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The iPhone’s Best Part Is the Experience, Not the Hardware

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Today marks 15 years since the first iPhone went on sale. When he wryly hyped it as three revolutionary products: An iPod, a phone and an internet communicator. The first iPhone only came in one size and the only decision you had was whether to get one with 4GB of storage or 8GB. As far as carriers, only AT&T supported Apple’s first phone.

At the time, the idea of carrying an iPhone instead of a flip phone and an iPod was enough to convince some people to buy one. For others like me, the iPhone’s main appeal was the touch screen, which seemed unreal and futuristic. 

« From the very beginning, one of the unique things about [the] iPhone was that we wanted to fuse together software, services and hardware to create a simple, powerful kind of magical experience, » said Bob Borchers, Apple’s vice president for product marketing. « And with the original iPhone, it was that interaction of multi touch and pinch to zoom, where you started to see that come together. »

Fifteen years later, , five of which have launched in the past 10 months. There is at least one version that works with pretty much every major phone carrier in the world. The iPhone is available in an array of colors, finishes, sizes and storage options that now top out at 1TB. And while the screen is where most of the magic happens, it’s no longer the main appeal of the iPhone.

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Over the past decade and a half, what defines the iPhone has shifted away from just design and hardware specs. Instead, the iPhone and iOS have become a gateway into Apple services and features like iMessage, FaceTime, Siri, Apple Music, Apple Pay, top-of-the-line cameras and apps like Uber, TikTok, Twitter and WhatsApp. For better or crazytachhub worse, the iPhone has become home to our photos, music, conversations, ideas, games, identity, work, social media, shopping, keys and money.

In 2022, the iPhone continues to extend beyond its svelte metal-and-glass chassis into the world around us. It’s the backbone for products like the and , and will likely play a role in .

It also serves as the foundation for Apple’s digital services, which have become an increasingly important factor to differentiate the iPhone from competing mobile devices. These services have evolved rapidly in recent years along with the iPhone.

Find My, which started as a tool in 2010 for locating a lost iPhone, has grown into a network for finding Apple devices and pretty much anything you can attach one of to. Some products, like , even have built-in Find My support, eliminating the need to add an AirTag entirely. As of 2021, of devices, most of which were iPhones.

Just weeks ago at WWDC, Apple’s annual software developers conference, the company  with expansions to its nearly decade-old Wallet app and Apple Pay service. Essentially, Apple wants to make your physical wallet obsolete. There’s also a new feature called  that lets you split the cost of an Apple Pay purchase into four equal payments spread over six weeks, with zero interest and no fees. It’s done entirely through your iPhone.

an iPhone SEan iPhone SE

The 2022 iPhone SE is nearly identical to the 2020 version but gets more durable glass, 5G and the A15 Bionic chip that debuted in the iPhone 13.

Kevin Heinz/CNET

In fact, you need an iPhone to access or use most of these services. Keep in mind that, for years, the iPhone’s premium price made it inaccessible to many, and that’s still true of Apple’s top-of-the-line iPhone Pro models. The recently upgraded gives Apple the opportunity to expand the iPhone’s reach even further. It’s the purest example of what defines an iPhone in 2022. The SE blends the body of an iPhone 8 with the glass and processor from the . At $429, it’s currently the most affordable way to get people into Apple experiences.

I spoke with Borchers ahead of the iPhone SE launch in March about the phone and why Apple added an A15 Bionic chip to it.

« It’s actually a really easy decision to put as much capability as we can in today, in order to invest in and create opportunities for those future experiences. It’s something that distinguishes us from others, » said Borchers.

No other phone maker takes this approach. It would be like Samsung using the body of its and putting the processing power inside. The will be the first budget Android phone that uses the same processor, Google’s Tensor chip, as the flagship Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. Of course, Google isn’t putting it into the body of Pixel 2 and instead is introducing a new design.It makes sense that Apple’s cheapest phone has the same processor as its most expensive: It’s all about giving people access to Apple experiences. For example, if you buy an iPhone SE, you can use the Live Text feature in iOS 15 to grab text with your camera or copy it from a photo. And while the 2016 and 2020 versions of the iPhone SE sold well, it seems the 2022 version isn’t breaking any sales records yet. Apple doesn’t disclose a specific model breakdown of how many iPhones it sells, but analyst Ming-Chi Kuo lowered his shipping estimates for the iPhone SE (2022) by 10 million. The lower demand could be an effect of rising inflation and the fact that the 2022 and 2020 versions of the iPhone SE look identical.

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The SE showcases how iOS and Apple Silicon become the bedrock for everything you do on your iPhone. Obviously, not every model in Apple’s iPhone lineup is equal. More expensive phones like the iPhone 13 Pro come with a contemporary design, high refresh-rate screens, larger camera sensors and tools like the U1 ultra wideband chip and lidar.

These extra perks mean you can use your iPhone in more ways. For example, if you’ve got the right car, you can unlock it and start it with your iPhone. Borscher describes moments like these as « automagic, » meaning it just works. The same way a pair of AirPods can switch from your iPhone to your Mac for watching a video, or the way you can unlock your Mac using your Apple Watch.

Apple Airpods next to an iPhoneApple Airpods next to an iPhone

Apple first introduced AirPods in 2017 with the release of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, which lacked a physical headphone jack. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Of course, such growth has consequences. and , debates about , , criticism that all these services are part of a  and more recently,  are just some of the concerns that have grown alongside the iPhone’s meteoric success. There are even questions as to whether Apple can launch another product line that is even half as successful as the iPhone. My CNET colleague and Apple reporter Ian Sherr points out that .

Over 15 years, the iPhone has become ubiquitous and helped Apple become a nearly $3 trillion company. The next iteration of the phone, likely called the , is expected to launch this September. It will no doubt run on iOS 16 and have the newest version of Apple’s A series processor and will continue to support the Apple experience. As for the long-term, my colleague Lisa Eadicicco thinks  will be how it works with everything around it.

BusinessArticle Marketing

T-Mobile Home Internet: Can a Mobile Company Meet Your Household’s Broadband Needs?

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I think T-Mobile is starting to feel pretty chuffed about its . It recently rolled out an aggressive « Internet Freedom » campaign, which includes the tagline, « , » and it also made a splash with the , which placed the upstart T-Mobile Home Internet second among all national ISPs. Not too shabby.

T-Mobile Home Internet started rolling out as a pilot program early in 2021 and one of my (now former) CNET colleagues, Rick Broida, was . By April 2021, T-Mobile announced it had . A short year later, it proclaimed it had  and .

We’ve been aware of T-Mobile’s desire to  for quite some time. But now that the company’s home broadband offering is getting established, what does that mean for you? Does offer something new? Is T-Mobile Home Internet a viable option to replace your

First of all, the price is right: T-Mobile charges $50 a month (and that’s reduced to $30 for eligible Magenta MAX mobile customers). On top of that, you don’t have to worry about long-term contracts or data caps. Pretty sweet, right?

Definitely, but it’s early days yet: Although T-Mobile Home Internet is currently available to approximately 40 million homes across the US, many locations and addresses can’t get it. Plus, while 5G is the marquee player on this bill, T-Mobile relies on 4G LTE to help expand its home internet service area. This means that of the 5G home internet providers currently out there, T-Mobile will offer the slowest speeds on average. But let’s dig into the details.

T-Mobile's Wi-Fi Gateway device set against an orange backdropT-Mobile's Wi-Fi Gateway device set against an orange backdrop

T-Mobile’s Wi-Fi Gateway modem-router.


Where can you get T-Mobile Home Internet?

