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Got to upgrade my home network to Wi-Fi 6E?

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Apple just announced its new 14-inch and 16-inch Macbook Pro model with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, it states these two feature Wi-Fi 6E for faster wireless network speed. Long waited to get macOS support Wi-Fi 6E. Might pre-order one with M2 Pro chip, but first i need to upgrade my home router to support 6GHz band as well. Any recommends of which Wi-Fi 6E router with better performance? Looking at ASUS RT-AXE7800 or Netgear RAXE300? Not much reviews of these two, or any other suggestions?
 
Apple just announced its new 14-inch and 16-inch Macbook Pro model with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, it states these two feature Wi-Fi 6E for faster wireless network speed. Long waited to get macOS support Wi-Fi 6E.

Yeah, I'm lusting after that too. It's hard to justify buying a new laptop and a new router though, when I know that in daily use I'd usually be hard-pressed to notice any difference from the extra WiFi speed.

BTW, I assume the WiFi gear in these machines will be about the same as in the 2022 M2 iPad Pros. I wonder if anyone here has one of those and can report on their WiFi results? I'm kind of wondering why this Apple support article says "the Wi-Fi router providing the network should use a single network name across all of its wireless bands: the 2.4GHz band, the 5GHz band, and the Wi-Fi 6E network’s 6GHz band". It sounds like Apple has made the things way too smart for their own good.

Might pre-order one with M2 Pro chip, but first i need to upgrade my home router to support 6GHz band as well. Any recommends of which Wi-Fi 6E router with better performance? Looking at ASUS RT-AXE7800 or Netgear RAXE300? Not much reviews of these two, or any other suggestions?

No personal experience here. I did find a review of the Netgear RAXE500 on tomsguide.com, and was pretty well turned off when I got to the part that says you must have a Netgear account to even activate the router. That sounds exactly like the Orbi gear I bought in 2021, and will never use again because you can't turn off their automatic firmware updates. IME Netgear is no better than ASUS in terms of delivering reliable firmware updates: in the time I was using the Orbis, the first month or so was great, the next three were less satisfactory because an auto firmware update made things rather unstable, then after the second firmware update bricked the main router I put the things on the shelf. I can tolerate that sort of thing if I have the choice of firmware version to use, but it's not acceptable when I don't.
 
I would wait until you actually get the new WiFi 6E capable computers first (and test/verify you want to keep them).

Then, see if a WiFi 6E router will actually give you a better networking experience with the new client device(s). This is not always a given where Apple is concerned.

The 'magical' part of Apple's claims translates loosely to actual improved performance, many times.
 
The only real world benefit of 6E is dense areas such as apartments/condos with heavy WIFI congestion.

For the average user, 6E only makes sense as a 4x4 wireless backhaul between router/ap units. (6E products certified by FCC keep dropping in power output for some reason).

Only clients that would benefit from such connections are VR or "fixed" PCs dealing with heavy interference.

A good 4x4 5G AX router that works in your environment will likely offer higher performance past a certain distance, especially relative to stuff like AXE7800 or RAXE300 which is only a 2x2 MIMO broadcast on 6G.

Even on those same units since they both offer 4x4 5G.
 
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The only real world benefit of 6E is dense areas such as apartments/condos with heavy WIFI congestion.

Doesn't need to be all that dense for WiFi congestion to be an issue. I live in a city neighborhood with single-family homes sitting on roughly 50' x 150' lots, and I see really serious airtime contention on the 2.4GHz band (watching my AP for a minute or two just now, it reported channel usage as high as 83%), with moderate contention even on 5GHz. Also I have no chance at a clean 160MHz channel because of airport radar. 6E should make that enormously better, not only because no DFS problems but because there's enough non-overlapping channels in the 6GHz band that neighbors shouldn't need to be sharing the same channel.

I do take @L&LD's point that there's a gap between theoretical and actual results. But the actual results I'm getting right now are far below what my equipment should get, and sometimes does get on good days. I chalk that up to contention with my WiFi-using neighbors.
 
Doesn't need to be all that dense for WiFi congestion to be an issue. I live in a city neighborhood with single-family homes sitting on roughly 50' x 150' lots, and I see really serious airtime contention on the 2.4GHz band (watching my AP for a minute or two just now, it reported channel usage as high as 83%), with moderate contention even on 5GHz. Also I have no chance at a clean 160MHz channel because of airport radar. 6E should make that enormously better, not only because no DFS problems but because there's enough non-overlapping channels in the 6GHz band that neighbors shouldn't need to be sharing the same channel.

I do take @L&LD's point that there's a gap between theoretical and actual results. But the actual results I'm getting right now are far below what my equipment should get, and sometimes does get on good days. I chalk that up to contention with my WiFi-using neighbors.


I guess the argument is that a 2x2 6E router may be too weak for clients trying to grab signal with distance/walls, especially with an innately lower power output, but I agree. Should be tested.
 
Apropos to this thread, Apple has now updated their MBP WiFi spec page to cover these new models, and it looks like they're indeed the same as the 2022 iPad Pro: 2x2, but 160MHz bandwidth is (finally) supported in the 6GHz band, so you can theoretically get 2400Mbps PHY rate.

Real-world performance remains to be determined...
 
Real-world performance remains to be determined...

