TFB Short Clips
The Unbelievable TP-Link AX1800 WiFi 6 Router Is Definitely The Best There Is
- VPN Server and Client: Archer AX21 Supports both VPN Server and VPN Client (Open/PPTP/L2TP over Ipsec)
- Certified for Humans: Smart home made easy for non-experts. Setup with Alexa is simple
- Dual-Band WiFi 6 Internet Router: Wi-Fi 6(802.11ax) technology achieves faster speeds, greater capacity and reduced network congestion compared to the previous generation
- Next-Gen 1.8 Gbps Speeds: Enjoy smoother and more stable streaming, gaming, downloading and more with WiFi speeds up to 1.8 Gbps (1200 Mbps on 5 GHz band and 574 Mbps on 2.4 GHz band)
- Connect more devices: Wi-Fi 6 technology communicates more data to more devices simultaneously using revolutionary OFDMA technology
- Extensive Coverage: Achieve the strong, reliable WiFi coverage with Archer AX1800 as it focuses signal strength to your devices far away using Beamforming technology, 4 high-gain antennas and an advanced front-end module (FEM) chipset
- Works with all internet service providers, such as Comcast, Charter, AT&T, Verizon, Xfinity, Spectrum, RCN, Cox, CenturyLink, Frontier, etc.( a modem is required for most internet service providers)
The AX21’s sleek black enclosure resembles that of TP-Link’s Archer AXE75, but instead of a textured top and six antennas, it has a grillwork top and four non-removable, adjustable antennas. The router is designed to sit on a desktop or can be mounted on a wall using two holes on the bottom. It measures 1.5 by 10.2 by 5.3 inches (HWD) and has six small LED indicators up front for power, activity for both radio bands, internet connectivity, and WPS and USB activity. Around back are four 1Gbps LAN ports, a 1Gbps WAN port, WPS and reset buttons, a USB 2.0 port, and the power button and AC adapter jack. Link aggregation is not supported, and you won’t find any multi-gig LAN/WAN or high-speed USB ports, but that’s not surprising considering the router’s low price.
The Archer AX21 is a dual-band AX1800 router that can hit maximum (theoretical) data rates of 574Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 1,201Mbps on the 5GHz band. It’s powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core CPU and supports most of the latest Wi-Fi 6 technologies, including Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) transmissions, WPA3 encryption, MU-MIMO data streaming, and direct-to-client signal beamforming. However, unlike the ZTE AX3000 Pro, the AX21 does not support 160MHz channel transmissions. It does, however, support OneMesh technology, which lets you create a mesh network using the AX21 and other compatible routers and extenders.
This is one of the few TP-Link routers that does not offer HomeShield parental controls and anti-malware protection. Instead, you get basic parental controls that let you set daily and weekly time limits and create website block and allow lists. You apply these and other settings using the TP-Link Tether mobile app or the web console; you’ll need the latter to access advanced settings such as NAT Forwarding, IPv6, and DHCP Server settings.
Whether you use the TP-Link Tether mobile app or the user-friendly web console, the Archer AX21 is very easy to install. The process is the same as with the AX75 and AXE75 routers: I switched off my modem, connected the router to it using the included LAN cable, and powered up both devices. I opened a browser on a desktop PC connected to the router, entered https://tplinkwifi.net(Opens in a new window) to access the TP-Link web console, and created an admin password. I selected my time zone and a connection type (Dynamic, Static, PPPoE, L2TP, or PPTP), chose the default MAC address, and disabled Smart Connect. After creating a Wi-Fi password, I waited a few seconds for the router to perform an internet connection test and updated the firmware to complete the installation. And then, it was onward to testing.
The AX21 delivered capable performance in our throughput tests. Its score of 120Mbps in the 2.4GHz close proximity test was faster than the TP-Link Archer AX50 (109Mbps) but trailed the Rock Space AX1800 RSD0619 (126Mbps) and the ZTE AX3000 Pro (127Mbps). In the 30-foot test, the AX21 was the slowest of the bunch, but not by much: It managed 40Mbps versus 42Mbps for the AX50 and 44Mbps for the ZTE. The Rock Space led with a score of 53Mbps.