All of us know what a Wi-Fi system is; it is what makes you feel at home. However, with the advent of new technologies, Wi-Fi has also changed a lot.
Wireless routers have got a lot of slimmer and smaller than before, but the speed and range are much better than the other routers.
What is Mesh WiFi?
Well, you know what is mesh? A mesh is an inter-knitted and interlaced structure that covers a big area and you can see how well the fibers are woven into each other.
A Mesh Wi-Fi system takes more than one router. One main router and two sub routers weave a net or mesh of internet for you. This is kind of a setup that you use only in case you have a small office or a big house.
In this blog post, we are going to discuss 4 top of the line Mesh Wi-Fi systems: Google WiFi System, Netgear’s Orbi, Eero Home WiFi system, and Linksys Velop WiFi system.
So, Without further ado, here’s the review.
Google WiFi vs. Orbi vs. Eero vs. Velop: Reviews
Google WiFi System Review
Considering how all big companies were already into the WiFi router manufacturing business, Google and Apple also followed the suit.
Google takes the credit of the market’s most uniquely built and effective Mesh WiFi system. It is a complete system and it is unique in many different ways that you cannot compare to other products.
It comes with three small and lookalike units. However, one of those units is primary and the remaining two are the secondary units.
You connect the primary unit with your modem and then it ensures an equal supply of the internet to the secondary units.
This way, you get three units to spread WiFi mesh throughout your home or your office. Make sure that you evenly distribute the units to have a bigger and better-connected internet supply mesh.
Only Accessible via Mobile App
As you know the thing with internet routers. There is always a big techie detail as to how to install them and bring them to work. You connect the router to a computer and then optimize it.
This is not the case with Google’s WiFi system. It can only be configured with the mobile app and there is not much that you can do in the conventional way which is easier for a lot of people out there.
A Rather Complex Router System
Why is it complex? Well, that demands a little bit of detail and a better understanding of home internet networking.
Let me make it simple. This is a set of three. One is primary and the remaining two are secondary units. Since it is not one unit but all three that make it a “Mesh”, you have to buy all three or buy just one for a small space.
However, If and as usual a customer gets 3 of these units and interconnects them, they have no other way but to use NAT on the main unit.
And if your router is not bridgeable, it becomes sub-NAT. In other words, there come a lot of problems like lack of access to IP addresses and many similar issues.
However, The pros of this product make it worth buying. Here’s our take on the pros of the Google WiFi system.
Covers a Bigger Area – 4,500 sq. ft.
Well, That’s what a mesh WiFi system is all about. It covers a larger area and provides seamless internet access.
So, let us get the math right and see how three routers of Google mesh WiFi system do this. See, one unit covers 1,500 sq. ft. Since there are three of them, all of them cover a total of 4,500 sq. ft. area.
However, This is an estimate, and considering the internet connection and other details, the area of coverage can be more or less. This big area of coverage is useful for a big house or an office building.
Sleek & Stylish Design
You cannot take a look at these small devices and not give them a 10/10 for design. The round-shaped small devices are so small that you can simply keep them anywhere.
From a bookshelf to your study table to simply anywhere in your house, you can keep these little things. And the best thing about the design is that unless someone knows what it is, they will not get the “techie vibes” from this thing.
This looks like almost every small and beautiful electronic device e.g. a Bluetooth speaker or a fragrance diffuser etc.
Affordable as Compared to Others
The affordable price is definitely one of the biggest pros of this product. As classy and as effective this mesh WiFi system is, it still costs as low as $$$.
That’s the Amazon rate for a used set of Google WiFi system. Compare this to other routers on this list and you will see why 5,700+ people liked to buy this product.
For example, used a set of Netgear’s Orbi Mesh WiFi system costs roughly $$$ and used a set of Velop set costs around $$$+ on Amazon.
So, yes! If you want a really good Mesh WiFi system with really good coverage area and still at an affordable rate, Google’s WiFi system is the best.
Speedy and Easy Setup
This WiFi system from Google is hands down one of the easiest and fastest to set up. All you have to do is to physically connect the primary router to the modem and then follow the process below.
- Download a Google WiFi app and scan the code on the primary router.
- The app will scan the code in a second and it will take you through the configuration process. Configure the network name and password.
- Now connect secondary units. Just connect them with a power socket and then use the app to add one or more WiFi points.
Netgear’s Orbi WiFi System
If apart from Apple’s Airport Extreme Base Station, if there are any Mesh WiFi system that challenges Google’s WiFi system in terms of cool looks, it is Orbi from Netgear.
