Motorola Q14 Wi-Fi 6E Mesh System Review

Does your computer have a 6GHz processor? When using the Q14, it's not easy to discern

With the launch of their Q14 Wi-Fi 6E Mesh System, Motorola has expanded their networking product offerings to include the cutting-edge Wi-Fi 6E standard. This three-piece system costs $649.99 and can be installed in a matter of minutes. It comes with enticing features such as multi-gigabit Ethernet connectivity, free parental control and network security software, and of course, the rapid data transmissions of the new Wi-Fi 6E standard at 6GHz. It is unfortunate that the 6GHz band of the Motorola system cannot be given its own network name because it is linked to the autonomous band-steering capability of the system (SSID). The Eero Pro 6E is our top option for Wi-Fi 6E mesh systems because it provides superior performance across the board and also functions as a hub for home automation. The Q14 is a good performer, but the Eero Pro 6E is much better.

Motorola Q14 Wi-Fi 6E Mesh System Review

Motorola Q14 Wi-Fi 6E Mesh System

Good
PROS
Simple to put in place
Strong showing all around
Multi-gig LAN/WAN port
Wi-Fi 6E support
Includes applications for controlling children and protecting networks.
CONS
Expensive
No distinct 6GHz band
Without any USB ports

MOTOROLA Q14 WI-FI 6E MESH SYSTEM SPECS

Wireless Specification802.11ax with 6E
Number of Bands3
Total Rated ThroughputAXE5400
Number of Antennas6
Number of Wired LAN Ports (Excluding WAN Port)1 on main router, 2 on node
MUMIMOYes
Quality of Service (QoS)No
SecurityWPA2, WPA3
Parental ControlsYes
IPv6 CompatibleYes
Coverage Area for Hardware as Tested5000 sq ft
Number of Nodes3
Wired BackhaulYes
Anti-Malware ToolsYes
Number of USB ports0
Separate BandsNo
DD-WRT / Tomato-CompatibleNo

Want Wi-Fi 6E? You’ll Have to Pay for It

The Motorola Q14 system that was evaluated here costs $649.99 and comes with three nodes that are identical to one another. Together, they can cover an area of up to 5,000 square feet. A two-pack that costs $429.99 and covers 3,500 square feet of space is available for homes that are not as large. These prices are somewhat costly; however, Motorola frequently offers discounts, so it may be worthwhile to wait for a sale to purchase one of their products.

The cylinder-shaped nodes feature a covering made of gray cloth and a tiny LED indication on the front of each one. Every one of them has dimensions of 6.3 by 6.1 by 4.7 inches (HWD). During the process of powering up, the LED will flash white, but it will become constant white once the router node has been linked to the internet and the extender node has been connected to the router. Blinking amber indicates that the router node is trying to connect to the internet and that the extender node is trying to connect to the router. Blinking blue indicates that either node is in Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) discovery mode. Blinking red indicates that the extender node is trying to connect to the router.

The Motorola M logo is emblazoned on an airflow grill that can be found on the top of the node. Reset and WPS buttons are located on the rear of the device, along with a 2.5GbE WAN/LAN port, a 1GbE LAN port, and a power jack with built-in surge protection. You have the option of utilizing the LAN port for wired backhaul transfers or allowing the system to take care of it wirelessly by utilizing any one of the three radio bands that are available. The Q14, in contrast to the Asus ZenWiFi ET8, does not come equipped with any USB ports.

Motorola Q14 Wi-Fi 6E Mesh System Review

Within each node is a 1GHz dual-core CPU, 512MB of DDR3 memory, 16MB of NOR memory, and 4GB of eMMC flash memory. There are also six inbuilt antennas within each node. The Q14 is a Wi-Fi 6E system, which means that in addition to utilising the 2.4GHz and 5GHz radio bands, it is also capable of transmitting data on the less-congested 6GHz frequency. However, this is the first Wi-Fi 6E router or mesh kit that we’ve tested that doesn’t let you connect directly to the 6GHz band. Instead, it uses intelligent band-steering to choose the band that has the best signal and connects you to it. Every other 6E system that we have tested uses band-steering for the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, but it produces a different SSID for connectivity on the 6GHz frequency. You are only given one SSID to use across all three bands when you have a Q14.

All of the most recent Wi-Fi technologies, such as Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA), 1,024 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM), 160MHz channel bandwidth, MU-MIMO data streaming, beam-forming, and WPA3 encryption, are supported by the mesh kit. It is capable of supporting maximum theoretical data rates of up to 574Mbps on the 2.4GHz band, 2,400Mbps on the 5GHz band, and 2,400Mbps on the 6GHz band when used as an AXE5400 system.

A few months back, we did a review on the Motorola Q11 system. The Q14 utilizes the same Motosync mobile software as that system. The straightforward application starts up on a screen labeled “My Network,” which displays icons for each node along with the network name and the total number of devices that are connected. You can access the Wi-Fi settings and the Security Center by scrolling down. You can also apply Full Home Filters, run speed tests, and examine data usage statistics for nodes and clients. If you tap on any node, you will be able to see which devices are connected to it, as well as its IP address, MAC address, and the version of its firmware. To restart the node, use the button labeled “reboot.”

You have the opportunity to change the SSID and password for the Wi-Fi network, as well as view which devices are currently connected to the network using Wi-Fi. However, the Wi-Fi settings do not give you the option to select a Wi-Fi channel, prioritize the bandwidth, or segregate the radio bands. You are not given the option to connect to the band of your choice.

Motorola Q14 Wi-Fi 6E Mesh System Review

You can check to see if there are any security issues, such as recently discovered malicious software or intrusions, under the panel for the Security Center. Tap the Connection panel to begin doing a speed test. The test will tell you if your current internet connection is capable of supporting activities such as streaming videos in standard definition, high definition, or 4K resolution; playing online games; streaming music and downloading it; and browsing the web.

