Mesh Routers Speed Test Results - Ubiquiti | MikroTik | Tenda

Mesh Routers Speed Test Results - Ubiquiti | MikroTik | Tenda

Mesh solutions are available in various forms with all of them promising premium performance. Much like anything else, not all mesh solutions are created equal. Some offer exceptional performance for its price, while others are worth every penny for its premium user experience. In this article, we provide an overview to some of our mesh products and their speed test results.

To ensure fair and accurate results, all tests were conducted in-house, in the same environment, at a distance of 20m between mesh points. Two drywalls separated the units. One unit was connected with a cable while the other was connected wirelessly. We used only one mesh point per brand to limit bandwidth loss associated with multiple hops. We used iPerf 2.0.2 to provide average speed statistics for each brand option.


Ubiquiti AmpliFi Instant Mesh Speed Test

Ubiquiti's AmpliFi Instant is well-known for providing whole-home Wi-Fi in under 2 Minutes. The AmpliFi's unique design, quality, and performance don't disappoint in the mesh range. While somewhat more expensive than other SOHO suppliers, the Ubiquiti range features a premium user experience with a touch display and turbocharged 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

The AmpliFi Wi-Fi App available on iOS and Android is user-friendly and easy to navigate, making setup a breeze. The configuration is as simple as supplying power and an Internet connection to the unit. You are then able to deploy additional mesh units where necessary. The App provides many other helpful features such as: Guest Access ; Fast Diagnosis ; Remote Management - none of which require advanced knowledge. With slightly fewer capabilities than the UAP Flex HD from the UniFi range, the AmpliFi offers 802.11ac or Wi-Fi 5 speeds with 2x2 MIMO support, but the speed results are still nothing to scoff at.




MikroTik Audience

MikroTik is another powerhouse in the Wi-Fi industry and features advanced developments and cutting-edge technology for the Wi-Fi professional. Their range of mesh units includes two options, both using the same form factor, but with one offering LTE6 failover. The MikroTik Audience features tri-band wireless performance with output: 1x 2.4GHz and 1x 5GHz wireless connections while the third radio (5GHz) creates a dedicated wireless link for other nodes to connect to. This allows the Audience mesh points to maintain a high-speed connection back to the main node even over 2 hops. The high-speed, 4-core CPU and high-gain, integrated antennas ensure great coverage while maintaining high speeds to multiple clients simultaneously. The Audience supports 802.11ac, Wi-Fi 5, with an aggregate performance of 2900Mbps. It's powered by 24-57v passive PoE or DC connection and encased in a very aesthetically pleasing desktop mount chassis. The entire configuration is done via the MikroTik Mobile App which makes a number of features available. MikroTik products are typically more complex to configure but the setup wizard for the mesh system is clean, efficient and easy to work through.


MikroTik Audience LTE6 Kit Mesh Speed Test

The MikroTik Audience LTE6 Kit provides the same wireless features and benefits as the Audience, but in addition, gives the option to connect to LTE6 via a Micro-SIM slot. LTE6 provides increased speeds over LTE4 devices and achieves up to 300Mbps download and 150Mbps upload speed. The LTE6 functionality can be used as either your main source of Internet or as a failover connection.

The failover, however, is not done automatically and manual configuration is required to enable this functionality.




Tenda Nova MW3 Mesh Speed Test

Tenda, a brand well-known for its ease-of-use, SOHO product range, also offers mesh products. With a variety of mesh products available from Tenda, Scoop has selected two units from the range, which we believe to be the best value-for-money.

Supplied as a two-pack, the Tenda Nova MW3 is an ideal solution for smaller homes, apartments or offices, as it provides a coverage area of up to 200m². Equipped with 802.11ac, MU-MIMO, Wi-Fi 5 radio, the unit can provide good connection speeds to multiple devices simultaneously. It is the ideal entry-level unit for homes with no more than 100Mbps of Internet bandwidth. The units are only configurable from the Tenda Wi-Fi App. While it lacks some features available in the other premium models, the App itself is easy to use, and getting the units configured and working only takes a few minutes.




Tenda Nova MW5C Mesh Speed Test

The Tenda Nova MW5C is a 3-pack unit designed for slightly larger premises providing a coverage area of up to 325m². It features two Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000 Mbps) ports per device. The MW5C is a great option for homes or offices with an Internet connection speed of up to 200Mbps. The MW5C also enables easy expansion by allowing any of the Nova units to be used as additions to expand your network via the Tenda Wi-Fi App.




Tenda Nova MW6 vs MW5C

The MW6 (recently discontinued in favour of the MW5C) was widely-used and performed incredibly well. We thought it useful to show earlier test results on both units for reference. The original test on both units was conducted at a distance of 15m (not 20m like our current test scenario) and with one solid wall between the main unit and the connecting wireless device.





The MW6 comes out on top with a slightly-better performance than the new MW5C, however, for the 30% saving on price, the MW5C is definitely excellent value for money.


Honourable Mention: Ubiquiti UniFi UAP Flex HD

While the UniFi range is very capable of taking part in the mesh party, it was not initially named as mesh units and thus is rather included in an honourable mention. The mesh option can be turned on in the controller and function in the same way that the other devices do when it comes to wireless connections.

Though we did not test this unit as part of the dedicated Mesh range, you can expect it to be close in performance to the MikroTik Audience.

With its ultra-sleek appearance (only 159mm high) and its ability to be installed both indoors and outdoors with a wide range of mounting options, this AP is simple to deploy. Install a unit via Ethernet cable as your main Access Point and all other additional units can be detected via wireless or Ethernet cable. This is done simply and effectively using the UniFi Controller by adopting new access points as they appear. The Ubiquiti UAP Flex HD supports 802.11ac or Wi-Fi 5, PoE input from either an injector or a UniFi Switch and supports 4x4 MIMO mesh backhaul for increased performance.




Comparison - Mesh Routers



Product No. of Units Antenna Gain Ethernet Ports Est.
Coverage Area *
Max TX Power Tri-Band MU-MIMO LTE 6 Failover

AFI-INSK
x1 Router
x1 Node
1x Dual-Band Antenna,
Single-Polarity
Router: 2x GE
Node: 1x GE
372m² 22dbm X 2x2 MU-MIMO X

RB-AUD52
x1 Router 2.4GHz: 3.5dBi
5.8GHz (x2): 4.5dBi
Router: 2x GE 1858m² 2.4GHz: 26dbm
5.8GHz: 28dbm
5.8GHz: 32dbm
2x2 MU-MIMO
(4x4 MU-MIMO
backhaul band/link)
X

RB-AUD52LTE6
x1 Router 2.4GHz: 3.5dBi
5.8GHz (x2): 4.5dBi
Router: 2x GE 1858m² 2.4GHz: 26dbm
5.8GHz: 28dbm
5.8GHz: 32dbm
2x2 MU-MIMO
(4x4 MU-MIMO
backhaul band/link)

W-NOVA3
x1 Router
x1 Node
2x 3dBi Dual Band
Antennas
Router: 2x FE Per Unit 200m² 2.4GHz: 22dbm
5.8GHz: 22dbm
X 2x2 MU-MIMO X

W-NOVA5C
x1 Router
x2 Node
2x 3dBi Dual Band
Antennas
Router: 2x GE Per Unit 325m² 2.4GHz: 22dbm
5.8GHz: 22dbm
X 2x2 MU-MIMO X

*Environmental factors will influence coverage area


Blog post by Abby Carelse
Speed Tests by Guy Perry

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