Whenever we start talking about any ISP, it’s always good to begin by answering the fundamental question: Can I get this service? T-Mobile Home Internet is currently available to over 40 million households in over 40 states. That makes it the most widely available 5G home internet service in the US. By comparison, Verizon’s 5G Home Internet service has but is available to just shy of 30 million homes. In the meantime, T-Mobile is open to signups in over 600 cities, but more households, many within rural areas.

To explore a complete list of the available cities and towns, refer to this . 

When will T-Mobile Home Internet get to my area?

As I mentioned, T-Mobile is the most widely available 5G home internet service, covering 40 million households. But when you consider that puts the total number of households in the country at over 120 million, about 67% of households remain ineligible for T-Mobile Home Internet. 

A T-Mobile spokesperson didn’t have specific details on expansion plans but highlighted that more than 10 million households in the current footprint are within rural America. Additionally, there’s a focus on expanding access for small towns and communities. For those outside the current availability window, T-Mobile’s site mentions that expansion could take six months or more and allows interested parties to put their name on the list for down the road.

What plans and pricing does T-Mobile Home Internet offer?

Simplicity is one of the biggest things that jumped out at me when I began to explore T-Mobile Home Internet. There isn’t an array of tiers and options from which to choose, because there’s one plan and one plan only:

T-Mobile Home Internet plans and pricing


Max speeds

Monthly price

Equipment fee

Data cap


T-Mobile Home Internet

33-182Mbps download, 6-23Mbps upload

$50 ($30 for eligible Magenta MAX mobile customers)




One size fits all

There aren’t many qualifiers when discussing T-Mobile Home Internet plans. It’s one plan, one price and no additional fees. The premise of 5G home internet is that unlike — including coaxial cable lines, fiber-optic internet and digital subscriber line — you’re not reliant on underground constructions and deployments to get you connected. Instead, it’s a fixed wireless service that provides you with a router that connects to a cellular signal.

T-Mobile provides its Wi-Fi Gateway device, a combination modem and Wi-Fi 6 router compatible with T-Mobile’s 4G LTE and 5G networks. As you can see from the chart, the only variable is the average download and upload speed you’ll experience. T-Mobile says that all eligible households will see average download speeds of 33 megabits per second at the bare minimum. Depending on your location and the placement of the T-Mobile Gateway, you might see download speeds as high as 182Mbps or more.

Image of T-Mobile 5G layer cakeImage of T-Mobile 5G layer cake

Currently, T-Mobile utilizes more of its 4G LTE network to expand its availability, so don’t expect full 5G capabilities.


T-Mobile Home Internet speeds: Isn’t 5G supposed to be faster?

The hope and promise of 5G and its capabilities have not yet been fully realized. My colleague  and how not all « 5G » is the same. In summary: Faster 5G speeds come with shorter ranges. The farther the distance, the less speed on the top end.

For T-Mobile to hit the road running with availability to over 30 million households at its launch, it needed to lean on its 4G LTE network and its growing 5G network. That’s why my CNET colleagues averaged just over 40Mbps download speeds with T-Mobile Home Internet, and some households may get up to just over 100Mbps. Anecdotally, we’ve heard of some users seeing download speeds as high as 300Mbps. Still, T-Mobile’s  promises that customers will « see typical download speeds between 33-182Mbps. » So, that may be plenty of speed for many, but don’t expect the higher download speeds you might get with fiber internet or some cable plans. At least not yet.

On the plus side, no hidden fees

One of the significant wins for T-Mobile Home Internet is its straightforwardness. There’s no pesky small print. ISPs are notorious for their hidden fees and trap pricing that tries to lure you in with enticing promo prices but then sticks you with a larger bill after those terms expire. That’s not the case here.

T-Mobile Home Internet features no data caps, so you don’t have to fear data overage fees. There’s no equipment fee for the Gateway device, so you don’t have to figure out an additional monthly cost to tack on to your regular bill. It also requires no annual service contracts, so you don’t have any early termination fees looming over your head. These are all appealing aspects of this service and make it very enticing to give T-Mobile Home Internet a try if it’s available in your area.

Does T-Mobile offer any deals or promotions for 5G home internet?

In addition to the above consumer-friendly approaches, T-Mobile is also trying to sweeten the pot for potential customers. First, T-Mobile is offering new customers a yearlong subscription for free (a $60 value). Second, it’s giving new customers with a Magenta MAX mobile plan a chance to subscribe to YouTube TV for 50% off the regular $65-per-month price tag. Third, home internet customers can now participate in T-Mobile Tuesdays, the company’s weekly discount and free perks promotion. Lastly, T-Mobile is running a « Worry-free Test Drive » promotion during which customers can try the service for 15 days with a money-back guarantee.

How does T-Mobile Home Internet fare against competitors?

As I said, T-Mobile is ahead of its 5G home internet competitors — Verizon and crazytachhub Starry — in terms of availability. is currently available in six major metropolitan areas and plans to expand to nearly 30 million households by the end of 2022 by targeting the cities of ; Dallas; Detroit; ; Indianapolis; Memphis, Tennessee; Miami; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Portland, Oregon; ; and Seattle. Verizon is available in more cities than T-Mobile (currently 900) but is behind T-Mobile’s total households covered.

However, Starry and Verizon have the upper hand on average download speeds. Starry customers will typically see consistent download speeds of 200Mbps and Verizon’s 5G Home Internet plans average around 300Mbps. What Starry and Verizon have given up in terms of widespread availability, they currently make up for in the average speeds they deliver.

All three 5G home internet providers share freedom from all the hidden fees and pricing games that many cable and fiber ISPs play. With 5G, the monthly rate is the monthly rate. There are no added fees, equipment rental charges, data caps or binding annual contracts.

So, how good is T-Mobile Home Internet, really?

When it comes to 5G, we’re much closer to the beginning than the end of where everything will shake out. If it’s speed you’re after, T-Mobile’s 5G home internet service might not impress you if you have other cable and fiber internet providers available at your address. But if you’re in a rural area or less developed area where DSL or satellite was your only previous option, T-Mobile will feel lightning fast by comparison.

Overall, T-Mobile has positioned itself as a viable option in the home internet space and made it an intriguing player to watch as it expands its 5G infrastructure. If nothing else, since it demands no contract commitment, it’s an opportunity to try a different option and maybe even use it as leverage to . Hopefully, the more options we have as consumers, the better our internet service will be in the long run.

T-Mobile Home Internet FAQs

Are there data caps with T-Mobile Home Internet?

No. T-Mobile Home Internet features unlimited data. Customers will not have any potential data overage fees or charges hanging over their heads. That said, T-Mobile Home Internet customers could find their service slowed in cases where the company prioritizes its mobile users over its fixed wireless customers.

Does T-Mobile Home Internet come with a router?

Yes. One of the appealing aspects of T-Mobile Home Internet is that its monthly fee — $50 a month if you use AutoPay and $30 a month for eligible Magenta MAX mobile customers — includes a 5G Gateway (a modem/router combo device). The T-Mobile equipment lease is included in the one fee, and all that’s required is that you return the device when you end service with T-Mobile.

Is T-Mobile Home Internet faster than satellite internet?

For the most part, yes, but not unequivocally. As T-Mobile says in its , « many factors affect the speed and performance that customers experience, including… proximity to a cell site, weather and the surrounding terrain, » so your download speeds, which average between 33-182Mbps, are not guaranteed. But customers should see download speeds higher than those typically achieved by HughesNet (average of 25Mbps) and Viasat (12-100Mbps). Starlink’s base plan boasts a higher range (50-250Mbps) but is not as widely available as T-Mobile Home Internet. It’s also much more expensive — $99 a month, plus a one-time equipment fee of $599.

