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Spotty internet? You probably need a mesh WiFi system — here’s why.



Whether you’re a gamer, working from home, or just want a better connection, WiFi mesh is sure to improve your network. We’ve read the reviews and scoured the internet to bring you some of the best options out there to give you flawless internet connection throughout your living space.

All products featured here are independently selected by our editors and writers.If you buy something through links on our site, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

Is there anything more frustrating than unreliable internet? If you’re someone who works from home, likes to scroll during your Netflix and Chill time, or simply has a lot of housemates all eating up the internet at the same time, then a WiFi mesh system is for you. Read on to discover what that is, why you need it, and which options will work best for your needs.

What is a WiFi mesh system?

Designed to blanket your entire home in uninterrupted connectivity, WiFi mesh is a wireless internet system comprising a main router as well as several nodes strategically placed throughout the household to reduce spotty service. 

The nodes help to cover areas the main router can’t reach, making it the ideal solution for large homes and properties, or areas that struggle with WiFi connectivity, ensuring that even the furthest rooms have flawless connection. Mesh keeps all the nodes within a single wireless network, with the same SSID and password, so you’ll be able to seamlessly walk from room to room without losing your service, rather than WiFi range extenders that need multiple network names and passwords.

Mesh is easily expandable, so you can even extend coverage out to the backyard, garage, and basement at any point. 

How to choose a mesh WiFi (or whole home WiFi) system

The best mesh WiFi options have a multi-node system and feature security software, smart home compatibility, and most importantly, spotless connectivity throughout your space. WiFi mesh is usually a bit more tastefully designed than your typical router as well.

The most important thing to keep in mind when switching to mesh WiFi is the size of your home or the space you’re looking to connect. Most WiFi mesh systems will advertise how big their coverage area is. Some come in two, three, or even six packs, offering several nodes to place throughout your home or workspace to expand your network. Each node will offer an additional number of square footage to the network. Most systems also allow you to purchase additional nodes to cover an even greater area. It’s best to start out with a system that advertises a coverage of about your home’s size, and then adjust from there with additional nodes if needed.

What is the best mesh WiFi option?

Whether you’re a gamer, working from home, or just want a better connection, WiFi mesh is sure to improve your network. Read on to discover some of the best options out there to give you flawless internet connection throughout your living space.

Easy setup • Four ethernet ports • Easily expandable
Not as customizable as other mesh options • Must use the app, cannot be opened in a webpage
This is a great mesh system, and you’ll love how easy it is to set up.

1. Google Nest WiFi

This is great for basic browsing, but may not have enough oomph for gamers.

  • Coverage area:
    4,400 square feet

This two-router pack can cover up to 4,400 square feet, but you can easily add more satellite routers to extend your network. Plug one WiFi router into your internet provider’s modem to create your Wi-Fi network. Place the other router elsewhere in the home to extend the wireless network to wherever you need it. 
The best part of Nest WiFi is that it’s easy to set up via an app. The app also allows you to set priority devices for faster speeds, set parental controls, and manage screen time for kids. Each router can handle up to 200 devices, with the ability to stream multiple 4K videos at once. 
The device works intelligently behind the scenes and automatically updates to keep your internet fast and secure. 

Unmatched speed • Easy setup
Expensive • Some users have had issues getting help from tech support
If you’re looking for unparalleled performance and the best connection available, this is the system for you.
If you’re looking for the best connection money can buy, this is a top contender. It’s got some of the fastest speeds clocked on WiFi mesh, with top speeds of nearly 900Mbps at close range, according to cnet, and remaining at 666Mbps at a distance of 75 feet. 
The system is more expensive than other WiFi mesh and it may be a bit overkill for just normal internet use, but for gamers and heavy internet users, this is the best of the best.

Inexpensive • Easy setup • Pairs with Alexa
Mediocre coverage • Updates a lot midday
This is a great, affordable option, but doesn’t offer top-tier connectivity.

3. TP-Link Deco M5

This is a good, wallet-friendly system for normal or light internet use, but won’t support heavy usage or gaming.

  • Coverage area:
    3,800 square feet

You don’t have to break the bank to switch your household to WiFi mesh. With this two-pack, you’ll be able extend coverage to up to 3,800 square feet and support more than 100 devices. Or, if you need to, extend your coverage with extra nodes. 
The TP-Link Deco M5 pairs with Alexa, so you’ll be able to ask the smart assistant to pause the internet, set screen time limits, and more via voice command. The system also has a built-in antivirus, allows you to set parental controls, and is easily managed from an app. 
The best part of this system is that it’s easy to set up. All you’ll have to do is plug it in and follow the simple instructions. The downside is that the coverage can be a bit mediocre as compared to others on this list. 

