Monday , December 9 2019
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When it comes to Wi-Fi routers, ease of use is king

After years of waiting, my home has finally been connected to Australia’s halfbaked NBN. Our street was connected with hybrid fibre-coaxial and I’m now enjoying internet speeds our American friends took for granted in the nineties.

As I had to change internet providers, it was a good time to test the latest home networking products available. For context, I’m currently living in a single story double brick dwelling, just oddly shaped enough that a standard router would struggle, so using a mesh networking solution was key. I’ve tested them all over the years, and would only recommend three providers: Google’s Nest Wifi for the novice, Ubiqiti’s UniFi for the dedicated nerd with a passion for tweaking every detail, and Netgear’s Orbi as a middle ground between those extremes.

The Nest Wifi router, left, is the heart of your home network while the add-on points spread the connectivity around.

The Nest Wifi router, left, is the heart of your home network while the add-on points spread the connectivity around.

As a nerd who doesn’t want to spend too much time troubleshooting, I’d been using Netgear’s Orbi Mesh access points for the past few years. Despite a few bad months of firmware updates that would see the satellite unit randomly disconnect I was relatively happy with Orbi.

The system had just enough of the nerdier features that kept me happy, including multiple Ethernet ports on both the base station and the satellite, which meant the computer, network storage, and printer in my home study was wired, as was the TV, Apple TV, and various consoles in the entertainment unit.

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