Best Mesh WiFi Network for Large Home

Wireless Mesh Router, Big House Solutions

In the year 2021, the “internet of things” has evolved into a wide array of wireless “smart home” devices for your large house that just rely too much on a strong wireless signal to be using some old, weak wireless technology that frequently drops off at any point. That’s why you need mesh wifi if you’re paying for Netflix HD streaming in your upstairs bedroom, you demand instant high-speed picture and perfect high-definition quality. Buffering is unacceptable and needs to be fixed. That’s where a Mesh WiFi Network comes into play for any large home or mansion. It is a net of wireless router signals overlapping or blanketing one another providing one single consistent strong wifi signal with no loss or degradation. Something you can not obtain from a stand-alone traditional wifi router, extender or repeater access point.

With an old depreciated wireless N signal, you could never cover a 2,000+ foot home full of connected devices. You simply have to get Wireless AC, and in many cases, not even a wireless extender will work. You actually need a “Mesh Wireless Network” such as the highly-rated Netgear Orbi RBK50. This is the technological advance in smart home wireless networks that changes everything for your large multilevel home.

What Makes WiFi Mesh Networking Better?

  • Covers multi-floor up to 5,000 square foot home
  • Long range, no dead spots
  • Wireless AC3000
  • Dual channel 2.4Ghz & 5Ghz
  • Dedicated 5ghz backbone between access points
  • Tri-Band technology
  • Full AC throughput
  • Smart network management
  • Single WiFi SSID for entire home
  • Works with any internet service providers existing modem
  • Eliminates video buffering
  • Constant speed throughput
  • Guest network control
  • Enterprise Business Class wireless infrastructure for your huge home
  • One button easy setup

With wireless mesh topology, you have one SSID casting concurrently from two locations providing what seems like one super long-range full-power wireless signal to cover up to 5,000 square feet. Whereas with a range extender or secondary access point router, your first wireless SSID casts to the second device, meeting in the middle and picking it up to recast it. Effectively losing half of the internet speed in the network handoff. With the old extender option, you also run into the issue of having to switch between wifi networks as you travel around the house. Both SSID’s may have the same name, but as you leave the range of the base station and into the extended wireless zone, you switch to that SSID causing an interruption or momentary drop off from your connection while transitioning to the second access point router. The wireless extender setup may work for a device that does not roam around the house because it will stay on one SSID, but it is not the best choice for roaming or any laptop or TV that you want full speeds from. The wireless mesh presented here is the best possible wifi solution for any large home network. There are a few others on the market, but they had significant problems, and that is why Netgear created the Orbi, the best in large home wireless yet. Keep reading for more on eero, Linksys Velop, and Google Wifi.

Easiest Set Up Possible
The Orbi WiFi is so easy to set up, I’m not even sure I want to call it installing anything. You just press a button and they sync up on a dedicated backbone 5Ghz channel. You do not have to log into it or do anything to get them to talk to each other. You gain instant WiFi access to a home wireless system strong enough to blanket the largest of homes with full coverage without any dead zones. It’s that easy. The Orbi device also has easy-to-use apps for both iPhone and Android phones. You won’t really need this, but some people like it. But most importantly, for the advanced user, The Orbi RBK50 kit uses the same premium web interface as the Netgear Nighthawk series routers. The fully configurable firewall is built-in. This is a huge step up over any possible contenders. They all use proprietary configs that have not stood the test of time and lack essential features for any home network geek.

