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Wi-Fi 6E Routers and Mesh Systems in 2022: Bask Your Home in 6GHz Signals

Since early 2021, there have been more than half a dozen routers and mesh systems with the latest 6GHz band. There will be more as time goes by.

Eventually, this post will consist of the best Wi-Fi 6E routers and Wi-Fi systems, but for right now, you’ll find all of them here, except the eero Pro 6E that I decided not to test.

That said, if you want to bask your home in the clean signals of the all-new 6GHz frequency band, you’re at the right spot to figure out that right purchase. That is if getting a Wi-Fi 6E router today can be the right purchase. But who is to say it’s not?

Before continuing, do check out my explainer post on Wi-Fi 6E and upgrade at least one of your computers to the new Wi-Fi standard using an Intel AX210 Wi-Fi adapter.

(In this case, it’s also a good idea to upgrade your computer to Windows 11 or use this special driver for Windows 10.)

Without 6Ghz clients, these expensive Wi-Fi broadcasters will be only as good as the affordable dual-band Wi-Fi 6 counterparts, of which you’ll find the best lists in the box below.

Dong’s note: I first published this post on May 17, 2021, and last updated it on April 14, 2022.

Wi-Fi 6E Routers
Wi-Fi 6E routers come in all shapes and sizes.

Wi-Fi 6E routers and mesh systems in 2022: The list

This list includes standalone routers and mesh systems and is sorted in the review order. The numbers are just numerical and not meant to be the ranking.

I’ll update it as I review more — so bookmark it. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for their performance numbers.

8. TP-Link Deco XE75: The most adorable Wi-Fi 6E mesh to date

(If you didn’t read the intro, this is the latest member on this list β€” the number is only numerical, not the ranking.)

The TP-Link Deco XE75 AXE5400 Tri-Band Mesh Wi-Fi 6E System
The TP-Link Deco XE75 AXE5400 Tri-Band Mesh Wi-Fi 6E System includes two identical Gigabit routers.

The 2-pack Deco XE75 — also available as the 3-pack XE5300 variant — is the first Wi-Fi 6E solution from TP-Link.

Featuring 2×2 Wi-Fi specs and having no Multi-Gig port, the new mesh is disappointing. That’s until you learn about this cost.

At just $300 for a 2-pack, it’s the most affordable among Wi-Fi 6E hardware. And for that price point, it’ll make an excellent buy for sub-Gigabit networking needs — especially when used with a wired backhaul.

TP-Link Deco XE75's Rating

8 out of 10
TP Link Deco XE75 AXE5400 Tri Band Mesh Wi Fi 6E System 5
Performance
8/10
Features
6.5/10
Ease of Use
8.5/10
Value
9/10

Pros

Wi-Fi 6E-ready with reliable and extensive coverage

Affordable

Easy to use

Cons

No Multi-Gig port, Link Aggregation, or Dual-WAN

TP-Link login account and mobile app required

No real, local web-based management

Only three network ports on each unit

Read this  TP-Link Deco XE75 AXE5400 Review: A Solid Budget Wi-Fi 6E Mesh with Caveats

7. Asus ZenWiFi Pro ET12: First Multi-Gig wired mesh set out of the box

Asus ZenWiFi Pro ET12
The Asus ZenWiFi Pro ET12, like the ET8 below, includes two identical Wi-Fi 6E routers.

The ZenWiFi Pro ET12 is the second Wi-Fi 6E mesh system from Asus.

Like the ET8 that came out almost half a year ago, this new mesh doesn’t have an additional band to work as backhaul.

As a result, it works best in a wired backhaul setup. And in this case, thanks to the top-tier Wi-Fi specs and the two Multi-Gig ports, it might be one of the best mesh Wi-Fi systems with Multi-Gig wired backhaul you can get.

