The unit will also boost the signal of Huawei Wi-Fi 6 smartphones but isn’t limited to Huawei devices, nor to Wi-Fi 6 devices, by any means. Your older hardware will still connect to the AX3, as will your modern non-Huawei Wi-Fi 6 devices, giving you maximum flexibility to leverage the improvements it offers without leaving your existing equipment behind.
Spec-wise, the Huawei WiFi AX3 has a quad-core 1.4GHz CPU, offers Wi-Fi 6 Plus at 3Gbps, 1024QAM and 160MHz bandwidth. QAM is “Quadrature Amplitude Modulation” which means two signals are combined into a single channel thereby doubling the effective bandwidth, with the signals out-of-phase. One can be represented by a sin wave while the other a cosine wave, thus giving a stronger, continuous signal. This is a technology and innovation Huawei has brought over from its telecommunications expertise, making the AX3 a smart and powerful device.
It also has four times the capacity of OFDMA, which means “Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access”, fundamentally assigning subsets of the available capacity to individual users, and allowing simultaneous upload and download.
In simple terms, the AX3 can handle more simultaneous devices, at higher bandwidth, with lower latency, and lower power consumption, than previous-generation devices.
The unit includes a 10/100/1000 WAN ethernet port to connect to your modem or gateway, and three 10/100/1000 LAN ethernet ports to extend your cabled network too. It supports Wi-Fi 802.11ax/ac/n/a at 5GHz and Wi-Fi 802.11ax/n/b/g at 2.4GHz. It uses MU-MIMO, offers guest Wi-Fi, a Wi-Fi timer, device speed limiting, MAC address filter, NFC Huawei Share quick connection, parental controls, VPN pass-through, a demilitarised zone (DMZ) and virtual servers, and PPPoE/DHCP/static IP address/Bridge WAN connection methods.
In short, this is not your average simple Wi-Fi router. The AX3 is packed with features that benefit from Huawei’s experience in the enterprise and telecommunications space.
iTWire tested the Huawei WiFi AX3 for ourselves, and found it robust, yet elegantly designed, with four durable antennas. It was simple to set up, plugging into the existing network then connecting to its configuration website via details on a sticker underneath the unit. Within this portal, we could see Wi-Fi devices connecting and were then able to control access, view statistics, inspect the device’s performance and firmware, modify its Wi-Fi SSID and password, LAN settings, and much more. We enjoyed the noticeable Wi-Fi range and performance boost. However, the sample unit iTWire received included a US power plug and adapter - we assume this will not be the case for Australian purchasers, and the retail unit plugs into your regular Australian power point directly.
That one item aside, the AX3 was superb to look at and use, and can also be managed by the free Huawei Life smartphone and tablet app. It offers tremendous performance and capabilities and is surprisingly affordable for what it delivers.