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TP-Link Archer AXE75 Review: Solid Wi-Fi 6E on the Cheap

TP-Link’s first standalone Wi-Fi 6E router, the Archer AXE75, errs on the affordability side, costing just $199.

That’s the good news.

The not-so-good: it’s also low hardware on the Wi-Fi 6E totem pole. The new Tri-band router has the same total Wi-Fi bandwidth — among its all three bands (2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz) — as the Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router, the Archer AX73, which is 5400Mbps.

You’ll learn more about these confusingly named routers in this review, but to cut to the chase, the new Archer AXE75 is the only noteworthy one.

Most importantly, the new router is worth the reasonable price, all things considered, and will make an excellent choice for those looking to enter the world of Wi-Fi 6E without digging a hole in the wallet.

Dong’s note: I first published this piece on July 21, 2022, as a preview when the router was available for purchased and updated it to an in-depth review on July 26 after thorough hands-on testing.

The TP-Link Archer AXE75 shares the same design as the Archer AX73
The TP-Link Archer AXE75 shares the same design as the Archer AX73

TP-Link Archer AXE75: Wi-Fi 6E on the cheap

Since Wi-Fi 6E became commercially available in early 2021, TP-Link has been the company with many announcements about this new standard.

During CES 2022, it touted a list of new broadcasters, including the top-tier Archer AXE200, the Quad-band  Archer AXE300, and the super-cool AXE200 Omni.

Now, in the 2nd part of 2022, we’ve seen only the entry-level Deco XE75 and now the Archer AXE75; both have middling hardware specs and are relatively mundane in design. The AXE75 looks just like the AX73, physically.

But, at the least, TP-Link has kept some part of its promises, an improvement compared to the hardware it announced in early 2021, which all became vaporware. There’s hope that the company will ship more products before the year-end.

And while the new Archer AXE75’s hardware is somewhat entry-level, that might be all most home users would need, and the router beat my expectations in testing — more below. So its low cost can only mean better, more widespread Wi-Fi 6 adaption.

With that, let’s check out its specs.

Hardware specifications: TP-Link Archer AXE75 vs Archer AX73 vs Archer AX75

The Archer AXE75, Archer AX73, and Archer AX75 all share the same hardware design, which looks like a typical router with four antennas sticking up from their back, where the ports are, and two from each side.

Model Archer AXE75 Archer AX73 Archer AX75
Dimensions 10.7 × 5.8 × 1.9 in
(272.5 × 147.2 × 49.2 mm)
10.7 × 5.8 × 1.9 in
(272.5 × 147.2 × 49.2 mm)
10.2 × 5.3 × 1.5 in 
(260.2 x 135.0 x 38.6 mm)
Weight TBD 1.61 lbs (734 g) 1.24 lbs (560 g)
Processor 1.7 GHz Quad-Core CPU 1.5 GHz Triple-Core CPU,
512MB RAM, 16MB Flash
Intel AnyWAN GRX350 SoC,
256MB RAM, 16MB Flash
Wi-Fi Technology Tri-band
AXE5400
Dual-band AX5400 Tri-Band
AX5400
1st Band 
(channel width)
2×2 2.4GHz AX Up to 574Mbps
(20/40MHz)
2×2 2.4GHz AX Up to 574Mbps
(20/40MHz)
2×2 2.4GHz AX Up to 574Mbps
(20/40MHz)
2nd Band
(channel width)
2×2 5GHz AX
Up to 2402Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
4×4 5GHz AX
Up to 4804Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
2×2 5GHz AX
Up to 2402Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
3rd Band
(channel width)
2×2 6GHz AXE
Up to 2402Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
None 2×2 5GHz AX
Up to 2402Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
Backward Compatibility 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
Wireless Security WPA / WPA2 / WPA3 WPA / WPA2 / WPA3 WPA / WPA2 / WPA3
Web User Interface Yes Yes Yes
Bridge Mode No No No
AP Mode Yes Yes Yes
Mesh-Ready Yes (OneMesh) Yes (OneMesh) Yes (OneMesh)
USB Port 1x USB 3.0 1x USB 3.0 1x USB 3.0
Gigabit Port 4x LAN, 
1x WAN
4x LAN, 
1x WAN
4x LAN, 
1x WAN
Multi-Gig Port None None None
Link Aggregation None Yes (LAN1+LAN2) No
Dual-WAN Support No No No
Firmware Version
(at review)
1.0.5 Build 20220405 rel.80113(5553) not available not reviewed
Power Intake 100-240V 100-240V 100-240V
Power Consumption
(over 24 hours)
≈ 170 Wh not tested not tested
U.S MSRP $199.99 $199.99 $199.99
TP-Link Archer AXE75 vs Archer AX73 vs Archer AX75: Hardware specifications

