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TP-Link Archer AX6000 vs. GX90: Which should you buy?

TP-Link Archer AX6000
TP-Link Archer AX6000 (Image credit: Windows Central)

The Archer AX6000 and GX90 are the latest Wi-Fi 6 routers from TP-Link and aren't so far apart in price. Their similarity is no coincidence since the Archer GX90 uses the model number AX6600, meaning both are from the same generation of TP-Link routers. Breaking the hardware down into specifics reveals how close they are, with a small selection of key differences. So with both routers being so closely related, which one should you buy?

Archer AX6000 vs. GX90: What's the difference?

These similarly chunky routers serve you high-speed internet with state-of-the-art wireless technology. The Archer AX6000 and the GX90 make suitable impressions with their feature sets, and anyone purchasing either model would enjoy the benefits. A few additions on each side will tip the decision on which one you buy based on your networking needs.

Archer AX6000Archer GX90
Bands5GHz @ 4804 Mbps
2.4GHz @ 1148 Mbps
5GHz @ 4804 Mbps
5GHz @ 1201 Mbps
2.4GHz @ 574 Mbps
Range8× fixed high-performance antennas
Beamforming
High-power FEM
4T4R
8× detachable high-performance antennas
Beamforming
High-power FEM
4T4R
Guest networks1x 5GHz guest network
1x 2.4GHz guest network
2x 5GHz guest networks
1x 2.4GHz guest network
CPU1.8GHz quad-core1.5GHz quad-core
LAN1x 2.5Gbps WAN port
8x Gigabit LAN ports
1x 2.5Gbps WAN/LAN port
1x Gigabit WAN/LAN port
3x Gigabit LAN ports
USB1x USB-C 3.0 port
1x USB-A 3.0 port
1x USB 3.0 port
1x USB 2.0 port
Supported functionsApple Time Machine
FTP server
Media server
Samba server
Apple Time Machine
FTP server
Media server
Samba server
SecurityWPA
WPA2
WPA3
WPA
WPA2
WPA3
WPA/WPA2-Enterprise (802.1x)
QoSQoS by device
HomeCare QoS by app
Game Accelerator QoS
QoS by device
HomeCare QoS by app
Power12V = 4A12V = 5A
Dimensions10.3 × 10.3 × 2.4 inches
(261.2 × 261.2 × 60.2 mm)
8.3 × 8.3 × 2.0 inches
(212 × 212 × 51.8 mm)

Both models share the same Wi-Fi 6 standard, designed to connect more devices simultaneously than ever. Since the AX6000 is the more expensive model, boasting a slightly faster CPU makes sense. Since both are quad-core processors, though, the performance difference is negligible.

TP-Link's Game Accelerator technology on the Archer GX90 reduces latency and boosts game speed. Automatically detecting and optimizing gaming traffic helps to strengthen lag-free online multiplayer. Gamers will appreciate the real-time statistics, but they are for more than just gaming. A real-time breakdown of data and bandwidth per device provided by Game Accelerator is just plain useful for network troubleshooting.

Both routers offer two USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports for expansion, connecting printers, expanded storage, and more. The Archer AX6000 sports a USB-C 3.0 port that supports modern network-attached storage (NAS) devices. The Archer GX90 still offers USB 3.0 speeds with an older USB-A style cable, though both routers can use the USB functions supported by TP-Link, such as media servers.

Slightly fewer LAN ports on the GX90 could prove troublesome for anyone with more than five wired devices, but connecting an extra network switch would solve this problem without breaking the bank. The critical difference between the two routers is the extra 5GHz network boasted by the tri-band GX90, but is tri-band that big of a deal?

Archer AX6000 vs. Archer GX90: Dual-band or tri-band?

The advantage of tri-band Wi-Fi is that it features an extra 5GHz band for handling access points and internet traffic. Reducing network congestion is a benefit of the extra 5GHz band, and it offers up an additional guest network to keep visiting device traffic separate from your own. That's not to say that dual-band Wi-Fi is a slouch for wireless connectivity, and Wi-Fi 6 routers with a single 5GHz band will be perfectly suitable for most cases.

The addition of tri-band Wi-Fi usually means sky-high prices over dual-band counterparts, so it's often not worth forking out the extra cash for future-proof technology that you might not use. In the case of deciding which one you should buy, the tri-band GX90 is the cheaper option, so it's a much easier decision.

Archer AX6000 vs. GX90: Which should you buy?

The Archer GX90 is slightly cheaper than the AX6000 but much better value for money. If you're in the market for a Wi-Fi 6 router, don't be turned off by the GX90 if you're not into gaming. Its network management and monitoring tools are practical for more than just reducing lag, and the advantage of tri-band Wi-Fi will see you into the future further than its chunkier counterpart, the AX6000.

If you prefer Gigabit speeds with wired devices and are unlikely to exceed internet speeds offered by dual-band Wi-Fi, then the Archer AX6000 is a respected choice. The double helping of USB 3.0 ports would make for a formidable media center, feeding ultra-HD content across your network with ease if you don't mind a little less desk space.

Ben Wilson
Ben Wilson

Ben Wilson is a freelance writer working for Windows Central with technical expertise and a background in electronics retail. Fueling a technology and video game obsession with coffee, you can usually find him behind one screen or another.