Asus ZenWiFi Pro ET12's Rating

8.1 out of 10
Asus ZenWiFi Pro ET12
Performance
8.5/10
Features
9/10
Ease of Use
8/10
Value
7/10

Pros

Wi-Fi 6E-ready, extensive Wi-Fi coverage with top performance in specific setups with possible fast Wi-Fi performance in certain setups

Dual Multi-Gig pots with Multi-Gig wired backhaul, flexible port configurations

Excellent performance and coverage as a standalone router

Tons of useful features and settings, flexible Wi-Fi customization

AiMesh 2.0 full support, helpful mobile app, no login account required

Cool design

Cons

Bulky, no USB, only four network ports

Fluctuating performance as a fully wireless mesh due to the lack of a dedicated backhaul band

Short 6GHz range

Expensive, not wall-mountable

Read this  Asus ZenWiFi Pro ET12 Review (vs ZenWiFi ET8): A Solid Multi-Gig Wired Mesh

6. Netgear Orbi RBKE960 Series: The symbol of success (very expensive, that is)

Netgear Orbi RBKE960 Quad-band Mesh Wi-Fi 6E System
Netgear Orbi RBKE960 Quad-band Mesh Wi-Fi 6E system includes three identical-looking hardware units. One is a router, and the others are satellites.

Available as a 3-pack — RBKE963 (white) or RBKE963B (black) — the new Orbi Wi-Fi 6E system is insanely expensive costing $1500 — and you have the option to pay even more over add-on subscriptions.

On top of that, it has fewer included features and settings compared with previous Orbi sets.

In return, you’ll get substantial and powerful hardware. The most exciting part is it can do Multi-Gig wired backhaul, though you’d need a switch if you want to use both satellite units that way.

Netgear Orbi RBKE960 Series' Rating

7.5 out of 10
Netgear Orbi RBKE960 Quad-band Mesh Wi-Fi 6E System
Performance
9/10
Features
6/10
Ease of Use
9/10
Value
6/10

Pros

Powerful hardware with Quad-band Wi-Fi and Multi-Gig wired backhaul support

Excellent Wi-Fi coverage, fast performance

Multiple Multi-Gig ports

More Wi-Fi networks than previous Orbis, including two additional virtual SSIDs

Ease to use

Cons

Expensive

No web-based Remote Management, few free features, Mobile app (with a login account and even subscriptions) are required to be useful

Rigid Multi-Gig ports' roles, few Multi-Gig ports

The 2nd 5GHz-band is unavailable to clients even with wired backhauls, no 160MHz channel width on 5GHz

Limited Wi-Fi customization, bulky design

Read this  Netgear RBKE960 Series (RBKE963) Review: The Best Orbi Yet, with Big Caveats

5. Asus ZenWiFi ET8: Excellent for a wired home

Asus ZenWiFi ET8 Tri band Wi Fi 6E Mesh System
The Asus ZenWiFi ET8 Tri-band Wi-Fi 6E Mesh System includes two identical routers.

The ZenWiFi ET8 is basically Asus’s Wi-Fi 6E alternative to the ZenWiFi XT8, a same-design purpose-built Wi-Fi 6 mesh system for a fully wireless setup.

In that sense, the ET8 is not an upgrade to the older cousin — it’s terrible in a wireless configuration. Instead, it’s an option for a home that’s either already wired or has a lot of open space.

The ZenWiFi ET8, for now, is available as a 2-pack, but you can use each hardware unit as a standalone router for a small home. And it works very well in that case.

Asus ZenWiFi ET8's Rating

8 out of 10
Asus ZenWiFi ET8 Tri band Wi Fi 6E Mesh System 1
Performance
8/10
Features
9.5/10
Ease of Use
8/10
Value
6.5/10

Pros

Reliable and extensive coverage with possible fast Wi-Fi performance in certain setups

Wi-Fi 6E ready, Multi-Gig WAN, and Dual-WAN support

Excellent as a standalone router

Tons of useful features and settings, flexible Wi-Fi customization

AiMesh 2.0 support

Competitive pricing

Cons

Comparatively slow performance in most use cases

Modest 5GHz band specs

Short 6GHz range

No Link Aggregation or Multi-Gig LAN port

Only four network ports on each hardware unit

Read this  Asus ZenWiFi ET8 Review: A Worthy Mesh for a Wired (or Airy) Home

4. Linksys AXE8400 Atlas Max 6E: First Wi-Fi 6E mesh system

Linksys AXE8400 Atlas Max 6E comes with standard power adapters
The Linksys AXE8400 Atlas Max 6E includes three identical tri-band Wi-Fi 6E routers.

Linksys seemed determined to lead the charge in Wi-Fi 6E. Apart from the MR7500 below, this AXE8400 Atlas Max 6E is the company’s 2nd 6E broadcaster and the first mesh system of the new Wi-Fi standard.

