TP Link Archer A6 vs. TP Link Archer C6 – are both these AC1200 routers the same in performance?

0
7
TP Link c6 vs. c7

You might want to get a great router, but you fail to get one because the best ones are always expensive – or so you think. The truth is that not all the best routers are that costly, and you can get some good ones on a budget – such as the TP Link Archer A6 or C6.

Both routers lack extensive features regarding their firmware, such as the lack of USB ports, and slow-to-average performances when it comes to their throughput speeds. However, they do have their strong points that we cannot ignore.

They are also AC1200 routers, meaning that they support the 802.11ac standard of connectivity, and their theoretical total speeds are 1200 Mbps – the 2.4GHz band delivering 300 Mbps, and the 5GHz band delivering 900 Mbps. The speeds sound quite low, but the routers are great if you are on a budget. That does not mean they will perform in the same way, as the standards will differ vastly when considering other factors.

What are the differences between the TP Link Archer C6 and A6?

 
TP Link Archer A6
TP Link Archer C6 (Winner)
Total Ethernet ports
5
4
Wireless connectivity supported
802.11n/ac/a/b/g
802.11n/ac
Average throughput at close proximity
68 Mbps (2.4GHz), 538 Mbps (5GHz)
131 Mbps (2.4GHz), 381 Mbps (5GHz)
Upload speeds
40 Mbps
50 Mbps
Download speeds
90 Mbps
90 Mbps

TP Link Archer A6 vs. C6 – How they compare

Design

In the case of the Archer A6, it comes in the form that you would expect in typical routers – a glossy black enclosure, which measures 9.1 x 1.4 x 5.7 inches. It also has four antennas, all which are non-removable. At its top edge, you will find the LED status indicators, while the rear holds the WAN and LAN ports as well as the power jack. The only glaring omission here is the USB ports.

The router itself is of a 2×2 design, and uses a 750MHz SoC processor as the power source. It also uses 802.11ac Wave 2 technology, and it has support for both MU-MIMO and beamforming, although this does not extend to automatic band steering.

The appearance of the Archer C6 is a shiny one, with the main material being plastic. Its top has a few LED lights that indicate the status of various aspects, and it also has four external antennas that are non-detachable, similar to the A6.

The C6 uses a single-core Qualcomm processor that is 775MHz, and the storage space is quite extensive too – with a RAM of 128 MB and a space of 8 GB. It can also accommodate devices that use older wireless standards such as 802.11g/n/b. The good thing about the C6 that you will not find in the A6 is the possibility of mounting, as it has two holes at its bottom to allow for wall mounting.

Our choice in design is the TP Link Archer C6, due to three reasons: the allowance for wall mounting, the accommodation of older client devices, and the presence of USB ports.

Software

The Archer A6 is manageable through the TP Kink Tether mobile app, which is similar to the TP Link Archer C6. Through this app, it is possible to access basic security and wireless settings, and run other functions as well – including running basic diagnostics, disabling or enabling parental controls, configuration of guest networks, and so on. However, to access the advanced settings for the A6, you will need to use the web portal instead.

The web portal setup uses a network map where you can monitor the wireless and wired clients on the network, and the parental controls in the menu allow you to make profiles for different users in your home. Its cloud management system will allow you to manage your client devices and network from anywhere, and the guest networking feature allows for creation of separate networks and passwords.

The process of setting up the C6 is similar to that of other wireless routers, and it has a quick setup wizard where you can create a password for it. It will also ask you the type of internet connection you want, then it sends you the details – one point worth noting is its lack of auto detection of the connection type, unlike what you will get in the A6 or most routers.

Once you finish the initial setup, you can load the administrator User Interface, which has a very user-friendly design. The bad news here is the lack of multi-lingual support in the initial firmware, with the only language being in English. You will also need to do the process of updating the firmware yourself, as there is no support for automatic checks and updates.

We choose the Archer A6 as the winner here because of the extensive settings and multi-lingual support mechanism, which is lacking in the C6.

Performance

In terms of the performance tests, the Archer A6 delivers a mixed bag in this department. The 2.4GHz band gives you 68 Mbps in close proximity, while the 30-foot test gives a result of only 39 Mbps, trailing most routers in this regard. The opposite is true of the 5GHz band, as it delivers a much better performance – in close proximity, it gives a score of 538 Mbps, and the 30-foot test delivers 204 Mbps. its performance on the 5GHz band places it in the mid-tier group of routers.

