Rock Space AX1800 Dual Band Wi-Fi 6 Router Review (RSD0619)

Not everyone needs a cutting-edge wireless router that costs hundreds of dollars. You can still take advantage of the latest Wi-Fi technologies with an inexpensive router, like the Rock Space AX1800 Dual Band Wi-Fi 6 Router (model RSD0619). At $79.99, it’s an extremely affordable way to upgrade your home network to Wi-Fi 6. You don’t get a lot of extras with this router, and its 5GHz performance didn’t beat no speed records in our tests, slower. than the TP-Link Archer AX10 at the same price. Still, the RSD0619 offers fast 2.4GHz performance and is easy to install, making it a good choice overall.

The design: a trendy black finish

The RSD0619 has a black finish, ideal for following the latest trend in interior decoration. The device measures 1.5 by 9.5 by 6.5 inches (HWD), with four non-removable antennas protruding from the sides. There’s a small LED indicator on the top that lights solid blue when everything is connected and flashes blue during setup.

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Rock Space Router RSD0619

As far as features go, this is a straightforward router. It does not offer multi-gig LAN/WAN ports or USB ports, nor does it support link aggregation. But it does have four 1Gbps LAN ports and one 1Gbps WAN port, all located on the rear panel along with a power jack and a Reset/WPS button. Gigabit ports deliver the minimum wired speeds we expect from modern routers.

The RSD0619 is a dual-band router that can achieve maximum (theoretical) data rates of up to 600 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and up to 1,200 Mbps on the 5 GHz band, hence its rating. AX1800. It’s powered by a dual-core processor and supports most Wi-Fi 6 protocols, including MU-MIMO data streaming, direct-to-client beamforming, WPA3 encryption, BSS Color technology for less interference from neighboring devices and OFDMA (orthogonal frequency division multiple access data transmissions). However, the wide channel bandwidth of 160 MHz is not supported here, as it is on some more expensive Wi-Fi 6 routers.

As is the case with most budget routers, the RSD0619 does not come with any network security or anti-malware utilities. It offers basic parental controls that let you create access schedules and blacklists for each device, but lacks the age-based filters and usage monitoring features you get with routers more expensive ones such as the Asus ROG Strix GS-AX5400.

You can control the router using the web console or the Rock Space Home app for iOS and Android mobile devices. The app opens to a home screen containing a panel for each installed router and Home, Devices, and Account buttons positioned at the bottom of the screen.

Rock Space mobile app screens showing dashboard, list of connected devices, and schedule settings

Rock Space mobile app screens (three, left to right)

Tap on the router panel to display a list of connected devices and how they are connected (wireless or wired radio band). When you tap on any device, you’ll open a screen where you can see its MAC and IP address, see what SSID it’s connected to, add it to a blocklist, and enable parental controls. Tap More settings to access LAN, Wi-Fi and Guest network settings. Here you can also create blocklists, configure port forwarding, enable Quality of Service (QoS), change passwords, reboot the router, and update firmware.

Rock Space AX1800 review: better 2.4 GHz than 5 GHz

I had the RSD0619 up and running within minutes. I turned on the router, connected it to my modem using the included LAN cable, and downloaded the mobile app. I created an account, pressed the + icon on the opening screen, and selected the RSD0619 from the list of routers. When prompted, I connected my phone to the router’s SSID, selected my connection type (DHCP) and time zone, and gave the new network a name and password. Once the router rebooted, the installation was complete.

The RSD0619 performed admirably in our 2.4GHz throughput tests. Its proximity test score of 126 Mbps (same room) was significantly faster than the TP-Link Archer AX10 (79 Mbps) and the D-Link DIR-X1560 (80 Mbps). In the 30-foot 2.4 GHz test, the RSD0619 also took top honors with a score of 53 Mbps. The TP-Link Archer AX10 reached 40 Mbps and the D-Link DIR-X1560 delivered 38 Mbps.

The RSD0619 did not perform as well in the 5 GHz throughput tests. It managed 614 Mbps in the proximity test, behind the TP-Link Archer AX10 (755 Mbps) and the D-Link DIR-X1560 (712 Mbps). Its 175 Mbps score on the 30-foot 5 GHz test was also slower than the TP-Link Archer AX10 (215 Mbps) and the D-Link DIR-X1560 (207 Mbps).

In addition to speed tests, we use an Ekahau Sidekick Wi-Fi diagnostic device and Ekahau’s Survey mobile app to generate heatmaps that illustrate the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz signal strength of the router in our home. of testing. (Ekahau is owned by Ziff Davis, PCMag’s parent company.) The circle on the heatmap represents the location of the router, and the colors represent signal strength. Dark green indicates stronger signal and dark yellow indicates weaker signal.

Rock Space RSD0619 2.4GHz Signal Strength Board

Rock Space RSD0619 5GHz Signal Strength Board

Rock Space AX1800 Dual Band Wi-Fi 6 Router (RSD0619) 2.4 GHz (top) and 5 GHz (bottom) signal strength maps.

As shown on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz cards, the RSD0619 showed relatively good signal strength throughout most of our test home, but struggled to maintain a strong signal in the garage, which was finds to be the furthest point from the router.

Still, I can’t quibble with cheap Wi-Fi 6

If you need an affordable router that offers most of the latest Wi-Fi 6 technology, the Rock Space AX1800 RSD0619 Dual Band Wi-Fi 6 Router is worth a look. Features are sparse on this $80 router, but it was very easy to set up and delivered solid 2.4GHz throughput performance in our tests. If you need faster throughput performance at 5 GHz, the TP-Link Archer AX10 is a better choice, although it is not universally better: its performance at 2.4 GHz is slower than that provided by the RSD0619 in our testing, and it’s also light on customizable features.

If you can afford to spend more, check out the $150 TP-Link Archer AX50. It offers significantly better throughput and comes with lifetime malware protection and parental controls. It’s our top pick for budget Wi-Fi routers.

Rock Space AX1800 Dual Band Wi-Fi 6 Router (RSD0619)

The essential

The Rock Space RSD0619 is an affordable, easy-to-manage dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router with high throughput of 2.4 GHz.

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