Jul 19, 2023


The Archer BE800 is one of the first Wi-Fi 7 routers to market with a tri-band BE19000 connection and 10Gbps Ethernet.

TP-Link was one of the first to market with its Wi-Fi 6 routers and had some of the lowest prices to boot. TP-Link is also one of the first with Wi-Fi 7 with the Archer BE800, which is looking like one of the best values. With a BE19000 connection, dual 10Gbps Ethernet ports, and four 2.5Gbps Ethernet ports, this router is ready for a big family with plenty of speed for multi-gig internet and local networking.

Wrapped in a glossy gray plastic housing, the router looks great on a shelf and brings the Archer series’ design more in line with the attractive Deco mesh nodes. There’s even a dot-matrix-like display on the front showing emoji, weather information, or even custom text. Unfortunately, like many first-generation products, I ran into a couple of compatibility issues with one device, though the overall performance was strong.

About this review: The TP-Link Archer BE800 was provided by TP-Link for the purpose of this review. TP-Link had no say in the content of this review. OnePlus provided a OnePlus 11 phone to test Wi-Fi 7 and also had no input into the article.

The TP-Link Deco BE800 is one of the first Wi-Fi 7 routers available and its tri-band wireless connection can deliver up to 19Gbps thanks to Wi-Fi 7’s improved throughput on 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz bands. It’s also built for fast wired networking with two 10Gbps ports and four 2.5Gbps ports.

The TP-Link Archer BE800 has a suggested retail price of $600 and has yet to see any significant discounts. This price is right in line with what I expect for a new router of this speed. The Archer BE800 is available for purchase at retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, and more.

Wi-Fi 7 and 6GHz Wi-Fi availability can vary by country with different spectrum availability. This router was tested in the U.S. where 320MHz Wi-Fi 7 is available at 6GHz but your country may limit you to a narrower band or not allow for 6GHz at all. If you're considering importing this router, be sure to check your local regulations first.

I tested this router over the course of a week in the United States on firmware version 1.0.6 Build 20230706.

One of the first things that stands out about the TP-Link Archer BE800 is the design. This router has a unique look glossy gray plastic on either side with the interior black portion perforated for ventilation. Unfortunately, the materials don’t feel as premium as this router’s price would suggest. It’s important to remember that the internal antennas in this router need the plastic housing to be thin and light for the best possible coverage, but there’s no doubt that Netgear Orbi, Asus ZenWiFi, or AmpliFi Alien feel a lot more premium.

On the front, there’s a simple display that can show a series of emoji, simple messages, the weather, or even basic animations. If you’re feeling artistic, you can even draw your own image and create custom animations in the Tether app. It would have been nice to see a bit more functional information, such as a real-time traffic meter, but overall, the display is still a fun addition.

That being said, this router has it where it counts, with a ton of wireless speed on tap and some of the best wired connectivity I’ve ever seen. There are two 10Gbps ports, with one of them working as Ethernet or SFP+, four 2.5Gbps Ethernet ports, and a USB 3.2 port. Most people will use Ethernet for their home networking but SFP+ enables much longer cable runs using fiber. If you’ve got multiple buildings on your property and want them linked with a 10Gbps connection, SFP+ is the way to go.

Once you get the router plugged in, you’ll be greeted with a “Hi” on the front of the router. From here, you’ll use the Tether app on Android or iOS to complete your basic network setup. You’ll also be able to apply any available updates, so you’re setting up with the latest software in place. You should definitely apply any available updates right away as Wi-Fi 7 is still rather new and there may be important bug fixes in these updates.

Even so, I noticed a couple of small bugs that, while not hurting the performance of the router in any way, could be confusing. For example, an option for the wireless transmission power appeared to be set to low using the Android app, didn’t have the option on the iOS app, and was high in the web browser. In this case, the browser was correct and there was no performance issue, but little things like this are more common in a new generation of products. It’s just something to be mindful of if you like to buy tech on the bleeding edge.

When it comes to features, the Archer BE800 sticks to the formula TP-Link developed with its Wi-Fi 6 router with HomeShield controls available in the app, a basic QoS setup, robust guest network options, VPN support. VPN Client is supported, so you can get connected using one of the best VPN services using the most common protocols, including OpenVPN and Wireguard. You can also choose which devices are routed to the VPN, so something like a gaming PC can stay on the quickest path to the server.

TP-Link has done a good job with its guest network options as well. You can choose what kind of security your want as well as which bands you want to use for your guest network. If you use the portal options, you can show your guest a login page with a custom image. If you’ve got a small business, you can get your guests online without needing to write out a password and without giving their devices access to your local network. You can also create an IoT network for your smart home tech, which can improve compatibility for devices that only support 2.4GHz Wi-Fi or use cheap Wi-Fi chips.

