No 160mhz bandwidth in Canada?

Turok

Occasional Visitor
So I just finished chatting with Asus support and I found out that the 160Mhz bandwidth is disabled in Canada.

I have a Asus ZenWifi AX6600 XT8 with 1 node, wired backhaul and using Firmware Version:3.0.0.4.386_45934

The support rep told me that if and when Canada does allow WIFI 6 160mhz band in Canada that it can be enabled by firmware.

I was happy to hear the chipset is in the router but just disabled.

So I have a couple of questions:

1. Does anyone know if and when WIFI 6 160mhz will be available in Canada or does this go hand in hand with WIFI 6E being available in Canada. Reason I ask is because I see people in the U.K who can use 160Mhz band and the U.K does not support WIFI 6E yet.

2. Is there a work around for this? Maybe using a firmware from the U.S?

3. Is my router basically a Mesh WIFI 5 router at this point? I see the options for AX, but I'm guessing it's using the other capabilities of WIFI 6 and just not able to use the 160Mhz band?
 
Last edited:

Tech Junky

Very Senior Member
Using hostapd on a PCI card as an AP you can change the region manually to unrestrict things like this.

There should be an option within the CLI of the router to change the region code.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
What router are you talking about? 160MHz is available in Canada, just not on the DFS channels.

Anything you do to circumvent that restriction is currently illegal.
 

tallytr

Senior Member
Agree, mine works great in Canada on 160Mhz, just occasionally the router defaults back to 80Mhz, what makes actually zero difference but I like the link speed to show as 1.7Gbps
and after router re-boot its that for some time, couple days later its back to ~ 866 or so Mbps, has to do with the location, radar signals....
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
3. Is my router basically a Mesh WIFI 5 router at this point? I see the options for AX, but I'm guessing it's using the other capabilities of WIFI 6 and just not able to use the 160Mhz band?

A WiFi6 AX router running at less than 160 MHz bandwidth is still a WiFi6 AX router... just not using 160 MHz.

OE
 

Turok

Occasional Visitor
Agree, mine works great in Canada on 160Mhz, just occasionally the router defaults back to 80Mhz, what makes actually zero difference but I like the link speed to show as 1.7Gbps
and after router re-boot its that for some time, couple days later its back to ~ 866 or so Mbps, has to do with the location, radar signals....
I don't see any option under the 5 Ghz -2 to enable 160Mhz. I've seen people post pictures with a checkbox next to the Channel Bandwidth to enable it. I'm only seeing 20/40/80 Mhz. My max link speed on my phone or laptop which are both WIFI 6 is 1200Mbps.
 

Tech Junky

Very Senior Member
1643330683837.png
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
I don't see any option under the 5 Ghz -2 to enable 160Mhz.
Do you have the 160MHz option for 5GHz-1? With tri-band routers like you have I've only ever seen it available for one of the 5GHz bands not both.

There was a recent discussion about Canadian routers here. As you can see only two of those 4 examples support enough contiguous channels for 160MHz operation.
 
Last edited:

Turok

Occasional Visitor
Do you have the 160MHz option for 5GHz-1? With tri-band routers like you have I've only ever seen it available for one of the 5GHz bands not both.
No I don't see the option for 5Ghz-1. I was under the impression after I went to a wired backhaul setup, that opening up the 5Ghz-2 band and I would be able to use the 5Ghz-2 at 160Mhz.
 

Turok

Occasional Visitor
Saw this under the wireless log for the 5Ghz-2 radio near the end of the log. I see mention of 160Mhz. Not sure what any of that means.

SSID: "WackyCards"
noise: -91 dBm Channel: 3
BSSID: 3C:7C:3F:65:A0:30 Capability: ESS ShortSlot RRM
Supported Rates: [ 1(b) 2(b) 5.5(b) 6 9 11(b) 12 18 24 36 48 54 ]
HE Capable:
Chanspec: 2.4GHz channel 3 20MHz (0x1003)
Primary channel: 3
HT Capabilities: 40Mhz SGI20 SGI40
Supported HT MCS : 0-15
Supported VHT MCS:
NSS1 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
NSS2 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
Supported HE MCS:
80 Mhz:
NSS1 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
NSS2 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11