The new mesh consists of three identical tri-band 6E broadcasters, model MX8500. Each can work as a standalone router, but you can combine them into a system to deliver coverage of all three bands (2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz) in a large property.

That’s if you think you have enough reasons right now to invest $1200 in it. Hint: It’s not worth it. Make sure you have wired your home and wait until the price drops.

Linksys AXE8400 Atlas Max's Rating

7.1 out of 10
Linksys AXE8400 Atlas Max 6E with power adapters
Performance
8/10
Features
7/10
Ease of Use
7.5/10
Value
6/10

Pros

Wi-Fi 6E-ready

Reliable performance, extensive coverage

5Gbps WAN port

Excellent NAS performance when hosting external storage device(s)

Separate SSID for each band

Cons

Expensive

Comparatively slow mesWi-FiFi speeds in homes with walls

Limited Wi-Fi settings and features, mobile app coercion

No Multi-Gig LAN port (main router), Dual-WAN, or Link Aggregation

No setting backup and restore

Read this  Linksys AXE8400 Atlas Max 6E Mesh Review: Reliable but Overpriced

3. Linksys MR7500: A nice third though not necessarily the charm

Linksys MR7500 AXE6600 Hydra Pro 6E  Wi-Fi 6E router Routers Package Content
The Linksys MR7500 AXE6600 Hydra Pro 6E router

The Linksys MR7500 is the third Wi-Fi 6E router on the market, and the third time is not necessarily the charm in this case.

The new router looks a bit subdued in design — it’s sort of mundane looking. Its hardware specs are also relatively modest compared with the first two.

It’s a router that bets a bit too big on Wi-Fi 6E, making it less useful for the mainstream market.

Linksys MR7500 AXE6600 Hydra Pro's Rating

7.3 out of 10
Linksys MR7500 AXE6600 Hydra Pro 6E Routers Feature Photo
Performance
8.5/10
Features
7.5/10
Ease of Use
8/10
Value
5/10

Pros

Wi-Fi 6E-ready

Simple design with 5Gbps WAN port

Robust web interface, helpful (optional) mobile app

Wall-mountable

Cons

Hugely overpriced

6GHz band requires Gig+ or faster Internet to be useful

Slow 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands

Limited Wi-Fi settings, mobile app coercion

No Multi-Gig LAN port, Dual-WAN or Link Aggregation

Buggy and slow NAS performance when hosting a storage device

Read this  Linksys MR7500 Hydra Pro 6E Review: Too Big a Bet on 6GHz

2. Netgear RAXE500: A formidable contender

The Netgear RAXE500 is likely one of the best Wi-Fi 6E routers
The Netgear RAXE500 Wi-Fi 6E router

The Netgear RAXE500 is the second Wi-Fi 6E router on the market, and it’s the natural rival of the GT-AXE1000 below.

But within Netgear’s ecosystem, this one is quite familiar — it’s the 6E version of the tri-band RAX200. Among other things, you’ll love the design. As such, it’s one of the most awesome-looking Wi-Fi broadcasters on the market. That’s if you can stomach the $600 price tag.

Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500's Rating

7.8 out of 10
The Netgear RAXE500 Router angle
Performance
8.5/10
Features
7.5/10
Ease of Use
8.5/10
Value
6.5/10

Pros

Wi-Fi 6E-ready

Collectively excellent Wi-Fi speeds and range

2.5Gbps LAN/WAN port, Dual-WAN, and LAN/WAN Link Aggregations

Robust web interface, helpful (optional) mobile app

Beautiful design

Fast network-attached storage when hosting a storage device

Cons

Expensive

Wi-Fi 6E is still in the early stage

No 10Gbps port, only one 2.5Gbps port

Limited Wi-Fi settings, no built-in QoS or Parental Controls

Online protection requires a subscription

Internal fan, a bit buggy (at launch)

Read this  Netgear RAXE500 Review: An Formidable 6E Router for a Price

1. Asus GT-AXE11000: The very first Wi-Fi 6E router

(In case you didn’t read the intro: This is the first member on this list β€” the number is only numerical, not the ranking.)

Asus GT-AXE11000 Router
The Asus GT-AXE11000 is the very first Wi-Fi 6E router on the market.

Initially announced in mid-2020, the Asus GT-AXE11000 didn’t materialize until January 2021. Yet, it still made it the very first on the market that sported the all-new Wi-Fi 6E standard.

