It’d make sense if you think you can just cut the Archer AX50‘s performance in half to figure out the Archer AX10. But you’d be so wrong.
Indeed. The AX10, an AX1500 router, proved to be a strong performer in my testing, rivaling the AX50 and other AX3000 routers to some extent.
But with a price tag of just around $80, this router is one for the budget-minded. And that means it’s important to set the right expectation.
So, here’s the lowdown: If you need a dependable Wi-Fi 6 router to share a typical broadband connection in a small household and not much else, the TP-Link Archer AX10 fits the bill exceptionally well.
Looking for even slightly more than that? Check out other more expensive options instead.
Table of Contents
TP-Link Archer AX10: A Frill-Free Wi-Fi 6 router
The AX10 looks almost the same as its cousin, the AX50, from the front and the sides. You can’t tell the two apart until you notice the AX50’s little Intel logo on top. On the inside, though, the two can’t be any more different.
No USB port, or 160 MHz channel support
The AX50 uses an Intel Wi-Fi chip, while the AX10 uses Broadcom’s BCM6750 1.5Ghz Triple-Core CPU, similar to the one used in the Asus RT-AX58U.
But among all these mid-tier Wi-Fi 6 routers, the AX10 is the only one that doesn’t support the 160 MHz channel width. As a result, it has the lowest ceiling Wi-Fi bandwidth, capping at just 1.2 Gbps when working with a 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 client.
The router is also the only one without a USB port — you can’t make a mini NAS server out of it.
TP-Link AX1500 router ‘s hardware specification
|Full Name||TP-Link Archer AX1500 |
Dual-Band Gigabit Wi-Fi 6 Router
|Dimensions||10.2 × 5.3 × 1.5 in |
(260.2 x 135.0 x 38.6 mm)
|Weight||1.24 lbs (.56 kg)|
|Processing Power||1.5 GHz Triple-Core CPU, |
256 MB RAM, 16 MB Flash
|Wi-Fi Technology||Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) A1500|
|5GHz Wi-Fi Specs||5GHz AX: Up to 1.2 Gbps|
Channel Width: 2×2 20/40/80 MHz
|2.4GHz Wi-Fi Specs||2.4GHz 802.11n: Up to 300 Mbps|
Channel Width: 2×2 20/40MHz
|Backward Compatibility||802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi|
|Wireless Security||64/128-bit WEP, WPA/WPA2,|
|Mobile App||TP-Link Tether|
|Web User Interface||Yes|
|Gigabit Port||4x LAN, 1x WAN|
The AX10 also shares the same web interface (and the optional TP-Link Teather mobile app), but its features are now more subdued.
Specifically, the QoS now requires you to test and enter the Internet speeds manually. What’s more, it can only prioritize the Internet for specific clients and not by applications.
As a result, if you want to have good Wi-Fi calling on your phone, you’ll need to put that particular handset on the priority list first. If you could prioritize VoIP, any phone that connects to the router would automatically enjoy the benefits.
The Parental Control feature is also overly simple compared to that of the AX50. You can only filter the web by specific keywords, and that’s it.
And finally, the router AX10 doesn’t include AntiVirus, a valuable feature that protects the entire network from malware and online threats in real-time.
TP-Link Archer AX10: Detail photos
Similar setup process, network settings
Other than the differences above, the Archer AX10 has the same setup process and network settings as other routers in TP-Link’s Archer family.
Thanks to the web interface, you can set it up the way you do any other standard routers by pointing a browser on a connected computer to its default IP address, which is 192.168.0.1, or tplinkwifi.net.
After the first initializing of the router, you’ll note that the interface allows for a lot of standard settings required for a robust home network, including Dynamic DNS, port-forwarding, IP reservation, and so on. The router can also work as a VPN server.
As for Wi-Fi settings, you can do almost anything you want. From using Smart Connect to naming the two bands as two separate networks to changing other parameters. Or you can keep them all at the default (Auto) settings.
TP-Link Archer AX10: Excellent performance for the specs
Again, the Archer AX10 doesn’t have much to impress in terms of features. But it’s always the performance that counts. And the router sure delivered on this front, for its modest hardware, in my trial.
Like its other siblings, including the Archer AX50 and Archer AX3000, the AX10 doesn’t have a multi-gig port. So, according to my Wi-Fi test method, its performance will cap at 1 Gbps, no matter what.
In effect, that means the fact the router can’t do 160 MHz won’t matter much — its ceiling 1.2 Gbps Wi-Fi 6 bandwidth is about as fast as its LAN ports, anyway.
