Best wifi 6 router

anticlaus105

Well-known Member
I've been researching wifi 6 routers. For every good review there is a bad one. I want to run my virgin sh3 in model mode. With bf coming up I was hoping to pick one up. Can anyone recommend a good one and what to avoid or look out for?
 

psychopomp1

Member
If money is not an issue, then go for the Netgear RAX200. Otherwise the Asus RT-AX88U is also an excellent choice. Stay away from the Asus RT-AX89X and Ubiquiti Amplifi Alien - I've tried both and they're quite poor given the cost.

Obviously you need wifi 6 clients to get the best speeds out of a wifi 6 router, however even legacy clients (eg wifi 5) will see a significant improvement versus using wifi 5 routers.

These are the sort of wireless speeds I'm seeing on my Netgear RAX200 on my TalkTalk Business 1 Gig line:

iPhone 12 Pro (2x2 wifi 6)


iPhone X (2x2 wifi 5)
 
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anticlaus105

Well-known Member
Wow. I didn't think speeds like that were possible via wifi. I was considering trying to wire various gadgets but if can get that over wifi then no need.

My PC is currently connected via powerline which I'm getting fed up of.

Is there a decent wifi card I can get for it that plays well with a RAX200? Also will Wake-on-lan still work using wifi?
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
"Good" in what way..? I suggest the jumping off point is to create a requirements list, then go looking for kit that fulfills it.

You are right about the quality of router reviews being highly variable. Unfortunately, it's because a lot of equipment reviews are done by people who well meaning, but often have little if any technical expertise. So they end up "testing" the user interface and what they "think" they see rather than what's actually happening. Their testing methods are often very sloppy, not objective, not published and not using any kind of controlled environment (which matters if you are testing radio system.)

I weep whenever I see an article - even in the IT trade press - that starts "It's router test time again, it's Steve's turn to take home the latest batch of offering and see how they get on" and then they'll talk about the UI for page after page and tell you how things worked in his home with his equipment mix and his RF signalling conditions subject to whatever interference he was getting that day. It's almost useless. It's best to think of them as a comparative rather than and indicator of (for example) what you can expect when get box X home - particularly for "Wi-Fi signal" (there's actually no such thing) and performance.

I like a US based web site called SmallNetBuilder for SOHO kit reviews. He's a one man band (and also lacks test facilities) but he does a better than many of objectively testing his subjects, he publishes his methods and tabulates the results by various performance metrics. There's another site who's name I've forgotten that actual open up the boxes to see what chips are inside them, how the antennas are sized/arranged and so on. I think that one is written by some guy with actual RF/electrical engineering expertise.

If that's all depressing you and you fancy a laugh, check out James Veitch's "Siri vs Alexa" tek review on Youtube (he's a comedian.) Then compare that with some of the "serious" tek reviews and see if you can spot the similarities.
 
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MarkyPancake

Distinguished Member
Isn't the Wi-Fi 6 standard still yet to be finalised? If so, then it's probably not worth spending hundreds of Pounds on an AX router just yet.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
"Wi-Fi 6" is more of a "branding" kite mark than anything else. It's an attempt to get away from clunky technical terms like citing all the 802.11 standards names. The idea is that anything branded "Wi-Fi 6 certified" will be guaranteed to have some minimum specification and interoperability with other similarly branded devices (and one hope some backward compatibility with previous generation.)

The label/standard "Wi-Fi 6" is the brainchild of the Wi-Fi Alliance, the IEEE are the nerds that devise the actual 801.11 standards.

I'm not sure if it's all been codified yet, but that doesn't stop some manufactures shipping it anyway - it was the same when 802.11N came out, lots of mfgrs shipped "draft N" spec kit ahead of codification. Of course, if one buys something ahead of codification it's a bit of a gamble.
 
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psychopomp1

Member
Isn't the Wi-Fi 6 standard still yet to be finalised? If so, then it's probably not worth spending hundreds of Pounds on an AX router just yet.
Yes, it’s been finalized. It’s that old that wifi 6E is just around the corner - the worlds first 6E router will be released by Asus in Dec 2020.

 
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anticlaus105

Well-known Member
Thanks all. I have little knowledge in this area. I just know my SH3 is a sack of #### and if I replaced it with a cornflake box I would probably get better speeds. I have a ring doorbell+floodlight, philips hue and a few smart plugs. The powerline adapters for my pc regularly disconnect which when I had the hotspot enabled doubled the pain. I know cables will always be better but I don't game on my pc so it's just reliability and outright speed I'm after, not pings or whatever. Again xbox is not online gaming, just my kids playing lego games etc but I'm paying for a 350Mb connection so would like to be able to use it when downloading. I would also like to bin the ring chime pros I have if the router is strong enough to connect without them, but this will mean somehow pressing the reset button my floodlight which is 5m up.