In terms of Wi-Fi, here’s the breakdown:

  • All three share the same mid-range 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 specs on the 2.4GHz band, which caps at 574Mbps.
  • On the 5GHz (Wi-Fi 6):
    • Archer AX73: One top-tier (4×4) 5GHz band — 4804Mbps.
    • Archer AX75: Two mid-tier (2×2) 5GHz bands — 2402Mbps (each band).
    • Archer AXE75: One mid-tier (2×2) 5Ghz band — 2402Mbps.
  • On the 6GHz (Wi-Fi 6E):
    • Archer AXE75: One mid-tier (2×2) 6GHz band – 2402Mbps.

When added all their bands together, each router has a total bandwidth of 5400Mbps. In terms of Wi-Fi speed, each can be as fast as its fastest band since a Wi-Fi connection takes place on a single band simultaneously.

Since we only have 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 and 6E clients, chances are you’ll get the same real-world speed from any of them in real-world usage.

None of these routers has a Multi-Gig port. Consequently, they generally cap at 1Gbps — the speed of their Gigabit port.

Interestingly, all three share the same suggested retail price of $199, making the AXE75 the most affordable Wi-Fi 6E router yet.

TP-Link Archer AXE75: Detail photos

TP Link Archer AXE75 Wi Fi 6E Router out of the Box
The TP-Link Archer AXE75 Wi-Fi 6E router includes a power adapter and a network cable.

TP Link Archer AXE75 Wi Fi 6E Router Plastic Wrapping
Like other TP-Link routers, the Archer AXE75 has lots of unnecessary plastic wrappings.

TP Link Archer AXE75 Wi Fi 6E Router Front
The Archer AXE75 looks like a typical router with a shiny top, inheriting the design of the Archer AX73.

TP Link Archer AXE75 Wi Fi 6E Router Antennas
You can swivel the Archer AXE75’s antennas half a sphere around.

TP Link Archer AXE75 Wi Fi 6E Router USB Port
The router has a USB 3.0 port on one side to host a storage device for its network storage features.

TP Link Archer AXE75 Wi Fi 6E Router Underside
Here’s the underside of the TP-Link Archer AXE75. Note how it’s wall mountable.

TP Link Archer AXE75 Wi Fi 6E Router Ports
The TP-Link Archer AXE75 has the usual four Gigabit LAN ports and one Gigabit WAN port. It has no Multi-Gig port.

TP Link Archer AXE75 Wi Fi 6E Router Retail box
The TP-Link Archer AXE75’s retail box

Familiar firmware: TP-Link’s common features, network settings, and setup process

The Archer AXE75 shares the same Linux-based firmware as the rest of the Archer family. Consequently, you can set it up the way you do any router with a standard web user interface.

TP Link Archer AXE75 Wi Fi Settings TP Link Archer AXE75 Advanced Settings
The TP-Link Archer XE75 allows for lots of settings on its web interface. For Wi-Fi settings, it favors compatibility over performance, however.

Specifically, hook a computer to its LAN port and navigate a browser to the router’s default IP address (192.168.0.1) or tplinkwifi.net, log in with the default password (admin), and the rest is self-explanatory.

Standard and useful network settings

The interface allows for standard network settings for any home network, including VPN (client or server), port management (forwarding, triggering, DMZ, etc.), basic access control via MAC address, and the ability to manage the network remotely via Dynamic DNS.

On top of that, like the case of the AX73 and many other ARcher routers, the AXE75 supports OneMesh, where you can add select extenders to form a mesh system, similar, though much less comprehensive, to the case of Asus’s AiMesh.

And then, the router can do even more, but not via its web user interface.

TP Link Archer AXE75 HomeShieldTP Link Archer AXE75 Remote Management
You can’t use the web user interface to manage the Archer AXE75’s (or any Archer router for that matter) HomeShield feature — you need the mobile app for that. But other than that feature, you can manage the router completely via the interface, including remote management via Dynamic DNS.

HomeShield requires a login account

Specifically, just like the case of the Deco family, such as the Deco XE75, the Archer AXE75 puts QoS, Parental Control, and online Protection as part of its Homeshield suite.

To use HomeShield, you must opt for the Tether mobile app and link the router with a TP-Link ID via an account with the vendor. After that, you can also manage the router remotely but logging in with the vendor generally translates into privacy risks.

HomeShield is available at the basic level — it’s pretty thin. To enjoy it, you must opt for the Pro level, which costs $6/month or $55/year.

I tried the Tether app briefly, and it worked as intended. If you don’t like the app or are concerned about privacy, you can unbind the router from the account and use the router strictly with its web user interface.

