GL.iNet GL-AXT1800 not operating at WiFi 6 speeds

As titled.

I have a GL.iNet GL-AXT1800 connected to a Ubiquiti U6-LR (the U6-LR is acting as a Wireless Access Point).

The GL.iNet GL-AXT1800 is connected as a client to the Ubiquiti U6-LR which has a configured WiFi 6 network.

The GL-AXT1800 is configured as a Wi-Fi/ethernet bridge allowing a computer connected to the GL-AXT1800 via ethernet cable access to my home network by the established Wi-Fi link.

When operated in this mode, the GL.iNet GL-AXT1800 only connects to the Ubiquiti U6-LR at WiFi 4 speeds as confirmed by the Ubiquiti controller.

Band / Channel: 2.4 GHz / 6
Signal: -50 dBm
WiFi Standard: WiFi 4
MIMO Configuration:2x2

I have other devices connected to the Ubiquiti U6-LR operating at WiFi 6 speeds to the same SSID, so there is no fault with the configuration of the Ubiquiti U6-LR.

Any ideas what the issue is? The GL.iNet GL-AXT1800 is advertised to operate at WiFi 6 speeds but at present is only operating at WiFi 4 speeds.

Firmware and use please (router, repeater, extender, WDS)

I suspect that when you scanned to connect to networks only 2.4 was selected. In the GL.iNet admin panel click on internet, click switch networks a window will open showing available networks. At the top of the window it will show WLAN and 2.4ghz or 5ghz In Blue. Click the 2.4ghz or 5ghz select auto or 5ghz and rescan.

Can you confirm that the GL-AXT1800 is connected with WPA3 security, which is required by Wifi 6?

Although Wifi 6 applies to the 2.4GHz band, it may not be enabled on the GL-AXT1800 and only on the 5GHz band. The 2.4GHz band on the router is advertised for max 600Mbps.

I do not work for and I am not directly associated with GL.iNet

Why it is connected to 2.4G only?

Can you force it to connect 5G?

The version reported by LuCI is:

OpenWrt 21.02-SNAPSHOT r16399+157-c67509efd7

The GL.iNet GL-AXT1800 is configured in repeater mode, it is a client connected to the U6-LR access point, it is essentially being used as a Wireless Ethernet bridge for the moment.

Via SSH i connected to the GL.iNet GL-AXT1800 and installed the package “wavemon”, this seems to provide a bit more information about the state of the wireless connection.

For reference I believe the GL.iNet GL-AXT1800 has 2 radios, I’m unsure what manufacturer and model name they are.

radio0: 802.11nacax Operating at 5.0 GHz
radio1: 802.11bgnax Operating at 2.4 GHz

I seem to get even worse performance with forced operation on 5.0 GHz.

The thing that strongly makes me think something isn’t right is that I have a mobile phone with a WiFi 6E chip that gets fast performance (at least 600 Mbits/s) when connected to the U6-LR access point in addition to my Lenovo Laptop, this GL.iNet GL-AXT1800 seems to be very mediocre wireless performance wise, unless I am missing something from the configuration.

For reference the U6-LR uses the following radios:

5.0 GHz: Mediatek MT7975AN and MT7915AN 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax 4×4:4
2.4 GHz: Mediatek MT7622 802.11a/b/g/n 4×4:4

For a Wi-Fi 6 device to receive certification from the Wi-Fi Alliance, WPA3 is required, however it isn’t a necessity and at present the U6-LR access point is using WPA2 and I have 2 devices connected in WiFi 6 mode with decent speed and have encountered no problems.

As a test I forced WPA3 on the U6-LR configuration page and it did not improve the situation.

Channel Width is only set to 20ghz can go up to 80ghz(fastest on router). 160ghz is not possible (fastest).
20 to 40ghz on 2.4
20 to 80ghz on 5

Are you also broadcasting a guest network from the GL-AXT1800?

Forcing a channel width of 40 MHz in LuCI, when the mode is supposedly “AX” does not make any difference, indeed LuCI still reports operating 20 MHz channel width even after being forced.

Guest mode is disabled on both 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz radios, see above screenshot.

Just to prove that there is an actual issue, here is a screenshot of the U6-LR topology, notice how there isn’t a “6” logo next to the GL.iNet GL-AXT1800 but there is next to the other WiFi 6 devices I have connected to the U6-LR access point.

So it could be a crowded airspace on 2.4 or the distance possible for some reason. Did you ever get it to scan on 5g? Are DFS channels selected, their is a problem with that feature?

You are indeed correct that WPA2 still works with Wifi 6 and WPA3 is not mandatory.

I have the Unifi U6-Pro access point and connected my Samsung Wifi 6-enabled smartphone over the 2.4GHz band with WPA2 security. The Unifi Network Controller does show the connection as Wifi 6 AX as in your screenshot, so there does appear to be a problem with the GL-AXT1800.

I ran a number of speed tests over 2.4GHz with 20MHz channel width and the download results varied a lot between 20Mbps and 100Mbps because I get significant congestion from a number of nearby 2.4GHz routers/access points.

I agree that there are valid reasons to use 2.4GHz over 5GHz, even with dual-band devices.

I’m by no means an expert so could someone tell me exactly what Wireless Chipset the AXT1800 is using, judging by the photo they appear to be different from one another and both Qualcomm branded.

Or does anyone know a command that I could run once SSH’d to the AXT1800 to display what hardware is installed?

I bought this device explicitly on the basis that I could operate the link at WiFi 6 speeds, at the moment I’m very disappointed, it may be the case that there is a configuration issue but both wcs2228 and myself have demonstrated there is an issue that needs escalating.

