The next generation of Wi-Fi, known as Wi-Fi 6, is making its way to many new phones and wireless devices. This new tech brings the fastest speeds, more consistent coverage, and support for more devices. Wi-Fi 6 has finally made its way to the cheaper routers that most people are interested in without losing the best features that come with it. One of the best cheap Wi-Fi 6 routers is the TP-Link Archer AX21, thanks to its solid dual-band speeds and good software offering with app-based setup and OneMesh support.
Best Overall: TP-Link Archer AX21
Many people don’t have gigabit internet connections in their homes, and even if they do, they don’t need all that speed on their wireless devices. The TP-LInk Archer AX21 is a great choice for most people looking to get a wireless router that offers great speed for mobile devices that support Wi-Fi 6 without paying for features they can’t fully utilize. With an AX1800 connection, this router offers 574Mbps at 2.4GHz and 1201Mbps at 5GHz. Four Ethernet ports allow you to connect your wired devices as well.
It can be tempting to go for a faster router, but it’s worth keeping in mind that with Wi-Fi 6, this router can do more with less when it comes to spectrum and speed. A Wi-Fi 5 Android phone, for example, will connect at 867Mbps at best, while a similar WI-Fi 6 device will connect at 1201Mbps.
TP-Link’s software has come a long way in the past few years, and this router features basic parental controls and QoS options and support for OneMesh. OneMesh allows you to use another compatible TP-Link router as part of a mesh system so you can expand your coverage down the line without getting rid of your old router. This router has a great balance of features with plenty of speed for home use for most people.
- Fast AX1800 speeds
- Fast 2.4GHz band
- Easy app setup
- OneMesh expansion capable
- Limited parental controls
Best Value: TP-Link Archer AX10
If you want to add Wi-Fi 6 capability to your network for as little as possible, you’re not going to beat the TP-Link Archer AX10. This router comes in at AX1500 speeds with 300Mbps available at 2.4GHz and 1201Mbps at 5GHz. One thing to keep in mind is that a 2.4GHz signal will travel further, so devices on the very edge of your connection might not be able to access the full speed of your router. Still, this won’t be an issue for a smaller home, and with a 5GHz connection, you should have more than enough speed before getting too caught up in the raw speed capabilities.
It’s good to remember that most people don’t have internet connections even close to fast enough to utilize the full speed of this router. You also only need around 25Mbps to stream 4K video over the internet. You also get all of the other great features that come with Wi-Fi 6, including more reliable coverage and the ability to connect to a lot more devices than Wi-Fi 5. Around the back of the Archer AX10, you get four Ethernet ports so you can keep your wired devices connected with no additional equipment. If you’re looking to add Wi-Fi 6 but don’t need a ton of speed, this is one of your best bets.