Will WIFI 6 routers work with 2017 iMac?

gogreen1

Regular Contributor
I hate to ask dumb questions, but will wifi 6 routers work with a 2017 iMac and a 2017 MacBook Air?

And if an RT-ax86u or ax3000 were my main router, would each pair with an rt-ac68u in an aimesh network?

Thanks.
 

heysoundude

Part of the Furniture
yes and yes.

the v386 firmware needs to be flashed to both router and node, be it factory or the Merlin version (it'll come on the newer model, but you'll have to flash the venerable ac68 with the new version).
You, being the cautious researching kind, can make the decision about which is a better fit for you in the firmware dept, but Merlin has scripts you can add on easily to extend functionality to nice places. I'm a fan of unbound (to make your router your network's DNS server, to keep your lookups out of the hands of big data, aka Alphabet/Google and/or CloudFlare, as well as to institute network level ad blocking), cake for a really smooth and easy QoS functionality (to prevent your network's works from getting gummed up by devices fighting over/trying to hog bandwidth - not so much an issue if you've got a 1Gbps connection) and scMerlin to keep your ISP honest on speeds.

make sure the ac68 node connects via ethernet backhaul to whichever master router you choose (rather than wirelessly) and you'll be golden, and a little future-proof. (wifi6e is coming...yes, e for extended.)
 

gogreen1

Regular Contributor
Thanks, heysoundude. I'd probably have to connect the ac68 node via wifi. Is that a no-no?
 

heysoundude

Part of the Furniture
No, but you may have config/stability issues. trust me, cabled is truly the way to go for a stable network.
If it's a matter of not knowing how to get cables through walls, hiring an electrician to do it will be worth it...but you should spend some time on YouTube to get some ideas about how to do it yourself - it's not as tough (usually) as you might think.
 

gogreen1

Regular Contributor
Thanks, heysoundude. When I do upgrade, it'll be either with the AX86u or the AX3000. One of these alone might be enough to cover my whole house (one floor) well. My main concern was whether my aging iMac and MBA would work OK with a wifi 6 router. I could just save my AC68u as a backup.
 

bluzfanmr1

Senior Member
My main concern was whether my aging iMac and MBA would work OK with a wifi 6 router.

@gogreen1 if you look in your "System Information", click "Wi-Fi" on the left pane, then look at "Supported PHY Modes" you will see what your hardware supports. Here is what my 2019 MacBook Air supports:

Supported PHY Modes: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac

Your machines would work with the routers other modes but I don't think they would support AX mode.
 

gogreen1

Regular Contributor
So when I use these machines with an AX router, they would still work by defaulting to AC?
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture

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