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Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 Review – The Most Affordable WiFi 6 Router?

The Biggest Yet The Cheapest WiFi 6 Router We Tested!

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Today, we will be reviewing the newly released Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 in China for a price of 599 yuan ($85 USD). Remember, if you are planning to buy a WiFi 6 router, the full potential of this router will be seen on a 500 Mbps broadband and above. If your network is below 500 Mbps, the traditional WiFi 5 router will be the best for you. However, it’s a good investment right now, since the Snapdragon 865 phones come with WiFi 6. It’s not the cheapest WiFi 6 router out there. The cheapest WiFi router is Archer AX20 but the hardware configuration is really limited. So, let’s dive into this review and know everything we need to know about Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600.

Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 review - 1

Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 Review – Specs Sheet

CPU IPQ8071A 4Core A53 1GHz CPU
Network acceleration engine Dual core 1.7GHz NPU
ROM 256MB
Memory 512MB
2.4G Wi-Fi 2×2 (IEEE802.11ax, 574Mbps)
5G Wi-Fi 4×4 (IEEE802.11ax, 2402Mbps)
Antenna 6*External high gain antennas + 1*AloT Antenna
Heat dissipation Natural heat dissipation
Physical interface 1*10/100/1000 WAN (Auto MDI/ MDIX)
3*10/100/1000 LAN (Auto MDI/ MDIX)
LED Indicator light 1*SYSTEM indicators
1*INTERNET indicators
4*Network ports
1*AIoT light
Reset button 1*Reset button
Power input interface 1*Power input interface
Wireless standard IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax, IEEE802.3/3u/3ab
Certification standards GB/T9254-2008; GB4943.1-2011
Dual-band 2.4GHz, 5GHz
Wireless channel 2.4GHz Channel: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13
5GHz Channel: 36,40,44,48,149,153,157,161,165
Modulation Mode 11b: DSSS: DBPSK(1Mbps), DQPSK (2Mbps), CCK (5.5/11Mbps)
11a/g: OFDM: BPSK (6/9Mbps), QPSK (12/18Mbps), 16QAM(24/36Mbps), 64QAM(48/54Mbps)
11n: MIMO-OFDM: BPSK, QPSK, 16QAM, 64QAM. Rate set: MCS0~MCS15
11ac: MIMO-OFDM: BPSK, QPSK, 16QAM, 64QAM, 256QAM.
Rate set: MCS0~MCS9 (4 streams supported)
11ax: MIMI-OFDM: BPSK, QPSK, 16QAM, 64QAM, 256QAM, 1024QAM. Rate set: MCS0~MCS11(4 streams supported)
Operating system Intelligent router operating system MiWiFi ROM based on OpenWRT deep customization
Wireless security WPA-PSK / WPA2-PSK/ WPA3-SAE encryption, wireless access control (black and white list), hidden SSID, intelligent anti-scratch network
Management application Support Web, Android, iOS
Working environment Working temperature: 0~40℃
Storage temperature: 10%~90%RH Non-condensing
Working humidity: -40~70℃
Storage humidity: 5%~90%RH Non-condensing

Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 Review – The Unboxing

Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 review - Box

Starting with the packaging, this router has the largest boxing I have ever seen for a router. It feels larger than the box of the Xiaomi Notebook Pro 15.6 enhanced version, but it isn’t that heavy than the notebook but still much weight for being a router.

Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 review - unboxing
First impression

Unboxing it, we have the Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600, power adapter, network cable, and a simple instruction manual (in Chinese).

Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 Review – Design & Appearance

The Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 adopts a relatively rare triangular body design, a matte plastic case, and a large area of ​​heat dissipation grill that is surround through the entire router. Heat dissipation performance is not bad, and you will not feel obvious heat when you touch the case.

Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 review - Main body

Seven antennas aren’t that much for a router priced under $100, however, they are still more than most of the routers people use in their home. The antennas include one independent IoT device antenna, two 2.4GHz antennas, and four 5GHz antennas.

Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 review - Metal Wire Antenna

On the bottom center, there is the login information and QR code of the router (you can scan and download the Mi WiFi App).

Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 review - Bottom

There are four rubber pads at the bottom of the Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600, which can play a role of non-slip fixing during home placement.

Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 review - Pading

It is worth mentioning that the 2.4Ghz antenna and 5Ghz antenna of the Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 are equipped with PA power amplifiers and LNA low-noise amplifiers, so we don’t have to worry too much about the signal loss. The IoT device antenna also comes with standard indicator light. I haven’t found its specific role anyway.

Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 review - LED indicators

A copper-colored metal piece is configured on the top of the Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 to accelerate the heat transfer from the inside to the outside of the router and provide stable heat dissipation support for the router’s high-speed operation.

Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 review - Copper heat sink
A copper plate at center efficiently distributes the heat

The Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 has not changed much in terms of interface. There’s 1x Gigabit WAN port, 3x Gigabit LAN ports, power interface and Reset button are in line with the requirements of home use, but it is recommended to add 1-2 interfaces more.

Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 review - Ports and Buttons

The Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 is equipped with a 12V / 2A power adapter. Compared with the Redmi router AC2100, it has 0.5A more amperes.

Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 review - Power Adaptar

Last but not least, due to the highly efficient heat dissipation, this router is advertised as one of the most durables Xiaomi routers out there. Here what they did to check its durability:

Durability

Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 Review – Hardware & Features

The Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 is equipped with a Qualcomm IPQ8071A chip with a 4-core A53 architecture and a 2-core network acceleration engine. This chip uses a six-core design, which includes a 64-bit quad-core 1.0GHz CPU and a dual-core 1.7GHz NPU. The 2.4GHz Wi-Fi chip is QCN5024, the 5GHz Wi-Fi chip is QCN5054, and the AIoT Wi-Fi chip is QCA9889. With 512MB of large memory, the hardware configuration is worth praising as along with 256MB internal storage, this router can connect up to 248 devices at the same time.

Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 review - Mi logo 1

It’s easy to understand why the Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 is called AX3600. First of all, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) is a new generation of Wi-Fi6 standards, so it is named by AX prefix. Secondly, the bandwidth of the router is 160MB, the rate is 574Mbps in the 2.4GHz band, and the rate is 2402Mbps in the 5GHz band. The IoT antenna is also dual-band, which is 150 Mbps and 433 Mbps, so the total is 3559 Mbps.

In addition, Xiaomi AIoT routers are equipped with two and four external high-performance signal amplifiers (PA + LNA) in the 2.4GHz band and 5.0GHz band, respectively. PA (power amplifier) ​​effectively enhances the signal transmission power, LNA (low noise amplifier) ​​can improve the sensitivity of signal reception, the signal transmission distance is longer, along with better wall penetration.

Also Read: WiFi 6 vs WiFi 7 – Speed, Frequency Comparison | What To Expect?

What’s Good About WiFi6?

The first advantage of Wi-Fi6 is that it supports 1024-QAM. Compared with Wi-Fi5’s 256-QAM, the data capacity is higher and the transmission speed is faster. At the same time, OFDMA + MU-MIMO can allow several devices to communicate at the same time. A single router can get connected to hundreds of devices, unlike Wi-Fi 5, where there’s a limit. As a result, the network is more open and less likely to be blocked.

Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 review - MU-MIMO

It also supports BSS Coloring technology, which can reduce the previous interference of multiple routers and improve communication efficiency. Beamforming technology can detect smartphones, smart devices, etc., enhance range signals, and enhance communication quality, which is the same as the Redmi router AC2100 and AC2300.

Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 review - BS coloring

At the same time, the Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 supports IPv6 and Auto Configuration. This is an improvement and extension of the DHCP protocol, making network (especially local area network) management more convenient and faster. At the same time, IPv6 encrypts data at the network layer and verifies IP packets, which greatly enhances network security. And so on, IPv6 application situations will become more and more popular in the near future.

Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 Review – Setting Up

Setting up the router is easy. Attach the WAN cable, plug in the power adaptor and connect the router. You can connect and configure the router from two methods. First is downloading the Mi WiFi app from the App Store/Play Store and is multi-language. Second is the old traditional website login on miwifi official website or

Setting

The instructions for connecting the router to the APP or website login are given in the user manual which, sadly, is in Chinese. Here’s how to connect it via Mi Wifi app:

  1. Download the Xiaomi Wi-Fi application on your phone.
  2. After opening, it will automatically scan the nearby Wi-Fi router
  3. After recognizing the Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600, click Connect and Bind.
  4. You can choose to automatically set or import the previous settings.
  5. After a few simple steps, you can enter the APP main menu, and the router can only be managed by the currently connected APP, greatly improving security.