Interference Level: Acceptable
Mode : AP Only

Stations List
----------------------------------------
idx MAC Associated Authorized RSSI PHY PSM SGI STBC MUBF NSS BW Tx rate Rx rate Connect Time
18:B4:30:E9:B5:92 Yes Yes -59dBm n No Yes No No 2 20M 144.4M 144.4M 00:14:50
F8:D0:27:40:FC:8A Yes Yes -60dBm n Yes Yes No No 1 20M 65M 24M 00:14:54

SSID: "WackyCards"
noise: -88 dBm Channel: 36/80
BSSID: 3C:7C:3F:65:A0:34 Capability: ESS RRM
Supported Rates: [ 6(b) 9 12 18 24(b) 36 48 54 ]
HE Capable:
Chanspec: 5GHz channel 42 80MHz (0xe02a)
Primary channel: 36
HT Capabilities: 40Mhz SGI20 SGI40
Supported HT MCS : 0-15
Supported VHT MCS:
NSS1 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
NSS2 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
Supported HE MCS:
80 Mhz:
NSS1 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
NSS2 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11

Interference Level: Acceptable
Mode : AP Only

DFS status: state IDLE time elapsed 0ms radar channel cleared by DFS none

Channel Information
----------------------------------------
Channel 36 A Band
Channel 40 A Band
Channel 44 A Band
Channel 48 A Band

Stations List
----------------------------------------
idx MAC Associated Authorized RSSI PHY PSM SGI STBC MUBF NSS BW Tx rate Rx rate Connect Time
18:B4:30:C8:A4:D6 Yes Yes -64dBm n Yes Yes No No 1 20M 65M 72.2M 00:00:42
7C:D9:5C:23:54:E9 Yes Yes -68dBm ac No Yes No No 1 80M 351M 351M 00:14:51
64:BC:0C:82:B1:8A Yes Yes -79dBm ac Yes Yes Yes No 2 80M 390M 6M 00:33:13

SSID: "WackyCards-5G2"
noise: -88 dBm Channel: 149/80
BSSID: 3C:7C:3F:65:A0:38 Capability: ESS RRM
Supported Rates: [ 6(b) 9 12 18 24(b) 36 48 54 ]
HE Capable:
Chanspec: 5GHz channel 155 80MHz (0xe09b)
Primary channel: 149
HT Capabilities: 40Mhz SGI20 SGI40
Supported HT MCS : 0-31
Supported VHT MCS:
NSS1 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
NSS2 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
NSS3 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
NSS4 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
Supported HE MCS:
80 Mhz:
NSS1 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
NSS2 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
NSS3 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
NSS4 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
160 Mhz:
NSS1 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
NSS2 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
NSS3 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
NSS4 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11

Interference Level: Acceptable
Mode : AP Only

DFS status: state IDLE time elapsed 0ms radar channel cleared by DFS none

Channel Information
----------------------------------------
Channel 100 A Band, RADAR Sensitive, Passive
Channel 104 A Band, RADAR Sensitive, Passive
Channel 108 A Band, RADAR Sensitive, Passive
Channel 112 A Band, RADAR Sensitive, Passive
Channel 116 A Band, RADAR Sensitive, Passive
Channel 132 A Band, RADAR Sensitive, Passive
Channel 136 A Band, RADAR Sensitive, Passive
Channel 140 A Band, RADAR Sensitive, Passive
Channel 144 A Band, RADAR Sensitive, Passive
Channel 149 A Band
Channel 153 A Band
Channel 157 A Band
Channel 161 A Band
Channel 165 A Band

Stations List
----------------------------------------
idx MAC Associated Authorized RSSI PHY PSM SGI STBC MUBF NSS BW Tx rate Rx rate Connect Time
08:5B:D6:59:65:2D Yes Yes -55dBm ax No Yes Yes Yes 2 80M 1201.0M 1080.9M 00:33:12
 

tgl

Regular Contributor
This is just a stab in the dark, but ... it looks like you are using the same SSID name for both radios. Try assigning a different SSID to the 5GHZ-2 radio; for me, various stuff started to work better after I did that.

FWIW, based on my experience here in the US, I'm not sure you *want* 160MHz channel bandwidth. There are no 5GHz 160MHz-wide channels that don't overlap the DFS (radar) range, and unless you are in the wilderness many miles from any airport or weather radar, you need to stay out of the DFS spectrum. Also, the experiments I did using iperf3 between some local machines failed to show much real performance difference between 160MHz backhaul and 80MHz backhaul, which suggests that the XT8 units have some internal bottlenecks that keep them from making effective use of the extra bandwidth anyway.
 