The peak performance of the Archer C6 router is about 941 Mbps on average, which is similar to routers that have gigabit ports. The wireless ability is actually very impressive, thanks to the high download speeds of 475 Mbps in close proximity, and about 300 Mbps when using it at a distance of 7 meters.

The 2.4GHz band delivers a speed of 131 Mbps in close proximity, and 56 Mbps at 30 feet, while the 5GHz band delivers 381 Mbps at close proximity and 240 Mbps at 30 feet. Expect a download speed of 348 Mbps and an upload speed of 69 Mbps.

We find the Archer C6 as a better choice because of its consistency, whether you use the 2.4GHz band or the 5GHz band.

TP Link Archer A6 vs. C6 – A comparison review

TP Link Archer A6 – Overview

TP-Link AC1200 Gigabit Smart WiFi Router - 5GHz Gigabit Dual Band MU-MIMO Wireless Internet Router, Supports Beamforming, Guest WiFi and AP mode, Long Range Coverage by 4 Antennas(Archer A6), Black
  • JD Power Award ---Highest in customer satisfaction for wireless routers 2017 and 2019
  • Dual band router upgrades to 1200 Mbps high speed internet (300mbps for 2.4GHz + 900Mbps for 5GHz),...

In terms of budget-friendly routers, the A6 might be first on that list. Ti does offer some of the features you will expect in a higher-end router while coming at a more budget-friendly price – but its main drawback is its performance that lags behind its competitors.

The features that it offers that are in higher-end models include the four Gigabit LAN ports, as well as its support for MU-MIMO streaming. With that in mind, while it does perform strongly on its 5GHz band, the performance of the 2.4GHz band leaves plenty to be desired. It also lacks malware protection and USB connectivity you will find in mid-range models – which makes it an uncertain pick if you want a top budget choice.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • It has support for MU-MIMO streaming
  • Very easy to install and use
  • Solid performance on the 5GHz band

Cons

  • Slow performance on the 2.4GHz band
  • Lacks USB ports
  • Its antennas are non-detachable

View Price on Amazon

TP Link Archer C6 – Overview

TP-Link Archer C6 IEEE 802.11AC Ethernet Wireless Router/Archer C6
  • AC1200 wireless MU-MIMO Gigabit Router
  • Connectivity technology: USB

In terms of the AC standard routers (those that use 802.11ac connections) routers from the TP Link Company, the Archer C6 is the latest in the bunch. It does not have too many contrasts from the A6, although it has a stronger support for beamforming and MU-MIMO connectivity. It supports the AC1200 standard, which means that theoretical speeds are up to 1200 Mbps.

Its main point though is its affordable price, as it is among the routers in the market that are both budget-friendly and offer you value for your money. In many ways, it does lower the barrier of entry for a wireless AC router, and is great if you want to upgrade from an N router to an AC type.

Pros

  • Comes at an affordable price
  • Easy to access the help documentation
  • Fast router for the price
  • Is wall-mountable
  • You can use the mobile app to administer the router (not from the internet though)

Cons

  • Lacks USB ports
  • Firmware is only available in English
  • Does not check for new firmware versions automatically, unlike other TP Link routers

View Price on Amazon

Verdict? So what is better? The TP Link Archer A6 or C6?

If you would like affordable internet connection in a small space such as an apartment or dorm room, then the Archer A6 is worth trying out. However, our winner for this review is the TP Link Archer C6, due to its budget-friendly price, the dual band aspects, the high speeds, and the latest wireless standards that it uses.

FAQs

How can I correct the non-working status of the Archer C6 or A6?

If you notice the connection is inactive, start by checking the router’s WLAN LED indicator, and ensure it is flashing or on. Check the Wi-Fi button and ensure the Wi-Fi is on, then check if the SSID broadcast on the router is disabled, and turn it on.

How can I tell if my TP Link connection is working?

After switching on the WPS/RE (Range Extender) button, the RE indicator light will begin to blink. Give it some minutes, then check whether it is a solid color – if this is the case, then the WPS process is successful and the connection is active.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here