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Why is MX5400 faster than AX4200 with Ethernet?

Skywalkerr.

Regular Member
So I have my own AX4200 as my main router, and then I two child nodes. One is a MX5400 provided by CF and the other is another AX4200 but this was provided by CF also.

The child nodes are connected wirelessly and the one near me, which is an MX5400 is connected to my PC by an Ethernet cable (Cat5e).

I previously had the AX4200 that was provided by CF connected to my PC by the same Ethernet cable and speeds were way slower.

I have attached pictures below. The slow speeds is from the AX4200 provided by CF and the faster speeds from the MX5400 provided from CF.
 

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You are trying to make this a scientific experiment and you couldn't really be more far from it. WiFi is not a single piece of wire that you can use to test A vs B. It's an extremely complex beast, much more than people imagine. Let me give you a taste. First you have the WiFi standard: 802.11n (WiFi 4), 802.11ac (WiFi 5) and 802.11ax (WiFi 6). Wi-Fi 6E expands on the existing Wi-Fi 6 standard and allows access to a new 6 GHz band but your 2 units don't support it. And now we have also WiFi 7 (802.11be) which again your units don't support it that doubles the maximum channel bandwidth to 320MHz. We spoke abouts bands which for your units it's 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Then we have channels, which are basically pieces of MHz bandwidth that wireless devices use. Channels have a number and a width. Dual band routers (like the MX5400) for instance support simultaneous use of the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, hence the dual. Tri band routers (like the AX4200) support simultaneous use of the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands and an additional band either a second 5Ghz (sometimes used for internet backhaul in a WiFi mesh) or the 6Ghz from WiFi 6E. Then you have SU-MIMO (single user multiple-input and multiple-output) and MU-MIMO (multi user multiple-input and multiple-output) which is basically multiple streams of data to add more bandwidth (2x2, 3x3, 4x4, etc). Each of these need to be supported both on the wireless client (the wireless device) and the wireless access point (the wireless router). And even if they both support the right standards a lot of times they will not be able to achieve the best outcome due to incompatibilities.

If the above technology differences weren't enough let's now add all the different WiFi chips manufaturers, different firmware implementations and different antennas in each device and each WiFi access point. And let's also add the fact that all houses are different and all materials reflect WiFi signals differently. And finally let's just drop 20 different WiFi routers from all your neighbours all trying to share and use the bands and channels. And let's make we don't forget the increasing number of WiFi devices in our houses and the doubling of user data every two years.

Now do you still want to compare your WiFi speeds? If you have a PC you should use wired ethernet where you are going to get 100% of the speed available in your switch/router 100% of the time. Leave WiFi only for portable devices where you are most likely not going to care much abouts speeds once you reach few hundred Mb/s. Everything else is not going to be a scientific experiment since you don't have the capability of reproducing the same conditions, on the same bands, on the same channels, with the same interference from other networks.

So yes your two tests are different. But actually I would worry if they were the same. Different is how I expect WiFi to behave normally...
 
You are trying to make this a scientific experiment and you couldn't really be more far from it. WiFi is not a single piece of wire that you can use to test A vs B. It's an extremely complex beast, much more than people imagine. Let me give you a taste. First you have the WiFi standard: 802.11n (WiFi 4), 802.11ac (WiFi 5) and 802.11ax (WiFi 6). Wi-Fi 6E expands on the existing Wi-Fi 6 standard and allows access to a new 6 GHz band but your 2 units don't support it. And now we have also WiFi 7 (802.11be) which again your units don't support it that doubles the maximum channel bandwidth to 320MHz. We spoke abouts bands which for your units it's 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Then we have channels, which are basically pieces of MHz bandwidth that wireless devices use. Channels have a number and a width. Dual band routers (like the MX5400) for instance support simultaneous use of the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, hence the dual. Tri band routers (like the AX4200) support simultaneous use of the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands and an additional band either a second 5Ghz (sometimes used for internet backhaul in a WiFi mesh) or the 6Ghz from WiFi 6E. Then you have SU-MIMO (single user multiple-input and multiple-output) and MU-MIMO (multi user multiple-input and multiple-output) which is basically multiple streams of data to add more bandwidth (2x2, 3x3, 4x4, etc). Each of these need to be supported both on the wireless client (the wireless device) and the wireless access point (the wireless router). And even if they both support the right standards a lot of times they will not be able to achieve the best outcome due to incompatibilities.

If the above technology differences weren't enough let's now add all the different WiFi chips manufaturers, different firmware implementations and different antennas in each device and each WiFi access point. And let's also add the fact that all houses are different and all materials reflect WiFi signals differently. And finally let's just drop 20 different WiFi routers from all your neighbours all trying to share and use the bands and channels. And let's make we don't forget the increasing number of WiFi devices in our houses and the doubling of user data every two years.

Now do you still want to compare your WiFi speeds? If you have a PC you should use wired ethernet where you are going to get 100% of the speed available in your switch/router 100% of the time. Leave WiFi only for portable devices where you are most likely not going to care much abouts speeds once you reach few hundred Mb/s. Everything else is not going to be a scientific experiment since you don't have the capability of reproducing the same conditions, on the same bands, on the same channels, with the same interference from other networks.

So yes your two tests are different. But actually I would worry if they were the same. Different is how I expect WiFi to behave normally...
I just find it strange that the mx5400 as a child node in room and connected to my PC via Ethernet is double the speed as the ax4200 as a child node connect to my PC via ethernet. I would expect the ax4200 to be what the mx5400 speeds are as this quite a big difference between the two?
 
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I just find it strange that the mx5400 as a child node in room and connected to my PC via Ethernet is double the speed as the ax4200 as a child node connect to my PC via ethernet. I would expect the ax4200 to be what the mx5400 speeds are as this quite a big difference between the two?
I have tried to explain. You are not comparing apples to apples. What band is your child node using? What channels? What other traffix is going on? This is all outside of your control. Connect your child nodes via ethernet and then you will have good speeds from both.
 
I have tried to explain. You are not comparing apples to apples. What band is your child node using? What channels? What other traffix is going on? This is all outside of your control. Connect your child nodes via ethernet and then you will have good speeds from both.
Same bands, same channels. Literally I just switch them over in the same location and use the Ethernet cable to get wired connection to my PC. I did the speeds about 10mins for each other. This was early in the morning so no other devices were on in my house.
 
And this £950 WiFi 6 mesh system claims 6Gbps max speed:

https://www.netgear.com/uk/home/wifi/mesh/rbk863sb/

But then you read the disclaimer: "Maximum wireless signal rate derived from IEEE® 802.11 specifications. Actual data throughput and wireless coverage will vary and be lowered by network and environmental conditions, including network traffic volume, device limitations, and building construction. NETGEAR makes no representations or warranties about this product’s compatibility with future standards. Up to 6Gbps wireless speeds achieved when connecting to other 802.11ax 6Gbps devices."

But why stop there? The next level up is the Orbi 960 which promises 10.8Gbps for a mere £ 1,499.99:

https://www.netgear.com/uk/home/wifi/mesh/rbke963b/

And why not even jump nextgen to the WiFi 7 Orbui 970, currently only available in the US for $2,299.99:

https://www.netgear.com/home/wifi/mesh/rbe973sb/

That "unleashes speeds up to 27Gbps", in some dreamland of course and none of that is achieveable in the real world...
 
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