And the test results showed just that. My 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 clients got the sustained speed of some 730 Mbps and more than 630 Mbps at the short and long distances, respectively. The latter was faster than that of the Walmart-exclusive Archer AX3000.
In tests with Wi-Fi 5 clients, the AX10 did quite well, too. My 4×4 client averaged 650 Mbps at a close distance, and at 40 feet (12 m) away, my 3×3 client registered almost 580 Mbps. Again, one of the two was faster than the higher-end Archer AX3000.
On the 2.4 GHz, which I consider a “backup” band since it’s slow (compared to any standard’s specs) where I live, the Archer AX10 did like any other router, averaging some 110 Mbp for the close range and more than 50 Mbps for the long-range.
Note that this band of the AX10 uses Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n) while most others on the charts use Wi-Fi 6. But that only shows how Wi-Fi 6 doesn’t have much effect on this frequency band.
The AX10 passed my three-day stress test with no issues. It had the same coverage as the AX50, meaning if you have a home of around 1800 ft² (167 m²), place it in the middle, and you’ll like to have good Wi-Fi signals everywhere.
TP-Link Archer AX10's Rating
Excellent performance for the specs
Easy to set up and use
Subdued feature set, no USB port
No support for the 160 MHz channel bandwidth
The TP-Link Archer AX10 is one of the most affordable routers on the market. Period. It brings the cost of Wi-Fi 6 to below that of many Wi-Fi 5 routers. But it’s not a cheap router. Instead, among those I’ve worked with, it’s one of the most dependable.
The fact the AX10 is a stripped-down router with limited features means it won’t work for everyone. But for most users who only need a frill-free Wi-Fi machine to share their typical Internet connection in a typically modest home, this is an excellent buy.
The thing is, even if my assessment above is wrong, which it’s not, for the price, this router sure is a low risk.
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65 thoughts on “TP-Link Archer AX10 AX1500 Router Review: An Underrated Wi-Fi Machine”
Was using a Netgear AC1900, router now dated. It could not run an external Grandstream HT812 VoIP ATA via it’s cabled LAN connection. Proved the Grandsteam ATA and the VoIP kit works by borrowing another Router (A very expensive one). Now looking for a permanent replacement. The TP-LINK AX10 (AX15OO) has the required specifications. WiFi is not an issue as all the internal telephone kit is cabled back to the ATA. However I cannot find information anywhere on a compatible external ATA for the TP-LINK AX10. There are other TP-LINK routers that have built-in VoIP, but that is not suitable. Does anybody know if an external General Purpose ATA with wired connection to the TP-LINK (AX10) router has been, tested and works. Problem is that many routers have VoIP issues, one way sound etc, even when correctly installed and configured. Any answers out there ?
I’m upgrading my wifi router. I need one thats compatible with spectrum and budget friendly, about $40 – $90, if possible. And it needs to supply good wifi range and speed to 2 roku TVs located 30 feet from it with 0 latency. And good ethernet speed too. Which wifi router can you suggest I buy?
I have no suggestion considering your budget, Si, and generally, I don’t keep tabs on the costs. But you can probably get a good used Wi-Fi 5 router, that will work. All routers will work with a Spectrum modem.
Is there any solution to have more channels in 5Ghz band with AX10? I have only 36,40,44,48. I am from Vietnam.
That depends on the region (where you are), Ha. And you can use only a single channel at a time, so there’s no need to have more channels.
For coverage buy MESH, here in EU I work with TP-Link Deco MESH systems mostly, and they are wery good but here we do not have very high internet speeds.
I have my ax10 directly connected to my ISP modem with a speed of 500mbps, unfortunately I can only receive 280mbps max wireless from ax10 (using mobile & laptop) is there anything I need to adjust in the wireless settings?
This depends on your devices, too. Ferdie, assuming you actually get 500Mbps from your ISP. More on testing here. In any case, keep in mind this is a budget router.
Please, test the TPLink X20. It’s currently the cheapest one with mesh support. I was about to get the X50, but they took out onemesh and wpa3 support. Their excuse was their statement, “Coming soon”, was never guarantee. So now they call it “planned” and is also not guarantee.
These are very informative reviews. Thank you!
Noted, Burpy. I already review the X60, and X5700. The X20 is similar to the X60, just much worse in terms of speeds.
My bad, sorry. I was refering to TPLink AX20 & AX50. I still use my ISP’s router. At home, we run 2 online business, 2 of my nieces are receiving online classes, because of the pandemic and we have many devices connected. Sometimes we are force to restart the router, because it stops working:( I’m between these 2 routers ($110 / $135) or safe for an expensive one like AX88U ($379).
