If you’ve got a larger house with challenging Wi-Fi dead zones, typically your best bet is going to be populating your home with mesh routers. But that doesn’t stop router manufacturers from trying to make powerful single access-point systems, like the gamer-focused TP-Link Archer GX90, that accomplish the same goal. In my time with this excellent router, I was impressed by its high throughput and low-latency performance everywhere in my home. As a gaming router, it may not offer the most features, but its base level of performance was so good that if that’s all you want from your router, I can confidently say you won’t regret picking up the GX90.
The GX90 draws its design from 2018’s Archer C5400X—it features the same boxy appearance, encircled by the the same sail-like eight-antenna array. Where other router makers have antennas you can adjust and that screw into the body of the unit, TP-Link’s are rigid and snap into place, making initial setup quick and easy. It’s notably smaller than its forebear, and the detail of the top panel has been updated with a slightly sleeker appearance.
In making this router smaller, TP-Link opted to reduce the number of ethernet ports on the back, for a total of five—three gigabit LAN ports, one gigabit LAN/WAN, and one 2.5GbE LAN/WAN. That 2.5GbE port is the most extravagant part of the exterior. Two USB ports adorn one side—one USB 3.0 and the other USB 2.0. The front of the router has three buttons for setup with WPS, as well as toggling your Wi-Fi and the LED. Indeed, a single LED light on the top panel provides all status info. That might take getting used to for some people. You will just need to learn what each color of the status light means, which of course is laid out in the included user guide.
TP-Link went with a wall wart for the power supply, meaning it will likely take up two plugs on most power strips. I much prefer power supplies that sit in the middle of a power cord, or better yet, internal power supplies.