In today’s world, Internet connectivity serves as the backbone for millions of peoples’ daily work activities, as well as their entertainment at home and on the road. Not only does connectivity support our regular routines, but connectivity also serves as the foundation for modern smart homes, with the router sitting at the heart of the home network. And now, thanks to the introduction of the Wi-Fi 6 standard, the humble network router provides better connectivity than ever before (provided it’s Wi-Fi 6 enabled).
As per the Wi-Fi Alliance the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 program is based on the IEEE 802.11ax standard and is designed to increase network capacity, efficiency, coverage, and overall performance in more demanding environments. There’s also WiFi 6E, which is essentially a more evolved version of WiFi 6 that adds the 6 GHz frequency band to the standard’s connectivity capabilities. It also delivers greater capacity for improved network performance to support more wireless network users in environments that include densely congested areas.
Looking further ahead, there’s another format on the horizon: WiFi 7, also known as IEEE 802.11be Extremely High Throughput (EHT) and it utilizes all three bands (2.4GHz, 5GHz and 6GHz) to maximum connectivity across the available frequency spectrums. TP-Link points out the WiFi 7 format introduces specifications that includes 320 MHz ultra-wide bandwidth, 4096-QAM, Multi-RU, and Multi-Link Operation to enable the format to deliver speeds up to 4.8 times faster than WiFi 6 to produce data rates as high as 46Gbps.
The Latest Wi-Fi 6 Routers
Taking a closer look at some of the latest routers that are available through the custom integration and retail markets, here are 11 products that can be deployed to improve wireless home networking performance:
Access Networks is a company that offers custom designed, high-performance, commercial-grade networks through an authorized network of residential electronics dealers. The Core system is available in a range of configurations that includes components such as the company’s ARCC Cloud-based Controller, a Ruckus wireless access point, an ANX 7150 Primary Network Switch, a Sophos XGS Firewall (router), and the system is backed by Access Networks remote monitoring.
Snap One is a go-to brand for residential electronics integrators. The Araknis Networks’ 110-Series Single-WAN Gigabit Router features a single WAN port and a pair of Gigabit LAN ports. The router is supported by the company’s OvrC remote monitoring platform, and it provides features that include PPTP and OpenVPN for remote access capabilities.
This router, which is available from the retail channels for less than $100, can deliver combined network speeds up to 4.8Gbps. D-Link states the router allows users to connect more devices in dense networking environments without compromising performance. Designed for smart home applications, D-Link adds that homeowners can use the AX4800 to simultaneously access as many as six 4K streams to support a range of activities.
Pre-loaded with Wi-Fi 7 technologies, the eero product features mesh networking technologies, and the brand emphasizes the system can be purchased in one-, two- or three-pack system configurations. The system delivers wired network speeds as fast as 9.4Gbps and wireless speeds up to 4.3Gbps. The system supports more than 200 connected devices and it covers up to 7,500-square feet.
This business-grade solution offers cloud-based management for more robust network applications. EnGenius points out the product provides dual-WAN 2.5GbE and dual-LAN 2.5BbE connectivity, and features such as built-in load balancing. Other features include a high-throughput firewall, self-healing auto VPN, passthrough options for connection into existing networks, and 2.5GbE+ to power Wi-Fi 6E access points, IP cameras and other components.
Perftech is new to the networking market and its Island Router takes a different approach from its competition. Internally, the Island Router features a quad-core 64-bit Intel 1.8GHz processor, along with 4GBs of dual-channel, error-correcting 72-bit RAM, and 64GB of flash storage. The router offers users four 1Gb Ethernet ports, and the unit works with Wi-Fi and mesh systems in AP/bridge mode. The unit manages up to 5,000 devices, and it is both IPv4 and IPv6 enabled.
This retail-level router features Wi-Fi 6 technologies with the ability to cover as much as 1,700-square feet. According to Linksys, the MR7350 can support more than 25 devices and speeds as fast as 1.8Gbps. The router also offers features such as automatic updates, parental controls, and setup and control via Linksys’ companion app.
The EPIC 3 incorporates the brand’s 4×4 MU-MIMO Wave 2 technology and gigabit wired WAN to LAN speeds. Luxul also points out the wireless router features its ProWatch+ technologies to enhance the performance of its wireless connectivity and remote management capabilities. The Legrand brand adds the EPIC 3 offers users its Roam Assist technologies to support the addition of two or more access points.
The AXE7800 router features Wi-Fi 6E technologies, and the product can cover as much as 2,500-square feet of space. Through its tri-band technologies, NETGEAR points out the Nighthawk AXE7800 supports activities such as gaming, 4K video streaming and work from home (WFH). The router also offers six LAN ports, and it is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
The desktop firewall incorporates a Wi-Fi access point with 4×4 MIMO technologies. According to Ubiquiti, the Dream Machine supports network speeds up to 1Gbps and it delivers Internet throughput speeds up to 700 Mbps. Some of the other features of the router include a built-in 4-port switch with two PoE ports, and it supports two UniFi applications for central device management.
WhyReboot is a networking company that specifies custom designed networks, and it backs these systems with its Cumulus cloud-based support. As part of its system design process the company employs Ruckus access points, including the Wi-Fi 6 certified R650 AP and the R750 AP. The company also utilizes Ruckus ICX network switches, and Fortinet firewalls.
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