For your need, I’d go with the Asus, Burpy. You need to invest in your Wi-Fi network — it’s the most important thing after water and electricity. Don’t be cheap! 🙂
I am considering this router,
Does it have an AP mode? I might need to use it for a while just for that.
Did you test its AC compatibility? I don’t have any AX devices so far…
Read the review, Daniel. The answers are all there.
Thanks, I just realized that by WiFi 5 you refer to AC standard. Good review. You had no stability issues (I saw people in Amazon complaining)?
Don’t bother yourself with reviews on Amazon, Daniel. A lot of them were written with an agenda.
I have AX10 and I am usinh it as AP, so there is AP mode 🙂
I bought this AX1500 Next-Gen Wi-Fi 6 Router Archer AX10. It does not have Mu-Mimo. I see it there in your screenshot, but don’t know how you got it. Maybe they removed it with a firmware update? Because it’s not there and I need it.
I bought this to use the 5ghz mode only to run 2 Quest 2s. Quest 2s suck a max of 150, but I’m asking for only 55. So that’s 110mbps from a 1200mbps pipe no problem right? Wrong.
1st Quest connects, yaaaa! 22ms latancy smooth as butter, mind you I’m 6′ from the router with a clear line of sight. 2nd Quest connects, everything craps itself 90ms, both devices unusable. Check settings, no Mu-Mimo available, WTH? on amazon, on your review, on multiple videos they show me how to set it up… Look NOPE not there. Go to TP-Link customer support, “The AX1500 doesn’t support Mu-mimo only the AX3200 and above do.” Work with this guy for 58 minutes and get no where. I point to where it says it on the site I bought it from that’s apparently coming from a TP-Link Store, I point to reviews from people gifted the router, they all show it there, it’s not. The guy gives no craps what so ever. Call AMazon, they give no craps what so ever, but offer me a refund. Wow. All of the Amazon TP-Link Routers are labeled both in the title and in the description saying they support Mu-Mimo, but they do not according to customer support.
Then I tried calling TP-Link… MANY TIMES. Finally get through. AND… No AX1500 Archer AX10 Does NOT support Mi-Mimo. They try to sell me an AX6000… Are you kidding me? I asked if there were any cheaper router that support both Wifi 6AX and Mi-Mimo, and they say no, I then say talked to a different customer support rep and they said the 3200AX does. They tell me to hold and comeback Oh yeah that one does. Pretty much anything above 3200… Well… Isn’t that great.
I think you need to update your review or something because these are not shipping with Mu-mimo, and the fact that so many places are claiming it does and the fact the amazon page lists it screams false advertising. I mean if Sony can be successfully sued for removing Linux support from the PS3, I think TP-Link could be handed their ass over removing Mu-Mimo. I mean it’s the primary reason I bought the thing.
Sorry to hear, Bill. It’s a budget router so I literally gave it away after the review. I’m not going to retest it. I’m not aware of MU-MIMO being removed but it does seem like TP-Link had been trying to solidify their wifi offering. For how much you paid for it, tho, it’s a good idea not to expect a lot. 🙂
Update: So I contacted TP Link again with screen shots of their own website listing it, screen caped the amazon page where they link to it under “buy” and screen caped New Egg showing it with Mu-Mimo support. The guy then said “Oh yeah it’s supported.” Why did the other two people I talk to lie to me and try to upsell to me? I mean… WTF. Anyway, the guy had me screen cap my settings after he sent me what it should look like and I send him what mine looked like they are identical except I’m missing the Mu-Mimo Support, he then asked for my serial number on the device and the hardware number in the firmware and said that some kind of manufacturing error must of occurred and something wasn’t flashed right. So they were going to put me in touch with an Engineer tomorrow morning… They will either fix it remotely or send me a replacement. But Oh my God that was some of the worst customer support I have ever received. Over 3 hours of my life is gone and tomorrow they’ll take even more of it…
Bravos for getting to the bottom of it, Bill. And yes, it’d be odd that if that setting is missing. It’s in the hardware.
their support is as bad as it gets. i’m convinced it is because of the english as a second language which makes communicating very difficult since they use the language very differently than we do. in their defense this is common to ALL offshore support. they also have very little leeway to make decisions to solve problems. they get paid peanuts so don’t realize that when they spend three hours effing around it adds to possibly several hundred of dollars of our time. it is often cheaper to simply toss the device and buy new. that’s what i ended up doing
Hey Mike, English is not my mother tongue. Far from it, in fact. 🙂
dong i have a very international cast of characters in my friend pile and was not slamming those who work far far way, just saying their working knowledge of english is not up to the task. i employ only mexicans and they all howl as i seek to hablar espanol…they roar with laughter at my syntax and word choices and the way i have to stop and translate their sentences. i would make a very bad tech support for a mexicano even though i speak it pretty well. i can always tell when i get the philipines on the line…i married one. they’re the nicest folks i know but their usage, pace and vocabulary is not well suited to the if/then style i prefer for my support. and that they are not granted executive authority is on their managers.
