Best TP-Link Routers – 2021 Guide

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With our lives becoming more and more dependent on mobile devices, we must have a provider we trust to go to for all of our technology-related needs. Enter TP-Link. 

TP-Link makes routers, among other things, that are specifically designed to fit the needs of an average American family. Deciding which router to choose can be difficult, which is why we've made a one-stop-shop to answer all your questions about TP-Link routers.

Keep reading to find out which router we think is best and why. 

Our Top Picks for TP-Link Routers

  • Wide coverage
  • Many fast ports
  • Easy app
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  • Dual connectivity
  • For 4k streaming
  • Faster Wifi
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  • Best for the Money
  • Fast transfer rates
  • Long warranty
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Comparison of the Best TP-Link Routers

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • 3 external antennas included for wider WiFi coverage
  • Up to 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports for better connectivity
  • Handy app included for easy remote management
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  • Dual band 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz connectivity
  • Can be used for 4k streaming and online gaming
  • Achieve up to 3 times faster speeds with WiFi 6
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  • Best for the Money
  • Up to 1900Mbps data transfer rates
  • Comes with 2-years warranty included
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  • 4 high-gain antennas included for better WiFi coverage
  • Very fast WiFi speeds with WiFi 6 technology included
  • Smooth Communications with 1.5Ghz CPU included
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  • Up to 1200Mbps data transfer rates achieved
  • T-link Tether app for remote WiFi management
  • A long 2-years warranty included
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Who is TP-Link?

TP-Link is a large-scale provider of all networking devices that are involved in our day-to-day lives. 

TP-Link provides modems, ethernet and USB hubs, adapters, routers, smart lighting options, WiFi-enabled accessories, and numerous other devices that help individuals stay connected from all corners of the globe. 

Where Are TP-Link Products Made? 

TP-Link makes all of its own products at its headquarters in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. 

Who Makes TP-Link Products? 

TP-Link makes all of its products in-house. Products made by TP-Link are sold by traditional or online retailers, wholesale distributors, direct market resellers, and broadband service providers. 

Who Owns TP-Link? 

TP-Link was founded by brothers Zhao Jianjun and Zhao Jiaxing.

How Long Has TP-Link Been Around? 

TP-Link originated in 1996. The networking equipment company is based out of Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. 

What Makes TP-Link Products Stand Out From the Competition?

TP-Link has plenty of competition with other brands that advertise the same products TP-Link makes in house. 

TP-Link generally has more affordable prices and better quality of their products then other wireless networking companies. Because TP-Link makes their own products, they are very familiar with the features and can even make alterations to the products over time if a need for the change arises. 

The representatives working at TP-Link are also very knowledgeable about all of the products they offer. Through their website, customers can easily chat with an agent via a live support system, email their questions or talk to an agent on the phone. 

Quick Take - Best TP-Link Routers

Just looking for the three best TP-Link routers? Here they are:

  1. TP-Link Archer A7
  2. TP-Link Archer AX50
  3. TP-Link Archer A9

Review of the Best TP-Link Routers

Researching the different variations of TP-Link routers can quickly become overwhelming due to the sheer amount of choices available. 

We looked through all of the router options and picked our five favorite choices to help you narrow down the selection. Read below for a close look at the best and worst features of the five best TP-Link routers currently available. 

Best Overall:
TP-Link Archer A7

TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router (Archer A7) - Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Internet Router for Home, Works with Alexa, VPN Server, Parental Control and QoS

PROS

  • Compatible with Alexa 
  • 4K capabilities and reduced buffering
  • Up to 2,500 square feet of WiFi coverage
  • Dual-band WiFi supports multiple devices simultaneously
  • Easy set up and management through a downloadable app

CONS

  • Only one USB port
  • Speed of Internet could be faster

What Recent Buyers Report

This router is largely purchased to be used within the home or small dining establishments that have multiple devices using WiFi. 

Above all, customers almost always mention the ease of setting up this router when discussing their decision to purchase it. Within about 20 minutes, the router can be fully working and connected to all the necessary devices within the area. 

