TP-Link Archer GE800 router review
Image: Chris Button.

TP-Link Archer GE800 Wi-Fi 7 router review: future gaming

100% human

Bringing Wi-Fi 7 technology to gamers, the TP-Link Archer GE800 router may be early on the scene, but it won’t be far away until households can take full advantage.

Like the non-gaming Archer BE800 variant, this is one of the fastest consumer routers going around. Supporting three network bands – 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz – it boasts a sizable 19Gpbs capacity. Other than its striking sci-fi appearance, the Archer GE800’s main point of difference for gamers is a set of features designed to optimise online gaming performance.

To address the elephant in the room, Australian internet isn’t even close to supporting the peak speeds made possible by routers like these. Take a look at the widely available NBN plans and you’ll see 1Gbps is the summit – for those who can afford it.

TP-Link Archer GE800 lights
Image: Chris Button.

That’s not to say a fast router is worthless – far from it. Greater bandwidth means more capacity to handle more devices at the same time without performance drops. 2023 data indicated that Australian homes had an average of 21 internet-connected devices. With more internet-enabled technology ever increasing, expect that figure to soar upwards.

Then there’s also the matter of the Wi-Fi 7 standard. I’ll address some of the specifics further in this review, but advances in Wi-Fi technology mean that traffic management, speed, and latency are better than ever – even if you don’t have many (or any) Wi-Fi 7 devices yet.

To get back to the TP-Link Archer GE800, it’s a powerful router, of that there’s no doubt. For now, it’s mainly suited to gamers who regularly upgrade to the latest gear and want the best online performance currently available.

TP-Link Archer GE800 review

First impressions

You can’t possibly review the TP-Link Archer GE800 without mentioning its design. Gaming routers – and gaming gear in general – have always stood out for having extreme design elements.

With its spaceship-like build and RGB lighting trims, this router is nothing short of extravagant. Even with the lighting disabled, it’s a statement piece as much as it is a functional piece of hardware.

Although it’s shorter in stature than the BE800, the GE800 is wider, so make sure you’ve got room. Not just for show, the router uses its hulking presence well, housing plenty of helpful ports and buttons.

TP-Link Archer GE800 and BE800 comparison
The Archer BE800 (left) compared to the GE800 (right). Image: Chris Button.

Of its multiple Ethernet ports, including two supporting 10Gbps, one is a 2.5Gbps connection designated for gaming hardware. It prioritises any device plugged into this port, emblazoned with a bright red label, ensuring it gets the pick of the internet traffic. Whether that be a gaming PC, PlayStation, or Xbox, it doesn’t discriminate.

Although a dedicated gaming Ethernet port might seem a bit excessive, it’s justified when you consider the current tech landscape. Sure, most network apps let you prioritise devices anyway, but it exposes a flaw in gaming hardware. Specific to console gaming, a PlayStation 5 only uses Wi-Fi 6 technology, while an Xbox Series X relies on the even slower Wi-Fi 5 protocol. A wired connection is better for reducing latency when playing online anyway, so the GE800’s dedicated port sidesteps the limitations of gaming consoles.

When it comes to setting up the router, it’s as easy as downloading the TP-Link Tether app and following the prompts. From here, you can manage individual settings, including the style of RGB lighting. Other game-specific settings live here too, like the ability to set up specific network channels for your gaming devices.

TP-Link Archer GE800 specifications

Wi-Fi technologyTri-band 19Gbps capacity:
6 GHz: 11,520 Mbps
5 GHz: 5,760 Mbps
2.4 GHz: 1,376 Mbps
8 built-in antennas
EasyMesh-compatible
PortsEthernet:
2× 10 Gbps WAN/LAN
1× 10 Gbps SFP+/RJ45 Combo WAN/LAN
4× 2.5 Gbps LAN
USB: 1x USB-A 3.0
SecurityWPA
WPA2
WPA3
WPA/WPA2-Enterprise
Other featuresParental controls Game Center Guest networks (2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz)
Price (RRP)$1,299
WarrantyThree years
Official websiteTP-Link Australia

Performance

As I mentioned in my Archer BE800 review, I live in a two-storey home, so a single-router solution doesn’t quite cut it. A mesh system like the TP-Link Deco BE85 is better suited to larger homes or abodes with lots of walls and floors to navigate.

TP-Link’s Archer routers use a different type of mesh technology, called EasyMesh, meaning it’s not natively compatible with Deco units. Instead, these routers pair with specific range extenders, which is worth remembering so you know which device to choose.

