TP-Link Archer AX6000 review: top-end router with Wi-Fi 6 support


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This is a top router. It is impressive, but without predatory design elements inherent in gaming routers and red

inserts. Powerful, fast, and solid in appearance. It knows how to do everything that is required for such a device in 2020. Wi-Fi 6, eight Gigabit Ethernet ports and 2.5 Gigabit WAN. Two USB 3.0 connectors will help you make a home media server or backup station based on it. The richly customizable control panel will delight you with both parental control and virus protection functions, as well as flexible port and VPN settings. Is it worth 9999 hryvnia? It seems to be expensive, but still a whole one and a half times more affordable than the hardcore TP-Link Archer AX11000, with which we have already introduced you. So let's get acquainted and understand.

TP-Link Archer AX6000

2020 TP-Link's top Wi-Fi 6 router.

Powerful and fast router with standard support802.11ax. Large, showy, but rather strict in appearance. It technically stands out with a multitude of Gigabit LAN ports with aggregation capability, dual USB 3.0 ports, and support for many advanced wireless technologies. Good software, many settings, antivirus, parental control and cloud management.

Growth router

5 reasons to buy TP-Link Archer AX6000:

  • support for Wi-Fi 6, MU-MIMO, OFDMA and other modern communication technologies;
  • eight gigabit LAN ports;
  • fast 2.5 Gigabit WAN port;
  • USB 3.0 ports, including Type-C;
  • onboard antivirus and flexible parental control system.

2 reasons not to buy TP-Link Archer AX6000:

  • large dimensions;
  • redundancy for many home users.

What makes him interesting?

The fact that this is one of the maximum"Stuffed" routers in the TP-Link 2020 line. Somewhat inferior to the gaming AX11000 in terms of characteristics, but also more affordable (although still expensive).

What is in the box?

More precisely, in a large and beautiful box. Gold embossing and selective varnish on the packaging seem to hint to us that the filling here is not easy and is worth its money. Inside is the router itself, a power supply, a patch cord for connecting to a wired network and a lot of pieces of paper.


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The power supply is quite large. It was equipped with an unusually long, two-meter cable, which is convenient. The patch cord is ordinary, one meter long.

What does it look like?

It looks like the Archer C4000 model, externallythis is her direct heir. The same square box with antennas at the edges. Only now they are not six, but eight, and they are reclined differently: from the center, but from the side. The antennas are still non-removable and are extremely compact when folded. In the center of the top panel, a gilded golden square with the manufacturer's logo shines proudly. In addition to glamorous goals, it also pursues informational ones: status LEDs are located along the perimeter. Handsomely. The rest of the cover is occupied by the corrugated surface of the ventilation grill with a glossy "cross". Nice too, but dust and fingerprints collect on the gloss instantly.


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But upon first acquaintance with the device, it is still infirst of all, you pay attention to its dimensions. Archer AX6000 can hardly be called compact and inconspicuous, it is comparable in size to a nettop system unit (261 × 261 × 60 mm). So sticking it into an inconspicuous slot behind the closet, like your old router, will not work. Although short antennas make things a little easier.


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Let's turn the router over and look at it from below. There are also a bunch of ventilation holes here, so the device is ventilated to glory. There are also slots for wall mounting. For such a large object, this is especially important, because it is scary to hang it on double-sided tape.


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So what's on the sides? On the front panel, we see three buttons: this is WPS for quickly connecting devices, turning on / off Wi-Fi and a "switch" for the LED. If suddenly this modest illumination bothers you, you can turn it off even with a hardware button. Not the most commonly used function, but three buttons probably look more impressive than two.


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Move on. One of the side panels is empty, and the second one flaunts two USB ports at once. Both support the 3.0 standard, one being the classic Type A and the other being the increasingly popular Type C.


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The back panel is the most populous. Most of the space on it is occupied by an impressive "two-story" block with eight RJ-45 connectors. All of them support a gigabit connection, and the WAN port, which is located next to it and is colored in blue, is designed for speeds up to 2.5 Gbps. In addition, there is a power button for the entire device, a connector for a power supply and a hidden reset button hole.


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How to connect and configure?

