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Best Mesh Wifi Routers of 2022

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The start of the pandemic saw a massive , with millions of Americans transitioning to and , not to mention the uptick in traffic used for , with friends and with loved ones. Now, more than two years later, it doesn’t look like these new habits will be going away anytime soon — and that means it’s more important than ever to have a strong and reliable internet connection at home.   

One of the best moves most households can make is to upgrade from a traditional router to a mesh system. With multiple devices spread throughout your home, a mesh router is like a team of routers that can relay your wireless traffic back to the modem better than a traditional router, especially when you’re connecting at range. And there are lots of new, next-gen options on the market, so it’s a prime time to make the switch.

With a fiber internet connection of 300Mbps in my home, these are room-by-room average download speeds for each mesh router I’ve tested with a Wi-Fi 6 client device. The Netgear Orbi AX6000 is our top performer, but the TP-Link Deco W7200 is right behind it and costs less than a third as much.

Ry Crist/CNET

At-home speed tests

Router manufacturers make a lot of big claims about top speeds,  or at least confusing when you’re shopping for a new one. I’m more interested in knowing the ins and outs of how they’ll perform in people’s homes, where incoming speeds might be limited and multiple devices might be competing for bandwidth. 

To find out, I test all of the routers I review out of my home, a one-story, 1,300-square-foot house in Louisville, Kentucky, with incoming fiber internet speeds of 300Mbps, upload and download. Up until 2020, I ran the majority of these at-home tests using a Dell XPS 13 laptop that uses Wi-Fi 5. Then, once Wi-Fi 6 became available, I started running two separate sets of tests: one to measure speeds to that Wi-Fi 5 laptop, and another, separate set of tests to measure speeds to a client device that supports Wi-Fi 6. That means that there are some routers listed in this post that were tested before we were able to run our at-home tests to a Wi-Fi 6 device (I’ve starred them in the leaderboard graph below).

A graph comparing the aggregate speed ratings for our top mesh routers.

After running countless speed tests in multiple spots throughout my home, where I have fiber internet with upload and download speeds of 300Mbps, I average the results together to get these aggregate speed ratings for each mesh router I test. Here’s the leaderboard as it currently stands. (Routers with stars were tested with a Wi-Fi 5 client device, before we were using Wi-Fi 6 devices for our at-home tests.)

Ry Crist/CNET

The biggest names that are still waiting for Wi-Fi 6 speed test data are the Nest Wifi mesh router and the Asus ZenWifi XT8, both of which performed well when I tested them with my old Wi-Fi 5 laptop. The latter is a tri-band router with support for Wi-Fi 6, so it would likely be a spot or two higher on that leaderboard (and potentially higher than the dual-band ZenWifi XD6) if we had tested it with a Wi-Fi 6 device.

I’ll update this post when I’m able to add those results, and I’ll also continue to run tests on both types of client devices in order to get a good sense of how well these routers perform with both current- and previous-gen hardware. You can check out my full reviews for more information on that breakdown. 

The short version is that newer client devices that support Wi-Fi 6 will typically be able to hit sustained speeds that are noticeably faster than what you’ll get with older, Wi-Fi 5 devices — but previous-gen devices like those can still benefit from a mesh router that supports Wi-Fi 6.