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Does your Wi-Fi connection start to creep as you add more devices to the network? Or better still, are you trying to extend your Wi-Fi coverage to include your entire living space â?including your backyard?
There are so many Wi-Fi systems available for you to choose from today; and the one thing they all have in common is high speed and a seamless network connection, as they all share the same SSID. These systems include Google Wi-Fi, EERO, Linksys Velop, AmpliFi HD, and Netgear Orbi.
Letâs find out how each one works and which is more suitable for you to build a smooth home network.
Wi-Fi System technical details comparison
Letâs compare the technical details of each system. Donât be too concerned with any jargon right now. Weâll explain it in the next sections.
Tech comparison table
|Max link rate 2.4G
|Max link rate 5G
|1x Wan, 1x LAN
|1x Wan, 1x LAN
|1x Wan, 3x LAN for router, 4x LAN for satellite
|1 x Ethernet,1 x WAN, 4 x LAN
|2 x auto-sensing r WAN/LAN
|WEP, WPA, WPA2-PSK
|WPA2, NAT, VPN, UPnP
Router: 14.46 oz
Satellite: 7.90 oz
|dual-band 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
|tri-band 2.4GHz and two 5 GHz
|tir-band 2.4 GHz and two 5 GHz
|dual-band 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
|tir-band 2.4 GHz and two 5 GHz
|1x USB 2.0
|1 x USB 2.0
|4.17 x 2.66 in
|4.8 x 1.2 x 4.8 in
|6.67x 2.36 x 8.89 in
|Router: 3.91 x 3.85 x 3.92 in
|3.1 x 3.1 x 7.3 in
|Work with Alexa
|check price on
Some connected devices do not support MU-MIMO. This can make a big difference, especially with newer smartphones, such as the iPhone 7/8/x and the Samsung S7, as they are typically MIMO 2×2 client devices.
To learn more how to calculate the download speed for your spec device, along with further technical details, you can review this article. You can use the formula in the article to find the estimated speed at which your devices download data.
Â WiFi download speed field test
Below are the results of a download speed test for frequencies under 5GHz, within a range of 5 and 150 feet in open place.
|Netgear Orbi RBK50
The data just a reference for download speed, those WiFi products may have different performance in room, it depends on building structure and where your place it.
Dual-Band or Tri-Band
A tri-band router isnât necessarily faster than a dual-band. It is, however, able to support a wider range of devices without compromising on the network speed.
Google Wi-Fi Mesh System
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Google Wi-Fi is an easy-setup, easy-to-use system for the average person. This system creates a mesh network. Once you have multiple points set up throughout the house, you will be able to get a strong and reliable network connection from virtually anywhere in your house.
Google Wi-Fi uses the Network Assist Technology software. This is a built-in software program that automatically determines the best Wi-Fi connection for you. Once you are moving around the house, the Network Assist software automatically connects your device to the nearest Wi-Fi point to enable a faster connection. It will also connect your device to the fastest band available, depending on your location.
Things you can do with the Google Wi-Fi app.
- Easily set up the Google Wi-Fi system in a couple of minutes
- Set a priority device for faster speeds whenever you need it most
- Control the Wi-Fi system on your kidsâ?devices
- See whatâs connected to your network and the bandwidth you are using
- Build a different network for guests
- Do a network check to test connection speed
- Adjust your settings, including network name and Wi-Fi password
- Add a network manager, which will help you monitor your network
1200 square feet coverage per Unit
A single unit covers up to 1200 square feet with a strong signal. While moving around your house, the app will switch you seamlessly from one Wi-Fi point to the next. The app has a feature that allows it to prioritize one device above others for a specific amount of time. This is ideal for network-heavy activities, such as streaming 4K content. It also offers a parental control feature.
Very reliable in metropolitan apartments that have congested Wi-Fi bandwidth
In the designated area, Google WiFi
It has a simple, nearly automatic setup
The Google Wi-Fi app simplifies the network setup. After downloading the app, youâll need to scan the QR code at the bottom of the Wi-Fi point. This will form a secure connection with your phone and the device. The next step is simply for you to enter your username and password, and let the app do the rest for you in the background.
The smart features prevent a crowded network and
handles complex settings
Google Wi-Fi uses the Network Assist software to deliver the best possible connection. It does this by automatically connecting your device to the nearest possible Wi-Fi point for the fastest connection. Also, it automatically connects your device to the fastest band available in your location.
