Router or mesh system? Much will depend on the space and the different devices that you want to connect to the local internet network. The Tp link Archer AX73 it draws attention because it falls into the first category, but it can also be integrated with other elements to create a large mesh. We’ve had it for a few weeks and we’ll tell you what we like most about the team (and what it could have improved on).
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What we did like
The Archer AX73 is ready for anyone’s current set of devices and also for the other equipment that will be integrated in the immediate future, even displays with 8K resolution. There are more than 200 devices that can be incorporated.
In the two bands in which it is compatible, the router reaches a total speed of up to 5,400 Mbps: 4,804 Mbps in the 5 GHz band and 574 in the 2.4 GHz band. In addition, it is prepared to receive those electronics that are compatible with Wi-Fi 6, from cell phones to laptops.
In other words, it is unlikely that a gadget can not be connected to the Archer AX73 when required, regardless of whether it is a few years old or a new generation.
From the experience of having previously tested some extenders and routers, I do see that the Archer AX73 offers wider coverage, even at a second level in the home, which is sometimes only achieved with a mesh system of minimum two pieces.
TP-Link indicates that this proposal has six high-efficiency antennas that form a set to cover more directions and areas, and technologies such as Beamforming, which concentrates the wireless signal where it is needed. It also supports MU-MIMO and OFDA, whose purpose is to transmit data to multiple computers simultaneously through six streams.
In demanding activities such as content streaming and video calls, the Archer AX73 does show a high performance, one that does not lead to intermittent wireless signal, even when not near the router. Its 1.5 GHz triple-core CPU also contributes to this.
One of the advantages of TP-Link equipment is that its configuration does not require the assistance of a technician; anyone could expand the capacity of their local network without any problem. It is not the exception with the Archer AX73.
Once linked to the main modem with an Ethernet cable, the next step is to download the tether-app in order to start the configuration. The development also puts some management options on the mobile screen, such as viewing which devices are connected to the 5 GHz frequency and which to the 2.4 GHz frequency (and, when necessary, blocking them), establishing a guest network, sharing Wi-Fi via a QR code, and even sign up for HomeShield Pro (paid subscription), which seeks to protect against cyber threats, monitor the security performance of IoT devices, and provide more robust parental controls, among other features.
Likewise, another compatible router or extender could be configured from the app to build a powerful mesh or mesh system (OneMesh). However, it was not possible to use this feature in the tests carried out due to not having one of the supported computers.
In addition to the classic power and reset buttons, the TP-Link Archer AX73 incorporates four Gigabit LAN ports and one USB 3.0 port, the latter to add external storage media and share everything from photos to movies through the local network.
In relation to security, in addition to HomeShield in its free version, it has WPA3 encryption, which is distinguished by its capabilities to improve cybersecurity in personal networks.
Finally, regarding its design, it can be placed on the furniture in which the modem is, since it measures around 27 cm long and about 15 cm deep. Its black finish gives it an elegant and modern look.
what could be improved
In the case of wanting to build a mesh system, it will be necessary to have another router from the Archer family, basically. TP-Link has other series, such as the Deco, so it would not have been a bad idea to consider the Archer AX73 compatibility with this category.
You could also ask that the Tether mobile app be more intuitive, and it is then difficult to find the desired option at a given time.
If you opt for the Archer AX73 over a Wi-Fi 6 compatible mesh system, there will be no regrets, as the former has wide coverage and good performance, plus it can be cheaper. Of course, a house with more than two levels may require mesh equipment with more than two pieces.
As mentioned a few lines ago, the router is compatible with Wi-Fi 6, which allows it to be more than ready for the new next-generation devices that are added to the technological infrastructure of the home.
In conclusion, it is a team that responds well in the present and that is more than ready for new screens with maximum resolution and gadgets dedicated to the smart home.