WiFi 6 wireless routers with WiFi 5 devices?

JoseJones

Gawd
Joined
Jun 6, 2012
Messages
597
Will wifi 5 devices work any better with a wifi 6 wireless router? Are there any benefits of updating to a wifi 6 router if all of your devices are still wifi 5? Apparently, no but, will the beam-forming thing work at least for a more reliable connection? It just doesn't seem like there are any benefits to upgrading to a WiFi 6 wireless router with wifi 5 devices.

"You'll need both a Wi-Fi 6 router and Wi-Fi 6 devices like those in order to reap the full benefits of 802.11ax, but if you go ahead and get that fancy new router, your older devices will still work like normal. The rub is that they won't be much faster, if at all -- Wi-Fi 6 supports previous-gen 802.11 devices, but it can't do much to speed them up."

https://www.cnet.com/news/wi-fi-6-and-what-it-means-for-you-wifi-routers/

This one is on sale at Best Buy right now for $159:

- OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access)
- Beamforming: standard-based and universal
- 1024-QAM high data rate
- 20/40/80/160 MHz bandwidth

ASUS RT-AX58U AX3000 Dual Band WiFi 6
https://www.asus.com/us/Networking/RT-AX58U/


Would love to see a video comparison test with wifi 5 devices to see if there would be any improvements at all.
 

IdiotInCharge

[H]ardForum Junkie
Joined
Jun 13, 2003
Messages
13,243
If / when you need a new access point, get one with WiFi 6, but there doesn't appear to be anything that will improve performance of WiFi 5 devices.

The possible exception could be WiFi 6 devices being built to a higher hardware standard, which could help, but likely won't help enough to warrant upgrading.


To me, the bigger issue is WPA3, really, and we haven't heard much about that either. When that's more broadly available I'll look into replacing my Unifi UAP-AC-Pro.
 

Shikami

Gawd
Joined
Apr 5, 2010
Messages
688
Will wifi 5 devices work any better with a wifi 6 wireless router?
You may only get a little performance difference due to core logics and architectural "upgrades." Sometimes better amplifiers and minor code improvement with the kernel, but some of it is moot due to accelerated packet processing hardware.

It is not time to upgrade really due to the WF6 routers not being ratified, and not fully compliant; but also very misleading in what they support, and will support with the ratification. Smallnetbuilder (https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/) has a good write up on WF6 routers. For example, some of the routers will never support 160MHz, and that means it is completely asinine to purchase a WF6 router that doesn't. It will be more expensive to purchase a 160MHz supporting router (hate saying that) but not worth the upgrade, IMO, if it doesn't. It is best to wait unless you need to replace.

I've been wanting/waiting to replace my R7000 (with third party firmware) for a while. It has been running since 2013, its immediate release, and looking forward to a worthy upgrade. But it just isnt the time....oh and the cost is really ridiculous that they want to charge now. I rather upgrade my pfSense router hardware than buy a $300-$x00 Wi-Fi 6 router for 1MB/s more.
 

IdiotInCharge

[H]ardForum Junkie
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I've been wanting/waiting to replace my R7000 (with third party firmware) for a while. It has been running since 2013, its immediate release, and looking forward to a worthy upgrade. But it just isnt the time....oh and the cost is really ridiculous that they want to charge now. I rather upgrade my pfSense router hardware than buy a $300-$x00 Wi-Fi 6 router for 1MB/s more.
If you're running pfSense... just buy access points?
 

OFaceSIG

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 31, 2009
Messages
2,187
I've been wanting/waiting to replace my R7000 (with third party firmware) for a while. It has been running since 2013, its immediate release, and looking forward to a worthy upgrade. But it just isnt the time....oh and the cost is really ridiculous that they want to charge now. I rather upgrade my pfSense router hardware than buy a $300-$x00 Wi-Fi 6 router for 1MB/s more.
Pfsense requires very modest hardware to get it's job done. I have an ancient low power Ivy Bridge dual core running mine and it runs like a top even with a home brew VPN running as well.

Unless you're consistantly pushing gigabit in or out, you don't need a ton of horsepower to get it done with pfsence.
 

Shikami

Gawd
Joined
Apr 5, 2010
Messages
688
If you're running pfSense... just buy access points?
Sometimes you need a little more, or would like the options that the device may have for your own deployment or for pass-on-downs. Switch, bridging, backup router, etc.



Unless you're consistantly pushing gigabit in or out, you don't need a ton of horsepower to get it done with pfsence.
Oh, I am very familiar with horsepower and PPS. I was very lucky to get a A4-5000 mini ITX (QC5000-ITX/PH) and i350-T2 that fit the budget and have not looked back at all. I wanted a silent fanless configuration and been very pleased for the past 4 years with my purchases. I always look for an opportune moment to upgrade when it presents itself for my local and wide networking performance. One thing that I am lucky with for now is that I do have FTTH. Technically, I would say fiber to the PC; the ONT is, right here, on the desk.
 

IdiotInCharge

[H]ardForum Junkie
Joined
Jun 13, 2003
Messages
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Sometimes you need a little more, or would like the options that the device may have for your own deployment or for pass-on-downs. Switch, bridging, backup router, etc.
If price or say size / power are issues, I do get that; however, I've gotten to the point where I prefer the flexibility from discrete network components, as well as the update frequency that for consumer products is typically... lacking.
 

TLoki

n00b
Joined
Jan 19, 2015
Messages
11
Wifi 6 improves range and data speed but you need have WiFi 6 devices to get the full useful in it. It is best to wait out until you really need it.
 
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