If you think the entry-level WAX214 I recently review doesn’t cut it for your needs — and you’re probably right — here’s some good news. The Netgear WAX630 Insight Managed Wi-Fi 6 AX6000 Tri-band Multi-Gig Access Point, announced today, is an excellent alternative.
Netgear says the new access point is ideal for environments with open spaces and fast broadband that need Wi-Fi connectivity for a large number of concurrent users.
Examples are schools, warehouses, or offices of mid-sized companies. In this case, the WAX630 supposedly has everything you’d need to build a robust Wi-Fi network.
That’s, of course, if you already have a router, a PoE switch, and a high budget. Then it seems you get what you pay for.
Highest-specced Wi-Fi 6 Access Point to date
Indeed, according to Netgear, the WAX630 is easily the top-specced access point I’ve heard of so far. It has all the bells and whistles.
First of all, this is the first of its type that features 4×4 Wi-Fi 6 and supports the venerable 160MHz channel width. Most other business APs tend to be 2×2 broadcasters or only support the 80MHz or narrower channels.
What’s more, the WAX630 is one of the first tri-band broadcasters of its type, if not the very first. It has two 5GHz bands and one 2.4GHz band to deliver the combined bandwidth of 6000Mbps.
On top of that, the WAX630 comes equipped with two Ethernet ports, including one Gigabit port and a Power-over-Ethernet (PoE++) 2.5 Multi-Gig port. This allows you to daisy-chain multiple units via network cables or connect a wired device to the AP.
Finally, Netgear says the new WAX630 “provides robust enterprise-grade Wi-Fi network security with WPA3 128-bit to 192-bit encryption and the capability to set up VLANs and up to sixteen different SSIDs.” That’s more than enough for any network segmenting needs.
Mesh-ready, part of Insight Managed family
According to Netgear, the new WAX630 is mesh-ready, via Netgear Instant Mesh, and flexible.
Specifically, with multiple units, you can use them via wired backhaul, leaving all three bands as front-haul to host clients or dedicate one 5GHz band as the backhaul — similar to the case of the Orbi Pro.
And, yes, you can use all of these different APs together in a single network, though generally, it’s better to use the same hardware for consistent network performance.
The gist of Insight Managed is you use the Netgear Insight mobile app or a browser to manage the supported access point or access points from anywhere in the world via a login account with Netgear.
Netgear’s Insight Managed networking devices generally offer convenience and a lot of business features. Among other things, you can even deploy a mesh system remote without having to be onsite at all.
For Insight to work, though, the network needs to be connected to Netgear at all times, which can be a privacy risk for the network users.
Insight also incurs per device subscription cost, which can be substantial depending on the number of hardware units and features.
All that is on top of the initial hardware cost.
Availability and pricing
And the new Netgear WAX630 is not cheap. It’s available today.
Netgear says in the U.S., the new access point comes in two flavors. The barebone WAX630-100NAS has the suggested retail price of $329.99. The WAX630PA version that includes a power adapter will go for $339.99.
Across the pond, the WAX630-100EUS has €329.99 and £289.99 price tags, respectively.