Three-pack allows more versatility in coverage • Easy setup • Affordable
No noticeable improvement in speed • Not as reliable as other mesh devices
This is a mid-range device that will do the trick, but may not be as reliable or as fast as other products.

4. Amazon Eero Mesh WiFi System

The best thing about this mesh network is that it’s a three-pack, so you’ll be able to extend your network to where you need it.

  • Coverage area:
    5,000 square feet

Before being bought by Amazon, Eero was an early pioneer in mesh systems. While Eero may not make a big difference in your internet speed, the router and two nodes will extend your internet further throughout your home. 
Since it’s a three-pack, this is a great system for a larger home or a home with several floors. Setup will take less than 10 minutes, and you’ll be able to easily manage devices and screen time via the app. 
You’ll feel safe with Eero’s security features, which will conduct threat scans, give your family content warnings, and provide ad-blocking software. You’ll even get the option of upgrading to Eero Secure+, which offers an exclusive bundle of awesome security apps, such as Encrypt.me, 1Password, and Malwarebytes.

Awesomely styled device • Great connectivity • Further-reaching than most systems
Expensive • May not be worth the price for smaller homes • Design of mesh points limits where you can place them
This is a system for large homes, but won’t be worth the price for smaller homes or apartments.

5. Ubiquiti AmpliFi Dual-Band Mesh WiFi System

Not many people need mesh to extend up to 10,000 feet, but this powerful system will have your internet running from the tippity top of your home to the very bottom.

  • Coverage area:
    10,000 square feet

Ubiquiti AmpliFi Dual-Band Mesh WiFi System is a sleek, handsome system that is powerful, reliable, and great for larger homes.
With two extender nodes, you’ll be able to expand your network to the furthest reaches of your living space, ensuring top speeds throughout. It can cover up to 10,000 square feet (!!!), so you’ll have as much internet connection in your basement as you have on your main floor. 
The router has an easy-to-use touchscreen display, a rare feature for routers. The intuitive, straightforward AmpliFi app, which is available for Android and iOS smartphones, should have you up and running in about five minutes. The app also features configuration options, powerful reporting metrics, parental controls, remote access, and easy guest access. 

Powerful, fast internet • Great security features • Easy setup
Expensive • Not easy to expand
If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line mesh system, this is a powerful and reliable one, however, it is on the expensive side.

6. Asus Zen WiFi

Great for gaming and those in need of fast, spotless internet.

  • Coverage area:
    5,500 square feet

Banish your dead-zones with this mesh system that will cover up to 5,500 square feet, or six or more rooms. This is a very powerful system, but is also one of the most expensive options on the market. 
One of the best features of this system is that it includes a lifetime of free network security powered by Trend Micro, ensuring privacy on connected devices. While other systems have a subscription-based security system, this one has security included.
You’ll also love how easy setup is— just three steps to connecting your entire home. You also have the option to set up one or two networks using the 2.4 and 5GHz band. 

Simple setup and use • Modular
Inconsistent performance • Expensive if buying several nodes
This is a great, simple system, that doesn’t offer all the bells and whistles that others do.

7. Linksys Velop

It might be best to start with one node, and then expand as needed.

  • Coverage area:
    2,000 square feet (per node)

This completely modular system allows users to buy just as many nodes as needed, so it’s a great mesh WiFi system whether you’re working with a large or a small space. Each node covers up to 2,000 square feet. 
It’s a simple option, with an extremely easy, guided setup. You’ll also be able to set up parental controls. 
The system also comes in two packs and three packs if you know you want to cover more than 2,000 square feet. 

Stylish nodes • Low profile
May not support a lot of devices at once • Some users say the nodes are cheaply made
This is a more affordable three-pack, with moderate speed and reliability.

8. D-Link Covr

Looking for a sleek, cool system that won’t break the bank? Covr will work for your home.

  • Coverage area:
    5,000 square feet

With a great low profile and three nodes, this system will support up to 5,000 square feet of coverage. You can even change the color plates to make these devices better match your decor.  
You’ll be able to set up your home for WiFi connection within minutes with the easy-to-use app, where you can also access parental controls, set schedules, and manage any device. Flawless WiFi service allows users to stream 4K and HD video and games throughout the home.
You’ll also be able to add nodes as you need, adjusting your network coverage.