Mi WiFi

After connecting the power and network cable, use a phone to connect to the WLAN signal sent by the Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 (no password required), and then enter the relevant broadband account and password to achieve Internet access. More importantly, there’s only one WiFi name for the dual-band frequency networks.

setting up

If the user has previously used a Xiaomi router, its settings can also be imported directly with one click. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Connect the power supply and plug in the main network cable (WAN port). Do not power off the old router.
  2. Plug the included network cable into the WAN port of the old router and the Xiaomi AIoT router. AX3600 LAN port
  3. Follow the instructions of the Xiaomi Wi-Fi App. You can modify the encryption method of the router after the setting is completed.

The addition of the WPA3 encryption protocol this time greatly increases the difficulty of network cracking and makes user’s information secure. Users can also enable Wi-Fi mode, AIoT smart antenna scanning, etc. according to their needs.

Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 review - attached cable

Users who like to operate on the PC can directly access the website and enter the settings of Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600. They can directly modify and set the WiFi name and password. It is necessary to set the upload and download speed of broadband. After everything is done, the “Earth” shape will pop up and the router will have internet access.

Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 review - Website preview
Here’s a preview of setting up the router via website login

Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 Review – Signal Strength and Performance

Map

For the test, we have selected a 90 square meter house. We have selected three test points and the star shown is where the router is placed. We will be testing 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands. The bandwidth package is 160 Mbps which is below the recommended 500Mbps+ package to get the best out of AX3600 router and test WiFi 6 limit rate. The phone which is measuring the speed is Xiaomi Mi 6 (it doesn’t have WiFi 6) and the software selected is ‘Okala SpeedTest’.

The Speedtest test results show that 5GHz band WiFi performed well. The download speed in all three locations reaches up to 100Mbps, and the upload speed of 22.8Mbps remains basically unchanged despite the distance. This is worth praising. On the contrary, the performance of 2.4GHz is average, and the upload and download are what we expected. More importantly, the 5GHz band has less coverage but much better speed than the 2.4GHz band. This is why we see the speed difference. Judging from the data, the network coverage of Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 is relatively wide, and the network speed is relatively stable, which is enough for ordinary home users.

For the AIoT smart products connection, if you have Xiaomi and Mijia smart home products you can download the Mijia home app, scan the product, and connect it with one-click only.

Features

In addition, the Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 still continues the features also found in the previous Xiaomi and Redmi routers because they all have the same basic Mi WiFi app. These include intelligent speed limit, WeChat red envelope Wi-Fi, security center, child protection, etc., and NetEase UU game accelerator, which is free for three months and supports PC and Android. You can read about all these features in our Redmi router AC2100 review.

Our Verdict

Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 review - Mi logo

In short, if you are in search of a WiFi 6 router offering at the best price range and no limited hardware utilization, Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 is the first one you should consider. With its “unique” and “domineering” design, it gives us an incredible performance with high speed, high penetration, and large coverage area. The most important feature is the WiFi 6 integration and technologies like the MU-MIMO, and the automatic network distribution function of independent AIoT smart antennas are indeed in line with the 5G wave.

Like we said if you don’t have a 500Mbps network or above, buying a WiFi 6 router isn’t necessary. You can go for a Redmi AC2100 router or Redmi AC2300 router which is much cheaper than the AX3600. Even you should have a WiFi 6 notebook or smartphone to utilize the best out of the router which is rare to see right now. However, it’s a good investment if you are planning to move to 500Mbps and more internet package and also have smart devices (probably Xiaomi and Mijia) at home.

Sadly, the firmware has a long way to go as it doesn’t support 160MHz bandwidth. Moreover, one can sometimes experience stability issues as well and need to restart the router.

Updates on Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600

Update: Huawei released Huawei AX3 Pro which supports 160MHz bandwidth by default. It’s also 2x lesser than AX3600. You can see its review here.

Xiaomi AIOT router AX3600 AP mode
Diagram illustrating the AP setup for the Xiaomi AIOT Router AX3600

Update 6/23/2020: Xiaomi officially announces that the Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 mesh networking feature is now available in the new update. It also supports mesh networking with the Xiaomi router AX1800.

Price & Availability

In China, the Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 is selling for 599 yuan ($85). However, the price for global purchase from websites like Aliexpress and Banggood range around $110 to $160. If you are interested in buying this router, Aliexpress may provide you the best price which is $94 (excluding shipping cost). Here’s the link of the store:

If the above deals expire here are some more stores to get the router for the best price.