TP-Link has also massively improved its mesh network capabilities with this router, moving from OneMesh to EasyMesh. OneMesh was a proprietary mesh solution that used a handful of TP-Link Wi-Fi Extender models to create a mesh network. EasyMesh, on the other hand, can use technically form a mesh with any other EasyMesh router or extender. That means you can create a mesh using multiple Archer BE800 routers. TP-Link has announced plans to update a number of its older routers with EasyMesh, but it remains to be seen just how many TP-Link routers get added.

HomeShield is a security software package with a free and paid tier. For free, you get basic parental control including time scheduling and QoS settings. With the free parental controls, you get profiles, bedtime settings, content filters, and site blocking.

A HomeShield Pro subscription costs $6 per month or $55 per year and comes with a handful of security enhancements such as IoT Device Security, Malicious Content Filtering, DDoS Protection, Port Intrusion Protection, and improved reports about network usage. HomeShield Pro also improves parental controls with better scheduling and time limits, time rewards, and statistics.

With dual 10Gbps ethernet ports on the Archer BE800, it’s clear that you need an ultra-fast internet connection or a NAS to really test its speed. Unfortunately, I, like most people, don’t have a full multi-gig setup to test with this router. I was able to confirm that multi-gig networking does work using a 2.5Gbps Ethernet adapter with iPerf3. This allowed me to conduct transmission tests using multiple streams at once to make sure the router is keeping up, and it did without breaking a sweat.

Since Wi-Fi 7 devices still aren’t common, I used a range of Android phones with multiple generations of Wi-Fi to see how performance has improved with newer generations. I’m also able to see if there are any compatibility issues with the older generations, and I found one that I did not expect. The Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 phones worked perfectly and their speeds were strong at both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. I did encounter some issues using 6GHz Wi-Fi with the Zenfone 8, a Wi-Fi 6E device.

I tested Wi-Fi speeds in three locations using four different Android devices. Each device supports a different generation of Wi-Fi. I start testing in the living room, which is only a few feet from the router with nothing in between the router and the clients representing a best-case scenario. The garage location has one insulated wall and some cabinets blocking the way and shouldn’t be much slower than the living room tests. The bedroom has two walls and some furniture in the way showing how well 5GHz and 6GHz signals reach clients.

Coverage appeared to be relatively strong in all locations beating out some more compact units like the AmpliFi Alien. My internet speeds top out around 940Mbps up and down with any speed test results over 900Mbps being very strong results. Results were also similar using Netflix's Fast app as my home fiber internet has a fast connection to its Chicago server. I tested all three bands separately, but most people will use Smart Connect which unifies the bands under a single Wi-Fi name and picks the best band for your device automatically.

Living room (router)

Garage (1 wall)

Bedroom (2 walls)

LG G8 (Wi-Fi 5)

77.3/66.8Mbps, 89.7/72.6Mbps

88.9/71.1Mbps, 93.9/86.2Mbps

63.3/46.6Mbps, 72.4/28.9Mbps

Galaxy S20+ (Wi-Fi 6)

141/79.8Mbps, 124/90.6Mbps

131/53.6Mbps, 117/52.1Mbps

68.2/62.8Mbps, 7.09/49.6Mbps

Zenfone 8 (Wi-Fi 6E)

296/183Mbps, 345/235Mbps

156/187Mbps, 242/160Mbps

232/169Mbps, 45/170Mbps

OnePlus 11 (Wi-Fi 7)

404/130Mbps, 409/144Mbps

115/93.1Mbps, 118/123Mbps

201/97.7Mbps, 273/77Mbps

Living room (router)

Garage (1 wall)

Bedroom (2 walls)

LG G8 (Wi-Fi 5)

419/561Mbps, 591/571Mbps

517/301Mbps, 531/342Mbps

496/370Mbps, 398/387Mbps

Galaxy S20+ (Wi-Fi 6)

680/657Mbps, 101/598Mbps

757/293Mbps, 782/298Mbps

705/496Mbps, 713/452Mbps

Zenfone 8 (Wi-Fi 6E)

898/916Mbps, 911/921Mbps

880/786Mbps, 892/836Mbps

865/739Mbps, 839/652Mbps

OnePlus 11 (Wi-Fi 7)

903/942Mbps, 918/942Mbps

574/921Mbps, 888/939Mbps

861/679Mbps, 885/761Mbps

At 2.4GHz and 5GHz, speeds were right where you would expect with some excellent 5GHz speeds on all tested devices. Compared to the ASUS RT-AX88U Pro, both download and upload speeds saw some improvement, with even older devices like the Galaxy S20+ on Wi-Fi 6 finding an extra 100-150Mbps. The Archer BE800 compares favorably to the best Wi-Fi routers and even if you don’t have a single Wi-Fi 7 device, you can still see some strong improvements in day-to-day speeds.