Great for consolidation • Budget-friendly • Reliable coverage
Nodes must be bought separately • Users say it’s better as a WiFi router than a smart hub
This device does double duty, expanding your WiFi capabilities as well as consolidating your smart home devices.

9. Samsung Smart Things WiFi Mesh

You’ll need to buy nodes separately, but this system is expandable to up to 32 nodes.

  • Coverage area:
    1,500 square feet (but expands easily)

You’ll be able to consolidate all your smart home devices and extend your WiFi network at the same time with the Samsung Smart Things WiFi Mesh router. This super smart system works not only as a mesh router, but as a hub for all of your connected home devices, such as thermostats, light switches, timers, window shades, and various Samsung smart home products. 
One router provides up to 1,500 square feet of coverage, but expand with up to 32 nodes as needed. 
With the app, you’ll be able to see what’s connected, prioritize devices, create network access for guests, set up parental controls, set Internet usage schedules, and more, all from your smartphone.

Compatible with WiFi 6 • Covers 3,000 square feet • Affordable
Not as fast as other systems • Devices are somewhat large and unattractive
The bottom line:
If you’re looking to use Wifi 6 on a modestly priced device, you’re looking for the Nighthawk Whole Home Wifi 6 System.

Working seamlessly with WiFi 6, this system connects up to 3,000 square feet of space and will support more than 25 devices. It offers four powerful streams, which deliver up to 1.8 Gbps of speed for reliable streaming of HD video gaming or internet surfing and downloads. 
This two-pack comes with a router and satellite node, each of which have ethernet ports. The guest network allows you to provide internet access to friends and family without sharing your password.
While you will most likely see a speed improvement, WiFi 6 is capable of much higher speeds than this mesh system carries. However, those systems will also come with a much higher price tag. 


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The Trump campaign celebrated a growth record that Democrats downplayed.



The White House celebrated economic growth numbers for the third quarter released on Thursday, even as Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s presidential campaign sought to throw cold water on the report — the last major data release leading up to the Nov. 3 election — and warned that the economic recovery was losing steam.

The economy grew at a record pace last quarter, but the upswing was a partial bounce-back after an enormous decline and left the economy smaller than it was before the pandemic. The White House took no notice of those glum caveats.

“This record economic growth is absolute validation of President Trump’s policies, which create jobs and opportunities for Americans in every corner of the country,” Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign said in a statement, highlighting a rebound of 33.1 percent at an annualized rate. Mr. Trump heralded the data on Twitter, posting that he was “so glad” that the number had come out before Election Day.

The annualized rate that the White House emphasized extrapolates growth numbers as if the current pace held up for a year, and risks overstating big swings. Because the economy’s growth has been so volatile amid the pandemic, economists have urged focusing on quarterly numbers.

Those showed a 7.4 percent gain in the third quarter. That rebound, by far the biggest since reliable statistics began after World War II, still leaves the economy short of its pre-pandemic levels. The pace of recovery has also slowed, and now coronavirus cases are rising again across much of the United States, raising the prospect of further pullback.

“The recovery is stalling out, thanks to Trump’s refusal to have a serious plan to deal with Covid or to pass a new economic relief plan for workers, small businesses and communities,” Mr. Biden’s campaign said in a release ahead of Thursday’s report. The rebound was widely expected, and the campaign characterized it as “a partial return from a catastrophic hit.”

Economists have warned that the recovery could face serious roadblocks ahead. Temporary measures meant to shore up households and businesses — including unemployment insurance supplements and forgivable loans — have run dry. Swaths of the service sector remain shut down as the virus continues to spread, and job losses that were temporary are increasingly turning permanent.

“With coronavirus infections hitting a record high in recent days and any additional fiscal stimulus unlikely to arrive until, at the earliest, the start of next year, further progress will be much slower,” Paul Ashworth, chief United States economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a note following the report.


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Black and Hispanic workers, especially women, lag in the U.S. economic recovery.



The surge in economic output in the third quarter set a record, but the recovery isn’t reaching everyone.

Economists have long warned that aggregate statistics like gross domestic product can obscure important differences beneath the surface. In the aftermath of the last recession, for example, G.D.P. returned to its previous level in early 2011, even as poverty rates remained high and the unemployment rate for Black Americans was above 15 percent.