Orbi RBK40 Mesh Kit
Easy-to-use app for iPhone and AndroidParental controls
Smart Network TechnologyWorks with Airport Express
WiFi Multimedia Quality of Service (WMM QoS)Air Print
Guest networksAutomatic firmware updates
Security Features
Full Firewall built inWiFi Protected Access (WPA)
Denial of Service (DoS) attack preventionSupports 801.11k and 801.11kv
WiFi Protected Access-Pre-Shared Key (WPA2-PSK)Network Address Translation (NAT)
WiFi Protected Access-2 Enterprise (WPA2)[AES] [TKIP] [AES] encryption options

Penetrate Thick Walls In Any Home
Many people have problems with their internet signal in the basement, 3rd floor or even the 2nd floor. Usually because of an obstruction between the two devices in a big house. With AC3000 Mesh Networking, this issue is eliminated, and you will still obtain full download speeds on the other side of the wall. The 5Ghz will break through cinder block, solid concrete, steel, electrical signals, halogen bulbs, sheetrock, lathe plaster, and much more. You no longer have to worry about your wifi being too weak to get to the upstairs bedroom. No matter what kind of walls you have. Unless they’re lead, then you might have an issue.

extending wireless range info graphic

Compatibility issues?
The Netgear Orbi home network setup is compatible with all internet service providers. It is not a modem; it is a mesh wireless networking system that plugs into your existing modem and casts the internet signal via wireless transmission to your computers, laptops, TVs, and phones. That means Orbi will work with any internet provider at all. You only have to plug into your existing modem.

Cons of Mesh Networking?

The biggest con is that it cost more because it is a newer technology and works better than the older wireless standards. This is something you have to expect with electronics. It will not go down anytime soon because there is not going to be anything to replace this efficient system and there is no need. The other con and a huge one for me is it is not as advanced as a powerful wireless router which can get ranges up to 5,000sqft if the router is set up in a central location with minimal interference.

Orbi Vs. AC5300 Router?
Orbi range: 5,000 sq ft.
AC5300 range: 5,000 sq ft.

Sounds like the wireless router is better for your big home, right?

Well, maybe not. It really depends on your situation. While the AC5300 router has a similar range, the speeds you will get on the outer perimeters of the effective coverage bubble will not be full speed. It will degrade over distance. With the Orbi and the two router system, you will get full speeds at a much higher range as the signal recast at 100% bandwidth without loss or degradation between access points. Yes, the Orbi base package can cover up to 5,000 sq ft, but you can buy an extra satellite receiver and extend the range in another direction or outside to a guest house. The ability to scale up by purchasing an additional receiver and pressing a button is a huge advantage, especially to those with huge homes.

Orbi versus eero home mesh kit (hint, the eero is terrible)

For some reason, some claim the eero is a better home wireless mesh option, but I think they are just old outdated websites if they recommend this equipment. Why? The eero cost a lot more, it only covers 1,000 square feet per router, and you are forced to install a buggy app on your phone to manage it. It does not have Netgear’s high-end long-standing battle-tested web interface and superior hardware. In fact, the software is just garbage according to many. I have not even touched it because it lacks the technology. It was an early adapter from a company that isn’t in the home or office wireless router business. I don’t even think it’s worth mentioning, but some people have asked me how it stands up to the Orbi home mesh. It does not. It’s like comparing oranges to banana peels. Eero is a toy, stay away.

Orbi Vs. Linksys Velop Vs. Google WiFi

The choice may be a lot harder when put side by side with the Linksys Velop so be sure to check the full comparison chart for details on why we still recommend the Orbi over the Linksys. However, there is no comparison at all when you put it side by side with the Google WiFi or the eero mesh kit. They should not be viewed as a possible contender when choosing a mesh home wifi system.

Netgear Orbi Mesh WiFi Review

The bottom line, the Orbi mesh wifi network is the best wireless system available today for any spacious house. It is an enterprise solution for a home network. Simple to set up and easy to add onto later. It will blanket cover your entire home without signal loss or speed reductions while maintaining one large seamless wifi network so you can transition from router to router without interruption. It can handle up to 50 high usage devices and 250 conventional usage devices at the same time without performance loss. So it can be used in an enterprise business application as well. It will easily cover a 5,000 square foot home and many report it works further than that. It will penetrate all types of obstacles to bring powerful wireless speeds all over the house and even outside to guest houses and poolside. It is the ultimate solution with a one time cost that will last the lifespan of your big house. It is going to be a long time before this wifi standard gets replaced, if ever in our lifetime. Streaming 4k Ultra in the upstairs bedroom will never be a problem. However, if we switch to streaming holodecks into the backyard guest house, you may have to upgrade to whatever technology they come up with for that.

