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TP-Link Archer A6 AC1200 Review

True Score

80
80
2

Experts

87
18.7k

Consumers

Product Awards

GR Certified

Customer Favorite

Expert Rankings

The budget TP-Link Archer A6 is good for small households with meager data consumption. Although there are handy parental controls, you get a rather slow WiFi speed for the price.

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Table of Contents

Product Snapshot

Overview

The TP-Link Archer A6 is a dual-band WiFi 5 router launched in 2019. It supports MU-MIMO and has 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands but misses the 6GHz band found on the best routers. Along with WPA, WPA2, and WPA3 security measures, it has basic parental controls (URL filtering and time controls). The router has four antennas but doesn’t have backhaul, and it’s not a standalone mesh system. You can manage the router through the TP-Link Tether app (Android and iOS) or a web browser.

Consensus

our Verdict

The TP-Link Archer A6 is an affordable (entry-level) but slow dual-band router suitable for small homes with low data consumption. Its download speeds of 26.2Mbps over 2.4GHz are the slowest on our certified, tested list, while 284.5Mbps over 5GHz is only slightly better, ranking in the bottom fourth. Nonetheless, it can manage limited 4K streaming over its 5GHz band.

Although throughput isn’t blazing fast, there’s just a 38% dip in throughput at the 30-foot range on the 5GHz band. Its wireless range of 30.5 meters is sufficient for three-bedroom houses and ranks in the mid-third of our verified, tested roster. Setup is simple and can be done over the web or through the Tether app, taking just a few minutes. The basic but handy parental controls let you restrict sites, set time limits, etc.

ReasonS to Buy

  • Good range
    • Its 30.5-meter range is adequate for three-bedroom homes. It ranks in the mid-third of our verified, tested routers.

  • Simple setup and handy parental controls
    • Setup is convenient over the web browser or the Tether app (Android and iOS). You get clear instructions with illustrations.

    • The parental controls are handy, allowing you to restrict site access based on specific keywords, check all visited websites, and limit internet usage time.

Reason to Avoid

  • Slow WiFi speeds
    • The router is fine for 4K streaming over its 5GHz band but not the 2.4GHz band. Its slow download speeds of 26.2Mbps over 2.4GHz ranks lowest among our verified, tested routers, and 284.5Mbps over 5GHz ranks in the bottom fourth.

    • Its throughput isn’t impressive, but even at a 30-foot distance, the 5GHz band offers satisfactory speeds (530Mbps close-range vs 204Mbps at 30 feet).

  • No USB port
    • No USB ports limit wired connectivity.

TP-Link Archer A6 AC1200 Specs

# of LAN Ports# of LAN Ports4
# of Phone Ports# of Phone Portsn/a
# of WAN Ports# of WAN Ports1
App CompatibleApp CompatibleYes
Available StorageAvailable Storagen/a
Band TechnologyBand TechnologyDual
Data Encryption TypeData Encryption TypeWPA3
Energy Star CertifiedEnergy Star CertifiedNo
Frequency BandsFrequency Bands2.4 GHz, 5.0 GHz
Integrated ModemIntegrated ModemNo
LAN PortsLAN Ports
MU-MIMO SupportMU-MIMO SupportYes
Mesh SystemMesh SystemYes
Number of AntennasNumber of Antennas5
Parental ControlsParental ControlsYes
Processor CoresProcessor CoresDual
Processor SpeedProcessor Speed0.75Ghz
Quality of Service PrioritizationQuality of Service PrioritizationYes
WiFi RangeWiFi Rangen/a
WiFi SpeedWiFi Speed1.2 Gb
Wired SpeedWired Speed1000 Mb
Wireless StandardWireless StandardAC

All Specs

Test Results

2.4 GHz Download speed (Mbits/s)26.2
2.4 GHz Upload speed (Mbits/s)0
5 GHz Download speed (Mbits/s)284.5
5 GHz Upload speed (Mbits/s)64
Router Range (ft)100
Latency (ms)0
6 Ghz Download speed (Mbits/s)0
6 Ghz Upload speed (Mbits/s)0

All Tests

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Product Comparison

TP-Link Archer A6 AC1200 Review

True Score

80
78
76
86

Ranking

#

20

/

37

#

27

/

37

#

32

/

37

#

2

/

37

Market Context

The TP-Link Archer A6 is a dual-band WiFi 5 router launched in 2019. It supports MU-MIMO and has 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands but misses the…

The TP-Link Archer A6 is a dual-band WiFi 5 router launched in 2019. It supports MU-MIMO and has 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands but misses the 6GHz band found on the best routers. Along with WPA, WPA2, and WPA3 security measures, it has basic parental controls (URL filtering and time controls). The router has four antennas but doesn’t have backhaul, and it’s not a standalone mesh system. You can manage the router through the TP-Link Tether app (Android and iOS) or a web browser.

