Mercusys MR70X router: welcome to the world of AX

One of the cheapest Wi-Fi 6 routers on the market offers access to the 802.11ax standard – but where is the trap here?

Introduction, design

We have had the 802.11ax WLAN standard, now called Wi-Fi 6, for about 4 years, so it was possible for the technology, which was initially very premium, to spread and become cheap enough. Today, most notebooks and mobile phones on the market (and not in the lowest price range) are already equipped with a radio adapter compatible with this technology, and in fact, the prices of routers are so high that a development does not cut the family budget. Because what does Wi-Fi 6 promise us? Not primarily higher theoretical speeds (although obviously it has also increased), but greater coverage and greater can be exploited bandwidth in situations where the radio spectrum is crowded and there are many clients trying to connect at the same time – which will be increasingly prevalent everywhere in the 2020s.

External

While more and more routers are trying to provide a “living room-friendly” look, the MR70X is not one of them. It’s good, it’s not an uncharacteristic corporate box, it’s more of a more aggressive, “gamer” line with a marcona shape, a fun grid pattern. Although it is a relatively flat unit (its maximum height with its legs remains below 35 mm), the four huge antennas certainly need space. These antennas can be tilted and rotated, but they are fixed and cannot be replaced.


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Routers don’t have a lot of controls anyway, Mercusys doesn’t change that, we only get a tiny button on the back that combines hardware reset and WPS functions. We are informed of the operation by a small LED in the middle of the front panel, which lights up green when everything is OK, flashing the boot process and activating the WPS, and glows orange when WLAN is disabled. Although the brightness is discreet, if it is distracting, you can turn it off from the menu, and even turn it off timed.


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The rear row of connectors is the first point where we come across the first element of compromises to achieve a good price: here we are greeted by only four RJ45 connectors and a power connector. Connectors are, of course, gigabit, but today in the more expensive category, 2.5GbE and others are already spreading, or at least port trunking is available to take advantage of the WLAN capabilities that are accelerating above gigabit on the wired side as well. These are not available here, so we get an ordinary, built-in gigabit router from the Ethernet side.

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Source: Hírek és cikkek – PROHARDVER! by prohardver.hu.

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