If you are searching for a reliable network, you probably have come across wifi mesh networks. Find out how brands such as Eero, Luma, Google wifi, and Orbi compare.
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A laptop and smartphone are not the only smart devices in our home. Most of our systems, including the alarm clock to my baby monitor, game console, and alarm system, are wifi enabled. We decided to invest in these systems to simplify our lives. This means that our house cannot survive without internet coverage. Though we had initially bought the traditional router, it disappointed us since it did not cover the upper floor of our house. When mesh networking was introduced, we started comparing different models such as Eero, Luma Google Wifi, and Orbi to find the best one for our home. We discovered the following.
Table of Contents
Eero vs. Luma vs. Google wifi vs. Orbi- How do they compare?Eero vs. Luma vs. Google wifi vs. Orbi-A comparison overviewFAQs
What are the differences between Eero, Luma, Google wifi, and Orbi?
Download speed-123.5 Mbps
Upload speed-112.1 Mbps
Download speed-90.8 Mbps
Upload speed-88 Mbps
Download speed-117.6 Mbps
Upload speed-108.5 Mbps
Download speed-100 Mbps
Upload speed-110 Mbps
5,000 sq. ft.
3,000 sq. ft.
4,500 sq. ft.
4,000 sq. ft.
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Eero vs. Luma vs. Google wifi vs. Orbi- How do they compare?
Units and design
Every manufacturer of mesh systems tries to create a distinct unit that internet users will like. The packaging of each model is, therefore, different. For instance, Eero, Luma, and Google Wifi come with three units, while Orbi has two units, which represent a router and satellite.
Eero comes in the form of small, square-shaped units that look good when placed anywhere around the house. Luma has hexagonal shaped units that need proper positioning for them to work properly. Google wifi units have a white cylindrical base. The small units can complement your interior décor. Most people don’t like the appearance of Orbi units since they are large.
Though Orbi units are not aesthetically pleasing, they can give you better performance compared to some of the mesh networks that look better. It comes with an LED that helps you know the status of your network.
The number of radio bands available in a mesh network system can determine how powerful it is. If you own lots of devices, you need to consider choosing a mesh network system that comes with an additional band. Orbi, in this case, performs better than the rest of the units since it is a tri-band router.
Luma, Google wifi, and Eero, on the other hand, are dual-band routers. Having an additional radio band makes a mesh network system more powerful since it can handle multiple connections without becoming unstable. The extra band in Orbi enhances the communication between the main router and its satellites. Though the majority of Eero models only feature two radio bands, the manufacturer has started designing some of the advanced models with three radio bands to boost their performance.
When you are new to mesh networks, you need to choose one that does not have a complicated set-up. According to our experience, we found Eero routers to be the easiest to set up. Also, Orbi and Google Wifi are not as complicated as Luma when it comes to the installation process. The manufacturer of Orbi tries to simplify the set up by pairing the modules. To make it even better, the radio bands of Orbi operate under a single network name rather than two.
The performance of this mesh network system is also different. For instance, several tests show that Eero can transmit speeds of 600 Mbps on at 5 GHz and 240 Mbps at 2.4 GHz. The maximum throughput in Google wifi is 400 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz and 867 Mbps on the 5 GHz band.
Orbi can deliver throughput speed of up to 866 Mbps on the 5 GHz band and 400 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band. It is impossible to separate the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz transmissions in Luma. Following certain tests, we found the combined throughput speed of Luma mesh units to be 291.5 Mbps at a range of 5 feet.
Eero vs. Luma vs. Google wifi vs. Orbi-A comparison overview
If you want an easy to use mesh network system, you should consider Eero. Though it may not be the fastest routers, people like it since it is beginner-friendly. As mesh wifi systems continue gaining popularity, Eero is a brand that remains competitive in the industry. Some of the reviews indicate that this is a good choice for most households.
Unlike a traditional router, this mesh system works more efficiently since it comes with multiple nodes. The access points can be spread throughout your entire home to give you reliable network coverage. It can blanket your entire house with strong Wi-Fi signals for you to enjoy different internet activities with minimal disruptions. Whether you are on the second floor or ground floor, you should not have any internet issues as long as you choose the Eero mesh network.
When mesh networks started being introduced, the manufacturers of Eero did not hesitate. They released the first Eero unit in 2016. Since then, the supplier has continued expanding and providing different Eero models that have slightly differing features. If you are looking for a strong wifi signal, then the Eero mesh network will not disappoint.
Following numerous tests, we discovered that Eero is not only easy to manage but also set up. You don’t need professional help for you to install and start using this unit. The three-pack unit also has an elegant design that adds class to your home. We, however, found out that the throughput of Eero was not as fast as some of the mesh systems in the market.
A single unit of Eero can provide internet coverage of up to 1500 sq. ft. The three-pack, on the other hand, can cover 5,000 sq. ft. If you have a huge home, feel free to buy additional units from the company. During set up, the manufacturer recommends that you place the unit 40 feet apart. You should make use of the dedicated app to pair the Eero units up.
The app is known to offer numerous network management options. For instance, it allows you to schedule bedtimes for your kids, denying them access at certain times. Feel free to create a guest network for visitors. This makes it possible for your friends to access free wifi while on the premises. The unit also features Ethernet Ports, which enable you to plug in different devices like smart home hubs or desktop computers. You can also use Eero alongside your current Ethernet wiring. The mesh systems offer both 5GHz and 24 GHZ networks.
This system is designed to eliminate any dead spots in a big house so that you can enjoy a strong internet connection anywhere. The mesh system also comes with security protocols to help you protect your data. If you want more protection, you can subscribe to the Secure plan for you to enjoy essentials such as VPN and password management.
