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TP-Link Archer C6 Review: Value for Money

Archer C6

TP-Link Archer C6 is the latest Wireless AC router from TP-Link. It has a new glossy black design and 4 external antennas. It comes with the latest technologies such as beamforming and MU-MIMO. TP-Link did not say what is the gain of those antennas but they are pretty massive. 

The whole point fo this router is the affordability. At the price of RM239 at the time of this article, it is likely to be the cheapest AC1200 MU-MIMO wireless router with all Gigabit ports. It lowers the barrier of entry for Wireless AC. If you are still using an older Wireless N router, this router is certainly worth a look.

Hardware Specs

The Archer C6 supports Wireless AC1200 with a maximum link speed of 867Mbps on 5Ghz and 300Mbps on 2.4Ghz. With that, you can expect a maximum actual speed of  500Mbps on 5Ghz and around 100Mbps on 2.4Ghz after taking into account of network overheads. 

TP-Link also included MU-MIMO support with this router which lets you to enjoy a better performance with a MU-MIMO compatible device. The router also support beamforming to have an even better coverage boost. Both of these are not enabled by default. However, it doesn’t have a USB port, likely due to the really affordable price of this router. 

TP-Link Archer C6 comes with 4 Gigabit LAN ports and a Gigabit WAN port. We shall see what is the maximum speed this router can support with our WAN to LAN speedtest. For more detailed specs, you can refer to TP-Link website here.

Firmware Features

If you ever used any other TP-Link routers, you will feel familiar with the settings on the Archer C6. It is very easy to configure this router. The router support all major ISP in Malaysia and that include Unifi, Maxis, TIME and more. There is also the TP-Link Tether app which is available for both Android and iOS devices. The app allows you to manage and monitor your router using your smartphone. 

I am not expecting too much from a basic entry level router like this. The Archer C6 supports parental control which may be handy at times. You can select which device you wanted to restrict the timing and also block the user from accessing certain websites containing a keyword. It also has a VPN server and a basic priority based QoS feature. 

Setting up Archer C6 on Unifi

The Archer C6 is compatible with TM Unifi with HyppTV working on LAN 1. Please make sure you select the Unifi profile when setting up the router. For detailed setup guide, you can refer to my TP-Link Unifi setup guide here.

Performance

WAN performance

Having Gigabit Ethernet ports doesn’t mean that the router is Gigabit Internet ready. We tested it in our test environment and performed a speedtest with an actual 1G Internet connection to see what is the maximum Internet speed the Archer C6 can support. 

We determined that this router peak at ~941Mbps, similar to all routers with Gigabit Ethernet WAN port. Thus, it will have no problem supporting TIME 1G or Unifi 800Mbps plan on wired LAN. But, you do need to enable “NAT Boost” option in the system parameters or the speed will be slower. This option is enabled by default.

Wireless performance

We want to know how good is the wireless ability of the Archer C6. So, we put it to test in my typical test environment to showcase real life performance. Behold, it is actually quite surprising from a cheap and affordable device like this. I will be testing it using iPerf on my laptop with an AC1200 built-in wireless card with another desktop acting as a server.  To increase the accuracy of the test, I will also run a speedtest with my 1G Internet connection.

On short range, I can reach a download speed 475Mbps consistently on speedtest.net. With my typical long range test at a distance of 7 meters and a concrete wall, I am still getting a decent download speed of 300Mbps. The wireless performance of the Archer C6 is really amazing. I am getting really good wireless speed and great wireless coverage.

The 2.4Ghz is not surprising considering how congested and crowded 2.4Ghz is these days. The speed is a lot slower. With that, you should always use 5Ghz whenever possible. All these tests are performed with MU-MIMO and txBF disabled as my laptop cannot benefit from it.

Closing Thoughts

TP-Link Archer C6 is TP-Link contender to the affordable routers market. I would say TP-Link is doing it right. I am really impressed by the performance of the Archer C6. It performs really well despite being such an affordable router. The performance itself can easily surpass some mid range router. Well, there are compromise need to be made in order for it to be so cheap. For example, it lacks USB port and it doesn’t come with that many features typical of a high end router. But, if you disregard those features, this is actually a decent well performing wireless router that get the job done. 