Aggregate statistics could be even more misleading during the current crisis. The job losses in the initial months of the pandemic disproportionately struck low-wage service workers, many of them Black and Hispanic women. Service-sector jobs have been slow to return, while school closings are keeping many parents, especially mothers, from returning to work. Nearly half a million Hispanic women have left the labor force over the last three months.

“If we’re thinking that the economy is recovering completely and uniformly, that is simply not the case,” said Michelle Holder, an economist at John Jay College in New York. “This rebound is unevenly distributed along racial and gender lines.”

The G.D.P. report released Thursday doesn’t break down the data by race, sex or income. But other sources make the disparities clear. A pair of studies by researchers at the Urban Institute released this week found that Black and Hispanic adults were more likely to have lost jobs or income since March, and were twice as likely as white adults to experience food insecurity in September.

The financial impact of the pandemic hit many of the families that were least able to afford it, even as white-collar workers were largely spared, said Michael Karpman, an Urban Institute researcher and one of the studies’ authors.

“A lot of people who were already in a precarious position before the pandemic are now in worse shape, whereas people who were better off have generally been faring better financially,” he said.

Federal relief programs, such as expanded unemployment benefits, helped offset the damage for many families in the first months of the pandemic. But those programs have mostly ended, and talks to revive them have stalled in Washington. With virus cases surging in much of the country, Mr. Karpman warned, the economic toll could increase.

“There could be a lot more hardship coming up this winter if there’s not more relief from Congress, with the impact falling disproportionately on Black and Hispanic workers and their families,” he said.


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Ant Challenged Beijing and Prospered. Now It Toes the Line.



As Jack Ma of Alibaba helped turn China into the world’s biggest e-commerce market over the past two decades, he was also vowing to pull off a more audacious transformation.

“If the banks don’t change, we’ll change the banks,” he said in 2008, decrying how hard it was for small businesses in China to borrow from government-run lenders.

“The financial industry needs disrupters,” he told People’s Daily, the official Communist Party newspaper, a few years later. His goal, he said, was to make banks and other state-owned enterprises “feel unwell.”

The scope of Mr. Ma’s success is becoming clearer. The vehicle for his financial-technology ambitions, an Alibaba spinoff called Ant Group, is preparing for the largest initial public offering on record. Ant is set to raise $34 billion by selling its shares to the public in Hong Kong and Shanghai, according to stock exchange documents released on Monday. After the listing, Ant would be worth around $310 billion, much more than many global banks.

The company is going public not as a scrappy upstart, but as a leviathan deeply dependent on the good will of the government Mr. Ma once relished prodding.

More than 730 million people use Ant’s Alipay app every month to pay for lunch, invest their savings and shop on credit. Yet Alipay’s size and importance have made it an inevitable target for China’s regulators, which have already brought its business to heel in certain areas.

These days, Ant talks mostly about creating partnerships with big banks, not disrupting or supplanting them. Several government-owned funds and institutions are Ant shareholders and stand to profit handsomely from the public offering.

The question now is how much higher Ant can fly without provoking the Chinese authorities into clipping its wings further.

Excitable investors see Ant as a buzzy internet innovator. The risk is that it becomes more like a heavily regulated “financial digital utility,” said Fraser Howie, the co-author of “Red Capitalism: The Fragile Financial Foundation of China’s Extraordinary Rise.”

“Utility stocks, as far as I remember, were not the ones to be seen as the most exciting,” Mr. Howie said.

Ant declined to comment, citing the quiet period demanded by regulators before its share sale.

The company has played give-and-take with Beijing for years. As smartphone payments became ubiquitous in China, Ant found itself managing huge piles of money in Alipay users’ virtual wallets. The central bank made it park those funds in special accounts where they would earn minimal interest.

After people piled into an easy-to-use investment fund inside Alipay, the government forced the fund to shed risk and lower returns. Regulators curbed a plan to use Alipay data as the basis for a credit-scoring system akin to Americans’ FICO scores.

China’s Supreme Court this summer capped interest rates for consumer loans, though it was unclear how the ceiling would apply to Ant. The central bank is preparing a new virtual currency that could compete against Alipay and another digital wallet, the messaging app WeChat, as an everyday payment tool.

