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TP-Link Archer BE805 vs. BE800 Quick Take: A Slightly Stripped-down yet Solid Variant

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It's been almost a year since my review of the Archer BE800 BE19000 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 7 Router, one of the first Wi-Fi 7 routers on the market, and TP-Link recently made the Archer BE805 variant available.

If you judged from the name and assumed the new router has a bit more—as in 805 vs. 800—than the original model, that'd make mathematical sense. But it's wrong. The new model is actually a stripped-down version designed for specific retailers. In the U.S., the Archer BE805 can be found at Costco for $500, or about $100 less than the current street price of the standard version.

Computer and electronic hardware vendors often make standard models for the general audience and variants for specific brick-and-mortar stores. The latter allows the stores not to honor the "price matching" promise, which generally applies only to hardware of the same model.

This quick take will explain the new model's similarities and differences to the Archer BE800 and help you choose which one to get. The quick takeaway, though, is that the amount you save in the cost alone might not be worth it.

The TP-Link Archer BE805 is a large Wi-Fi 7 router
The TP-Link Archer BE805 is a large Wi-Fi 7 router

TP-Link Archer BE805: Different look, similar hardware

The first thing you will note is how the Archer BE805 looks different from its older cousin. Its body still tapers towards the mid-section but in a more gradual way to form an X shape when you look directly at it.

On the front, it no longer has a gimmicky dot matrix screen. Instead, there's a single horizon line-shaped status LED in the middle. And on the back, you'll find the most significant difference between it and the Archer BE800:

There are two 10Gbps ports and four Gigabit LAN ports—instead of four 2.5Gbps in the case of the BE800. Additionally, there are now two USB 3.0 ports instead of one. There's no support for SFP+, either.

Ethernet: BaseT vs. SFP+

BaseT (RJ45) and SFP(+) in brieft

BASE-T (or BaseT) is the standard port type for data communication and refers to the wiring method used inside a network cable and the connectors at its ends, which is 8-position 8-contact (8P8C).

This type is known by a misnomer called Registered Jack 45 or RJ45. So, we'll keep calling it RJ45.

On the other hand, the SFP or SFP+ (plus) port type is used for telecommunication and data communication, primarily in enterprise applications. SFP stands for small form-factor pluggable and is the technical name for what is often referred to as Fiber Channel or Fiber.

Best among Multi-Gigabit Routers: The Asus RT-AX89X 10GbpsTP-Link Archer AXE300 Ports Multi-Gig
BASE-T Multi-Gig vs. SFP+: The two are generally available as separate ports, such as in the Asus RT-AX89X's case (left), but can also be part of a combo port in some hardware, such as the TP-Link Archer AXE300.

For data communication, an SFP+ port has speed grades of either 1Gbps or 10Gbps. The older version, SFP, can only do 1Gbps, though it shares the same port type as SFP+. This type of port standard is more strict in compatibility with better reliability and performance.

While physically different, BASE-T and SFP/+ are parts of the Ethernet family, sharing the same networking principles and Ethernet naming convention—Gigabit Ethernet (1Gbps), Multi-Gig Ethernet (2.5GBASE-T, 5GABSE-T), or 10 Gigabit Ethernet (a.k.a 10GE, 10GbE, or 10 GigE).

Generally, you can get an adapter, called a "transceiver", to connect a BASE-T device to an SFP or SFP+ port. Still, in this case, compatibility can be an issue—a particular adapter might only work (well) with the SFP/+ port of certain hardware vendors.

The BASE-T wiring is more popular thanks to its simple design and speed support flexibility. Some routers and switches have an RJ45/SFP+ combo, which includes two physical ports of each type, but you can use one at a time.

Like the Archer BE800, the Archer BE805 is still a large Wi-Fi router. The table below shows the two routers' hardware specs.

