Dual-band Mesh Rivals: Asus XD4 vs. Netgear MK63 vs. TP-Link X60

Asus ZenWiFi AX Mini XD4 Mesh System 8
The Asus ZenWiFi AX Mini (XD4) is has the most features and settings among the three.

This post aims to help you make a quick decision between three similar Wi-Fi 6 mesh systems, including:

  • Asus ZenWiFi AX Mini (model XD4)
  • Netgear Nighthawk Mesh Wi-Fi 6 System (model MK63)
  • TP-Link Deco X60 WiFi 6 AX3000 Whole-Home Mesh Wi-Fi System (model X60)

These three are mid-tier mesh systems for the budget-minded.

They are not exactly affordable, but sure cost significantly less than the higher-end alternatives. All come with a 3-pack — you have more options in terms of hardware placement and possibly better coverage.

The three support wired backhaul, meaning you can use network cables to link the hardware units, which is the recommended setup.

There are a lot of differences between these three. First, the Asus and Netgear share almost the same specs and are more affordable than the TP-Link. But their hardware is a bit inferior.

Netgear MK63 AX1800 Mesh Wi Fi 6 System 6
The Netgear Nighthawk Mesh Wi-Fi 6 System (MK63) is the first EasyMesh system on the market.

While all three are dual-band 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 systems, the TP-Link has the support for the venerable 160 MHz channel width and, therefore, can theoretically deliver double the bandwidth compared to the two. (That proved to be not the case in my testing, though.)

The TP-Link also comes with three identical routers, each having two network ports, making it a great fit for a daisy-chain wired backhaul setup.

The ZenWiFi AX Mini and Netgear Nighthawk MK63 each include a router and two satellites with two and one Gigabit network ports, respectively. As a result, it’s a bit harder to wired them all together.

In return, the Asus comes with a lot more features — including the support for Asus AiMesh — and settings than the TP-Link. It also doesn’t require a login account with its vendor, while the Deco X60 does. The Netgear is somewhere in middle on this front.

The Netgear is also unique since it’s the first that uses EasyMesh, meaning in the future you’ll likely be able to use other EasyMesh hardware (from any vendor) with it.

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TP Link X60 Back
The TP-Link Deco X60 comes include three identical hardware units with each having two Gigabit network ports.

I tested these mesh system in a wireless setup. As a result, you’ll note that their satellite always had a much slower speed than the router. In a wired backhaul setup, you can expect the satellite to deliver the same performance as the router as seen in the charts below.

dual band mesh Asus vs Netgear vs TP Link

Asus ZenWiFi AX Mini (XD4) AiMesh Wi-Fi 6 System

8.1

Performance

8.0/10

Features

8.5/10

Design and Setup

7.5/10

Value

8.5/10

Pros

  • Reliable performance
  • Improved AiMesh feature
  • Guest networking works throughout the system
  • Useful network settings and feature

Cons

  • 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

Netgear Nighthawk Mesh Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 System (MK63)

8

Performance

8.5/10

Features

7.0/10

Design and Setup

8.0/10

Value

8.5/10

Pros

  • Reliable performance, excellent coverage
  • Affordable
  • First EasyMesh system
  • Wired backhaul support
  • Compact design, easy to use

Cons

  • 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

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
  • Zero Wi-Fi customization
  • Limited web interface, no USB port

You should consider any of these mid-range dual-band mesh systems if:

That’s because none of them has a dedicated backhaul band. As a result, you’ll get quite slow Wi-Fi speeds in a wireless setup due to signal loss.

With that out of the way, it’s now the question of privacy, features, performance, and ease of use.

The Asus ZenWiFi AX Mini is a better answer on the first three. The Netgear Nighthawk MK63 is the middle of the road. And if you’re looking to daisy-chance hardware unit via network cables, the TP-Link Deco X60 is the only choice.

Personally, I’d pick the Asus out of the three if that’s the only router in a network. It has everything one would need in terms of features.

However, if you’re gonna use them in the access point mode, such as when you need to keep your existing router or ISP-provided gateway, then the features are no longer relevant. In that case, the TP-Link is the best choice thanks to its extra LAN ports.

Looking to compare other Wi-Fi solution? Check them all out here.

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6 thoughts on “Dual-band Mesh Rivals: Asus XD4 vs. Netgear MK63 vs. TP-Link X60”

  1. Hi Dong,

    Thanks for all these nice reviews! Really helpfull, since I’m planning to upgrade the wifi at my home.

    My modem is located in the fuse box which is located in the garage. So to get full coverage in my house I’m thinking about putting a router in the fuse box, and in addition put nodes in my living room, on first floor and on second floor.

    What do you believe makes most sense?

    Buy 2 x 2-pack XD4 and put the router in the fuse box and use the 3 other XD4 ones as nodes. Or buy a RT-AX86U as primary router and in addition buy a 3-pack XD4 as nodes in the different rooms?

    Thanks!

    Regards,
    Raymond

    Reply
    • It’ll work better if you run network cables, or at least one cable from the modem to another place where you place the router. But your choices of hardware will work, of those the latter is better. If you go full wireless though, I’d recommend tri-band system, like the ZenWiFi AX or AC.

      Reply
      • Hi Dong,

        Thanks for this quick reply. I forgot to mention that there are network cables running to every room.

        I also thought of placing the router more centrally (instead of in the fuse box). However my patch panel, Synology and some other devices are in the fuse box, therefore I guess I’m limited in putting my router in the fuse box.

        Regards,
        Raymond

        Reply
  2. Thanks for this quick review, i’d like to see performances with all units connected with cables.
    I already bet on the Asus to complete my Asys 86U router, but Asus mini are still not available in Europe 🙁 … waiting since June annoncement

    Reply

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