Meshforce M7 tri-band whole home mesh WiFi system (3 pack) review

Meshforce M7 tri-band whole home mesh WiFi system (3 pack) review

Can you use it with existing router? You can keep your existing router as it is and connect the M7 to it in bridge mode – this is a scenario where the existing router still allocates connections to the internet for the different devices in your system/house but uses M7 for a wider, more efficient reach in your house / location. This keeps all the functionalities of your existing router and provides more limited M7 functionalities than the other two options. Know about more on feature in Meshforce M7 tri-band whole home mesh WiFi system (3 pack) review.

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Pros & Cons – Meshforce M7 tri-band whole home mesh WiFi system (3 pack)

PROS

  • Basic parental controls
  • Solid tri-band performance
  • Fast setup
  • Great coverage
  • Compact nodes
  • Two LAN Ethernet ports per node

CONS

  • Very simple parental controls
  • No USB options
  • Limited settings
  • No USB or multi-gig ports
  • Lacks advanced control

Specs – Meshforce M7 tri-band whole home mesh WiFi system (3 pack)

  • Wireless Specification 802.11ac
  • Number of Bands 3
  • MU-MIMO Yes
  • Quality of Service (QoS) Yes
  • Security WPA, WPA2
  • AC Speed AC2100
  • Number of Wired LAN Ports (Excluding WAN Port) 2 per node
  • Wired Backhaul Yes
  • Anti-Malware Tools No
  • Number of USB ports 0
  • Parental Controls Yes
  • IPv6 Compatible Yes
  • Coverage Area for Hardware as Tested 6000 sq ft
  • Number of Nodes 3
  • Separate Bands No
  • DD-WRT / Tomato-Compatible No

Price

The Meshforce M7 is available in the U.S. and Canada and can be purchased for a suggested price of $249 for the three-pack. This price is often discounted with Meshforce offering coupons on Amazon with a single click with a current coupon bringing the price down to just $219. A single-pack is also available for $109 and currently has a $10 coupon available.

Compare Meshforce M7 tri-band whole home mesh WiFi system (3 pack) vs Meshforce M3S Suite

Meshforce M7Meshforce M3S Suite
WiFi Coverage6000 sq.ft6000 sq.ft
Frequency Band ClassSuperior Tri-BandDual-Band
Max. Internet Plan Support1000Mbps1000Mbps
Gigabit EthernetAll PortsAll Ports
Mesh WiFi Technology
Manage on Mobile
Guest WiFi and Parental Control

Meshforce M7 tri-band whole home mesh WiFi system (3 pack) review

Design

The M7 is a tri-band mesh system that uses three nodes to provide coverage in homes of up to 6,000 square feet (2,000 square feet per node). The white cylindrical nodes are identical and measure 4.5 inches high by 5.2 inches wide.

Ports

The base holds a gigabit WAN port and two gigabit LAN ports, a power jack, and a reset button. The M7 lacks the USB ports that you get with the Asus ZenWiFi AC CT8, and it doesn’t support link aggregation or multi-gig LAN connectivity.

Processor

Each node contains a dual-core CPU, 256MB of RAM, four internal antennas, and 802.11ac circuitry that supports MU-MIMO (simultaneous data streaming), beamforming (direct to client data transmissions), and band steering (the router decided which bands to use). 

Bandwidth

This is an AC2100 system that can reach (theoretical) data rates of up to 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz radio band and up to 867Mbps on each of the two 5GHz bands. One of the 5GHz bands is dedicated to wireless backhaul, but you can free up that band if you use a wired backhaul configuration.

Speed

The top speed of this system is reported as AC2100, but that breaks down into three different bands. You get 300Mbps at 2.4Gbps and 867Mbps on both of the 5GHz bands. This really means that the fastest you’ll ever connect to this router is 867Mbps. This is well beyond most home internet connections

App

The My Mesh app makes setup easy with just a few steps to follow to get going. There’s a QR code on the bottom of the nodes that your phone will use to connect. You’ll choose your Wi-Fi name and password before setting up the rest of your nodes. You can name your nodes to simplify your management, but they’re already paired out of the box and can simply be plugged in if you’re in a hurry. These will update to the newest firmware once they are connected and configured.

