Google WiFi vs Orbi vs Eero vs Velop

Home WiFi systems don't flash off impressive features or immersive experiences like other tech does. We all know that it is the backbone of the modern day world with a huge importance in the household.

As media quality improves and data volume increases, the need for the fastest, most reliable, most secure and most response WiFi system grows.

From your laptop to your Amazon Echo, having the latest and best WiFi technology can give you a better experience.

This comparison of Google WiFi, Orbi, Eero, and Velop will break down the leading brands of the very latest Mesh WiFi systems.

An overview of key features and performance of each router will be considered to provide a complete comparison. You will have the information you need to make the right decision for you.

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googlewifi


What is Mesh Wi-Fi?

Mesh Wi-Fi is a relatively new method of network connection comprised of communicating nodes. These nodes can transmit the Wi-Fi signal from one to another across your whole home. The benefit and purpose of this are to maintain signal strength in every corner of your home.

You may be wondering how is this different to a Wi-Fi extender. These Nodes talk to each other rather than relaying a message directly to the router. Al you need to know is that Mesh Wi-Fi has far better speeds at a further distance from the router.

The means by which Mesh Wi-Fi systems achieve this goal subtly varies. Some use a base router and then beacons to communicate the message, whilst others have a group of communicating routers.

The use of Mesh Wi-Fi systems also tends to be mediated with a dedicated app. This acts as the interface for precise and useful features, which again vary between brands. Typically you can operate the parental control, manage your network and bandwidth allowances.

Do you need Mesh Wi-Fi?

Mesh Wi-Fi is designed to be a solution to sub-par router performances at a further distance from a router. If you live in a small home, such as a one bedroom apartment, you will not need Mesh Wi-Fi.


Google WiFi

google wifi

View owner reviews on Amazon

The worlds leading tech giant is dipping its toes in many markets at the moment. The Google WiFi mesh system was released at the end of 2016 and is there only Wifi router network available. The routers are available in a pack of either one, two or three modules.

We all know that Google produces the most impressive hardware and software in the world. It is no surprise that their Google WiFi system is truly one of the best.


Design & Setup

The design is a particularly minimal white with a small matted “G” on the top to label its maker. There is a horizontal ring around the edge which has a soft blue light to indicate function.  Each WiFi point two Gigabit Ethernet ports and a power supply.

  • Diameter: 106.1 mm (4.1 in)
  • Height: 68.7 mm (2.7 in)
  • Weight: 340g

The Google WiFi has the easiest setup of any of the mesh routers on the market. The Google WiFi App hosts the wizard setup and simply requires you to scan the QR codes of any of your WiFi points. Set your network username and password then you are good to go.

google wifi app



Specs

Wireless

  • AC1200 2×2 Wave 2 Wi-Fi
  • Expandable mesh Wifi
  • Simultaneous dual-band Wifi (2.4 GHz/5 GHz) supporting IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • TX Beamforming
  • Bluetooth® Smart Ready

Ports

  • Two Gigabit Ethernet ports per Wifi point

Memory

  • 512 MB RAM
  • 4 GB eMMC flash storage

Processor

  • Quad-core ARM CPU – each core up to 710 MHz

Power

  • 15 W power adaptor

google wifi 2 cables


App

The Google WiFi provides a range of features that go beyond the setup. It is a control point that allows you to monitor your WiFi points and live coverage. There are a few very useful features that allow you to more precisely tweak your WiFi system:

  • Prioritize devices speed
  • Pause kids devices
  • Live bandwidth usage
  • Create a separate network for guest
  • Bandwidth speed test
  • Add other administrators to control the network

Overall, the Google WiFi app is undoubtedly the best quality control panel for any Mesh WiFi network currently.

google wifi app


Coverage & Performance

google coverage

With one Wifi Point, you can cover up to 85 square meters, two gets you anywhere from 85-170 square meres whilst three is appropriate for those who need to cover 170-420 square meters.

You can use as any WiFi points as you want, but you will rarely need more than six.

Google WiFi does not have the most cutting-edge hardware and eye-opening speeds.

It does, however, offer one of the most reliable speeds over the whole mesh network.

Over a Local Network (LAN), you can expect to get around 450 – 500Mbps speed.

With a 100Mbps service from an ISP, many users have reported speeds maximizing or even exceeding this (up to 100Mbp).

Google WiFi can maintain speeds within 100 ft fairly decently, but this can drop off beyond this.

View Google WiFi on Amazon

 


Netgear Orbi

Netgear orbi

View owner reviews on Amazon

Netgear is one of the most established WiFi router manufacturers. Their Orbi is a mesh network with high-quality hardware specs and very fast speeds.

