It is rare when a relatively unknown company comes along and creates a product that goes toe to toe with the big names in the industry and even bests them at times. To put it bluntly, if getting better speed is your top priority when it comes to the Wi-Fi in your home, then the Multy X mesh Wi-Fi solution by Zyxel is the fastest system we have ever reviewed and there is something special in that. As we continue our look at the best mesh systems for your home, the Multy X brings some lightning fast speed and class leading features in an attractive package.
The stylish oblong shaped Multy X with its perforated X pattern can cover up to 7,500 square feet (696 m2). This is thanks in part to the Multy being a cutting-edge Tri-Band system, meaning, the Multy delivers maximum wireless speed through its dedicated 5 GHz connection (between nodes), and broadcasts with 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi network. The system is capable of advertised speeds of 1733Mbps* for 5 GHz (dedicated backhaul); 866Mbps for 5 GHz and 400Mbps for 2.4 GHz. In layman’s terms, this dedicated third band that it uses to connect the nodes means there is less traffic and data being sent over the other 2.4/5ghz bands improving connectivity, speed and performance on the other connected devices on your network.
However, there is more magic squeezed into these boxes than just a third Wi-Fi band. Each unit features 9 internal antennas to blast signal to every corner of your home, and in our case, the backyard and driveway too! The Qualcomm quad core processor is very efficient and stays cool during operation and for those looking to hardwire their accessories, there is an impressive 3 auto sensing ethernet ports, I WAN port and a USB 2.0 port on EACH unit. To top off this impressive package, the Multy supports the most current wireless standards with IEEE 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz – 256QAM support and IEEE 802.11 a/n/ac 5 GHz (Wave 2) – 256QAM support.
As a mesh system, the Multy also features the latest in-home networking technology, most notably is the inclusion of Daisy-chaining – which allows Multy nodes to connect to each other to increase the Multy system’s range. There is also intelligent Path Selection and Band Steering, which automatically directs clients to the closest node and appropriate band frequency for your device delivering some exceptional reliability across the home. Lastly, another welcome addition is the inclusion of Beamforming and MU-MIMO, which narrows the focus of the router signal, sending it directly to your devices in a straight line, thus minimizing surrounding signal interference and increasing the strength of the signal to each device. Whereas MU-MIMO on the other hand, allows a Wi-Fi router to communicate with multiple devices simultaneously. This decreases the time each device must wait for a signal and dramatically speeds up your network.
So how fast was the Multy X? Using our moderately sized test home, with a paid ISP speed of 500 down and 20 up, we had 3 nodes set up on each floor of the home. Our results yielded some very impressive speed tests, in fact, on multiple occasions we were receiving better than what we paid for and we are not talking just on the main router. We noticed very little speed degradation even on the other satellite nodes. We were easily still getting 400-450 down on the third floor of the brick and mortar home. That is simply unheard of with mesh systems.
Now, no system is perfect, and the Zyxel Multy X is no exception. While setup was easy enough, we did find their iOS app painstakingly slow to operate and desperately needs some optimization. We would also like to see the inclusion of some security features into the mesh system, perhaps a regularly updated firewall or antivirus protection like the TP-Link Deco and these may be achievable soon with firmware updates, which by the way, were also a breeze!
To sum up, the Multy X is the undisputed King of mesh Wi-Fi for now, range is very good, speeds are excellent, and reliability seems to be pretty good. There is room for improvement and we would love for another competitor in this space to prove us wrong but don’t let the lack of brand awareness of Zyxel scare you away, this a premium networking product and deserves all the attention it can get!