BusinessArticle Marketing

Best CD Rates for July 2022

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Certificates of deposit are safe that let you set aside money at a fixed interest rate for an exact period of time, or term. If you’re looking for stability for your earnings or want to put aside money for a future purchase, CDs offer more interest than or . While locking in a rate means low risk, keep in mind that you’ll pay a penalty if you withdraw your money prematurely.

The interest on a CD is usually compounded daily or monthly. Your CD will also list an annual percentage yield, or APY, that measures compounded interest over the course of the year, effectively giving you your annual interest rate. 

When you open a traditional CD account, you’ll deposit one lump sum of money and then leave it untouched for the length of the CD’s term, which can run from a month to 10 years. There’s no guesswork or : You’ll know exactly how much you’ll earn and when you’ll get your money.

APYs for CDs are directly tied to the federal funds rate benchmark, so as the in 2022, CD APYs will likewise move higher. Annual yields for CDs peaked at over 10% back in the 1980s, hovered around 5% in 2000 and have been very low over the last decade. After years of decline, CD APYs are only now starting to climb, and while today’s highest rates (the best now surpass 3%) are less than the current record-high inflation, they’ll still give you more interest than a standard bank account.

There are many different types of CDs. Some may let you add money to your account during your term or withdraw money without penalty, but those features usually come by compromising a higher APY. The highest-yield CDs listed here are all traditional — they require one lump-sum deposit to open the account, the money cannot be withdrawn without penalty, and the APY is set for the term of the CD.

Note: The CD rates provided were collected from the issuing organizations’ websites and are valid as of June 24, 2022.

Best CD Rates

PenFed Credit Union

Pentagon Federal Credit Union provides certificates that are technically different from CDs but they still give fixed rates of interest on one-time deposits for certain term lengths. These money market certificates (MMCs) function exactly the same as CDs for investors.

The minimum deposit for all of PenFed’s MMCs is $1,000. PenFed also provides a lengthy seven-year certificate that gives a fixed 3% interest rate.

A five-year CD with the minimum deposit of $1,000 would give you $1,188 at the end of your term.


  • 5-year: 3.50%
  • 4-year: 2.60%
  • 3-year: 2.60%
  • 2-year: 2.75%
  • 18-month: 2.05%
  • 15-month: 1.90%
  • 1-year: 1.75%
  • 6-month: 0.75%

Minimum deposit: $1,000

Bread Savings

Bread Financial arose from Alliance Data Systems, a marketing and private-label credit card company that still provides cards for brands like Victoria’s Secret, J. Crew and Pottery Barn. Bread Savings, formerly known as Comenity Direct, is an online-only banking subsidiary that focuses on credit cards, savings accounts, loans and CDs.

Bread Savings’ CDs run from one year to five years and require a minimum deposit of $1,500. Its rates for all terms are quite competitive, and its three-year CD in particular features the highest rate at that term on this list.

A five-year CD with the minimum deposit of $1,500 would give you $1,769 at the end of your term.


  • 5-year: 3.35%
  • 4-year: 3.30%
  • 3-year: 3.25%
  • 2-year: 3.00%
  • 1-year: 2.50%

Minimum deposit: $1,500

Popular Direct

Popular Direct is the direct banking arm of Popular Bank, a financial services organization that has operated in Puerto Rico for 128 years and in the mainland US for 55 years. Popular Direct only offers deposit-based accounts for savings and CDs.

Popular Direct’s CDs run from three months to five years and list high rates for three-, four- and five-year terms, but all require a heftier $10,000 minimum deposit. The penalties for early withdrawal at Popular Direct are also higher than its competitors on this list. The charge for early withdrawal on a five-year CD is a whopping 730 days of interest. However, its rates stack up near the top of our list right now.

A five-year CD with a minimum deposit of $10,000 would give you $11,734 at the end of your term.


  • 5-year: 3.25%
  • 4-year: 3.05%
  • 3-year: 3.02%
  • 2-year: 2.40%
  • 18-month: 2.15%
  • 1-year: 2.10%
  • 6-month: 1.02%
  • 3-month: 0.50%

Minimum deposit: $10,000

First Internet Bank

The First Internet Bank of Indiana claims to be the first ever state-chartered, FDIC-insured bank to serve its customers completely online. It offers a full array of banking products, including checking, savings and money market accounts, IRAs, credit cards, loans and CDs.

First Internet Bank provides a wide range of CD lengths, from three months to five years, and its longer-term rates rank among the best. Even better, First IB’s CDs only require a minimum deposit of $1,000, making for an affordable and secure investment.

A five-year CD with the minimum deposit of $1,000 would give you $1,164 at the end of your term.


  • 5-year: 3.09%
  • 4-year: 2.84%
  • 3-year: 2.58%
  • 2-year: 2.32%
  • 18-month: 2.07%
  • 1 year: 1.92%
  • 6-month: 0.90%
  • 3-month: 0.35%

Minimum deposit: $1,000


Based in Wausau, Wisconsin, Connexus Credit Union offers checking and savings accounts, consumer and business credit cards, and a variety of auto, home and personal loans to customers in all 50 states. Connexus provides share certificates that work exactly like CDs, giving fixed rates of return on lump-sum deposits for fixed terms.

Share certificates differ from CDs in that deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration and that, as a credit union, any profits Connexus earns go back to its members as dividends or other benefits. Connexus requires a minimum deposit of $5,000. The term lengths for Connexus’ share certificates run from one year to five years.

A five-year CD with the minimum deposit of $5,000 would give you $5,785 at the end of your term.


  • 5-year: 2.96%
  • 4-year: 2.66%
  • 3-year: 2.36%
  • 2-year: 2.06%
  • 1-year: 1.76%

Minimum deposit: $5,000


Formerly Radius Bank before 2021, online-only LendingClub provides strong CD rates for a reasonable minimum deposit of $2,500. It lists five different CD terms on its website, ranging from one to five years, with a two-year rate of 2.50% that particularly stands out.

LendingClub’s early withdrawal penalties for CDs are a bit tougher than other banks. It charges 365 days of interest on your withdrawal, regardless of how early it’s made. What differentiates LendingClub from other CD issuers is its related high-yield savings account, which provides the best APY (1.26%) of any bank on this list.

A five-year CD with the minimum deposit of $2,500 would give you $2,891 at the end of your term.


  • 5-year: 2.95%
  • 3-year: 2.75%
  • 2-year: 2.50%
  • 18-month: 2.25%
  • 1-year: 2.01%

Minimum deposit: $2,500

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Marcus from Goldman Sachs

Best rates for no-penalty CDs

Founded in 2016 and named after the investment bank’s founder, Marcus from Goldman Sachs provides savings accounts, investments and loans to customers from its online-only platform.

Options abound for CD term lengths at Marcus, with 12 different options to choose that range from six months to six years. Marcus CDs are also unique in offering three « no penalty » CDs that let you make withdrawals at any time at no cost, at the expense of a lower APY.

A five-year CD with the minimum deposit of $500 would give you $577 at the end of your term.


  • 5-year: 2.90%
  • 4-year: 2.50%
  • 3-year: 2.50%
  • 2-year: 2.25%
  • 18-month: 2.00%
  • 1-year: 1.90%
  • 9-month: 1.10%
  • 6-month: 1.05%
  • 13-month, no penalty: 1.05%
  • 11-month, no penalty: 0.35%
  • 7-month, no penalty: 0.45%

Minimum deposit: $500


Quontic Bank has only a few physical branches in New York, Miami and Indianapolis, Indiana, but it’s become well-known for its competitive online banking products, including checking and savings accounts, home loans and reverse mortgages.