This router also seems to be an excellent choice for gamers because of the fast access that's available for multiple devices at once. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The opportunity to avoid the headache that usually comes with setting up a new router is one of the main reasons this router got pulled to the top of our list. The quick set up, accompanied by 24/7 customer service and a 2-year warranty, make this router the best option for households with multiple networking devices. 

The router comes with three external antennas that make long-range and high-quality WiFi possible, even if you are nowhere near the router. 

This router has Wi-Fi built-in already and boasts a 1750 Mb per second data transfer rate. The router supports dual-band frequencies and has four ethernet ports, which is why it works so well for households and small businesses. 

Bottom Line

If you're looking for an easy-to-use and simplistic router for your home, the Archer A7 will more than do the trick. If quick speeds for a large number of devices is one of your concerns, you may want to opt for a router that has faster data processing speeds. 

The Archer A7 can minimize buffering while still providing an exceptional 4K streaming experience for gamers. The compatibility with Alexa and the in-app management options make this router the best choice for families looking to upgrade their wireless networking experience.

TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 Smart WiFi Router (Archer AX50) – 802.11ax Router, Gigabit Router, Dual Band, OFDMA, MU-MIMO, Parental Controls, Built-in HomeCare,Works with Alexa

PROS

  • Reduced power consumption
  • Parental control options included in router
  • Lifetime subscription to TP-Link Homecare guarantees security
  • Lagging reduced by 75% when streaming or using video chat services
  • Wi-Fi 6 technology makes download and streaming speeds faster and clearer

CONS

  • Does not support secure FTP for USB sharing 
  • Software requires a paid subscription to work adequately

What Recent Buyers Report

This router, like several others sold by TP-Link, is extremely easy to install. Once you download an application on your phone, you can easily walk through how to connect all your devices to the router with ease. 

The biggest complaint about this router, however, is the necessary purchase of a subscription to access all the router's features. The subscription costs $54.99 per year and gives you access to Antivirus, Parental Control, and QoS features. 

Several parents who have purchased this router have complimented the variety of controls they can manipulate through the router. Time limits, filters, user profiles, and reports of which sites are visited are all available through the router, but only with a purchase of the subscription. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Though the additional cost of the subscription is bothersome, the features that have been installed in the router make the purchase worth it. The parental controls included are unlike any other restrictions that come with a router. The QoS and Antivirus features are also attractive qualities of this router. 

The multiple Ethernet ports and the USB 3.0 port also make this router stand out from others on the market. 

As a gamer or usual streamer, this router is an acceptable choice. The Archer AX50 can connect to numerous devices simultaneously, but the speed of the internet may reduce as the number of devices increases. 

Bottom Line

Though it's not as quick or reliable as the A7, the AX50 has several features that set it apart from other routers like it. 

The parental controls, QoS, and Antivirus features make this router a desirable choice for parents, gamers, and home-streamers. The downside is that these features come at a cost. 

If you're okay with paying the additional cost, you can have a reliable experience with this router in your home.

Best for the Money:
TP-Link Archer A9

TP-Link AC1900 Smart WiFi Router (Archer A9) - High Speed MU-MIMO Wireless Router, Dual Band, Gigabit, VPN Server, Beamforming, Smart Connect, Works with Alexa, Black

PROS

  • Easy to use interface 
  • Works with Alexa voice control
  • VPN server available within the router
  • 3 high gain antennas amplify local WiFi signal
  • Smart Connect feature optimizes WiFi availability by connecting you to the fastest available network

CONS

  • 5G channel may have difficulty connecting over time
  • Antivirus and home security features are only for three years

What Recent Buyers Report

If you're like most buyers, you're considering purchasing this router as an update to your old router that has been around for many years. 

When compared with previous routers, countless buyers report a noticeable increase of speed and WiFi range in their homes. 

You can easily game, stream, or download content without noticing a lag or slowdown in your WiFi connection. 

The easy set up and 24/7 customer service make this product very desirable for customers with minimal experience installing routers. The 2-year warranty is also a big selling point for many customers because they can rest assured that their router will be serviced and working properly for many years after it's purchased. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

There are several small features of this router that come together to make this router a bit different than the rest on the market. 

For instance, instead of a dual-band connection, the A9 features a triple band connection. The triple band connection makes it much easier to connect to a range of wireless devices. 

