WAX202 vs RT3200 AP

Hello everyone. For an ax dumb access point running openwrt, would you go with the WAX202 or the RT3200? I’m curious why either one might be better not considering price. Thanks in advance.

WAX202 has 802.11ax on both bands, the other only on 5 GHz.


Why is that so?

Well, you know... Hardware limitations? :innocent:


As Borromini implied, it's a direct result of the different hardware - and vendors being cheapskates.

The wax202 uses a mt7621a SOC, which has no integrated radio (just a PCIe bus, to attach them) - so the vendor adds two PCIe 802.11ax (onboard-)cards.

mt7622b however comes with a SOC integrated radio (4x4 MIMO (256QAM), 802.11bgn), only the 5 GHz radio needs to be added via PCIe - obviously they take the free 2.4 GHz radio instead of the additional costs for a 802.11ax capable PCIe one and leaving the SOC internal one dormant.

Both mt7621a and mt7622bv predate 802.11ax by a fair margin, contrary to ipq807x, Mediatek just re-uses an existing SOC (although the more expensive mt7622 was rarely used for 802.11ac designs, beyond AsiaRF's reference board) for their 'new' 802.11ax designs (part of the reason why support for these was easier to add than for ipq807x/ ipq60xx/ ipq50xx - and also a reason why these SOCs don't quite match ipq8072+'s performance, only the upcoming Filogic 830 designs will catch up with those).


I'd take the WAX202 over the RT3200 and the Unifi 6 Lite.

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Thanks for the detailed explanation.
That should change our usual router recommendations in forums.
I once did read a comment on Amazon regarding RT3200 that it didn't had AX on 2.5Ghz, I ignored it and almost bought it at the sale.
RT3200 does have better support right now on OpenWrt, but since WAX202 recently got support in 22.03.0-r6 it changes things for better.

Thanks everyone for the awesome feedback! I placed an order for 2 of the WAX202. I also picked up two of the RT3200s a few months ago, but will most likely sell them since I never deployed them in my home due to reported issues and not wanting to risk any problems with a family of four.

Reported problems?

In the developer rt3200 thread, there seems to be issues around stability and speed, but I might have misunderstood. For instance, I saw some people mention the 5ghz ax didn’t work as well as the ac so some just just disabled ax for stability. Like I said, maybe I’m misreading, and progress has already been made or they were just isolated cases.

Let's be clear, mt7622bv is by far superior to mt7621a - it's just the 2.4 GHz wireless which spoils the appearance. As a router, where wired routing performance counts, the rt3200 is by far the better choice - as a 'dumb AP', the wax202 might win over the 2.4 GHz crowd (as here the SOC performance doesn't matter to the same extent).

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I have 5 RT3200. With 23.03 they're very stable. My main complaint with them is the wifi doesn't have very good range. The antennas in a 3200 are very simple printed dipoles. The interior photos of the WAX202 look like the antennas are more sophisticated.

  • though long-distance operation is at odds with the speed improvement of ax. ax only has a benefit if the client is quite close to the router and can use a high MCS that is actually ax.
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small and pointless correction, it's one radio that connects to two pcie lanes. The radio is DBDC, which allows both bands.

The disadvantage is no proper 160MHz functionality. Although the mt7622's 160MHz mode doesn't result in a speedup for some reason.

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Thanks again for everyone's feedback and guidance.

Does anyone know if the AX driver is the same for the RT3200 and WAX202? I only mention this because I think I've seen people comment on the range and speed not being as good when using AX on both devices using OpenWrt, and I wonder if it's the OpenWrt driver since people don't typically mention range and speed issues running stock firmware on them.

driver is the same between both. hardware slightly different.

Thanks for clarifying. Based on everyone's feedback and the fact that I'm only using these as dumb access points, I think I will try the WAX202s for a while.

It looks like the Belkin RT1800 is very similar to the WAX202. How does the RT1800 compare to the WAX202? It might be another viable option with both 2.4ghz and 5ghz having AX support.

extra ethernet port, USB port, better looking IMO. Same hardware otherwise.

No OpenWrt support currently. There's https://github.com/openwrt/openwrt/pull/4470 for the equivalent Linksys unit (same hardware). Probably requires only a slight adjustment.

Thanks again, @neheb :slight_smile:

Does anyone know if you can have 5ghz running on both radios at the same time on snapshot builds for the WAX202?