Quontic also offers a set of robust CDs, with terms ranging from six months to five years, and a top APY of 2.86%. CDs also include a low barrier to entry, with a minimum deposit of $500.

A five-year CD with a minimum deposit of $500 would give you $576 at the end of your term.


  • 5-year: 2.86%
  • 3-year: 2.81%
  • 2-year: 2.51%
  • 1-year: 2.01%
  • 6-month: 1.26%

Minimum deposit: $500

Best CD Rates

CD Issuer

Minimum deposit

5-year APY

3-year APY

1-year APY

5-year return on $10,000







Bread Savings






Popular Direct






First Internet Bank of Indiana






Connexus Credit Union












Marcus by Goldman Sachs






Quontic Bank






* 1.90% is the APY for PenFed’s 15-month CD. PenFed does not currently offer a 1-year CD.


What are certificates of deposit?

Certificates of deposit are products offered by banks, credit unions and other companies that have deposit accounts. Traditional CDs provide a fixed interest rate on a deposit if you agree to leave the money untouched for a specific period of time, known as a term.

Most banks offer CDs for two, three, four or five years, although terms can run as short as one month or as long as 10 years.

When should I choose a CD?

CDs are good for investors who want no risk at all. Unlike investments in stocks and bonds, which will vary in their rate of return, CDs provide an exact interest rate that won’t change in exchange for agreeing to invest your money for a certain amount of time. Because they’re low hassle, they could be a good option for parents who want to put aside money for their children, for households saving for a future expense or individuals who want a « rainy day » fund.

If you know that you’ll need a certain amount of money at a specific time in the future, a can quickly let you know how much you need to invest, and you won’t need to think about it again until the CD matures and you withdraw your money.

However, the interest rate on CDs is currently less than the rate of inflation, especially now. Combined with the yearly taxes you’ll pay on your interest, crazytachhub you may end up losing money in total value. For other low-risk investments, consider — Treasury bonds pegged to inflation — or Treasury Inflation Protected Securities, also known as TIPS.

Where can I purchase CDs?

Most retail banks and credit unions sell CDs, as do online « neobanks » that don’t have banking charters but offer financial services. Because neobanks lack traditional overhead expenses like physical branches and in-person customer service, they can often provide higher APYs on CDs, passing on savings to customers in the form of higher interest rates.

Most neobanks partner with banks to ensure that the FDIC. backs customers’ deposits up to $250,000, but be sure to confirm that there’s FDIC insurance with every bank you use.

Most banks will not require a hard credit check to open a CD. Ask your bank or read your application completely to make sure any credit inquiries are « soft » to avoid temporarily damaging your credit with a « hard pull. » , hard credit checks should be mentioned or included in your application.

What are the penalties for early withdrawal on CDs?

vary between institutions. Most are calculated by a loss of interest or dividends for a certain period of time. A longer CD term will generally have a greater penalty for early withdrawal.

However, banks do not share a standard calculation for early withdrawal penalties. Some may require you to withdraw the entire amount of the CD account, while others will charge a penalty only on the amount of a partial withdrawal. In some cases, if the early withdrawal penalty is greater than the interest you’ve earned, you’ll lose money on your principal investment.


CNET Reviews CD rates based on the latest APY information from issuer websites. We evaluated CD rates from more than 50 banks, credit unions and financial companies. We selected the CDs with the highest APY for 5-year terms from among the organizations we surveyed, and considered rates for shorter terms if 5-year terms were identical or unavailable.

Banks surveyed include: Alliant Credit Union, Ally Bank, America First Credit Union, American Express National Bank, Axos Bank, Bank of America, Bank of the West, Bank5 Connect, Barclays, BMO Harris, Bread Savings, BrioDirect, Capital One, CFG Community Bank, Citizens Access, Colorado Federal Savings Bank, Connexus Credit Union, Consumers Credit Union, Discover Bank, First Internet Bank of Indiana, First Tech Federal Credit Union, FNBO Direct, GO2bank, Golden 1 Credit Union,, HSBC Bank, Huntington Bank, Lake Michigan Credit Union, LendingClub Bank, Live Oak Bank, M&T Bank, Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Merrick Bank, Nationwide (by Axos), Navy Federal Credit Union, NBKC,, OneUnited Bank, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, PNC, Popular Direct , PurePoint Financial, Quontic Bank, Rising Bank, Salem Five Direct, Sallie Mae Bank, Santander Bank, Synchrony Bank, TAB Bank, TD Bank, TIAA Bank, Truist Bank, U.S. Bank, UFB Direct, Union Bank, USAA Bank, Vio Bank, and Wells Fargo.

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Best Mesh Routers for 2022: Top Systems On Sale Now

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The start of the pandemic saw a massive , with millions of Americans transitioning to and , not to mention the uptick in traffic used for , with friends and with loved ones. Now, more than two years later, it doesn’t look like these new habits will be going away anytime soon — and that means it’s more important than ever to have a strong and reliable internet connection at home.   

One of the best moves most households can make is to upgrade from a traditional router to a mesh system. With multiple devices spread throughout your home, a mesh router is like a team of routers that can relay your wireless traffic back to the modem better than a traditional router, especially when you’re connecting at range. And there are lots of new, next-gen options on the market, so it’s a prime time to make the switch.

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Some of the best mesh routers we’ve tested include systems from , which popularized mesh networking before being , as well as the latest setups from , ,  and . Mesh systems regularly sold for as much as $500 a few years ago, but now these manufacturers offer multipoint mesh router systems — including the main router and the additional satellite extenders — that cost less than $300, or even below $200. Though we’d recommend aiming a bit higher, you can even find basic, entry-level mesh systems for .

We’ve still got lots of routers and mesh systems we’d like to try out — including a  that use , promising better performance and faster speeds. More mesh routers that support , which means they can access a , should continue to arrive , but it’s probably (and in most cases, ).

Expect regular updates to this post as new Wi-Fi mesh routers like those make it to market. For now, here are our picks for the top-tested systems you should be considering first if you’re buying now. 

Ry Crist/CNET

For a mesh router upgrade that really feels like an upgrade, you’ll want to look for these things: Wi-Fi 6 support, and a tri-band design with the usual 2.4 and 5GHz bands, plus a second 5GHz band that the system can use as a dedicated backhaul connection for wireless transmissions between the main router and the satellites. The problem is that tri-band Wi-Fi 6 mesh routers like that are typically pretty expensive. Not too long ago, for bringing the cost of a two-piece system like that down to around $400 or so.

Now, TP-Link is doing even better and selling the Deco W7200 mesh router, a tri-band Wi-Fi 6 system that only costs $233 for a two-pack. That might be the best mesh router value I’ve ever seen — and the even better part is that it performs like a champ, with fast, stable speeds, decent range and a setup process that’s about as easy as it gets, with satellite extenders that automatically join the mesh as soon as you plug them in. In fact, the only mesh system that beat the Deco W7200 outright in my at-home speed tests, the Netgear Orbi AX6000, costs more than three times as much at $700 for a two-pack.

All of that makes the Deco W7200 an outstanding value and the first mesh router I’d point people to if they asked for a recommendation. Just know that it’s been in and out of stock this year on Walmart’s website, so it might not be immediately available in your area. If it isn’t, you could also consider stepping up to the , a similar system that adds Wi-Fi 6E support at $300 for a two-pack. There’s also the , a Wi-Fi 6 mesh system that outperformed the W7200 in my tests and adds in a multigig Ethernet jack for high-speed internet plans. It typically sells for close to $450 for a , but we’ve occasionally seen it dip below $400.



