With the growing proliferation of fibre broadband connections, a router that may sustain, feeding the quickest attainable connection to the multitude of wired and wi-fi units we hold in our properties, like peculiar pets, is a should. TP-Hyperlink’s AX6000 affords Wi-Fi 6 speeds (however not 6E) and a mammoth eight Ethernet sockets, making it good for these with advanced networking wants.

It is the type of form that would not be misplaced in some shaky footage of an alien spaceship hovering over rural Iowa doing unspeakable issues to cows, and the foldy-up Wi-Fi antennas that sit on the perimeter simply add to that impression. 

It is also paying homage to the first-gen Xbox from 2001, the slotted prime panel that enables warmth to rise from the frantically working innards diagonally damaged by a shiny, raised X with a smashing orangey shiny bit within the center. It’s kind of smaller although, that Xbox was chunky—this router is concerning the measurement of a hardback e-book, or a pizza field for somebody who lacks digestive ambition.

I am unsure anybody buys a router for the best way it appears to be like, they’re extra prone to be tucked away out of sight someplace with quick access to Ethernet cables, however at 26cm (10-inch) sq. you are going to want to search out an space of flat floor for the Archer to take a seat on. That is for those who do not select to wall mount it—there are holes beneath to facilitate this, and with the stubby antennas rotated 90 levels, you may be capable to use it as a coat rack. Although we would not suggest it.

Archer AX6000 specs

TP-Link Archer AX6000

(Picture credit score: Future)

Wi-fi customary: Wi-Fi 6
Max speeds: 4804 Mbps (5GHz), 1148 Mbps (2.4GHz)
Simultaneous streams: 8
Ethernet ports: 8
WAN: 2.5 Gbps
CPU: 1.8 GHz 64 Bit Quad-Core
USB: 1x USB 3.0 Kind-A, 1x USB 3.0 Kind-C
Dimensions: 261.2 x 261.2 x 60.2 mm
Weight: 1.59 kg
Value: $198 | £199

This additional measurement makes room for the eight gigabit Ethernet ports behind the router, making this a good selection for those who’ve acquired a sophisticated wired community or an aversion to hubs. Two of them may be aggregated for a 2-gig connection too, for those who’ve acquired one thing that may profit from that type of factor. The highest row of Ethernet ports, nevertheless, require the cables to be inserted with the discharge catch on the prime, where it comes perilously near the overhanging fringe of the router casing. This makes it arduous to insert the requisite finger to get the cable out once more for those who ever have to. 

It is in all probability not an issue that is going to come back up too usually, however for those who all of a sudden resolve to utterly change your community topology (or move home) it may be annoying.

And as a substitute of a constellation of blinking LED lights on prime, the Archer has just one. It begins off purple earlier than turning to blue if all the pieces’s working, and you may flip it off altogether, checking in on the router standing in its internet interface or the TP-Hyperlink Tether cellular app.

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TP-Link Archer AX6000

(Picture credit score: Future)
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TP-Link Archer AX6000

(Picture credit score: Future)

The WAN port on the Archer is able to 2.5Gbps of internets, which is able to outstrip most home connections. It affords a dual-band Wi-Fi community, with 5GHz and a pair of.4GHz working utilizing WI-Fi 6 however not 6E, so no frolics into the 6GHz a part of the spectrum right here. 

TP-Hyperlink claims you will rise up to 1148 Mbps for the two.4GHz community, and 4804 Mbps when linked to the 5GHz possibility. With these figures, the phrases ‘as much as’ are sometimes doing numerous work, and you will have so as to add them collectively and do some rounding to get to the 6000 within the mannequin quantity. 

We linked the router to a 600Mbps web wire, attached a Wi-Fi 6 machine on 5GHz, and acquired… 600Mbps. This could come as no shock, and is de facto the least we must always anticipate from Wi-Fi 6. Ping over Wi-Fi was no completely different to that of a wired connection, it coped with 4K and HD streaming to as many units as we may muster, and all of it reveals that this router is not going to be the bottleneck in your community, even for those who’re sharing it—it is your broadband connection itself that may max out first except you are on some futuristic multi-gigabit line. 

By which case, hey, do you’ve got a flying automotive, too?

Elsewhere on the router, you get a pair of USB 3 ports: one Kind A and the opposite Kind C. That is overkill for sharing a printer however does imply you possibly can probably share a USB SSD in your community for a cut-price file server. Commonest file techniques are supported (although not EXT4, Linux followers) and the router can run an FTP server, media server and Apple Time Machine, in addition to utilizing Samba for sharing.

TP-Link Archer AX6000

(Picture credit score: Future)

Wi-Fi 6 options—notably OFDMA, which permits a number of units to share service bands—are good for wi-fi availability for those who’ve acquired lots of units in the home, whereas a quad-core CPU backed up by a pair of co-processors retains issues flowing alongside properly.

Establishing the router is straightforward. The antennae are stubby and completely connected, so that you simply have to pivot them into their upright place quite than having to screw them in. This implies there’s not a lot in the best way of wiggling the aerials to be carried out, looking for their optimum place. You will then want to search out someplace with sufficient house to place it and nonetheless connect the required cables. 

As soon as it is put in, you will have to configure it utilizing the online interface or app identical to some other router. There are many choices on provide, together with a QoS setting for gaming and machine prioritisation so you may make positive your gaming PC will get first chunk of the bandwidth cherry. There’s additionally a visitors monitor that will get fairly granular, making it straightforward to identify who’s utilizing up all the information allowance late at night time.

Purchase if…

✅ You’ve got acquired lots of cables: with eight Ethernet ports, this router may be capable to exchange a change or two in your community.

You’ve lots of customers: the Archer can help as much as eight separate streams, then chop them up with OFDMA to slot in extra units.

Do not buy if…

❌ You really need Wi-Fi 6E: this does not have it, however boring previous Wi-Fi 6 might be adequate except you’ve got very particular wants.

The interface is straightforward to make use of, some feat in a sector that is infamous for baffling UI design, and manages to scale back the ache of router setup and tweaking. 

A built-in anti-malware system from Pattern Micro affords parental controls in addition to QoS (with each broad presets akin to ‘gaming’ or ‘streaming’ and particular person machine settings, so you possibly can prioritise your gaming PC over an iPad streaming your cleaning soap opera of selection) and a level of antivirus too.

TP-Hyperlink’s Archer AX6000 was the corporate’s first Wi-Fi 6 router, which implies you will not get the good thing about the extra fashionable Wi-Fi 6E tech. Nevertheless, that is prone to be of little concern to anybody however those that merely will need to have the newest and best. Wi-Fi 6 itself is sufficient of a step ahead for gaming, the extra options akin to beamforming offering a powerful sign. 

Join this router to a quick broadband connection, and it has sufficient velocity and functionality to hold an entire family of streamers blissful. 

Nevertheless, with a pre-discount worth of £350, it is undercut by routers providing flashier specs, together with some from TP-Hyperlink itself, regardless of being cheaper than some flagship choices. It is mature sufficient now, although, that unique worth is kind of a factor of the previous. 

The power to hook up with so many units directly, wired and wi-fi, is an effective factor to have, but when just some super-high-speed wi-fi connections to latest units are what you want, there is likely to be higher decisions on the market.