AmpliFi was not even on my radar. Thank you for suggesting it as an alternative. It looks like the AmpliFi Instant system: router + mesh point for $179 covers 4,000 sq ft. That is more then enough for my home. It also looks stylish:
I'm coming back around the idea of a meshed system because I can extend it later with more mesh points.
Not sure about needing a touchscreen display though. It is cool, but I'm hoping not to touch it all and have it just work. In fact, I would prefer less blinking lights at night if possible.
We use the Mesh HD system as we're covering 3 floors and a bit more space and have been very happy with it.. You can turn off the display, so that shouldn't be an issue. They have a pretty good app for managing the router with a lot of nice features for setting up and controlling groups for different devices that connect to it.
I'm still wondering if Wi-Fi mesh or a new and more powerful Wi-Fi router is best? 🤔
Mesh network is probably your best bet if you're suffering from a weak signal. A more modern router won't solve your problem. WiFi routers are regulated by the FCC to keep it to its design: to use for local area networking, so they are bounded by specific specs, like frequency and transmission power. The short wavelength of a 2.4 / 5 Ghz WiFi signal is inherently limiting, so adding more nodes is far more effective.
Also, your devices are half the problem. Even if you find some amazing router that boasts crazy range, it doesn't really help because your phone, computer, and IoT hardware can't transmit to the router at a higher power to match its range. They're limited by power constraints of batteries and poor antennas. Best to put mesh nodes close to your devices.