This mesh network is different to the Google WiFi in that it has a main router with accompanying Orbi Satellites.

It is the satellites that provide the mesh function.


Design & Setup

The Orbi Satellite is a minimal white with a blue light ring, although it is on the top of the device. It's a relatively long and thin oval shape with a larger surface area that is more visible to the eye. The router that connects to your modem is styled just like a simple black router.

  • Dimensions: 6.7 x 3.1 x 8.89 inches
  • Weight: 1.96lb (890.5g) each

The process of setting up the Orbi mesh network can be done with either the Orbi app or by plugging in a PC or Mac to directly into the router with either net.

You will be asked to make a name for the network and a password for access. Once the network has been established you simply plug in and turn on your Orbi satellites and your router will find them.

orbi set up


Specs

Wireless

  • 802.11ac/TTri-band WiFi technology
  • MU-MIMO
  • Beamforming
  • 4X4 (1.7Gbps) dedicated backhaul
  • 6 high-performance antennas

Ports

  • Router – 1 WAN & 3LAN
  • Satellite – 4 WAN
  • USB 2.0, power

Memory

  • 512 MB RAM
  • 4 GB flash

Processor

  • Quad-core ARM 710MHz

Power

  • 15 W power adaptor

netgear orbi ports


App

The Orbi app is a point of control of your mesh network beyond just setting up your devices. From the app you can manage your routers and other devices, view the status of your Orbi devices and enforce parental controls with a programme called Circle that works with Disney.

You can also run speed tests, pause the internet and view your usage over a time period. You may also create a WiFi network for guests, similar to the Google WiFi app.

orbi app speed test

 


Coverage & Performance

With a router and the two included Orbi Satellites, you can cover up to 5,000 square feet or 464.50 square meters. With an additional Orbi Satellite, you can reach 7,500 feet or 696.7 square meters.

Orbi has some of the most on-point hardware components and the best performance out of the mesh networks

Over a Local Network (LAN), you can expect to get around 550 Mbps speed.

It also manages to maintain speeds relatively well when exceeding 100 feet.

View Orbi on Amazon

eero Pro (2nd Gen)

eero

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The eero Pro WiFi system is a mesh network that is comprised anywhere between two and three devices. There is a distinction to be made between two systems on offer from eero.

The eero Home WiFi System comes with an eero with one or two Beacons. The eero Pro WiFi System comes with 3 eeros and no Beacons.

The difference between a Beacon and an eero is that the latter has ethernet ports.


Design & Setup

The design of the eero Home WiFi system follows the standard. The box is a white with a single light to show it's operating with a small eero logo imprinted on it.

  • Dimensions: 4.8 x 1.2 x 4.8 inches
  • Weight: 240g

The setup of the eero Wifi system is straightforward and mediated via the eero app, as per usual with mesh networks.

Opening the app will run the setup wizard where some basic questions such as the layout of your home are asked.

You then need to connect the eero (no Beacon) to the modem and then you just need to add the Beacons to the network as instructed by the app.

eero app


Specs

Wireless – eero

  • Tri-band WiFi radios, simultaneous 2.4GHz, 5.2GHz, and 5.8GHz wireless2x2 MU-MIMO, beamforming, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • Thread 1.1 Border Router, Bluetooth® LE 4.2
  • WPA2 encryption, Family Profiles, DHCP, IPV6, NAT, VPN Passthrough, UPnP, Static IP, and Port Forwarding

Wireless – eero Beacon

  • Dual-band WiFi radios, simultaneous 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless
  • 2×2 MU-MIMO, beamforming, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • Thread 1.1 Border Router, Bluetooth® LE 4.2
  • WPA2 encryption, Family Profiles, DHCP, IPV6, NAT, VPN Passthrough, UPnP, Static IP, and Port Forwarding

Ports

  • Two auto-sensing Gigabit ports for WAN and/or LAN connectivity

Memory

  • 512 MB RAM
  • 4 GB flash storage

Processor

  • 700 MHz quad-core processor
  • 15 W power adaptoreero plugged in

App

The eero app will allow you to set up your eero mesh network in under 10 minutes. It provides automatic updates to ensure ongoing security, features and performance maximization. The eero app also gives you suitable management over your network to allow you to:

  • View status & manage from anywhere
  • Share network with guests
  • Schedule & pause internet access
  • Block specific devices

There is a premium subscription option called eero Plus which includes some of the finer features you get with the other apps we have reviewed.

This includes parental controls, advanced security and access to full time experts to give a stronger service.

eero app page

 


Coverage & Performance

eero are less specific with their promised coverage you can get with their mesh network. Rather than presenting a footage, they state that their eero Pro WiFi System (with 3 eeros) will cover a household with five or more bedrooms.