It should be noted that this does not act as a cable modem. If you use a cable service, you will still need to buy your own cable modem.

Best mesh wifi for large homes over 4,000 sq ft

Now that you know, a conventional wireless router will not work for a very large home and coverage area. You must get the best in wireless, a mesh wifi network. If your house is over 4,00 sq ft or an even larger 5,00 sq ft home, mesh wifi is for you.

50 thoughts on “Best Mesh WiFi Network for Large Home”

  1. Klavdiia Koval

    Hi Sticky Static, so much knowledge. Appreciate all your reviews. Great site. Extremely helpful to decide on the best of the best. The biggest challenge is to select the winner. I’m working on remodeling an older house. It is 12000 sq ft, three floors house, and outside walls are made out of cement bricks. I purchased a gigablast service from Cox for the home. Now the decision is to select the right modem and router system to get coverage in and outside the home. I’m planning on having a ring security system, WiFi electric switches, WiFi TVs, music, etc, if there is a possibility to create a mesh through the house. I was thinking of using Nighthawk CM1200 as a modem. As a router, I was thinking of using an Orbi AX 6000 (3 pack). Would that be a good system for the house (modem and router)? Will a 3 pack Orbi system allow for the adequate coverage? How would I connect the components if I need more routers or satellite points? I was also considering Amplifi Alien routers or router mash or Asus XT8 ZenWiFi AX6600 router mesh? Would really appreciate your recommendation.

    1. The CM1200 is a great 3.1 modem and it should be paired with the newest Wireless AX models available.
      Orbi is expandable with more satellites if need be.

  2. Jennifer Davis

    My home is a 10000 sq ft, 3 stories in the back 2 stories in front, the house is made of concrete blocks and each floor is steel reinforced T beams. It is very difficult to get internet everywhere. I currently have the Orbi mesh with 1 satellite but it is but it’s not enough. What would you suggest?

    1. Hiring someone to run wires to the different floors and recast a signal from there by plugging an access point in.
      WiFi is not going to penetrate several floors of concrete and steel.

  3. Want to go with Orbi but … Cable (modem) comes in to the back of house second floor. TV’s are at front of house (50 feet) on first and third floors. Is 50-feet from back (through bedroom) to front too far for the base and satellite to be separated? If okay I’d assume that the satellite could handle the upper and lower floor broadcast.
    Current problem is greatest with buffering with Spectrum TV app through Roku sticks. Could that be a problem due to the current use of a traditional extender (lower 2.4-only connection and then cut in speed OR maybe extender losing connection periodically)?
    Also read a lot about Orbi dropped signal… still true?

    1. Because all living situations are different, that could be true for some but not for the majority.
      The Orbi can be extended beyond 50ft so that setup should work for covering the front of the house.

  4. I have cox panaromic wifi but we have around 2500 sq feet my kids are always screaming about the buffering would bring in orbi correct these issues?

  5. Hello,
    Would like your recommendation for a home mesh network system for house 7400 sq ft. We have an Asus AC1900 router. Thanks

  6. I have a 4500 sq foot home (floors 1 and 2). Add in the basement, which is finished and where the cable comes into the home and the home is 5800 sq ft. Will the ORBI cover floor 3?

    1. It would entirely depend on the construction of the house between floors but I would think it is possible by placing the basement router as close to the ceiling as possible and then the second Orbi as close to the roof of the 1st floor as possible to extend through to the 3rd. Your only true course of action would be to test it out. I would try to run a long cat 5 cable from the basement modem to the Orbi position on the 1st floor.

  7. Hello,

    As I know Orbi is not a real mesh, as only one unit “satellite” will share internet to other units “star”
    Where Linksys Velop every unit acts as a satellite. Is it still the case with Orbi or there is a new release?

