Totolink T6 review: Wi-Fi for large areas
No matter how advanced the router is, it is unlikely to be able to completely cover a large apartment with a Wi-Fi signal. There are always places where the wireless connection is weak or absent at all. Mesh systems were invented to solve the problem. Let's look at the example of Totolink T6, what they are capable of.
What is a Mesh network?
First, a little theory. A Mesh network is a distributed, peer-to-peer, cellular structure. It consists of several access points (modules) combined in one system, where all nodes are equal. This architecture offers many advantages. Imagine a situation - you have a large apartment. After installing the router, it turned out that there is no Wi-Fi signal in certain rooms. The Mesh system will come in handy here as never before. We install additional blocks in problem areas and enjoy maximum speeds throughout the apartment. You can scale the network without restrictions. For example, you can place additional access points on an adjacent site.
Mesh systems create a completely seamless network. When moving in space, any device will no longer rush with delays between different access points. Your smartphone or laptop will instantly connect to the module with the best signal. Moreover, when you switch to another Internet connection, it will not disappear. In other words, downloading a torrent, watching a movie, and talking on Zoom will not be interrupted. We add that repeaters, in contrast to the Mesh structure, always cut the connection speed, and switching from the main router to the repeater is not fast.
Feature and Specifications
Totolink T6 mesh system consists of two compact cubes. All antennas are located inside the case, which adds aesthetics to the appearance, not to mention the convenience of transportation. In front of both modules, there is a T button, necessary for their synchronization. Below there is an LED indicator that signals the status of the device in several colors. Green - a good signal level between the modules, orange - a weak signal, red - no synchronization. Cubes differ only in ports. One has a WAN and two LANs on board, the other has three LAN connectors. The bandwidth of all is 100 Mbps. Instead of the usual Reset key, to reset the router, hold the T button for 10 seconds.
|PLATFORM||Master: SoC RTL8197FN-VE5 + RTL8812BR, 800 MHz|
Satellite: SoC RTL8197FNT-VE4 + RTL8812BR-VN, 600 MHz
|MEMORY||Master: RAM 128 MB; ROM 16 MB|
Satellite: RAM 64 MB; ROM 8 MB
|WIRELESS NETWORK||IEEE 802.11 b / g / n / ac 2.4 and 5 GHz|
IEEE 802.11 r / v / k 5 GHz
|DATA TRANSMISSION SPEED||300 Mbps at 2.4 GHz and 867 Mbps at 5 GHz|
|PORTS||1 x WAN 100 Mbps|
2 x LAN 100 Mbps
|TYPES OF CONNECTION||DHCP, Static IP, PPPoE, PPTP, L2TP|
|FEATURES||Mesh system, Beamforming, Multi-SSID, QoS, IPTV|
Opportunities for any task
Each module has two antennas that operate according to the MU-MIMO 2x2: 2 principle. Thanks to the support of Beamforming technology, routers can focus the signal on a particular gadget. This is especially useful when the T6 and the connected devices are separated by walls or other obstacles. The declared maximum data transfer rate in the 5 GHz band is up to 867 Mbit/s, and in 2.4 GHz - up to 300 Mbit/s.
Totolink does not have a start-up setup as such, so first of all, do not forget to set a password, because the network is initially open. The Mesh system interface offers two categories of adjustments: simple and advanced. The former are designed for ordinary users, the latter provides much more opportunities. The manufacturer made sure that any buyer did not have problems with combining two modules into one network. Routers come out of the box with ready-made basic settings, the user just needs to power them up - and the seamless network is ready.
The Mesh network technology implemented in Totolink T6 sounds promising in words, but what will happen in practice? We have two complete modules, a two-story house (a full-fledged first floor, the second - in the form of an attic), and a plot of 18 acres with an outbuilding. To clearly determine the signal level and visualize it, you need a heat map of the Wi-Fi network. The Ekahau HeatMaper program will help us with this. In addition, using Wi-Fi Analyzer we measure the numerical indicators. We will carry out all tests in the 5 GHz band over Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac). To begin, experiment with the coating in the house. An Ethernet cable with the Internet was brought to the second floor, so one module will always be there. Turn it on and take measurements.
Due to the fact that the second floor of the house is one large room, the signal is expected to be good throughout the area. But on the first floor, the connection is much weaker. This is especially noticeable in the kitchen, located on the lower-left corner. Well, we install the second module there and plug it into the socket. Now the Mesh system should work in full force!
Activating the second access point does not change the Wi-Fi indicators in the attic. They were both good and remained. But on the ground floor there is a huge difference with the previous measurement. Now there are no places left with unstable coverage levels. If previously the kitchen hardly loaded videos on YouTube, now you can watch them in maximum quality without delay.
After these results, we will try to deploy a Wi-Fi network over the entire site. According to the proven scheme, first, we will make a heat map with one active module, then with a pair (the second one will be located in the outbuilding at a distance of 25 meters from the house).
In the first case, a good signal level is maintained only near the house. The further we go, the worse Wi-Fi is expected to get. After activating the second module, a stable signal can be provided for most of the section. For a perfect picture, only the third access point is missing. But even in our scenario, the speed anywhere on the site allows you to Google useful gardening tips or put old equipment for sale.
Now let's see how Totolink T6 behaves in a brick high-rise building with reinforced concrete walls. We measure the signal strength and speed first with one active module-it is located in the upper right corner of the plan. Then connect the second one, and in the place where the worst connection indicator is the lower-left corner. By the way, the heat map of the Wi-Fi network could not be made because of the huge number of neighboring routers. The software does not know how to filter various access points, so the program considered that the entire area of the apartment has a good signal, although its sources are neighboring routers.
The Totolink T6 system was able to confidently defend the honor of Mesh networks. As shown by the tests, this solution will be a good remedy for weak Wi-Fi in a four-room apartment, and in a two-story house. Everyone can handle configuring routers, and switching between modules is really fast and seamless. The quality of Totolink T6 is confirmed by a three-year warranty.