Mid-Tier Wi-Fi 6 Contenders: Asus RT-AX3000 vs. Netgear RAX40 vs. TP-Link Archer AX50

RT AX3000 vs TP Link AX3000
The TP-Link Archer AX50 vs. its Asus rival, the RT-AX3000.

We have here three mid-range semi-entry-level Wi-Fi 6 routers that won’t break anyone’s bank. It’s the Asus RT-AX3000 vs. Netgear RAX40 vs. TP-Link Archer AX50 mashup, and if you’re wondering which one you should get, you’re at the right place.

These three routers are very similar in terms of specs. All are dual-band 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 router with the support for the venerable 160MHz channel width. They are the sweet-spot routers considering there are only 2×2 Wi-Fi clients on the market.

All of them also have a full web interface with a similar set of features and settings. Each also has a free app for mobile users. Hardware-wise, they have the usual 4 Gigabit LAN ports, one Gigabit WAN port, and one USB 3.2 Gen 1 (USB 3.0) port.

None has a multi-gig network port. But the RT-AX3000 has Dual-WAN while the Archer AX50 has LAN Link Aggregation. The Netgear RAX40 has neither.

In my testing, they all had similar Wi-Fi coverage, which is only suitable for a small home. So if you live in one, these routers will give you the best Wi-Fi 6 bang for your buck, costing less than $180 each.

There are some differences between these routers.

Design-wise, the Netgear RAX40 is better looking, but it’s also the bulkiest. The TP-Link AX50 and the Asus RT-AX3000 are a lot more compact, with the latter being the smallest and lightest, but also a bit boring coming in the traditional router design.

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The Asus delivered the best performance among the three in my testing and is the one with the most feature. It’s also the most expensive.

The Asus as an excellent QoS engine — especially for those working from home — but its Parental Control feature could use some improvement. The other two’s QoS features are a bit hard to configure. The Netgear has no Parent Control while that of the TP-Link is the most effective.

TP Link Archer AX3000 vs Ne
The TP-Link Archer AX50 next to the Netgear RAX40.

These three performed relatively the same in my testing, all having enough power to deliver a typical broadband connection in full. They can also work as a casual mini NAS server, with modest performance when hosting an external storage device, as shown here.

RT AX3000 vs RAX40 vs AX50

ASUS RT-AX3000 Dual Band Wi-Fi 6 Router

$179.99
8.5

Performance

8.5/10

Features

9.0/10

Design and Setup

8.0/10

Value

8.5/10

Pros

  • 160 MHz channel support
  • Fast and reliable performance
  • Ton of useful features with excellent AiMesh support
  • Full web interface and well-design mobile app
  • Compact design, wall-mountable

Cons

  • No multi-gig port or Link Aggregation
  • Modest hardware specs
  • Relatively short Wi-Fi range
  • The Parental Control feature could use some improvement

Netgear Nighthawk AX4 4-Stream WiFi 6 Router (RAX40)

8.4

Performance

8.5/10

Features

8.0/10

Design and Setup

8.5/10

Value

8.5/10

Pros

  • Affordable pricing, reliable performance
  • 160 MHz channel width support
  • Good set of network features and settings
  • Responsive web user interface, useful mobile app
  • Wall-mountable

Cons

  • Fluctuating Wi-Fi speeds
  • Wi-Fi range could be better
  • No multi-gig port, Dual-WAN, or Link Aggregation
  • Mobile app require a login account with vendor

TP-Link Archer AX3000 Wi-Fi 6 Router

8

Performance

7.0/10

Features

8.5/10

Design and Setup

8.5/10

Value

8.0/10

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Reliable Wi-Fi, good coverage
  • Tons of network settings and customization
  • Responsive web user interface, useful mobile app
  • Light weight, wall-mountable

Cons

  • Middling Wi-Fi specs
  • Fluctuating Wi-Fi connection speeds
  • No multi-gig port, USB 2.0

These are very similar routers.

However, if you want the most features, including an effective QoS, and the best performance, the Asus is the best choice. Though the most expensive among the three, it has a lot more to offer than the extra cost. I’d pick it for myself.

Between the other two, the TP-Link Archer AX50 did better in my testing. Chances are, though, in real-world usage, you might not notice the difference between the two at all.

However, the TP-Link’s is more affordable and includes an excellent Parental Control feature, so I’d pick it over the Netgear.

Looking to compare other Wi-Fi solutions? Check them all out here.

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