The mobile app has a lot of options and the web interface is even deeper. It’s easy to split bands or set up a guest network. I also found that the app recognized most devices correctly (sometimes it’s difficult to identify devices from the hardware names assigned to router applications). And there is support for AiMesh. which means you can easily add other Asus routers to expand your Wi-Fi system. The dedicated backhaul channel, the way the router speaks to its nodes and vice versa, is extremely fast, which ensures that you get all the speed of your internet connection even from the node you have placed nearby. from the backyard.
On the downside, my XT8 node initially refused to update its firmware, which required a couple of attempts to fix it. I also had a problem with my Sonos speakers disappearing, but I was able to fix it with a factory reset. Overall, using the XT8 has been an easy experience. It’s easy enough to use for just about anyone, but the depth of options will satisfy powerful users.
TP-Link Deco X20 AX1800 (Pack of 3)
This affordable package includes parental controls and virus protection while offering decent coverage and performance, making it ideal for an average family home. I tried the three AX1800 package and it was very easy to set them all up. All three routers are quite small and have a well-integrated cylinder design. There are two gigabit Ethernet ports on each.
Coverage and speeds are good, far below the Asus XT8, but surpassing the Eero 6 (below). The application is simple and easy to set up a guest network. TP-Link’s HomeCare is free and allows Trend Micro-powered antivirus protection and solid parental controls. It’s very easy to set up profiles with scheduled time and time limits, there are basic filters by age, and you can check the activity on both the app and the website.
Quality of service (QoS) allows you to prioritize activities such as games or real-time playback or set priority devices. It is important to note that you can split the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands to show them as two separate Wi-Fi networks. This is useful, as some smart home devices only work with the above bandwidth. Similarly, there is a mixed mode for WPA2 and WPA3 security. Only a few devices work with the latest WPA3 standard, and some routers force you to choose one or the other, which can cause problems. This mode ensures that all your gadgets have a supported standard.
The web interface is basic and doesn’t add much, so I preferred to use the easy-to-use app. However, it is a bit slow to upgrade and the configuration is still limited. He didn’t recognize many devices and listed obscure names of hardware manufacturers, which made it difficult to figure out which devices I would add to my son’s profiles.
It wasn’t the fastest, but this system is fast and reliable enough for the average homeowner. If you have a connection of 500 Mbps or better, it may be worth upgrading to the Deco X60 AX3000 ($ 255).
The best for simplicity
Amazon’s Eero 6 mesh system is one of the easiest to set up, offers fairly wide coverage, and offers stable connectivity. It is an elegant system, available as three identical routers, or with a main router and two small nodes. The Eeros is mixed on a table or shelf, although the compact design leaves no room for any ports (there are only two gigabit ports on the main router).
Although this was one of the slowest systems I tested, especially over longer distances, the node speeds were not far from the ones I got from the main router. There were no crashes and it was smart to share limited bandwidth. The mobile app is simple and gives you an overview of connected devices with the option to turn off the Internet and set up a guest network. I was also able to create schedules and set bedtime. Unfortunately, content filtering and other parental controls, as well as advanced security, ad blocking, and activity information, require an Eero Secure subscription for $ 3 a month or $ 30 a year.