WiFi 6e has been one of many large speaking factors of this yr’s CES. For the uninitiated, Wifi 6e marks a change in wi-fi networking that we’ve solely seen as soon as earlier than: using an entire new band — 6GHz on prime of 5GHz and the previous devoted (however ridiculously congested) 2.4GHz.
Should you’re considering “I assumed we had that already”, don’t be fooled — Wifi 6 has been round for some time now, and though it makes use of the identical know-how, solely Wifi 6e really utilises the brand new band. It’s value noting that many international locations have but to license this a part of the spectrum, although the WiFi Alliance, which not too long ago launched a Wifi 6e certification program, says the USA, UK, Europe, Chile, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates have already opened 6GHz, with many different international locations within the means of clearing it to be used.
It’s additionally value remembering that though Wifi 6e/6GHz has greater than twice the throughput of 5GHz, ‘the star that burns twice as vivid burns half as lengthy’ — or to place it merely — alerts can’t journey as far, so that you’re extra more likely to want mesh nodes in a bigger residence or enterprise. Oh — and yet another factor — in case your gadgets aren’t WiFi 6e enabled, having a WiFi 6e router gained’t make an enormous distinction to you, but — however it would futureproof your community for years to come back.
With all that squared away, listed here are the WiFi 6e routers which were introduced this week throughout CES 2021. The place doable we’ve included pricing and availability, however this know-how is so bleeding edge, in lots of instances that information gained’t be accessible but.
As you’d anticipate from an organization that concentrates its efforts on networking, Netgear has wasted no time in getting in on the WiFi 6e motion. Its first providing is the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 with its “Mandalorian spaceship” aesthetic. It provides a quad-core 1.8GHz processor, 5x gigabit ports, 2x USB 3.0 ports, and a daring promise of as much as 10.8Gbps switch speeds on supported gadgets. In whole it might probably provide 12 streams — 4 on every of the three bandwidths, and the choice of Netgear Armor cybersecurity developed alongside BitDefender. There’s no set date for this one past ‘Spring 2021’, however the pricing has been set at a not-unsubstantial $599.
There’s no information of any WiFi 6e mesh merchandise within the common Netgear Orbi vary, however we’d anticipate they gained’t be too far-off.
TP-Hyperlink goes all-in on WiFi 6e with routers in each its Deco mesh and stalwart Archer ranges. Beginning with the Deco vary, TP-Hyperlink is boasting speeds as much as 7800Mbps from its Deco X96 whole-home system, which additionally provides a stronger backhaul which improves protection, pace, and vary. As with all the brand new gadgets, TP-Hyperlink is providing its newly launched HomeShield service, becoming a member of the development for IoT-focused whole-network safety merchandise. The Deco X76 Plus isn’t fairly as speedy, providing 5400Mbps speeds, however that ‘Plus’ refers to its onboard good residence hub, which helps a variety of merchandise from TP-Hyperlink and third events, in addition to supporting Zigbee. As identified by The Verge, although, you possibly can’t really join your WiFi 6E devices over 6GHz to both of those Deco mesh routers since they use 6GHz to speak with one another and never shopper gadgets.
Should you do wish to join your WiFi 6E system over 6GHz WiFi, then you definitely’ll be keen on TP-Hyperlink’s upcoming non-mesh routers within the Archer vary. The flagship Archer vary introduces the Archer AX96, which provides the upper 7800 Mbps throughput, and helps the TP-Hyperlink OneMesh protocol. However the big-router-on-campus is the Archer AX206 which provides wifi speeds as much as 10Gbps, flanked by a few of the most spectacular ethernet choices we’ve ever seen — a 10Gbps WAN/LAN SFP+ port and a second 10Gbps WAN/LAN port. TP-Hyperlink says its mixture of OFDMA and UL/DL MU-MIMO eradicates latency and permits extra gadgets to coexist comfortably on the house community.
TP-Hyperlink is being much more cagey on pricing and availability, merely stating that they’ll be accessible throughout 2021. We’ll preserve you up to date.
Linksys has launched the AXE8400 at CES, a whole-home mesh system powered by the Qualcomm Networking Professional 1210 platform. It’s absolutely suitable with earlier merchandise within the vary, although you gained’t really feel the profit if you happen to’re linked to a non-6e node. Linksys says the AXE8400 can comfortably enable greater than 65 gadgets sharing the identical bandwidth, plus the bottom unit provides 4x gigabit ethernet ports, and a USB 3.0 connector too. Every node is able to protecting as much as 3000 sq. ft, although we’d enterprise that may drop fairly considerably in real-world conditions. TP-Hyperlink is committing to Spring/Summer time 2021 for a US launch, with the remainder of the world to observe later within the yr. Pricing is ready at $449.99 for a single node, $849.99 for two, or $1199.99 for 3.
Regardless of being final on this record, ASUS stakes a declare to being the primary to launch a WiFi 6e router within the type of the ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000. Developed in affiliation with Skyworks, it helps speeds as much as 11Gbps (the quickest on the record). It provides near-identical specs to the GT-AX11000 introduced final yr, nevertheless it provides entry to the 6GHz spectrum. There’s a 1.8GHz quad-core processor with 4 gigabit LAN ports, a gigabit WAN port, and a 2.5Gbps multi-gig LAN/WAN port. In contrast to the others, the GT-AXE11000 might be accessible on the finish of January for $549.99, making it the one system on our record already on pre-order.
The place are the remaining?
There’s a few notable omissions from this record. Though D-Hyperlink introduced a number of new fashions at CES, all of them prime out at dual-band WiFi 6. We might even see WiFi 6e gadgets from them later within the yr, however that is one firm that has determined to not play its hand but. Equally, Ubiquiti has made no point out of WiFi 6e but, although we’d anticipate that, too, is just a matter of time. Lastly, though Xiaomi has introduced a WiFi 6e router, we’ve not included it right here because it doesn’t use the total advantages of WiFi 6e and is presently solely accessible in China, (the place 6GHz isn’t carved out for WiFi 6E but anyway, weirdly).
As you possibly can see, with so many specs and launch dates lacking, WiFi 6e remains to be very a lot in its infancy. With only a few gadgets really able to utilizing the 6GHz frequency as of but and a particular sense of “early adopter pricing” in operation, these merchandise aren’t going to be of most profit to most customers proper now. Although if you happen to’re in search of an improve as soon as they hit retail, they’re nonetheless value contemplating to futureproof your community.