TP-Link Archer AX6000 Review (Page 4 of 5)

Page 4 - Performance Tests

For the tests, the wireless router was placed on the main floor of my house. My media PC with a Gigabyte UD Pro 256GB SSD was connected to the router via a CAT5e cable on a Gigabit Ethernet connection. On the client side, a 2018 13" HP Envy 13 with an Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 network adapter card installed running Totusoft's LAN Speed Test application was used to transfer 500MB test files to evaluate real-world throughput. In our results, "upload" is defined as data transfer from the client to the server via the wireless router; conversely, "download" is defined as data transfer from the server to the client via the wireless router.

Since wireless channels are generally characterized by path loss, large scale fading, and small-scale fading, the router was tested in six different locations described above to comprehensively measure its true throughput performance. This includes a combination of line of sight and non-light of sight spots, different distance and positions relative to the router, as well as shadowing caused by objects between the laptop and the router. In order to overcome inconsistencies due to small scale fading, a relatively large 500MB test file was used. Furthermore, movement of people and objects within the vicinity of the devices during testing was eliminated whenever possible.

A brief description of the test locations is as follows:

- Location 1: Line of sight to router, approximately 2m distance
- Location 2: Non-line of sight to router, bedroom, one floor up
- Location 3: Non-line of sight to router, bedroom, one floor up, end of house
- Location 4: Non-line of sight to router, bedroom, one floor down
- Location 5: Non-line of sight to router, patio balcony, same level
- Location 6: Non-line of sight to router, attached garage, one floor down

Compared Hardware:
- TP-Link Archer AX6000 (AX6000)
- D-Link DIR-X5460 (AX5400)

As you might expect, Location 1 was where both routers provided the best combined performance between upload and download. Considering this is the only location with direct line of sight, this is not surprising. Results from Locations 2 and 4, which are almost just above or below the router, respectively, showed the antenna array strength when the laptop is above or below, even if it did not have direct line of sight. In both of these locations, the Archer AX6000 performed quite well with download speeds being near the line of sight Location 1 numbers. Upload speeds were a bit lower, but they were still quite good in both of these locations. Location 5 is outdoors and separated by a sliding glass door, but is generally still close to the router. However, due to its horizontal distance, its speeds are getting closer to that of Location 3. Speaking of which, Locations 3 and 6 are trickier regions, as they are the furthest away from the router and not directly above or below. Location 3 showed still acceptable download rates, but slower upload speeds. Location 6 was the furthest distance from the router while being one floor below. Both upload and download slowed notably, but it was still usable. As you saw in the DIR-X5460 review, the Archer AX6000 had slower download speeds in all of the areas, while the upload speeds were closer. You might be asking why this is the case. When you dig into the details, it is clear that only on the 2.4GHz network do we see a speed increase from the D-Link router to this TP-Link router. On the other hand, the peak speeds between the router are theoretically the same over the 5GHz network. Thus, it is possible the antenna design of the D-Link makes it a bit better at penetrating obstacles.

Overall, the TP-Link Archer AX6000 delivered great wireless throughput from short to long range. Its peak download numbers of 706.73Mbps, while never dipping below 250Mbps at any location, was great to see. Unfortunately, it does seem like the D-Link router offers slightly more signal strength or range compared to the TP-Link router. Even so, the TP-Link router is still a worthy competitor. If there was one thing I noticed about the TP-Link Archer AX6000 that was better than the D-Link offering, it would be the compatibility. In day-to-day situations, I noticed my other older devices were able to connect with my TP-Link router while it had trouble finding or connecting to the D-Link DIR-X5460 router. This is not too surprising considering the newer generation routers may operate in different ways, but it is good to see the TP-Link Archer AX6000 play nicely with my older laptops and tablets.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware
3. Configuration and User Interface
4. Performance Tests
5. Conclusion