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Huawei WiFi 6+ AX3 Router Review - Value for money WiFi 6!

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Huawei
We share our experience with the Huawei WiFi 6+ AX3 router after 2 months of daily use. This is our review of the new WiFi 6 router.
Huawei WiFi 6+ AX3 Router Review - Value for money WiFi 6!
Huawei WiFi AX3 router

Announced in the Philippines back in February 2021, the Huawei WiFi 6+ AX3 router is the world's first WiFi 6+ router that Huawei claims offer a stronger, faster and more secure home WiFi experience.


In our first impressions, we shared that we enjoyed the no-frills, solid, and lightweight build and design. We also like that Huawei has added a physical H-button and a Huawei Share interface which makes interacting with Huawei ecosystem devices a lot easier.

Set-up is easy. All you have to do is follow these steps in our How-to-set-up article.

Let's see how it performs after 2 months of use.

Performance

Box inclusions
Box inclusions

The new Huawei WiFi 6+ AX3 router features one 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet ports, three 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet ports and wireless connectivity via WiFi 802.11ax/ac/n/a 2 x 2 802.11ax/n/b/g 2x 2, MU-MIMO that can reach wireless speeds of up to 2,976 Mbps. (2.4GHz: 574Mbps; 5GHz: 2,402 Mbps). These are all made possible by the Gigahome Quad-core 1.4GHz CPU.

The AX3 router is advertised to handle up to 574 Mbps. This means that it can handle 574Mbps of data transfer via the 2.4Ghz WiFi and it will be split between the number of devices connected to the router.

To see if the advertised speeds are true, we ran "iPerf3" to send data packets across the network from device A that is connected to the router via Ethernet (2.4GHz and 5 GHz) to device B that is connected to the router thru WiFi between two devices.

For our test, one laptop was connected thru WiFi while the other computer is connected via Ethernet. The router's theoretical maximum of 574 Mbps will be divided by 2 or device A and device B if both devices are sending the same amount of data to each other.
iPerf 3 with devices connected to 2.4GHz WiFi and Ethernet
iPerf 3 with devices connected to 2.4GHz WiFi and Ethernet

First, we plugged it in thru the 2.4GHz band. As you can see from the screenshot, the max bandwidth is 300 Mbps for the laptop. This means that the laptop and the router can achieve the maximum advertised speed of 574Mbps.
iPerf 3 with devices connected to 5GHz WiFi and Ethernet
iPerf 3 with devices connected to 5GHz WiFi and Ethernet

We then switched the connection via WiFi to 5.0GHz. The router has a theoretical maximum of 2.4 Gbps. As you can see from the above screenshot, we were getting a maximum speed of 1.7 Gbps. This is a hardware limitation because device A only supports WiFi 5 which results in the 1.7 Gbps maximum speed. This is significantly lower if we connected with a WiFi 6 device.

Superb performance for the price!

In iPerf3, we were getting an average of 940 Mbps which is the limit of the 1 Gbps Ethernet port and Ethernet cable. So even though we can theoretically reach higher speeds, the Ethernet port and cable served as a bottleneck. If you were connected to multiple devices, then this wouldn't be a big problem because the maximum 1.7 Gbps will be split between those devices anyway. But if you want to get the fastest speed, you may need to connect to the router via WiFi.
Magic iPerf screenshot
Magic iPerf with both devices connected to 5GHz WiFi

In this situation, we connected two devices to the AX3 via WiFi 6. We then ran Magic iPerf and sent data packets across the network while recording the speed. We managed to send 1.2Gbits/second. Since iPerf3 sends data between the two devices at the same time. In one instance, we were able to transfer at 2.4 Gbps were sent in a second which is the theoretical limit of the AX3 router's 5GHz band.

In short, Huawei was telling the truth when it said that the router is rated for up to 2,976 Mbps (2.4 GHz: 574Mbps; 5GHz: 2,402Mbps). However, to achieve that speed, users must only use WiFi because the included Ethernet ports on the router only support 10/100/1000 Mbps.

One big advantage of the AX3 is that it has WiFi 6+. This adds several technologies to the vanilla WiFi 6. The first is that it the signal it emits is amplified by 6dB which effectively increases its range and wall penetration. The second improvement is the use of the ultra-wide 160MHz bandwidth instead of the slower 80Mhz of a regular WiFi 6 network.

Once connected via Ethernet or WiFi, the connection established was stable all thru-out. We did not disconnect abruptly at all. The only time we were disconnected was when our mobile device moved out of range of the router. This is subjective and differs depending on the layout of the house but in our case, the phone would lose connection when it reaches the 9 to 10-meter mark.
WiFi 6+ AX3 via AI Life

The Huawei AI Life can be downloaded thru the Google Play Store. This app can be used to set up the router. You can also see all the parameters of the router as well as further control the router. You just need to log in using the admin password you set up earlier. You are free to see all the devices that are connected as well as modify settings on the fly using the Huawei AI Life.

The app is so robust that it can even diagnose and troubleshoot from your phone. We personally liked that after an initial diagnosis, the app automatically recommends settings to improve connection speed and quality. 

The app also allows users to set up Guest WiFi if you wanted people to connect to your network for a temporary period of time.

Lastly, parents will be happy to know that there is an included parental control feature where parents can limit the time, the websites and the speed their children have access to.

Pros - Slim and slender but functional design, fast and stable WiFi connection, Huawei Share interface for fast pairing, value for money entry into WiFi 6
Cons - 10/100/1000 Ethernet is a bottleneck

Huawei WiFi 6+ AX3 router Specs

CPU: 1.4GHz Gigahome quad-core processor
Connectivity: 1 WAN and 3 LAN 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports
Others: H Button, Huawei Share, Huawei HomeSec, LED indicator light, Colors: White
Dimensions: 225 x 159.2 x 39.7 mm
Weight: 403 g
Price: PHP 3,999

Verdict

Rear side
Rear side

After two months of use, we are happy to recommend the Huawei WiFi 6+ AX3 router for several reasons.

First, it has a slim and slender but functional design. Second, it actually performs as advertised. In our tests, the router does reach around the advertised data transfer speeds. Third, because it is WiFi 6+, it has a wider range and a faster short-range network performance. And lastly, the Huawei AI life app allows users to monitor and configure the network thru their phones. No need to connect to the router via Ethernet with a PC.

Our only gripe with the router is that the included RJ45 or Ethernet ports only support up to 1GBps speeds which is a bottleneck when compared to the WiFi speeds. This is a minor gripe because we think the target market for this router is the modern family with a lot more wireless devices than those who connect via Ethernet. Nevertheless, it would have been great to have maybe just one 10GBps Ethernet port for users who need stable and fast wired connections. 

Otherwise, the WiFi 6+ AX3 from Huawei is a great entry router to WiFi 6. We highly recommend it!

Do you agree with us?

Build/Design - 4.5
Performance - 4.5
Average - 4.5/5
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