Home » TP-Link Archer AX20 WiFi 6 Review: the sweet spot

TP-Link Archer AX20 WiFi 6 Review: the sweet spot

You probably heard of TP-Link and probably used a Wi-Fi network from a TP-Link product before. Well, this is not a surprise considering TP-Link is the largest WLAN equipment manufacturer in the world. They’re known for making really good products while undercutting conventional brands.

This year, TP-Link is returning its attention to the midrange by releasing the brand new Archer AX20 wireless router with Wi-Fi 6 AX1800 support. At RM289, it’s even cheaper than some Wireless AC routers in the market which make it a no-brainer purchase. 

Wi-Fi 6 is the latest Wi-Fi technology that’s already being supported by most flagship devices and expect all new devices released in 2021 to support Wi-Fi 6. My favorite part of Wi-Fi 6 is up to 40% Wi-Fi speed improvement compared to Wireless AC.

That’s not all because Wi-Fi 6 also promise to deliver better Wi-Fi speed when more devices are connected to the network. Wi-Fi 6 routers will use some smart resource allocation mechanism known as OFDMA to improve the efficiency of the available bandwidth which will resullt in better overall performance.

Despite the most benefit can only be realised on Wi-Fi 6 devices, Wireless AC devices will benefit significantly as well. The Archer AX20 uses independent wireless front-end module otherwise known as amplifier from Skyworks to amplify the signal. 

Hardware and Specs

Powering the TP-Link Archer AX20 is 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.

Wireless 2.4GhzWi-Fi 6 up to 574Mbps (40Mhz 2X2)
Wireless 5GhzWi-Fi 6 up to 1201Mbps (80Mhz 2X2)
WiFi FeaturesOFDMA, MU-MIMO, Beamforming, WPA3
CPUBroadcom BCM6755 1.5Ghz Quad-Core
Ethernet Ports1x Gigabit WAN port + 4x Gigabit LAN port
 USB1x USB 2.0 port

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.

Closing Thoughts

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

9.2

Tubi Rating

Good Stuff

  • WPA3 security support
  • Strong Wi-Fi coverage
  • Good Wi-Fi performance

Bad Stuff

  • OneMesh not available yet
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Akyk

Hello does this model have parental controls?

KQ.Tan

Seems like this have better value over Asus AX56U on:

  1. Price: Currently below RM300 vs Asus over RM400 (RM380ish when offer)
  2. Antennas: 4 vs 2, which may help on slightly better beam forming? Guess the area coverage should be similar…

Planning to upgrade from N12HP and is using 300Mbps now only realized even the LAN is not Gigabit LAN so still choosing in between this 2 models…

Last edited 1 month ago by KQ.Tan
KQ.Tan

Would like to know the comparison of this “Extensive” feature that you mention. Is it something like only ASUS have it while TP-Link didn’t have such feature or didn’t have that depth of control/option as compared to Asus?

Last edited 1 month ago by KQ.Tan
KQ.Tan

Ok, thanks for info…

Steve

I thought the AX20 also offered OpenVPN client built in?

Yong

Hi I’m currently subcribed to Unifi 100mbps, i using the router come with the package which is tplink archer c1200. The wifi signal and stability is bad with my double storey terrace house. Should i get deco M4 or AX20?

Daniel Lee

Hi, I’m currently subscribed to Unifi 800mbps.
Do you recommend I get Deco or this AX20 for my 2 story home?

Chin lee

Hi. Can I link the deco x60 to the AX20?
I find the x60 have minimal configuration changes and not able to sign from external. The TPlink DBA does not seem to be working.

Tj123

Which is better? TP link AX10 or Asus Tuf gaming AX3000? I have 35 mbps on my isp

Tony

Hello, the Asus RT-AC1300UHP just went on sale making it almost the same price of the AX10. Which of the two has better wifi coverage?

I’m upgrading from a TL-WR841HP which has great coverage for my 2 story home, running at a 30mbps fiber only. Appreciate the reply, thanks.

Vlon

On this price range, asus rt ax56U or tplink ax20?
Both specs almost similar, Broadcom base also.

Dan

Hi Alvyn,

Would you recommend to upgrade to TPLink AX20 from my existing TPLink A6 router? I guess the AX20 performance and stability will be noticeable when sitting far away from the router?

Thank you.

freak

ram, rom specs?

Akmal

Is it internal or external antenna? If comparing between this one with the AX50 which one is better? The AX50 does heat up according to your review. Kindly enlighten as I am preparing to migrate from UniFi 300mbps to Maxis 800mbps.
Also I would love to see a neutral, unbias review of the major fibre ISP in Malaysia as well as ISP that rent infra from TM, Allo, Time, SOFIA etc. Can focus on a few things such as gaming, latency, P2P.
 
Thank you.

ben

Hi which one is better ax20 or ax50? Will ax50 in future support one mesh?

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