TP-Link Archer AX20 is a brand new AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 router recently available in Malaysia. TP-Link is currently the best selling router brand in Malaysia and the Archer AX20 promises to bring Wi-Fi 6 to the mass with an affordable price at just RM429.
If you are looking for a new wireless router, TP-Link’s Archer AX20 will be a great choice. It is relatively inexpensive and comes with the latest Wi-Fi 6 technology which promise to improve Wi-Fi speed significantly. It is a huge upgrade from the wireless router that’s provided by most Internet Service Providers.
You will want to get a Wi-Fi 6 router in 2020 as this technology is now mature and it will be widely available in a ton of devices now. In fact, it’s already available on the latest smartphones from Apple, Samsung and Xiaomi. Using
Wi-Fi 6 is so good because it is much faster than current Wireless AC technology. It added several new features such as OFDMA and 1024-QAM to improve efficiecy and increase link speed. Without going into the technical details, all you need to know is it will make your Wi-Fi better even for older Wireless AC devices.
This will benefit older devices or slower Internet speed as well. This is because a new router like this actually have better signal coverage which will improve the Wi-Fi speed when you are further from the router. Wi-Fi 6 also offers lower ping resulting in a smoother Internet experience.
Hardware and Specs
|Wireless 2.4Ghz||Wi-Fi 6 up to 574Mbps (40Mhz 2X2)|
|Wireless 5Ghz||Wi-Fi 6 up to 1201Mbps (80Mhz 2X2)|
|WiFi Features||OFDMA, MU-MIMO, Beamforming, WPA3|
|CPU||Broadcom BCM6755 1.5Ghz Quad-Core|
|Ethernet Ports||1x Gigabit WAN port + 4x Gigabit LAN port|
|USB||1x USB 2.0 port|
TP-Link Archer AX20 is powered by a Broadcom BCM6755 1.5Ghz Quad Core CPU. It can support a theoretical maximum link speed up to 1201Mbps on the 5Ghz channel and 574Mbps on the 2.4Ghz channel. TP-Link also included support for the latest WPA3 Wi-Fi security standard on the Archer AX20.
There are several status indicator at the front of the router to show you the current status of your Internet connection. The Internet LED is multi-color and will be changed to orange if Internet connection is not working.
Behind the Archer AX20, it has 4 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports and a single Gigabit Ethernet WAN port. There’s also a single USB port which can be used for USB file sharing on your Wi-Fi network. It’s possible to connect a USB external hard drive and access it wirelessly on other devices.
The bottom of the router is fill with vents for cooling. It is possible to wall mount the Archer AX20 but you need to purchase your own screws. The default Wi-Fi name (SSID) and password is labeled at the sticker underneath the router as well.
Inside the box, it comes with the router, a CAT5E Gigabit LAN cable, power adapter and some instruction manuals. TP-Link also included a card to remind users to update the driver of your WiFi adapter at your devices to make sure they work better with Wi-Fi 6 technology.
I also performed a simple teardown to evaluate the build quality of the Archer AX20. I am not an expert but it does seem fairly well built with a decent sized proper heatsink to improve cooling of this router. Those 4 non-removable antennas are directly connected to the PCB as well.
Easy Setup Procedure
The setup process of the Archer AX20 is a farily straight forward process. You can either use a PC or use the mobile app to setup the router. But, if you are a Unifi or Maxis customer, make sure you use the web interface to perform the setup in order to select the VLAN profile.
For most Malaysians, I recommend connecting the Archer AX20 directly to the modem provided by your service provider and use the PPPOE setup process for the best performance. The PPPOE username and password can be obtained from your Internet service provider.
If you use TM Unifi, make sure you select the Unifi VLAN profile on the initial setup. The TM Unifi HyppTV box can be connected to the LAN1 port on this router once you selected the correct ISP profile. I found the setup guide video provided by TP-Link to be pretty helpful. The same is required for Maxis customers.
Wi-Fi Performance Testing
I will be testing the Archer AX20 using my laptop with Wi-Fi 6 support powered by Intel AX200 Wi-Fi adapter. I will be testing it in 2 spots and compare the results against other Wi-Fi 6 routers you can buy in the market right now.
On a short distance, it exceeded 800Mbps easily which is not a surprise considering this router is Wi-Fi 6 capable.
On the long distance test, the speed is reduced but it is still within a good margin compared to many other Wi-Fi 6 routers I have tested.
TP-Link also planning to add their OneMesh feature on the Archer AX20 in the future. Having OneMesh will let you to link it with another OneMesh compatible device to form a mesh WiFi network. We weren’t sure when TP-Link will enable this feature for the Archer AX20.
Firmware and Features
TP-Link firmware is easy to operate and very user-friendly. It has all the standard features that you will normally need on a home wireless router. Everything is clearly labeled and easy to understand on the interface.
I recommend enabling the smart connect feature which will enhance the user experience when using this router. This will combine both 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz into a similar name and the router will automatically decide which one is the best for you based on signal conditions.
The Archer AX20 also supported the WPA3 encryption which promise even better security for your Wi-Fi network. However, I don’t recommend enabling this now as most devices in the market still do not support WPA3, I do notice it may cause some issues with some older devices. It is still great for future proofing your router.
You will want to download the TP-Link Tether app to use with this router. The app will let you to see currently connected devices and view their current usage. It is also able to perform some advanced configurations using just the app which is quite handy. Those LED indicators on the router can be disabled on the app as well.
TP-Link Archer AX20 also let you to link it to a TP-Link account which will let you to access the settings of your router even when you are outside not connected to the Wi-Fi. I think this is a great feature to manage your home network remotely.
For those living in Malaysia using TM-Unifi or Maxis, remember to make sure you selected their respective profile in this page. This is because both Unifi and Maxis uses VLAN, without the proper profile selected, the router cannot connect to the Internet connection.
TP-Link Archer AX20 met the 3 most important aspects of a good wireless router. The speed is excellent, the coverage is strong and the stability is great. At this price point, there’s nothing that perform just as good as this Archer AX20. This will probably be my best budget mid-range router that I will recommend in 2020.
Comparing against the Archer AX10 and Archer AX50, the Archer AX20 is easily my favourite pick. It offers a slightly stronger and faster Wi-Fi connection than the Archer AX10 thanks to the use of individual Wi-Fi FEM (TP-Link so-called amplifier). While the AX50 performs better than the AX20 in 160Mhz situation, under 80Mhz scenario, the AX20 performs similar if not better than the AX50.
TP-Link Archer AX20
- WPA3 security support
- Strong Wi-Fi coverage
- Good Wi-Fi performance
- OneMesh not available yet