The FCC opened new channels in the 6 GHz spectrum back in April 2020 for new Wi-Fi standards. It is widely believed that the iPhone 13 will have a 6Ghz Wi-Fi 6E chipset immediately flooding the market with 6E capable client devices . We saw fast adoption of Wi-Fi 6 largely because of the iPhone 11.
Wi-Fi 6E offers the features and capabilities of Wi-Fi 6, including higher performance, lower latency, and faster data rates, extended into the 6 GHz band. See the graphic above which depicts the huge increase in channels over 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. The additional spectrum will provide a lot more airspace beyond existing 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi, resulting in increased bandwidth and less interference for devices that support Wi-Fi 6E.
If you are deploying new Wi-Fi networks today using Wi-Fi 6 AP’s like the EnGenius ECW230 or Ruckus R750 you will be able to supplement the network later when Wi-Fi 6E AP’s become available. They are running on different frequencies and can coexist alongside each other. Likewise all future Wi-Fi 6E devices will be able to connect to your current Wi-Fi 6 AP’s. 6GHz band will be best suited for close-range connections, ideally between devices that are in the same room as one another so you will want a mix of lower cost Wi-Fi 6 AP’s along with strategically located Wi-Fi 6E AP’s to start.
One thing is for sure you will need fast switches with plenty of PoE power budget to support all these new devices. The Wi-Fi 6E AP’s will for sure support multi gigabit and have higher power requirements so you would be smart to build out your wired network now with cloud managed switches like the EnGenius ECS2512FP.
One of the advantages of Wi-Fi 6 is faster speeds and distance. Mesh access points can take advantage of these increased speeds as well as client devices. Once you have a access point connected to Wi-Fi mesh you can then use it’s wired port to connect to a device or switch to extend a network inside or between buildings.
I setup a hidden SSID on the EnGenius cloud and deployed it to both ECW230’s. This way there are no client devices connected and we will get full throughput. I used iPerf on both computers to test speed.
I first tested at 5 feet and was able to maintain close to 1Gbps.
Next I tested at 50 feet with multiple walls in between the AP’s I was able to maintain 350Mbps.
So another advantage of Wi-Fi 6 access points is they make a great bridge. You could also use the outdoor ECW260‘s to bridge between two buildings at fast speeds. More information on the ECW230 here
The EnGenius ECS2512FP Multi-Gigabit 2.5GbE PoE++ switch has 4 10Gbps SFP+ ports available. If you are not using them for fiber you can still utilize these ports.
For one you can connect a desktop or uplink to another switch at 10Gbps using a inexpensive twinax cable like this one.
Another way you can use your enhanced small form-factor pluggable tranceiver generally called SFP+ ports is with a copper 10Gbase-T Adapter I tested several and found that the Wiitek SFP+ to RJ45 Copper module works well with the ECS2512FP. The switch detects it as a 10Gbps adapter but it will internally reduce rate until it gets a link.
I tested with my laptop and a cable creations 2.5Gbps USB adapter and got link at 2.5Gbps I did throughput testing with iPerf.
Depending on your cabling this adapter will link at different speeds for a 2.5Gbps 2.5GBASE-T connection you can use Cat5e at 100 meters . If you have Cat6 you can do 5Gbps 5GBASE-T or Cat6A will do 10Gbps 10GBASE-T.
In conclusion there are ways to utilize your switches SFP+ ports even if you do not have fiber. Especially with PoE switches you want to reserve the copper ports for powered devices and use SFP+ for uplinks whenever possible.
Many Wi-Fi 6 Access Points were released with 2.5GbE ethernet ports this standard lets you more than double the speed of gigabit ethernet over cat5e. This lets you use your current cabling which can be the most expensive part of the network while boosting speeds. It is also a great way to increase uplink speeds between switches and traffic to PC’s and NAS devices.
Up until now multi-Gigabit PoE switches were out of reach for most SMB’s they were either too expensive or only featured PoE on some ports. With the release of the ECS2512FP there is now a solution with 2.5GbE and 802.3af/at/bt PoE++ on all ports and a price below $750! The ECS2512FP can also be cloud managed via the no cost EnGenius Cloud anyone can set up a account here even https://cloud.engenius.ai/ and view the features. This makes remotely deploying, monitoring and configuring your switches easy either from a web browser or the EnGenius Cloud app..
