ZyXel NWA220AX-6E Review: An Odd Wi-Fi 6E Access Point

ZyXel NWA220AX-6E is one of a kind, not necessarily in a good way.

On the one hand, it’s an affordable well-performing PoE access point that can work as a standalone unit or part of ZyXel’s cloud-based Nebula mesh system — you’d need to register an account and log in with the vendor.

On the other, it’s a selectable broadcaster that makes things hard to select by offering you either the popular 5GHz band (Wi-Fi 6) or the novelty 6GHz (Wi-Fi 6E). You read it right; you can’t use both simultaneously. It’s madness.

For this reason, you should look at the Zyxel NWA220AX-6E as more of a Wi-Fi 6E upgrade device that adds 6GHz to an existing Wi-Fi 6 (or 5) network. And only in that case it makes sense.

In a way, and at the current street price of less than $230, the NWA220AX-6E is an excellent PoE-ready alternative to the ARRIS SURFboard W6U for those looking to upgrade to the new 6GHz band.

But if you expect it to be just another Wi-Fi 6E access point, like the Netgear WAX630E, you’ll be sorely frustrated. You might even get mad.

The ZyXel NWA220AX-6E access point in action
The ZyXel NWA220AX-6E access point in action

ZyXel NWA220AX-6E: Not a typical Wi-Fi 6E broadcaster

Of all the Wi-Fi 6E broadcasters (router and access points) I’ve worked with, the NWA220AX-6E is the only one that’s not fully backward compatible.

You have to use it either as a Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router, just like in the case of the WAX630s, or

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