It’s time for gamers to celebrate as the third router released by TP-Link is a lightning fast tri-band gaming router, the Archer AX11000. Perhaps the quickest gaming router to hit the market, the AX11000 is a speed machine that provides Wi-Fi speeds at a striking 10 Gbps: 4804 Mbps at two 5 GHz Gaming bands along with 1148 Mbps at 2.4 GHz. It is strapped with a high-tech game accelerator which intelligently detects and enhances gaming streams to ensure immersive gaming. Moreover, the Archer AX11000 also features a Game Protector which keeps one’s accounts and documents totally secure with Homecare security system powered by Trend Micro. Using this router, gamers can access their game statistics in a single place where everything from real-time latency, game duration and network resource allocation can be seen at a glance.
With a 2.5 Gbps WAN port, eight Gigabit LAN ports, and USB 3.0 in Type A and Type C, the roided up router delivers extensive connectivity to gamers. Providing an amazing processing speed with its 1.8 GHz Quad-Core CPU and 3 coprocessors, the AX11000 enables the best network performance possible for intense gaming. It is easily to set up and stunning to look at, this gaming is the perfect ally for every gamer.
Wi-Fi Gen 6 also known as Wireless AX is the latest WiFi technology created to further improve WiFi speed and range. If you haven’t heard the news, the latest iPhone 11 comes with Wireless AX. Almost every high end devices launched in 2020 is likely to come with Wireless AX.
What is Wi-Fi 6?
To put it simply, the 6th generation Wi-Fi came with many new technologies that make Wi-Fi a lot quicker when you are using a Wireless AX network.
To enjoy the complete potential of Wireless AX, you will require Wireless AX supported devices. They are likely to be more common in 2020. You can also get a Wireless AX WiFi adapter for your computer.
Unboxing the Archer AX11000
The packaging of TP-Link Archer AX11000 is huge and it has a big 802.11ax logo to remind you that you bought a Wireless AX router. It is a big box as the Archer AX11000 is a big router. On opening the box one faces the huge and heavy Archer AX11000.
The 8 antennas are detachable and installing them is as easy as plugging it. This powerful router is powered by a 12V 5A power brick. Although, it only comes with a CAT5E Ethernet cable in the box and this router comes with 2.5G Ethernet WAN port.
It is similar in design to the Archer C5400X with red coloring on the antennas for a gaming oriented outlook. It also has 3 buttons on the router to configure WPS, WiFi on/off and LED control. The entire top part of this router consists of ventilation to keep it cool
Hardware and Specs
Wireless : 5Ghz Band 2 Wireless AX up to 4804Mbps (160Mhz)
CPU : Broadcom Quad Core SoC up to 1.8Ghz
RAM : 1GB
Ports : 2.5G Ethernet WAN port + 8x Gigabit Ethernet LAN port, USB 3.0 x1 Type A + USB 3.0 Type C
The specifications of the Archer AX11000 are definitely at the top among all consumer routers you can buy today. In 160 MHz mode, each Wireless AX band can support up to a maximum link speed of 4804Mbps. The fastest consumer routers that support Wireless AX are only up to 2404Mbps today.
During regular use, the router will get a little warm from the heat produced by the powerful Quad Core CPU but this is within the expected range. Also included is a 2.5G Ethernet WAN port. This can be useful in some countries with 2Gbps Internet connection like Singapore. The 2.5G WAN port is also reverse compatible with Gigabit Ethernet or Fast Ethernet.
There are also 8 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports with support for 802.3ad link aggregation up to 2Gbps on LAN2 and LAN3.
Like the Archer C5400X, the Archer AX11000 also features 2 USB ports but one of the port is now USB Type-C. Both USB ports support USB 3.0 port speed.
Wireless AX Performance
The TP-Link Archer AX11000 is, it is probably one of the fastest WiFi routers with the strongest WiFi coverage one can get today. To unleash the full potential of the router, TP-Link gave us the TX3000E Wireless AX WiFi adapter so we could test it.
The performance is mind numbingly fast. 800Mbps over a WiFi connection can be achieved with ease even after a single wall to the wireless router. The WiFi signal of the router is also extremely strong, and was able to cover 2 floors without breaking a sweat.
How much faster is Wireless AX?
Compared to TP-Link’s last top of the line Archer C5400X, the progression is very visible. The upgrade to Wireless AX improved the performance by 35%. The most visible improvement is the WiFi speed when the signal is weaker in which case AX is the absolute winner compared to AC.
All of this is tested using a pre-production firmware and TP-Link says it will be even better when they are shipping the router. We will update this review when we received the final firmware.
TP-Link Firmware and Features
The firmware on Archer AX11000 is updated with a new gaming interface. While it definitely looks cool, the red font makes some information hard to interpret. Users can update the firmware from the user interface or simply use the TP-Link Tether app.
TP-Link introduces a new game center with a new Game Accelerator feature. It can intelligently optimize the connection for your game by giving it a higher priority. The full list of supported games is available on TP-Link’s website.
The Game Center provides a quick glance of your complete network and the status of the wireless router. It also let users select which device they wish to prioritize.
TP-Link also packed the Antivirus function provided by TrendMicro known as Game Protector. It blocks dangerous viruses and malware from your devices using deep packet inspection technology. It is recommended to enable this function as it is disabled by default.
TP-Link Tether app also received a aesthetic treatment with the gaming user interface. The app is much better now as it allows for a lot of configuration. There is even an in-built speed test tool for you to test the Internet connection.
Wireless AX Configuration
TP-Link enabled Wireless AX by default and separated the WiFi into different names. In default settings, the system will only go up to 80 MHz, but it can be forced to run at 160 MHz mode if your devices support it.
You may need to update the device driver of your WiFi adapter if you have issues with this router when Wireless AX is enabled. The Wireless AX support can also be disabled when required. WPA3 is supported but it will only be enabled when Wi-Fi 6 is finalized by the Wi-Fi Alliance.
System Boot Up Time
TP-Link Archer AX11000 takes 56 seconds to boot up from an off state to usable Internet. The duration may vary depending on how fast your ISP takes to authenticate the PPPOE connection.
So, is it worth getting a Wireless AX router today? If you are looking for a next generation router today and you have the cash to spare, the answer is a yes. The WiFi performance is greatly improved with a Wireless AX supported client which will be more common next year.
Personally, the answer would be a yes as I can upgrade the WiFi adapter of a PC or even some laptops to something with Wireless AX support. The improvement in performance is huge compared to existing Wireless AC. The cherry on top being that existing Wireless AC devices can also enjoy the better WiFi coverage.