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Is the TP-Link Archer AX6000 worth it over the cheaper AX3000?


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TP-Link Archer AX3000 / AX50

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TP-Link Archer AX6000

When it comes down to it, both of these routers offer a great value with wireless speeds fast enough for most people. The addition of HomeCare to both routers makes it easier to keep your family safe online and keep students working at home on track. For most people, the AX3000 speeds of the Archer AX50 will be more than enough for most, and at half the price of its bigger brother, it makes a lot more sense.

First off, get the right TP-Link AX3000 router

Like many router manufacturers, TP-Link makes a some similar models for different retailers. In the Wi-Fi 6, AX3000 range, there is the TP-Link Archer AX50 and the TP-Link Archer AX3000. Both models deliver the same speed and features, with the exception of HomeCare, which comes with the AX50.

The other big difference is price. The AX3000, which is available at Walmart, is often cheaper than the AX50.

TP-Link AX6000 vs. AX3000 Wi-Fi 6 for everyone

TP-Link Archer AX50

TP-Link Archer AX50Source: TP-Link

There's no doubt about it, TP-Link has brought the price of Wi-Fi 6 routers down to a level where it's hard to recommend buying even a fast Wi-Fi 5 router. For most people, the 2,402Mbps speeds the AX50 can deliver on the 5GHz band will be more than enough for most people, especially since most Wi-Fi 6 devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 or the iPhone 11 Pro only support a max download and upload rates of 1.2Gbps (1,200Mbps). There are still a few good reasons to go for the faster and larger Archer AX6000 but speed isn't one of them.

TP-Link Archer AX3000 (AX50) TP-Link Archer AX6000
Wi-Fi standard Wi-Fi 6 Wi-Fi 6
Wi-Fi speed AX3000
(574Mbps + 2402Mbps)
(1148Mbps + 4804Mbps)
5GHz band 160MHz 160MHz
WAN speed Gigabit 2.5G
Ethernet ports 4 8
USB ports 1 USB-A 3.0 1 USB-C 3.0
1 USB-A 3.0
Parental Controls HomeCare HomeCare
Dimensions 10.2" x 5.3" x 1.5" 10.3" x 10.3" x 2.4"

The Archer AX50 looks a lot like any router you may have seen before with a wide rectangular base and four antennas mounted on the back. On the back, you also get four open Ethernet ports for wired devices and one WAN port to connect to your modem. There's no link aggregation here so any of your wired connections will max out at 1 Gbps. This is still plenty for 4K or even 8K streaming and is more than likely faster than your internet connection.

If you need more wired speed and ports, the Archer AX6000 is a sensible step up. This router has square housing with two antennas on each edge for a total of eight. On the back, there are eight Ethernet ports with link aggregation on two of the ports. The WAN port supports 2.5G connection for very fast fiber connection or more likely, a connection to a fast wired network with a NAS.

How much speed is enough?

According to Speedtest the average speed for home internet in the U.S is around 143Mbps. With a 2.4GHz speed of 574Mbps and a 5GHz speed of 2402Mbps, even the slower Archer AX50 is more than capable of delivering this very comfortable download speed. Even if you have a fiber connection with gigabit speeds, both routers should be able to deliver very usable speeds.

Both of these routers will last you for quite a while but once you start getting more and more fast Wi-Fi 6 devices in the coming years, the AX6000 might end up being worth the extra cost. However, for most of us, the AX3000 speeds of the AX50 are more than enough.


TP-Link AX6000 vs. AX3000 What you need to know about coverage

TP-Link Archer AX6000

TP-Link Archer AX6000Source: TP-Link

Both of these routers will be able to cover a standard home with ease but if you have a more challenging layout or simply have a lot of interference, the Archer AX6000 will do better. TP-Link recommends the AX50 for homes with three rooms and the AX6000 for homes with four rooms.

Unfortunately, it's not that simple. If you have a home with concrete or plaster walls, you're going to see a huge dropoff in signal strength very quickly. The AX6000 has more to work with and with features like beamforming, it should be able to deliver superior performance. If you're having trouble converging your whole home with a single router, it may be time to consider a mesh system.

What extras come along?

Both routers work with TP-Link's HomeCare software, which allows you to share your network and provides you parental controls that can help you keep track of and limit your family's online activity. You can even set a schedule for devices to be sure that someone studying or working from home isn't getting distracted. It also comes with antivirus protection from Trend Micro.

HomeCare also has a more advanced QoS, which is able to prioritize connections by application in addition to by devices. This allows specific important traffic, such as gaming traffic, to get through even on a device that doesn't normally need a boost.

You can control your TP-Link Archer with Alexa too.

TP-Link AX6000 vs. AX3000 Which router should you buy?

TP-Link Archer AX6000

TP-Link Archer AX6000Source: TP-Link

The TP-Link Archer AX6000 is a great router and will work great for pretty much anybody. It has more than enough speed for streaming, gaming, and even remote computing. Still, for the vast majority of people, it's overkill. The AX3000 speeds of the TP-Link Archer AX50 will be plenty for even people with full gigabit connections. With an identical software set including parental controls, the AX50 is the best value, especially given its price. Plus, you can save a little money if you buy it from WalMart.


Perfect Fit

TP-Link Archer AX3000 (AX50)

Enough speed for just about anything

The TP-Link Archer AX50 delivers dual-band AX3000 Wi-Fi 6 speeds at a great price with free antivirus and parental controls.

Support more devices

TP-Link Archer AX6000

Rooms to connect all of your devices

The TP-Link Archer AX6000 supports a ton of devices with fast dual-band Wi-Fi 6 speeds and up to eight gigabit wired devices.

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