Even the user can connect Archer AX6000with absolutely zero theoretical background. There is absolutely no need to understand routers, just install the TP-Link Tether app (available for iOS and Android) on your smartphone and follow the instructions on the screen. As for me, these instructions are even excessively detailed.


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You can do without the application, the old fashioned way: we connect the power and the Internet to the router, and the details of the wireless network (name and password) are taken from the sticker on the bottom panel of the device. And everything will work. But, of course, the password should be changed, the network can be adjusted, and in general there are many interesting things inside, so I still recommend the application.

What's under the hood?

The average user hardly thinks thatthere is hidden inside the router, but you can tell a little more about the top device. The Archer AX6000 is powered by a Broadcom BCM4908 quad-core 1.8 GHz processor. He has 128 megabytes of flash memory and gigabytes of "RAM" available. Our most avid readers will surely remember desktop computers with similar specifications. Now, in 2020, this whole computing machine is exclusively concerned with your wireless network.


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What can?

Knows how to organize fast networks with a large number of both wireless and wired connections.

Let's start with the definition of "fast". The AX6000 standard assumes a maximum wireless connection speed of up to 6000 Mbps. But this is not six gigabits, but the theoretically possible sum of speeds in all frequency ranges. According to the manufacturer, the Archer AX6000 can deliver up to 4804 Mbps at 5 GHz and up to 1148 Mbps at 2.4 GHz. I have already said about wired connections, all of them are gigabit, with the exception of the port for connecting the Internet: it does support channel widths up to 2.5 Gbps. You just need your ISP to be able to give out so much.

Go ahead and come to the number of devices innetworks. The 1024QAM and OFDMA technologies allow the router to serve multiple computers or smartphones simultaneously. In addition, the Archer AX6000 uses 8x8 MIMO technology, which allows simultaneous sending and transmission of data over eight streams.

There are also chips that are already known to us from others.TP-Link routers. The Airtime Fairness feature honestly distributes the "airtime" between devices, preventing too slow "pulling the blanket" in their direction. And Beamforming technology controls the direction of the signal based on the location of the devices connected to the wireless network. With it, coverage in hard-to-reach corners of the room will be better than without it, although practice shows that this is not a panacea. There is also the beloved Smart Connect function, thanks to which the router hides all the bands behind one network name, and then it decides for itself which device to work with.

Separately, we note the presence of two USB 3 ports at once.0. They can be used to connect flash drives or external hard drives for simple but fast network storage. The connected drive is available as a regular network folder, you can work with its contents from any device: computers, smartphones or smart TVs (no additional programs need to be installed for this). In theory, the USB port can be used to connect a 4G modem, but in the current firmware version I could not find any indication of such a function.

Let's take a look at the settings?

Of course we will take a look, because it is here that you can evaluateall device functions! Let's start with the Tether app. It has not so many possibilities, but it is in it that you can see that the Archer AX6000 is a "cloud" router. That is, using the application, you can reach the device from anywhere in the world where there is Internet. Tether allows you to see the current state of the network: the presence of an Internet connection and its speed, the number of connected devices and the parameters of wireless networks. The guest network is also activated right from here.


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There is also a convenient interface for settings.parental control. In it, you can create a profile of a family member, select his age group and configure the settings for restrictions, that is, outline a kind of Internet security perimeter. These are restrictions on groups of sites, and the time allotted for adventures on the Internet. However, I never tire of reminding you that the settings of a router do not replace a trusting relationship with a child and an adequate policy of using the Internet in the family.


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There are also settings right in the Tether appTrend Micro antivirus and QoS traffic prioritization. But what is not here now (from July 31, 2020) is support for the IFTTT service. It seems to be a pity, but, to be honest, I have not used IFTTT scripts in conjunction with a router in real life before: so, I tested and forgot. But if notifications about new devices connecting to the network are important to you, then they are in the Tether application itself without any third-party services. This function is located in the "Tools" section and for correct operation it requires linking the router to your account.

So, the application is remembered, you can go further. Basic settings, as usual, open in the web control panel. It operates at http://tplinkwifi.net (you can also use 192.168.0.1). If you have worked with TP-Link routers or read their reviews on gg, then a lot will seem familiar to you, but still let's go through the control panel interface and see what you can do here.

