Mercusys Halo H80X review: A great-value Wi-Fi mesh system (2023)

Compact, unassuming and remarkably speedy for the price, the Halo H80X is a terrific mainstream mesh Wi-Fi system


Dual-band radios limit bandwidth

Limited security features

Mercusys is a new subsidiary of TP-Link, aiming to provide affordable Wi-Fi gear for home and small office setups. And the Halo H80X – the first mesh we’ve seen from the brand – absolutely nails the brief, offering swift and consistent performance for a very reasonable price.

Naturally, it’s not as fast or feature-packed as premium meshes. It doesn’t support the latest Wi-Fi 6E technology, so any 6E-compatible clients will only get regular Wi-Fi 6 speeds. It doesn’t benefit from the security features of TP-Link’s HomeShield platform, either.

Even so, for a typical household or business the Halo H80X is a perfect all-rounder. It’s cheap, compact and easy to manage and it provides all the performance and coverage you need for everyday internet and LAN access.

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Mercusys Halo H80X review: What you need to know

The Halo H80X is a dual-band Wi-Fi 6 mesh. Its 5GHz radio supports connection speeds of up to 2.4Gbits/sec, with 2x2 MU-MIMO and support for ultrawide 160MHz channels. Since it lacks a separate backhaul radio, however, that bandwidth has to be shared between client connections and mesh traffic passing between the Halo units. The legacy 2.4GHz radio runs at up to 574Mbits/sec, supporting smart appliances and other devices with low bandwidth requirements.

There’s decent support for wired networking, too: each Halo unit has three gigabit Ethernet ports, so you can easily connect up to five devices (the sixth port connects to your internet modem). It’s all conveniently managed from the Mercusys mobile app and there’s also a simple web dashboard for checking the status of your network.

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Mercusys Halo H80X review: Price and competition

The two-unit Halo H80X system we tested costs £162; Mercusys says this is suitable for properties of up to 460m². For bigger premises there’s a three-unit package for £250 with a claimed coverage area of up to 650m².

That’s cheap for a mesh, but there are other options at around this price point. TheHuawei Mesh 3 can currently be had for £170 for three units, while a twin-pack ofXiaomi Mesh Router AX3000 units costs a mere £125. For the tightest budgets, theD-Link M15 Eagle Pro AI AX1500 has an unwieldy name but a tiny price, at £120 for three nodes. As we’ll see below, though, none of these can match the performance of the Mercusys.

If you’re willing to spend a bit more, the Huawei Mesh 7 is a possible alternative, at £230 for two units. In our tests it achieved similar speeds to the Mercusys but it does use a tri-band design, so there’s more client bandwidth to share between devices.

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If you’re looking to step up to the next level of performance you’ll need to spend quite a bit more. The TP-Link Deco XE75 adds Wi-Fi 6E but it costs £343 for a two-unit pack. Or, for the fastest connection around,Netgear’s Orbi RBKE963 can’t be beaten, with 2.5Gbits/sec Ethernet as well as top-tier 6E performance. However, at £1,699that mesh is clearly aimed at a different market to the Mercusys.

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Mercusys Halo H80X review: Design and features

The plain, boxy design of the Halo H80X units might not seem all that inspired, but in a market filled with contoured towers and UFO-type discs it’s a breath of fresh air. An unobtrusive pattern of vents and grooves on the top adds a tasteful note of artistry and, since the units measure a dinky 128 x 81 x 84mm, it’s easy to situate them wherever you wish.

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Each one is equipped with a functional minimum of indicators and connectors. At the front, a multicoloured LED shows the status of each unit, while at the rear, you get your three Ethernet ports and a recessed reset button. There’s no WPS button – although you can enable pairing mode in software if you wish – and no USB ports, which is the norm with mesh hardware.

Mercusys Halo H80X review: A great-value Wi-Fi mesh system (7)

The Mercusys mobile app makes setup pretty easy. There’s no QR code to scan, so you have to manually connect your phone to the H80X’s default network but, once that’s done, the system is automatically detected and configured. All you need to do is set your preferred network name and security options, and you’re good to go.

The app itself is transparently a rebranded clone of the TP-Link Deco app. I don’t mind that: it gives a clear overview of the status of your network and connected devices and offers simple settings for configuring the DHCP range, address reservation, port forwarding and so forth.

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Mercusys Halo H80X review: A great-value Wi-Fi mesh system (8)

The app also includes a basic QoS tool that lets you prioritise individual devices, and a parental control module that can filter web content by category, and apply time limits and schedules to kids’ computers and tablets.

There are a few things you can’t do in the Mercusys app, however. There’s no way to split the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands into separate networks, although you can turn them on and off individually, to force all your devices onto a single band. And you don’t get any sort of extra security features: TP-Link’s Deco meshes include the HomeShield service for network scans and active threat blocking, but there’s currently no Mercusys equivalent.

Mercusys Halo H80X review: A great-value Wi-Fi mesh system (9)

The other thing you might miss is a web-based management portal. You can bring up a web page that shows connected clients and offers a few tools such as a firmware upgrade wizard and time zone settings. Network administration, however, has to be done in the app.