TP-Link Archer AX10 has greater total bandwidth than the TP-Link Archer A6, making it more suitable for data-intensive activities. (The AX10’s bandwidth is 1201Mbps over…

TP-Link Archer AX10 has greater total bandwidth than the TP-Link Archer A6, making it more suitable for data-intensive activities. (The AX10’s bandwidth is 1201Mbps over 5GHz and 300 Mbps over 2.4GHz. The A6 is a bit lower at 867Mbps over 5GHz and 400Mbps over 2.4GHz). The AX10 is better for 4K streaming and competitive gaming than the A6, thanks to its fast download speeds. (The AX10 can download 67.89Mbps over 2.4GHz and 423.985Mbps over 5GHz. The A6 is much slower at 26.2Mbps over 2.4GHz and 284.5Mbps over 5GHz).

For more information, read our TP-Link Archer AX10 review.

The TP-Link Archer AX21 has a faster close-range and long-range throughput than the TP-Link Archer A6. (The AX21 has a close-range throughput of 120Mbps over…

The TP-Link Archer AX21 has a faster close-range and long-range throughput than the TP-Link Archer A6. (The AX21 has a close-range throughput of 120Mbps over 2.4GHz and 694Mbps over 5GHz, and a long-range throughput of 40Mbps over 2.4GHz and 309Mbps over 5GHz. The AC6 has a close-range throughput of 68Mbps over 2.4GHz and 530Mbps over 5GHz and a long-range throughput of 39Mbps over 2.4GHz and 204Mbps over 5GHz). The AX21 also has faster download speeds than the AC6. (The AX21 reaches 40Mbps over 2.4GHz and 309Mbps over 5GHz. The AC6 is slower at 26.2Mbps over 2.4GHz and 284.5Mbps over 5GHz).

The Synology WRX560 has slightly better-wired connectivity than the TP-Link Archer A6 for increased network capacity and performance. (The WRX560 has 1 x 2.5 GbE…

The Synology WRX560 has slightly better-wired connectivity than the TP-Link Archer A6 for increased network capacity and performance. (The WRX560 has 1 x 2.5 GbE WAN, 4 x Gigabit LAN, and 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports. The A6 has 1 x Gigabit WAN and 4 x Gigabit LAN ports but no USB ports). The A6 has a good wireless range of 30.5 meters, but since the WRX560 is a mesh router, it offers scalable coverage that can exceed the A6’s range.

To see if this mesh router is suitable for you, read our Synology WRX560 review.

# of LAN Ports

4

4

3

# of Phone Ports

n/a

n/a

n/a

# of WAN Ports

1

1

1

App Compatible

Yes

Yes

Yes

Available Storage

n/a

n/a

Band Technology

Dual

Dual

Dual

Data Encryption Type

WPA3

WPA, WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK

WPA3

Energy Star Certified

No

No

n/a

Dig Deeper

TP-Link Archer AX10 Review →

TP-Link Archer AX21 Review →

Synology WRX560 Review →

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Score Card

E

Expert Score

80

*.75

We place a 75% weighted value on Expert Test Scores

C

Customer Score

87

*.25

We place a 25% weighted value on Customer Scores

True Score

80

Expert Scores

  • PC Mag
    85.3

    Category Trust Rating

    70
    The TP-Link Archer A6 is a budget-priced dual-band router that offers some features usually found… Read More

    By:

    John R. Delaney
  • Lifewire
    80.27

    Category Trust Rating

    84
    The TP-Link Archer A6 AC1200 is an entry-level gigabit router that gets the job done… Read More

    By:

    Jeremy Laukkonen

Customer Scores