The control panel is divided into three tabs: quick, basic and advanced settings. With the first one, everything is simple, this is actually the same initial level that we have already passed when connecting. And the basic setup interface contains what we have already seen in the Tether app: device status, information about the network and clients, HomeCare settings (parental control, antivirus and Qos), as well as USB storage settings.

But in the "Additional settings" - a lotadvanced features arranged on the shelves of the vertical menu. In the "Status" section, this very state of the router is described in all details, down to the load level of each processor core separately. In the "Network" section we are asked to configure DHCP and MAC address, IPTV, DDNS and static routing settings. Here, on the LAN tab, there is a curious and rather rare feature: link aggregation. When you turn it on, the router will combine the LAN2 and LAN3 ports so that a device that requires speed can be connected to them with two cables. For example, a NAS equipped with two Ethernet ports for this purpose.

Moving through the menu sections further, we see morefamiliar things. Mode selection (router or access point), wireless mode settings (OFDMA is enabled by default, but Smart Connect is not) and WPS, guest network and USB storage settings. For him, by the way, there is Time Machine mode for backing up Apple computers.

Oh, and here are the parameters already familiar to usparental control and QoS. They can be configured from anywhere: both in this web panel and in the mobile application. Then we see the antivirus and firewall settings, black and white lists of devices, IP and MAC address binding table.

Many possibilities in the NAT section: various types of ALG, virtual servers, port triggering, DMZ and UPnP. There is an activation of IPv6 support, as well as a VPN server (PPTP and OpenVPN). An ordinary user is unlikely to look into this jungle, but the device level obliges. System tools include system time and LED settings. The router firmware can be updated both over the air and from a previously downloaded file. It is possible to back up the settings and restore them from the backup. There is a system log and a graph of traffic consumption.

What is the speed?

Everything is fine with speed. Gigabit ethernet ports provide the required gigabit, but I could not fully evaluate the 2.5-gigabit WAN port due to the lack of such speed from the provider. I think many users of this device will face such a situation, but it is better this way than vice versa, when the provider can, but your router cannot.

With wireless connections, the Archer AX6000 toodoing great. In my example, the provider's 200-megabit Internet channel is measured on the router itself as 185-megabit, that is, very close to the nominal. Client devices, smartphones and laptops connected via Wi-Fi reach from 120 to 170 Mbps. It all depends on the device itself and its wireless capabilities.


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It is clear that the router will show the best resultsin conjunction with devices that support Wi-Fi 6, but more modest devices are serviced as quickly as possible. Signal stability is characteristic, look at these almost perfectly straight lines.


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As for the coating, the manufacturer says about"Four-bedroom apartment". That is, one router is not enough for a large office stadium, but it can handle most home scenarios without additional amplifiers and repeaters. I also note stable operation without glitches or freezes and quite moderate heating of the case (good ventilation affects).

In the dry residue

TP-Link Archer AX6000 is in many ways a device"for growth". It will easily master the upgrade of your Internet channel, the speed of which will exceed a gigabit, serve devices with Wi-Fi 6 support that appear on your network, and it will not offend slower consumers, even if there are many of them in the house. And from an external hard drive with a USB 3.0 interface, it will make a fast network folder. But if the possibilities listed here are redundant for you, and the named upgrades are coming only in the distant future, then you can take your time with the acquisition of such a fancy device. With a price tag of 9999 hryvnia, Archer AX6000 falls into the top segment of consumer devices. The sum is rather big, but considering the characteristics (note the eight Gigabit LAN ports), it has few rivals. The most obvious competitor seems to be ASUS RT-AX88U, which is positioned as a gaming unit and costs about one and a half thousand hryvnia more with equal speed parameters.

Three main things to remember about the TP-Link Archer AX6000 router:

  • this is a top-end router with support for Wi-Fi 6 and a number of modern communication technologies;
  • it has a very fast (2.5 Gbps) WAN port and as many as 8 Gigabit LAN ports;
  • you can connect a USB 3.0 drive to it and get a fast network folder.