TP-Link Archer BE805 vs. BE800: Hardware specifications

TP-Link Archer BE805 BE19000 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 7 RouterTP-Link Archer BE800 BE19000 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 7 Router
TP-Link Archer BE805 RouterArcher BE800 BE19000 WiFi 7 Router
ModelArcher BE805Archer BE800
Dimensions11.7 x 10.4 x 4.1 in
(297.18 x 261.62 x 96.5 mm)
11.9 × 10.3 × 3.8 in
(302 × 262.5 × 96 mm)
Weight4.63 lbs‎4.78 lbs (2.16 kg)
Processing PowerUndisclosed
Wi-Fi BandwidthTri-band BE19000
1st Band 
(channel width)
4x4 2.4GHz BE: Up to 1376Mbps
(20/40MHz)
2nd Band
(channel width)
4x4 5GHz BE: Up to 5760Mbps (20/40/80/160MHz)
3rd Band
(channel width)
4x4 6GHz BE: Up to 11520Mbps (20/40/80/160/320MHz)
Backward Compatibility802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax/axe Wi-Fi
Wireless SecurityWPA / WPA2 / WPA3
Web User InterfaceYes
Mobile AppTP-Link Tether
(optional)
Operating RolesRouter (default) or Access Point
Mesh-ReadyYes
(EasyMesh)
USB Port2x USB 3.01x USB 3.0
Gigabit Port4x LANNone
Multi-Gig Port1× 10 Gbps WAN/LAN
1× 10 Gbps LAN
4× 2.5 Gbps LAN
1× 10 Gbps WAN/LAN
1× 10 Gbps SFP+/RJ45 Combo WAN/LAN
Link AggregationLAN only
(LAN2 + LAN3)
LACP or Static
Dual-WAN SupportNo
Power Intake100-240V
Power Consumption
(per 24 hours)
Not yet tested≈ 565 Wh
(as tested)
Release DateQ1 2024May 2023
Firmware1.0.10 Build 20240121
(at publication)
1.0.2 Build 20230509 rel.67343(5553)
(at review)
U.S. MSRP$500$599.99
TP-Link Archer BE805 vs. BE800: Hardware specifications
TP-Link Archer BE805 FrontTP-Link Archer BE805 Ports
The front and port side of the Tp-LInk Archer BE805 Wi-Fi 7 router.

Zero 2.5Gbps Multi-Gig vs. two USB 3.0 ports

As shown in the table above, the Archer BE805 does away with the 2.5Gbps LAN ports and uses four Gigabit ports instead. To make up for this, it has a second USB 3.0 port, but that's generally not a very good trade-off.

That's because you will definitely need a switch, preferably a 10Gbps one—such as the Zyxel XS1930-12HP, TP-Link's own TL-SX1008, or TRENDnet TEG-S750—before you can host more than one Multi-Gig wired device. Alone, the Archer BE805 can deliver a single 10Gbps connection only when you have a 10Gbps Internet connection.

Home router and 10Gbps grade

A router needs more than just a couple of 10Gbps Ethernet network ports to deliver (close to) true 10Gbps. It also requires high processing power and applicable firmware to handle this bandwidth.

Generally, consumer-grade Multi-Gig routers and switches do not deliver true 10Gbps (10,000Mbps) throughputs. After "overhead", they sustain approximately between 6.5Gbps (Wi-Fi 6/6E hardware) to 8.5Gbps (Wi-Fi 7 hardware). Often, a router's traffic-related features, such as QoS, security, etc., when turned on, can impact its bandwidth.

Many home Wi-Fi routers support the entry-level Multi-Gig, which is 2.5Gbps and can deliver close to 2,500Mbps in real-world speeds.

On this front, the Archer 800 can handle up to five just by itself and is clearly a winner. However, you cannot buy a good Multi-Gig from the savings the Archer BE805's price offers. Additionally, the lack of a 10Gbps BASE-T/SFP+ combo port, a novelty of TP-Link, means a Fiber-optic user with an SFP or SFP+ ONT is out of luck.

A familiar TP-Link Archer router

The hardware specs aside, the TP-Link Archer BE805 remains a typical Archer router. Specifically, it comes with a standard web user interface—accessible via the 192.168.0.1 default IP address or tplinkwifi.net—and can be set up like any standard home router. From this interface, you can build a home network with a high level of customizability.

In terms of web-based management, the Archer BE805 is almost exactly like the Archer BE800—both are listed as "BE19000 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 7 Routers" within the interface. The most significant difference I could see is the Internet settings, where the Archer BE805 has less flexibility in port use, as shown in the screenshots below.

TP-Link Archer BE805 Internet SettingsTP-Link Archer BE800 Internet Settings
TP-Link Archer BE805 vs. BE800: The former (left) has less flexibility in port use on the WAN (Internet) side. Other than that, the two share the same web user interface and feature set.

Like all other Archer routers, the BE805 allows for deep Wi-Fi customization for Wi-Fi settings. Specifically, you can set up all three bands as a single SSID (Smart Connect) or name them separately—as different names or the same one. As a Wi-Fi 7 router, users have the option of creating an MLO SSID where they can combine the 5GHz and 6GHz or all three bands into a single bonded link for supported clients.

The router features can work as a built-in VPN server (or client), the support for Dynamic DNS (with a free TP-Link-based server included, though you'd need a TP-Link login account), port forwarding, remote web-based management, and much more.

