Wifi router is one of the most heavily used devices in our daily lives. This hardware is a medium to connect us with the world. Most of us often go and buy what is available in a nearby shop or what’s offered by our local Internet service provider. Though the current WiFi router works perfectly, sometimes due to the wrong selection of Wifi routers, you end up using under-specs routers or continue using routers that perform below average than what your internet speed is capable of. There are tons of WiFi routers available in the market ranging from merely ₹800 to a premium ₹25000 range. We have to make the right choice of which one works perfectly for our home/office use.
WiFi 6 is the current standard of wireless devices, most of the latest device is fitted with WiFi 6 technology. A few weeks back, we received a package from Huawei, it has the new WiFi6-enabled WiFi router – Huawei AX3 Dual Band WiFi smart router. One of the things that set Huawei router apart is the WiFi 6 technology implementation which supports the latest devices with better and faster connectivity. It does come with four antennas and a bunch of Ethernet ports. On the whole, Huawei AX3 looks like a well-equipped mid-range device that is not much slower than the much more expensive flagships.
What’s in the box?
It comes in a compact box contains the router itself, a 12-volt power adapter, a user manual, and one meter Ethernet cable. Standard equipment for such devices. The power supply comes in black color which is quite the opposite of the router’s white color aesthetics. The length of the power cable is one and a half meters, enough to reach your power plug.
This router looks sleek with its slim profile and clean white exterior. It feels compact and the antenna re flat which we never saw in any previous routers. But the flat-four antenna does give a premium feel to the router. Overall, according to the price, the plastic of the router doesn’t feel cheap and it does add a premium feel to the router. I bet it can be placed somewhere near the desk where we can appreciate the design and premium aesthetics of the router.
There is a total of four antennas on the backside. These antennas are not user-removable. The antennas are sturdy, but unlike other router antennas, it has a limited angle of position. It means the router is only suitable to place on the desk and cannot be wall mounted.
Unlike its competitor router devices, Huawei AX3 has a slim and compact design. The measurements are 225mm x 159.2mm x 39.7mm. Thus, this device is aesthetically attractive to most users.
Besides, the weight of the device is just 387 grams but still, this device is lightweight than most of its competitors.
When we analyzed the top of the device, there is a single button with an H logo offering one-click pairing. Also, there is a single multi-color LED at the front. Also, there are a few ventilation grills, which are positioned at the bottom side of the router. On the rear side of the router, you will find the ports area.
The Huawei WiFi AX3 is powered by a Gigahome processor. It has one 1000Mbps WAN port and three 1000Mbps LAN ports which is adequate for homes and small offices.
In terms of maximum throughput, it has a dual-band with MU-MIMO support. This means a maximum bandwidth of up to 2976 Mbps, where the 2.4 GHz band accounts for 574 Mbps, while the 5 GHz band accounts for 2402 Mbps. The 2.4GHz frequency has a wider range but lower speed, while the 5GHz frequency has an incredible speed but tolerable range.
While testing the networking performance of the router, we connected it with the 5GHz network. We observed that at 5 feet distance, the average speed was 825 Mbps. When we checked the speed at 15 feet, it was 646 Mbps. So, there was no notable difference. Also, at 30 feet, we measure the average speed of the router was 329 Mbps. After that, we swapped to a 2.4 GHz network, we calculated 355 Mbps at 5 feet and 222 Mbps at 15 feet. However, at 30 feet, the speed of the device was 123 Mbps. We think that these are good results showing the compatibility of the router with most devices.
In conclusion, the connection to the Wi-Fi networks from this router is solid as long as you’re within a reasonable range. This router is ideal for a person with small homes with few walls because, in my experience, internet speed dropped off pretty quickly the further I went from the router, despite devices showing reasonable signal strength.
And of course, it’s WiFi 6 capable. With the ultra-wide 160 MHz bandwidth, the amount of data transmitted is even larger than with double antennas at 80 MHz, up to 2 times. But the 160 MHz bandwidth naturally has certain trade-offs. Wider frequency bands are more likely to be affected by interference and are not as directional as shorter frequency bands, which are effective over long distances.
The Huawei WiFi AX3 router offers two ways to monitor and configure it. The first is through Huawei’s AI Life app. The second is through a web interface, which is standard for routers.
The AI Life application shows you all your Huawei devices on the home screen. In my case, this only includes the WiFi AX3 router. Selecting the router will open up a home screen that reveals your current internet connection status (poor, good, or excellent), current download and upload traffic speed, how many connected devices are, and selections for parental controls, diagnostics, guest Wi-Fi, and other settings.
Tapping the connected devices shows all currently connected devices. This includes online, offline, and blocked devices. Selecting a device will let you see its current traffic, and access mode (wired, 2.4GHz, or 5GHz), let you disable access, set speed limit restrictions, view its IP address, set parental controls time limit, and edit the name of the device.
Underneath the tiles is a “Show more” link. Selecting that allows you to access other settings including:
- updating the firmware on the router
- changing your password
- setting Wi-Fi names and passwords, signal strength, quality, and relay
- set up WPS
- configure a backup Wi-Fi 5 network
- change network settings (IPv4/IPv6, connection type)
- restart router
- set schedule for Wi-Fi access
- turn indicator light on/off at night
- set time zone
With the AI Life app, there is almost every setting of the Huawei WiFi AX3 router which you can configure.
The web interface offers all the settings similar to what we find from the AI Life app, but this can be accessed through any browser by going to the default IP address of 192.168.3.1. The homepage displays a nice diagram with the current download and upload speeds of all devices on the network. You can also easily see how many devices are connected, your internet and router uptime, and your WAN IP address.
The Huawei WiFi AX3 router is currently available at ₹4199 from Amazon. It’s a pretty reasonable price for a Wi-Fi 6 router. While Wi-Fi 6 is still in its infancy when it comes to adoption, it is coming. More phones and laptops are taking advantage of it, and more router options are coming to market. If you own any WiFi6-enabled devices, the Huawei AX3 WiFi router is a good choice. The price-performance ratio looks very attractive. On the other hand, for undemanding users, the Huawei WiFi AX3 3000Mbps Wi-Fi 6 router is a pretty solid choice due to its ease of use and decent performance.