NEW XE75 / AXE5300 system.. why isn't 6GHz band part of the mesh system?

NEW XE75 / AXE5300 system.. why isn't 6GHz band part of the mesh system?
NEW XE75 / AXE5300 system.. why isn't 6GHz band part of the mesh system?
2022-05-05 15:05:37 - last edited 2022-05-06 18:35:04
Hardware Version:
Firmware Version: 1.1.4 Build 20220328 Rel. 82537

The TL;DR problem: Why does the 6GHz channel create a separate Wi-Fi Network (SSID) that I have to connect to, isolated from my main 5GHz/2.4GHz network? This strips you of the entire point of having a mesh system, which is that it determines and transmits the best signal to you based on where in the house you are. The 6GHz band should be one of 3 bands included under the same SSID and the mesh system should determine which access point and band best suits my device at any given moment.

 

The backstory:
So I just bought the brand new (as of April 2022) tri-band XE75 system (AXE5300 at Costco). The XE75 and AXE5300 are identical, but XE75 comes with 2 devices and AXE5300 comes from Costco with 3. It is TP-link's 1st WiFi 6E capable router. It looks and functions very similarly to the x68 that came before it. It has a 2.4GHz channel, a 5GHz channel, and the brand new 6GHz channel (the x68 had a 2nd 5GHz channel for dedicated backhaul instead of a 6GHz one). The XE75/AXE5300 allows you to decide if you want to keep the 6GHz channel as a dedicated backhaul channel (keeps the signal between mesh devices strong) or use it as a 3rd band for your devices that function with WiFi 6E (like the Samsung Galaxy S21 that I have and newer devices).

HOWEVER.. when you select the option to use the 6GHz band as part of your Wi-Fi network for Wi-Fi 6E capable devices (I know there are few), it forces you to create a separate Network Name (SSID) that you have to connect to separate from your main wireless network.

 

-This means that the entire point of a mesh system now disappears as the router will no longer determine for me if I will have faster streaming speeds using the 5 or 2.4 GHz bands because I'm too far from (or have too many obstructions of) the 6GHz signal. It will just keep me on 6GHz until I'm out of range of the signal then would potentially connect me to the other main Wi-Fi network. That generally doesn't happen, so instead, I sit with 2-3 bars of wifi signal and a mesh system that is unable to adapt.

 

-Another problem that this creates is you are then unable to Chromecast to other devices on your network since you're on a different network.

 

--Another problem I realized today is that when I leave the house and return, my phone reconnects to my non-6GHz SSID (probably because 5GHz/2.4GHz signal is stronger at range) instead of the 6GHz SSID since I had logged into both (it has happened 3/3 times since installation). The solution I created was turning off the auto-reconnect feature of my non-6GHz SSID in my phone's Wi-Fi settings.. but yet another reason why having all one SSID would be best.

 

At the end of the day, it is a poor implementation of Wi-Fi 6E. I don't know if they just didn't have time before release to fine-tune the system that decides when 6GHz should take over vs other bands.. but I would at least like to know that this is being worked on and will be brought to the device in a future firmware update. If not, I may just return this system before my 3-month window with Costco runs out.

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Re:NEW XE75 / AXE5300 system.. why isn't 6GHz band part of the mesh system?
2022-05-05 16:21:13

  @DecoUserTL 

 

Your feedback is unique because the majority of concerns like this are on the oposite side of the argument.  They are displeased that you can't seperate the bands into individual SSIDs.  So having feedback like your is acuatlly quite refreshing as it shows us customers do see value in the approach.  As you have stated and is shown in the configuration FAQ 6GHz when set as a usable band is a seperate network.  This is in fact a limitation at this time.  What I can't say for sure is if it is a limitation in the technology or in the hardware/software.  If its in the technology there isn't much we can do until the technology evolves again.  I don't think it is the tech though so we can for the most part cross that one off the list.  That leaves a hardware or software limitation.  I am leaning to a software personally and that would be best because that would mean its potentially a fix that can be applied at a later time.  If its hardware then while it still might be able to fixed it wouldn't be until the next hardware revision.  

 

I am going to reach out to the development team and get more details and hopefully an answer for you.  In the mean time the fact that this is on a Deco System can and should work in your benefit.  As the Deco is multi unit deployments you shouldn't see much degraation in your clients that are compatible with WiFi6e, so switching to lower frequency bands shouldn't need to happen.  

 

Once i have an answer I will update this thread.  Also we did see a duplicate thread on this concern so that will be deleted as to keep the conversation on one thread. 