Once you're connected, the Archer A9 will also automatically ensure that you are using the strongest networks available, which guarantees a quick speed and a wide range of possible connectivity. 

The user interface is also extremely simple, ensuring you can get the most out of your router. 

Bottom Line

There are several features included with the Archer A7 that are not seen in other routers. 

The triple band connection instead of a dual-band, the Smart Connect feature, and the VPN availability are all uncommon details that set this router apart from others. This is one of the best value routers currently available from TP-Link.

Editor's Pick:
TP-Link Archer AX20

TP-Link WiFi 6 Router AX1800 Smart WiFi Router (Archer AX20) – 802.11ax Router, Gigabit Router, Dual Band, OFDMA, Parental Controls, Long Range Coverage, Works with Alexa

PROS

  • Increased battery life
  • Up to 1.8 Gbps speeds
  • Uses Wi-Fi 6 technology to reduce network congestion
  • Simple set up and management through the TP-Link Tether app
  • Beamforming technology and multiple antennas make signals stronger

CONS

  • Smart Connect feature may be inconsistent
  • Router may be prone to spontaneously reboot if connection is poor

What Recent Buyers Report

With a quick and easy set up, almost all buyers are initially thrilled with their new router. The range and strength of the signal is also noticeably stronger than what could have been provided with older routers. 

The only major issue that customers seem to notice is the Smart Connect feature causing problems for the connection of their devices. 

The Smart Connect feature lets you run a 2.4GHz and 5GHz network simultaneously. Sometimes, the combination of the two networks leads to issues connecting and may cause the router to reset periodically and unexpectedly. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Above all, this router is aimed at providing an overall smooth experience for the user.

The use of Wi-Fi 6 technology is a huge selling point for the Archer AX20. This relatively new technology ensures faster data transfer speeds, a greater capacity for more devices, and reduced network congestion among connected devices. 

The faster Wi-Fi speeds also help ensure smoother streaming, downloading, and gaming from any connected device. The Quad-Core processing unit is extremely powerful and helps smooth out connections between your devices and the router's signal. 

Bottom Line

If you're looking for a smoother, faster experience with your at-home WiFi, this router may do the trick. It's got all the bells and whistles to help you have a more enjoyable experience at home, but overloading the router with devices is never a good idea. 

This is a great router for a household with several devices that need to be connected simultaneously. Massive downloads and excessive gaming may cause hiccups for the router, but overall it should be able to withstand a large amount of data processing.

Honorable Mention:
TP-Link Archer A5

TP-Link AC1200 WiFi Router (Archer A5) - Dual Band Wireless Internet Router, 4 x 10/100 Mbps Fast Ethernet Ports, Supports Guest WiFi, Access Point Mode, IPv6 and Parental Controls

PROS

  • Guest network capabilities
  • Could work as a mobile router
  • Advanced WPA2 encryption provides protection
  • Parental, Access, and Bandwidth control options
  • Easy set up and management with Tether TP-Link app

CONS

  • Only two external antennas included
  • Wi-Fi range surrounding router is relatively small

What Recent Buyers Report

Though this router is much cheaper than other TP-Link routers on the market, it can still get the job done and provide a reliable WiFi experience. 

Just like every other TP-Link router, the Archer A5 is easy to install with the TP-Link Tether application. Once installed, you can modify several aspects of the router to fit your exact needs. 

Parental controls, access controls, bandwidth specifications, and guest network controls are all easily accessible through the TP-Link app. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Though this router is less complex than others on the market, you can still create a very customizable experience through the in-app management features. 

The guest network options, as well as the parental and access controls, ensure that your devices will stay safe, no matter how many people are connected. 

Also, it's small size and light weight make this router a good option for travelers who want to avoid connecting to questionable WiFi networks. Encryption security provides a great safety blanket for anyone unsure of the router's capabilities. 

Bottom Line

Overall, this router is a good choice for a small home or a family with relatively few devices that will need to be connected at one time. It's not the most powerful router but it is a safe and customizable choice for anyone looking to upgrade or change their WiFi coverage.

Types of TP-Routers

There are many variations among the TP-Link routers.

