The past two years have radically changed the way we use our home wireless networks. We no longer just surf the net while streaming games and movies, but we organize important business meetings, talk to friends and attend classes via video conferences. Even if your Wi-Fi network was up to par in 2019, there’s a good chance it has struggled over the past year with the onslaught of additional traffic.
Fortunately, 2021 brings with it systems designed to deliver super-fast and secure Wi-Fi, no matter the size of your home or how crowded your network is. Even if your house is not that big, you can buy smaller packages from the following routers or individual units. Why buy a single mesh router? Because then when you get a bigger location, it’s a simple thing to add more nodes to your network, making sure things stay fast and unencumbered.
Mesh routers often have the ability to broadcast fast networks as well. So if you get a fast internet connection from your ISP, it won’t go to waste. Mesh routers are also very effective at directing traffic. They have multiple antennas and can easily move things to less congested networks.
So how do you choose? Well, it all depends on the type of device load you are facing on your network and the size of your home.
Ideal for large homes with overcrowded networks
Linksys Atlas Max 6E
Routers with 6E were all the rage at this year’s CES, touting unprecedented speeds and reliability over your home Wi-Fi. But as we head into the second half of 2021, Linksys is the only company to actually bring one to market.
The Atlas Max 6E is Linksys fastest and most advanced mesh networking system. It has 4×4 MU MIMO (Multi-User, Multi-Input, Multi-Output), which means it can accommodate several different people, accessing and sending data on your network at the same time. It also has a full GB of RAM, a throughput of 8.4 Gbps (more details in a second) and a potential coverage range of 9,000 square feet.
So what does all of this mean? The Atlas Max 6E has enough power and capacity to handle over 190 devices at the same time. It can handle multiple AR and VR streams, video calls, media streaming, online games, etc. no problem. And it can do all of this even for devices that are all over your house (albeit more slowly). How? ‘Or’ What? It has almost double the low bandwidth capacity of other mesh systems. Although the 2.4 GHz range does not get much coverage in newer systems, where the emphasis is on new bandwidths, this is what you will use to connect most of the time, unless you are in the same room as your router.
The 6E band is impressive but, like the 5 GHz band which was touted as the hero of Wi-Fi 6 routers, it’s lousy when it comes to breaking through walls and pipes (which, the last time I have checked, most houses have done so). This means that while the Atlas Max 6E mesh system can dynamically move its traffic to different bands depending on the traffic, a lot of that traffic is going to be diverted to the slow lane as that is what can reach your device.
That’s not to say the Atlas Max 6E is slow. I was able to easily reach my full 500 Mbps from my ISP in the same room as the main router and maintained over 200 Mbps on the other side of my 2,400 square foot house (with many walls between me and the second mesh point).
But the downside of being the first is that the Atlas Max comes with a price tag that matches its big name. At $ 1,300 for a pack of three routers, this is the system best suited to very large homes or very dense networks. Otherwise, you’d better wait for cheaper 6E solutions to hit the market later this year.
Ideal for mid-size homes with medium network traffic
Netgear Nighthawk MK83
I love the Netgear Nighthawk MK83 system. Despite the fact that it offers less than half of the Linksys system bandwidth (3.6 Gbps), for mid-sized homes it is more than powerful enough to provide fast network speeds throughout your entire home. House.
The router and each node have five antennas and 512MB of RAM. They can cover up to 6,750 square feet and are MU-MIMO compatible. The quad-core processor can handle up to 7 simultaneous traffic flows.
The network is also super-customizable. You can serve two separate networks, a 2.4 GHz and a 5 GHz, and then assign your devices to one or the other. If you’d rather let the Nighthawk MK83 figure it all out on its own, you can do that too, by merging your networks and letting it dynamically sort the connections.
Netgear will also let you try its Netgear Armor service for free, which keeps tabs on your IoT devices and lets you know when things look out of place or when new devices are joining your network. After the initial test, this is an annual fee. The only problem here could be the Nighthawk app itself. Although it is more responsive than the Orbi app, it is still one of the slower apps I have used out of all the networking apps on the market today. Fortunately, the MK83 is reliable enough that you don’t have to dig into the app often.
Those little black monoliths might not blend in with the background like the Linksys or Plume SuperPods, but they do offer super-fast speeds for a fraction of the price of larger, more genealogical systems.
Ideal for homes of all sizes with all types of traffic
SuperPod Plume with Wi-Fi 6
You are someone who wants a reliable WiFi network in their house. You are also someone who wants to spend as little time as possible thinking about this network. If the above describes you, you need to take a close look at Plume SuperPods with WiFi 6.
Here’s the thing about Plume. On paper, it’s not the fastest router. Compared to the more powerful routers on this list, Plume can’t even approach their maximum speeds. And for maybe the first five minutes after you plug them in, that’s important. You might even go to bed growling, but overnight something amazing will happen.
In the first 24 hours, Plume learns about your home, the devices in it, and how to deliver the fastest possible network speed to everything. As you use your new Plume network over the next week, it speeds up. A week later, even faster. In no time, you’ll be enjoying maximum internet speed no matter where you are in your home.
And if you’re lucky enough to have Gigabit Internet, you’ll appreciate the fact that the new SuperPods with Wi-Fi 6 can accommodate up to 2.5 Gpbs. But even if you are just stinging with the 200/200 or even 500/500 service, you can benefit from Plume. Especially if you don’t see a giant leap in network speed even if you run a more powerful router on your network, the problem is not speed, but the lack of artificial intelligence.
Subscribing to an Internet router is not something we want to do. And when you’re already paying around $ 400 for enough Plume SuperPods with WiFi 6 to cover an average home, you don’t want there to be any extra charges on top of that. But for around $ 7 a month (with a three-year subscription), it’s more than worth having WiFi that adapts to your home and specific devices, regardless of the changes.
Plume also monitors your IoT devices for security breaches, blocks internet ads (which can save you a prescription drug ad or two on Hulu as well), helps you monitor your children’s devices, and can even detect movements at home. With the in-app subscription, you will have no excuse not to play with the advanced features of the app. Fortunately, Plume’s Homepass is one of the best networking apps I have ever used.
Plume not only provides a network that you don’t have to think about, it delivers consistently fast, secure and reliable internet.
So what to get?
Beyond the three categories outlined above, the Nighthawk MK83 is my choice for a reason: the price. The Plume SuperPods with Wi-Fi 6 are incredibly impressive in their ability to handle just about anything you throw at them and improve your network over time, but that monthly subscription fee on top of the initial purchase of the SuperPod hardware add up.
The Linksys Atlas Max 6E is the cruise missile of networking hardware, eliminating hassle with sheer computing power, but at an overpriced price for the average household who just needs Wi-Fi in their room at home. ‘back. The Nighthawk MK83 provides a reliable WiFi 6 signal, doesn’t require you to subscribe to additional services, and does it all for less, which is why it’s the best choice for most users looking for an upgrade. at solid level.