    1. Netgear released an update for the Orbi firmware long ago which enables the true wireless mesh fashion such as daisy-chaining. Moe info on their site.

  8. Novice with a question. Spectrum internet to be wired into an outbuilding structure about 200 feet from the main house because we have a problem connecting to the house related to underground conditions. Need a strong wifi signal to get to the house and then be rebroadcast. Assumed a good nighthawk router such as the X6 in the outbuilding with the X6S mesh extender at the house would be best, but now am confused reading your text on the Orbi. Thoughts? Thank you.

    1. Yes, the Orbi will recast a full-strength second wireless signal while a normal Netgear mesh will half your WiFi power and complicate the equation.

  9. Alan drinkwater

    I have a shared apartment with 9 separate apartments. We want to bring in a dedicated lease line at 100MB.
    Would a mesh network work for us? It is a very large house.

    1. Yes, a wireless mesh network would best suit your large apartment setup. In fact, it is your only viable option. The number of satellites will depend on how spread out you are from the base.
      For instance, if the base station is in the middle, you may want one satellite receiver on each end.

  10. Hi StickyStatic, Great site…you really know your stuff!! I live in WNY and have Spectrum with their UBEE modem/router combo. What would be the best upgrade for this system? I have a 4500 sq. ft. tri-level house. Thanks for your help!—Ken

    1. Definitely still going strong with the Netgear Orbi we recommended. Base station on ground point entry with a satellite on the middle floor to reach the third floor.

  11. Benjamin Wayne Chapman

    I have Spectrum and an Arris TG1672G, I connect this to the Orbi? Also is there a way to get more Ethernet Plugs? I am maxed out now, if I plug this in something has to be unplugged, nothing that is plugged in can be wireless.

    1. Yes, this is compatible and the Orbi has Ethernet plugs built into the back on both the base station and the wireless satellite receiver. If there are not enough on the base station a cheap and simple 5 port Ethernet switch is a great way to add more ports. I have this solution for my back bedroom. I run one 100 foot cat 5 from router to the back and use a cheap 5 port switch there for my TV, XBOX, PC and streaming device. The other option would be to run 4 separate Ethernet cables the distance but that isn’t a reasonable option.

  12. Cool article. Looking at buying the Orbi for a new construction house. It’s two 3000 sq ft floors with backyard coverage of 1/2 acre needed off the first floor plus a 5000 sq ft basement (really two levels with basketball court) and lots of steel and concrete. How many Orbis do I need and where should I place them? A hub in the center of each floor and spokes throughout each floor?

  13. How many orbi satellites should I purchase for my 10,000 square feet, basement + 2 floor house? I would also like the wifi to be available even on the terrace and my garden (on the front) and my kitchen garden (on the back) basically covering an area of around 30,000 square feet.

    1. It will depend on where the base unit is located and how you will spoke them out. You would need at least 2. And you’re going to have to try to see what is needed after that. The great thing is you can buy another to add to your network at any time.

    2. I like to buy that if it’s possible to buy it and use it in my house and garden. My house is about 3 story building with a garden of about 12 meters. I really need your help. Thanks to you in advance.

  14. I have had Spectrum for about 8 months. never an issue. I moved recently to a little bit larger house and cannot get WiFi to connect 100 feet away. Sometimes sitting right on top of the router it will not load a very simple game (Design Home) I can load the game and play it faster on my little TracFone from Walmart that I pay 34.00 a month for phone and limited data. What is the best router, for a house that is cinder block exterior walls, and a two-story (I do not go upstairs but my son does) and is about 2500 sf. I am desperate…….spectrum is great with the internet, home phone, and TV but forget the wifi….it’;s horrible. Right now I am connected to a 121mbps link speed 5ghz and I am sitting right on top of the wifi and it is cutting in and out. If I go to the 2g….forget it, I cannot play at all……the game is simple, and I use to play it with no issues. BTW, the tablet is new only 5 months old, not the tablet. I have been in this house for 4 weeks and have to go to Walmart to use their wifi to play the game.

