TP-Link Archer A10 is TP-Link latest mid range router which aims to bring high performance networking to the masses. To do that, TP-Link given the Archer A10 some pretty decent specs. It supports Dual-Band Wireless AC up to AC2600 with MU-MIMO and beamforming.
The outlook for the Archer A10 looks really similar to the existing TP-Link Archer C2300. Both routers spot a three antenna design and seems to be having the same hardware. Except, they are not the same. The Archer A10 is powered by a totally different chipset and have very different configuration.
Hardware and Specs
|Archer A10||Archer C2300|
|CPU Specs||880Mhz Dual Core||1.8Ghz Dual Core|
|5Ghz Peak Speed||1733Mbps||1625Mbps|
|2.4Ghz Peak Speed||800Mbps||600Mbps|
|Antenna Config||4×4 (Quad Stream)||3×3 (Tri Stream)|
TP-Link Archer A10 is powered by Mediatek chipset unlike the Broadcom based Archer C2300. Like D-Link DIR-882 we reviewed before, it is powered by the Mediatek MT7621A chipset. The chipset is known for decent performance and good WiFi range. The RAM on the Archer A10 is also lesser and it does not come with any USB port.
The WiFi configuration is very different between the two routers. The Archer A10 is actually a 4 stream router so there’s actually a hidden forth antenna inside the router and we confirmed this on a teardown. TP-Link probably reused the casing of the Archer C2300 as a cost saving measure. We prefer the configuration on the C2300 as there are not much 4×4 receivers in the market. But, we shall see how is the performance of the A10 in the performance test.
Setup and Configuration
TP-Link Archer A10 Unifi Setup
TP-Link Archer A10 is very easy to setup. It is compatible with TM Unifi, Maxis and TIME Fibre. You can refer to our TP-Link Unifi setup guide over here. This router also support HyppTV as well.
The router WebUI is tplinkwifi.net and the default WiFi password is labeled under the router. You can also use a Gigabit Ethernet cable to setup the wireless router. The router setup is not hard and it will ask you to select the ISP profile in the setup wizard.
Firmware and Features
The firmware is your familiar box standard TP-Link firmware. It is pleasant to use and the interface lets you to monitor your network rather easily. All the features you expect from a wireless router is definitely there and nicely laid out. There is a tool to check if your port speed of the LAN port, useful to check if your LAN cable have degraded. There is also a built-in VPN server but the router does not feature any USB port.
The features on the Archer A10 is actually closer to the Archer A7 rather than other high end TP-Link routers. There is no Homecare Antivirus or Parental control unlike the Archer C2300. Besides, it has the normal TP-Link QoS engine which does not work when NAT Boost is enabled. We recommend to have NAT Boost enabled all the time for the performance benefit especially on faster Internet. We think this is a fair compromise considering the A10 is significantly cheaper than the C2300.
The Archer A10 also supports the TP-Link Tether app which lets you to manage your wireless router on your phone. You can bind the router to TP-Link cloud account and monitor your wireless router remotely when you are out from your house. There are not a lot you can do here so you will be just monitoring your network and toggle some quick settings quickly on the router.
WAN Performance Test
The WAN performance test is designed to see the maximum speed the CPU of the router can handles. In our test, the Archer A10 can handle up to 930Mbit/s on wired LAN, the peak speed of Gigabit Ethernet.
Peak WiFi Performance Test
The peak WiFi test is designed to test what is the maximum speed when the router is being tested from a 4×4 WiFi Receiver at a close distance. We are peaking at 800Mbit/s on Speedtest.net.
As the 4X4 WiFi Receiver have to be connected to a physical desktop, we cannot conduct the far distance test.
Typical WiFi Performance Test
The typical WiFi performance test is conducted on our Macbook with an AC1200 wireless receiver. This is to simulate the speed on real world conditions as AC1200 receivers is the most common in devices we use. We will also test this at a close distance with line of sight and further distance with a wall in between.
The performance is pretty respectable here, peaking at 517Mbps download speed on our AC1200 receiver and dropped slightly to 477Mbps as we go further. Also worth mentioning that the Archer A10 supports smart connect which will combine 2 bands and automatically push devices to the best band.
TP-Link Archer A10 is designed to make high performance WiFi affordable to the end user. It is probably the cheapest wireless AC2600 wireless router in the market, even cheaper than D-Link DIR-882. I would rank the performance the Archer A10 below Archer C2300 but it is still a big improvement against the A7/C7 wireless router. The wireless range is amazing and we get really good WiFi coverage out of it.
TP-Link firmware is quite pleasant to use and simple to setup nowadays. But, we hope it comes with more features here. The features are rather barebones but we won’t complain since this is an affordable router. We will recommend this wireless router to users that’s looking for something affordable but with good performance.
TP-Link Archer A10
TP-Link Archer A10 is a router that focus only on performance without the unnecessary features.
- Decent WiFi speed
- Great WiFi coverage
- Gigabit ports
- No USB Port
- Barebone features