Product Recommendation: NETGEAR WAX202 WiFi 6 Access Point

I have been a fan of Ubiquiti Access Points after setting one up for the first time almost 2 years ago, and currently have a U6 Lite in my home. Recently, I had to move the U6 to a different location on the second floor, and I immediately noticed some issues with range on the first floor. I used the UniFi app to adjust the radio gain from ‘Auto’ to ‘High’, which helped, but I still wasn’t getting great speeds. I started looking at adding a second access point for the first floor, and initially considered the U6 Mesh. However, it’s been out of stock for a while on ui.com, and $179 is a bit steep considering the U6 Lite was $99. After some Googling, I came across some WiFi 6 access points made by NETGEAR. The WAX202 seemed like it would work nicely, and at just $39.99 (I got it for even less with a coupon, directly from netgear.com), I figured I should give it a try.

Setup was pretty straight forward, and the GUI is easy to navigate but pretty basic. Since this was going to be a secondary AP, I wasn’t looking for fancy features anyways. I run my U6 Lite without a dedicated UniFi controller, so I didn’t mind the WAX202 ‘s lack of support for a centralized management system. I ran a speed test on my iPhone 12, and was pleasantly surprised to see it outperform the U6 Lite with download and upload throughput. The range was better than the U6 Lite too, as I was still able to get great speeds on the second floor. Even with sub-optimal placement, the WAX202 still works well. In fact, I probably could get by with just the WAX202 alone, but I’ll be running both for now. Since I used it in AP mode, I cannot comment on it’s routing capabilities, but I can attest that the built-in 1 GbE switch works just fine.

The few negatives that I can think of are more nitpicks than anything. The status LEDs are overly bright, but they can be disabled in settings. Build quality is pretty average if not slightly below, but for $40.00 I cannot really complain. For certain power users, the settings might be a bit too basic, and no management interface might be a deal breaker for small business deployments.

If you can find one on sale, the WAX202 might be one of the best budget WiFi 6 access points you can buy for covering small to medium sized spaces.

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