Ry Crist/CNET

Netgear Orbi AX6000

Best performance

At a retail price of $699 for a two-pack, the AX6000 version of the Netgear Orbi is too expensive to recommend outright — but if you just want one of the fastest mesh routers money can buy, look no further.

With full support for Wi-Fi 6 and a second 5GHz band that serves as a dedicated backhaul connection for the router and its satellites, the powerful system was downright impressive in our tests, with top speeds of nearly 900Mbps at close range in our lab. That’s one of the fastest numbers we’ve ever seen from a mesh router in that test, and it only fell to 666Mbps at a distance of 75 feet — which is still faster than we saw from the Nest Wifi up close, just 5 feet away.

Things got even more impressive when we took the Orbi AX6000 home to test its performance in a real-world setting. With an incoming internet connection of 300Mbps serving as a speed limit, the system returned average speeds throughout the whole home of 289Mbps to Wi-Fi 5 devices and 367Mbps to Wi-Fi 6 devices, including speeds at the farthest point from the router that were 95% as fast as when connecting up close. That’s an outstanding result, and it’s held up as I’ve continued my controlled mesh router speed tests. In the two years that have passed since I first tested the Orbi AX6000 at my home, no other system I’ve tested has been able to take its top spot on the leaderboard, not even that adds in support for Wi-Fi 6E (yes, really).

Again, the problem is the price: $699 is simply too expensive for most folks, especially given that you’ll need a connection of at least 500Mbps in order to notice much of a difference between this system and others we like that cost less than half as much.

There’s also the . It’s still a tri-band Wi-Fi router that supports Wi-Fi 6, but you don’t get the multigig WAN port that comes with the AX6000 model here. We’ll keep an eye on that one and update this space once we’ve tested it out.




Eero was an early pioneer of the mesh networking approach, and in 2019, it got . Then, in 2020, we got two new versions of the Eero mesh router: the and , both of which add in support for — you guessed it — Wi-Fi 6.

I liked the Eero Pro 6 as an upgrade pick, but the standard Eero 6 wasn’t quite strong enough for me to recommend it. Flash forward to 2022, and the release of the Eero 6 Plus. With a list price of $299 for a three-pack, it offers the same strong pitch as the Eero 6 — a relatively affordable and easy-to-use three-piece Wi-Fi 6 mesh setup, complete with a built-in Zigbee radio for connecting things like lights and locks with your network. Best of all, with a faster AX3000 design (up from AX1800 with the Eero 6) and support for full-width, 160MHz channels (up from 80MHz), the performance is significantly improved.

In my at-home tests, the Eero 6 Plus returned average download speeds that were in the top 10 of the 30 or so mesh routers I’ve reviewed here — and none of the systems that outperformed it offer as good a value. Its upload speeds were strong as well, and it works great with previous-gen, Wi-Fi 5 client devices, too — that’s important, because gadgets like those still comprise the majority of Wi-Fi devices in our homes. With three mesh devices for $299 and range of up to 4,500 square feet, it’s an excellent pick for large homes, where that additional extender will really come in handy. Better still — in the run-up to Prime Day this July, Amazon has the Eero 6 Plus 3-pack discounted to $194, saving you more than a hundred dollars.




Several years ago, became a breakout hit thanks to its easy setup and its ability to spread a fast, reliable Wi-Fi connection throughout your home for all of your connected devices. Now, there’s the Nest Wifi, a second-gen follow-up that adds in faster internet speeds and a better-looking design, plus Google Assistant smart speakers built into each satellite extender. 

The price is a little lower this time around, too — $269 for the two-piece setup above, with roughly the same area of Wi-Fi coverage as a three-piece, $300 Google Wifi setup from years back. That’s less of a good deal now than it was when the system first launched, but there’s still plenty of reason to consider the Nest Wifi if you catch it on sale — and sure enough, Google’s currently offering two-piece Nest Wifi systems for $149, or $120 off.

On average, the Nest Wifi notched the fastest top speeds that I saw in my tests from any Wi-Fi 5 mesh router (and faster speeds than some of the Wi-Fi 6 systems I’ve tested, too). Plus, the two-piece setup offered enough signal strength to provide sufficient coverage at the 5,800-square-foot . It also aced our mesh tests, never once dropping my connection as I moved about my home running speed tests, and I never caught it routing my connection through the extender when connecting directly to the router was faster, either.

The lack of Wi-Fi 6 support , but the Nest Wifi does include support for modern features like WPA3 security, device grouping and prioritization and 4×4 MU-MIMO connections that offer faster aggregate speeds for devices like the that can use multiple Wi-Fi antennas at once. It’s also fully backward-compatible with previous-gen Google Wifi setups, which is a smart touch. All of it is easy to set up, easy to use and easy to rely on. Among dual-band mesh routers, I’d much rather have a top-of-the-line Wi-Fi 5 system than an entry-level Wi-Fi 6 system — even among new competition, the Nest Wifi mesh router fits that bill.



Tyler Lizenby/CNET

It isn’t quite as fast as the AX6000 version of the Netgear Orbi listed above, but the Editors’ Choice Award-winning Asus ZenWiFi AX (model number XT8) came awfully close — and at $400 or less for a two-piece system, it’s a lot easier to afford.

In fact, the ZenWiFi AX offers the same multigig WAN ports as the Orbi AX6000, which is a great piece of future-proofing that you don’t always get in this price range. The tri-band build means that it also boasts the same dedicated backhaul band to help keep the system transmissions separate from your network traffic, and it offers the same ease of setup, the same steady mesh performance, and the same strong speeds at range, too. All of that makes it a future-ready upgrade pick at a fair price. It even comes in your choice of white .

I also appreciated the depth of control in the Asus app, which lets you manage your network and customize that backhaul as you see fit. If $400 is a bit too much for your budget, know that there’s a smaller version of this system called the . It isn’t as high-powered and it isn’t a tri-band system like its big brother, but it comes with three devices that all support Wi-Fi 6 for $250, which makes it pretty interesting. There was also a new dual-band ZenWifi system last year called the — it performed quite well in our tests, but it only costs slightly less than the XT8. Between the three of them, the XT8 is the one I’d be looking to buy first.



Ry Crist/CNET

The AC1200 version of Netgear Orbi is a smaller, simpler version of the popular mesh system. It doesn’t offer blazing-fast speeds, but the performance is consistent, and it costs a whole lot less than other, fancier Orbi builds.

Netgear brought the cost down by sticking with Wi-Fi 5, ditching the built-in Alexa speaker that comes with the  and skipping the tri-band approach and the dedicated 5GHz backhaul band that other Orbi systems use to connect each device in the mesh. I wonder if Netgear missed an opportunity by not branding this system as « Orbi Lite. »

It all makes for a less robust mesh system than other Orbi setups, but I hardly noticed in my tests. Among the Wi-Fi 5 systems I’ve tested, the dual-band Netgear Orbi actually notched the fastest top speeds at close range, it kept up with the Nest and Eero in our real-world speed tests and it offered excellent signal strength in the large-sized .

Netgear’s app isn’t as clean or intuitive as Nest’s or Eero’s, and the network didn’t seem quite as steady as those two as it steered me from band to band in my tests, but those are quibbles at this price. If you just want something affordable — perhaps to tide you over until you’re ready to make the upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E — then the most budget-friendly Netgear Orbi definitely deserves your consideration. 