Mercusys Halo H80X review: Performance

Although Mercusys advertises speeds of up to 2.4Gbits/sec, real-world data transfer rates are affected by all sorts of factors, including antenna design and transmission power, plus backhaul activity and the effects of electrical interference and signal degradation over distance.

To find out how the H80X really performs, I set up the system in my own home. The first unit was situated in the study, with one Ethernet socket connected to my internet line and another to an Asustor Drivestor 4 Pro NAS system. The second I put at the opposite end of the adjacent bedroom. I didn’t install a third station. Going by Mercusys’ recommendations, two units ought to be more than enough to fill my home.

I then connected to the Halo network from my standard test laptop: an Intel Core i5-9300H laptop fitted with an Intel AX210 Wi-Fi card. I took the laptop around various rooms in my home, copied a series of 100MB files to and from the NAS and measured average upload and download speeds. Here’s what I saw, along with some results from other mesh systems:

Mercusys Halo H80X review: A great-value Wi-Fi mesh system (12)

Mercusys Halo H80X review: A great-value Wi-Fi mesh system (13)

It’s hard to fault this performance: the Halo H80X kept up strong and terrifically consistent download speeds all through my home. It’s clearly in a league above the cheapest meshes from D-Link and Xiaomi, and it didn’t falter in the most remote locations, as the Huawei Mesh 3 did.

The Halo H80X even beat the Huawei Mesh 7 in every room. The margin wasn’t huge, but it’s still impressive that the Mercusys is able to go head to head with a mesh costing £70 more. As I’ve mentioned, the Mesh 7’s tri-band design will give it an edge when multiple devices are accessing the network simultaneously. But in everyday use you’ll probably never notice a bottleneck: with a minimum download rate of 35MB/sec, the Halo H80X is fast enough to stream ten 4K movies at once.

Unsurprisingly, the H80X wasn’t able to keep up with the 6GHz connections offered by Wi-Fi 6E meshes from TP-Link and Netgear. But, again, that won’t be a problem for most people: those systems only really make sense for power users and busy organisations that need the fastest possible connections.

The Halo H80X’s power demands are also quite modest: I measured a draw of 9.6W from the primary unit when sitting idle, rising to a maximum of 12.9W during my tests, while the secondary node idled at around 8.5W.

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Mercusys Halo H80X review: Should you buy it?

The H80X isn’t the cheapest whole-home Wi-Fi solution around. The D-Link M15 costs around £40 less, and is powerful enough to serve up a stable signal to all of your devices, with a third node that gives you additional flexibility to reach tricky areas.

Nor is the H80X the fastest mesh on the market. Most Wi-Fi 6E options will deliver better download speeds, and there are a few premium Wi-Fi 6 options that outpace it too, such as the TP-Link Deco X90 and the Netgear Orbi RBK763.

If you’re shopping anywhere between those two extremes, however, it’s hard to see how you could do better than the Halo H80X. It’s cheap enough to suit almost any budget, while at the same time fast enough that there’s no need to spend more. It won’t suit the most demanding environments, but for the typical home or office it’s a perfect go-to solution and a superb introduction to the Mercusys brand.


What is Halo in Mercusys? ›

Halo works as a unified system to guarantee a strong Wi-Fi signal in every corner of your home. Mercusys Mesh Technology provides an incredibly fast and stable usage experience when you walk around your home. Interruption and buffering will be a thing of the past. Whole Home Coverage. Seamless Roaming.

How do I connect my Mercusys mesh router? ›

How to build a Mesh Network with MERCUSYS Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi router?
  1. Turn off the modem, and remove the backup battery if it has one.
  2. Connect the modem to either Ethernet port on the router.
  3. Power on the router, and wait for it to start.
  4. Turn on the modem.

What connection type is MERCUSYS? ›

The main router will be connected to the MERCUSYS router via LAN port (as seen below). The WAN port is not used for this configuration. Connect your computer to a second LAN port on your MERCUSYS router using an Ethernet cable.

Does MERCUSYS have app? ›

The MERCUSYS app helps you manage your WiFi at home or away through your iOS or Android devices.

Is MERCUSYS owned by TP Link? ›

For those of you that do not know, Mercusys is a brand owned by TP-Link.

Can I connect mesh directly to modem? ›

Plug in and power on your modem. If your modem uses a backup battery, put the battery back in. Using the Ethernet cable that came with your Mesh WiFi 6 System, connect your modem to the yellow Internet port of your WiFi Mesh router.

Can I setup mesh WiFi with existing router? ›

While yes, you can get a mesh system set up with an existing traditional router, it's better to upgrade to a mesh router. A mesh router uses two or more connected devices to distribute solid WiFi coverage. It is designed to have the same effect as multiple traditional routers.