The pair of Mesh W-Fi system set looks more like some chic side table lamps instead of what they are. And they do not only look like magic, but they also work like magic. They cover an area bigger than Google’s WiFi system.
Pricy for its Value
The price of this Mesh internet system is around $$$ on Amazon. This is not too expensive, considering how Eero costs roughly $$$ on Amazon, but still compared to the price of Google WiFi system, it is a very expensive one.
Firmware Updates – Headache
There is no serious problem with this router. Yes, it might have a few glitches every now and then, but it is not the case with most of the units.
However, There is this technical issue that is there with each and every unit that you can buy. That is the problem with firmware updates.
Yes, These updates are highly recommended and needed to keep one’s router updated, but the problem is with how frequently they occur, how long they take to commence and for how long you cannot use the system.
That is the problem – the period of time for which you cannot use the internet through your WiFi Mesh. However, These issues, thank goodness, are only for a temporary time period.
Here are the pros that come with this package and stay with you for a very long time.
Covers a Larger Area – 5,000 sq. ft.
As you know the Google WiFi Mesh system consists of three units and still it covers 4,500 sq. ft. and unless there are some extraordinarily favorable circumstances, this is the maximum limit.
It’ll be a breeze of fresh air to know that only with two units, this Mesh WiFi system offers you a bigger area of coverage – 5,000 sq. ft. For the entirety of 5,000 sq. ft. covered area you 30 Gbps speed.
Patented Tri-band Technology Allows More Devices at Same Time
This WiFi mesh system comes with a patented Tri-band technology that allows your family or workplace people to connect more and more devices to the network.
Each Orbi unit has an additional 866Mbits/sec802.11ac 5GHz network and a 400Mbits/sec 2.4GHz network. The idea is to let the users of your network operate all kinds of devices on these routers.
For example, if someone wants to use a device that takes more GHz then their device will use the 5GHz network to operate that and in case of small devices, the 2.5Ghz band will be used.
Very Easy to Set Up
With a pre-supposition that satellite and the shebang come connected before you even unbox the whole deal, here is how you do the rest.
- Connect one unit to your modem/internet connection
- Now power on the satellite once it is positioned perfectly.
- The lights on your system show you how well it is connected.
- Now go through the web-based installation wizard to configure all the details
And this is it, job done. Now you know why it is one of the easiest Mesh WiFi systems to connect.
One of the Fastest Mesh Systems
As per Orbi’s claim their Mesh WiFi system is 161% faster than other systems. However, there is no evidence to confirm this claim. In this situation, all we can do is test it and as per the tests, Orbi’s speed is pretty much satisfying even at distance.
As a range of 5 to 10 meters, the throughput is 380+ Mbits/sec and on the first floor the same was 300 Mbits and on the second floor, the same was 185+ Mbits.
While there are other systems that can perform better than this one, the speed of the Orbi WiFi mesh system from Netgear is definitely more than satisfactory.
Eero Home WiFi System
When you take a look at Eero Home Wifi mesh system, you cannot think of a router. It looks more like those small pocket routers that you keep with yourself on go.
While it does not cover as much area as Google or Orbi Mesh systems do, it still covers 3,000 sq. ft. an area that is good enough for a small office or a medium-sized home.bIf you learn to manage the area coverage budget, you can even use it in a big house.
More on Expensive Side
Apart from Google’s Mesh system, almost all other systems that we have reviewed in this blog post have the same price group and they’re more leaning to the expensive side.
While being expensive is not a real problem to worry about (because most of us believe in “buy once, cry once”) the real issue is the price difference.
This item costs roughly $$$ on Amazon and roughly same the price of Linksys system. It is definitely not cheap and considering that this setup’s range is not as good as that of the systems that have been reviewed above, the price definitely is not justified.
Small Coverage Area
So the price is not justified because the coverage area is not enough? Yes. Coverage area is a big matter of concern when you go for a mesh WiFi system for your home or office.
This system covers only 3,000 sq. ft. which is, honestly, the lowest of all WiFi mesh systems that we’ve reviewed in this blog post.
No doubt that by adding more beacons, you can definitely increase the area, but the same is the case with almost every Mesh WiFi system reviewed here.
You can add the units and thus add the range as well. However, the comparison that we’re doing here is in terms of stock unit and stock range.
This setup comes with three stock units and with two beacons and one main unit the range is only 3,000 sq. ft. which is definitely a problem. This range, as you can see, is not proportionate to the price.
