WiFi 6 upgrade

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Chief Geek
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:03 pm
Location: Nashville, TN

I have been using a Netgear Orbi mesh wireless system for over a year. It was an AC2200 wireless router with 3 satellites. I was getting great speeds, but I wanted to move to the new 802.11ax spec and I have been doing some research. Once again, there was no real technical driver other than wanting to gear up for the future.

I am cheap, especially when it comes to the home lab, so I have purchased a number of TP-Link devices. I have 3 smart switches which operate very well. I ended up buying the TP-Link Deco X60 which is an AX3000 which theoretically offers 575Mbps on 2.4Ghz and 2.4Gbps on 5Ghz. I understand the fact that those numbers are highly theoretical and dependent on a number of factors.

One key thing I have noticed is a slight increase in speed and a dramatic decrease in latency (ping time measured from bandwidth tests in this case). I see no change in latency between the router and local devices. This leads me to believe that the wireless backhaul is performing extremely well even though it does not have a dedicated wireless backhaul radio like the Orbi.

Speed tests are looking as good and somewhat better with a smaller footprint. I am running two of these X60s as opposed to the router + 3 satellites I was using before and covering what I feel is the same area or better.

This particular router does not offer 160Mhz channel support on 2.4Ghz. That is important, but I decided I would take the chance and see how it performs over time. TP-Link does not currently offer a way to manually specify the wireless channel. It seems to update as necessary to find the channel with the least interference.

I hope to purchase a WIFI 6 capable NIC soon and look forward to running some tests once that is in place.
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