Ant has learned ways of keeping the authorities on its side. Mr. Ma once boasted at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, about never taking money from the Chinese government. Today, funds associated with China’s social security system, its sovereign wealth fund, a state-owned life insurance company and the national postal carrier hold stakes in Ant. The I.P.O. is likely to increase the value of their holdings considerably.

“That’s how the state gets its payoff,” Mr. Howie said. With Ant, he said, “the line between state-owned enterprise and private enterprise is highly, highly blurred.”

China, in less than two generations, went from having a state-planned financial system to being at the global vanguard of internet finance, with trillions of dollars in transactions being made on mobile devices each year. Alipay had a lot to do with it.

Alibaba created the service in the early 2000s to hold payments for online purchases in escrow. Its broader usefulness quickly became clear in a country that mostly missed out on the credit card era. Features were added and users piled in. It became impossible for regulators and banks not to see the app as a threat.

ImageAnt Group’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China.
Credit…Alex Plavevski/EPA, via Shutterstock

A big test came when Ant began making an offer to Alipay users: Park your money in a section of the app called Yu’ebao, which means “leftover treasure,” and we will pay you more than the low rates fixed by the government at banks.

People could invest as much or as little as they wanted, making them feel like they were putting their pocket change to use. Yu’ebao was a hit, becoming one of the world’s largest money market funds.

The banks were terrified. One commentator for a state broadcaster called the fund a “vampire” and a “parasite.”

Still, “all the main regulators remained unanimous in saying that this was a positive thing for the Chinese financial system,” said Martin Chorzempa, a research fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.

“If you can’t actually reform the banks,” Mr. Chorzempa said, “you can inject more competition.”

But then came worries about shadowy, unregulated corners of finance and the dangers they posed to the wider economy. Today, Chinese regulators are tightening supervision of financial holding companies, Ant included. Beijing has kept close watch on the financial instruments that small lenders create out of their consumer loans and sell to investors. Such securities help Ant fund some of its lending. But they also amplify the blowup if too many of those loans aren’t repaid.

“Those kinds of derivative products are something the government is really concerned about,” said Tian X. Hou, founder of the research firm TH Data Capital. Given Ant’s size, she said, “the government should be concerned.”

The broader worry for China is about growing levels of household debt. Beijing wants to cultivate a consumer economy, but excessive borrowing could eventually weigh on people’s spending power. The names of two of Alipay’s popular credit functions, Huabei and Jiebei, are jaunty invitations to spend and borrow.

Huang Ling, 22, started using Huabei when she was in high school. At the time, she didn’t qualify for a credit card. With Huabei’s help, she bought a drone, a scooter, a laptop and more.

The credit line made her feel rich. It also made her realize that if she actually wanted to be rich, she had to get busy.

“Living beyond my means forced me to work harder,” Ms. Huang said.

First, she opened a clothing shop in her hometown, Nanchang, in southeastern China. Then she started an advertising company in the inland metropolis of Chongqing. When the business needed cash, she borrowed from Jiebei.

Online shopping became a way to soothe daily anxieties, and Ms. Huang sometimes racked up thousands of dollars in Huabei bills, which only made her even more anxious. When the pandemic slammed her business, she started falling behind on her payments. That cast her into a deep depression.

Finally, early this month, with her parents’ help, she paid off her debts and closed her Huabei and Jiebei accounts. She felt “elated,” she said.

China’s recent troubles with freewheeling online loan platforms have put the government under pressure to protect ordinary borrowers.

Ant is helped by the fact that its business lines up with many of the Chinese leadership’s priorities: encouraging entrepreneurship and financial inclusion, and expanding the middle class. This year, the company helped the eastern city of Hangzhou, where it is based, set up an early version of the government’s app-based system for dictating coronavirus quarantines.

Such coziness is bound to raise hackles overseas. In Washington, Chinese tech companies that are seen as close to the government are radioactive.

In January 2017, Eric Jing, then Ant’s chief executive, said the company aimed to be serving two billion users worldwide within a decade. Shortly after, Ant announced that it was acquiring the money transfer company MoneyGram to increase its U.S. footprint. By the following January, the deal was dead, thwarted by data security concerns.

More recently, top officials in the Trump administration have discussed whether to place Ant Group on the so-called entity list, which prohibits foreign companies from purchasing American products. Officials from the State Department have suggested that an interagency committee, which also includes officials from the departments of defense, commerce and energy, review Ant for the potential entity listing, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Ant does not talk much anymore about expanding in the United States.

Ana Swanson contributed reporting.


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