Again will wake on lan work over wifi? I trigger it using a mobile phone and tasker. I also have a smart plug so I can power cycle my pc which is set to turn on after power loss, but wol would be better.
 

psychopomp1

Member
Interesting... What changes have been introduced for AC clients to work better with AX APs?
Latest high spec BCM/QCA wifi radio's will always perform better than previous versions due to natural evolution of tech . A bit like why a 4x4 wifi 5 router will perform better with 2x2 clients than a 2x2 wifi 5 router will, despite throughput being limited to 2x2.
 

mushii

Distinguished Member
Latest high spec BCM/QCA wifi radio's will always perform better than previous versions due to natural evolution of tech . A bit like why a 4x4 wifi 5 router will perform better with 2x2 clients than a 2x2 wifi 5 router will, despite throughput being limited to 2x2.
Do you have any throughput numbers to substantiate that as I am struggling to find any?
I have asked Ubnt support if this holds true on their APs as it will seriously impact on the choice of APs that I deploy, given the launch of their new AC Lite range.
 

psychopomp1

Member
Do you have any throughput numbers to substantiate that as I am struggling to find any?
I have asked Ubnt support if this holds true on their APs as it will seriously impact on the choice of APs that I deploy, given the launch of their new AC Lite range.
Here you go, throughput tests from Tim Higgins @smallnetbuilder comparing throughput to 2x2 wifi 5 clients from 3x3/4x4 wifi 5 routers versus 2x2 wifi 5 access points:



 

mickevh

Distinguished Member

mushii

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the screen grabs I hope you saw the footnote from SNB that they deem it illegal to reproduce any of their material without prior written consent

80AF1FB4-12DC-4737-8658-87D56C9AEF0A.png
I would be grateful if you could link the original article as I’d like to read it in full. Thanks
 

dts_boy

Well-known Member
Sorry to drag up an old thread but my ageing Netgear R7000 router is on its last legs and needs almost daily re-boots to keep it going.
I have a couple of Ruckus Wi-Fi points in a mesh config which whilst not wi-fi6 serve me well and cover all areas that are needed.
I need to replace router and think it would be a mistake not to use a wifi6 one - have a few wifi6 clients now so they could make use of the faster speeds but rest of house can run on the ruckus.
With this in mind, would I better trying to wait for the next gen router in Dec or just get the Asus RT-AX88U or Netgear RAX200 ?
Am going to try and put Virgin Modem/router back into router mode and disable the netgear in the meantime to see if this stabilizes things!
 

psychopomp1

Member
Get the Netgear RAX200 if you can afford it. Superb router for Wi-Fi coverage and you *may* find you can get rid of 1 or more of your existing access points.
 

dts_boy

Well-known Member
Get the Netgear RAX200 if you can afford it. Superb router for Wi-Fi coverage and you *may* find you can get rid of 1 or more of your existing access points.
Thanks, I think I will probably end up with the Netgear. I am very tempted to replace the Ruckus and get a wi-fi6 extender instead but given how much I've already spent will need to think hard about that and may just run 2x wifi networks and hide the wifi6 for myself!!!
 

anticlaus105

Well-known Member
Despite the odd dodgy review I'm swaying towards the RAX200. I think I will try to buy where returns are good in case it doesn't work out. It seems to be around £410 but searching suggests it's been £370 sold by Amazon in the past. Hopefully it will drop come BF.

I'm hoping the wifi capability is enough but if I do require a wifi extender what would be the best way to go about it with the RAX200>?
 

psychopomp1

Member
The Netgear EAX80 range extender is designed to compliment the RAX200 since its also wifi 6. But give the RAX200 a try first, you'll probably find it provides full coverage. Yep, buy from Amazon as they have a hassle free returns policy for peace of mind.
 

dts_boy

Well-known Member
I have decided on getting an RAX200 (hopefully at a bargain price on Black Friday) and using that exclusively for wifi6 devices. Will keep this on a seperate SSID that I will probably not broadcast and keep for myself!
I will keep my Ruckus Wifi Mesh active as a full home wifi network as that gives good speeds and covers the entire house and garden well so don't want to mess with it.
Any potential issues running side by side? Apart from ensuring wireless channels don't overlap etc...
 

mushii

Distinguished Member
Just make sure that they are not on the same channels and that you balance the power output on both your Ruckus and the RAX200. Most routers and access points are often defaulted to auto - which is maximum power which can cause problems with other devices, especially in close proximity with one another. Channel separation is your most important though and they ideally want to be 5Mhz apart, so if your AP is using Ch1 your RAX200 wants to be on 6 or 11, and you will need to check this for both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz
 

dts_boy

Well-known Member
Just make sure that they are not on the same channels and that you balance the power output on both your Ruckus and the RAX200. Most routers and access points are often defaulted to auto - which is maximum power which can cause problems with other devices, especially in close proximity with one another. Channel separation is your most important though and they ideally want to be 5Mhz apart, so if your AP is using Ch1 your RAX200 wants to be on 6 or 11, and you will need to check this for both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz
I'm pretty used to channel separation as I have had to do the same thing for zigbee devices. I even have a chart of channels used! Not played about with the power - will try and playabout from there
 

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