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Wi-Fi 6 Performance Roundup: Five Routers Tested


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

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
CPU RAM Flash Radios
$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: $60  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: $82  Buy From Amazon

TP-Link Archer AX20 board

TP-Link Archer AX20 board

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