There are not many PC’s with built in 2.5Gb adapters yet but this is a easy upgrade via the cable creations USB 3 to 2.5G adapter https://amzn.to/3dUmMTR This adapter even worked on my Synology NAS. Using this adapter you can add a 2.5Gb port to any desktop or laptop with a USB 3.0 port . I connected my laptop to a switch port with the cable creations adapter. On my desktop I have a 10Gb SFP+ adapter like this one https://amzn.to/2NQdMop lastly I connected a twinax cable like this one https://amzn.to/3eXHRhF from by desktop to the ECS2512FP via one of its four SFP+ ports.
I used jperf to test the throughput and here are the results very close to 2.5Gb sustained
Next I tested two of the fastest Wi-Fi 6 Access Points available right now The EnGenius ECW230 and the Ruckus R750 these are both have 4×4 spatial streams with 2.5Gb capable ports. For the client device I used a laptop with a 2×2 Intel AX201 Wi-Fi 6 adapter. There are not many 4×4 Wi-Fi 6 client devices available yet but I saw speeds over 1Gb even during single client testing.
First I tested the ECW230 and got these results
Next I tested the Ruckus R750 this AP requires PoE++ for maximum performance and features. Here are the results.
In conclusion the ECS2512FP is a great way to increase your network speeds both wired and wireless while keeping your existing cabling.
I recently upgraded to a Intel 10th Generation laptop with Wi-Fi 6 and wanted to do some performance testing. I purchased the Acer Aspire 5 A515-54-59W2 it has a quad core i5-10210U processor with a Intel AX201 chipset that supports 802.11ax via 2×2 MU-MIMO antennas over the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. Although this chipset supports 160Mhz mode and 2.4Ghz I limited my testing to 80Mhz and 5Ghz only because this is what most businesses will want to use.I used a EnGenius ECW230 4×4 Wi-Fi 6 Access Point for testing this AP has the latest Qualcomm chipset. I used iperf with a jperf front end with the laptop as server and a gigabit ethernet connected desktop as the client. The laptop was in the same room as the AP and about 5 feet apart.
Here are the results.
I averaged 750Mbps with spikes to 800Mbps. When I connect the same laptop via gigabit ethernet I get close to 950Mbps so a 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 connected Laptop is pretty close to achieving wired speeds. A single laptop with a 4×4 Wi-Fi 6 chipset or even a 2×2 chipset operating at 160Mhz should be easily able to max out gigabit ethernet. Thankfully multi gigabit switches are now available that can hit speeds of 2.5Gbps over standard CAT6 ethernet like the EnGenius ECS2512FPOne thing is for sure Wi-Fi 6 overs a huge speed and range boost over Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) and the current batch of Wi-Fi 6 Access points deliver the goods. Click here to see all the currently available Wi-Fi 6 Access Points
EnGenius has release two new Multi-Gig ethernet switches to support the ever increasing demand of Wi-Fi devices. With many Wi-Fi 6 client devices already being used networks are experiencing much more traffic than even a year ago. By upgrading your network switches to Multi-Gig you can more than double their capacity while using your existing CAT5e or CAT6 cabling. On top of that many of today’s Wi-Fi 6 access points require more power than legacy units to operate at full capacity.
The ECS2512FP supports PoE standard 802.3af/at/bt so they will work with new Wi-Fi 6 Access Points as well as legacy AP’s, Phones, IP Cameras and other devices. The ECS2512FP also has a 240W power budget to support even the most power hungry devices. This switch supports 10/100/1000/2500 Mbps on all copper ports to handle Wi-Fi 6 AP’s with many clients. The ECS2512 is the non PoE version you can use it to upgrade your switch to switch links to 2.5Gbps using existing cables or boost the speeds of workstations and servers without upgrading to expensive fiber. Both of these switches have free cloud management and a 2 year warranty.