthawk Mesh Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 System (MK63)
- Reliable performance, excellent coverage
- First EasyMesh system
- Wired backhaul support
- Compact design, easy to use
- Modest Wi-Fi specs, no dedicated backhaul
- Limited number of ports, switch required for wired backhaul configuration
- Lacks basic Wi-Fi settings, no 160 MHz channel width
- No multi-gig port, Dual-WAN or Link Aggregation
- Attracts and retains dirt and fingerprint easily
- Finicky QoS, online protection require mobile app and not free
- Not wall-mountable
2. Asus ZenWiFi AX Mini: The first complete AiMesh set
The ZenWiFi AX Mini is more than just a miniature version of the ZenWiFi AX. It’s the first purpose-built AiMesh system that includes two distinct types of hardware, including a router and two satellites.
Most importantly, it’s the very first among its peers that features a fully functioning Guest networking feature, something that had been amiss from the get-go in Asus’s AiMesh ecosystem.
On the downside, this little mesh system is dual-band and has modest hardware specs. As a result, it’s not a great choice unless you have wired your home with network cables. In any case, though, it’s an excellent and more affordable alternative to the TP-Link Deco X60 below.
Note: Alternatively, you can also opt for a combo of a few dual-band Asus AiMesh routers to have a similar, likely better, wired mesh solution (minus the Guest network, for now).
Asus ZenWiFi AX Mini (XD4) AiMesh Wi-Fi 6 System
- Reliable performance
- Improved AiMesh feature
- Guest networking works throughout the system
- Useful network settings and feature
- No dedicated backhaul band or 160MHz channel width support
- No multi-gig port, Dual-WAN or Link Aggregation
- Stripped-down, borderline useless QoS and Parental Control features
- Limited number of network ports, switch needed for a complete wired backhaul setup
- Non-pre-synced hardware, not wall-mountable
1. TP-Link Deco X60: Easy to use but wired backhaul is a must
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
- 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
- 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
- Zero Wi-Fi customization
- Limited web interface, no USB port
Best tri-band Wi-Fi 6 mesh system: Expensive but convenient
These are mesh systems that include three internal Wi-Fi frequency bands within each of its hardware units. Specifically, they all have one 2.4 GHz band and two 5 GHz ones. In a wireless setup, one of the latter will work as a dedicated wireless backhaul.
The idea of the dedicated backhaul is one band takes care of the job that links the hardware units leaving the other two to work only for clients. As a result, even when it’s not possible to use network cables to connect the hardware units, you can still archive fast throughputs.
A tri-band system is a must for a home with a lot of thick walls or if you want to get the fastest possible speed and can’t run network cables. Most of these systems do support wired backhaul as an option, however.
5. Linksys MX10: The best Velop mesh to date
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 delivers 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
- 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
- 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
4. Asus ZenWiFi AX: The best AiMesh system to date
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)
- 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
- No 160MHz 4x4 support for Wi-Fi 6 clients, for now, in a wireless setup
- No multi-gig LAN port or LAN link aggregation
- Only four network ports on each hardware units
- Guest networking, for now, remains at the router unit
- Not enough instructions on network settings
3. Netgear Orbi RBK852: The expensive Wi-Fi 6 mesh that delivers
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)
- 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
- High cost
- No 160MHz channel support, limited Wi-Fi customization
- Not compatible with Wi-Fi Orbi hardware
- No multi-gig LAN port, intermittent lags
- Bulky design
2. Ubiquiti AmpliFi Alien Mesh Kit: An Odd Pair of Wi-Fi 6 Tango
The AmpliFi Alien Kit includes an Alien router and an Alien MeshPoint. The pair is permanently synced. Consequently, 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
- 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
- MeshPoint has only one LAN port, and only works with the one router of the same Alien Kit
- No dedicated backhaul band
1. ARRIS SURFboard mAX Pro: A fast but bare-bone wireless-only 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.
This mesh system is the only one here that doesn’t support wired backhaul, though that might change in via firmware update.
ARRIS Surfboard Max Pro Mesh Wi-Fi 6 AX11000 System
- Gigabit-class Wi-Fi speeds
- Dedicated backhaul; exceptional Wi-Fi coverage
- Easy to use mobile app
- Well-thought-out, compact, fan-less design
- 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
Best Wi-Fi 6 mesh Wi-Fi systems of 2020: The performance
Find below the satellite mesh performance of the systems mentioned above. I tested all of them in a wireless setup with the satellite place 40 feet (12 m) away from the router unit.
I figured out the routers’ throughput speeds using 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 and 4×4 Wi-Fi 5 clients. For those of a satellite unit, I used a 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 client and a 3×3 Wi-Fi 5 client.
Note that I generally don’t test Wi-Fi 6 mesh satellites’ 2.4 GHz band because some systems don’t allow for separating the two Wi-Fi bands into two networks. That said, the numbers you see on the charts are likely those of the 5GHz one.
Also, I generally don’t test mesh systems in a wired setup since that can be redundant. Via wired backhaul, the performance of the satellite unit is usually the same as that of the router unit.