The new Archer C6 (or A6, explained at the end) is a re-design of their best budget router, and coming in at just around 2500 Rs. or 33 US Dollars, I think that this is still the best affordable router, even for people who have a high speeds connections.
I’ve also reviewed most of the higher end TP Link routers, along with some even more expensive routers, so I’ll also tell you why even at its price, this might be all the router that you actually need.
Beginning with the unboxing, we have the power adapter with an unnecessary 3rd pin, some papers for quick setup, a Cat 5E Ethernet cable, and finally you get to the router with antennas that are wrapped in plastic from hell which is really difficult to remove.
The overall design of the new Archer C6 is really great. It looks quite smart with modern aesthetics and compact size, and with this knurled pyramid pattern on its top, you can also rub it against your skin if you’re feeling an itch.
At the back of the router, you have 1 gigabit WAN port, 4 Gigabit LAN ports, and a reset and a WPS button that can also be used to switch Wi-Fi on or off.
We of course have 5 LEDs to indicate the status of different networks, and at bottom you can also see holes for wall mounting, with plenty of ventilation.
The setup is quite easy, and TP Link has one of the best web interfaces for controlling its features while also keeping it simple, and you have plenty of options like parental control for restricting access, quality of service. You can enable guest networks,
it has a firewall, WPA 3 security, you have support for OpenVPN, NAT Forwarding, and you can also control some features of the router with Alexa.
You can also control most of these features with TP Link’s tether app on your phone, and that is also quite simple to use.
While the Archer C6 doesn’t support a range extender mode, it does support OneMesh, so if you pair it with TP Link’s range extenders like the RE305, you can get seamless Wi-Fi coverage in a large area, and I personally use a TP Link router with this range extender to provide a mesh Wi-Fi network to two of my flats, and it actually works really well, and I don’t have to reconnect my phone to different networks when I move between flats like before.
Now this isn’t a Wi-Fi 6 router, but you can still get great performance with multiple devices, this does have 2 x 2 MU-MIMO, and beam forming, and the 5 GHz network can actually handle a lot of devices.
But let’s check out what kind of speeds we are actually getting
So in the best case scenario with my ROG Phone 3 very close to the router, I was able to get speeds of about 550 mbps on the 5GHz network, while in the room next to the router with 1 wall in between, I was able to get 530 mbps. In my company office where there are multiple walls in between, the router does take a significant hit and we get around 220 mbps.
Then coming to its 2.4 GHz performance, we are getting around 100 mbps, which is to be expected, and it doesn’t change much as we go further away with walls in between. However, because of the better range of 2.4 GHz network, I was able to get around 50 mbps in my second flat, which means you can use it for smart devices or casual internet browsing.
The range of this router is good for a flat that is around 12 to 1500 sq. feet, but for larger homes, you may consider getting a range extender if you want over 100 mbps speeds.
So in conclusion, the Archer C6 is a really great performer for the price, and you are getting basically everything that you may need. Now with more expensive routers, you will get better performance, but in most cases, the difference is only noticeable once you go beyond speeds of 200 mbps. I checked what kind of internet people had, and the average result was way below 200 mbps, so this is easily going to be more than enough.
Even if you have a Gigabit connection, you can get gigabit speeds on your wired devices like a PC, and you may not get 7 to 8 hundred mbps on your wireless devices like the Archer AX73, but even 100 to 200 mbps is enough for most kinds of streaming you will do, so even if I had to use this router instead of my AX73, I wouldn’t have been missing out on a lot.
But the range of the AX73 is better, so with the Archer C6, I have to keep my range extender closer. But the difference isn’t that big considering that the AX73 costs 4 times more than this.
Another feature that this router is missing is a USB port, but I’ve never really used them in any of my routers, but if you really need that, you can go with the Archer C6U, which has a USB port.
Archer C6 vs. A6
There is another model named Archer A6, that looks identical to the C6, and from my research, and according to the specifications on TP Link’s official websites, these routers do indeed seem to be identical, with the difference between them only being their sales channels. I also called TP Link support for this, and they also confirmed that both routers are identical.
➡️ Archer C6:
⭐ India: https://amzn.to/2XeA4aA
⭐ US: https://amzn.to/2XeANsk
⭐ Archer A6: https://amzn.to/3vf4M0Q