Huawei Mesh 7 – The cheapest tri-band mesh set


Huawei Mesh 7.

The market for Wi-Fi mesh systems has been dominated for years by names such as Netgear, TP-Link and ASUS. We were therefore looking forward to the introduction of a new player in the form of the Huawei Mesh 7. Huawei has a long history with networking equipment, so we hope for some spectacle. In any case, price-wise, it’s off to a good start, as the Mesh 7 is the cheapest tri-band mesh solution with Wi-Fi 6 right now.

Huawei Mesh 7

Price €299 (2-pack)
Wifi standard Wi-Fi 6
Band Configuration Tri-band
Wifi class AX6600
Price set of 2 € 299,-
Price set of 3 (or 2+1) € 448,-
Router dimensions 22 x 7.5 x 15 cm
Dimensions satellite 22 x 7.5 x 15 cm
Color options White
Wired backhaul possible Yes
WAN port router 1x 1 Gbit
Router Lan Ports 3x 1 Gbit
Lan ports nodes 4x 1 Gbit
App iOS/Android Yes
web interface Yes
AP mode Yes
Guest network Yes
Speed ​​next to router (2 devices) 775 Mbit/s
Speed ​​1st floor (1 hop, 2 devices) 492 Mbit/s
Attic speed (1 hop, 2 devices) 297 Mbit/s
Website www.huawei.com 7 Score 70 Rating: 70

  • Pros
  • Attractive price tag
  • User-friendly app and installation
  • More than adequate performance
  • Negatives
  • No Wi-Fi 6E
  • No multi-gigabit ports
  • Other sets a bit faster

Most mesh solutions consist of elegant white cabinets, and Huawei follows with the Huawei Mesh 7 the well-known way. The somewhat oval 24.5 x 7.5 x 15 cm large cabinets are neatly built, elegant to look at and equipped with four network connections, which we always find a plus. Each box features three bands (tri-band), making sets like this better suited to active Internet-using families than dual-band budget alternatives.

However, multi-gigabit is missing, although this is of limited value for people looking for an affordable solution and also not unusual in this price segment. Support for the latest WiFi 6E technology is also missing, something you will benefit from in the coming years and can be found in the slightly more expensive Deco XE75.

Huawei Mesh 7.
The Huawei Mesh 7 consists of elegant white cabinets.

Software and Installation

There’s no room for rookie mistakes in this mature market, but while this is Huawei’s first major rollout of mesh products, Huawei isn’t a network novice and it shows in the setup. It’s child’s play through the app and feels no less mature than mesh veterans. The most requested options are also easy to set up, such as a temporary pause button to stop the connection of the children, further options for parental controls and setting up a guest network.

Like Netgear and TP-Link, Huawei opts for an app with a clear “less is more” undertone. If you really want to tweak advanced settings, you’ve come to the wrong place just like with most mesh solutions, only ASUS does that significantly differently. Huawei is deliberately targeting users who just want Wi-Fi without changing settings.

Test method

The test location where we tested this set is a young detached house where there is no interference from nearby WiFi connections. However, the floors are made of concrete, which presents a challenge for routers and mesh solutions. We test over three floors.

We test with two computers equipped with Wifi 6E. As a test server, we use a server with a multi-gigabit network connection that we connect wired to the mesh system. This places the bottleneck on the product to be tested. (Note: most routers, switches and computers are limited to 1 gigabit, the higher speeds you see in some of our tests are only achievable in combination with multi-gigabit equipment. Also mesh solutions without 2.5 or 10 Gbit /s ports will be limited to these 1 Gbit/s).

We have chosen three specific test scenarios. Test 1 focuses purely on the maximum achievable speed (capacity of the antennas) of each individual unit. Performing this test with our laptops a few meters from and with a direct view of the main unit on a cupboard in the living room. This is also what you can roughly expect when you choose to wired a satellite elsewhere in the house, for example if you really want to see the maximum speed on your laptop at one location in the house.

For tests 2 and 3, we focus specifically on the mesh performance and the quality of the connection between the satellites. We will place a second satellite in the hall one floor up. For test 2 we test the two devices in the vicinity of this second satellite, so we mainly see what the underlying backhaul of a mesh system has in house.

For test 3 we take both laptops again one floor higher and we test again via the satellite on the first floor. So here we rely on the backhaul of the mesh system as well as the signal strength per satellite at a slightly longer distance and with hindrance from walls and ceiling.

Test setup WiFi mesh systems 2022.
We test at three locations in a house over three floors.

Performance

Huawei’s results make us think. After all, there are some things that can be done about it. For example, we do not see full saturation of the gigabit LAN connection (775 Mbit/s) around the units, a result that is slightly lower due to more visible fluctuations than we see on other sets. Sometimes we see higher speeds, but now that we are testing with two devices we occasionally see some dips that we did not see elsewhere. On the other hand, almost 800 Mbit/s on average is certainly not a bad result and not very different from other sets in this segment. After all, you can fill an average Ziggo connection with it.

The same goes for the connection on the satellite; about 500 Mbit/s on the first floor is actually decent, although we also see that you can get higher results for a little more money. In the attic we measure just under 300 Mbit/s. That is only slightly less than the excellent but more expensive Netgear Orbi RBK75x, although the slightly more expensive TP-Link Deco XE75 with Wifi 6E is even faster. (approx. 400 Mbit/s).

Conclusion

When a new manufacturer enters a market, we look for added value. It’s not easy with Wi-Fi mesh systems, where performance is ultimately the deciding factor. The fact that the new Huawei Mesh 7 performs as expected, functions stably and is equipped with a simple installation and a user-friendly app is of course nice, but it was also just a hard requirement to be able to participate in this hard market anyway.

Although we would have liked to see real innovations in terms of possibilities, we sign that they will instead attack on price: 299 euros for a set of two mesh units is a positive development. And that’s for a relatively new set, we expect that price to drop a bit. That is also necessary, because if they want to focus on price, they have to compete with the other large Chinese manufacturer that likes to pay attention to the little ones: TP-Link. With its Deco XE75 PRO, it offers one of the fastest solutions on the market for a little more money, including WiFi 6E and multi-gigabit LAN connections.

In short, the Mesh 7 is an excellent first step from Huawei in this market. It’s not the fastest or the best, but it’s one to seriously consider if it offers a significant price advantage over the other alternatives in the table and you consider that more important than things like Wi-Fi 6E.

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