The app and firmware are regularly updated
There is always exists someÂ potential vulnerabilities in your WiFi network system
The app has limited management abilities and few advanced features
The app doesnât support simple features, such as changing your networkâs IP range. Also, the app doesnât properly present the features, and you could end up spending a lot of time searching for a feature that might not be available.
You need a Google account and mobile device to set up the app
Setting up the Google Wi-Fi app requires either an Android or IOS mobile device, along with a Google account because there is no web-based interface.
Once you have lost your internet connection, you have very limited access to settings and management options
It falls short with some advanced networking features, though, including dedicated port forwarding. The major drawback with this setup is what will happen if you lose your internet connection â?your access to the settings is very restricted because they are tied to your Google account online.
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EERO Pro (2ndÂ Generation)
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The EERO Pro or the EERO 2nd Generation is the successor of the EERO 1st Generation. Similar to the Orbi, the EERO Pro is a true tri-band mesh system that operates on a 2.4GHz frequency and two 5GHz frequencies. This allows the EERO to support more devices than a dual-band system.
In addition to offering fast Wi-Fi connections, EERO also offers Bluetooth LE 4.2 technology as well as Thread radios. Thread radios are creating opportunities for EERO to develop as a hub in the home for the wider Internet of Things: controlling smart locks, light bulbs, thermostats and many more devices without the need for third-party hubs. Currently, there are not many devices available that rely on a low-power Thread. EERO, however, maintains that the reason devices are not available is that manufacturers have all been waiting for the right router to come along.
Simple, secure setup through the EERO app
Simple setup was among EEROâs goals from the beginning, but this new system is even simpler. You can do everything through the app. The EERO app will guide you through the installation process for the first router.
The process mainly involves plugging the device into your modem and powering it up. Afterward, you will wait for around 30 seconds for the modem to identify it and then tell it where in your home it is located. The EERO app gathers some basic information for final setup, including building layout, the length of the building, and the number of floors present. You have the option to name each router based on where you put it.
Good Wi-Fi range
This device has a Wi-Fi range of 120 feet, which is twice the range of a traditional router. It also offers connection speeds up to 5 times faster at similar distances. The companion app assists you
By purchasing one or two of these devices, you can optimize your already existing network, or replace it altogether. It works with various network adapters, thus giving you more options.
Thread and Bluetooth support
Although the EERO Beacon isnât nearly as advanced as the regular-sized device, it still comes equipped with Thread and Bluetooth support. It has a dual-band Wi-Fi system but doesnât have Ethernet ports. This is a considerable disadvantage if you want to connect your TV or gaming console to the device.
Very few Ethernet ports available
The router has only one Ethernet port, and the beacons have none
You need a smartphone for setup
EERO also comes with a companion app that you can use to manage your network. It allows you to track internet speed, monitor your network while you are away from home, and set up usage schedules for other members of the household.
Without an EERO plus subscription, you have access to very limited features
EERO offers an EERO plus service. The purpose of this service is to help keep your familyâs personal data, devices, and network safe from threats. This eliminates the need to purchase safety software on individual devices, which kids can sometimes bypass rather easily, or might not work on many devices. If you have already purchased the product, then the $99/year subscription fee works out financially.
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The Netgear Orbiâs network is of a star topology. This means that it has one main router, and all other satellites must communicate through this router. Satellite to satellite communication is not possible. It is a tri-band system that will cover your entire home, both indoors and outdoors, with a single Wi-Fi network. This tri-band system allows you to add various devices to the network without compromising network speed.
If you are adamant about getting the highest speed Wi-Fi system, then the Orbi is undoubtedly the best choice for you. This system has a web interface that allows you to
There are some notable downsides to this system, however: namely, the sheer bulkiness of a single unit and the cost. A single Orbi unit is easily three times the size of any other single unit on this list. Not to mention,
This tri-band AC300 device has amazing performance speeds. Theoretically, it can deliver speeds of up to 400Mbps on its 2.4GHz band, 866Mbps on its 5GHz band and up to 1733Mbps on its second 5GHz band. Under real-life conditions, the Orbi router performs at a speed of up to 480Mbps, and the satellite at 470Mbps. At a 30-foot distance, the router performs at 223Mbps and the satellite at 220Mbps.
One way Orbi aims to maximize performance is by using a separate 5GHz band for communication between the router and the satellite. Other Wi-Fi extenders use the same band for signal extension and communication between devices, and this leads to a 50% signal loss each time you extend the signal wirelessly.
The Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi system has area coverage of up to 6000 square feet. As a standalone, the router covers up to 2000 square feet. Adding just one satellite can increase that coverage by another 2000 square feet, and it is possible to add yet another extender, bringing the total coverage up to around 6000 square feet. Ideally, you would place your router as close as possible to your ISPâs modem, and then add the extender where itâs most needed.
Orbi Outdoor Satellite Add-On Option
The Orbi outdoor satellite option allows you to stay connected even outdoors â?rain or shine. It is the only weatherproof outdoor Wi-Fi mesh system available, and it extends coverage by up to 2500 square feet.
You can easily configure the Orbi in just a few simple steps. All you have to do is turn on the main router and then download the Orbi app. After that, you follow a few basic instructions. Once setup is complete, all you need to do is find the best location to place the satellite for optimal coverage. You donât need to concern yourself with connecting the main router and satellite as it does this automatically.
Much bulkier and heavier than similar products
The router or extender
A single satellite is very expensive
If it turns out that one pair of satellites is not giving you enough coverage, then prepare to pay a large sum for an extra one.
Setup can be confusing at first due to the many different options available
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One unique feature of the AmpliFi HD is that it has an LED screen that displays your current router speed. Each of its satellites also has a large antenna on its exterior on a swivel. This could become very problematic when you wish to plug it in an outlet in a small space.
While we are on the topic of settings, it is worthwhile to note that the AmpliFi HD offers more advanced settings than both Google Wi-Fi and EERO, but not as many as the Orbi. For the average home user, it is a decent system, especially if you have a dedicated media server or something similar.
Have a touchscreen, no smartphone or app is required
The others on the list are also missing a cool factor. The touchscreen display on the AmpliFi also monitors network speed and displays the time (you turn it on or off). This adds to the functionality of the AmpliFi as in a home or office, it can double as a clock; this is in addition to giving you access to some user settings.
It has 5GB Ethernet ports on the base, just like a regular router
Wide coverage area and optimal speed
With a combination of one base router and two satellites, the AmpliFi HD covers an impressively wide area of up to 20,000 square feet. Theoretically, it offers speeds of up to 5.25Gbps â?1.75Gbps from each of the two satellites and 1.75Gbps from the router.
Our testing has shown that signals extend even further down the street than we thought possible. For many of us, thatâs reason enough to make the purchase. You might even be able to receive great signal strength in your
Another factor to keep in mind with the AmpliFi HD is that itâs not exactly childproof. Since the units are usually plugged into your home outlets and have an interesting design, it is very easy for a curious kid to notice and have access to it.
Each two-piece unit is held together by strong magnets, which means it wonât harm someone pulling on the antennas. Still, itâs best to keep your kids away from electrical outlets if possible. For those of you who donât have kids wandering around, you might enjoy the look of this one.
Extremely large satellites that require mounting on a wall outlet
No Ethernet ports on satellites
Some might find the satellites less visually appealing than those of the competition
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The Linksys Velop is similar to the EERO and Google Wi-Fi in that it is available as a single unit, in pairs, or in packs of three. You have the freedom to add up to 10 Velop devices
Linksys equipped each node with 2 Ethernet ports, a switch (on/off), and a reset button. And any node can be used to connect to your modem. Additionally, you can use the ports on the second node as a hard-wired connection for game consoles or desktop computers. According to Linksys, once the configuration is complete, each node provides coverage for an area of size 2000 square feet. It does not, however, contain USB ports, so thereâs no way to connect a printer.
Something to note about the Velop devices is that they each have a ZigBee radio hidden inside them for home automation purposes. They are not active at the moment though. According to a Linksys representative we spoke with, the company is working on enabling the radio.
Simple configuration and management
Minimal Ethernet ports
No USB port
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All in all, the mesh and star topology systems mentioned above impress us with their performance when compared to a single router network; they offer great Wi-Fi speeds, and they give you the option to add many devices without compromising signal quality or speed.
If you are looking for something that you can configure easily, that has all the most popular features, and that the company is constantly updating, then the Google Wi-Fi might be for you. Something to keep in mind is that Google collects some of your usage information to improve their system. You can find more details
If you want something on the higher end with all the most advanced features and that you can configure easily, then the Netgear Orbi is for you.
For those of you looking for high speed, simple set up, and more specific features (such as support thread or touchscreen), then you might want to look into getting either the EERO Pro, AmpliFi HD, or the Linksys Velop. Each of these offers higher speeds than the Google Wi-Fi system, although they are still no match for the Orbi in 5GHz.
If you use Amazon Alexa products at home, then you might want to keep this in mind when choosing a Wi-Fi system.
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