CNET editors pick the products and services we write about based on editorial merit. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission. .

A graph comparing the download speeds of our top picks for mesh routers.A graph comparing the download speeds of our top picks for mesh routers.

With a fiber internet connection of 300Mbps in my home, these are room-by-room average download speeds for each mesh router I’ve tested with a Wi-Fi 6 client device. The Netgear Orbi AX6000 is our top performer, but the TP-Link Deco W7200 is right behind it and costs less than a third as much.

Ry Crist/CNET

At-home speed tests

Router manufacturers make a lot of big claims about top speeds,  or at least confusing when you’re shopping for a new one. I’m more interested in knowing the ins and outs of how they’ll perform in people’s homes, where incoming speeds might be limited and multiple devices might be competing for bandwidth. 

To find out, I test all of the routers I review out of my home, a one-story, 1,300-square-foot house in Louisville, Kentucky, with incoming fiber internet speeds of 300Mbps, upload and download. Up until 2020, I ran the majority of these at-home tests using a Dell XPS 13 laptop that uses Wi-Fi 5. Then, once Wi-Fi 6 became available, I started running two separate sets of tests: one to measure speeds to that Wi-Fi 5 laptop, and another, separate set of tests to measure speeds to a client device that supports Wi-Fi 6. That means that there are some routers listed in this post that were tested before we were able to run our at-home tests to a Wi-Fi 6 device (I’ve starred them in the leaderboard graph below).

A graph comparing the aggregate speed ratings for our top mesh routers.A graph comparing the aggregate speed ratings for our top mesh routers.

After running countless speed tests in multiple spots throughout my home, where I have fiber internet with upload and download speeds of 300Mbps, I average the results together to get these aggregate speed ratings for each mesh router I test. Here’s the leaderboard as it currently stands. (Routers with stars were tested with a Wi-Fi 5 client device, before we were using Wi-Fi 6 devices for our at-home tests.)

Ry Crist/CNET

The biggest names that are still waiting for Wi-Fi 6 speed test data are the Nest Wifi mesh router and the Asus ZenWifi XT8, both of which performed well when I tested them with my old Wi-Fi 5 laptop. The latter is a tri-band router with support for Wi-Fi 6, so it would likely be a spot or two higher on that leaderboard (and potentially higher than the dual-band ZenWifi XD6) if we had tested it with a Wi-Fi 6 device.

I’ll update this post when I’m able to add those results, and I’ll also continue to run tests on both types of client devices in order to get a good sense of how well these routers perform with both current- and previous-gen hardware. You can check out my full reviews for more information on that breakdown. 

The short version is that newer client devices that support Wi-Fi 6 will typically be able to hit sustained speeds that are noticeably faster than what you’ll get with older, Wi-Fi 5 devices — but previous-gen devices like those can still benefit from a mesh router that supports Wi-Fi 6.

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Specifically, my data shows better performance at range, with speeds that didn’t dip as much in the back of my house. With the top-performing Netgear Orbi AX6000 system and others like it, speeds hardly dipped at all. Connecting my old laptop near the satellite in that master bedroom and back bathroom was almost as good as connecting near the router itself in the living room.

That likely stems from the fact that the router and the satellite are able to use Wi-Fi 6 to relay signals back and forth more efficiently and at faster speeds. The Orbi AX6000’s tri-band design does some heavy lifting here, too, as that allows the system to dedicate an entire 5GHz band to the backhaul transmissions between the router and satellite.

Just be aware that adding an extra band to the mix really brings the price up. The Asus ZenWifi XT8 and Eero Pro 6 each cost about $400 or so for a two-pack, while the Linksys Velop MX10, AmpliFi Alien, Arris Surfboard Max Pro and Netgear Orbi AX6000 systems each cost about $600 or $700 for a two-pack. Meanwhile, our top pick, the TP-Link Deco W7200, only costs $229 for a two-pack.

If you live in a large home and need more than one satellite extender, the Eero Pro 6 is worth considering. At $599 for a three-pack, it’s expensive, but it still costs less than most other tri-band three-packs with support for Wi-Fi 6.

Three white Vilo mesh routers on a dark blue countertop.Three white Vilo mesh routers on a dark blue countertop.

The Vilo mesh router is the slowest I’ve ever tested, but it’s functional, and it only costs $20 per device, plus shipping.

Ry Crist/CNET

If you’re living with a slow ISP connection and you don’t need Wi-Fi 6 or a fancy tri-band build, then there’s nothing wrong with skipping those upgrades and going with something simpler in order to save some money. I’ve tested a number of bargain picks like that — among them, , currently available , is my top recommendation, crazytachhub with the right balance of performance and value. If you really want to get dirt cheap, you could opt for a system like , which costs just $20 per device, plus shipping. It’s the slowest mesh router I’ve ever tested, which wasn’t surprising, but it was still functional and able to maintain average download speeds above 100Mbps in that back bathroom of mine.

Two graphs comparing the upload and download speeds of our top mesh routers.Two graphs comparing the upload and download speeds of our top mesh routers.

We’ve resumed our mesh router tests at the CNET Smart Home, starting with some of our top-performing systems — all were able to maintain strong average speeds throughout the entire place. Note the strong, across-the-board jump in upload speeds from the Wi-Fi 5 client to the Wi-Fi 6 client.

Ry Crist/CNET

CNET Smart Home tests

After suspending most of our tests from the lab and the CNET Smart Home during 2020 and 2021, we’re picking up where we left off in 2022. For starters, I’m running an entire, separate set of tests for every mesh router I review at the CNET Smart Home, a 5,400 square-foot multistory home located in the rural outskirts of Louisville, where we’ve got a fiber internet connection with upload and download speeds of up to 100Mbps.

For those tests, I run multiple rounds of speed tests across eight rooms: Four on the main floor, where the router lives, and four in the basement, where I place a satellite extender. I complete this process three separate times — once to an Apple iPad Air 2 from 2015 that uses Wi-Fi 5, again with a Lenovo ThinkPad laptop that supports Wi-Fi 6, and a third round of tests to a Samsung Galaxy S21 that uses Wi-Fi 6E to connect over the 6GHz band. Routers that don’t support Wi-Fi 6E will still work with devices like that, but they’ll treat them like regular Wi-Fi 6 devices, meaning that the 6GHz band won’t be in play.

A graph comparing the speeds of our top mesh routers in different rooms of the CNET Smart Home.A graph comparing the speeds of our top mesh routers in different rooms of the CNET Smart Home.

With the incoming internet speeds limited to 100Mbps, we haven’t seen much differentiation in room-to-room download speeds between the top models we’ve tested, but all have been able to deliver top speeds throughout the entirety of the house.

Ry Crist/CNET

So far, the only Wi-Fi 6E mesh router I’ve tested at the CNET Smart Home is the , a quad-band system that costs a staggering $1,500 for a three-pack. It performed admirably in those tests, maxing out my speeds to all three devices across the entirety or near-entirety of the house, but with the internet speeds capped at 100Mbps, it didn’t offer a noticeable speed boost to my Wi-Fi 6E device, and it wasn’t noticeably better than systems that cost less, including some that cost more than $1,000 less.

The rest of the models we’ve tested so far here in 2022 have all been top-performing models, and none of them has struggled to deliver maxed out download speeds throughout the entirety of the house. You’ll see more differentiation in the upload speeds, but for the most part, our top picks all perform pretty closely to one another in a real-world environment, which is a big reason why the least expensive of these top performers, the , is our top pick overall.