ProsThe app is user-friendlyIt gives you different customization optionsSleek designExtensive wifi coverage
ConsSome people find the cost of this router to be high
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Like most of the mesh network systems, Luma comes with three units. It is, however, unique in that the units have a hexagonal shape. Despite it being aesthetically appealing, you have to position the units upright for the mesh network system to give you great performance. Following our tests, we found out that Luma is less reliable compared to the rest of the routers.
We also had problems with the set-up and experienced slower internet speeds. If you have a small home, you may find the wifi coverage enough, but Luma is not ideal for big spaces since it has a shorter range. Some of the individual units also have problems staying online. Most people, therefore, find Luma inconsistent compared to the rest of the units.
Despite these issues, some people prefer Luma over the rest of the mesh wifi systems due to its family-friendly filters. If you have young ones, you will appreciate how this unit lets you control internet usage. For instance, you can limit content on the web and only permit access to G-rated sites for the kids. Luma also allows you to set bedtime schedules and limit bandwidth allowance.
With this unit, you can even set particular devices to priority. For instance, if you are downloading a big file while at the same time, streaming movies, the mesh network can automatically give the specific device you set preference over the rest. Though this mesh network may not offer fast and reliable speeds like the rest, it contains some unique features that are absent in the rest. For instance, Luma has MU-MI-MO that enhances the distribution of data across different devices.
You can also subscribe to the Luma Guardian plan, which can give you access to additional features such as the privacy VPN. When you get this plan, you can browse the internet without the fear of getting hacked. Luma Guardian also offers anti-virus protection for up to 3 smart devices.
ProsThe units come in a unique designIt is pocket friendlyHas unique features, such family-friendly filters, and MU-MIMO support
ConsThe set up can be complicatedSome users have problems with positioning the units properlyDelivers slow internet speeds
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This is a three-unit system that has a straightforward set-up. The manufacturer ensures that anyone can set it up by including an installation guide in the package. Though Google Wifi is fast, we discovered that it is not as fast as other mesh units such as Eero.
Google wifi is a great mesh network system that lets you enjoy great internet coverage without having to pay so much money. It is a dual-band router that features 2.4GHz and 5 GHz. Google wifi has a strong base that makes it deliver a stable signal. One of the things that make people choose Google wifi over the rest of the mesh networks is that it has more efficient parental controls. This mesh system comes with a safe search option that allows you to clean any inappropriate content easily.
The unit also offers family wifi controls, which enable you to limit the time your children use the internet. Google wifi also offers support for bridge mode. It can, therefore, expand your current wifi network since you don’t have to give away the router box you have been using before the purchase of this unit.
We, however, like the additional smart home functionality included in this system. It lets you control Phillips Hue lights and Nest thermostats. This mesh wifi system also comes with Ethernet cables that allow you to plug in smart systems such as Z-wave, Zigbee, and Smartthings. The incorporation of beamforming technology also enhances the performance of this mesh network.
ProsReliable parental controlsSmooth set upHas a bridge modeMakes use of beamforming technologyCan work with different smart systems
ConsDoes not include features such as Mu-MIMO support
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If space is not an issue, you can choose a mesh network system that comes with large units. Orbi has two units that have a distinct shape. When it comes to aesthetics, we did not find these units as attractive as other models.
Since it is a tri-band router, we discovered that it delivered fast internet speed compared to some of the mesh systems we have previously discussed. This is a powerful system that features the 2.4 GHz band and two 5 GHz bands. One of the three bands works towards enhancing communication between the two Orbi units while the other two radio bands work towards improving wifi speeds.
We did not have any problems trying to set up the Orbi unit. You only need to plug one of the units into the modem, and the other one into a standard outlet where you require extra coverage. The manufacturer designs the system in such a way that it can configure itself instantly. If it is you have never used mesh networks before, experts recommend that you start with Orbi due to its high bandwidth backhaul.
Orbi mesh system also offers additional features such as automatic updates and parental controls. It, therefore, enables you to regulate how your family uses the internet. Since this router supports the 802.11 ac standard, it lets you connect up to 20 devices and use them simultaneously. The unit can even detect the precise location of each device and push a strong signal in that direction. The inclusion of numerous ports also makes it easy for you to connect different smart home hubs and entertainment systems.
ProsHigh bandwidth backhaulThree radio bands make it highly performingEasy to set upThe satellite and base are designed to work together
ConsSome customers reveal that they have problems trying to connect Orbi with their phonesOthers don’t like the large size of this unit
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A lot of people fail to put much thought into their wireless routers. For you to get a good system, you have to consider the size of your house, its layout, and the number of smart devices you have. Having such issues in mind can help you choose a suitable unit for your home. It is also advisable to go for well-known brands since you can easily find reviews that help you gauge their effectiveness. Some of the reputable models include Luma, Orbi, Google wifi, and Eero.
Verdict: So, which is better? Eero, Luma, Google wifi, or Orbi?
It took us about a week to test these four mesh wifi systems. From our comparison, we discovered that each mesh network system had its strengths and drawbacks. Eero, Google Wifi, and Orbi seemed to be reliable units that offer great internet coverage in our home. Luma, on the other hand, was quite disappointing since it delivered slow internet speed and did not eliminate some of the dead spots in our home.
Though Google wifi and Orbi offered consistent internet, they lacked some of the features we were looking for, such as great network management tools. Though we had to pay more to get Eero mesh network, it gave us complete control of our internet, more network coverage, and reliable security features. This made us conclude that Eero is a better mesh wifi system compared to Luma, Google wifi, and Orbi.
Does Luma include the port forwarding feature?
Yes. You should see this functionality in the installation guide that is included in the packaging.
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What should you consider when buying a mesh network system?
Focus on factors such as the speed, wireless connectivity, and internet coverage of a router.