Home Tech Looking for a router with Wi-Fi 6 and seamless home network scaling? It’s him!

Looking for a router with Wi-Fi 6 and seamless home network scaling? It’s him!

Looking for a router with Wi-Fi 6 and seamless home network scaling?  It’s him!


Seamless home Wi-Fi 6: TP-Link Archer AX23 router review

TP-Link Archer AX23 is pretty close to a sort of “gold standard”. It contains a set of functions necessary and sufficient for most users. Fast enough, knows how to work with OneMesh networks, supports Wi-Fi of the sixth generation, and is controlled via a mobile application. Perhaps, to complete the picture, it only lacks USB support. At a price of 1,499 hryvnia, this is not the most affordable device in its category, but, as we can see from the test results, it actually works faster than more budget competitors, nominally comparable in class.

TP-Link Archer AX23

AX1800 Fast Router with Wi-Fi 6 and OneMesh

AX1800-class router with support for sixth generation wireless networks. It has on board five Ethernet ports (including WAN) and four antennas that understand Beamforming technology. It is controlled via the Tether mobile application, but it also has a classic web admin panel, where a lot of settings are provided, from parental control to a VPN server. Shows good results in speed tests and supports OneMesh amplifiers, but lacks USB ports.

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Wi-Fi 6 and OneMesh

3 reasons to buy TP-Link Archer AX23:

  • high performance (real gigabit, both over the wire and without);
  • convenient control via a mobile application;
  • VPN and OneMesh networks support.

2 reasons not to buy TP-Link Archer AX23:

  • you plan to use networked USB drives;
  • a simpler device with Wi-Fi 5 is enough.

Have you already decided on the transition to Wi-Fi 6? To help you in this matter, we continue to familiarize ourselves with the middle class of routers working with the new standard. These are simple hard workers who will keep the Internet in a heap of apartments, houses and small offices. No frills, but also without saving on important trifles. This can be said about TP-Link Archer AX23, a good contender for the role of a balanced router. It supports sixth generation wireless networks, shows good speed and can scale thanks to OneMesh amplifiers. Judging by the characteristics, almost everything that most users need is hidden behind the strict appearance. You need to look and check.

What is in the box?

The box contains a router with four non-removable antennas, a power supply unit with a cable, a meter-long patch cord and indispensable pieces of paper: instructions, warranty card, license agreement. There is also a separate sticker with the name of the network and the default password, you can stick it somewhere.

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What does it look like?

Archer AX23 looks conservative and strict, in the style of other devices of this line, without any claims to originality. Rectangular box with four antennas, very similar to the one we already know Archer AX10.

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The entire surface of the case is matte, except for the X-shaped glossy decorative element on the upper surface. There is also a silver TP-Link logo. The LED indicators are easy to find on the edge of the case and are visible from both the top and the front. At first glance, there are many of them, but there is only one indicator for all LAN ports, but for each of the wireless ranges there is its own, separate one.

There are no significant elements on the side faces, they are all concentrated on the rear panel. All four antennas are attached here, here are the RJ-45 ports: blue for incoming connection (WAN) plus four orange for connecting wired clients (LAN). There is a separate button for WPS, which, with a long press, turns on and off the wireless interfaces. Reset is hidden in a recess for a paper clip, and the power can be turned on or off without pulling out the cord, fortunately, there is also a button for this. A classic, convenient, time-tested set of controls.

The lower part has a lot of ventilation slots, legs for stability on the surface and holes for wall mounting are provided, which is convenient. In the usual place, you can find a sticker with the basic details for connecting to the router.

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How to connect and configure?

Archer AX23 can be configured with or without a wizard in the Tether mobile app. In the first case, download the application (available for iOS and Android), click on the add device button and follow the instructions on the screen. We will be shown in pictures how to properly connect a new router and will be offered to connect to its network, then set a password, select the type of connection and assign a new name to the access point. The steps are simple, the instructions are clear. The application has a number of convenient functions, which I will tell you about in more detail later.

In the second case (if you do not download the application), everything happens in almost the same way. That is, we connect the incoming cable to the WAN port, turn on the power of the device (and the modem, if necessary), after which you can connect to the router’s network (the data is indicated on the sticker at the bottom of the device). Just for the initial configuration, we go not to the application, but to the web interface at http://tplinkwifi.net. There is also a password setting and the same basic settings. From now on, you can fully use the Internet.

What can it do?

