Best Wifi Mesh Routers

Jacques du Rand 2018-12-01

Having Wi-Fi in your home can be a marvellous experience of scrolling through today’s news whilst lounging on the couch, enjoying a Skype session with faraway family in the bedroom until… your Wi-Fi signal drops or it simply does not reach. You just spent all your money on getting the the best fibre uncapped deal but now the Wi-fi doesn’t reach the bathroom - What to do now? 

A mesh Wi-Fi router or system may be your solution. Mesh Wi-Fi or whole home Wi-Fi consists of one main router which connects directly to your modem and a variety of satellite modules or nodes which is placed around your house to provide full Wi-Fi coverage. A modular mesh expansion gives you flexibility, and you can scale it yourself, whereas range extenders can still give you performance and ease of use issues. 

Here are the top 3 devices you can buy in South Africa for a mesh network: 

  • Google Wi-Fi: is available in South Africa, albeit not from Google themselves. It can be bought from places like PC Link, Geewiz, Wantitall and more. Google Wi-Fi includes a user-friendly app to control and prioritize what is going on your network. It comes with three Google devices in the package and three power adaptors. A cool feature that accompanies the Google Wi-Fi is “Family Wi-Fi Pause” this enables you to stop the signal to certain devices - during dinnertime, bedtime or study sessions. If we take a look at the ratings of the Google Wi-Fi on Amazon it has 4.4 stars from 4,700 reviews. 
  • Eero Home Wi-Fi System: Eero is also available from Wantitall in a two pack but imported from the USA. The Eero gets regular software updates and works with TrueMesh technology. TrueMesh is modern software developed by Eero made from all the data that was garnered through the previous software. This would make Eero what some people would call “the smartest network.” Their TrueMesh technology allows for Amazon’s Alexa capabilities. The Eero equally comes with parental controls like the Google Wi-Fi. The app is easy to use and sports with a whole system set-up in less than ten minutes. The Eero has between 4.3 to 4.6 stars on Amazon from a total of 4,300 reviews. Making it a chief competitor with Google Wi-Fi. 
  • Asus Lyra: The ASUS Lyra AC2200 is available in a three pack from Takealot, Evetech, and Wootware. The Lyra, unfortunately, delivers nothing new to the table. The Lyra was only launched mid-2017 into the already overly saturated market and comes with the standard app like the others. The Asus Lyra has a concerning 2.5 to 3.7 rating on Amazon from a collective 100 reviews. The primary concern seems to be connection and setup issues. A close second is horrible customer support. 

In terms of price for the Google Wi-Fi system, you can budget on about R7000. With the Eero, you can fork out about R8000. The Asus Lyra comes in at about seven to eight thousand, but the ratings speak for themselves. Neither Google nor Eero is perfect but we can try and get as close as possible. 

Naturally, there are other products in the category of mesh Wi-Fi routers and systems but with limited options and support in South Africa, this top three might just be your best bet at covering your whole home with an integrated and reliable network throughout.

If these are a bit on the expensive side - check out our article about The Best Fibre Routers for the old but proven tech.