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Re:NEW XE75 / AXE5300 system.. why isn't 6GHz band part of the mesh system?
2022-05-05 16:32:54 - last edited 2022-05-05 16:35:38

  @Carl 

 

I appreciate the fast response. Yes, I have noticed that when I'm in my office (farthest from the main unit), it switches the 6GHz signal to the kitchen unit which is closer to me and stays on the 6GHz signal. I still would like it to make the most of its 3 bands and "smartly" switch bands and access points as would best serve my device. If people want separate networks, then I guess you can give them the option, but I definitely want the option to have all 3 bands part of the same SSID. In regards to the 6E tech thing, I don't think that's the issue because it seems the Orbi Quadband router RBKE963 (with a $1500 price tag) can do either, have a single SSID for all bands or separate the 6GHz band into another SSID. I hope as you said its a software issue and not a technical limitation of the XE75 which is of course a more budget option :/

 

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Re:NEW XE75 / AXE5300 system.. why isn't 6GHz band part of the mesh system?
2022-05-09 18:21:03

  @DecoUserTL 

 

So there are a few reasons for this.  They involve security and client devices.

 

Security:

The default secuirty on WiFi 6E's 6GHz is WPA3 and on 5Ghz/2.4GHz it is WPA2.  While WPA3 has been around a little over a year it is still fairly new and not very widely used in clients.  Although going forward most will be compatible with 6GHz meaning they would be compatible with WPA3, there are the legacy devices that will not.   Because of the default secuirty difference it would make roaming between the three bands difficult.  If the encrpytion on 2.4GHz and 5GHz is changed to WPA3 it would then affect device compatiblity.  So at this time it would be problematic to make them part of the same network   

 

Client Devices:

This one more pertains to how the clients first discover the networks.  If the SSID was the same on the 3 bands, It would be possible for the client to discovery the 5GHz first and connect to that band. Because of the difference in the encryption it would stay connected to the 5GHz rather than change to 6GHz.  

 

I am not saying this won't change in the future but it appears we have made this choice to ensure proper compatiblity with new and old devices.    

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Re:NEW XE75 / AXE5300 system.. why isn't 6GHz band part of the mesh system?
2022-05-14 14:45:25 - last edited 2022-05-14 14:47:32

  @Carl So I understand your answers with regards to security and client device. But I would still argue that developers figured it out for routers and mesh systems that have 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz. Devices that aren't compatible with 5Ghz don't try to connect to it, so why would that be different for devices incompatible with WPA3. They can just stay on the 2.4 or 5 channel, right? And with the device band selection.. this is the problem I was already running into until shutting off my auto-reconnect to the main SSID and leaving it on for the 6Ghz band.

 

I am not saying these are not complicated problems to fix, they sound complicated. But mesh is supposed to be smart. The whole idea is to know which is the best router and band for every one of my devices to connect to at any given time, right? So this implementation of 6GHz feels half-baked. It offloads the problem of band selection onto the consumer who wants the ease-of-use.

New issue: TL;DR - Sticky 6GHz connection (doesn't want to change access points)
The other problem I'm running into after using the new routers for a while now is one of smart access point selection. In my upstairs office, I'm at the farthest point in the house from the main router connected to my modem. I'm in a 2-story townhome and I'm on the West side of the 2nd floor. The main unit is on the East side of the 1st floor. I have a 2nd and 3rd unit in the master bedroom on the east side of the 2nd floor and in the kitchen on the west side of the first floor (directly under me). My 6E phone seems to want to stay connected to the main unit longer than is good for it. It stays connected to the main unit with 2-3 bars of wifi (out of 4) and speeds cut to 1/3-1/2 of usual and when I'm on wifi calls I notice cutting out a little.

When I manually reset the wifi on my phone and let it reselect a unit to connect to, it almost always connects to the bedroom connection on the other side of the same floor I'm on.. Once I do that, I get 3-4 bars of wifi and around 2/3 the usual speeds and more stability. But it doesn't want to do this on its own, it seems to want to wait until I'm at like 1 bar of wifi signal (or maybe 2 bars more consistently, because it bounces around from 2-3) before it will change on its own. Its not working. And its making me want to switch either back to the old x68 or just not use the 6GHz band at all which negates the reason I spent more money for the newer device, you know?

 

I'm just starting to regret my purchase of the XE75 here and debating returning it to keep my x68 system which at least was more stable. I don't think this implementation of 6GHz is ready, but that's just 1 consumer's opinion based on my experiences. Maybe it'll work better for someone in a different home with 1 story or something, don't know.