As for features, the router comes with simple QoS, Parental Controls, and some essential online protection. Like the case of other Archer routers, if you want a higher level of security, you'll need to opt for HomeShield Pro, which requires the TP-Link Tether app and a subscription.

The app requires a TP-Link login account, like the case of the Deco app for TP-Link's Deco product line, and is the only way to customize the Archer BE800's front dot-matrix LED lights mentioned above.

TP-Link and your privacy

Having to sign in with an account generally means your hardware connects to the vendor at all times, which translates into inherent privacy risks. On this matter, the Chinese networking company, among other things, insists that it is based in Hong Kong and offers this assurance:

"TP-Link takes privacy seriously and complies with U.S. policies to protect consumers."

TP-Link's Privacy Policy page.

Managing your home network via a third party is never a good idea. Privacy is a matter of degree. Data collection and handling vary vendor by vendor.

TP-Link Archer BE805 Wi-Fi Settings
Like previous Archer routers, the TP-Link BE805 allows for in-depth Wi-Fi settings.

Overall, the Archer BE805 should deliver highly similar Wi-Fi performance and experience to the previous Archer BE800 model. It's also safe to say that, as a later-released router, it'll come with tested firmware that's fully certified for Wi-Fi 7.

The Archer BE800's initial firmware release was, as expected, buggy. But the latest version will have the same level of stability as its newer sibling variant.

TP-Link Archer BE805's UNTESTED Assessment

8 out of 10
TP-Link Archer BE805 Wi-Fi 7 router
Hardware Specs (untested)
8 out of 10
Features
8 out of 10
Design and Setup
7.5 out of 10
Value
8.5 out of 10

Pros

Wi-Fi 7 support; two 10Gbps ports; competitively priced

Robust web user interface; lots of network and Wi-Fi settings

Useful (optional) mobile app; two USB 3.0 ports

Cons

No 2.5Gbps port or SFP+ support

Bulky design; HomeShield Pro costs extra and requires a login account

The takeaway

Since the Archer BE800 first became available a year ago, there have been many other options on the market, with more on the way. The point is you don't need to choose between only it and the new Archer BE805 necessarily.

However, if, for some reason, you're mulling between the two:

The two are practically the same in all things Wi-Fi. You can expect either of them to deliver a real Wi-Fi 7 experience, provided you have clients to match.

On the wired front, the Archer BE800 is a much better option for those needing multi-Gigabit wired connectivity. The four extra 2.5Gbps ports and optional support for SFP+ alone make it more than worth the additional cost.

However, if you're willing to get a new multi-Gig switch or already have one, the Archer BE805 is the same. In this case, it's a better deal thanks to its slightly lower cost—that is, if you can find it where you are.

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10 thoughts on “TP-Link Archer BE805 vs. BE800 Quick Take: A Slightly Stripped-down yet Solid Variant”

    • I haven’t tested the BE805 and I reviewed the BE800 when MLO wasn’t avaible. With the latest firmware, these two’s performance will be likely similar to the GE800. More about MLO in this post.

      Reply
  1. Hello Dong,
    an important difference also seems to be Zero Wait DFS. The BE805 supports this. I’m not sure if the BE800 can do this.
    Zero Wait DFS is very important in the 5 GHz band.
    Especially in Europe.

    Best regards
    Ralf

    Reply
      • Yes, it has its own Zero Wait DFS antenna. It even has 9 antennas and the BE800 only 8.
        In the web interface of the BE805 is a separate item for Zero Wait DFS under the Wifi settings. This item is missing on the BE800.

        Best regards
        Ralf

        Reply
          • BE805 is a Mediatek platform with 4×5 Radio on 6ghz.
            BE800 is Qualcomm Pro Networking 1220.
            Not really nothing to do with DFS scanning 😛

          • 👍

            Thanks for the input. That means it might not do as well in real world performance. But that remains to be seen.

  2. Hi Dong, thank you for making the comparison article. I currently have the tplink Archer AX11000 router from Costco. As far as I can tell, they didn’t get a cut down version of it from TP Link. Costco currently have the 805 version of this router.
    I have cat 6 wired to all of my rooms. But, only have 1.2gb down and 40mbps up internet. I plan to use plex through out the house with wire connections to the 2019 nvidia shield pro.

    Would it be worth my trouble to upgrade to this 805 version?

    Reply
    • No, Jerry. For what you described, the Archer BE805 won’t hurt you will not experience any difference with it, upgrading from the current router. You’re in a good spot until you have multi-Gigabit needs. Or maybe wait for the GT800.

      Reply

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