Which Mesh Wi-Fi System Should I Buy?

Credit: Netgear

If you’ve decided to make your next home Wi-Fi system a Mesh one, it’s worth knowing the pros and cons of each solution on the market. 

[Related: Mesh Wi-Fi vs Traditional Routers: Which Is Better?]

Here’s what you need to know before buying in:

TP-Link Deco

Credit: TP-Link

TP-Link currently offer three Whole Home Wi-Fi packages:

  • The TP-Link Deco M4 (2-pack)

  • The TP-Link Deco M5 (3-pack)

  • The TP-Link Deco M9 Plus (available either as a single unit or 2-pack)

Speed

  • The TP-Link Deco M9 Plus supports tri-band Wi-Fi speeds of up to 2134Mbps.
  • The TP-Link Deco M5 boasts dual-band Wi-Fi speeds of up to 1267Mbps.
  • The TP-Link Deco M4 offers dual-band Wi-Fi speeds of up to 1167 Mbps.

Coverage

A pair of TP-Link Deco M9 Plus nodes can deliver Wi-Fi to an area of up to 420 square metres. While a Deco M5 single pack delivers up to 140 square metres of coverage, the full trio offers up to 420 square meters of Wi-Fi coverage. Finally, The TP-Link Deco M4 two-pack offers Wi-Fi connectivity of up to 260 square meters.

The coverage of all three Deco units is also expandable via additional nodes.

Connectivity

  • The TP-Link Deco M9 Plus supports up to 100 concurrent devices.
  • The TP-Link Deco M5 supports up to 100 concurrent devices.
  • The TP-Link Deco M4 supports up to 100 concurrent devices.

Software Features

The TP-Link Deco M9 Plus features a built-in ZigBee smart hub plus integration with TP-Link HomeCare. Powered by Trend Micro, this software offers built-in antivirus and powerful parental controls that allow you to limit online time and block inappropriate content on a per-user (or per-device) basis. There are also several quality-of-service features that allow you to prioritise devices and applications for faster performance when needed.

The TP-Link Deco M5 and M4 feature most of the same functionality, minus the built-in smart home hub.  

Australian Pricing

  • The TP-Link Deco M9 Plus has a recommended retail price of $549.95.
  • The TP-Link Deco M5 has a recommended retail price of $349.95.
  • The TP-Link Deco M4 has a recommended retail price of $229.95.

Google Wi-Fi

Credit: Google

Google offers a single three node mesh Wi-Fi system called Google Wi-Fi.

Speed

The Google Wi-Fi system is a dual-band AC1200 router, so it offers speeds of up to about 1200Mbps.

Coverage

According to the company, a single Google Wi-Fi node will offer up to 85 square meters of coverage. Adding a second node boosts that to 170 square meters.

Having a third node allows you to go beyond that. However, Google don’t explicitly state any sort of theoretical max range.

Connectivity

Google has not disclosed a specific limit for how many concurrent devices can connect to a Google Wi-Fi mesh system before they begin to infringe upon one another.

Software Features

Using the Google Wi-Fi app, network administrators are able to schedule a regular Wi-Fi pause on any connected devices, and for net-wary parents, block access to any explicit websites.

Pricing

A three-pack of Google Wi-Fi nodes is priced at $199, including GST.

D-Link Covr

Credit: D-Link

D-Link currently offers two mesh Wi-Fi systems:

  • The D-Link Covr C-1203 Seamless Dual-Band Wi-Fi system

  • The D-Link Covr C-2202 Seamless Tri-Band Wi-Fi system

Speed

  • The D-Link Covr C-1203 Seamless Dual Band Wi-Fi system supports speeds of up to 1200Mbps.
  • The D-Link Covr C-2202 Seamless Tri-Band Wi-Fi System supports speeds of up to 2200 Mbps.

Coverage

The Covr C-1203 Seamless Dual Band triple-pack offers network coverage of up to 465 square metres.

By contrast, the more-powerful (and expensive) Covr C-2202 Tri-Band system offers network coverage of 560 square meters using just two nodes.

Software Features

Both the Covr C-1203 and C-2202 are integrated with the D-Link Wi-Fi app. This allows network administrators to use parental controls to see what devices are connected to Covr, schedule when devices can be used, create a guest login for when you have visitors, and block any devices you don’t know.

Pricing

  • The D-Link Covr C-1203 Seamless Dual-Band Wi-Fi system has a recommended retail price of $399.95.
  • The D-Link Covr C-2202 Seamless Tri-Band Wi-Fi system has a recommended retail price of $499.95.

Next Page: Netgear Orbi, Linksys Velop & Which Mesh Wi-Fi System Should You Buy

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