TP-Link Archer C6

This router offers good value for money by delivering good wireless coverage and performance. 

8.6

Tubi Score

Good Stuff

  • Good WiFi Performance
  • Low price good value
  • All Gigabit ports

Bad Stuff

  • No USB port
  • Limited features

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Eric
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Eric

Hi, I recently upgraded my router (TP-Link Archer C6), but when I am watching Unifi TV, I can watch it for a couple of minutes and it will hang. Restarting and resetting would not work. I am wondering if anyone experiences this problem?

Thank you.

Blister
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Blister

Hi,
I’m find it hard to decide to change new router or use wifi extender.

Currently on stock Unifi Router (DIR-850L) with 300Mbps plan.
I place router in living room of 1000sqft apartment, and have bad wifi connection inside master bedroom.

Which move should i prioritize 1st? New router or Wifi extender.
– Currently looking at C6 and RE305

Dean
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Dean

In term of further 2.4hz wifi range with walls, which one is better:
1) TP-Link Archer C6
2) TP-Link Archer C1200
3) Asus RT-AC1200G+
Thanks

Efren Ong
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Efren Ong

Hi,
I just turbo to 300mbps. Currently using AC1350, Archer C60, which i bought around May 2018. I found that this router cant support more than 100Mbps. Do i need to replace a new router again? should i get C6 or C2300?

Wignesh
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Wignesh

Hi Alvyn , Great write up, it really help people like me who have never changed the wifi router since 6-7 year (first time getting unifi/stremyx). Am current plan is just 30MB yet wifi coverage using the DIR-615 router is bad and if i use it with a TP extender (TL-WA850RE) , the samsung phone unable to auto connect without static ip setup and wifi become on and off with teh astro decoder. Anyway, my question is i wanted to get the Archer C6 instead of C60 but price it not that big of difference however based on you C60… Read more »

Yong
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Yong

May i know archer c6 can cover double storey house or not if router put at ground floor?

Wong
Guest
Wong

How is this router when compare to dlink dir842??

John Tan
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John Tan

Hi, I am having a hard time deciding C6 or DIR 867?

I have 500mbps, in a 1000 sq feet apartment,
However my central place where my BTU is is at is at the living room,

Where my work room is however, has like to pass through like 4 obstacles of glass and walls.
So I usually have a hard time getting stable connection in there, always drop off.

Now I am using tp-wr41hp

Thanks for your help

Bob
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Bob

I have 50mbps soon to be turboed to 500mbps. After reading some reviews, I had narrow down to these choices (I have budget of RM200-500 but prefer cheap or value router):

https://www.lazada.com.my/products/tp-link-archer-c6-mu-mimo-wave2-gigabit-ac1200-wireless-wifi-router-unifi-maxis-fibre-time-fiber-i437443647-s642534942.html

https://www.lazada.com.my/products/tp-link-ac1750-wireless-dual-band-wifi-router-archer-c7-for-unifi-maxis-fiber-internet-time-fibre-i1538055-s1748318.html

https://www.lazada.com.my/products/tp-link-archer-c9-ac1900-wireless-dual-band-5ghz-unifi-turbo-maxis-fiber-time-internet-gigabit-wifi-router-i1538594-s1749806.html

https://www.lazada.com.my/products/d-link-ac1900-gigabit-wireless-ac-dual-band-wifi-router-dir-878-unifi-hyyptv-maxis-fiber-time-i368887974-s528543273.html

Basically TP link Archer C6,C7,C9 D Link DIR-878
I am actually ok with wireless 300mbps as I don’t really need 500mbps, so C6 is a good choice (can C6 reach 500mbps WIFI?). However, the other 1750 and 1900 model seems more future proof.

Is it recommended to get the more expensive 1750 and 1900 models? If so, which one.

John Tan
Guest
John Tan

Hello, I have UNIFI 500, only one machine connected via lan,
lots of devices mostly apple devices connected to wifi. so my question is,

This router or DIR-867 ?

Eugene
Guest
Eugene

Just installed C6. It is a bomb for 40 EUR price – full gigabit and dual band. Wifi is 2 times faster than with good old WDR3600. Currently I’m downloading torrent at 80 MB/s with 10% of CPU and 30% memory load.

john
Guest
john

TP-Link Archer C6 or Tenda AC10U?

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