For the most part, this new router is a variant of the GT-AX11000. The two share the same design, ports, and processing power. The GT-AXE11000, however, uses a 6GHz band in place of the 5GHz-2 band.

And that makes all the difference. Oh, it’s also the most expensive router from Asus, costing $550 apiece. That’s if you’re lucky to find one right now at that price.

Asus GT-AXE11000's Rating

8.4 out of 10
Asus GT AXE11000 Top View
Performance
8.5/10
Features
9/10
Ease of Use
8.5/10
Value
7.5/10

Pros

Tri-band with Wi-Fi 6E support

Excellent 5GHz and 2.4GHz performance

Excellent set of game-related, online protection and monitoring features, full AiMesh 2.0 support

2.5Gbps LAN/WAN port, Dual-WAN, and LAN/WAN Link Aggregations

Cons

Expensive

Wi-Fi 6E is not fully available

Only one 2.5Gbps port, no 10Gbps port

Bulky design, not wall-mountable, buggy firmware (at launch)

Read this  Asus GT-AXE11000 ROG Rapture Wi-Fi 6E Router Review: A Massive Luxury

Wi-Fi 6E Routers and Mesh Systems in 2022: The performance

I tested Wi-Fi 6E routers the way I do all routers. For the 6GHz band testing, I use a couple of devices running the Intel AX210 Wi-Fi chip using an official but pre-release driver.

Wi Fi 6E Routers Performance 1
Current Wi-Fi 6E routers’ Wi-Fi performance
AC Client’s specs: 4×4 for the short-range and 3×3 for the long-range tests.

Other than Wi-Fi, when applicable, I also tested their USB-related storage performance when hosting a portable drive.

Compared to Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 6E has had a slower adoption rate. That might have had something to do with the upcoming Wi-Fi 7.

Wi Fi 6e Routers Nas Performance
Current Wi-Fi 6E routers’ NAS performance when hosting a portable drive is not available in all hardware.

Considering the fast speed but short range of the new 6GHz band, Wi-Fi 6E is an exciting addition to the existing 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands — it’s not a replacement for either.

Read this  Best Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Systems: You Won't Go Wrong with These!

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30 thoughts on “Wi-Fi 6E Routers and Mesh Systems in 2022: Bask Your Home in 6GHz Signals”

  1. Awesome site.

    I have a 5 bedroom house, I have a asus-rt-ax92u mesh setup. It’s been great but struggles with dropped Wi-Fi every few days and it’s not fast enough to stream 4K video from my Synology NAS.

    Which mesh setup would you recommend? I was looking at the Orbi 963 but am I just wasting my money when a lesser setup would work perfectly. I can’t do a wired back haul due to the house setup.

    Reply
    • Assuming you use wireless backhaul, Carl, a couple of things:

      1. Separate the bands of the RT-AX92U and make sure your streamers connect to one of a 5GHz band — this post will help with other issues.
      2. Set the hardware to restart itself every a few days — you can do that in the System area of the web interface.
      3. Get your home wired!

      If the RT-AX92U is not working out, the Orbi BRKE 960 might not improve things much. Don’t believe in the hype. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  2. Hi Dong,
    I need an advice: I have a asus rt-ax82u router and I need a new router for a nod aimesh. Should I buy a new asus rt ax82u or asus rt ax86s. (money differences between them is 35 eur more for ax86S).
    thanks for all,
    Virgil

    Reply
  3. Dong,

    I’m laboring over my situation. I have the wiring for a wired backhaul mesh setup throughout the house. But the walls are thin, and the ports are the rooms with the ports are all on top of each other (basement/office/bedroom). I think the nodes would just be too close.

    Here’s the kicker: There is a special spot in my kitchen where every device could receive a signal only needing to pass through a single wall/floor/ceiling. What if I just purchased one rockstar router and put it there?

    And if so, is the Asus RT-AX89X your pick for the one router to rule them all?

    Reply
    • Sorry, that first sentence should read: “But the walls are thin, and the rooms with the ports are all on top of each other (basement/office/bedroom).”

      Reply
    • The RT-AX89X is an excellent router to pick as the main AiMesh router, Kyle. You can try reduce one node instead of stacking them up to see how that pans out.

