The first 802.11ax routers were unveiled a Computex 2018, before the WiFi Alliance decided to use a new consumer-friendly naming scheme and rename 802.11n to WiFi 4, 802.11ac to WiFi 5, and 802.11ax to WiFi 6, and then WiFi 6 routers launched later that year from companies such as ASUS and TP-Link with price starting at $350.
Prices have now come down with for example TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 smart WiFi router going for $142.99 plus shipping on Amazon, and Xiaomi has now launched their own WiFi 6 router with Xiaomi AIoT Router AX3600 offered for $135 including shipping on Aliexpress. Price may soon come down further as the router is sold for just 599 CNY, or about $86 US, in China excluding shipping. Note that with the Coronavirus outbreak, shipping may be delayed.
Xiaomi AIoT Router AX3600 specifications:
- SoC – Qualcomm IPQ8071A quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 @ 1.0 GHz CPU with dual-core NPU (Network Processing Unit) @ 1.7 GHz
- System Memory – 512MB RAM
- Storage – 256MB flash
- IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax
- Wi-Fi 2×2 (802.11ax up to 574Mbps)
- Channels: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
- Wi-Fi 4×4 (802.11ax up to 2402Mbps)
- Channels: 36, 40, 44, 48, 149, 153, 157, 161, 165
- Antennas – 6x external high-gain antennas + 1 external AIoT antenna
- Security – WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK, WPA3-SAE
- 1x Gigabit Ethernet WAN port
- 3x Gigabit Ethernet LAN port
- Misc – 7x LED’s (1x SYSTEM, 1x INTERNET, 4x Ethernet status, 1xAIoT status ); 1x reset button
- Power Supply – 12V/2A
- Dimensions – 410 x 177 x 134 mm including antennas as shown below.
The router runs a customized version of OpenWrt called “MiWiFi ROM”, and can be configured via a web interface, or Mi Wi-Fi mobile app for Android or iOS. Apart from the higher throughput, another advantage of 802.11ax WiFi 6 is better handling of high-density scenarios with the average throughput per user improved by a factor of at least 4 times when many users are connected to the router.