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Wi-Fi is the default connection technology, so how do you ensure it delivers?

Technology / analysis
Wi-Fi is the default connection technology, so how do you ensure it delivers?
Netgear Orbi 970
Netgear Orbi 970 mesh system that supports Wi-Fi 7. Source: Netgear

Seeing a random Briton on social media comparing “the cost of Wi-Fi” in London with how much she now pays at her new home in Perth, Western Australia, really drives home that for many people, wireless data is where their Internet begins these days. 

This was reinforced recently with the Commerce Commission’s telecommunications monitoring department lamenting that people don’t get the expected performance from their high-speed fibre connections, because their Wi-Fi can’t keep up. It’s not really news as such, but a good reminder networks are as good as their weakest links so to speak.

Being able to move around, unfettered by cables, is how people connect to the Internet and locally available devices like printers, file servers, TVs, you name it. New laptops often don’t come with a port for wired networking, and smartphones hook up to Wi-Fi whenever they can. 

This despite Wi-Fi being born out of 90s technology which wasn’t all that when it first came out. The wireless data tech runs in unlicensed radio frequency bands that everyone can and will use, making transmissions susceptible to interference. 

What’s more, Wi-Fi wasn't designed to have separate data links for up and down traffic, like 4G mobile and Ethernet wired networks do. Instead, devices can’t send and receive at the same time and have to negotiate when to transmit data.

This may seem like an anarchic, suboptimal way to do wireless data connectivity but thanks to the hard work of radio frequency engineers there is now a raft of features added to Wi-Fi that work around the limitations of the technology.

The good news is that Wi-Fi can work really well, surpassing normal wired local area networks in speeds (albeit not consistent performance).

The bad news is that the technological advances have resulted in a jumble of acronyms and terminology that can be confusing and difficult to follow. There are intricate signal modulation schemes, multiple radios and antennas, and more. All pretty amazing stuff if wireless tech is your bag, but it does tend to make normal people’s eyes glaze over.

This is also a good time to remind everyone that the name Wi-Fi doesn’t mean anything. It was just a pun on Hi-Fi and it isn’t actually “wireless fidelity” abbreviated, which was a nonsensical afterthought.

Get the basics right

One of the most common support issues for Internet service providers is that customers don’t get the expected performance from their connections. This is more often than not due to customers' Wi-Fi being poorly set up, or not up to scratch, particularly for the very fast UFB fibre to the premises connections we’re lucky to have in New Zealand. 

This is well known, and both internet service providers (ISPs) and Wi-Fi gear vendors are good sources for information on how to set things up correctly to avoid disappointing performance. 

Read for example this guide from Chorus which is easy to follow, with much of the strange sounding terminology explained.

Yes, it matters where you place the Wi-Fi access points and no, they shouldn’t be hidden away in cupboards or behind furniture, or put on window sills where they cook in the sun. That last bit comes from an Internet provider with a customer whose network connection inexplicably started performing badly and even cut out during the day. It took a house visit to figure out why.

The original Wi-Fi band is the relatively low-frequency 2.4 gigahertz one. This has fairly long reach and good building and object penetration, but no longer cuts it for more demanding applications. All sorts of devices use 2.4 GHz and it’s congested and full of interference as a result. 

Instead, most new gear will automatically look for the higher frequency 5 GHz range, and latch onto that. 

Compared to 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz offers shorter reach and less wall penetration, but you get many more wide channels for data transmission, and high performance in return. It’s a night and day difference, so try to stick to 5 GHz whenever possible.

Demand for bandwidth is insatiable though. Even 5 GHz is starting to look a bit anaemic, especially for fast UFB HyperFibre connections that can reach symmetric (up and down) 2, 4 and 8 gigabit/s speeds. 

To rectify that, the 6 GHz frequency range has been available for Wi-Fi. New Zealand followed Europe and Australia, so only half of the available fresh spectrum was allocated for Wi-Fi here compared to North America which limits the speed gains possible.

Speaking of speed, Wi-Fi vendors have an unfortunate marketing habit of simply tallying up the theoretical maximum of what each frequency band is capable of, and adding up the sum to get a multi-gigabits per second figure that no customer will ever see. 

Dispel the curse of the old gear

Each new revision of Wi-Fi is usually a big jump forward in terms of performance, responsiveness, security and the ability to support multiple devices without network slowdowns and time-outs. 

That last thing is increasingly important. It’s a safe bet that many people and organisations don’t realise just how many devices connect to their Wi-Fi networks at a given time. Because Wi-Fi is designed the way it is, older devices connecting to a wireless network won’t have the smarts to work around technology limitations even with newer routers and access points, and can become bottlenecks.

Then there’s the not insignificant issue of both ends of the Wi-Fi connection having to have matching capabilities for best results. If you want to use 5 and 6 GHz spectrum, you need radios that support these frequency ranges at both ends. 

One recent example for the writer involved finding a site with a nearly two decades old Wi-Fi access point. This was able to connect using the by now ancient 802.11g standard, and it worked. Poorly, with speeds in the 3-5 Mbps downstream, and below 1 Mbps upstream, with dropouts and connection interruptions and only 2.4 GHz signal.

Swapping it out for a spare Netgear Orbi 802.11ac - which is quite old by now - mesh Wi-Fi system got speeds up to near the 300 Mbps UFB fibre connection, with much better responsiveness and the ability to support more devices. 

Worth noting too is that newer Wi-Fi equipment supports faster and more secure authentication. This is called Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 (WPA3) and provides very strong encryption.

Ideally, you’d want all devices to use WPA3 but support for the newer protocol is still being rolled out, and not very many people even know about it. The older WPA2 protocol is still in use, but it has been demonstrated to be hackable. Which is probably unlikely to happen in the vast majority of cases. But WPA3 takes away that cyber security worry, and that is never wrong.

Do not configure your Wi-Fi with no password, or one that’s easily guessable. If you provide free Wi-Fi, there’s a reasonable chance that you will be deemed responsible for what users do on it. Opening yourself up to abuse with slack or no user management is a terrible idea.

Life’s too short for worries like that, and besides, it’s a security risk for your internal network as well.

The 2024 Wi-Fi baseline, and what’s coming up

Having made it this far, you’re probably keen to know what to go for. It’s a little bit confusing, but the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a worldwide industry standards body, uses a system with numbers and letters to differentiate between the technology iterations.

That is hard to memorise and confusing, so the marketing people in the Wi-Fi Alliance have come up with a different naming scheme. 

Here’s what you’re likely to encounter:

  • Wi-Fi 5 = 802.11ac, introduced in 2014
  • Wi-Fi 6 = 802.11ax, introduced in 2019
  • Wi-Fi 7 = 802.11be, introduced in 2024
  • Wi-Fi 8 = 802.11bn, to be introduced in 2028

The naming convention works OK, except there’s also Wi-Fi 6E (Extended) from 2021 which is quite a big feature upgrade as it can use the above mentioned 6 GHz frequency band for better performance. And, it falls under 802.11ax still.

Long story short, in 2024, don’t go for anything less than Wi-Fi 6 to match your UFB fibre connection up to 900/550 Mbps speeds. Wi-Fi 6 is also well-supported on recent devices, and you can connect lots of them wirelessly (and with cables if there's an Ethernet switch) to the access points, plus you get WPA3 authentication.

Why not Wi-Fi 6E? Well, if you can get a good deal on Wi-Fi 6E gear and your newish devices support it, by all means go for it. 

In practical testing with a Netgear Orbi RBE960 and two satellites in a mesh setup, connection (link) speeds can reach 2.1 to 2.2 Gbps near the access points with Wi-Fi 6E enabled gear.

The actual throughput speeds hit 1.1 to 1.3 Gbps. Which, over Wi-Fi, is amazing. And yes it’s a bit geeky and not everyone needs that, but that kind of Wi-Fi is a good match for connections like Orcon's 8 Gbps Hyper Fibre installed in a moment of techie exuberance.

Wi-Fi 6E access points still sell at a premium however, and the next-gen Wi-Fi 7 technology has appeared in stores.

Wi-Fi 7 adds very wide radio channels - in North America, you can have up to 320 MHz bandwidth and advanced signal modulation which gives you the fast speeds and low latencies to match UFB HyperFibre connections from 2 Gbps upwards. 

There’s also the promise of multi-link operation (MLO) for Wi-Fi 7 which in theory should provide simultaneous up and down lanes for data traffic using different frequencies. That should help provide lower latency and higher throughput that ought to be a match for normal wired Ethernet networks. We hope to find out soon when devices start to arrive for reviews.

