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)
Asus XD4 vs. Netgear MK63 vs. TP-Link X60: Similarities
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.
Asus XD4 vs. Netgear MK63 vs. TP-Link X60: Hardware specifications
Asus XD4 vs. Netgear MK63 vs. TP-Link X60: Differences
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.
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.
Asus XD4 vs. Netgear MK63 vs. TP-Link X60: Performance
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.
Asus XD4 vs. Netgear MK63 vs. TP-Link X60: Ratings
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
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
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
Which to buy
You should consider any of these mid-range dual-band mesh systems if:
- You have a broadband connection of 200Mbps download speed or slower. Or
- Your home is wired with network cables.
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.