TP-Link AX11000 Gaming Router Impressions
When we think of gaming, there are a number of elements we tend to focus on such as how powerful the gaming console or PC is or how good the game controller feels. But one element that tends to get overlooked is how strong our internet connection is to the outside world. Considering how critical a fast and stable internet connection is, it’s sometimes shocking that some gamers don’t put much thought, or money, into their gaming router. If you’re stuck with an outdated router, you might be bottlenecking your internet, which could lead to slower downloads, unstable connections, and, even worse, lag in online multiplayer. This brings us to the TP-Link AX11000 Gaming Router, an absolute beast of a router with a ton of great features designed with the gamer in mind.
This isn’t the first time we’ve had the pleasure of experiencing a TP-Link Gaming Router. Last year, we provided our impressions on the TP-Link AX6000 – and we had a ton of great things to say about the feature-heavy product. This year, we’re looking at TP-Links flagship addition to the router market, the AX11000. The AX11000 takes much of what made the AX6000 so amazing, and ups the ante with one huge addition – a dedicated gaming band. Whereas the AX6000 was a Dual-Band router providing one 2.4GHz band and one 5GHz band, the AX11000 is a Tri-Band router, offering an additional 5GHz band just for gaming. This means gaming devices can connect to their own Wi-Fi signal, and not have to worry about other household devices using up that precious bandwidth. To break it down further, let’s say you have some users who enjoy some very casual internet surfing – they can join the 2.4GHz band. Users that enjoy streaming high-def video can join the 5GHz band. This leaves the 5GHz band just for gamers. This is an ideal way of sharing a household’s internet connection and ensures everyone has a stable and fast experience.
The AX11000 supports the latest internet standard, Wi-Fi 6. In a nutshell, this means an increased capacity to handle more devices connected to a Wi-Fi single. While the number of devices that support WiFi 6 are slowly growing – a gaming router such as the AX11000 essentially future-proofs your home by ensuring you’re ready for these new Wi-Fi devices as they become available. While many new smartphones support Wi-Fi 6, we don’t know yet if the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X will support Wi-Fi 6, but it’s hard to imagine they won’t.
While I haven’t noticed a huge difference in speed while using the AX11000, part of this is simply attributed to the fact that my household speeds were pretty good before using the modem/router provided by my service provider. However, there are a couple of huge things I did notice that makes this router stand head and shoulders above my previous setup. One of the most important things when gaming is to ensure your NAT type is open. This ensures a more stable connection. My previous router would constantly need to be tweaked and adjusted to ensure my NAT type was open. However, the AX11000 does all the heavy lifting for me and my NAT type is consistently open without me needing to tweak or adjust anything. The second big issue I used to have was downloading multiple files. My previous router would often drop the connection if I started downloading too many files concurrently, requiring me to constantly restart downloads. The AX11000 just keeps those downloads flowing without issue because the connection is constant and strong.
But Wait, There’s More
Setting up the AX11000 was an absolute breeze. The included Quick Start instructions were clear and easy. After physically setting up the router, I simply downloaded the TP-Link Tether app and followed the on-screen prompts to set up Wi-Fi names and passwords for each of the three available bands. Once everything was set up, the Tether app was my go-to place for tweaking any other router settings and various diagnostics aspects. However, what really impressed me was the gaming-centric approach to the Tether app. Under the HomeCare tab, you’ll find the QoS (Quality of Service) section. From there, I can prioritize what was most important in my household – which in my case was gaming. Now, if my family are each trying to stream videos while I’m gaming, I can be confident that the bulk of the bandwidth is being utilized for my gaming, ensuring minimal lag as I kick some butt in Call of Duty. One other feature worth mentioning is the built-in Trend Micro antivirus protection. This optional feature will ensure that any malicious content is blocked by the router before it even reaches household devices – one less thing you’ll need to worry about when surfing the web. the antivirus protection also includes an Intrusion Prevention System, which claims to protect your home network from external attacks. While there’s no way I’m able to verify this claim, I’m confident the extra protection is a worthwhile addition.
I really dig the TP-Link AX11000 router. While I haven’t seen vast improvements in my internet speed tests, I’ve definitely seen an improvement in internet stability. My NAT type is consistently reporting as open when I’m gaming online, which ensures that I’m getting the best possible experience online. Setting up the AX11000 was very simple and the Tether app, which is available for iOS and Android devices, is very intuitive and easy to understand. After spending over a week with this router, I have yet to encounter any issues. The price for the AX11000 is quite steep. However, there are many features that help justify this cost. If you’re in a household with many different online-connected devices, the AX11000 will better ensure everyone’s online experience is stable and fast. The added Trend Micro antivirus protection is a huge relief for me as a parent who can’t always supervise my children’s online activities. Plus, this router is completely Wi-Fi 6 compatible, so as more and more devices use this new standard, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that your home network is already capable of taking full advantage of the benefits.
***TP-Link AX11000 Gaming Router was provided by the publisher***