I’ve been using my new Archer AX6000 for a couple of weeks now. Setup was a breeze and I had lots of options I never had with my previous router, a Time Capsule. A great feature of the AX6000 is that is has 2 USB ports (one type A and one type C) for external hard drives shareable on the network or accessible over the internet. The only thing that wasn’t self-explanatory was setting up Time Machine backups for my Mac on an external drive. I thought I’d share my experience here in case someone else was in the same boat.
My old router was a Time Capsule so I got used to not having to think about backing up my Macs. The AX6000 supports Time Machine backups but clicking the Enable checkbox in the router settings didn't make the selected volume appear in the Time Machine settings on the Macs. Here's what I did: I partitioned my external drive into 2 volumes, one formatted HFS+ for Time Machine backups and one ExFAT for general network storage; I didn’t want the backups to eventually fill up the whole hard drive. I enabled Time Machine in the AX6000 settings and named the one of the 2 volumes as the target. When setting up the USB storage device in the router settings, both volumes showed up with the option to share them. I shared the ExFAT storage volume but I didn’t share my Time Machine backup volume. In the finder sidebar under shared devices, “Archer AX6000” showed up in addition to the volume I shared (this was automatically populated by the AX6000, not the name I gave either of my new volumes). I double clicked “Archer AX6000”, connected using the user name/password I had set up for the USB drive, and in there found a folder called BackupTM. I opened that folder, and with it open went to Time Machine settings on my Mac, and that volume was available for Time Machine backups. When choosing it for the first time it asks for the username/password, then remembers them after that. Now it’s set up and backing up seamlessly, and not shared to network users.
So yeah, I’m really happy with this router after a couple of weeks. It’s fast and covers my whole 2800 sq. ft. home. I’ll still be learning more about it as time goes on, but so far it’s a winner.