I was just pulling your leg, Mike. 🙂
I can assure you 100% that MU-MIMO setting was there when I bought the router earlier this year and it was disabled by default (I made sure to enable it). They indeed removed the setting with a firmware update. I’m curious on why they removed that setting, if it’s because it’s turned on now by default? Who knows.. but the last thing I want is that they falsely advertised that it supports it.
Please let us know if you have an update.
I also saw that the Mu-Mimo setting is no longer there. Have you heard anything from them about that?
Don’t worry about the setting, Gary. it’s just for you to turn it off or on. Without the settings, it’s on by default. And to be honest, a budget router like this one, the MU-MIMO doesn’t play a huge role in anything. You can read more about MU-MIMO in this post.
Many thanks for the info.
I am upgrading from from Belkin N600 DB N+ as it died completely after super 6 years. Now, I am looking on internet and comparing below models. Can you suggest better choice? I live in 1 storey house and router is place in staircase, midway.
Pick one on this list, Mehul. https://dongknows.com/best-wi-fi-6-routers/
Thanks you very much
The above link compare high end routers only. If you can help me if any of above models is comparable with AX10 or not then it would be of much help. All these are in same price range in my region. And I am not much into wi-fi 6 as of now. I just want to get a stable, drop-less internet connectivity and good range. As you are a pro, i need you advise. Thank you.
Please consider testing how many clients you can support in parallel, and what throughput you can achieve on each while operating in parallel…
Many providers show max real world wifi performance for a single device, but I haven’t seen any that look at whole home performance with iot, mobile, laptops all cranking at once.
Check out this post, Nicholas.
However, it was about theoretical performance, whereas the above article is about measured performance. It would be interesting to see future, real-world, measured performance characteristics of not just single-client, but multi-client. I realize that leads to hundreds of permutations, which is impractical to test… but it’s easy to conceive that even a fixed tested-bed of 10 devices, some b/g/n, some ac, some ax would lead to unexpected anomalies (not just ‘max single rate’/10, but something more complicated where you might see a device starving…)
It’s impossible, Nicholas. Try it! It’d take you ALL day just to get them connected if you want to try all different Wi-Fi settings the way I do — some even won’t connect at all. That’s not to mention hours to copy data and measure the performance. And what do you get as a result of that much effort? I’m not trying to cure cancer here. More on how I test.
I am on DSL line with 50/10 Mbits, AX10 covering about 50 square meters two bedroom apartment, and I could connect on street two storeys under, we have PC, three laptops, PS4, security CAM, smart TV, 4 smartphones, 3 tablets, and everything is working fine. AX10 never frozed and we never lost any connection. My is EU version which is stripped down to 20dBm, but excelent for my space. Hope I helped someone.
Isolating the external network from the internal network does sound like it’d take work (but doable) for the purpose of these tests. Doing something like setting up a separate & isolated machine or router “outside” the local network might work. This could allow for the ability to test for “bufferbloat” and test methods like air-time based queue limit, codel, cake, or whatever the router uses. I notice there’s a section on QoS but maybe someday there could be more awareness brought to the more useful QoS techniques out there. (Simple QoS is supposedly not as effective.) I’ve had a (wired) router on the local network that’s spiked to over 60ms at times, down from under 1ms, while the loopback on my machine never went over 0ms. I don’t know the cause, but I imagine there are routers out there that have latency that isn’t always zero milliseconds. Also, wireless environments can be very complex, so perhaps it would be impossible or difficult to test for wireless latency but that might be another aspect worth testing. (I know if there are issues with Wi-Fi, it’s probably an issue outside of the router. That’s fair, but I don’t know if that’ll always be the case.)
Just some potentially useful ideas. Thanks for the useful and informative articles.
Dong, please consider adding latency tests to your router reviews. This looks like a very good wireless router but it’s not supported by DD-WRT and OpenWRT (and that makes it difficult to utilize Smart Queue Management algorithms.)