      Reply
  4. Dong,
    First I wanted to thank you for your excellent insight and helpful comments for those of use hoping to learn more about setting up our systems. In your opinion, is there any advantages to the Orbi RBKE963 over the Asus GT-AXE11000 (router) + ZenWiFi ET8 (satellite) combo that you outlined in your awesome β€œMultigig wired backhaul combo” article?

    I live in a fairly large fully wired home, and have two 6E clients (at the moment) with fiber gig service. From reading your various articles, I have deduced that the Orbi system would be a couple hundred dollars more than the 6E AiMesh combo with similar performance given the wired backhaul would eliminate the need for the Orbis additional 5GHz channel. Any additional thoughts would be appreciated.

    Thanks again
    Mike

    Reply
    • After a month I decided to move from the former to the latter and I’ve been much happier since, Mike. If you can handle a bit of hassle during the initial setup, the GT-AXE11000 + ET8 combo is the best for now.

      Reply
  5. We plan to implement a mesh WiFi system to solve the dead spot problem at the ends of our our recently purchased 3500 sq. ft. “E shaped” brick ranch style home. Our XFinity cable modem router is in the middle “wing”, and I think it’s the brick exterior walls that are attenuating the signal. I was thinking of going with 6E (either the Linksys AXE8400 or the Asus ET8) to try to future proof things. After reading your reviews, it seems as if that neither of these may be ideal. Our home is not wired yet, but it could be. Do you think a viable fully wireless solution will be available any time soon?

    Reply
  6. Dong:
    Is anyone going to release an 8Γ—8 6E ap or router?
    Operating at top of MCS ladder requires very high signal. Directional gain from an 8-antenna array β€œshould” offer some benefit?
    Any word on 8Γ—8 6ghz units coming out soon?
    (Also, units with socketed antennas, so we can customize antennas to the given deployment???)

    Reply
  7. Thanks for all the reviews and useful information. Still reading my way through it all. Thinking about pulling the trigger on the GT-AXE11000 since I am upgrading to 10g service. Sorry if I missed it somewhere, but something that I can’t get my head around is how can a router have speeds like 11000 Mbps (GT-AXE11000) if the router only has a 2.5G WAN. Wouldn’t the maximum theoretical speed be 2500 Mbps?

    Reply
    • That’s correct, Robert. You can’t get more than 2.5Gbps of Internet speed from this router. For faster, you’d need a router with 10Gbps WAN, like the RT-AX89X or the QNAP Qhora 301w. But, honestly, I don’t know how they will work out in real life for your situation since my Internet is slower than 1Gbps. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  8. I’m surprised that the speeds aren’t much faster at 6 GHz than at 5 GHz. Do these routers (and your client) support 160 MHz channels? Am I wrong to expect better performance at 6 GHz?

    Reply
    • 6ghz speeds are faster than 5ghz. But you cant tell on high 160mhz channels, unless you have more than 1gb+ internet connection. For my tests on 80mhz channels, 6ghz is about 250mbps faster than 5ghz.

      Reply
        • What I meant is that with the existing internet connections available, you can’t tell what’s faster, because thanks to the wider 160mhz channels, both 5 and 6ghz bands can easily achieve the current offered speeds.
          So literally, no one can say today that 5hz or 6ghz are faster while using a high 160mhz channel, because again both will achieve any speed anyone has at home. On the other hand you can test the speeds in narrower channels and see that 6ghz is truly faster. In the future we’ll be able to see 6ghz is always faster, once we have 1.5gb+ internet connections at home.

          Reply
        • I have 1.2gb connection at home. Both 5 and 6ghz are able to achieve the top speeds of over 1.4gb comcast decided to allocate. So yeah we know 6ghz is faster, but we can’t prove it yet unless you have more speed at home to test it.

          Reply
  9. I remember the cnet YouTube times, and I liked it. I can imagine that not everyone have the time to dedicate to a YouTube channel, but the way you explain stuff I think you’ll be successful at it if you go alone with it.

    Reply
    • Thanks. I honestly have no resources for a YouTube channel for now. We have no space for a studio. Recording and editing take time, too. It’s not easy doing these things on my own, have a day job and a bunch of mouths to feed. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  10. Have you raised the rate for the gtaxe and lowered the raxe?
    If that’s the case I would agree.
    After all these six months of router “horrors” I now can say I love this gtaxe.
    And remember people, buy and trade a cheap $5 craigslist modem/router and get the gtaxe for about $500 after tax on Best Buy.

    Reply

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