Netgear has a new business AP, specifically one for the WiFi 6E generation. We are starting to see more WiFi 6E devices, and the new generation brings new wireless spectrum and therefore more capacity to the market. This is the update to the Netgear WAX630 WiFi 6 Access Point Launched.
Netgear WAX630E WiFi 6E Business AP Launched
The big new feature with WiFi 6E is the addition of the 6GHz spectrum. This spectrum primarily does two things. First, it increases the amount of spectrum available for WiFi, thus increasing overall throughput. Second, it helps to separate newer devices from older devices to help avoid congestion.
The new WAX630E is interesting. It actually has less capacity in the 2.4GHz spectrum range, but the aggregate throughput increases from 6Gbps to 7.8Gbps (theoretical WAX630 v. WAX630E.) In the 5GHz spectrum instead of having a high and low 80MHz split, we get a single 160MHz channel. Finally, we get another 6GHz 160MHz channel. As such, there are actually fewer radios, but we also lose some maximum device capacity. The big benefit is that because of the radio configuration, we actually have lower maximum power consumption than with the WAX630 on the new and faster WAX630E.
Here we can see the radios a bit more clearly. We get 2×2, 4×4, and 2×2 on the WAX630E and 3x 4×4 on the WAX630. That is perhaps the biggest reason for the lower power consumption. Also, we will note that the new units have 2.5GbE and require PoE++ to operate at full speed, similar to the WAX630.
The APs are managed by Netgear Insight as with the previous generations.
This is a great new generation, but at the same time, it is one that is at risk. WiFi 7 is coming and that will be a much larger step function in terms of performance than WiFi 6 to 6E. If you are still on 802.11ac WiFi, then it probably makes sense to deploy WiFi 6E now. If you are already on WiFi 6, and do not plan on having many devices, then perhaps changing to WiFi 6E is a lower priority. Still, Netgear is giving an easy upgrade path that uses the same management control plane as the previous generation so that makes it easy to upgrade and potentially mix APs if new units are added.