Another caveat to mention: I don’t have any Wi-Fi 7-compatible devices. So, while I could still test speeds and connection quality, I was unable to test specific features like Multi-Link Operation (MLO).

TP-Link Archer GE800 ports
Image: Chris Button.

One of Wi-Fi 7’s biggest drawcards, MLO lets compatible devices access multiple network bands simultaneously. For example, instead of going out of range of the 6GHz band, disconnecting and then reconnecting to the 5GHz band, your phone could seamlessly switch between them without any dropouts.

The good news is that there’s a wave of Wi-Fi 7 devices just around the corner. Samsung’s Galaxy S24 Ultra and the Google Pixel 8 Pro support Wi-Fi 7, and are soon to be joined by laptops powered by Intel’s Lunar Lake plus AMD’s Ryzen AI 300 chips.

That’s the current state of play, so let’s get into some numbers.

Testing around the home

In previous router reviews, most of my testing was based on running Ookla Speedtest. It’s a great way to measure speeds based on your internet connection. However, it’s lacking when trying to assess a router’s true performance, considering Australian internet speeds versus the rest of the world.

There are a few ways you can test the theoretical performance of a router beyond your internet speeds. iPerf is one method, and various phone apps – mainly on Android – can also help. I used Wi-Fi SweetSpots, available on both iOS and Android, to record Wi-Fi strength and router speeds around the house.

The important thing here is that it gave me router speeds, not internet speeds. I’m on an NBN 250 plan, so I’ll never see download speeds much quicker than 250Mbps – significantly less than what these routers can handle.

Again, a quick disclaimer I used an iPhone 15 Pro to do these tests, which uses Wi-Fi 6E technology. Phones tend to have weaker network cards than laptops or larger devices due to size constraints, but they still provide a decent performance measure.

Location2.4GHz + 5GHz6GHz
Office (upstairs)816Mbps845Mbps
Entryway (downstairs)398Mbps578Mbps
Bedroom (upstairs)280Mbps398Mbps
Dining room (downstairs)16Mbps69Mbps
Living room (downstairs)N/A243Mbps
Wi-Fi SweetSpots test results (iPhone 15 Pro).

Predictably, the best numbers came from the office, right next to the Archer GE800. You can see a drop-off the further I ventured from the router, as expected. My troublesome dining and living areas struck again, acting as the Bermuda Triangle of Wi-Fi signals.

To be clear, that’s not at all the router’s fault. They’re just the places furthest away from the connection source, further impeded by walls and stairs getting in the way. It’s why I normally use a three-satellite mesh system to reach all corners of the house.

Like a G6(GHz)

Interestingly, the 6GHz band produced sizable improvements, even in the trickiest locations. Note that my phone barely got a signal in the living room using the 5GHz band, only to skyrocket when on 6GHz.

I admit to some surprise because while 6GHz is much more powerful and faster, it doesn’t reach as far as other network bands. Even factoring in the hyper-local testing environment of my house, it demonstrated how well the 6GHz band combats interference, provided you’re still within range.

Once more Wi-Fi 7 devices are widely available, I’ll be keen to revisit some of these tests to get a full sense of just how much better this technology is.

Who is the TP-Link Archer GE800 for?

In essence, the TP-Link Archer GE800 is a gaming-themed version of the BE800. If you regularly game and want an easy way to prioritise your hardware, this router will futureproof you for years to come. Otherwise, if you don’t need the gaming features, you can save a bit of money by choosing the BE800 instead.

For a while, I’ve stressed that Wi-Fi 7 technology is for early adopters. While that’s still the case, strictly speaking, Wi-Fi 7 is on the verge of reaching the mainstream. If you plan on upgrading your laptop in the next 6-12 months with one of the latest models, there’s merit in upgrading your router to take full advantage of the network improvements on offer.

Whether that’s the Archer GE800 or the BE800 depends entirely on how you spend your downtime.

GadgetGuy occasionally uses affiliate links and may receive a small commission from purchased products.

TP-Link Archer GE800 Wi-Fi 7 gaming router
One of the fastest routers available, the TP-Link Archer GE800 also includes various game-enhancing tools, ready for the incoming wave of Wi-Fi 7 devices.
Features
9
Value for money
7.5
Performance
9
Ease of use
9
Design
8
Positives
Fast Wi-Fi performance
Easy to set up and use
Negatives
Wi-Fi 7 isn't widely supported yet
Bulky
8.5