It’s also worth pointing out that our Smart Home data shows a clear, across-the-board benefit in upload performance to Wi-Fi 6 devices as opposed to Wi-Fi 5 devices. As more and more of the devices in our homes start using Wi-Fi 6, having a Wi-Fi 6 router they can take advantage of will become even more of an advantage than it already is.

Mesh routers worth skipping

Router recommendations are all well and good, but what about the mesh routers I don’t recommend? Glad you asked — let’s run through the ones I’d pass on save for a good sale.

Let’s start with the dual-band  mesh Wi-Fi system, which supports Wi-Fi 6 but doesn’t include an extra backhaul band. That means that your network traffic has to share bandwidth with the transmissions between the router and the satellite, but it also brings the cost down. At $230 for a two-pack, it’s tempting, but the performance was too shaky for me to recommend it.

Another dual-band option is the TP-Link Deco X20 mesh router. Currently available  with full support for Wi-Fi 6, the Deco X20 is similar to Amazon’s standard, non-Pro Eero 6 system, but it did a better job in my at-home tests of steering me to the right band, which raised its overall speeds. It’s a decent pick if you want a Wi-Fi 6 system with two extenders and you don’t want to spend too much, but a two-pack of the top-recommended Deco W7200 tri-band system costs just $30 more. Even without a third device, I’d rather have that tri-band two-pack than the X20’s dual-band three-pack.

A chart of the upload, download and ping speeds of the Eero 6 mesh router.A chart of the upload, download and ping speeds of the Eero 6 mesh router.

Here’s a peek at some of my speed test data for the standard Eero 6 mesh router. In the top batch of tests, I started my connection close to the router and moved towards the back of the house. In the bottom tests, I connected in the back of the house and moved closer to the router. The results were wildly inconsistent, which wasn’t an issue I found with the Eero Pro 6.

Ry Crist/CNET

Speaking of the standard Eero 6 system, it was a disappointment when I tested it out, with weak, inconsistent speeds between my various rounds of testing. Specifically, I saw a night-and-day difference in my speeds depending on whether or not I started my connection in the same room as the router. If I connected from afar, the system would keep my connection on the slower 2.4GHz band even after moving closer to the router. The issue is much, much less severe with the new Eero 6 Plus, which scored much higher in my tests, so go with that newer system instead.

Among the other routers I’d pass on are fancier models that actually finished pretty high on that leaderboard. For instance, I was impressed with the Asus ZenWifi XD6, a dual-band mesh router that managed to keep up with the tri-band models I’ve tested, but the upload speeds were a bit weak, and with a price tag that’s pretty close to what you’d pay for the fancier, tri-band ZenWifi system, the value isn’t especially strong. I’ve seen it marked down closer to $300 for a two-pack, which is pretty tempting, but I can’t quite recommend it at full price.

The Arris Surfboard Max AX6600 was another strong performer that I’d skip. It aced my Wi-Fi 6 tests, finishing with the third-best average download speeds in my home of any system I’ve tested, but performance was much less consistent with Wi-Fi 5 devices, which makes it hard to recommend at its full price of $400 for a two-pack.

Two black Amplifi Alien routers on a white countertop.Two black Amplifi Alien routers on a white countertop.

It isn’t a top performer or a value pick, but the Amplifi Alien is a great-looking Wi-Fi 6 mesh router that lets you create a VPN-style connection to your home network when you’re traveling, which is a nice, unique feature.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Setup, security, features and other considerations

Performance and value are probably the first things you’ll look for as you shop for a mesh router, but there are other factors worth taking into consideration as well. Take features, for instance. Mesh routers typically don’t come with very many unique bells and whistles, but there are some standouts. The mesh router from Ubiquiti is a good example — apart from a unique-looking build, it features touchscreen controls on the front of each device, along with a feature called Teleport that lets you establish a VPN-style connection to your home network when you’re traveling. That’s a useful trick that lets you make use of your home network’s security capabilities when you’re connecting to a public Wi-Fi network.

Speaking of security, if you’re buying a new router, then it’s worth looking for one that supports the latest encryption standards. Most of the new models released in the last year or two support for stronger defense against things like brute-force hacking attempts — I’d want a model like that if it were me making the upgrade.

Screenshots of the TP Link companion app showing the setup process.Screenshots of the TP Link companion app showing the setup process.

Most mesh routers are a cinch to set up, with companion apps that walk you through the process in a matter of minutes. Just plug everything in and follow the instructions.

Screenshots by Ry Crist/CNET

As for setup, don’t worry too much about it, if at all. Just about every new router, mesh or otherwise, will come with a convenient companion app that’ll walk you through the setup process in a matter of minutes. From there, you’ll have simplified network controls just a few taps away, making it easy to turn a guest network on and off, manage parental controls, or change your network password. Just keep in mind that router apps like these will often glean lots of data from your networking habits for marketing and ad targeting purposes — if you’re privacy-minded, then it might be worth checking the app’s privacy policy to see if you can opt out of data collection altogether.

There are a number of other factors that we take into consideration whenever we test a mesh router. Latency is a good example. I run each of my speed tests to the same, stable server on the other side of Kentucky, which gives me a good, comparative look at how quickly each one is able to send and receive data. Most of the mesh routers I’m testing these days do just fine, with average latency usually coming in between 15ms and 20ms per ping, but some systems will see latency spikes when they’re routing your connection through an extender.

A Radar graph comparing the latency for the Eero Pro 6, Asus ZenWiFi Ax, Nest WiFi and Netgear Orbi AX6000.A Radar graph comparing the latency for the Eero Pro 6, Asus ZenWiFi Ax, Nest WiFi and Netgear Orbi AX6000.

These radar graphs show you the latency across all of my speed tests for each router I test. You’re looking for results with fewer spikes that stick close to the center. Among these four top picks, the Eero Pro 6 (blue) performed the best.

Ry Crist/CNET

We’re also planning to resume testing signal strength at the 5,800-square-foot CNET Smart Home this year after putting those tests on hold during the pandemic. Using , we’re able to make a map showing the signal strength of each device in the mesh, which gives you a good indication of the system’s range and the quality of the connection.

In 2022, we’ll resume our signal strength tests at the 5,800-square-foot CNET Smart Home. In a large home like that, adding a third device to the mesh is your best bet for a better connection at range.

Steve Conaway/CNET

It’s worth pointing out that those maps show you the aggregate signal strength of each system throughout the house and not their actual download speeds. That said, better signal strength means better wireless speeds. My partner-in-testing Steve Conaway summed it up thusly: « Yellow means you’re in heaven, green means good enough and blue means WTF. » 

The main takeaway from those tests is that you’ll want to prioritize getting a system with more than one extender if you live in a home as large as our Smart Home — in most cases, those additional extenders will make a much more noticeable impact in the strength of your connection at range than an upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 or a tri-band design will.

What about Wi-Fi 6E?

Wi-Fi 6E is a new designation for Wi-Fi 6 devices that are equipped to send transmissions in the 6GHz band, which is something routers couldn’t do until recently, after the Federal Communications Commission . The 6GHz band offers  and there aren’t any older-generation Wi-Fi devices using it, so the pitch is that it’s sort of like an exclusive, multilane highway for your internet traffic.

A Linksys Velop mesh router against a solid black background.A Linksys Velop mesh router against a solid black background.

The newest Linksys Velop mesh router supports Wi-Fi 6E, which means it can transmit on the 6GHz band.


There are already a handful of routers that support Wi-Fi 6E available for purchase. Among them is the mesh system, which — at $900 for a two-pack, or $1,200 for a three-pack — is one of the most expensive mesh routers you can currently buy.

