**Updated 12/01/2018 with new prices and updated reviews.**
- Updated review and price data
- Tenda reviews have shot up, this was extremely cheap over Black Friday so this is likely due to the big increase in reviews
- Linksys Velop used to have the best reviews but has now dropped to one of the lowest, perhaps indicating how accurate Amazon reviews are.
In the past couple of years, we have seen a growing number of Mesh-based WiFi routers released. While some brands chase after the absolute fastest WiFi speeds via a single router, mesh technology aims to eliminate the biggest problem with WiFi – Range.
Traditionally if you live in a large house you would have to resort to repeaters or additional routers. However, if you did not set up the Wi-Fi correctly, you would get issues. Most routers are not intelligent enough to know which router you are accessing when you are on the same SSID.
Mesh Wi-Fi routers eliminate this issue and employ multiple access points that work on the same SSID. Unlike the problems stated above, they have the intelligence to know what router is best based on your location, and pass off the Wifi to that router. Quite a lot of the systems available only have single ethernet ports, so they can only provide WiFi and no wired router options.
If you live in a small flat, a router such as this will likely be irrelevant, but most UK hoses, especially brick built ones, would benefit from them.
At the moment, all these routers are just routers; there is no modem built into them, so you would still need to use the ISP supplied device to connect
The best Mesh Wi-Fi options available in the UK now include:
Scouring the internet for reviews and the Netgear Orbi is the one system to get the most consistently positive reviews, this is also seen in the Amazon reviews. It doesn’t have the same rated speed as the Linksys, but these numbers seem to vary a lot depending on the page you read. The critical part of a WiFi network is getting a strong connection. A fast router with a poor connection will likely be slower than a slower router with a strong connection.
Most of the routers listed have just one ethernet port, whereas the Netgear has 4, this should allow it to replace all the standard routers primary functions.
Many of the systems come in 2 or 3 packs, and this includes the Netgear if you have a smaller house you can pick up a dual pack for just £159.99.
Overall Recommendation (updated December)
I have based the recommendations on Amazon reviews in the past which indicated that Netgear Orbi, BT Whole Home or Linksys were the best options.
In recent months this has changed a lot, in particular, the Tenda NOVA Mesh WiFi System has become one of the best-reviewed options, and based on the price this could be the best budget options. I feel the reviews are likely a little skewed here though as they have 6 options on one page, with the cheap MW3 option costing just £82.30 and the MW6-3 costing £160.
Linksys used to be the best reviewed but has dropped down significantly, price could be a factor with the current three pack being £355.
Netgear has broken down their product page into multip pages for each version. I have personally reviewed the Netgear RBK23 Orbi and it is superb and well worth the £275 for the three pack. The RBK53 system is £435 which may price it out of most peoples budget. It has dropped as low as £299 and if you can get it at this price I would definitely suggest going with that option.