Your ~40 foot long-distance measurement is line-of-sight, right?
I thought of that but it’s not possible Mushini. That’s because Internet latency varies from time to time and only meaningful if all routers are tested at the same time. Within a local network, it’s always zero millisecond. And yes, it’s LoS, for the most part, there’s always me moving around and there might be little things hanging here and there.
I’m afraid I know the answer of my next question already also 😉
Honor’s new Honor router 3 seems to be a very attractive offer. Could you please test this router?
If not (see your answer above) could you say something based on the specifications compared to the AX10 please?
It’s not available in the US, Marcel. Also, I have zero experience with Honor’s product.
Torn between AX50 and this AX10. Does the AX10 have slower 2.4Ghz performance if it’s not a wifi6 and only wifi4? Thanks.
No, the two likely deliver the same performance with legacy devices, Calvin. It’s just a matter of how many devices each can handle at the same time. More on that here.
I guess you will be giving the new Xiaomi AX routers a look too? As always Xiaomi will shake up the market. I hope they will this time too.
Xiaomi routers are generally not available where I am, Marcel. I’d love to try it out.
Hi Dong, thanks for the very informative piece. I’m undecided between tplink Archer ax10 and c80. Would like to hear your opinion. My apartment is small 92sqm, I’m currently using an old tplink ac1350 but experienced dropoff and slowness when multiple devices connected, the router is placed in the middle of the house. My fibre broadband is 500mbps.
Assume it’s a small household, Ethan, get the AX10, the C80 is a bit dated.
Great review. Just I was looking for.
I wonder if this AX10 has competition to consider in a certain pricerange, let’s say under $100. An USB port is a bonus but not a must for me.
For the price, not really for now, Marvel.
I suggest Mikrotik wAP AC, it is a unbeatable, rock stable, 25dBm ad 2,4 and 5GHz, but it is AC only, not AX.
You will strugle to setup but latter you will forget about it for years or to sudden thunderstruck 🙂
Hello, which one would you recommend: Asus ac59u, Archer c80 or Archer ax10?
Only use can figure that out for yourself, Alvin. Read this post. They are different but similar routers. I’ve worked only with the AX10.
Hi dong, I have gigabit Internet at my home. I’m living in an apartment in large city. I have many neighbours. On average through my laptop I can see nearly 20 other networks present.
Currently where I live, the Netgear rax40 and tp-link ax20 costs about 110usd and the tp-link ax10 costs 70usd. Which would you recommend I get? For the 160mhz band, does my phone or laptop etc need to support it or just the router itself support will do?
Also, does the cpu on the router affect the performance it outputs?
First, read this post on Gigabit Internet, Keith. Then get the Netgear RAX40, or higher-end router if you really want to take advantage of your Internet speed, which is way faster that you need. The RAX40 is similar to the TP-Link AX50 so it’s much better than the AX20. Both sides need to support the same standard (and its nuances) for the connection to work at its best — more on that here. The CPU power has a certain level of effect on Wi-Fi speeds, but mostly on other features, like USB storage, QoS etc.
10MB/s (80mbps) transferring a large file between PC’s located 15ft from the router. Appreciate the response!
Cool. I currently have an Asus AC68U. Should I upgrade to this? I added Intel AX200 to all of my PC’s, and I live in a dense apartment block with 50+ visible networks. My LAN file transfer throughput is only 10MB/s, I’m guessing due to all the congestion.
No, then the Archer AX10 won’t help. Keep the Asus. I assume you meant 10 Mbps and that’s your Internet speed. If that’s the LAN speed, then it’s something wrong with the wiring or you’re using a Fast Ethernet (and not a Gigabit switch) somewhere in the network. More on that here.
Thanks for the review. Didn’t expect you to review this cheapie router after it has been on the market for 7 months! Two concerns: 1) the firmware hasn’t been updated in 7 months. 2) I wonder if MU-MIMO up/down and OFDMA are actually enabled.
Sure, Waingro. I wouldn’t worry about OFDMA, and MU-MIMO, though. Considering the router’s bandwidth, they won’t make any difference since you shouldn’t use it in a place with a ton of devices anyway.
No, Mark. You need lots of clients to see the effect of OFDMA.
In your testing do you test to see if OFDMA works? Do you do any kind of testing to see how many devices a router handles without bogging down?
Please test the TPLink X20. I need coverage more than speed. I can do without all the bell and whistles as well. Thank you Dong Ngo- You’re the best 👍🏻👏🏻