Buying advice: Get the AX86U now or wait for a 6E-version?


Regular Contributor
Hi guys! Should I get the AX86U now or wait for a 6E-version?

I read the How To Buy A Wireless Router - 2018 Edition and the Read this before you post by Thiggins before posting :)

I've been daydreaming about the AX86U (is that weird and sad?) ever since I started reading these forums this year. RMerlin recommends it, Thiggins seems to hold it in favor as well as many of the regular contributors here. It's basically a community-darling it seems, has excellent quadcore 1.8Ghz processor, is 4x4 and has a future-proof 2.5gbps ethernet-connection, and is a generally good future-proof investment.

I have 1gbps fiber connection and a fairly modern mac that supports AC 3x3 streams and a AX58U 2x2 which doesn't even come close to reaching gigabit wireless speeds, and mostly is hovering around 450mbps downlink.

Now, do I need the AX86U? No.
Do I want it? Absolutely!

  1. But would you guys hold out for a WiFi-6E-version of the AX86U?
  2. Will such a product ever exist?
  3. And if so, will it come soon-ish? Next year? Or in two years?
  4. Is WiFi-6E just on a draft stage, like WiFi6 was until recently, and not mature until another 3-4 years?
  5. Should I hold out for more WiFi6E-routers to become available?
  6. Is WiFi-6E wide rollout right around the corner?
  7. Is it stupid to get the AX86U now in its life-cycle and current price point?
  8. Will I actually get closer to gigabit speeds on AX86U vs AX58U with my AC 3x3 mac?

Why buy the AX86U, if I have the AX58U and it works, you ask? Well, the 58U works... fine. But that's it. And I would like to get closer to 1gbps speeds on wireless, if the AX86U will help with that. I also don't have any 6E-compatible devices, and probably won't for a few years, but it's silly to get the "old" AX86U, if a newer 6E-version is around the corner.

I just want the AX86U because of the joy of gadgets, tech and the fun of going down the nerdy rabbit holes that is wireless technology, but money isn't growing on trees. I *can* however stomach the 290$ it costs in Norway, and call it my birthday present, but if a 6E version comes out next year, well, my wife won't let me buy yet another router hehe

Edit: How fun! My avatar just changed from "Occational visitor" to "Regular contributor". How lovely :)

Edit2: I’m so, so very weak :D, but also very pleased
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Part of the Furniture
If you're able to sell your RT-AX58U after you fully test a new purchase as worth it, and for a good price (for both), you'll be pleasantly surprised.


Part of the Furniture
You won't see full Gigabit over Wi-Fi to your MacBook with any router. 3-stream AC means up to 1300Mbps link speed, about 60% is the throughput. AX86U is a better router, but you'll pay more for small benefits. What more you can do on this MacBook if you have ~750Mbps compared to ~500Mbps? True AXE routers are 3-radio and AX86U may never come in AXE version. If you really want AX86U, just get it now. In Norway $290 is not that much money. Even if AXE similar router becomes available next year, how many AXE clients do you expect to have in one year from now? My guess - none.

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