Like every other website on the planet, SmallNetBuilder uses cookies. Our cookies track login status, but we only allow admins to log in anyway, so those don't apply to you. Any other cookies you pick up during your visit come from advertisers, which we don't control.
If you continue to use the site, you agree to tolerate our use of cookies. Thank you!

Wi-Fi Router Charts

Click for Wi-Fi Router Charts

Mesh System Charts

Click for Wi-Fi Mesh System Charts

Wi-Fi 6 Performance Roundup: Five Routers Tested

Introduction

There are now more than a dozen Wi-Fi routers tested and in the Wi-Fi Router Charts, Ranker and Finder. Although the crowd that hangs around SNBForums tends to be focused on expensive higher-end ASUS routers, I thought it would be a good exercise to see what sort of performance $100 can buy in a Wi-Fi 6 router. Pricing was pulled from Amazon, which is notorious for its extremely "dynamic" pricing. But I think the three routers chosen will remain under $100.

The Products

The three Wi-Fi 6 routers tested are shown in Table 1. All are Broadcom-based. I didn't open up my samples, but gathered the information below from the reincarnated WikiDevi.wi-cat.ru.

The $100 cap for this roundup buys only two-stream routers. Broadcom's BCM6755 dual-band router SoC has AX radios on both bands and powers the next-to-least expensive NETGEAR RAX20 (aka RAX15) and most-expensive TP-Link Archer AX20.

Product [Firmware] Price Streams
(2.4/5GHz)
CPU RAM Flash Radios
NETGEAR RAX20
[V1.0.2.82_2.0.52]
$51 2/2 Broadcom BCM6755 quad-core @ 1.5 GHz 512 MB 256 MB In Broadcom BCM6755 w/ Qorvo 2.4 & 5 GHz FEMs
TP-Link Archer AX10
[1.2.0 Build 20210421 Rel 64516(5553)]
$70 2/2 Broadcom BCM6750 ARM-A7 tri-core @ 1.5 GHz 256 MB 16 MB 2.4 GHz: Broadcom BCM43217 w/ Qorvo QPF4216B 2.4 GHz FEM (x2)

5 GHz: In BCM6750
TP-Link Archer AX20
[1.2.0 Build 20210421 Rel 64516(5553)]
$99 2/2 Broadcom BCM6755 ARM-A7 quad-core @ 1.5 GHz 256 MB 16 MB 2.4 GHz: In BCM6755 w/ Qorvo QPF4216B 2.4 GHz FEM (x2)

5 GHz: In BCM6755. No FEM
Table 1: Component summary

Broadcom's BCM6750, used in TP-Link's Archer AX10, is another popular choice for less-expensive Wi-Fi 6 routers. It's also an AX router-on-a-chip, but has only one AX radio. To save cost, however, TP-Link paired it with Broadcom's BCM43217, which is a 2.4 GHz b/g/n SoC. So the AX10 doesn't have one of the noticeable advantages of Wi-Fi 6 routers (when used with Wi-Fi devices); 2X higher 2.4 GHz link rate. You'll see the consequences of this choice when we look at performance. The BCM6750 is also used ASUS's $160 RT-AX58U (also tested, but not in this review), but it's paired with a Broadcom BCM43684 4 stream an/ac/ax radio.

Since storage sharing isn't a key factor in router choice, it's not included in the table. But the only product that doesn't have either a USB 2 or 3 port is the Archer AX10. Surprisingly, all have OpenVPN servers and all three support WPA3 wireless security. But only the NETGEAR RAX15/20 supports DFS channels.

Here's a short Pros and Cons summary for each router and a board photo, in order from least to most expensive.

4-Stream Dual-Band WiFi 6 Router
At a glance
ProductNETGEAR 4-Stream Dual-Band WiFi 6 Router (RAX20)   [Website]
SummaryInexpensive Broadcom-based Wi-Fi 6 router with 1 GbE WAN and LAN ports, two stream 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz radios. Same as RAX15
Pros• Radios are both AX
• USB 3.0 port for storage sharing
Cons• Nothing in particular

Typical Price: $90  Buy From Amazon

NETGEAR RAX15/20 board

NETGEAR RAX15/20 board
AX1500 Wi-Fi 6 Router
At a glance
ProductTP-LINK AX1500 Wi-Fi 6 Router (Archer AX10)   [Website]
SummaryInexpensive Broadcom-based dual-stream, dual-band router with Wi-Fi 4 2.4 GHz radio and Wi-Fi 6 5 GHz radio.
Pros• Supports WPA3
• OpenVPN server
Cons• 2.4 GHz radio is Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n)
• No storage sharing
• No DFS support

Typical Price: $70  Buy From Amazon

TP-Link Archer AX10 board

TP-Link Archer AX10 board
AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 Router
At a glance
ProductTP-LINK AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 Router (Archer AX20)   [Website]
SummaryInexpensive Broadcom-based dual-stream, dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router.
Pros• Supports WPA3
• OpenVPN server
• USB 2.0 port for storage sharing
Cons• No DFS support
• USB 2.0 vs. 3.0

Typical Price: $99  Buy From Amazon

TP-Link Archer AX20 board

TP-Link Archer AX20 board

Support Us!

If you like what we do and want to thank us, just buy something on Amazon. We'll get a small commission on anything you buy. Thanks!

Don't Miss These

  • 1
  • 2