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Featured 6 GHz Wi-Fi Gets Closer

Discussion in 'General Wireless Discussion' started by thiggins, Apr 2, 2020.

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  1. Kal-EL

    Kal-EL Very Senior Member

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    That seems silly. The AX58U broadcom chip supports the 6 Ghz band i think it would be a fool move not to upgrade via firmware when the time comes. But who knows. Would also need all new client devices as well. Sounds expensive and at least for me have no intentions on spending any money on routers,clients or wifi till this country gets back to work.
     
    gfondeur likes this.
  2. RMerlin

    RMerlin Super Moderator

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    Only its 2.4 GHz radio uses that chip, they use a different chip for the 5 GHz band.
     
  3. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    Well, it's a puzzle. The BCM43684 is a 4x4 WiFi6E device, one of the 8 devices announced at CES2020. It's advertised and spec'd as a 2 stream router. But the FCC ID photos show all four BCM43684 chains populated and there are four external antennas. The BCM6750 is a 2x2 SoC that's the main CPU and probably 2.4 GHz radio. But its spec also says it supports 6 GHz. The 6750 was not among the CES2020 announcement devices.

    Again, both radios have external FEMs or power amps. But the photos are not clear enough to ID the parts.
     
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  4. RMerlin

    RMerlin Super Moderator

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    It's never simple when BCM is involved... Too many variants of their products, and half of them aren't even listed on their website. For instance, you can find specs on the BCM4908 (BCM49408 to be more precise), but not on the BCM4906.
     
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  5. Razor512

    Razor512 Senior Member

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    I always wondered about that, could it be a case that the staff working on their website simply don't know about the other variations of their products, or is it a case of multiple teams working on the variations and different parts of the company are simply unaware that there are multiple teams?
     
  6. RMerlin

    RMerlin Super Moderator

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    Probably because they don't care about anyone except their business customer. If those customer need anything, they contact them directly.
     
  7. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    I did some more exploration on this subject this morning. I'm even more sure that none of the WiFi6 products in the field, even if they have 6E capable Broadcom radios, are firmware upgradeable.

    I'm pretty sure none of the products have 6E capable external RF components. This includes not only power amplifiers (PA), low-noise receive amplifiers (LNA), transmit/receive switches and front-end modules (FEMs) that combine these components. In addition, the antennas would need to change, which is obvious, but I had overlooked.

    So buy your shiny new Wi-Fi 6 router. But you'll need to buy again in a year or so (end of year for you eager beavers) to move up to 6E.
     
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  8. Kal-EL

    Kal-EL Very Senior Member

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    Yep this is probably the way it will be. Glad i didn't pay for my AX58U it was gifted to me from my employer. I am very happy i did not buy the AX88U i was very tempted and held off mostly because it was just way over priced for the maturity of wifi 6 at the time.
     
    L&LD likes this.
  9. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

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    I buy with the results and actual improvements I see at the time of purchase. The RT-AX88U was a great purchase for me and didn't involve wanting anything 'extra' from it in the future. It improved what the RT-AC86U could deliver and it did it at a price point that made sense for my wallet. :)
     
    Kal-EL likes this.
  10. coxhaus

    coxhaus Part of the Furniture

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    If you buy Wi-Fi 6 now you will be dropped for support pretty quick once Wi-Fi 6E comes out.
     
  11. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

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    No, not when 'G', 'N' and 'AC' are still supported after all these years. :)
     
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  12. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    Glad it worked out for you. So you really think the cost/benefit was worth it?
     
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  13. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

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    Yes, I do. But don't forget the 'special circumstances' of the upgrade listed below. :)

    Not only was I able to test the RT-AX88U before I had to make a decision, but I was also able to be 'guaranteed' to sell my RT-AC86U for a good price too while the RT-AX88U was on a substantial sale discount.

    The person receiving my RT-AC86U wouldn't have been able to upgrade without buying a known/good used router (and they really needed to upgrade) and I wouldn't have been able to buy and hope to sell my router all while hoping the 'AX88U was worth it too.

    In addition to the benefits listed in the post below, I am also enjoying the faster responding GUI, and the better-behaved USB ports too (more compatible with different USB drives and even USB 3.0 mode with little impact to the 2.4GHz usage I require).

    With double the RAM and 4 cores, it is the fastest responding router I have used. With amtm, Diversion, Skynet, YazFi, and Unbound (and more) scripts, it is even more secure and faster too. Not to mention the 8 Ports that are put to good use too.

    This router reminds me of the classic RT-N66U so long ago. A workhorse that is also a racehorse with RMerlin magic inside. :)

    RT-AX88U Upgrade https://www.snbforums.com/threads/b...ta-is-now-available.60037/page-31#post-531024
     
  14. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    Not at all. 6E uses the same protocols as 6, so that's covered. And 6 supports all the previous standards, even 11b, which, at this point, really should be retired.
     
    Gar likes this.
  15. coxhaus

    coxhaus Part of the Furniture

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    Yes I turned off 11b as I have N and AC only on my Cisco WAP581 wireless APs.
     
  16. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    There is actually no harm in leaving it enabled unless there are 11b devices connected.
     
  17. coxhaus

    coxhaus Part of the Furniture

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    I don't want the neighbors to have something on 11b and slow my network down. I have a lot of wireless networks around me.
     
  18. Kal-EL

    Kal-EL Very Senior Member

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    Wont make any difference if your router has B or G band or not. If your router detects activity on your channel it will pause and continue as needed anyway. We need to have all these legacy clients and AP's retired and put to rest. But some people refuse to upgrade or buy anything new if what they have still works. Unfortunate for all of us. Remember 90% of people don't care about routers, firmware or speed. If they can surf the web pay there bills and check email they are happy. Again unfortunate for us that really do care. Wifi can be great but it's limitations are also huge as anything that uses radio waves.
     
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  19. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    @Kal-EL is correct. Any Wi-Fi activity will trigger the RF sensing mechanism the precedes the contention for airtime.

    Also keep in mind that management frames are sent at the lowest rates for backward compatibility. This is one reason why management frames eat up so much airtime.

    So any non-associated neighboring 11b devices have the same affect on your router whether 11b support is enabled or not.
     
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  20. coxhaus

    coxhaus Part of the Furniture

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    I would assume it is a one sided conversation otherwise why does Cisco add a setting on their router for, N and AC only?

    I assume management frames are only to not step on each others transmissions.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
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