Three features that vary among routers are: 

  • Type of Wi-Fi supported

  • Signal range

  • Frequency bands 

Wi-Fi 

Wi-Fi 6 is the fastest wireless standard for Wi-Fi currently available. This wireless standard was released in late 2019 and routers became capable of using it in 2020. 

Wi-Fi 6 is quite faster than its previous version, Wi-Fi 5. The update uses new technology to deliver data around 10 Gbps, which is a huge leap from the 3 Gpbs available with Wi-Fi 5. 

The Archer AX50 and the AX20 are the only two routers on this list that support Wi-Fi 6. 

TP-Link Archer AX50

Signal Range

The range of your Wi-Fi signal around the router is closely related to the number of antennas on your router. 

Most routers will include anywhere between two and four antennas. These antennas cast the Wi-Fi signal to the surrounding area. Generally speaking, the more antennas you have on your router, the larger space your signal can reach. 

The Archer A9, AX50, and AX20 come with four antennas while the A7 comes with three.

Along with multiple antennas, the A9, AX50, and AX20 also use beamforming technology to deliver long-range Wi-Fi to a large area.

Frequency Bands

There are two types of frequency bands that a router will support: dual-band or triple band. 

The dual-band router offers two bands for your devices to connect to a 2.4 GHz band and a 5 GHz band. A tri-band router, on the other hand, has two 5 GHz bands and one 2.4 GHz band. 

The Archer A9 is the only router included on this list that features a tri-band connection. This small detail may play a huge role in the overall performance of your router when it comes to the number of devices you can connect and how strong your signal is across devices. 

How Do TP-Link Routers Compare?

Though TP-Link has been around for a long time, there is still competition among other companies that sell the same type of devices. 

ASUS and Netgear are the two main competitors of TP-Link. 

ASUS vs TP-Link

ASUS is a Taiwan-based consumer electronics company that was established in 1989. Known mainly for its gaming products, ASUS is the number one motherboard and gaming brand on the market. 

Most of ASUS's products are geared toward gamers or customers needing advanced network technology. ASUS does not create the same type of in-home routers that TP-Link is known for selling. 

TP-Link, on the other hand, specializes in wireless networking devices that could easily be used inside the home by an average consumer. Their devices are often equipped with easy-to-use interfaces and simplistic installation and management instructions. 

Netgear vs TP-Link

Netgear and TP-Link are more closely related than ASUS because of their similar products. One of the only big ways to differentiate between the two is the cost. 

On average, Netgear tends to offer more expensive devices than TP-Link. Sometimes, those devices may come with advantages or special features that TP-Link does not offer. 

More often than not, the devices are extremely similar but Netgear has more high-end options available. TP-Link is a more approachable and consumer-friendly option, while Netgear appeals more to technology professionals or large businesses.

TP-Link Router Troubleshooting

Even with the best networking products, there are bound to be some hiccups along the way. Here are some tips for how to troubleshoot your TP-Link router. 

TP-Link Router Keeps Dropping Wi-Fi

If your router keeps dropping Wi-Fi unexpectedly, there could be some Wi-Fi radio interference happening. Garage door openers, bluetooth devices, microwaves, and other electronic devices can cause interference in certain channels. 

Try changing the settings on the router first. You can change the channel or channel width easily through the TP-Link Tether app, so troubleshoot your issue by adjusting those settings individually. 

TP-Link Router Not Working

If your TP-Link router is completely unresponsive, you may need to make sure it was registered correctly through your TP-Link Tether application. 

You should check the WLAN LED indicator on your wireless router to ensure the device is on. Make sure you have not disabled the SSID broadcast on your router, as this would cause your router not to respond. 

Also, make sure your router is close enough to the computer or device you are attempting to connect it with. 

TP-Link Router Keeps Disconnecting

TP-Link routers tend to disconnect from connected products when the signal becomes confused or could be enhanced. 

Wireless devices should remain close to the router when connected. If they are too far or there are too many obstacles in between, the device will be disconnected. Make sure your router is located in an optimal position, where the signal can reach all necessary areas of your home. 

You should also reduce the number of wireless devices you have connected. Some routers become overworked if too many products are connected at once. 

