Not everybody needs a cutting-edge wireless router that costs hundreds of dollars. You can still take advantage of the latest Wi-Fi technologies with a bargain router, like the Rock Space AX1800 Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Router (model RSD0619). At $79.99, it's an extremely affordable way to update your home network to Wi-Fi 6. You don’t get a lot of extras with this router, and its 5GHz performance didn’t shatter any speed records in our tests, coming in slower than the identically priced TP-Link Archer AX10. Still, the RSD0619 does provide fast 2.4GHz performance and is easy to install, making it a decent bargain pick overall.
The RSD0619 has a black finish, great for keeping up with the latest trend in home decor. 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 tiny LED indicator on the top that glows solid blue when everything is connected, and blinks blue during setup.You Can Trust Our ReviewsSince 1982, PCMag has tested and rated thousands of products to help you make better buying decisions. (See how we test.)
As far as features go, this is a bare-bones router. It doesn’t offer multi-gig LAN/WAN ports or USB ports, nor does it support link aggregation. But it is equipped with four 1Gbps LAN ports and a 1Gbps WAN port, all of which are located on the back panel along with a power jack and a Reset/WPS button. Gigabit ports offer the minimum wired speeds we expect from modern routers.
The RSD0619 is a dual-band router that can reach maximum (theoretical) data rates of up to 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 1,200Mbps on the 5GHz band, hence its AX1800 rating. It is powered by a dual-core CPU and supports most of the 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, wide 160MHz channel bandwidth 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 does offer basic parental controls that allow you to create access schedules and blacklists for each device, but it lacks the age-based filters and usage-monitoring features that you get with more expensive routers such as the Asus ROG Strix GS-AX5400.
You can control the router using the web-based console or the Rock Space Home app for iOS and Android mobile devices. The app opens to an home screen that contains a panel for each installed router and has Homepage, Devices, and Account buttons positioned along the bottom of the screen.Rock Space mobile app screens (three, left to right)
Tap the router panel to view a list of connected devices and how they are connected (wireless radio band or wired). When you tap any device, you’ll open a screen where you can view its MAC and IP address, see which SSID it is 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 the firmware.
I had the RSD0619 up and running in a matter of minutes. I powered up the router, connected it to my modem using the included LAN cable, and downloaded the mobile app. I created an account, tapped 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 on our 2.4GHz throughput tests. Its score of 126Mbps on the close-proximity (same room) test was significantly faster than the TP-Link Archer AX10 (79Mbps) and the D-Link DIR-X1560 (80Mbps).On the 30-foot 2.4GHz test, the RSD0619 also took top honors with a score of 53Mbps. The TP-Link Archer AX10 scored 40Mbps and the D-Link DIR-X1560 delivered 38Mbps.
The RSD0619 did not fare as well on the 5GHz throughput tests. It managed 614Mbps on the close-proximity test, coming in behind both the TP-Link Archer AX10 (755Mbps) and the D-Link DIR-X1560 (712Mbps). Its score of 175Mbps on the 30-foot 5GHz test was also slower than the TP-Link Archer AX10 (215Mbps) and D-Link DIR-X1560 (207Mbps).
In addition to throughput testing, we use an Ekahau Sidekick Wi-Fi diagnostic device and Ekahau’s Survey mobile app to generate heat maps that illustrate the router’s 2.4GHz and 5GHz signal strength in our test home. (Ekahau is owned by Ziff Davis, PCMag's parent company.) The circle on the heat map represents the location of the router, and the colors represent signal strength. Dark green indicates the strongest signal, and dark yellow indicates a weaker signal.Rock Space AX1800 Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Router (RSD0619) 2.4GHz (top) and 5GHz (bottom) signal strength maps.
As illustrated on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz maps, the RSD0619 showed relatively good signal strength throughout most of our test home, but it had trouble maintaining a strong signal in the garage, which happens to be the farthest point from the router.
If you need an affordable router that offers most of the latest Wi-Fi 6 technologies, the Rock Space AX1800 Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Router RSD0619 is worth a look. Features are scarce on this $80 router, but it was very easy to install and delivered solid 2.4GHz throughput performance in our tests. If you require faster 5GHz throughput performance, the TP-Link Archer AX10 is a better choice, though it's not universally better: Its 2.4GHz performance is slower than what the RSD0619 served up in our testing, and it's also light on customizable features.
If you can afford to spend more, look at the $150 TP-Link Archer AX50. It offers significantly better throughput, and it comes with lifetime malware protection and parental controls. It's our top pick for budget Wi-Fi routers.
The Rock Space RSD0619 is an affordable dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router that is easy to manage and provides strong 2.4GHz throughput.
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