Wi-Fi 6E routers like that are certainly impressive pieces of hardware, but . Remember, the only devices that can connect over 6GHz are other Wi-Fi 6E devices and, aside from the  and a handful of others, there are hardly any of those on the market yet. 

Even if you do own a device like that, you’ll likely be better off on the 5GHz band than on 6GHz. Seriously. In most cases, both will top out at whatever max speeds you’re paying for from your internet provider, but the 6GHz band has noticeably weaker range than 5GHz.

Just take a look below at my at-home test-data for that Atlas Max setup. I ran a full set of speed tests for each of the router’s three bands using a Galaxy S21, with the main router hooked up in my living room and a single extender placed in my master bedroom. The router performed well — but it’s the green 5GHz band that performed the best. The 6GHz band, shown in yellow, saw its speeds dip as I moved away from the main router. They rebounded a bit as I neared the extender, but the speeds on 5GHz were faster overall and I didn’t notice any appreciable difference between the bands in terms of latency, either.

Two graphs comparing the upload and download speeds of the Linsys Velop Atlas Max 6E router at different frequencies.Two graphs comparing the upload and download speeds of the Linsys Velop Atlas Max 6E router at different frequencies.

My average download and upload speeds by room for each band with a two-piece Linksys Velop Atlas Max 6E router running my home network. The 6GHz band (yellow) offers decent speeds, but it was outperformed by the good ol’ 5GHz band (green).

Ry Crist/CNET

That weaker range also undercuts the notion that the 6GHz band will improve mesh systems by serving as the backhaul band for the router and its satellites. With less range, you won’t be able to spread those satellites out quite as much throughout your home if you’re using the 6GHz band as the backhaul. That means you might need to buy an additional satellite to cover the space — and with Wi-Fi 6E, that’s an expensive proposition. Perhaps tellingly, still uses a 5GHz band as the backhaul.

That’s not to say that Wi-Fi 6E is a meaningless upgrade. It’s just too early to buy in. With so much available bandwidth and so much less interference from other devices, the 6GHz band might prove ideal for next-gen, high-bandwidth connections — things like wireless VR headsets, which need to move a lot of data at relatively close range with as little interference as possible. But that isn’t a good argument for buying in now, before those devices even exist and when Wi-Fi 6E costs an arm and a leg. If you’re in a crowded public venue like an airport or a stadium, a 6GHz network might be a real luxury with its relatively fast speeds, room for everyone’s traffic and fewer devices competing for bandwidth. But that’s an argument for getting a Wi-Fi 6E phone or laptop, not a Wi-Fi 6E router.

I’ll continue testing Wi-Fi 6E systems as they hit the market, so stay tuned. When I have more data to share on 6E, I’ll post it here, but for now, don’t rush out to spend big on a Wi-Fi 6E router, mesh or otherwise.

Mesh router FAQs

Got questions? Look me up on Twitter () or send a message straight to my inbox by clicking the little envelope icon . In the meantime, I’ll post answers to any commonly asked questions below.

Is a mesh router better than a regular router?

With multiple devices working together to spread a strong, usable connection across a larger space, a mesh router is usually better than a single, stand-alone router, especially in medium to large homes. In a home or apartment that’s smaller than 1,500 square feet or so, a mesh router might be more hardware than you need. 

Still, even small homes have dead zones, and mesh routers will help address problem spots like that better than regular routers. My home is 1,300 square feet, and a good example. With an average, single-point router like the one provided by my ISP, my 300Mbps fiber speeds typically plummet to double or even single digits in the back rooms farthest from the router. With a mesh router, I can still hit triple-digit speeds in those back rooms, which are about as fast as when I’m connecting closer to the router.

Does mesh Wi-Fi replace your router?

Yes — a mesh router will replace your existing router. 

To set one up, you’ll need to connect one of the devices in the system to your modem using an Ethernet cable, just like your current router. From there, you’ll plug in the other mesh devices in the system elsewhere in your home, so they can start boosting the signal and relaying your traffic back to the modem-connected device whenever you’re connecting from more than a few rooms away.

What are the disadvantages of a mesh network?

Mesh routers are good for offering consistent speeds throughout your entire home, and the best of the bunch are capable of hitting gigabit speeds. But single-point, stand-alone routers usually cost less than mesh routers with comparable specs, so they’ll typically offer better top speeds for the price.

Mesh routers often have fewer ports than single-point routers, too. Some lack USB jacks, and others limit you to only one or two spare Ethernet ports for wired connections to media streamers, smart home bridges and other common peripherals. Some mesh routers feature no additional ports whatsoever on the satellite extenders.

You might also experience a very slight increase in latency when the system is routing your connection through one of the satellite extenders — in my tests, it usually translates to a small-but-noticeable bump of a few extra milliseconds per ping.

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Automotive Navigation Systems Market Top 10 Company Profiles, 2021 – 2030 Global Research and Forecasts Report

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Additionally, the report also gives an insight into product portfolios, costs, sales, production capacities, and market players. Raw materials, demand analysis, product flow, and distribution channels have been studied and surveyed extensively in this research report. The key growth trends and opportunities are offered through a thorough investigation and examination of the market. A detailed course of development is offered in the report along with insights into businesses connected with it, which include firms, industries, organizations, vendors, and local manufacturers.

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The report offers a comprehensive breakdown of the regional analysis of the market and subsequent country-wise analysis. The regional analysis of the market comprises of production volume information, consumption volume and patterns, revenue, and growth rate for the forecast period of 2020-2027. According to the regional analysis, the market is primarily spread over key geographical regions as follows:

  • North America (U.S., Canada)
  • Europe (U.K., Italy, Germany, France, Rest of EU)
  • Asia Pacific (India, Japan, China, South Korea, Australia, Rest of APAC)
  • Latin America (Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Rest of Latin America)
  • Middle East & Africa (Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., South Africa, Rest of MEA)

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The report offers a comprehensive overview of the competitive landscape and covers company profiles, production and manufacturing capacity, product portfolio, expansion strategies, and business initiatives such as mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, collaborations, partnerships, and product launches and brand promotions among others.

Prominent Players Analyzed in the Report:

TomTom International BV., Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Continental AG, Pioneer Corporation, Telenav Inc., NNG Software Developing and Commercial Llc., Robert Bosch GmbH, ALPINE ELECTRONICS, Inc., Renault Group, and Ford Motor Company, Others

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Furthermore, the report divides the Automotive Navigation Systems market into key segments and sub-segments to offer an analysis of the product type and application spectrum of the industry. It also offers predictions about the segments expected to show significant growth during the projected timeline.

Device Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion; 2019–2030)

  • In-Dash Navigation Systems
  • Portable Navigation Devices (PNDs)
  • Mobile Navigation Systems

Vehicle Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion; 2019–2030)

  • Passenger Cars
  • Commercial Vehicles

Sales Channel Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion; 2019–2030)

  • OEM
  • Aftermarket

 Overview of the Automotive Navigation Systems Market Report:

  • Introduction, Product Scope, Market Overview, and Opportunities
  • Analysis of the Manufacturers with sales, revenue, and price analysis
  • Comprehensive analysis of the competitive landscape
  • Extensive profiling of the key competitors along with their business strategies and market size
  • Regional analysis of the market along with sales, revenue, market share, and global position
  • Country-wise analysis of the market along with types, applications, and manufacturing
  • Strategic recommendations to established players as well as new entrants
  • In-depth analysis of the risks, restraints, and limitations in the Automotive Navigation Systems industry

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