The buttons for Profiles, Shopping, Support, and Settings can be found at the very bottom of the screen that displays My Networks. The first of them opens a panel that allows you to establish user profiles and assign devices to each of those profiles. Set internet time limits, enable filters to block websites with adult and malicious content, and block advertisements and ad tracking can all be done here. Additionally, you can view network usage statistics for each user, including the amount of time spent online as well as the websites that were visited. You can also view the websites that were prohibited and manually add websites to the list of websites that you have blocked.

If you click the Shopping button, you will be taken to Motorola’s website, where you may shop for networking gear. If you click the Support button, you will be taken to a live chat as well as a help guide. In the menu titled “Settings,” there is a tab that allows you to enable various notifications. These include alerts for when a new device has joined your network, whether a security issue has been discovered, when a time restriction has been surpassed, and when the router has stopped functioning. You can gain access to advanced settings, such as port forwarding, Wi-Fi optimization, and UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) configurations, by tapping the tab labeled “My Networks.” You may also change the name of the network and the time zone through the other options, as well as add users and enable web filters.

Putting 6GHz to its Full Potential on the Motorola Q14 in Testing

The Q14 kit is straightforward to set up and simple to administer, just like the Q11 system. Getting started with Motosync is as easy as downloading the mobile app, plugging in the router node, connecting it to your modem, and then opening the app. When requested, scan the QR code located on the bottom of the router node. To set up a new device, select Setup a New Device from the welcome page. Touch the Next button, and then tap the Add a Device option once the node has been added to your account. You will need to scan the QR code that is located on the first extender node, make sure that the blue LED is glowing, and then wait a few minutes for the node to be connected to your network.

You are now able to move the extender node to the location of your choosing and then proceed by tapping the Continue button to add the second extender. After it has been installed, select “Skip and Finish Setup,” provide a name for the network, and then optimize the newly installed network. After that, you’ll need to give the guest network a name in order to finish the installation.

Because the Q14 does not allow you to distinguish between any of the radio bands, we were forced to test its throughput using whichever band the system chose. According to the app, our client device was continuously connected to the 6GHz band; hence, our test results represent the performance of the mesh system’s Wi-Fi 6E. The Q14 delivered scores that were satisfactory, which is to be expected given the high cost of the device. The router node’s throughput of 900Mbps in our close-proximity (same room) test was identical to that of the TP-Link Deco XE75 router node, while it was somewhat slower than the throughput of the router nodes of the Asus ZenWiFi ET8 and Eero Pro 6E. (918Mbps and 922Mbps respectively). At a distance of 30 feet, the Q14 router node was able to achieve 372Mbps, which is comparable to the speeds achieved by the TP-Link and the Asus (371Mbps each), but falls short of those achieved by the Eero Pro 6E. (375Mbps).

Motorola Q14 Wi-Fi 6E Mesh System Review

With a score of 575 Mbps in our close-proximity test, the Q14 extender node had the lowest result of the group, albeit by a rather narrow margin. The TP-Link node managed 601Mbps, whereas the Eero Pro 6E managed 611Mbps, and the Asus node handled 580Mbps. During the 30-foot test, the Q14 node achieved a speed of 338 Mbps, which was faster than the ZenWiFi node’s 333 Mbps, but it lagged behind the Eero Pro’s 375 Mbps and the TP-Link Deco’s 300 Mbps (382Mbps).

We construct a heat map that depicts the router and satellite node’s signal strength across our test home using an Ekahau Sidekick Wi-Fi diagnostic gadget and the Ekahau Survey mobile app. This allows us to accurately evaluate the intensity of the Wi-Fi signal throughout our test home. (It should be noted that Ziff Davis, the parent company of PCMag, also owns Ekahau.) On the maps, the locations of the router and the node are shown by the circles, and the signal strength is represented by the color of the circle. A signal that is dark green in color suggests that it is quite powerful, while a signal that is yellow indicates that it is somewhat weaker, and a signal that is gray indicates that there is no measurable reception.

The Q14 and its extender node performed a fantastic job of distributing Wi-Fi throughout the house, as indicated on the map; however, the signal was a little weaker in the far corner of the bedroom.

The verdict is that some space between us would be pleasant

Motorola Q14 Wi-Fi 6E Mesh System Review

Wi-Fi dead zones can be eliminated in your home with the assistance of the Motorola Q14 Wi-Fi 6E mesh system, which then replaces those dead zones with faster Wi-Fi 6E signals. In addition to providing reliable performance across the board, it also includes free parental control and network security solutions. It is more expensive than the majority of other Wi-Fi 6E mesh kits that we’ve tested, coming in at $650 for a three-pack that covers 5,000 square feet; but, there is a possibility that you’ll be able to get it on sale.

However, we are dissatisfied with Motorola’s choice to merge all three radio channels and not provide an option to connect directly to the 6GHz band. Our choice for Editor’s Choice is the Eero Pro 6E, which comes in at a slightly higher price point of $699 but features a dedicated 6GHz SSID, can cover up to 6,000 square feet of space when using three nodes, and performed exceptionally well in our tests in terms of both throughput speed and signal range. As an added perk, it comes with a Zigbee radio that gives you control over the various components of your home automation system.


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With the launch of their Q14 Wi-Fi 6E Mesh System, Motorola has expanded their networking product offerings to include the cutting-edge Wi-Fi 6E standard. This three-piece system costs $649.99 and can be installed in a matter of minutes. It comes with enticing features such...Motorola Q14 Wi-Fi 6E Mesh System Review