Is MERCUSYS a good router brand? ›

The Mercusys AX1800 Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Router is as basic as it gets. Also known as the MR70X, this budget router offers decent speeds and supports the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard. While it lacks some of the extras you'll find in routers nowadays, the MR70X makes up for that somewhat with its affordable price (S$85).

Who made MERCUSYS? ›

TP-Link announces new Mercusys Product Line.

Is Mercusys router 5g? ›

Choose the 300 Mbps (2.4 GHz) for internet surfing, email, and social media or 867 Mbps (5 GHz) for bandwidth-intensive tasks like HD streaming and gaming.

How do I secure my Mercusys router? ›

Go to Wireless>Wireless Security and configure the wireless security. WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK is recommended as the most secure option. Once configured, click Save. Go to DHCP>DHCP Settings, disable DHCP Server, hit Save.

Why is my Mercusys router not working? ›

1) Power off your modem and router, and leave them off for 1 minute. 2) Power on your router first, and wait about 2 minutes until it get a solid power. 3) Power on the modem, and wait about 2 minutes until all lights of your modem become solid on. 4) Wait another 1 or 2 minutes and check the internet access.

What is Halo in solar system? ›

A halo (from Ancient Greek ἅλως (alos) 'threshing floor, disk') is an optical phenomenon produced by light (typically from the Sun or Moon) interacting with ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere. Halos can have many forms, ranging from colored or white rings to arcs and spots in the sky.

What is Halo WiFi? ›

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED HaLow™, the designation for products incorporating IEEE 802.11ah technology, augments Wi-Fi by operating in spectrum below 1 gigahertz (GHz) to offer longer range and lower power connectivity.

What is Halo wireless phone service? ›

HALO is the industry leader in DAS, wireless infrastructure and next generation in-building and outdoor mobile wireless systems, delivering the industry's most powerful technologies that enable LTE, 5G, and CBRS services.

What is a halo repeater? ›

Unlike most plasma weapons in the Halo franchise, the plasma repeater actually does the same damage to a player's health as it does to a player's shields. The plasma repeater actually never overheats, building up heat which slows its rate of fire and increases accuracy until it is either vented or runs out of battery.

What is the purpose of a halo? ›

At times a halo is needed to stabilize the cervical spine after surgery. The role of the halo is to hold the spine immobile until the fusion matures. Fixation of the halo to a patient's head relies on a series of four titanium "pins" which are equally spaced around the ring.

Why is it called a halo? ›

Halo comes originally from the Greek for "threshing-floor" – a circular, slightly sloping area kept very clean, around which slaves or oxen walked to thresh the grain. In Greek, this came to mean a divine, bright disk.

Is Sun halo harmful? ›

Please note looking at the sun directly for any length of time, can cause permanent eye damage. Never attempt to look at a halo directly or for a long period of time. Farah Kareen and 151 others like this. A GOD AM I!

Is a Halo worth it? ›

When it comes to Halo laser treatments, 86% of RealSelf reviewers say it's definitely worth it. That's a pretty resounding thumbs-up, and no wonder. Halo is in a class by itself, thanks to its hybrid fractional laser technology.

Does Halo work without cell service? ›

Follow. The Halo Collar will protect your dog even if you have no Wi-Fi and poor or nonexistent cellular coverage. You should set up your Halo Fences before you leave/while you still have Wi-Fi, and they will work seamlessly upon your arrival.

What is the range of Wi-Fi Halo? ›

Up to 7 mile range in perfect conditions. GSM & Satellite Phone Compatible. Multiple users can connect to the Optimizer and share the Internet connection seamlessly and fast.

Does Halo have a monthly fee? ›

Note: Membership is free for 12 months with a Halo View purchase, or free for six months with a Halo Band or Halo Rise purchase. After your free membership period is complete, your Amazon Halo membership auto-renews at $3.99/month plus applicable tax. The fee for your membership may change at any time.

Does Halo require a monthly plan? ›

The Halo Collar is priced at $999 or $39 per month. It requires you to have a subscription to be able to use GPS location, data storage for the fences, activity tracking, and premium training option (depending on which plan you get) from none other than Cesar Millan.

Does Halo work without Wi-Fi? ›

As long as you have a cellular connection, you'll be able to create new fences and monitor your pup's whereabouts, even without WiFi.

Can Halo Infinite be hacked? ›

However, there's one big problem with Halo Infinite that threatens to ruin the experience for everyone — the lack of an effective anti-cheat solution. Since the day Halo Infinite's multiplayer launched, PC users making use of hacks have been consistently and continually spotted in matchmaking by countless players.

What happens when a Halo is activated? ›

When activated, the Halo rings would wipe out all sentient life within three radii of the Milky Way's Galactic center, by sending out radiation, targeting certain cells in the nervous system, which includes, but is not limited to, neurons, by harmonizing all neurological frequencies.

Does Halo have infinite ray tracing? ›

"Halo Infinite will support ray traced shadows across Arena and Big Team Battle Modes," Herkelman said. Those with one of the newly announced RX 7000 series GPUs can also expect to see "improved lighting, sharper shadows, and increased performance" with ray tracing acceleration.


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