The TP-Link AC4000 (Archer A20) is a tri-band router that offers superb throughput and super-fast file-transfer performance as well as built-in network security tools and robust parental controls at a great price.
- Solid throughput performance
- Very fast file transfer speeds
- Strong parental controls and anti-malware tools
- Alexa voice control
- Middling 5GHz range performance
The TP-Link AC4000 is an excellent tri-band router that merges the best of both worlds by offering solid throughput performance with robust parental controls and adds three years of free network security powered by Trend Micro. It builds on the success of our top pick from last year, the TP-Link AC1900 (Archer C9), only that it offers tri-band connectivity frequency over the latter’s dual-band and a host of other features.
The Archer A20 is easy to install and manage via a web console or a mobile app like its predecessor. It offers robust file-transfer performance, making it an excellent choice for anyone looking to download or move large blocks of data.
That said, should you need the fastest router transfer speeds, excellent range, and low latency and you want something future-proofed for the next generation of Wi-Fi devices (Wi-Fi 6 ready), check out our Editors’ Choice – the TP-Link Archer AX6000.
TP-Link Archer A20 Specs
- Router Class: Home
- Processor: 1.8 GHz Dual-Core CPU
- Standards: IEEE 802.11ac/n/a 5 GHz; IEEE 802.11n/b/g 2.4 GHz
- WiFi Speeds: AC4000 (dual 5GHz – 1625 Mbps; 2.4GHz – 750 Mbps)
- WiFi Range: 6 x Fixed High-Performance Antennas; Beamforming
- Ethernet ports: 1× Gigabit WAN Port; 4× Gigabit LAN Ports
- USB Ports: 1× USB 3.0 Port; 1× USB 2.0 Port
- Dimensions: 7.9 × 7.9 × 1.5 inches
Design and Features
While the Archer A20 offers newer and better features over the Archer C9, it doesn’t offer anything new in terms of design. It looks identical to the Archer C3200 that we reviewed back in 2018. All you have is a textured enclosure measuring 1.5 by 7.9 by 7.9 inches (HWD) and comes with six non-removable external antennas that fold from the top of the router.
There are nine small LED indicators on the front edge for power, Ethernet, internet, three radio bands, two USB ports, and WPS activity. Also along the front edge are Wi-Fi (on/off), WPS, and LED (on/off) buttons. Around the back are four gigabit LAN ports, a WAN port, a USB 3.0 port, a USB 2.0 port, a reset button, a power button, and a power jack.
The TP-Link Archer AC4000 is powered by a Broadcom 1.8Ghz quad-core processor and 512MB RAM. Being an AC4000 router, it can reach maximum signal rates of 750Mbps on the 2.4GHz radio band and 1,625Mbps on each of the two 5GHz radio bands. It uses Wave 2 802.11ac technology that supports Mu-MIMO simultaneous data streaming, direct-to-client signal beamforming, and SmartConnect (automatic band steering).
Like the TP-Link Archer C5400X gaming router, the Archer A20 can be installed and managed from a PC using the web console or from a mobile device using the TP-Link Tether app for iOS or Android. The web console shows a network map that displays all connected wired and wireless clients, Speedtest results, and the router’s IP address.
Finally, the Archer A20 comes with a free three-year subscription to TP-Link’s HomeCare platform, backed by the robust Trend Micro network security, Quality of Service (QoS), and age-filtered parental controls.
Archer A20 performance
Installing the TP-Link Archer A20 is fast and pretty straightforward. Connect the router to your modem and power it up, then from your PC with a wired connection to the router, access https://tplinkwifi.net in your browser address bar, which launches the Quick Setup wizard. From here, you can create an administrative password, select a time zone, select an internet connection type (DHCP, Static, PPPoE, L2TP, PPTP). Here, you can also name the wireless SSIDs, create a Wi-Fi password, and save the settings.
The Archer A20 delivers solid throughput performance on all bands, including 102MBps on the 2.4GHz close-proximity (same room) test, coming within 4Mbps of the Asus RT-AC86U router. At a distance of 30 feet, the TP-Link AC4000 still maintains its solid performance, once again registering 465Mbps on the 5GHz close-proximity test.
The Archer A20 is an equally great performer for file transfer, thanks to its ability to move a 1.5GB containing photos, videos, music, and office documents at average write speeds of 80Mbps, while the Asus RT-AC86U clocks in at 30MBs. The router’s average read speed of 90Mbps is even more impressive, beating the D-Link DIR-2680 (26Mbps) and the Asus RT-AC86U (38Mbps) handily.
Should you buy the TP-Link AC4000?
The TP-Link AC4000 hits the sweet spot of price and features in a unique yet simple way by giving you lots of features at a reasonable price. As a home-use router, it gets even better with its HomeCare network security feature and parental controls that will protect your network from malware and other harmful content while letting you control the kind of websites and social media platforms your children can access and when they can access them.
It’s easy to set up and install in a snap, while its stellar file-transfer performance makes it a smart choice for users looking to move large files and folders. While its throughput performance is primarily impressive, its long-range 5GHz performance is mediocre. You’ll see faster all-around throughput speeds from our Editors’ Choice, the TP-Link Archer AX6000, but it costs almost double that of the TP-Link AC4000 (Archer A20) Tri-Band WiFi Router.
TP-Link AX6000 WiFi 6 Router(Archer AX6000) -Wireless Router, 8-Stream WiFi Router, 2.5G WAN Port, 8 Gigabit LAN Ports, MU-MIMO, 1.8GHz Quad-Core CPU
$249.99 in stock
2 used from $199.99