I give my basic thoughts and first impressions of the TP-Link AX4400 router, a powerful WiFi 6 device for around $120.
Routers are a dime of dozen with so many to choose from. Which are the best and which ones suck. I have had many routers over the years, everything from Netgear to Linksys and Netduma to TP-Link. All have their pros and cons.
Today, we look at the TP-Link AX4400 and whether it is a good choice or not for your home router needs.
Since I work in I.T. myself, it was really a no-brainer to go with TP-Link. We use this brand at the office and I use a lot of different products by the same brand for my smart home. Normally, the routers I buy range from around $300 and up, so seeing this router at Walmart for $129 with its specs, I had to try it out.
What caught my eye was the number of connected devices it says it can handle, in this case, 200+. My smart home right now has quite a few devices, somewhere close to 100 right now, so for a network router to handle this at the $129 price point, that’s awesome if it can really handle it.
TP-Link AX4400 Build Quality
TP-Link is known for high-quality products, including build quality. The AX4400 is no exception. Made of plastic, of course, but it still feels solid and not flimsy like it will break when you blow on it. Visually, it is a nice router to look at with a mix of a matte finish and a glossy accent on the top of the device.
TP-Link AX4400 Features
The TP-Link AX4400 is a dual-band, Gigabit Wifi 6 Router. Specs via TP-Link’s Website:
- Gigabit WiFi for 8K Streaming – 4400 Mbps WiFi for faster browsing, streamings, and downloading, all at the same time.†
- Fully Featured Wi-Fi 6 – Equips with the top structure of 4T4R and HE160 on the 5 GHz band to enable 3.8 Gbps ultra-fast connection.
- Connect 200+ Devices§ – Supports MU-MIMO and OFDMA to reduce congestion and quadruple the average throughput.‡**
- Extensive Coverage – 6× antennas and Beamforming ensure broad coverage.
- HomeShield – TP-Link’s premium security services keep your home network safe with cutting-edge features for network and IoT protection.*
- USB Sharing – 1× USB 3.0 port enables easy media sharing and private cloud building.
- Easy Setup – Set up the router in minutes with Tether app.
As you can see, the specs are pretty good for the price of this router. Whether it can do this or not is another story.
As with many other routers, this unit has the standard WAN and 4 ethernet ports on the back. Nothing too crazy here. If you need more ports, just grab a switch, easy.
Basic Streaming Test
Once everything was all set up, including all smart home devices, all tv streaming devices, phones, etc, which puts the total connected devices to about 110, I ran some heavy streaming tests.
The internet service I have is Spectrum (unfortunately). I currently have the 400 down and 20 up plan. Just to give you some insight on the net speed here.
So, while I had several TVs going on different streaming services such as Sling TV, HBO max and Disney Plus, I also ran a twitch live stream. This is using a significant amount of bandwidth all at the same time. No device had any type of priority. There were no buffering issues that I saw.
I also ran Wireshark in the background to monitor the network traffic and see if any anomalies surfaced during this little test. Everything seemed to run efficiently. The test ran for about 4 hours.
The firmware for the TP-Link AX4400 is nothing new if you are familiar with TP-Link products. It contains most of the features other routers have, with the addition of Home Shield and Home Shield Pro. This gives users access to internal firewalls, network monitoring, parental controls, and more. While the basics are free, they do charge for the Pro version (Monthly), which isn’t ideal really. Some of the higher-end routers from TP-Link provide free access to Home Shield Pro due to the larger price for the hardware.
The free version though would probably be good for most users, unless you really want in-depth control.
The TP-Link AX4400 overall has been a great router so far. With its fast local speed and WiFi 6 standards, it’s definitely a good buy for the lower price tag. If you have a smart home or want to start your smart home journey, this is a great router to run.