[SOLVED] How is Intel's Wi-Fi 6E AX210 so good?

ethan206

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So my internet connection is always bad in my room on all my other devices (my iPhone, raspberry pi NAS, old laptops, etc.), but for some reason, my main laptop (Blade 14) can get really good speeds. I average less than 10mbps on my phone and my other devices and even a Wi-Fi extender I placed in my room, but my laptop can get upwards of 150mbps. I find it really weird that it's outperforming a Wi-Fi extender I have placed in my room (TP-LInk AC750-RE230) since that's averaging less than 10mbps too and my laptop is getting nearly 15x that. My laptop uses Intel's Wi-Fi 6E AX210 (160MHz) and my first thought was that it's something to do with Wi-Fi 6/6E, but shortly realized that my router doesn't even support Wi-Fi 6/6E. How is it outperforming my Wi-Fi extender (or is my extender just really bad? it's not like I have it placed in an enclosed space in my room either), and would it make sense to build a mini-PC (like an Intel NUC?) as a Wi-Fi extender/point with Intel's Wi-FI 6E AX210 chip inside? It's fairly cheap at just around $24 and surprisingly costs less than the Wi-Fi extender I paid for (though I would have to spend another $150 or so on a Celeron NUC or something).
 
even if you router doesnt support wifi6 (160mhz), wifi card can still do multiple 20/40MHz connections (mimo) for increased bandwith (for example 4x4 mimo woud use 4 antennas), your wifi card has 2x2 mimo
my android phone can do 4x4 mimo, iphone has 2x2 mimo btw..so it depends...but more antennas you have and wifi is mimo capable, better speeds you get

wifi extenders are slow as they have half bandwith of what they are capable of, it has to split bandwith between source (access point) and host (wifi card)
 
even if you router doesnt support wifi6 (160mhz), wifi card can still do multiple 20/40MHz connections (mimo) for increased bandwith (for example 4x4 mimo woud use 4 antennas), your wifi card has 2x2 mimo
my android phone can do 4x4 mimo, iphone has 2x2 mimo btw..so it depends...but more antennas you have and wifi is mimo capable, better speeds you get

wifi extenders are slow as they have half bandwith of what they are capable of, it has to split bandwith between source (access point) and host (wifi card)
 

ethan206

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wifi extenders are slow as they have half bandwith of what they are capable of, it has to split bandwith between source (access point) and host (wifi card)
ah, so even if I were to set up a Wi-Fi extender using the AX210 on an Intel NUC, I would still be getting half the bandwidth when I actually connect to it? Do you think it would be reasonable since I have fiber in my house but can only reach 900mbps when I'm right next to the router and in my room, I'm getting less than 10mbps, but using a custom "extender" NUC with the Wi-Fi card I could get around 70-150 mbps? Or is there a USB wifi dongle that has the same capabilities as the AX210 (use multiple 20/40MHz connections) and I can just use that to plug in to my other devices?

Also, apparently, my phone (iPhone 11) also supports Wi-Fi 6, yet I'm getting ridiculously low speeds compared to the AX210 chip in my laptop. And if I remember correctly, doesn't Intel provide Apple chips for their Wi-Fi/cellular? How can the two be so far apart, or is it something you mentioned with mimo that allows the AX210 to be much faster?
 
If you places a "extender/repeater" in your room you placed it in the wrong place.

I a machine gets a crappy signal in your room from the main router a repeater will get the same crappy signal from the main router and then repeat the signal degrading it even more. You might get more signal strength but the actual content of the signal would be worse. Think of it this way instead of your router you connect to my router, which of course is to far away. You still get excellent signal levels from the repeater but it does not work at all. A repeater needs to be placed in a area it gets good signal from the main router but can also delever strong signal to the remote room. This is very challenging in some houses where the walls/ceilings absorb the signals.

It does not make a lot of sense that the new card works better. It actually could be slower because the card only supports 2x2 mimo and when force it (because your router is only wifi5) to use 802.11ac it is no better than a card that says it is "1200" this is using 866.7 maximum data encoding rate for 802.11ac with 2x2.

I suspect all wifi6e equipment will get much cheaper, maybe a while with all the chip shortage issues. I am not so sure a wifi6 repeater will be faster. It will be messy since it uses the same radio to talk to the main router as the end device. I don't know if there are restrictions on switching from wifi5 to wifi6 and/or switching to the new 6g band. What might work would be to buy 2 ax210 cards and connect one to the main router using 802.11ac and the second using the full power of wifi6e on the 6g band.

You could also try just plugging a wifi6e device into the main router with a ethernet cable, ie a AP. You are in effect putting wifi6e radios in your router.

Wifi6e has the huge advantage of running 160mhz wide channels without the strange restrictions on weather radar as well as there being so much bandwidth on 6ghz that you can avoid your neighbors. This means weaker signals will still work very well because you are taking fewer errors due to interference. Wifi6/6e also has
the ability to run a in mu-ofdma mode. This cuts the total speed but because it chops the signal into a bunch of very narrow chunks your internal devices also do not interfere as much.

To you main question the ax210 should be worse depending on what you are comparing it to. You can be a adventure and build your own tech and report back to us here if wifi6e really lives up to all the hype. It is so new that you have little real end user experience, just all the fake/paid for commercial reviews. They did the same
with normal wifi6 until it was discovered that most end devices only used 80mhz radio chips and did not actually perform all that much different than 802.11ac.
 

ethan206

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It does not make a lot of sense that the new card works better. It actually could be slower because the card only supports 2x2 mimo and when force it (because your router is only wifi5) to use 802.11ac it is no better than a card that says it is "1200" this is using 866.7 maximum data encoding rate for 802.11ac with 2x2.
Yeah, I don't know either. The problem I have with my Wi-Fi extender being placed in my room is that I have a NAS connected to it via ethernet and I can't really place the NAS + extender set up outside of my room (I also can't plug my NAS directly into the router either since I'm sharing it other people in the house). It's just really odd that I'm able to get that level of performance/speed only from the AX210 chip. Perhaps Wi-Fi 6E does make a huge difference? The only other Wi-Fi 6 device I have is my phone (iPhone 11) and that thing barely reaches 10% of the speeds the AX210 gives from my laptop.

I think I'll try getting an AX210 chip (since they're fairly cheap) and plug it into my old laptop and see what kind of speeds I'm getting. Maybe I could turn that into a temporary "access point"/extender for now through the mobile hotspot thing in Windows.
 

gggplaya

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The AX210 is good, but not any better than your phone or wifi extender unless you have A 6E router to max it.

The reason your laptop is better is because it has nice big long antennas that run up the sides of you LCD screen. Much bigger than your phone and probably bigger than your extender.

Your extender is also in the wrong place. It should be halfway between your router and your room.
 

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