The first review I've seen that mentions WiFi performance is AppleInsider's:

Finally, Apple did jump this year to Wi-Fi 6E on the Mac line. We don't have Wi-Fi 6E routers and, instead, are using our existing Wi-Fi 6 network.
Wi-Fi 6E promises to be faster thanks to improved bandwidth by supporting 6Ghz alongside 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz. On our network, though, we still saw significant improvements.
Our last-gen MacBook Pro regularly gets around 450Mbps download speeds on our network, but the new models easily were getting 650Mbps to 700Mbps without changing a thing.
Very promising. IME the first-generation Apple Silicon MBP is pretty awful when it comes to WiFi performance, but it sounds like Apple may be starting to fix that.
 
you can theoretically get 2400Mbps PHY rate.
As someone that has that I can tell you that you don't get that speed with your average WIFI card.

WIFI cards in portable devices only do 2x2 and you'll likely see north of 1gigabit but, not much more. Though this is still a ~50% boost from the cards they use now.

With an AX411 Intel card though that has DCT which combines 2.4 & 5 bands into a single pipe I can hit 1.5gbps or slightly more through a WIFI 6 AP.

The math comes down to a client getting roughly 70% of the PHY and that would put your max at 1.7gbps on a 2.4gbps PHY.

6E / 6ghz as mentioned only matters if you have a ton of RF around you which you can easily see with a "wifi analyzer" app on your phone. The 5 & 6 ghz bands will give you the same speed though at 160mhz. The real boost will be with WIFI 7 which doubles the AP/router side to 320mhz of bandwidth but, then you have the issue with clients needing an upgrade to their card to take advantage of the doubled RF bandwidth.

1674791766563.png


 
6E / 6ghz as mentioned only matters if you have a ton of RF around you which you can easily see with a "wifi analyzer" app on your phone. The 5 & 6 ghz bands will give you the same speed though at 160mhz.
Yeah ... assuming you can get a clean 160MHz channel on 5GHz. Where I live, that's never gonna happen because of airport radar, never mind exactly how close my neighbors are.
The real boost will be with WIFI 7 which doubles the AP/router side to 320mhz of bandwidth but, then you have the issue with clients needing an upgrade to their card to take advantage of the doubled RF bandwidth.
Perhaps. I'm definitely getting the impression that 6E will be a quantum jump in a way that 7 will not be, at least for urban/suburban folk who have to deal with these contention issues. If you live out in the sticks maybe you can get full bandwidth in WiFi 6 today, but I bet you don't have a 1Gbps internet hookup to connect to :( . I won't see a reason to get excited about 320MHz channels until I have a better-than-Gbps internet connection to feed the WiFi, and I fear that is not in the cards for quite some time.
 
@tgl
I'm in a metro area and in a condo so, yeah, 6ghz might be a perk and I've contemplated it a few times but, I just push my neighbors away with my config and get the speed I want. I did have a gig ISP plan but, switched to TMO to cut the bill in half and 2-3X the UL bandwidth and no data caps. Sure, it's slower but, it's consistent. It's got some quirks but, once you figure them out it's not a bad option.

Getting a 160mhz channel is just trial and error besides picking low or high. The issue tends to be no one configuring their channel and just letting their ISP device auto select and switch constantly. Locking down a channel though pushes those away to either low or high depending on what you choose.

The 320mhz is on 6ghz so, therefor you'll get less interference to deal with unless everyone upgrades to 6E which doesn't seem to be the trend.

1674795127377.png


For the 160mhz you can see the surrounding APs being pushed to the high band except for 2 of them. Doesn't appear to be any 6ghz APs in use which makes sense because well, it's either POS Comcast rental or ATT DSL in use with auto select picking the channels. Switching things up to AXE for me doesn't make sense as I already get good speeds on the LAN over WIFI and when I did have a gig ISP plan I could max it out as well.

The top two results are my primary AP and the TMO GW. So, primary pushes the secondary to the other end of the spectrum and if I swapped my primary channel to the high end then the other would drop to the other position. I have no control over the TMO box though for fine tuning anything related to WIFI but, I could execute a script and completely turn off the WIFI but, I've been using it as a backup when going portable for some stuff lately.
 
Apple just announced its new 14-inch and 16-inch Macbook Pro model with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, it states these two feature Wi-Fi 6E for faster wireless network speed. Long waited to get macOS support Wi-Fi 6E. Might pre-order one with M2 Pro chip, but first i need to upgrade my home router to support 6GHz band as well.

You don't need to upgrade to a new 6e router because you purchased a 6e capable device. That's a waste of money, IMHO...

Enjoy the new MBP - the m2's are quite nice if coming over from Intel...
 
WIFI cards in portable devices only do 2x2 and you'll likely see north of 1gigabit but, not much more. Though this is still a ~50% boost from the cards they use now.
You can reach around 2 Gbps with 160 MHz channels. My laptop hits 1.6 Gbps in one direction and 2 Gbps in the other direction, while in the same room as the router.
 
Upgrading to Wifi 6e only makes sense if:

1) you are in an area with a lot of congestion on the 5 GHz band (not just many SSIDs, but people actually transfering lots of data on it)
2) You have a specific need for transferring large amounts of data, and therefore want to be able to reliably use 160 MHz channels
3) you intend to mostly use the device close to the router, as 6 GHz attenuates a bit faster than 5 GHz.
 
It doesn't make any sense to me investing in a router that has an extra band for a few available 6E devices only. If someone wants to transfer big volume of data Wi-Fi is not the best option anyway. The only true high bandwidth demanding mobile devices are VR sets and they work well on 5GHz band. The market will focus to Wi-Fi 7 later this year and 6E products will be left behind. 6E is like intermediate standard no one wants to spend much time on.
 

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