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In the Ubiquiti U6-LR Uplink activity moniter is turned on?
The GL-AXT1800 should have factory defaults for settings. (This is the standard setup procedure for all Ubiquiti equipment)

You are kind of comparing a apple to a orange AX client devices compared to a bridged connection that is extending you network and because of that duplexing the speed is cut in half if I’m not mistaken.

Also operating in Wi-Fi bridging mode, wireless APs generate substantial network traffic. Wireless clients connected to these APs usually share the same bandwidth as the bridge devices. As a result, client network performance tends to be lower when the AP is in bridging mode than when it’s not.

Number of people complained about it

It could be so many different things I would start with defaults then start making changes.

dmesg | grep -i Qual

returns Qualcomm Technologies, inc IPQ6018/AP-CP03-C1

To me, the main issue is that the GL-AXT1800 is not connecting to the U6-LR as WiFi 6 over 2.4GHz. The Unifi access point supports WiFi 6 over 2.4GHz/5GHz bands and other devices connect to it with WiFi 6 over both bands, but not the GL-AXT1800. Indeed, it may turn out that the resulting speeds may be higher, lower or the same as WiFi 4, but we do not know that because the comparison cannot be conducted.

I do not personally put much stock into some people who post negative comments on the Internet because their environment, configuration and test methods can be quite different from mine. There are probably lots of other people who are happy with their own results and may not feel inclined to post positive comments. Unfortunately, I no longer have a GL-AXT1800 to conduct my own comparison because I passed the unit to my son to replace his old router; otherwise I would do a test also.

Lower speeds from bridged connection cutting speed in half and generating substantial network traffic would apply whether the connection is WiFi 4 and WiFi 6. The expectation is that WiFi 6 should be better under the same setup.

I do not understand the above because some configuration is required for the GL-AXT1800 to connect to the U6-LR as they do not connect with the factory settings.

If you attempted this connection bridge with another U6-LR the instructions would be first set up the access point, then configure the Station starting with default settings. Access point is where the internet is coming from and station(s) being remote side of the bridge, to state it simple.

Another thing it could be Ubiquiti Bridge drivers might need to be updated

The GL-AXT1800 is not the same as a U6-LR or other Unifi access point.

Connecting a second Unifi access point out-of-the-box to an existing Unifi access point only requires powering up the second access point, then going into the Unifi Network Controller and adopting it after it has been detected. I did this simple procedure to connect an UAP-AC-M to my U6-Pro, then updated the firmware automatically and revised some settings on the UAP-AC-M afterwards, without any change to the U6-Pro.

If the second Unifi access point has already been adopted by another Unifi access point, then it must be reset to factory because only “unadopted” devices can be adopted in the Unifi Network Controller.

Just a FYI:

If my memory serves me well, U6-Lite and U6-LR are based on MediaTek chipset, U6-Pro is based on Qualcomm chipset which has better Wi-Fi performance

All true, was using default settings as a established baseline.

I have been able to connect the GL.iNet GL-AXT1800 at WiFi 6 speeds using the 5.0 GHz band, however the GL.iNet GL-AXT1800 will not allow a WiFi 6 connection using the 2.4 GHz radio.

I’m not sure if this is a bug or not, could someone please clarify?

In addition, it is worth noting that default locale setting for the GL.iNet GL-AXT1800 is set to DE (Germany), which appears to limit the available channels that the GL.iNet GL-AXT1800 will scan and display via the LuCI interface and meant that I had trouble scanning for the 5.0 GHz Channel 141 U6-LR access point from the GL.iNet GL-AXT1800.

It took me a about an hour of changing settings when by accident I changed the U6-LR Access Point operating channel to 140 (on the 5.0 GHz spectrum, this is a centre frequency of 5700 MHz), at this point my Wi-Fi network became visible on the GL.iNet GL-AXT1800 scan page as an available 5.0 GHz network.

For those interested, here is the iperf3 performance when operating the U6-LR access point on the 5 GHz band only with a channel width of 20 MHz, 40 MHz, 80 MHz and 160 MHz using a Samsung Galaxy S21.

I have used a Samsung Galaxy S21 phone with a BCM4389 WiFi 6E chipset, which seems to be one of the best Wi-Fi transceivers on the market for mobile devices at the time of writing this, I’m quite satisfied with the U6-LR performance and here is some real world testing for those who think the wireless throughput on the U6-LR is poor:

5.0 GHz WiFi 6 @ 20 MHz width: ~ 200 Mbits/sec

5.0 GHz WiFi 6 @ 40 MHz width: ~ 400 Mbits/sec

5.0 GHz WiFi 6 @ 80 MHz width: ~ 500 Mbits/sec ( Screenshot attached)

5.0 GHz WiFi 6 @ 160 MHz width: ~ 10 Mbits/sec (Yes, 10 Megabits per second, performance was poor)

The poor performance at 160 MHz width on the 5 GHz band surprised me but maybe it was something to do with the operating frequencies being crowded, I’m unsure.

Just to clear matters up, it is not my intent to operate the GL.iNet GL-AXT1800 as a repeater, in repeater mode the GL.iNet GL-AXT1800 would also be broadcasting as an Access Point. It is my intent to have the GL.iNet GL-AXT1800 act solely as a wireless bridge, that is to say, it is a dumb client and all incoming packets are port forwarded to a single device connected to one of the GL.iNet GL-AXT1800’s LAN ports, as there is no routing it is as if the device connected to the GL.iNet GL-AXT1800 via ethernet was a client on the U6-LR subnet and behaved as any other device on the subnet.

Also an interesting Performance Testing report for the BCM4389 from Broadcom: