Review Huawei WiFi Mesh Router WS5800: elegant but complicated [análise/vídeo]

If you have Wi-Fi coverage problems in your home, mesh technology can be the solution: several devices can communicate with each other and spread the internet signal across all environments, without requiring any complicated configuration.

I have tested in the last few weeks the Huawei WiFi Mesh WS5800. It’s good? Worth it? Is it easy to install? You will discover the answers in the next few minutes.

Huawei WiFi Mesh video review

Ethics notice

O Tecnoblog is a technology-independent journalistic vehicle that helps people make their next purchase decision since 2005. Our product reviews are opinionated and have no advertising intent. For this reason, we always transparently highlight the positive and negative points of each product.

No company, manufacturer or store has paid the Tecnoblog to produce this content. Our reviews are not reviewed or approved by external agents. The WS5800 was provided by Huawei on loan. The product will be returned to the company after testing.

Design and doors

The Huawei WiFi Mesh is a very elegant cylindrical tower, with a white matte finish and without further details. Each unit is 21 cm tall, just over 10 cm in diameter and weighs 580 g, which convey a feeling of confidence and robustness.

Huawei sent us the kit with three units of Wi-Fi Mesh and I know that the company also sells a combo with only two towers.

Indicator light on Huawei WiFi Mesh (Image: Lucas Braga / Tecnoblog)

At the bottom there is an indicator light, which stays on in blue while the router is working. It switches to red at boot time or when there is some kind of failure. At the top is the NFC antenna, which allows quick connection to Wi-Fi for those who approach the smartphone.

At the rear are four network ports, one WAN and three LANs, which is an excellent surprise since mesh routers usually have only two ports. There you can also find the power connector and the reset and on / off buttons.

Huawei WiFi Mesh back (Image: Lucas Braga / Tecnoblog)

In front of the product there is nothing but the Huawei logo and the H button, which serves to activate pairing mode with other towers. For those who want to expand the coverage, just buy an additional unit, connect it next to the main router and press the key.

H button on Huawei WiFi Mesh (Image: Lucas Braga / Tecnoblog)

One detail I liked is that the power and network cables that come with the Huawei WiFI Mesh are white, which helps to disguise the tangle of wires. He doesn’t have that “router face” and can look great in the living room of your house.

Configuration

Anyone who sees a box with three routers should think at first that the installation process is complicated, but not quite. You must use the Huawei SmartHome app on iOS or AI Life Android and then follow the steps indicated.

You can choose any of the towers to be the unit connected to the operator’s modem, via network cable. From there, just plug the satellite units into the outlet that they automatically stop and then proceed with the general settings in the application.

Initial configuration of the Huawei WiFi Mesh (Image: Lucas Braga / Tecnoblog)

What I did not like is that the system did not identify my connection automatically. I connected the equipment to my operator’s modem, which delivers the connection via DHCP, which is automatic IP assignment. The Huawei tower was unable to connect to the internet alone and asked me for a password for PPPoE authentication, which does not exist in my case.

It is the first time that a router that passes in my hand and cannot automatically identify internet access. This is serious: DHCP is a form of connection present in most operators’ modems – especially those that do not allow bridge access. I can imagine the frustration of a lay user who is unable to configure the router easily and has no idea how to solve the problem.

Huawei WiFi Mesh configuration (Image: Lucas Braga / Tecnoblog)

Huawei WiFi Mesh configuration (Image: Lucas Braga / Tecnoblog)

I had to manually switch the connection mode from PPPoE to DHCP, and the internet started to work from that moment on. On this same screen the user can change the name and password of the Wi-Fi network, which is very intuitive.

Something that strikes me is that Huawei WiFi Mesh allows you to keep the network name and password recorded on the device even after a reset. At first I found it interesting and checked this option, but I suggest you don’t do the same: it gave me a headache that I will explain later.

Resources

Huawei WiFi Mesh is not a router full of software features and does the basics: in the mobile app, it is possible to configure parental control for time, QoS (with the possibility of limiting the speed of a device), timer for the Wi-Fi network , VLANs on the network ports for VoIP or IPTV equipment and… only.

Huawei application on iOS (Image: Lucas Braga / Tecnoblog)

Huawei application on iOS (Image: Lucas Braga / Tecnoblog)

In the web interface, it is possible to configure some features that do not exist in the application, such as parental control to restrict websites, port redirection, IPv6, dynamic DNS and UPnP. It even has a very cool function that allows you to connect the entire router to a VPN.

NFC tagging on Huawei WiFi Mesh (Image: Lucas Braga / Tecnoblog)

NFC tagging on Huawei WiFi Mesh (Image: Lucas Braga / Tecnoblog)

Of the product’s features, Huawei focuses on OneHop Connect: the towers are equipped with NFC, which share Wi-Fi name and password information for compatible devices. For now, only Android smartphones with NFC support this feature, which is very cool and encourages the use of a secure password. It is important to note that it is possible to disable this function, since not everyone wants the snooping friend to connect to the home network without your permission.

Finally, I must say that I missed a remote router management feature. This type of function is increasingly common, even on basic routers.

Performance and signal

The Huawei WiFi Mesh promises good performance: the towers are compatible with Wi-Fi standard 5 (802.11ac) and rated speed AC2200, with two 867 Mb / s links for the 5 GHz network and another 400 Mb / s link for the frequency of 2.4 GHz. In addition, it has a four-core CPU clocked at 1.4 GHz and 256 MB of RAM.

The main advantage of mesh technology is that you don’t have to rely so much on the signal strength of a single router: next to the additional towers, you will have a connection with greater speed, stability and latency. Gradually, moving the units around the house, it was possible to find the best cost-benefit ratio to cover all environments with the best possible speed.

Speaking of coverage, the kit with three units was able to cover my entire residence. The positioning was the same as the Deco M4 and I managed to reach the contracted speed of my broadband, which has 300 Mb / s, close to all the towers of the Huawei WiFi Mesh:

First floor – Huawei WiFi Mesh repeater unit only (Image: Lucas Braga / Tecnoblog)

Second floor – main unit and repeater of the Huawei WiFi Mesh (Image: Lucas Braga / Tecnoblog)

The application could help a little more in the positioning of the towers, since there is no signal indicator or speed of communication between the equipment. For this reason, it is necessary to move additional units around the house and test them manually to find the best location.

Speed ​​tests

An interesting feature of the WS5800 is the existence of two 5 GHz radios, one at a higher frequency and the other at a lower frequency. One of these bands is used for the exclusive connection between the mesh towers, so as not to share the dedicated spectrum for users’ devices, such as smartphones, computers, TVs and video games.

For that reason, I expected a slightly better performance from the Huawei WiFi Mesh. Below, check the results of transferring files from an 802.11ac laptop to a desktop connected with a network cable, with Gigabit network card and SSD storage:

Plant location Speed ​​reached
Second floor
Bedroom / Office
385.2 Mb / s
Second floor
Room (left side of the plant)
342.6 Mb / s
Second floor
Room (right side of the plant)
312.9 Mb / s
Second floor
Balcony (right side of the plant)
210.3 Mb / s
First floor
Living room
219.1 Mb / s
First floor
Bedroom 2
309.3 Mb / s
First floor
Room 1
196.7 Mb / s

Huawei WiFi Mesh problems

As much as the WS5800 has good technical specifications and exciting features, I cannot say that my experience with the product was consistent.

Huawei WiFi Mesh (Image: Lucas Braga / Tecnoblog)

Huawei WiFi Mesh (Image: Lucas Braga / Tecnoblog)

I’ve been testing the product for almost two months now, and during that time, Huawei exchanged the kit that was with me for an identical one. The first units had a problem with the access speed, which was very low for a product of the category. This was resolved in the new trio, which had a performance closer to that expected for the product.

However, I must emphasize a great headache that I had with both the previous and the current kit: the exchange of some configuration adjustments is not always carried out in the correct way. When trying to change the name and password of the Wi-Fi network, the changes did not propagate to the three devices several times.

With that, the Mesh network stopped working. The settings were changed only on the main tower, connected to the network cable. Additional equipment continued to emit the old Wi-Fi network and disconnected from the primary unit, leaving a large area of ​​shade in the house.

I had to reset these towers that were not connected, but remember that I checked the option to preserve the SSID and password after the reset? Well, the reset equipment did not connect automatically when configuring the kit from scratch.

Another point worth mentioning is that the Huawei WiFi Mesh comes with UPnP deactivated at the factory, and it is necessary to connect it manually through the web interface. This protocol is responsible for automatic port forwarding (NAT) management, and having this disabled by default can be frustrating for lay users, as games and other online applications may not work properly.

IPv6 with incomplete support

Another very important point to mention here is that the Huawei WiFi Mesh does not support bridge mode for IPv6 (passthrough). If your operator’s equipment does not support prefix designation (which is common in non-bridge modems, with mandatory DHCP), access to the new protocol will be flawed.

One of the main advantages of IPv6 is that each device connected to the network now has a valid IP on the internet, which is useful in P2P applications and in several services that require the device to be exposed to the internet, such as online games and application servers.

In my house, the Huawei WiFi Mesh is connected to the operator’s modem without bridge mode, that is, there is another gateway above it (and this would be the case for many users of Vivo Fibra, Oi Fibra and some local providers).

IPv6 even works, but sharing the IPv6 address between all connected devices, therefore, without individual addressing with exposure to the web. That said, some applications may not work properly, as port forwarding is not supported for this protocol.

Absence of access point mode

Another feature that was missing is the access point mode, so that another router acts as a gateway and the Huawei WiFi Mesh is just a Wi-Fi connection interface.

When this mode is not present, it is possible to configure most routers manually: just disable the DHCP server, configure the IP in the same range as the main router and plug the cable into a LAN port. I made this configuration in the kit, but only the equipment connected to the network cable worked with internet.

At a time when several operators do not provide access in bridge mode to their customers, coupled with the incompatibility of IPv6 in the passthrough, it is quite problematic that the Huawei WiFi Mesh does not support this configuration.

Worth it?

It is complicated to evaluate any product without knowing the suggested price. Huawei is still rehearsing the launch of its router portfolio for Brazilian retail and its products are currently sold directly to internet providers or in some marketplaces unofficially.

Huawei WiFi Mesh (Image: Lucas Braga / Tecnoblog)

Huawei WiFi Mesh (Image: Lucas Braga / Tecnoblog)

O Tecnoblog contacted a Huawei supplier to at least get an idea of ​​the price and received a budget of R $ 985.03 for the two-piece kit. It’s not cheap, but it has a similar value to TP-Link’s Deco M4 double kit.

My criticisms of the product are mainly based on the absence of an access point mode and the lack of a bridge mode for IPv6. If you are going to purchase Huawei WiFi Mesh directly from your operator, make sure they set everything up, either by putting the main modem in bridge mode or making advanced settings on the router.

But for the Brazilian retail consumer, I think the Huawei WiFI Mesh may disappoint. Who uses an operator modem without bridge mode can be without the IPv6 protocol, which is very serious for today. Huawei needs to improve much the router management application, which is confusing, limited and outdated in relation to what other manufacturers offer.

Most problems can be corrected via software. Until that happens, it is difficult to recommend buying a Huawei WiFi Mesh. The product has a lot of potential with its powerful radios, has a good signal range and tough technical specifications, but the usability and lack of resources is a big part of the consumer’s final experience.

Huawei WiFi Mesh WS5800 – Technical specifications

  • Processor: 1.4 GHz quad-core Gigahome
  • RAM memory: 256 MB
  • Doors: Gigabit Ethernet (x4), one WAN and three LANs
  • Radio802.11ac, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies
  • Rated speed: 300 Mb / s at 2.4 GHz, 867 Mb / s at 5 GHz and another 867 Mb / s at 5 GHz for dedicated backhaul
  • Connectivity: IPv4, IPv6 (static IP, Dynamic IP, SLAAC)
  • Resources: guest network, parental control, bandwidth control (QoS), VPN, OneHop Connect (NFC)
  • Dimensions: 104mm in diameter and 210mm in height

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