ZyXEL whole home WiFi products - Tested and Compared

Prices last updated 13 December 2017 3:00 AM PST

Whole home WiFi (WHOW) speed is critical for today's smart homes. You must have fast Internet speeds everywhere in your home where there's some device using WiFi - such as your smart TV, WiFi camera, smart thermostat or WiFi light switches - not just next to your router. We want to help you make the right choice of the best WiFi solution for your home. We test WHOW products in our lab and publish our test results. Learn about our testing here.

WiFi router
Armor Z2 AC2600 MU-MINO Wireless Router
AC1733 (MU-MIMO 4x4:4)
in 5GHz

N600 (SU-MIMO 4x4:4)
in 2.4GHz

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WiFi mesh network
ZyXEL Multy X - AC3000 Tri-Band WiFi System
AC867 (SU-MIMO 2x2:2)
in 5GHz

N144 (SU-MIMO 2x2:2)
in 2.4GHz

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Our whole home WiFi testing methodology

We test whole home WiFi products - but our tests are independent and objective:

  • We test only products that were purchased from well known retailers when they were publicly available. We don't test samples pushed to us by the manufacturer prior to release date that may contain different software and hardware than the actual units that you can purchase.
  • We only test performance, measurable with objective metrics. You will not hear what we think of design, or apps, or functionality that has nothing to do with product performance or subjective preferences.
  • We test with a publicly available tool - the fasTest app. Our tests are repeatable - not just by us, but also by you, in your home or office.

We test whole home WiFi products in a real home lab. It's a two level apartment in multi-family building, comprising of the two top levels. The levels are separated by a concrete slab, making it especially difficult for wireless signals to pass through.

Lab layout
whole home WiFi testing lab

The orange squares are locations where we have routers, access points or range extenders placed, whereas the blue circles are location where we perform measurements. We use the fasTest | speed test app (in the "deep" testing mode) for running the tests (and you can, too - in fact, it is recommended you test your solution at home, before you install it and after you set it up, to make sure you got an effective solution for your specific situation).

We perform the fasTest Deep test (using a single TCP connection for data download or upload) in every location for 3-5 times - measuring and recording multitude of parameters. We then pick the top (best) three measurements and average the measurements fto get the result for the specific parameter using the specific network at the specific location.

We then calculate the average whole home performance by averaging the location-specific results in all measurement locations.

Test configurations

Our test configuration depends on the type of UUT (Unit Under Test) - whether a range extender, a standalone router or a WiFi mesh system - as well as the form factor of the UUT components - desktop or wall-plug

Test configuration for range extenders
  • ISP modem/router in location @A, connected to the ISP provided backhaul
  • The range extender (the UUT) is placed at location @B
  • The range extender is connected to the ISP modem/router using WPS Push Button method.
  • The range extender is configured to use both 2.4GHz and 5GHz for serving clients, regardless of the capabilities of the ISP modem/router (that are limited to 2.4GHz only).
Test configuration for mesh systems
  • ISP modem/router in location @A, connected to the ISP provided backhaul
  • Primary mesh unit of the UUT placed at location @A and is connected using an Ethernet cable to the ISP modem/router
  • Additional mesh units of the UUT are placed at location @C and @E (for the desktop form factor) or @B and @E (for the wall-plug form factor)
  • For UUTs with only one additional unit - that unit is placed at location @E
Test configuration for standalone routers
  • ISP modem/router in location @A, connected to the ISP provided backhaul
  • The standalone router (the UUT) is placed at location @A and is connected using an Ethernet cable to the ISP modem/router
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