Need help determining what to get

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clutch

New Around Here
I apologize for a lame post like this but I have read and read until I am thoroughly confused.

Current setup:
I am currently using an xfinity xb6 gateway. I have a 1000mbps down wired but the room I spend the most time in is upstairs and at the other end of the house. I get around 100mbps down on wifi 5ghz. Other rooms in the house get around 200mbps down. Five computers total running everything from online games to youtube with phones and ipads sprinkled in.

Want:
I want to turn off the gateway's router and get a decent one. I have narrowed it down to these options:

1) ASUS AiMesh AX6100 (2 RT-AX92U's)
2) ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
3) Netgear Nighthawk AX12

I am also thinking about buying a WiFi 6 PCIe card to take advantage of WiFi 6 but I do not know if it will be necessary or not.

Concerns/Questions:
Option 1: I've read that the Wifi 6 is used for the back haul and you only see 2.4 and 5.0 bands. Is this just a glorified AC router that uses some AX magic in the background? I know you can unhide the 6 SSID but I am afraid that will break the back haul processing? Would the 5.0 band give me a significant increase in down speed so that I wouldn't need Wifi 6 connection to my computer?

Option2: The AX110000 sounds really promising. If I start out with it, will I be able to take advantage of WiFi 6 with the WiFi 6 PCIe card in my computer? Would I see significant gains? I'm assuming I can get another router to do mesh with down the road if I still do not see an increase? Is this overkill?

Option 3: The AX12 sounds really good in reviews but no mesh. I'm questioning if I really need mesh or not at this point.

Thoughts? Suggestions?
 

Trip

Very Senior Member
Hi clutch - welcome to SNB.

I'm going to answer your post by starting at the internet drop and working downstream towards your clients.

First off, the modem/gateway. Good idea to bridge the XB6 into just a modem and use your own router. Even better would be your own Docsis 3.1 modem like an Arris SB8200 or Motorola MB8600. But I suppose a bridged XB6 is good enough for now.

Second, wired routing. Any of the three should be fast enough to NAT over 1Gb/s, so from a wired perspective you're good.

Third, wireless. This is where things start to get a bit off base, based on what you've stated. First issue is 802.11ax ("Wifi 6"). The practical real-world benefits are all but vaporware right now, and will likely remain that way for at least another year. The only noticeable improvement is roughly 2X the throughput in 2.4Ghz, but only for AX clients. That's it. That's all she wrote. All the AX-unique benefits like OFDMA, target-wake-timing, BSS coloring, etc. are non-existent in mostly all APs/all-in-ones and endpoint clients. Plus, with forthcoming 6Ghz not even supportable by the current crop of AX hardware, you'll have to rip and replace for that capability, whenever that comes around... I think you get the point. Unless you're really Jones'ing to be on the latest standard for the sake of it, and/or you really want that 2.4Ghz boost for your AX-only clients, you're much better offer investing in proven, stable AC Wave 2 gear for the time being.

Lastly, real-life expected performance. Not to insult your intelligence, as I presume you already know a great deal of this stuff, but I recommend a read through this excellent Duckware article for a brief on the current state of wifi. As for your specific environment, with the kind of throughput drop you're noticing at the far room, you may be candidate for a system which would broadcast wifi from multiple spots in your house, but that depends ultimately on how much throughput your want for your 5Ghz clients in the far room, and/or if you can create a wired backbone via ethernet or MoCa over TV coaxial to that spot in the house, and/or if you're willing to consider a whole-house mesh product like Orbi, Eero or AiMesh, or wire-first APs like TP-Link Omada or Ubiquiti UniFi.

I know that's a lot of geek speak in a few paragraphs. Apologies. Hope some of it helps. I'll await your thoughts to provide further direction.
 
Last edited:

Gouldin

Regular Contributor
1 - While working in mesh mode it does use 5ghz-2 as a dedicated backhaul yes, but you can unhide and use it for other clients too.

2 - GT-AX1100 - I currently use this in conjunction with 2 RT-AX92u's in AiMesh Mode
Here's a screenshot of the linkrates you can expect from all 3 devices: Note the higher link rates are from the AX1100 and my laptop is currently connected to one of the 92u nodes on the AiMesh network with a 1.9gb ax connection



And real world smb transfer speeds off a slow old NAS connected to the main router via 1gb ethernet while a family member is streaming a 4k video off my main nas via the goulding network on the same mesh node:


Overall, I'd say speed wise the ax1100 is worth it if you have needs of transferring lot's of data via wifi.
 

clutch

New Around Here
Trip, thanks for the quick reply! It is very helpful. My 'old' house's cable is very weird. I was using MoCa for the far room (btw, the far room is basically my office where I work and cannot change). However, when I got the xb6 (have to keep it because of xfinity voice) the wireless speeds were better than the MoCa! I can only attribute this to my coax being a patchwork mess. Good enough for TV but not for MoCa.

So really no need in prepping for the glorious 802.11ax now? Is there a router you would recommend I look into?

I'm going to read that article you linked to. I've been a developer since about 100 years ago but I just haven't put the time or effort into keeping up with networking. Lol!
 

clutch

New Around Here
And my apologies again, I didn't even see this section of the forum. Man I feel like a total newb now.
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
I think Wi-Fi AC wave 2 is where it at now days. Wi-Fi 6 is going to be superseded by Wi-Fi 6E around the corner.

If you want a good stable home network look to small business gear not consumer gear. I use Cisco small business router, wireless APs and switches.
 

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