Both the Zenfone 8 and OnePlus 11 support 160MHz connections which gives them their speed advantage compared to the Galaxy S20+ which only used 80MHz Wi-Fi 6.

Moving up to the 6GHz, however, things became less consistent.

Living room (router)

Garage (1 wall)

Bedroom (2 walls)

Zenfone 8 (Wi-Fi 6E)

694/1.64Mbps, 741/1.86Mbps

90.8/1.35Mbps, 94.8/1.37Mbps

65.3/1.08Mbps, 76.7/1.09Mbps

OnePlus 11 (Wi-Fi 7)

930/921Mbps, 908/721Mbps

839/792Mbps, 917/867Mbps

891/493Mbps, 889/508Mbps

The OnePlus 11 performed exactly as expected with strong upload and download speeds in all three locations. I was particularly impressed with the 6GHz results in the bedroom since there are multiple walls that degrade the signal quite a bit and have given Wi-Fi 6E routers trouble in the past.

The Zenfone 8, however, was not having a good time. While the phone performed admirably at 5GHz, it fell apart at 6GHz using its Wi-Fi 6E connection. After these tests, I tried changing the bandwidth at 6GHz from 320MHz down to 160MHz, checked QoS and priority settings, and even performed a factory reset to no avail. It’s not unheard of to have some compatibility issues with a new generation of Wi-Fi, there certainly were some with Wi-Fi 6 routers.

Checking with TP-Link, they confirmed that the Wi-Fi 6E devices that they tested, which included Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel, and Intel-based cards, worked with the router. This just goes to show how complicated compatibility with a new generation of products can be. It’s worth keeping in mind that 5GHz worked like a charm on the Zenfone 8, so I wouldn’t be completely out of luck using this router, just a little disappointed.

There’s another option for an MLO network that allows compatible devices to use multiple Wi-Fi bands at once to improve speeds. For example, a device would be able to use 6GHz for download and 5GHz for upload. This feature is limited to Wi-Fi 7 devices and, in my case, delivered speeds that were nearly identical to the 6GHz tests on the OnePlus 11. Wi-Fi 6E devices can also use the MLO network though they won’t switch bands. It’s nice to see newer features supported, but until people have multiple Wi-Fi 7 devices on their network, it’s not going to matter all that much.

You should buy the TP-Link Archer BE800 if:

You shouldn't buy the TP-Link Archer BE800 if:

For a new generation of Wi-Fi, using the TP-Link Archer BE800 was a surprisingly smooth experience. While I noticed a couple of small software bugs, the overall reliability of the network was high and handled over a week of TV streaming, PS5 downloading, and video calling without dropping the connection. Apart from the 6GHz issues I had with the Zenfone 8, all other devices had no trouble getting and staying connected to this router. It’s not exactly surprising for a router with up to 19Gbps of wireless capacity, but the TP-Link Archer BE800 kept up with my family’s Wi-Fi needs without breaking a sweat.

I also have to admit that I just like the way this router looks. It looks clean and sophisticated despite its large size and concealed antennas. TP-Link’s industrial design looks right at home in my living room without standing out too much. TP-Link’s Archer BE800 is a solid pick for those looking to get ready for multi-gig network speeds in their home with performant mesh expansion thanks to EasyMesh. TP-Link has greatly narrowed the software feature gap between itself and its most experienced competitors, like ASUS, making the upgrade to the Archer BE800 only a small sacrifice in software for a massive upgrade in speed.

The TP-Link Deco BE800 is one of the first Wi-Fi 7 routers available and its tri-band wireless connection can deliver up to 19Gbps thanks to Wi-Fi 7’s improved throughput on 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz bands. It’s also built for fast wired networking with two 10Gbps ports and four 2.5Gbps ports.

Samuel has spent years writing about mobile carriers and their networks following a stint working as a technician in a carrier phone store. Whether it's helping people avoid 36-month payment plans, or just getting the right 5G coverage, Samuel wants you to be on the best network for your needs without spending a fortune.

About this review:BrandWi-Fi BandsEthernet PortsUSB PortsMU-MIMOMesh Network CompatibleSupported standardsSpeedsSecurityApp requirementsDimensionsPortsProsConsYou should buy the TP-Link Archer BE800 if:You shouldn't buy the TP-Link Archer BE800 if: