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Which wi-fi router or extender?

Wi-fi systems and mesh networks

By Ryan Shaw

Article 4 of 4

If you have a large home or one with an unusual layout, you can banish wi-fi 'black spots' with a mesh network system.

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Sometimes, a humble router simply isn't up to the job of spreading the internet throughout a larger home. 

Throw in thick walls, an unusual layout or a complex wiring system, and you can't rely on a basic wi-fi extender or powerline adapter, either. But, you could consider overhauling your network with a wi-fi 'mesh' system.

Wi-fi systems are simple to set up and use, and they don’t usually require much configuration or management apart from a few taps on the associated mobile app. The only downside is cost - most mesh systems come in at a little under £200.

Head straight to our router and wi-fi extender reviews - or read on for more expert advice.

Our pick of the best and mesh networks

Find out which wi-fi systems and mesh networks are worth your time and money in our table below.

Best wi-fi systems and mesh networks

88%
£289.00
Reviewed

This mesh system really boosts wi-fi connection throughout the home. We managed to get a strong and reliable connection with this model in every room of our test house.

87%
£175.00
Reviewed

This mesh system manages to get rid of dead spots and gives excellent long-range coverage.

76%
£169.00
Reviewed

This system is excellent at increasing speed and coverage. It's also the cheapest we've tested.

What is a mesh network?

A mesh network or wi-fi system is a series of mini hubs that all interlink - you place them throughout your home, and you'll remain seamlessly on wi-fi as you move around the house. It replaces your existing wi-fi network with a grid of devices communicating and working together to spread a consistent wi-fi connection.

More powerful than conventional extenders, you’ll receive stronger and wider wi-fi coverage around your home, and there’s no need to change your wi-fi login as you move around. Typically, they come as a twin or triple-pack and you place the different devices around your home to remedy the wi-fi black spots.

You might think that these devices are for tech-savvy people, who know what they’re doing. But because these wi-fi systems are designed to be simple, in most cases you’re not going to find the same in-depth settings you can find on routers. For this reason, power users and people that like to tinker with their network may find this system limited, but for anyone else that finds wi-fi networks confusing, this can be a blessing.

Pros

  • Simple setup
  • Easy network management via mobile app
  • More powerful than an extender or powerline kit
  • Ideal for connecting multiple devices (phones, tablets, laptops, smart TV)

Cons

  • Expensive price, when compared to extenders and powerline
  • More equipment needed to get strong wireless
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