    1. It sounds like your router is actually broken if you’re not getting signal at that range. Of course, the Orbi RBK50 will work in your situation. As long as the interior walls are not cinderblock. That stuff is not transmission friendly.

  15. I moved into a newly constructed apartment building with no Ethernet ports. I purchase internet and cable through the apartment complex. They are both provided by Spectrum/Charter. I have two TV’s hooked up via the two wall jacks through HD cable boxes. I need an Ethernet port to connect my Arlo security cameras to. Spectrums solution to this was to bring out an Arris Gateway, model TG1682G. It set up as an available wifi connection in my list of connections but the tech could never get it to connect to the internet, whether as its own connection or through the apartments secure connection. They claim it is functioning properly. Six months and much frustration later I am still no farther with getting a functioning Ethernet port. I’ve tried two other gateway/router/modems and they will not connect to my apartments internet either. I do not have access to the main connections in the office and the office manager has no idea what to do either. Spectrum bounces us from dept to dept and nothing we’ve tried helps. Is there any way to get an Ethernet port available (running a separate one into the apartment is not an option as per the manager). In this day and age with everything being wireless, I still can’t find any item with Ethernet ports that does not have to be connected into a gateway/router/modem, even things like wireless range extenders. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    1. That is a loaded question. You want to connect your Arlo to the ethernet? I also have Arlo Q, but it needs a wireless signal.
      As for the gateway they brought you, that is a poor router choice. Not understanding the whole scenario, with the manager providing internet through the coax but no wireless? I can’t really decide what route you need to take.

  16. We live in the country and only internet option is a Verizon wireless card. Will the mesh option work with it? We need internet in the basement and main level of the house.

    1. I do not think so. The problem with the wireless card is it plugs into one single computer.
      You would need an Ethernet port out like a modem offers to go into the Mesh router for it to work.

      Now, this is possible if your computer connected to the card has an Ethernet port but would take advanced configuration on the computer hosting the wireless card to send the internet signal out the port into the mesh router.
      It’s called Internet Connection Sharing.

  17. Thank you for this article.
    I was looking to buy a mesh router system for our home; specifically the Orbi. I was reading the reviews and there were many with negative comments concerning firmware. The comments were made in 2017 and I was wondering if these have been resolved in 2018. I am a complete novice at all this technical information and would appreciate any input. Our internet provider is Comcast. Thank you!

    1. I have not had any problem with the Netgear Orbi. While my apartment is too small for it, I tested and installed it for my mothers large home so that she can stream in the back bedroom and use wireless security cameras around the property. She loves it. Mainly because it works and she doesn’t have to fiddle with it ever since I installed it for her.

  18. Can I ask why it is that I don’t hear much about using a mesh network for gaming optimization? Is it a better choice than the typical “modem + router” option? To me, having read much of your pages, it would appear to be the case….Or am I missing something in my thought process?

    1. My answer, is I do not know.
      I myself always hardwire my XBOX One and my gaming desktop.
      I have a 50ft cat 5 down the hall to a switch for my XBOX and desktop.
      ANY latency is unacceptable with gaming and no matter what wireless, you will always get pockets of latency from time to time. This is OK for all normal wireless usage, but not when you are trying to headshot someone on Battlefield One.

      I use my wireless for streaming HD, my smart home devices, Google Dot, Amazon Echo, wireless security, and phones. All with absolutely no problem. But I do not play around when it comes to games. Hardwired for years.

      If anyone has any insight on gaming with an Orbi, please chime in.

