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Zyxel USG LITE 60AX: A Compact Niche Wi-Fi 6 Business Router

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Today, Zyxel announced the official availability of its latest networking hardware for business users, the Zyxel USG LITE 60AX. From the name, you can tell it's a Wi-Fi 6 router, and you're right—it's an AX6000 Wi-Fi machine. And if you think because of that, it's already "dated", you're not wrong, either.

But this is more than a simple standalone Wi-Fi broadcaster. If you have multiple Zyxel Nebula access points, including those of the latest Wi-Fi 7, the USG LITE 60AX can be an excellent router to get. In this case, its Wi-Fi specs are only a minor point—there's more to it to be worthy of its friendly retail cost of less than $220. In a way, it's similar to the recently announced Wi-Fi 6 routers in Asus's ExpertWiFi family.

Zyxel USG LITE 60AX ports
The Zyxel USG LITE 60AX comes with two 2.5Gbps Multi-Gig ports and four Gigabit ports.

Zyxel USG LITE 60AX: A router for a Nebula-based mesh system

If you have read my piece on access points, you already know that you can use multiple access points of the same family to build a mesh system. Popular examples are those of the TP-Link Omada family or the EnGenius FIT. And Zyxel's Nebula access points are similar. They all have a feature called "Smart Mesh" that allows them to work together via the Nebula Cloud portal on top of any router, regardless of the hardware vendor.

However, when you use a third-party router, you'll have to manage the network in two separate areas: the router, which handles routing and other essential networking aspects, and the Wi-Fi network powered by the access points. In most cases, that's not a huge deal. However, things only get easier when you use all the hardware in the same ecosystem.

And that's where the new USG LITE 60AX comes into play for those with Nebular access points. Now they can manage everything in one place. It's a matter of convenience.

Zxyel says the new router features self-configuration and plug-and-play deployment via Nebula Cloud, which is managed via the web portal or the Nebula App. It includes subscription-free network security to protect the network from cyber threats such as ransomware, malware, and other vulnerabilities.

As a business router, the USG LITE 60AX supports advanced VPN. It can quickly establish a secure site-to-site or remote access VPN connection and feature VLAN for advanced network configurations. In short, it's a router that can be used for any business that uses Zyxel's Nebula ecosystem.

On the wired networking front, the new router comes with two 2.5Gbp Multi-Gig ports (one WAN and one LAN) and four Gigabit LAN ports. With the help of a switch, the entire network can be turned into an entry-level multi-Gigabit. The table below shows its detailed hardware specs.

Zyxel USG LITE 60AX
The Zyxel USG LITE 60AX is a compact Wi-Fi 6 router.

Zyxel USG LITE 60AX: Hardware specifications

NameZyxel USG LITE 60AX AX6000 WiFi 6 Security Router
ModelUSG LITE 60AX
Antennas4x Internal
Wi-Fi GradeDual-band AX6000
1st Band
(channel width)
4x4 AX: up to1148 Mbps
(20/40MHz)
2nd Band
(channel width)
5GHz
4x4 AX: up to  4804 Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
Hardware RoleWireless Router Mode
Access Point (Bridge) Mode
UNII-4 SupportNo
Network StandardsIEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11ax, IPv4, IPv6
VLANYes
VPNYes
CPUQuad-core 64-bit 2.00GHz CPU
Memory and Flash Storage512MB Flash, 1GB RAM
Multi-Gig Port1x 2.5Gbps WAN
1x 2.5Gbps LAN
Gigabit Port4 x 1 Gbps LAN
USB PortNone
DC Power Adapter12V DC, 3A
Dimensions6.37 x 2.56 x 9.02 in
(161.7 x 65 x 229 mm)
Weight1.56 lbs (707 gram)
Release DateJune 25, 2024
WarrantyLifetime
US Retail Cost
(at launch)
$217
The Zyxel USG LITE 60AX's hardware specifications
Zyxel USG LITE 60AX back
The back side of the Zyxel USG LITE 60AX router.

Still, Wi-Fi 6 is dated

Despite all the mentioned above, clearly, featuring Wi-Fi 6 is still the USG LITE 60AX's shortcoming. It might be a better idea for Zyxel to make it a non-Wi-Fi router and reduce the cost accordingly. Chances are you can turn off the Wi-Fi portion and use it as such, but in that case, it makes little sense to pay for the Wi-Fi portion without using it. Without Wi-Fi, the new router doesn't seem to have enough to justify its cost.

That said, the USG LITE 60AX is best suited for those only needing/wanting Wi-Fi 6, which, while on the way out, is still more than fast enough for most applications.

Zyxel USG LITE 60AX's UNTESTED Assessment

7.5 out of 10
Zyxel USG LITE 60AX Wi-Fi 6 Router
Hardware Specs
7 out of 10
Features
8 out of 10
Ease of Use
8 out of 10
Value
7 out of 10

Pros

Two 2.5Gbps ports and Zyxel Smart Mesh integration

The support for advanced VLAN, VPN, and other business features; integration with Zyxel's Smart Mesh

Compact and aesthetically pleasing design; lifetime warranty

Cons

Dated Wi-Fi 6

Entry-level Multi-Gig ports

Availability

Zyxel says the USG LITE 60AX is available today. As mentioned, the suggested retail cost is $217, but, as usual, the street price will vary depending on demand. Again, this is a fitting router for those with multiple Zyxel access points. However, if you only need a single Wi-Fi broadcaster for a small office with average bandwidth needs, this new compact yet advanced router is also worth considering.

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