 

This is standing in front of the main unit in the living room
(I pay for 600Mbps/20Mbps from Comcast)

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These are 2 examples of speed/connection (check the wifi bars on the notification shade) in my office while still connected to the main unit because it doesn't want to switch automatically.

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These are 2 examples of speed/connection from my office after I've reset the wifi on my phone and let it connect to the closer bedroom unit

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The speeds aren't even the problem. its the inconsistent signal strength that affects a wifi call and whatnot :/

 

And then just for frame of reference.. here are 2 test in my office when i switch to the main 5GHz SSID instead of the 6GHz SSID

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And it maintains a perfect 4 bars of signal the entire time.


The whole point of these tests for me is to just show that not only are there issues with the mesh system connecting my phone to different units around the house to improve signal strength.. but I would honestly be better served by a mesh system that can smartly take me off of the 6GHz connection when I'm in my office and furthest from the main unit. The 5GHz band would be as strong if not stronger with my max wifi speeds and the signal strength would be much stronger.

This is why to make a good 6E device, I believe you have to figure out the complications with the default security and device selection stuff. That to me is the point of mesh. Making me manually restart my wifi to connect to a different access point in the house or change back and forth between 2 SSID's is just a bad implementation of this tech. I can't get past that. And I hope I was not offensive in this long post, I'm just trying to express my frustration as a customer here, and I would love it if the tech could be improved in the future with software updates (which I realize takes time). In the meantime, I may just disable my 6GHz band for device use and leave it as a backhaul channel, which is disappointing.

 

And I think discontinuing sales of the 3pack of x68s at Costco was a little premature :/

 

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Re:NEW XE75 / AXE5300 system.. why isn't 6GHz band part of the mesh system?
2022-05-16 16:09:55

  @DecoUserTL 

 

Thank you for the very detailed review of the XE75 and your concerns about how it handles networking, speed, etc.  Often we need to do several messages to get a level of detail that is useful for the engineers to review so this does help.  I will be honest my knowledge of Deco and the app are quite limited as I do not have regular access to the system to be able to provide detailed insight.  I could answer some of the concerns but I want to avoid misspeaking, especially if updates and changes have been made to counter the currently beleived knowledge.  I am going to send this to our Engineering team and I will get answers for you. 

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Re:NEW XE75 / AXE5300 system.. why isn't 6GHz band part of the mesh system?
2022-05-29 15:26:46

  @Carl 

 

I would echo @@DecoUserTL on the ability to seamlessly transition. Seems only logical that as our devices mature, our network doesn't have to be chopped apart to take advantage of new features like 6E, but rather move easily based on signal strength.

 

 

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Re:NEW XE75 / AXE5300 system.. why isn't 6GHz band part of the mesh system?
2022-05-29 15:30:33

  @Devast8 Yeah.. sadly.. I have since switched off my 6GHz band for use with devices (it was only my phone taking advantage). Its working a lot better now.. unfortunately without the functionality that I purchased it for. Its basically an x68 now with a slightly faster processor and 1 less internal antenna :/ And Costco stopped selling the 3-pack of the x68 a few weeks after this product came out.. so lose lose

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Re:NEW XE75 / AXE5300 system.. why isn't 6GHz band part of the mesh system?
2022-06-01 10:56:35

  @DecoUserTL

Agree with you imo the deco should keep trying WPA3(6GHz) if the device is in range I have to keep turning on and off my wifi on the phone(Galaxy S22+) for it to see the 6GHz band first and connect to it.

I have the same SSID and password for all the bands 2.4/5/6GHz yet it refuses to automatically connect to the 6GHz when in range.

Also have latest updates for my XE75 and M5.

 

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Re:NEW XE75 / AXE5300 system.. why isn't 6GHz band part of the mesh system?
2022-06-01 11:01:28
Maybe we are asking the wrong company as well my understanding is to make a connection an exchange of packets and handshakes have to be performed so maybe is Samsung who should always try to discover and connect to the 6GHz band first then the other ones 5/2.4GHz.
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Re:NEW XE75 / AXE5300 system.. why isn't 6GHz band part of the mesh system?
2022-06-01 14:59:53

  @Darktron7 

 

I don't think it's a Samsung problem. The range of 6GHz signal is shorter in general, that's just how 6GHz works. The problem is that there are 2 SSIDs in the first place. Its the job of the smart mesh router to help devices select the best signal to use, you can't expect every single computer and phone and device that can use 6GHz signal in the future to have built in smart band selection protocols to get on the best signal. They just want to connect, the router is supposed to be smart and needs to do the picking for them.

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