Image Credits: Yuan Chuang (PCOnline.com)

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Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 Review – The Most Affordable WiFi 6 Router?
Summing Up
Xiaomi AIoT router AX3600 is one of the cheapest WiFi 6 routers out there with the most impressive and unique design. It also has MU-MIMO technology and a separate AIoT antenna as well. It can bring the best out of a 500Mbps and above connection. However, a connection lower than 500Mbps might not bring the best out of it.
Design & Appearance
9
Hardware
10
App
6
Signal Strength & Speed
8.5
Features
10
Firmware
5
Price
8.5
Reader Rating9 Votes
7.9
Pros
Unique Triangular Design
OFDMA+MU-MIMO
Excellent Heat Dissipation (High Durability)
One of the Best Hardware (Qualcomm 6-core, 512MB memory)
WiFi 6
Tons of features (WPA3 encryption, child protection, game acceleration)
Dual Band (2.4GHz and 5GHz)
The Cheapest Qualcomm WiFi 6 router
Cons
Only 3 Lan Ports, No USB port
High Bandwidth (500Mbps+) and WiFi 6 device needed to get the best out of this router
The firmware needs to be updated like other Mi/Redmi routers (160MHz bandwidth not supported)
Experience stability issues sometimes
8.1
Total Rating
  1. the freaking speedtest. my gawd, why not use iperf instead? or better yet a simple network file sharing transfer speed if your not that nerd enough.

  2. 1. Will I be able to configure DNS?
    2. Does it have the ability to switch to Access Point (AP) mode?
    3.Will I be able to disable the xiaomi AIOt feature?

    1. 1) Yes, you can do that in the MiWiFi web login. Open the advanced tab>>>Go to the DDNS tab>>>click add service
      2) Yes, it can be switched to AP Mode as well. You can do that via both the MiWifi web and must easily on the MiWiFi App. Connect the WAN port of the Xiaomi AX3600 router to the LAN port of the main router via a network cable. Then either use another cable and attach it to the LAN port of the Xiaomi router and your laptop/PC or use the WIFI SSID. I have added the AP mode diagram (given by Xiaomi officially) to the review, you can see it. Sadly, it’s in Chinese but you will get the basic idea.
      3) I didn’t find any specific switch to disable the AIOT feature in either the Mi WiFi web or the Mi WiFi app. For now, I can say that it can’t be disabled but maybe Xiaomi might provide it in the firmware update. For now Xiaomi smart home products in the range pop-ups automatically and you are allowed to connect to them or not.

      0
      0
    1. Hi!
      No, not at the moment, as this device is new. Moreover, we also have the UI problem with most Xiaomi routers, especially the new ones. Due to the Chinese firmware and China Mainland location set by default in the Xiaomi routers including this one, the language for the MiWiFi web page is in Chinese. The google translator can help but not that much. One needs an English firmware for it which is a long way as the router is new and is already experiencing some firmware problems (160MHz not supported, stability issues). That is why I recommend everyone to use the MiWiFi App which doesn’t need that much effort as we do on the web page. It’s multilingual and really easy to use. However, after many updates to the app, we do experience some weird connectivity problems.

      1
      0
  3. Hi, would you please provide detailed setup with the traditional way of using pc since I am waiting for my router and reliazed that the manual would be in Chinese, so I need help with the setup.

    BTW, I ordered this router only because I read that it has good coverage area, but is it for both 2.4ghz and 5ghz bands? With my current router the coverage for 5ghz is good, but for he 2.4ghz it is very bad.

    Thanks a lot for you help in advance,

    1. Yes, this router is for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz (dual-band). You can either switch to 5GHz or 2.4GHz. Moreover, there’s the automatic band switching as well in which the router automatically detects which band is supported by the connected device.
      As for the traditional way:
      You can log in to:
      1) miwifi.com or 192.168. 31.1 and follow the on-screen steps
      2) the default username is ‘none’ and the password is ‘admin’
      Now you will see the homepage of the router, there’s the status, storage, settings, and advance tab on the top. You can set preferred band from the settings tab.
      Note: The login and the settings are almost same for all Xiaomi routers. Previous Xiaomi router users can connect the same way like they previously do. Moreover, you can import settings of your previous router to the new router as well.

      1
      0

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Design & Appearance
Hardware
App
Signal Strength & Speed
Features
Firmware
Price
Final Score

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