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Mesh Wi-Fi will come for us all: Asus ships Lyra system for $399

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Back in January, when Asus announced its upcoming home mesh Wi-Fi system (then called “HiveSpot”), the market was already flooded. Now the HiveSpot has been renamed to Lyra, but it’s mid-2017 and there are seven aisles in every Best Buy dedicated to mesh Wi-Fi routers. What could Asus possibly add to this conversation?

Lyra is a three-pack of tri-band 802.11ac mesh routers with max speeds of 2134Mbps. The routers also include something called “AiProtection” for security (with no recurring fee), and there’s an app for setting up the network, managing all the features, and banning your least-favorite family members from internet access.

Basically: it’s nothing new. And the $399 price tag doesn’t help the decision-making process much: it’s the exact price of the Linksys system, which has almost identical features. I guess the big choice to make is whether you prefer hockey pucks (Asus) or obelisks (Linksys).

The Lyra routers, along with Linksys Velop and the second-generation Eero system (which is $499 for three routers), all have a speed advantage over the budget-friendly Google Wifi, thanks to tri-band wireless networking. You get the two traditional wireless channels dedicated to high-speed Wi-Fi, while a third channel does the router-to-router communication.

But few people have enough internet speed to really max out their Wi-Fi bandwidth. Ultimately, I assume price and ease-of-use will be a larger consideration for most router shoppers. I can’t speak for the Lyra’s ease of use, but I do know Asus has a dual-band Lyra Mini mesh system coming out soon that’s supposed to retail for $299. Just something to think about.

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