As our part of the world only has half of the bandwidth available to North Americans for 6 GHz, it might be difficult to configure more than one 320 MHz wide beam unless the government here sees sense and frees up more spectrum. Nevertheless, Wi-Fi 7 looks set to meet the network needs of demanding residential and business users, while adding future proofing for the next few years.

The inevitable drawback is that as it’s new tech, Wi-Fi 7 access points are pricey for now. Also, see above about both ends of the network connection supporting Wi-Fi 7. Big budgets required in other words.

Wireless data networks are both amazing and a rabbit hole with enough detail and edge cases to fill books with. 

Do you for instance go with a neat looking mesh Wi-Fi system with multiple satellite access points, or use a multi-aerial router that looks like an alien headcrab from a video game? What wireless diagnostics utilities are good to figure out the best access point placement and frequencies to use? How annoying is it that Wi-Fi equipment vendors charge subscription money to enable features that should be included for free with their gear, and much more.

If you have Wi-Fi secret sauce recipes, let us know in the comments section.

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People need to run the speed test like ookla one now and again becasue many of you out there are wasting money on that high speed fibre plan when your Wi-Fi in your devices end up running less than 50mbps anyway. Recently downgraded my 300mbps plan because its a waste of money and now saving $40 a month for something else. Don't even notice the difference.


Thanks, but I get the feeling that this particular piece does not apply to you, just like the EV charging one didn't appeal since you prefer internal combustion engine vehicles.


Just pointing out super fast is fine but in the real world you simply cannot get the advertised speeds. As soon as you throw in distance and a few walls the connection actual speed goes off a cliff and it can only run as fast as the server at the other end will allow you anyway. Most of my tech is at least 2 years old and I run it until it dies and for surfing the net and even Windows updates you just don't need the speed. From someone who used to use copper and 28.8kps dial up, 50mbps is quick enough for most people.


I was installing wifi tech for multiple family apartments with many walls and floors between them. Middle parents wanted the costs of the internet to be freely available for grandparents and the younger family (granny apartment, middle parents apartment and the younger family up top). It was also important that everyone was aware of additional security they could take. Super high speed was necessary for the many gamers and streamers. Finding the right points for all of them to experience good connectivity no matter the floor, room they were in and with repeaters helped (extenders could work as well but in this case as they were not in the same flat and there was rental conditions a repeater worked fine, later I found a super sweet spot to have strong connection at all points with a really decent router).

First thing every family should do is to turn down the automatically provided router by the internet provider but for many families that is not an option and the default will have many faults.

The loss to education, career advancement and productivity from poor connections is huge. I also interacted with Computers In Homes where families are so poor they do not have a device or internet connection, (some families also did not even have power). The number of families affected in NZ is astounding in this day and age.

Sadly there needs to be more guidance for average and financially minded families as the providers benefit from a lack of knowledge quite profitably. Frack they now "rent" routers that used to be provided in a one off cost for the same price as 1 month rental routers. Their services are shockingly bad but get customers trapped into long term contracts with break fees and it is a nice earner.


Er actually that is good advice as normally for many families they are charged through the nose to bleeding money and provided a cheap router which is down right a dodgy insecure and borked piece of hardware and software which will not even provide decent speeds through them. NZs leading company provides insecure broken routers with UI that has not been coded correctly so most the functionality does not work and is even worse for connectivity.

It is really important for real families with real incomes and budgets how much things cost and being scammed for services they cannot use is not only unethical but path of the course for internet providers.

So here is the thing you then go onto ridicule a person posting a useful piece of advice that hits those who are not Infosec IT professionals. That looks real bad; protecting the scammers, ridiculing those providing useful advocacy advice. Condoning scamming behaviour is really terrible, Full stop.

Even those who have good routers they buy themselves can have their service degrade and not be what is promised by the providers, (they really benefit off people not being aware of tests or doing regular checks, there are also a large amount of environmental issues that can affect speed).

Here is a tip: try to not look like an arrogant person who can afford not to care about what affects most NZ families, and what is especially hard for those digitally poor.



Thanks for this article. Very informative.



Wifi remains subject to interference from other access points radiating in the same frequency. This is most visible in apartments or other higher density tenancy separated environments. You can have fun with the SSID though and put something funny.

If it really matters, run a cable. Easy to do during new construction or renovation


Security wise I hope you do more then have fun with the SSID. Sometimes better to not be visible at all.

Using a decent wifi analyzer app you can check the channel overlap and signal strength of your network. Make sure you set your channel to be offset from others. One crowded area I had to switch channels for a client when doing tech support often as they had many new tenants come and go around them.

Most houses the cost to install cables to all major device areas is pretty prohibitive (or risky if just leaving them lying around the place) and most tenants will not be able to do it.


'Pretty fly for a wifi' is one of my all time favourites, although I might be giving away my age.


Great to see tech articles on here. I was wondering if you could indulge me in a rookie question as networking isn't my area of the tech universe, I'm just an (ab)user.

If I want to upgrade my router am I going to have to write down a bunch of settings before I replace it, then add them into the new router before I get all of my internets back, or should it be more plug-and-play and it'll just be a case of me connecting a device to what would appear to be a new network while the router makes magic happen for the Internet connection?

In the past I've just run with the ISP-provided router, and only moved to a new one every time I upgrade my service. Now I've maxed out the upstream side of my connection options I'm looking at improving things in the building itself. Thanks in advance.


Thank you, and it's never a bad idea to back up settings before making changes. Your router should have a way to save the settings as a file that you can refer to for the new device.

Most setups these days are guided step by step by vendors. In the Bad Old Days there were almost endless way to fat finger configurations, however  it costs quite a bit for vendors to support users in those situations. Plus it's a bad look, so they've worked hard to make those setup processes almost fool proof. 

Read all the documentation carefully, follow the instructions step by step, and be patient. If this is business critical, pay someone to do it for you. If nothing else, you have somebody to vent at if things go wrong, instead of kicking yourself.


Much appreciated, thanks again.


I'm gong to say it depends. If using an ISP supplied router - generally they are plug and play when connecting to the outside world / Internet. If using a third party router you may have to change various settings depending on the requirements to get it to work. Having worked for an ISP with both home type and corporate networks things can get very interesting very fast especially in corporate networks. 


Take a look at your provider's website. They most likely have a page which includes the necessary information for configuring a new/different router.

Here's an example for contact energy (top result when searching "contact energy router configuration"):

And for nova energy (top result when searching "nova energy router configuration"):

As you can see they are simple instructions but can differ per provider. As another commenter mentioned, it's much more straightforward than it used to be. You should have no trouble.


The router won't have many settings that your ISP doesn't control - unless you've change some. Check with them what they are. Probably only 2-3. And the new router may "self configure" so you won't need to do anything.

The bigger issue is all the devices that connect to the existing router, e.g. PCs, laptops, phones, iPads, TVs, fridges, smart plugs, etc., etc. We have around 25 in our household plus the ones that visitors (frequent and trusted) will have saved in their devices.

A simple trick is to rename the SSID (the network name your wifi router is identified by) of the new router to be the same as the old one. Do the same for the SSID password. And, hey presto, all devices find the new router by the old router's name and logon using the passwords they already have.

If you want to enable new features, e.g. greater security, you'll probably need to change each device to use them. Note that many devices may be either too old to use them or simply didn't come with the necessary firmware to use them.


While the suggested backup file is good (backups are good to have in general) most routers you can buy yourself will have slightly different settings (also loads more support and additional settings options that you can ignore if you want) and the ISP will usually have a setup guide for most other routers e.g.… or… etc.

For me they have been very close to plug and play with just a couple of settings put in. Working with a new printer is much harder (printers are the bane of any tech person or office). At home as a family we always rename all our network devices with names that are not immediately obvious to others (including our hotspot networks for when power & neighborhood comms is down). So there is not much difference to our standard practice after we plug in a new router. 

The key features will be the same. It does help to have a router that is capable of better signal reach around a property. Most will be far more affordable then renting routers from an ISP and give you more control options. For instance some routers can have targeted support to set preferential traffic rules e.g. you want your video calls to be fast and gaming can take a back seat to work etc. Logging and tracking is also much better and you can have more security features. But it is good to do a brief run through of the new router security updates (pretty straightforward, fast & easy to complete).


Not a technical expert on this, but it does seem strange that NZ cannot run fiber to home ISP services. Had this in Japan 10-12+ years ago with max speeds of 1 Gbps.  


