I got interested in what’s going on with WiFi, and that’s what happened:

  1. Wifi 7 (be) standard will be next year (2024), so everything is actively developing.
  2. Wifi 6e (AX) adds a new 6 GHz band, we have it approved at the end of December 2022. So far, there are no models on sale yet (apparently, you need to wait a couple of months). The main advantage is 7 wide channels in the new range (as opposed to 2 wide channels in the 5 GHz band). So, if you really need speed (although it is unclear why you drive so much) or 5 GHz in your apartment building is already clogged, then this is the way out.
  3. Wifi 6 (ax) brings many improvements to the algorithms. Yes, and quickly. Most likely, you already have clients with support for 6 and 6e – many devices have been released with this support for several years.
  4. Wifi 5 (ac) is not bad, but the main problem is in the wire – usually there is a 100Mbps port, and this is unbalanced with some 1200mbps WiFi: and it will not work completely to accept a tariff above 100mbps, and the speed on the home NAS will be 100mbps.
  5. Wifi 4(n) is about like Wifi 5: 300Mbps over the air, but only 100Mbps wire. But here the difference is smaller and, taking into account different losses, it is not so striking.

In other words, if the tariff is more than 100Mbps or there are wired devices that will benefit from speeds of more than 100Mbps (NAS), then it makes sense to upgrade to WiFi 6. At the same time, 6e and 7 will soon be available, so it is not worth taking “for growth” or “many years”, most likely in 3 years it will make sense upgrade.

By brand:

  1. Keenetic disappointed with low-speed models (AX1800) at the price of high-speed ones from other manufacturers. And the lack of high-speed models. It seems that, like ZyXEL, they forget from time to time to update models. At the same time, Keenetic OS is very functional (VPN servers for combining houses, several uplinks, the choice of an individual provider for individual devices, etc.).
  2. HUAWEI, Xiaomi, Redmi and some others are good hardware, but I did not find that there were more or less advanced settings. Here you can either take a separate device for DHCP and VPN servers and clients, or leave the old Keenetic enabled, or not take it from them.
  3. TP-Link looks good – both the hardware is fresh, and the firmware has been developing for many years and there is a feeling that the necessary functionality may be there, but to understand the details after purchase.

So I will try two TP-LINK Archer AX1500 (3.2tr per piece). 1201 Mbit/s at 5 GHz. I.e. comparable to a gigabit Ethernet port and the speed of conventional hard drives (for the case of NAS). It looks balanced. There are usually no high-speed (and regular) data transfer requirements between WiFi clients, so pure WiFi speed is not needed.

There is no point in taking it for growth (for SSD NAS and for a local network with 2.5G/5G ports), because by that time there will be newer WiFi standards in use and it will be easier to change WiFi routers at the same time.

In general, 100Mbps of speed both inside and on the Internet (if +- honest) is quite enough. There are essentially 3 exceptions: downloading distributions, working with backups and frequent video editing. Since scripts are relatively rare and feasible for me (albeit longer) on the current hardware, speed is far from the main thing. More important now is the more reliable customer experience, which is expected from WiFi 6 (right now I have stability issues in some places on Android clients).

Interestingly, manufacturers of boxed NAS persistently ignore WiFi modules in their devices, and at home it often turns out that WiFi can be faster than a wired network.

And the lack of a good Open Source for such devices is disappointing - they are already very computers, but you have to choose not only by hardware, but also by the software that was implemented for it.

UPD. I looked at the TP-Link here: https://www.tp-link.com/ru/support/emulator/ . Very basic settings compared to Keenetic. As a result, I take HUAWEI WiFi AX3 Pro (4tr per piece)– faster, more powerful, looks better. Of the limitations: DHCP can not be configured (only static IP, but everyone has it), and we will deal with VPN through the “NAS” later, it is not very relevant now (in extreme cases, you can leave the current Keenetic for DHCP and VPN for a while). There is a hope that the firmware may be finished with time, because the hardware allows it.

UPD2. If you do not find fault with the HUAWEI WiFi AX3 Pro software, then it is critical that the VPN server functions are not enough. The rest of what was in Keenetic (DNS per host, many providers (including VPN), provider per host (default route), automatic switching to a second provider, custom routes, wake on lan, custom DNS server records) is nice, but you can do without. You can also come up with support for combining 2-4 ports on one link: to compensate for the higher speed of WiFi than wired ports (this usually happens in many routers). The VPN server (in order to connect to the house from the outside) will have to be lifted on some kind of machine. I replaced 3 WiFi 5 points with 2 WiFi 6, so far there is a feeling that it works better and the problems with Android have been solved.