Honor Router 3 Review: WiFi 6 is finally affordable

by Nicole on November 16, 2020
honor router 3
Positives
  • Stylish
  • Amazing price for WiFi 6
  • Good wireless speeds
  • Multiple SSIDs
  • Easy to set up
Negatives
  • Power users may need more than 3 Gigabit LAN ports
  • Basic, functional feature set
  • LAN is only 1 GBit/s

The Honor Router 3 brings dual-band Wi-Fi 6 with beamforming technology, which means multiple phones, tablets and laptops will be able to simultaneously enjoy fast speeds.

You’ll be able to connect up to 4 devices on 2.4GHz band and up to 16 devices on 5GHz band2. So you can stream 4K films on multiple devices at the same time. The total number of dual-band access equipment is up to 128, which guarantees multiple connections and is more stable when multi-tasking. HONOR has been able to keep the price of the router down because they’ve developed their own WiFi chipset.

It will be possible to download a full movie in under 10 seconds. You’ll be able to scale up to a total networking speed of 3000Mbps2 – 574Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 2402Mbps on the 5GHz band.

Typical features like Guest Wi-Fi and parental controls are available, support for IPv6, and UPnP, if you’ve got a lot of networked devices in the home already.

Some other handy to have features are: IPTV setting you can enable if you’re having issues getting multicast TV content working with certain set-top boxes.; On router VPN; Set up DDNS; NAT/Port mapping; Enable internet security protection; Disable telemetry/user experience improvement program.

The Router 3 also comes with the more advanced 160MHz bandwidth enables more data throughput. It’s a finicky technology to get working, and needs the perfect storm of devices to really take advantage of it.

Since WiFi 6 is a new technology, and this purchase is one that’s going to ensure you’re happy for years to come, today, not all devices are optimized to take proper advantage of the speeds. You’ll need the right set of modern chips, for mobile, since Honor is a sub brand of Huawei, an Honor or Huawei phone will work just a little bit better. Qualcomm’s chips seem to only connect at 80Hz, but this doesn’t mean that my transfer speeds were bad. On a Snapdragon 865 I had a transfer speed of 1200Mbps, but on a Huawei P40 1400Mbps.

On my laptop my speeds were consistently over 2.5Gbps.

This is where we should remember that the promised maximum speeds of 3000Mbps (3Gbps) will only be achieved with the latest Wi-Fi 6 (11ax) radios.

It’s important to note that this router does not have a built-in modem. It’s designed for cable broadband, but can also be used with a separate ADSL/VDSL modem.

The router features a total of four antennas with a gain of 5dBi.

You can use any of the four ports on the back to connect the Honor Router 3 to your modem. You can use any of the 4 ports to connect which makes things simpler if you’re tight on space. There’s no USB port, so there’s no way of connecting any portable hard drives.

There is just one LED on the front of the Honor Router 3, which will make at-a-glance diagnosis of problems hard, although you can manage the router from your phone with either the Huawei SmartHome app (iOS), or the Huawei AI Life app (Android), so a quick look at your phone should be able to tell you what’s up.

Set-up

The Honor Router 3 is easy to set up, it has easy-to-follow instructions and prompts that guide you through the process. You can set everything up using your phone using the previously mentioned apps, but I found this to skip to many steps and there is no way to switch to access point mode. So if you want to set up your router checking out all the settings, you should use a laptop to get everything up and running via Ethernet.

A lot of phones and laptops won’t have Wi-Fi 6 yet, is still relatively new. Honor has taken this into consideration, during set-up you can configure the router to broadcast additional Wi-Fi 5-only SSIDs, for the exclusive use of older devices.

Once you’ve chosen the names for the SSIDs, you can create passwords for them as well as set the admin password. Then you’ll be asked to pick your connection type from the usual list, PPPoE, DHCP, Bridge AP, or Static IP. Custom DNS settings can be entered at this stage too.

When you first connect to the Router 3, you’ll be able to set up new SSIDs. You can opt to split both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz signals, or have the Honor Router 3 automatically switch devices over to 5GHz connections when signal strength is equal to that of the 2.4GHz band – so in practical terms, you’ll be automatically moved to 5GHz when you’re closer to your router.

Price

Compared to WiFi5 routers that can be priced so much higher and not deliver as much performance, this seems like an easy decision. Even compared to WiFi 6 routers on the market the HONOR Router 3 at 79.90EUR comes in at a much lower price.

 

Rating
Design / 9
Performance / 8.5
Software / 7.5
Price / 9
Editor's Choice / 9
Hardware / 8
honor router 3

The HONOR Router 3 is good value for your money. It will out perform any WiFi 5 router on the market, even if most people won’t have the right devices to take full advantage of the speeds, over the next few years you certainly will. Since most people keep their routers for years, it makes sense to get one that will work best with your other devices which you change more frequently.

If you need to upgrade your router and are looking for a budget solution that will last you another 5 years, going WiFi 6 is a must and at this price, it’s a safe bet.

8.5
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