I don't understand. You can get 8Gbps with fibre if you want. This is one area where we beat Australia massively as they don't have much fibre to premise. 


The Ozzies have Rupert Murdoch to thank for that.


Not all premises and for many properties the fibre installs were worse then a cable draped over the grass and a dog house in the garden for the mower and dog to cut. Over time they may have gotten better but there were many shocking examples including properties that only had installed fibre to one home but not the others on the same section. The process of getting fibre installed now is a bit of a palaver.


Australia is massive, they will just wait for wireless. There are so many satellites going up by the likes of Space X that one day they will just go all wireless. Wireless is the obvious choice going forward, running physical cables is almost obsolete.


No, physical cable are not almost obsolete.   Wireless is okay for short distances if you care about latency and not too many clients sharing the same AP.

Cables, or these days day, optical fibre is a whole different story, to the point that once you have fibre in place, you can often just swap the transceivers and the same fibre now has 100x more throughput, the latency is about as low as you can get, literally the speed of light (through glass = 70% of the speed of light in a vacuum), and no interference from the neighbours gear trying to use the same channel.


I suspect private 5G networks will ultimately replace wifi in commercial and industrial premises.


Another excellent and informative article from Juha.

In a nutshell:

  1. Use ethernet cables anywhere you can, throughput and latency wise it beats WiFi hands down. Duplex.
  2. If you must use WiFi get one of the WiFi 6 APs from Grandstream or UniFi
  3. Do not bother with mesh. See 1) and 2) above.

Agree - ethernet if you can (I dislike 4G / cellular and WiFi from experience in troubleshooting problems). Even corporate level AP's can be PITA (yes I'm looking at you Cisco and Aruba), At home I have Ubiquiti UniFi AP  - 2.4 and 5 - works well , covers my section and have had few issues - firmware can be upgraded. 

A lot of information can be obtained from the following command on Windows 10 or later. The report generated can give a good idea of any WiFi issues..

 netsh wlan show wlanreport.…

Additionally a WiFi analyser on you cell phone can tell you how many SSID's are lurking in your neighbourhood, which channels they are using and the signal strength. 



Yes a few of us like to throw darts at Cisco and Aruba


I’d add Omada to that list. Far better price point for many. 


Yes more's the pity even today new builds are not designed for tech and communications, not unless you pressure the architects and by pressure I mean provide them a detailed breakdown in such exacting detail to the point you wonder what the architect is for. 


When I bought my house one nice thing about it was that it had ethernet to every room. Was a rarity at the time.


Quite a few comments on the bandwidth. So I thought I'd add some maths so people don't pay for stuff they don't really need, or will never use.

Some starter numbers & facts:

  • A 4K stream uses around 25 Mbps of bandwidth (and will stream fine so long as the internet connection to the router is stable and consistent. 4K movies need a big TV capable of 4K to show them at their best. A smaller TV and you'd be better off streaming at HD
  • A HD stream uses around 5-8 Mbps. HD is also called 1080p. YouTube allows selection of this resolution if the source video was recorded at 1080p or above. Lots of video content has been recorded at lower resolutions.
  • Online gaming, where you are playing other players over the internet, doesn't usually need anything more than 1 Mps. This is because the traffic being sent is lots and lots of small packets containing information about the movements of players and artifacts. What is needed is extremely low latencies and consistency. Where big bandwidths are nice to have is for the initial download of the game and transitions between maps / arenas / etc.
  • Simple browsing the internet likewise doesn't need much, and most users would struggle to use 1 Mps
  • Mps is megabits per second - 1,000,000 bits per second. There are 8 bits to a byte. A byte is the minimum unit file systems use. Thus 1 megabit per second is 125,000 bytes per second. Or 7.5 megabytes per minute. Thus a game that is 75 megabytes in size will take about 10 minutes to download. Its actually a bit more as some of the bits / bytes exchanged are transmission control information.
  • A Gbps is 1,000 times the throughput of a Mbps.

So how much bandwidth between the router and the internet is actually required?

Just add up the people in the house and what they do day to day. My house is 3-4 adults, and a variable number of teens ranging from 2-8. (8 is 'games night'). I allowed 25 Mbps for the occasional 4K stream where everyone present is watching (no other devices in use except for browsing the internet), plus 3 people streaming 1080p HD video, plus 4 browsing the net. Add the Mbps together, make an adjustment for real world simultaneous use, and I got to about 30 Mbps.