The Meshforce also has a built in firewall program to protect your data and privacy. The security protocols are state of the art and will protect your data, can be used to encrypt data, and protect you from threats on the internet, such as downloading a virus. The Meshforce 7 also lets you set up a guest network for people that you do not want on your private network. This function is not mandatory and can be disabled from the companion setup app.

Parental control

The system comes with basic parental controls that allow you to create profiles for family members and assign access schedules for each profile. You can also pause internet access with the touch of a button, but you can’t block specific sites and there are none of the age-specific filters that you get with the Gryphon Guardian and Asus ZenWiFi AC systems. Moreover, the M7 doesn’t come with anti-malware software, a feature found in many mesh systems.

My Mesh app screens showing dashboard, room router settings, and device settings

Meshforce M7 tri-band whole home mesh WiFi system (3 pack) performance review

The M7 satellite node (323Mbps) outperformed the EnGenius ESR580 node (222Mbps) on the close-proximity test, but came up short against the Zyxel Multy X (371Mbps) and Asus ZenWiFi CT8 satellites (441Mbps). Similarly, the M7 satellite’s speed of 298Mbps was faster than the EnGenius ESR580 satellite (178Mbps), but slower than the Zyxel Multy X (277Mbps) and Asus ZenWiFi CT8 satellites (329Mbps).  

The router node’s speed of 435Mbps on our close-proximity (same room) test was 65Mbps slower than the EnGenius ESR580 Tri-Band and the Zyxel Multy X (both scored 501Mbps), as well as 114Mbps slower than our leader, the Asus ZenWiFi AC CT8 (549Mbps). On the 30-foot test, the M7 scored 205Mbps, beating the EnGenius ESR580 (198Mbps), but not the Zyxel Multy X (226Mbps) or the Asus ZenWiFi CT8 (228Mbps). 

We use an Ekahau Sidekick Wi-Fi diagnostic device and Ekahau’s Survey mobile app to generate a heat map that displays wireless signal strength throughout our test home.

Meshforce M7 Tri-Band Whole Home Mesh WiFi System signal strength heatmap

The darker green areas on the map indicate the strongest signal measurements, and lighter green and yellow areas show a weaker signal. The circles represent the location of the router and the satellite node. As illustrated on the map above, the M7 does a fairly good job of delivering a strong signal in rooms where a node is located, but it had trouble maintaining a strong signal in the bedroom on the lower left portion of the map. 

Ethernet results (two tests):

NodesLiving room (main)Front roomBedroom
Speed539 Mbps
570 Mbps
319 Mbps
334 Mbps
250 Mbps
281 Mbps

These results tell us a lot about the quality of the connection between the nodes. Even though the computer was connected directly to each node with a gigabit Ethernet cord, the speed will only ever be as fast as the connection back to the main router. These speeds aren’t bad by any stretch but leave a lot to be desired.

5GHz results (two tests):

DeviceLiving room (router)Front roomBathroom
iPhone 11 Pro457 Mbps
521 Mbps
319 Mbps
343 Mbps
341 Mbps
299 Mbps
Galaxy S20+313 Mbps
344 Mbps
388 Mbps
394 Mbps
355 Mbps
364 Mbps
LG G8271 Mbps
285 Mbps
318 Mbps
362 Mbps
324 Mbps
329 Mbps

The Meshforce M7 automatically assigns your devices to either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz channel available as needed. This means that sometimes your device will connect to the much slower speeds of 2.4GHz rather than 5GHz without you noticing and can affect download speeds. Still, as the M7 learns more about your connection, you’ll likely get reassigned to the proper 5GHz channel in time. While connected to 2.4GHz, your speeds will be much closer to 80Mbps though they could be higher or much lower.

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