Black Friday is an ideal time to save big on tech like TVs and laptops, but you can also find plenty of deals on valuable networking hardware. Sick of slow Wi-Fi? Want to boost coverage so you can reliably use your phone or PC in the far reaches of your home? We’ve rounded up some awesome sales on mesh networking kits, routers, and extenders to help you find exactly what you need this Black Friday.
$370 $90 Off
Netgear’s Orbi RBK50 is a powerful mesh network system that delivers a dedicated backhaul band, plenty of ports for wired devices, and easy setup. It offers coverage up to about 5,000 square feet from two nodes, and it’s best used in tandem with an internet plan that delivers 500Mbps speeds.
$299 $50 Off
This three-pack of Amazon’s eero mesh nodes can cover up to about 5,000 square feet in a reliable signal. It brings dual-band connectivity suited for ISP speeds up to about 350Mbps, and each node has two Ethernet ports for connecting wired devices. Included is a free Echo Dot that you can use for voice control over your Wi-Fi.
$400 $120 Off
Wi-Fi 6 is the latest wireless standard that delivers incredible speed, and the Nighthawk AX8 is your ticket to the show. Its dual bands offer theoretical speeds up to a whopping 6Gbps, and it’s packed with advanced features to ensure each device gets an ideal connection. If you have devices compatible with Wi-Fi 6 sitting around not benefitting, now’s a great time to upgrade.
$190 $100 Off
Netgear’s Nighthawk R7400 brings modest speeds up to 800Mbps on the 2.4GHz radio and 1,733Mbps on the 5GHz radio, as well as MU-MIMO tech and plenty of Ethernet ports for connecting wired devices. If your wireless needs aren’t particularly demanding and you just want a solid router for home use, this is an awesome affordable option.
$110 $24 Off
Range extenders can help boost the coverage of a single router without having to invest in a mesh system. Netgear’s EX6150 brings dual-band speeds up to 1,200Mbps, and it should connect to just about any modern router out there. It plugs straight into the wall and setup is as easy as possible.
How are you improving your network this Black Friday?
All of the above networking hardware can improve your wireless network, and all have been slashed for great Black Friday prices. If you’ve been waiting to add a solid mesh network to your large home, TP-Link’s tri-band Velop setup is a great option that will deliver the performance and coverage you need. Wired backhaul is an option but you can also rely on a dedicated radio for wireless backhaul, and the three nodes will handle up to about 6,000 square feet. If you don’t quite have as much space and still want to see what the Velop is all about, the two-pack of tri-band nodes is available for a far more modest price and will still deliver excellent mesh performance.
If you’re looking for more great Black Friday deals, be sure to check out Windows Central’s dedicated coverage where you’re sure to find the best sales on just about anything you can imagine.
Should you upgrade to a mesh network?
Swapping out your standard router with a mesh network is a big upgrade, but it’s a solution that many people are turning to rather than relying on a single router and range extender. Why? A mesh network is capable of handling high traffic spread out over a large space, all with easy setup and management.
A high-quality mesh system with a dedicated band for wireless backhaul will prevent performance degradation you often see with range extenders, and you can easily add more nodes in the future for further coverage. Instead of hobbling together a network with myriad SSIDs and differing speeds, a mesh system provides a single network that your devices will recognize and connect to without much effort on your part.
Add in the fact that a solid mesh networking system costs about as much as a router and extender that can cover the same range, and you might have an easier decision than you first thought. If you’re unsatisfied with the wireless dark spots in the far reaches of your home and don’t want to add another bandaid, a mesh system is the next logical step. And considering you can save big for Black Friday, it might just be time to upgrade.
Should you upgrade to Wi-Fi 6?
Wi-Fi 6, the next designation with 802.11ax technology, brings a number of improvements over 802.11ac, also known as Wi-Fi 5. Perhaps most importantly, Wi-Fi 6 can deliver up to about three times the theoretical speeds capable on Wi-Fi 5, which is better suited for a world where high-definition video and game streaming is a common reality.
Wi-Fi 6 doesn’t just happen, though, and you’ll need a compatible router — like the Netgear Nighthawk AX8 — to go along with your compatible devices. If you haven’t purchased a new laptop, PC, or phone in the last year or so, chances are you won’t be missing out on much, as consumer products have only recently begun including Wi-Fi 6 compatibility.
The best argument for a Wi-Fi 6 router today — especially if you don’t have compatible devices — is to future-proof your network. Buying an expensive Wi-Fi 5 router only to get your hands on a bunch of Wi-Fi 6 products in the next couple of years will leave you wishing you’d gone with the latest tech. Considering one of our favorite Wi-Fi 6 routers has been discounted for Black Friday, now might be the right moment to take the plunge.
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