At the time we had an old copper connection that maxed out at about 18 Mbps. Only very rarely did we experience lag and this was when everyone in the house was using HD video and/or downloading large files.. So 30 Mbps seemed about right.

I went shopping. Most basic plans start at 100 Mbps. I.e. way more than we needed and we'd be paying for bandwidth we seldom used. I eventually found some 50 Mbps and chose one, saving about $30 per month over a 100 Mbps connection.

Does anyone in the house experience lag or buffering? Nope! Almost never ... including 'games night' when my sons and his friends playing Halo (or whatever the latest fad is)..

But there is an exception ... when my son is downloading a new game! As this is a plan-able activity, he needs to plan it for low use periods, or he throttles the network connection so as to not impact other people. (Halo Infinite needs about 50 Gigabytes of disk space. So that's a bit of a wait - He does chores or plays another game while he's waiting.)

So far all good. While saving $360 per year over a 100 Mps plan.

But once again 'games night' can pose a problem. What happens if my son's 7 friends also need to download the new game? 

And this is when high-speed WiFi comes into its own. Many games platforms, e.g. Steam, will look what's connected to the Wifi network and download the new game from a PC or device that has already downloaded the game but is on the WiFi network. And this is done at speeds measured in Gigabits per second - over a thousand times faster! (WiFi 6 up to 9.6 Gbps, WiFi 5 up to 3.5 Gbps!)

But in actual fact this is seldom done as the players have already downloaded the game to get a 'head start' over the other players. But there's always a few that haven't.

So the big issue is very large files. I guess if we were creating large videos we'd need a bigger internet connection. My daughter creates a few big ones each week but schedules them to upload overnight and doesn't see any problem with that. (That's about the only uploads of any size we do on a regular basis.)

Hope the above helps some save some money. (It saved a friend who bought a 1Gbps plan thinking his browsing would be awesome a heap!)


  1. Calculate what you need
  2. Come up with workarounds to get what you want
  3. Don't buy more than you need ... What you'll never use is just a waste of money

Thanks Chris, but there are some dubious claims in your post like "WiFi 6 up to 9.6 Gbps, WiFi 5 up to 3.5 Gbps!" which are impossible figures (see my story for why) and the actual throughput won't be in gigabits per second.

You'll also note that the story wasn't about how to get away with the lowest possible plan in your particular scenario which may or may not be similar to that of others, but Wi-Fi so it's really veering off topic. 


re ,,, "like "WiFi 6 up to 9.6 Gbps, WiFi 5 up to 3.5 Gbps!" which are impossible figures"

My source was Intel. See ... ... But yeah, "theoretical maximums". Btw, we've just done a set-up that tested higher than you suggest is achievable in the article. (By the time we're actually pushing those theoretical maximums we'll have new ones that are even higher. But will the vast majority of people need it? No. Another link in the chain will become the bottleneck well before then.)

re ... "veering off topic."

Indeed I was. I was focusing on real-world scenarios where all the links in the network chain need to sized so there is no single link in the chain hamstringing the the entire investment and resulting in $$ wasted. If my comment - based on 30+ years in ICT systems architecture & engineering - is veering off topic and couching the topic in the bigger picture ... then I apologize. 


Many gamers confuse latency with speed. I do some online virtual exercise and I was surprised that the latency can be the best part of a whole second. This shows up in the timing of events due to delays but the speed is not the problem its the delay after going who knows where to get to the race server.


Thanks for the great article. It prompted me to check performance of my somewhat organic home network. Fibre installed 3 years ago to a Netcomm NF18 due to copper phase out. The NF18 feeds an Archer D5 router that used to be our main ADLS connection before fibre. This feeds the rest of the cat5e wired network including an old Tenda AC11 for bedroom wifi / security camera, Tenda AC1200 access point for the lounge/kitchen for the wife's laptop, tv, my desktop and a couple of orangepi zero ADSB aircraft location feeders. Typically 20 devices connected at any one time. I'm on 300/100 plan from Orcon. I checked download/up load at my desktop and got 89/93 Mbs, upload better than download. I run a pihole add blocker connected directly to the NF18 as a dns. Checked this and I'm getting 249/104 Mbs at that location. Time for some upgrades I think.