Tech Junky

Very Senior Member
@tgl

I use 160 in the US and live in a Metro area w/ 2 major airports / tons of radar around.

Screenshot_20220126-231748.jpg


With the 160 enabled and manual channel selection I can hit LAN speeds ~1.5gbps using an AP.
 

tgl

Regular Contributor
Meh. I get 500-900 Mbps throughput between machines wired to the two nodes, with or without 160MHz backhaul. Wired speed is 935 or thereabouts, so the upper end of that range is pretty respectable, but the XT8s cannot deliver that consistently regardless of channel width.

More to the point: if using DFS spectrum, the units shut down entirely for many minutes anytime they see a radar pulse. I'm circa twenty miles from Pittsburgh International (there's also a National Weather Service radar station not far from the airport). There are several honkin' big hills between here and there too. Net effect is that I can run in the DFS spectrum for hours at a time, but a couple times a day, zap! I don't need that.
 

Tech Junky

Very Senior Member
DFS can be frustrating for sure. 6E solves that with 6ghz being beyond DFS. Problem is the lack of HW at a reasonable cost. I had a period of time where DFS recalcs were happening quite often but either new FW or moving it over 5ft got rid of the instability.
 

tgl

Regular Contributor
Yeah, when 6GHZ hardware gets to be reasonably available/affordable, we can stop dealing with this DFS nonsense ...
 

ifisher

Occasional Visitor
You are correct that you have a WiFi 6 (802.11ax) Mesh system.

A cople of things to clarify:
1. WiFi 6 allows the use of 160MHz channel width on the 5G radio, but it's far from the only differentiator making WiFi 6 superior. /
WiFi 6 has better handling of multiple client load (OFDMA+ Download MU-MIMO) and it supports better power saving on mobile devices (TWT). It also supports better security (WPA3) and better performance (higher throughput at a given signal level compared to WiFi 5).

2. With current restrictions, the only way to use a 160 MHz contiguously in the US/Canada is by aggregating 5G bands 36 (5180 MHz) through band 64 (5230MHz), where bands 50-64 require using DFS/TPC - this means your router constantly scans for weather radar on these higher channels and reduces power or drops channels to avoid interference to the radar channel - this can cause dropping to 80MHz.
If you are able to toggle 160MHz in the settings but the radio uses the higher bands, it will switch to 80MHz+80MHz mode.

In the US (not Canada), the addition of bands 167-177 recently adds a 2nd 160MHz (bands 149-177) but I haven't heard of any device that uses these new bands.

3. Your router should support 160 MHz band on at least one of the 5 GHz radios - it's possible it's doing that for the backhaul radio. Since I'm not fully familiar with your model, I'm not sure if switching to a wired backhaul would release that radio for clients.
If you're not seeing that option in the GUI (and assuming it's not a weird restriction for your specific model in Canada) try to facotry reset your system - ensure you enable 802.11ax in the setup wizard and set your 5G operation mode to N/AC/AX mixed, manually set the channel to the lower bands (don't use 'Auto') *** BUT BEFORE YOU DO ALL THAT READ THE COMMENTS BELOW **

4. Using 160MHz is theoretically faster than 80MHz but there are so many other variables that can affect performance. For example, clean 80MHz bands (better RSSI, SNR) can result in faster performance than using 160MHz but where some of the subcarrier bands have a lot of interference or reduced signal level (can be affected by router placement, materials your walls are made of, etc..)

5. Getting faster PHY speeds (by using a 160MHz channel) might not translate to better throughput. As explained, DFS/TPC accommodations and other factors can actually cause reduced performance. Selecting the best band to use and bandwidth is trial and error.

6. Don't believe the marketing and even some of the reviews you see online. Unless you're literally sitting on top of the router, you're not likely to get speeds that exceed the 700Mbit in real-world testing (most devices can do about 300-700Mbit on a good signal), obviously you need an Internet connection that supports these speeds. In the real world (not in a lab or isolated and optimized Iperf3 testing), there are tons of factors affecting total performance.

Bottom line, if your router works in a stable way, and allows you to take advantage of your Internet speed - there's no need to 'tweak' it.

One more thing - the 6 GHz band supported on current 6E equipment hardly justifies the expense. First, there are hardly any devices that support WiFi 6E. Second, the 6 GHz band is limited in power so while it can provide faster speeds, it's also shorter range.
Unless you live in an area where the 5G utilization is high (a lot of interference from surrounding routers), or circumstances force you to use DFS channels (and get constant recals due to radar interference), and you need WiFi speeds of above 600 Mbit - you're much better off holding off for WiFi 7 (expected sometimes in 2024).
 
Last edited:

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
Saw this under the wireless log for the 5Ghz-2 radio near the end of the log. I see mention of 160Mhz. Not sure what any of that means.

SSID: "WackyCards"
noise: -91 dBm Channel: 3
BSSID: 3C:7C:3F:65:A0:30 Capability: ESS ShortSlot RRM
Supported Rates: [ 1(b) 2(b) 5.5(b) 6 9 11(b) 12 18 24 36 48 54 ]
HE Capable:
Chanspec: 2.4GHz channel 3 20MHz (0x1003)
Primary channel: 3
HT Capabilities: 40Mhz SGI20 SGI40
Supported HT MCS : 0-15
Supported VHT MCS:
NSS1 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
NSS2 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
Supported HE MCS:
80 Mhz:
NSS1 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
NSS2 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11

Interference Level: Acceptable
Mode : AP Only

Stations List
----------------------------------------
idx MAC Associated Authorized RSSI PHY PSM SGI STBC MUBF NSS BW Tx rate Rx rate Connect Time
18:B4:30:E9:B5:92 Yes Yes -59dBm n No Yes No No 2 20M 144.4M 144.4M 00:14:50
F8:D0:27:40:FC:8A Yes Yes -60dBm n Yes Yes No No 1 20M 65M 24M 00:14:54

SSID: "WackyCards"
noise: -88 dBm Channel: 36/80
BSSID: 3C:7C:3F:65:A0:34 Capability: ESS RRM
Supported Rates: [ 6(b) 9 12 18 24(b) 36 48 54 ]
HE Capable:
Chanspec: 5GHz channel 42 80MHz (0xe02a)
Primary channel: 36
HT Capabilities: 40Mhz SGI20 SGI40
Supported HT MCS : 0-15
Supported VHT MCS:
NSS1 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
NSS2 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
Supported HE MCS:
80 Mhz:
NSS1 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
NSS2 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11

Interference Level: Acceptable
Mode : AP Only

DFS status: state IDLE time elapsed 0ms radar channel cleared by DFS none

Channel Information
----------------------------------------
Channel 36 A Band
Channel 40 A Band
Channel 44 A Band
Channel 48 A Band

Stations List
----------------------------------------
idx MAC Associated Authorized RSSI PHY PSM SGI STBC MUBF NSS BW Tx rate Rx rate Connect Time
18:B4:30:C8:A4:D6 Yes Yes -64dBm n Yes Yes No No 1 20M 65M 72.2M 00:00:42
7C:D9:5C:23:54:E9 Yes Yes -68dBm ac No Yes No No 1 80M 351M 351M 00:14:51
64:BC:0C:82:B1:8A Yes Yes -79dBm ac Yes Yes Yes No 2 80M 390M 6M 00:33:13

SSID: "WackyCards-5G2"
noise: -88 dBm Channel: 149/80
BSSID: 3C:7C:3F:65:A0:38 Capability: ESS RRM
Supported Rates: [ 6(b) 9 12 18 24(b) 36 48 54 ]
HE Capable:
Chanspec: 5GHz channel 155 80MHz (0xe09b)
Primary channel: 149
HT Capabilities: 40Mhz SGI20 SGI40
Supported HT MCS : 0-31
Supported VHT MCS:
NSS1 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
NSS2 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
NSS3 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
NSS4 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
Supported HE MCS:
80 Mhz:
NSS1 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
NSS2 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
NSS3 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
NSS4 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
160 Mhz:
NSS1 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
NSS2 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
NSS3 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11
NSS4 Tx: 0-11 Rx: 0-11

Interference Level: Acceptable
Mode : AP Only

DFS status: state IDLE time elapsed 0ms radar channel cleared by DFS none

Channel Information
----------------------------------------
Channel 100 A Band, RADAR Sensitive, Passive
Channel 104 A Band, RADAR Sensitive, Passive
Channel 108 A Band, RADAR Sensitive, Passive
Channel 112 A Band, RADAR Sensitive, Passive
Channel 116 A Band, RADAR Sensitive, Passive
Channel 132 A Band, RADAR Sensitive, Passive
Channel 136 A Band, RADAR Sensitive, Passive
Channel 140 A Band, RADAR Sensitive, Passive
Channel 144 A Band, RADAR Sensitive, Passive
Channel 149 A Band
Channel 153 A Band
Channel 157 A Band
Channel 161 A Band
Channel 165 A Band

Stations List
----------------------------------------
idx MAC Associated Authorized RSSI PHY PSM SGI STBC MUBF NSS BW Tx rate Rx rate Connect Time
08:5B:D6:59:65:2D Yes Yes -55dBm ax No Yes Yes Yes 2 80M 1201.0M 1080.9M 00:33:12
OK That appears to confirm that your router doesn't not support the relevant channels for 160MHz operation. So there's nothing you can do other than hope that changes in a future update (or replace it which a different device).
 

Turok

Occasional Visitor
You are correct that you have a WiFi 6 (802.11ax) Mesh system.

A cople of things to clarify:
1. WiFi 6 allows the use of 160MHz channel width on the 5G radio, but it's far from the only differentiator making WiFi 6 superior. /
WiFi 6 has better handling of multiple client load (OFDMA+ Download MU-MIMO) and it supports better power saving on mobile devices (TWT). It also supports better security (WPA3) and better performance (higher throughput at a given signal level compared to WiFi 5).

2. With current restrictions, the only way to use a 160 MHz contiguously in the US/Canada is by aggregating 5G bands 36 (5180 MHz) through band 64 (5230MHz), where bands 50-64 require using DFS/TPC - this means your router constantly scans for weather radar on these higher channels and reduces power or drops channels to avoid interference to the radar channel - this can cause dropping to 80MHz.
If you are able to toggle 160MHz in the settings but the radio uses the higher bands, it will switch to 80MHz+80MHz mode.

In the US (not Canada), the addition of bands 167-177 recently adds a 2nd 160MHz (bands 149-177) but I haven't heard of any device that uses these new bands.

3. Your router should support 160 MHz band on at least one of the 5 GHz radios - it's possible it's doing that for the backhaul radio. Since I'm not fully familiar with your model, I'm not sure if switching to a wired backhaul would release that radio for clients.
If you're not seeing that option in the GUI (and assuming it's not a weird restriction for your specific model in Canada) try to facotry reset your system - ensure you enable 802.11ax in the setup wizard and set your 5G operation mode to N/AC/AX mixed, manually set the channel to the lower bands (don't use 'Auto') *** BUT BEFORE YOU DO ALL THAT READ THE COMMENTS BELOW **

4. Using 160MHz is theoretically faster than 80MHz but there are so many other variables that can affect performance. For example, clean 80MHz bands (better RSSI, SNR) can result in faster performance than using 160MHz but where some of the subcarrier bands have a lot of interference or reduced signal level (can be affected by router placement, materials your walls are made of, etc..)

5. Getting faster PHY speeds (by using a 160MHz channel) might not translate to better throughput. As explained, DFS/TPC accommodations and other factors can actually cause reduced performance. Selecting the best band to use and bandwidth is trial and error.

6. Don't believe the marketing and even some of the reviews you see online. Unless you're literally sitting on top of the router, you're not likely to get speeds that exceed the 700Mbit in real-world testing (most devices can do about 300-700Mbit on a good signal), obviously you need an Internet connection that supports these speeds. In the real world (not in a lab or isolated and optimized Iperf3 testing), there are tons of factors affecting total performance.

Bottom line, if your router works in a stable way, and allows you to take advantage of your Internet speed - there's no need to 'tweak' it.

One more thing - the 6 GHz band supported on current 6E equipment hardly justifies the expense. First, there are hardly any devices that support WiFi 6E. Second, the 6 GHz band is limited in power so while it can provide faster speeds, it's also shorter range.
Unless you live in an area where the 5G utilization is high (a lot of interference from surrounding routers), or circumstances force you to use DFS channels (and get constant recals due to radar interference), and you need WiFi speeds of above 600 Mbit - you're much better off holding off for WiFi 7 (expected sometimes in 2024).
First of all thank you for the detailed reply and all this information really appreciate it.

I might try the factory reset and changing the operation mode to the mixed mode you suggested. I changed to wired backhaul to free up the 5Ghz-2 band (Previously the wireless backhaul) so I could use my handful of WIFI 6 devices on that band to take advantage of the 160Mhz.
 

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