  19. I’m doing large home installs all the time. But the thing is the homes I need coverage for are 10k sf plus. All of these mesh systems I have found other than ubiquity which I have not yet tried, don’t scale past the 5k mark. Why not? What if they have cat5 jacks on both ends or even throughout the giant house and I want two strong points on either end followed up with mesh? Everyone is talking ease of use on these but for me it seems harder when you are limited to 5 mesh spots. I can put 5 -10 good access points connected with Ethernet across a large house, use the same SSID on all and have a solution that doesn’t get weaker like mesh does with every hop. But I would love to use mesh and the awesome monitoring apps. I don’t really lean towards apple but I do like the airport utility showing me the status of all the airports on the network which can be connected wired or wireless in a large home that happens to have some wiring. I want to jump on the mesh bandwagon and get with the new, but in my world, it seems like a very limited solution when it has a maximum range and you cant just add another base station with more hubs for more range… or can you? I have done some research but there is limited information on expand-ability past the 5 mesh point system.

    1. Yes, while the mesh is newer and made for large homes, even then there are some limitations.
      The Linksys Velop does allow for daisy chaining and adding more access points than the Orbi so in theory it can cover a 10,000 sqft home, but I do not know anyone who has ran this live. If you were to ever try it, let us know how it goes.

  20. Hello! Maybe saw it too late :( I got an AmpliFi mesh system for our triplex apartment complex. The router with two mesh points covers the first two floors (10 and 11th floor) i.e around 6000 sq. feet perfectly. Need to cover the third (12th floor) and the terrace as well. I am planning in getting two more mesh points and I am very satisfied with the AmpliFi performance. However, the mesh points have to be used at 2.4 ghz or it doesn’t cover as much. Is it the same case with Orbi?

    1. The Orbi is a Tri-band mesh system so it offers a 5 Ghz SSID for devices to connect to as well as the 2.4 Ghz.

  21. I have a question
    I have Spectrum internet with a Technicolor modem gateway.
    Will this Netgear mesh system work with that modem router?

    1. Yes, it will work with any modem. You will need to “bridge” your modem and that means turn off the built in router. Spectrum can walk you through this or you can find information online. Once bridged the mesh router work like normal.

  22. I am trying to cover a 7000 square footprint using both apple and Microsoft products! I would also like to have multiple ethernet ports, any suggestions?

  23. We have a lake home and a guest house next door. We have cable and internet at our lake home and tapped our cable into the guest house so we didn’t have to have another cable bill. We don’t have a cable box at the guest house. Our wifi isn’t quite strong enough all of the time to get coverage at the guest house. Is the mesh networking my best option or should I look at a different option?

    1. The mesh network is the best option to recast a full strength signal to your back yard guest house.
      Any other options would only transmit partial signal, therefor they would not be the best option.

  24. I’m also weighing Orbi vs Velop for a large ranch style house. My problem is that the cable modem comes in at one END of the house. So by the time you are sitting at OPPOSITE END of the house, your WiFi signal is very weak, even with a good Nighthawk router.

    As I understand, each Orbi satellite must connect DIRECTLY with the base router. They don’t act as relays for each other, like the Velop. So given that, it seems that an Orbi satellite near the far end of the house may still perform badly since its link to the base station would be so weak.

    How can Orbi claim that 2 nodes covers 4000 sq ft, and 3 nodes covers 6000 sq ft, when they don’t take into consideration the locations? I mean 3 nodes might work well if the base router were in the MIDDLE, but if it’s at one END, won’t the 3rd satellite at FAR END suffer?

    1. This is true. The Orbi is more of a hub and spoke setup while the Velop can daisy chain.
      Because of this, it sounds like you would be forced to get the Linksys for best performance in your situation. However, an Orbi midway between modem and the back of the house may be strong enough to get that taken care of without daisy chaining.

  25. First of all, fantastic blog!! Second, what are your thoughts regarding Orbi v. Velop?

    1. Hey Phil, thanks!
      Sorry the delay in getting back to you, was moving locations.
      I personally would never entertain the idea of Linksys again after many problems in the last few decades but as for this situation, it is more expensive(by far), does not have USB 3.0 or any USB ports at all and that is huge for me and many others. I need to have my home Network Attached Storage back up and print server. And last but not least, it is only Wireless AC2200 as opposed to the AC3000 or the Orbi.
      Linksys is the all around loser here but it does have one benefit…. It can use many more nodes so if you have a mega mansion, it may be your only option.

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