Can't Login to TP-Link Router

If you're having trouble logging into your router, you should contact a representative from TP-Link for assistance. You can chat with a representative through the home page here

How to Set up TP-Link Router

Setting up a TP-Link Router starts with powering off your existing router and unplugging your broadband modem. 

How to Access TP-Link Router

You can access your TP-Link router by navigating to your system preferences and then the network. 

  1. From there, select your network connection and then select "advanced." Click IP/TCP and you will see the router's IP address. 

  2. To continue setting up your router, you'll screw or click in the antennas onto the router. The modem's ethernet cable will then be plugged into the router. You can power the modem back on by plugging the power cable back in. 

  3. After disconnecting from all other wireless networks, you can connect your computer to the router with an ethernet cord plugged into a yellow square on the router. 

  4. At this point, you're ready to power on the router. After a few moments, the LED signals on the router should indicate a connection. 

  5. You can test the Internet connection by going to a website on your computer. If you have issues accessing the Internet, you'll need to follow the advanced set up instructions available through TP-Link resources.

A full overview of the entire set up process can be seen using this in-depth tutorial video. 

How to Reset TP-Link Router

If you are having significant issues with your router or are instructed by a TP-Link representative to reset your router, there are a few things you should know before doing so. 

Resetting your TP-Link router will get rid of any saved settings or preferences you have created with the router through the TP-Link Tether app. Choosing to reset your router restores the router to all factory settings. The reset process is only three simple steps:

  1. Turn router on.

  2. Hold the reset button for at least 10 seconds. 

  3. Allow router to reboot.

To reset the router, the router will need to be turned on. 

Next, you need to press and hold the WPS/RESET button on the back of the router. The reset button is located on the back panel of most routers, usually on the right. 

Hold the button for at least 10 seconds or until the LED light begins flashing slowly. 

Release the button and wait several moments for the router to reboot and turn back on its own. 

More information about rebooting your TP-Link router is available through the TP-Link official website here.

Conclusion

Deciding which TP-Link router is best for you can be a tricky decision. The easiest way to narrow it down, however, is by considering the reasons you'll be using the router. 

If you take into consideration the amount of space you need to cover, the number of devices you'll likely have connected and how much you are willing to spend, you'll be able to find something that works for you and your budget. 

Further information about all of the products featured in this review can be found on TP-Link's website

People Also Ask

Shopping for a new router makes you think of questions you never thought you'd ask. Fortunately, you're not alone. 

We've answered some of the most popular questions we hear about TP-Link routers below.

Why Are TP-Link Products So Popular?

TP-Link products have been around for almost 25 years now, gaining TP-Link a reputation as a reliable source of wireless networking tools. TP-Link is one of the three major wireless networking companies that sell products with an emphasis on home use. 

What Kind of Warranty Does TP-Link Offer?

TP-Link offers a 2-year limited warranty with most of its products. The products also come with access to a 24/7 customer care team to offer any assistance if needed. 

The limited warranty covers any failures that are due to defeated materials or workmanship on the devices. Packaging, software products, and technical data information are not covered under this limited warranty. Full details about TP-Link warranties are available here

How Can I Change My TP-Link Router Password?

You can easily change your TP-Link router username and password via the TP-Link login page. From the "Management" tab, if you navigate to "Access Control" and then "Password," you'll see the option to create a new password. 

More information about resetting your TP-Link password is available here. 

What Will Happen if I Reset My TP-Link Router?

A hard reset of any TP-Link router will restore the device to factory default settings. This means any customized settings, personalized passwords, status IP address setup information, and DHCP settings will be lost. 

How Do I Find My TP-Link Router Username and Password?

The default wireless name of any TP-Link Router will be "TP-LINK_2.3GHz_XXXXXX" or "TP-LINK_5GHz_XXXXXX." The X's are replaced with a unique combination of letters and numbers per each router. 

The wireless password is on the label at the bottom of your router. 

How to Login to TP-Link Router

To log in to your new router, you need to go to http://tplinklogin.net. From there, type the admin username and password on the login page. 

A detailed instructional video about setting up your TP-Link router is also available here.