TP-Link and your privacy

It’s important to note that having to sign in with an account means your hardware always connects to the vendor. In TP-Link’s case, you’ll manage your home network entirely or partially through the company.

And that translates into inherent privacy risks. Here’s TP-Link’s Privacy Policy — make sure you are comfortable with what it collects from your network.

TP-Link is headquartered in China, where the practice of online privacy, surveillance, and security might differ from the rest of the world.

Privacy is a matter of degree. While managing your network via a third party is never a good idea, data collection varies vendor by vendor.

TP-Link Archer AXE75: Excellent performance (for the specs)

I didn’t expect much from the Archer AXE75 due to its middling Wi-Fi specs and the lack of Multi-Gig ports. But considering its specs, the router did well in my testing.

The router had the same coverage as the AX73 on the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands. You can expect it to blanket a home of roughly 2000 ft² (186 m²) when placed at the center. But your mileage will vary.

On the new 6GHz band, it was about the same as any other Wi-Fi 6E router. This band has a much shorter range than the other two and generally only works well when clients are within a line of sight.

The route passed my three-day stress test with no disconnection. It proved to be reliable.

TP Link Archer AXE75 Mobile App TP Link Archer AXE75 Mobile App Requires Login
By default, the Tether mobile app can work without a login account and includes access to most of the router’s settings and features. However, if you want to use HomeShield, a login account via TP-Link ID is required.

Gigabit-class Wi-Fi throughputs

In the way I test the Wi-Fi routers, the Archer AXE75’s Wi-Fi speeds are limited by its network ports. Since the router has no Multi-Gig port, there’s no way to see faster Wi-Fi speed than what comes into its Gigabit WAN or Gigabit LAN port.

TP Link Archer AXE75 Close Range Wi Fi performance TP Link Archer AXE75 Long Range Wi Fi performance
The TP-Link Archer AXE75’s Wi-Fi performance against other Wi-Fi 6E routers
AC 5GHz: Tests were done via a 4×4 Wi-Fi 5 client at the close range and a 3×3 client at the long range

And in testing, the router’s 5GHz and 6GHz bands individually had sustained speeds equivalent to a wired Gigabit connection after overhead at a close range of 10 feet (3m) or closer. The rate degraded slightly at 40 feet (12 meters) out (within a line of sight), as shown on the charts.

As for Internet speed, in the best-case scenario, within 40 feet and a line of sight, I generally got between 500Mbps to 820Mbps on a Wi-Fi 6 laptop. For that anecdotal speed testing, the Archer AXE75 hosted a 10Gbps Fiber-optic broadband connection via its Gigabit WAN port.

TP Link Archer AXE75 Internet Speed
TP-Link Archer AXE75’s best-case scenario Internet speed via Wi-Fi when hosting a 10Gbps broadband connection

Clearly, without a Multi-Gig port, you can only expect the ARcher AXE75 to deliver sub-Gigabit connection speeds at best.

OK NAS performance (when hosting a portable SSD)

The Archer AXE75 did OK in my testing as a mini NAS server. When hosting a portable SSD, the WD My Passport, it delivered a read speed close to 100MB/s and a write speed over 50MB/s via a Gigabit wired connection.

The TP-Link Archer AXE75's network attached storage performance when hosting a portable SSD.
The TP-Link Archer AXE75’s network attached storage performance when hosting a portable SSD.

These numbers were similar to the Archer AX73 and fast enough for casual network file sharing. Like other Archer routers, the AXE75 can work as the backup destination for Time Machine. In this case, it’s only fast enough for one Mac at a time.

TP Link Archer AXE75 Wi Fi 6E Router Box

Pros

Fast Wi-Fi performance; good range, affordable

Wi-Fi 6E support, 160MHz channel width on both 5GHz and 6GHz bands

Standard web interface with lots of useful settings, including Dynamic DNS-based remote management

Support Time Machine backup vis USB storage, wall-mountable, OneMesh-ready

Cons

Middling Wi-Fi specs, no Multi-Gig port

Mobile app and login account required for Parental Control, QoS, and online protection

Write performance for network storage when hosting a portable drive could be better

Conclusion

The TP-Link Archer AXE75 AXE5400 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E router doesn’t have anything new to offer. For the most part, it’s an entry-level router now with the support for Wi-Fi 6E, joining the pool of about a dozen others.

But it’s the first that comes with a sub-$200 price tag (before taxes.) That plus the relative performance make it an excellent buy for those needing a new standalone router to host their modest sub-Gigabit broadband.

If you’re among that crowd, get one today. If not, check out this list for more Wi-Fi 6E options.