Their most simple package with an eero and one Beacon covers a one to two bedroom house.

Their middle package can cover a three to four bedroom house.

The eero mesh network is the speediest at both shorter and longer distance.

Over a Local Network (LAN), you can expect to get 600Mbps.

The eero is the best performing at a short distance.

View eero on Amazon

Linksys Velop

velop

View owner reviews on Amazon

The Linksys Velop is our final mesh network in our comparison. As all these devices are very similar and there is little room for variation in mesh routers, the Linksys Velop follows the others tech. They are sold in packs of one, two or three WiFi devices.


Design & Setup

The Linksys Velop units again have a white style with a grey Linksys logo. These are rather differently styled in regards to shape and size compared to the other units.

Rectangular, much taller and less compact, these units are different than the other mesh routers we have overviewed above. They also a little bit heavier, although this shouldn't weigh in as a problem.

  • Dimensions: 3.1 x 3.1 x 7.3 inches
  • Weight:630g

The setup is quick and comprised of few stages that mirror the other brands.

The first step is to setup the primary node or Parent by using the Linksys app instructions. Following that you simply connect the other nodes to the Parent node wirelessly.app.


Specs

Wireless

  • Tri-Band AC2200 (867 + 867 + 400 Mbps)‡
  • with MU-MIMO and 256 QAM
  • Simultaneous Tri-Band (2.4Ghz + 5GHz + 5GHz)
  • Beamforming for 2.4 GHz and 5GHz bands
  • WPA2 personal

Ports

  • 2x WAN/LAN auto-sensing Gigabit Ethernet ports

Memory

  • 512 MB RAM
  • 4 GB flash storage

Processor

  • 716 MHz Quad Core

Antennas

  • 6 x internal

Velop ports


App

The Linksys app is a well produced and updated control panel for the mesh network. The features included are:

  • Remote access and management
  • View related statistics
  • Guest access
  • Prioritize devices
  • Parental controls

It is also worth noting there is 24/7 customer care and a 3-year warranty.

velop app


Coverage & Performance

A single Velop is suitable for a small living of around 2000 square feet and one or two bedrooms.

Two Velops will have you covered in a 4,000 square feet area or three to four bedrooms.

Finally, three Velops will cover up to a 6,000 square feet area and five or more bedrooms.

The Linksys Velop has solid speeds, especially at the furthest range where it is the fastest.

Over a Local Network (LAN), you can expect to get up to 550-500 Mbps.

The Velops is very solid at the furthest distances, at 100 ft or over where it can maintain up to half its maximum speed.

velop coverage

View Velop onAmazon

Google WiFi vs Orbi vs eero vs Velop

The reality of all these mesh networks is that they contain very similar hardware and offer very similar specs. Your purchasing decision will most likely come down to any brand preference you have or budget.

Coverage

Although there is a small variation in the coverage of each of these mesh network systems, they will reach every corner of most homes. It is possible to add in more nodes with all brands at a similar pricing.

Performance

Over a LAN network, these devices can output speeds far greater than what is currently required with a live internet connection from an ISP. All of these mesh network systems will handle commercially available internet speeds.

The eero is the best at the shortest distance and the Velop is the best at a longer distance, over 100 feet.

Hardware

The hardware and tech specs contain all the same major pieces of kit in areas ranging from WiFi type to security.

App Control

This is another area where every brand ticks the boxes in regards to ease of use for setup, control, and monitoring. The top choice would have to be Google for its exceptional intuitive ease of use.

Customer Satisfaction

Although some users get smooth and quality experiences which fit the manufacturer's promises, it is very important to consider customer satisfaction, This is one of the most insightful factors that should inform your decision.

On the whole, these are all well-reviewed products compared to other areas of tech.

The Google WiFi and eero have the best customer satisfaction ratings with the most consistent results. Orbi has solid feedback too, although there used to be some firmware issues that have been resolved.

The Velop appears to have the most pressing issues such as frequent disconnecting and splitting between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks.


Final Word

Mesh routers are relatively one directional yet complex devices. This is reflected by the similarity of the hardware used and the results produced by these top mesh network systems.

The speeds, coverage and app are all at the same level of quality between the Google WiFi, Orbi, eero and Velop.

When taking into account every feature, Google WiFi is the best overall mesh network. The tech giant magic touch in simplicity, quality, and premier software and hardware give the best all rounded system.

Although other mesh routers have faster maximum speeds, this is unlikely to make a difference when using typical ISP speeds. Coverage among all brands is equal as the addition of more nodes will eliminate any performance issues.

Google WiFi also has the easiest use and cleanest app.

 

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