What's new

WiFi 6 was not worth it for me ~ Journey of WiFi 6 AiMesh back to WiFi 5 UniFi ~

  • SNBForums Code of Conduct

    SNBForums is a community for everyone, no matter what their level of experience.

    Please be tolerant and patient of others, especially newcomers. We are all here to share and learn!

    The rules are simple: Be patient, be nice, be helpful or be gone!


Thank you very much for thorough information/sharing of your professional experience. I like the step by step progression/evolution of the home network. It's really entertaining to read (yes I'm a geek).

I must have come across wrong way. I actually do agree with your points and internally, I actually do not feel we contradict in anyway. My whole point of this little write up was to share my experience to those who are thinking like I was. The latest technology (WiFi 6) is ALWAYS better than older technology WiFi 5. Another point, I really learned during this whole process is throughput is the easiest number regular consumers including myself can conceptually understand, but not necessary equates to the daily experience. To me stability is #1 factor after going through multiple iteration of this process, and perhaps your latency equates/dictates stability. Because I finally understood that or knew it all the time, but finally accepted, I moved on to UniFi (or could have been any other well built WiFi 5 system).

Strangely, webpage loads faster and instantly on UniFi even on the area with slower throughput measure than my former AiMesh. So I guess it’s better latency but Ax11000 was gaming router so I assumed it had really good latency (maybe I had to turn something on).

But I needed some evidence. In network world, I think the evidence based practice is somewhat harder because home environment/requirements are so different. As I could never get numbers that I see on web, especially super high numbers, or numbers I see are ones that bottlenecked by ISP, so I decided to conduct my own in my home, so I know it applies to me.

The 5ft (next to router test) is for me to see the peak performance/throughput. It is the number many talks about. But again, I do agree it shouldn't be the number we care the most, but I cannot let it go!! On the validity of this type of test for those who do, including me, in my opinion is it is indeed the max practical throughput you can achieve. Imagine when one really needs more than let's say 30-50 Mbps. It's when we are transferring large files/data. Not during video streaming, music streaming, game playing. So 200 vs. 700 Mbps in a single client device, do we care? No. most of time we just don't. It's just number. But again if you are going off by the number, you might as well look at the largest. But besides that if one is transferring large file, it is reasonable to think come close to access point and try to get near max speed for that short period of time than trying to download large file in backyard.

So for me practical measurement would be:
1. Peak Performance - Next to each router/AP
2. Midrange Performance - X ft (this is really depends on the person's home) but probably 15-30 ft
3. Extreme range performance - Corner to corner of the home or yard i.e. wherever user plan to use the WiFi.

If I can stream 4K video, Plex flawlessly, it suffice for me to consider my daily use demand is met. For this, we need 25-50 Mbps at most. In fact, with mobile device like cell phone, I don't think 4K video is even needed so considering that, we are probably looking 10-20 Mbps.

Then, self satisfaction of seeing big number, we have the peak performance measurement. I know nobody but I care about the number in my family...

With my AX equipped laptop, the performance average in their home was close to 750Mbps when the routers were set to 160MHz channel width (about two dozen measurements in 6 regular 'living areas'. The kids noticed that their shows (two or three streams) kept playing while I was doing 'my' tests too.

It's cool that you are using 160 MHz, and its amazing AVERAGE performance is 750 Mbps, not peak/close distance performance. Having said that, the number is still not beyond what I expected and I was more surprised to learn myself WiFi 5 can get that speed. On my Unifi AP, I get 800 Mbps with my MBP 15'' 2016, which has 3x3 MIMO but its WiFi 5. I won't deny WiFi 6 has performance gain, I measured 30% at 80 MHz, Intel claims 40% at 160 MHz. But practical gain I measured (I just didn't post on this forum), 15 ft next room, was 13 %, which is inline with Duckware's claim of 10% practical speed performance gain on WiFi 6. Basically, I am convinced (at least myself) worst case I lose is 10% performance on one device in my home for now if I were to search for new network system that was not WiFi 6. Then I came up with hypothesis/excuse to hunt for new network system. The hypothesis was AiMesh efficiency ranged 50-60% but we all know reported efficiency of network system due to overheads as you said are usually 50-70% so what if I could find stable, WiFi 5 system that is 60-70% efficient. That can actually close the gap of WiFi 6 connection. But not only that, it will actually boost all but one WiFI 6 client in my home network to see the speed boost. This is how I started searching for WiFi5 network system. It just turned out UniFi here.

I almost never test at 'next to router' distances as most installations will never be used like that anyway, not to mention that the results are not indicative of what the router and/or client device are really capable of, real-world. This test is usually deceiving as most older routers show much better results 'up close' but usually have the worse performance at normal/greater ranges than newer routers do. I believe (and I agree) that newer routers are built and designed to give the best-balanced performance, and not just 'wow' numbers at unrealistic distances to the detriment of the rest. At least the RMerlin powered Asus routers I work with.

Again, I do agree. Peak performance is just one measure. In fact, following a extract from my actual write up on my home page.

"Although 30% gain sounds decent, this test is not the best reflection of the real world use case scenario for the most because the majority of my Wifi use happens not next to the router but rather a bit away from it.

This is why I conducted the second test using iPhone 11 Pro and iPad Pro 11”. The test speed test were performed in the room next to where the router is and in between there is a wall. Once again, both are 2×2 MIMO devices with iPhone 11 Pro being WiFi 6 and the iPad Pro 11” being WiFi 5 device."

I just didn't put this part in here.

The main limitation of my test are twofolds in my opinion.

1. 2.4 GHz band: I didn't test this at all. Because with AiMesh setup at my home, this was conundrum and so unstable, I really didn't care (hence I got to 4 nodes for 3800 sqft) to get 5GHz coverage most of home. But I didn't know the issue until recently with UniFi 2.4 GHz band actually working. Also 2.4 GHz is the band according to SNB where WiFi6 currently shines.
2. Multi-device throughput: WiFi 6 sales point is indeed multiple device.

I am not sold on today's so-called 'TriBand' routers for use as wireless AP's/AiMesh nodes for the results stated above. Not only do they pollute the RF bands needlessly, but they also do so without giving the results they should either (in most cases).

This is interesting topic of discussion on its own. Again, part of me say 3 is better than 2! But in reality, I never used the third band on my AiMesh setup because AiMesh did not allow the band to be part of smart connect. I tried to use it for separate SSID for forced 5 GHz network, but it didn't have expected performance (though I didn't tweak much other than activating it). Having said this, I think for the wireless mesh the third band can substantially improve throughout so long as it is stable.

Thank you for interesting reads!!!
Last edited:
OP, I suggest you try testing any client with an Intel AX200 chipset (wifi 6 2x2). I have such a PCI card fitted in my desktop PC (TP Link TX3000E) - PC is upstairs and router (Netgear RAX200) is downstairs. The TP Link wifi 6 card connects at the full 2.4 Gbps to the router with real world throughput of around 1 Gbps. No way on earth would i be getting that over wifi 5.

I don't doubt it. The key here is though I DO NOT have AX200 chipset client. Only Wifi 6 client I got is iPhone Pro 11. My laptop is WiFi 5 MBP but it has 3x3 MIMO so in close proximity it can give me 800 Mbps on WiFi, which is good enough to satisfy my passion. But yes, I don't mean to generalize all Wifi 6 vs. WiFi 5. In fact, I actually saw 30% speed gain on Wifi 6 connected iPhone 11 Pro when connected to Ax11000 router. But somehow it wasn't as big jump as I thought. But in reality this was my ignorance, after understanding how PHY works, it make sense, it is only 40% is what Intel was really claiming (should have read fine-rings). I am pretty sure standalone Asus Ax11000 would have also performed better, but that won't be my real world setup.

For those who got happy Wifi 6 setup, stick with it! I envy you. I still want to have the WiFi 6 or AX title. I like theoretical 4800+ Mbps connection. But I just found UniFi is releasing WiFi 6 AP soon, so I might grab one.
@Tech Focus, you should begin to ignore any handheld device measurements. Even AX equipped ones. Those devices are made to deliver long battery life, not peak performance. :)

(This forum limits responses to 10,000 characters, but it wouldn't post at just over 9K characters previously so I still didn't include my full response before). :)

We both agree that 2.4GHz is meh. Testing for maximum performance at arm's length from the router is not a useful metric. Neither does it give the best throughput either, depending on the client device used. :)

What I see in many customers' homes is that AC class routers work well enough for most ISP connections, but after a certain threshold, AX class routers are superior. That point seems to be above 200 to 300Mbps, depending on the actual WiFi environment and client devices used.

I am acutely aware that it's not just AC vs. AX though. (When comparing RT-AC86U to RT-AX88U), it's not just AC vs. AX though. Double the cores, double the RAM, and a better (cooler, larger, and better antennae, for starters) base mechanical design and upgraded RF components all contribute to a better experience, even if I can't directly explain the 'why' it is so. :)

In normal homes, including my own, AX is the hands-down winner. If that wasn't so in your home, I would suggest starting to learn and playing with settings to get it closer to what I am experiencing. :)

If you look at the RT-AX88U Upgrade link from my previous post (or, in my signature below), that fact is very apparent with AX clients.

Using a 'normal' (Better Battery) option for the AX equipped laptops I had at that time (to better match my personal-use, everyday settings) the increase in raw performance isn't small. Significantly less latency, almost 2x the throughput, and up to 45' away from the router location at that time. This is a real-world improvement that customers can see and feel. :)

While the AC clients I used don't show as dramatic percentage improvements in latency and throughput as the AX clients did, they were likewise noticeably faster when serving webpages or downloading vs. when using the AC class router that was a better 'match' otherwise.

That testing also showed me that AX200 and AX201 adaptors may have a performance difference between them back then, but it could just be that one was designed for AX class WiFi and the other was just an upgrade (the AX200 equipped laptop) of an older AC class standard. :)

I'll repeat it again here. Location, height, orientation, and antennae placement make a huge difference to a router's performance envelope. As does changing the settings that need to be adjusted (and not changing the settings you shouldn't, too).

The settings are available to be adjusted as needed. Ignoring them and ignoring the need to individually find the best physical setup for the router is why I believe you got the results and then coming to the conclusion you came to.

Happy travels on your router adventures. I'm sure the next upgrade you do will be the best one yet if you can attempt even a few of the above. :)
I can do Gigabit with my 2 RT-AC86U. Router and Bridge. And ~50% cheaper than your RAX200 alone. :p
Since when does an RT-AC86U in bridge mode have the form factor of a desktop PCI card? As for the RT-AC86U being cheaper than the RAX200, thats's hardly a surprise since

a) The RAX200 is a wifi 6 router
b) The RAX200 has 3 radios, not 2 like the RT-AC86U

You're comparing apples with oranges.....
Last edited:
Since, Wifi 5 can do 500+ mbps, that should be plenty for transferring Huge files, although you would want close to gigabit if there were plenty of Big files or you would want to backup an entire Disk.

In that case I see the importance of Wifi 6, but atm it's not mature and very few clients suppport AX.

Note: I have a 500 mbps Internet package at home.
Here are few of my Speed test done on Wifi 5:

1) Speed test on LG G7+ connected to NETGEAR X4s R7800 router (Hall) :


2) Speed test on LG G7+ android phone connected to D-link DIR-882 router (1st room):


I know there is a difference of 5-6 mbps, since now it has to go through the Wifi Extender and then to the router DIR 882 and then reaches my client which is LG G7+ Android phone. At times I feel the D-link DIR 882 is weak link here.

Now this test was a simple NAS (NTFS USB 3.0) Upload test using the AC68U adapter Directly connected to Netgear Nighthawk X4S router in the Hall:

Asus AC68 Transfer.jpg
Last edited:
One thing I didn’t notice mentioned here was with WiFi 6 you also get WPA3 security - except for the RAX80 and a few other routers for some odd reason. Yeah I know you need clients that support it too, but at least your router will be ready as you introduce updated clients.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
OP, I suggest you try testing any client with an Intel AX200 chipset (wifi 6 2x2). I have such a PCI card fitted in my desktop PC (TP Link TX3000E) - PC is upstairs and router (Netgear RAX200) is downstairs. The TP Link wifi 6 card connects at the full 2.4 Gbps to the router with real world throughput of around 1 Gbps. No way on earth would i be getting that over wifi 5.

Umm The R7800 and R900 could easily do 900+ Mbps on HT160 when I benchmarked them.. The R7800 limited by the gigabit connection, I didn't keep the R9000 long enough to test via the SFP+ port to bypabut it could probably go a bit higher. Heck even the RAX80 and RAX120 set to AC/WiFi-5 mode and testing transfers to a Samsung T5 on the routers, I could hit 1120 Mbps sustained, with my Dell 7577 with an AX200/9260AC acting as a client one floor away from test routers. WiFi 6 did give me like at best 10-15% boost on top of that on 5Ghz with the best peak that I've seen only for a few seconds at close to 20%. Real gain is on the 2.4 Ghz where throughput doubles. You definitely can hit over a gigabit with AC on 5Ghz... with the right router & client so I wouldn't say "no way". ;)

My old test results with the Intel AX200:
Last edited:

Latest threads

Sign Up For SNBForums Daily Digest

Get an update of what's new every day delivered to your mailbox. Sign up here!