Best known for its line of affordable security cameras, smart locks, and other smart home devices, Wyze has entered the mesh networking arena with the Wyze Mesh Router ($93.99 for one, $173.99 for a two-pack), a dual-band system designed to bring Wi-Fi 6 networking to all corners of your home. Easy to install and manage, the two-piece kit we tested delivered solid throughput scores and good signal coverage throughout our test home, though it lacks USB and high-speed networking ports. The same can be said for the Editors’ Choice award-winning Eero 6+, but that system provides better all-around performance and can control home automation devices, so we continue to give that mesh system the nod.
Design and Features
The folks at Wyze sent us the Wyze Mesh Router two-pack, consisting of two identical nodes that bring Wi-Fi 6 coverage to homes up to 3,000 square feet (1,500 square feet per node). The low-profile nodes are matte white, measure a compact 1.5 by 4.5 by 4.5 inches (HWD), and contain four internal antennas each.
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The top of each device sports a slightly beveled design and contains a single LED indicator that glows white when the node is functioning properly, flashes white while in pairing mode, and flashes blue when connecting via Bluetooth. It flashes orange while the router is rebooting, and glows solid orange when the internet connection is lost.
Around the back are two 1Gbps LAN/WAN ports with support for wired backhaul—you won’t find any multi-gig Ethernet ports like those of the more costly Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8) system, nor a USB port for sharing a storage device. There’s also a reset button and an AC adapter connector.
The Wyze Mesh Router is powered by a 1GHz dual-core ARM Cortex CPU, 512MB of DDR3 RAM, and 128MB of flash memory. As an AX3000 system, it can hit maximum theoretical data rates of up to 576Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 2,400Mbps on the 5GHz band. It supports all Wi-Fi 6 technologies including 160MHz channel transmissions, WPA3 encryption, MU-MIMO data streaming, beamforming, Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) data transmissions, and automatic band steering. Since it’s not a Wi-Fi 6E router, it doesn’t operate on the 6GHz band; for that, you’ll need to spend some more for its tri-band Wyze Mesh Router Pro sibling.
You don’t get many advanced settings with the Wyze Mesh Router. You can configure port forwarding, but firewall and VPN settings are nowhere to be found. Parental controls are limited to website blocking, without the adult content filters and user profiles that come with the Motorola Q11 mesh system. You can assign bandwidth priority to a single device, but there are no application based QoS options. The kit does, however, use Firedome security software to protect your network and clients from malware and other cyber attacks.
You install the router and node with the same mobile app used by other Wyze devices, including the Wyze Cam V3 Pro, the Wyze Plug, and the Wyze Air Purifier. Once installed, the network appears in a panel on the Home screen. Tap the panel to open a Network Overview screen that tells you the current status (online or offline), the results of your latest internet speed test, a list of installed nodes, and currently connected devices. There’s also a Create Device Group button that lets you group client devices so they can be controlled together with a single command.
When you tap a node, you’ll see a screen of information about it, including the IPS address and backhaul method and which channels each band is using. Advanced settings let you see the MAC addresses for each SSID and LAN port. When you tap a connected device, you’ll see which node it’s connected to and which band it is using, along with the client IP and MAC addresses. Tap Block this Device to prevent the client from accessing the network.
A Statistics button at the top of the screen reveals how many devices are currently active, and it lets you view daily, weekly, and monthly security threats blocked by the Firedome software. A gear icon at top right brings up the Settings screen, where you can edit Wi-Fi SSIDs and passwords, configure a guest network, enable UPnP and WPA3 encryption, configure the parental control and QoS settings, and configure the router for bridge mode.
Testing the Wyze Mesh Router: Easy Install, On-Par Performance
Like other mesh systems we’ve reviewed, the Wyze kit was easy to install. Start by downloading the mobile app and creating an account, then tap the plus sign at the top left of the Home screen to add a device. Tap the Home tab, select Wyze Mesh Router from the list of devices, and press Start. Then, you follow the instructions to unplug your modem and disconnect your old router (if you have one) before connecting the Wyze node to your modem using the included LAN cable.
Power up the modem and the router, and when the latter’s LED blinks white, tap Next to allow your phone and the router to make a Bluetooth connection, at which point the LED will flash blue. Once connected, give the router a name. You can now opt to split and name the radio bands or give them a single name and let band steering control which band will provide the best connection. After saving these settings, you can install additional nodes using the same procedure and update the firmware if necessary to complete the installation.
The Wyze Mesh Router posted strong throughput numbers in our testing. The router node’s score of 914Mbps in the close proximity test topped the Asus XT8 (860Mbps) and Motorola Q11 (895Mbps), though the Eero 6+ router led the way with 938Mbps. In our 30-foot test, the Wyze router’s 322Mbps was good enough for the bronze medal, ahead of the Motorola (315Mbps) but trailing the Eero (367Mbps) and Asus (347Mbps).
In our close-proximity test, the Wyze satellite node delivered 488Mbps of throughput, again beating the Motorola Q11 node (441Mbps) but not the Eero 6+ node (538Mbps) or the Asus Zen WiFi XT8 node (675Mbps). The same thing happened at a distance of 30 feet, with the Wyze node managing 412Mbps versus 410Mbps for the Motorola, 508Mbps for the Eero, and 619Mbps for the Asus.
To test Wi-Fi signal strength, we use an Ekahau Sidekick Wi-Fi diagnostic device and its Ekahau Survey mobile app to generate a heat map that displays the router and satellite node’s signal strength throughout our test home. (Disclosure: Ekahau is owned by PCMag’s parent company Ziff Davis.) The circles on the maps represent the locations of the router and node while colors represent signal strength, with dark green for the strongest signal and yellow for a weaker one. Gray indicates no measurable reception.
As you can see, the Wyze mesh kit delivered strong Wi-Fi throughout most of the house; the signal was weaker in the far corner of the bedroom, but we’ve seen that with other products.
Verdict: Speedy (and Reach-y) Enough, But Feature-Light
The Wyze Mesh Router delivers solid throughput and signal strength performance and is a snap to install, and its built-in security software helps keep your network safe from malicious attacks. On the minus side, its parental control and Quality of Service features are limited. You’ll pay a bit more for the Eero 6+ mesh system, but in return you’ll get better performance, a Zigbee radio for controlling smart home devices, and an option for more robust parental control and network security tools. As such, the Eero retains our Editors’ Choice honors for Wi-Fi 6 mesh systems.
The Bottom Line
The Wyze Mesh Router is a two-piece, dual-band mesh system that provides strong Wi-Fi 6 coverage for homes up to 3,000 square feet.
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