TP-Link Archer AX23 is the case when this is still a mass device, but no longer a state employee, from which all the “unnecessary” have been removed for the sake of cheaper prices. There is support for the sixth version of the Wi-Fi standard, OFDMA and MU-MIMO technologies (for more efficient work with multiple devices at the same time), as well as Beamforming (to improve the coverage of the area with a wireless signal). Access to the network is protected by the modern WPA3 standard. The router is controlled via the Tether mobile application, is updated over the air, and has advanced parental control functions. The distinctive features of the Archer AX23 include support for the OneMesh network. This means that you can purchase a compatible signal amplifier and, without additional settings, get a large seamless network for a private house, spacious apartment or small office.

Seamless home Wi-Fi 6 network: TP-Link Archer AX23-61 router review

What does it look like from the inside?

The router management tools are in two places: in the TP-Link Tether mobile app and in the web control panel. In many ways, they duplicate each other, but advanced settings are concentrated in the web admin panel. The application allows you to assess the state of the network and connection parameters, view the list of clients and make a number of settings. Among other things, this includes full control over parental controls, OneMesh and a number of other functions.

For advanced settings, go to http://tplinkwifi.net/. This is a full-fledged control panel, you can use it and instead of a mobile application, it contains the maximum set of functions. The capabilities of this panel are familiar to everyone who has previously encountered other TP-Link routers (or read our reviews). But we will still briefly go through the sections and note the important functions of the admin panel.

The “Network Diagram” section, as always, contains information about the current connection and configuration of wireless networks, as well as a list of connected clients. Among the interesting features that are not available in all routers are graphs of processor and memory utilization, as well as a separate page with a list of Mesh network devices. From the traditional – sections “Internet” with a choice of the type of connection and “Wireless mode” with the settings of the wireless network (names, passwords, guest networks, SmartConnect function). The latter, let me remind you, combines both bands under one common SSID, and the router will automatically choose how to connect clients: some on 2.4 GHz, and some on 5.

The “Additional settings” section, as always, is the most voluminous, it contains a bunch of nested subsections. It is from here that you can return to the router’s quick setup wizard or, on the contrary, dive deeper into the network settings. Where IPTV / VLAN is enabled, DHCP and DDNS are configured, the routing table is edited.

A separate menu item “TP-Link ID” reminds that this router is cloud-based, that is, it supports control via the Internet, including through the mobile application we already know. Further down the list – the section “Wireless mode”, where the already familiar settings are supplemented with the ability to select the encryption protocol, transmitter power, channel and its width. There are also more subtle parameters, including, for example, Airtime Fairness (optimal distribution of the radio signal between customers). The NAT Forwarding section offers port forwarding, triggering, UPnP and DMZ options.

The parental controls function as usual. Add a user profile (you can create several different ones), select the devices belonging to him from the list of connected ones, set restrictions on content and Internet usage time. Convenient, understandable system.

Further down the list – sections responsible for QoS, firewall, ALG, access control to the admin panel, binding of IP and MAC addresses. You can raise a VPN server (OpenVPN or PPTP). The router supports IPv6, the settings for working with this protocol are placed in a separate section. A special menu item is also highlighted under the information on connecting to the Alexa voice assistant. And already in the next paragraph, you can enable support for OneMesh technology to work with compatible signal amplifiers.

The “System” section contains all the service tools. Firmware updates are available both from a local file and over the air. You can make a backup of the settings or resume them from a previously saved file. Of the more interesting – the functions of recovering the local password, the choice of devices from which you can enter the admin panel, as well as the function of remote access to it via the Internet. There is a log of system events, ping and tracing utilities, time settings, language and LED indication.

What’s with speed?

TP-Link Archer AX23 is an AX1800 class router, that is, if you add the maximum speeds in both ranges, you should get about 1800 Mbps. “According to the passport” it is 1201 Mbit / s at a frequency of 5 GHz and another 574 Mbit / s in the 2.4 GHz band. Ethernet ports are gigabit, which is already quite typical for most routers on the market, except for the most budget solutions. But it’s more interesting to look at the device in real tests. The Wi-Fi Speed ​​Test Pro benchmark really shows the cherished 1201 Mbps in connection parameters, but in real tests the router showed an average speed of 1004 Mbps. It seems to be less than the potential limit, but noticeably more than that of the more affordable one I recently tested Mercusys MR70X, also classified as AX1800. Less advanced AC1900 class routers show comparable speed with clients operating in the Wi-Fi 5 format, but modern clients supporting a sixth generation network allow the new product to unfold in full force, the difference in speed is very noticeable. In some tests, the Archer AX23 was more than 30% ahead of my recently visited Mercusys MR50G.

Three things to know about the TP-Link Archer AX23

  • This is a mid-range router that supports Wi-Fi 6 and Gigabit Ethernet ports;
  • Shows good results in performance tests;
  • It is controlled via a convenient mobile application, but does not have USB ports.

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