Triband – 2.4GHz, 5.0GHz & 5.8GHz
This is a tri-band router setup. If you do not know what a triband setup is, let me explain that to you.
The 5.8GHz band that each of the units has is not for devices other than the beacons. This is the band frequency on which beacons connect with the router (the primary unit).
As you can see it is a high frequency and high band ensures a good connection. With such a strong connection, all your beacons, distributed evenly in your entire house, connect to each other.
The 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz bands are pretty standard these days and considering the sort of connection that a device needs, your beacons will use either one or another band. Smaller items take only 2.4GHz while bigger ones take 5.0GHz.
Eero Beacon – Easy to Workout
The setting up of this system is easier than anything else. Here is the step by step process that you follow to set up your Mesh system.
- Install the router and connect it with your internet modem.
- Update firmware and configure the network name and password with a free iOS or Android app by Eero.
- Use the app and physical help to install beacons (secondary devices).
- Add as many beacons as you want and expand your network to get a bigger coverage area.
Sleek & Stylish Design
I know that in the end, it is only a mesh WiFi system, and its shape, size, or design do not matter. But perhaps they matter. They definitely do not matter as much as its technical specs, but they matter.
Design matters a lot and sleek and stylish, small, and lightweight Eero main unit, and beacons can easily be hidden or placed anywhere. And if they are placed in open, they do not look bad.
For the technical specs lovers, this mesh WiFi system is equipped with TrueMesh Technology.
What is TrueMesh?
Well, with this you can use not only one but as many as possible wireless access points to have a smooth and speedy internet experience.
In your home or office, you can have many such points, and smart and lightweight beacons can be used to connect to those wireless access points, and you can improve your internet experience (pace and quality).
Linksys Velop Home Mesh WiFi System
Linksys followed more or less the same style and shape that you notice in case of Apple’s Airport Extreme Base Station.
You get to see 3 white towers’ like routers that you place all over your home and office and the coverage area that you get at the price same as Eero’s is simply unbelievable and more than the coverage area offered by any of the mesh systems reviewed here.
While I do not hate the design, you can say that this is the first mesh system in this review whose design failed to impress me.
It can be acquired on Amazon for roughly $$$ and that is too expensive, even though it provides a huge coverage area – 6,000 sq. ft.
However, We would call a spade a spade and say that this price is justified when you compare this to an Eero mesh system that is priced equal but covers only 3,000 sq. ft.
Let me give you the exact dimensions to clarify my point. Each unit of this WiFi mesh system is 3.1 x 9.3 x 7.3 inches. The weight is 3 pounds.
Now, My problem is not in terms of weight, although that could still use some help. My problem is in terms of size. It is too big, it cannot be mounted and it cannot be easily hidden anywhere.
Moreover, When you compare this to Apple’s Airport, you miss the smooth curves. This one looks plain rugged.
6,000 sq. ft. Coverage Area
This is hands down, the strongest proof of this product. It provides you a coverage area that no other Mesh WiFi system reviewed in this post can. The closest is Orbi’s 5,000 sq. ft. area.
Easy and Fast Setup
To set up this mesh system, follow the steps as follows:
- Use one unit as the main router and two as secondary ones.
- Download the smartphone app.
- Follow instructions to register and then log in to configure the network name and password.
And that is it! Job done.
Like other mesh systems in this review, this one also comes with a triband technology. It is actually better than Google’s mesh because each of its units has three bands: two 5GHz bands and one 2.4GHz band.
One of the 5GHz is used for internal connections, and the remaining 5GHz and 2.4GHz are used for devices proportionate to these bands.
400 to 850+ Mbps Speed
As I have mentioned the bands, here are the speeds that you mostly get with those bands. You get around 400 Mbps speed on 2.4GHz and around 850 Mbps on 5GHz bands.
The throughput depends a lot on how many floors and walls are there to scale the speed and efficiency.
|Google WiFi||3||4,500 sq. ft.||2||App|
|Netgear’s Orbi WiFi||3||6,000 sq. ft.||3||App|
|Eero Home WiFi||2||5,000 sq. ft.||3||App|
|Linksys Velop||3||3,000 sq. ft.||3||App|
So, that was our comparison between Google WiFi vs Orbi vs Eero vs Velop. Considering important aspects such as coverage, bands, speed, and set up, etc., here is the tri-band Mesh WiFi system that we consider the best.
As it has been mentioned earlier, the way they allotted bands to the units, the coverage area, the throughput speed and how easily you can set up the entire thing within a few minutes, make this mesh system the best among all 4 that we reviewed in this blog post.