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TP-LINK Archer T8E AC1750 Wireless Dual Band PCI Express Adapter IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11b PCI Express Up to 1.3Gbps Wireless Data Rates
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: The TP-Link AC1750 Wireless Dual Band PCI Express (PCIe) Adapter - model Archer T8E - is a superb way to enable a desktop computer to be connected to an 802.11ac/n network. Since it is dual band capable you can operate this wireless adapter in the 2.4GHz mode and connect to 802.11b/g/n networks or in the 5GHz mode and connect to 802.11a/ac networks. Connecting to an 802.llac network offers the most bandwidth available and is the main appeal to this wireless adapter.

Installation of the Archer T8E is a simple process that involves locating an open PCIe slot on your motherboard, inserting the adapter, and connecting the rear 3 omnidirectional antennas. The Archer T8E uses the small PCIe h port for connectivity, but can also be inserted into longer PCIe 8x or PCIe 16x slots if this is all you have available or you have clearance issues with other components within your case; either way, the physical dimensions of the Archer T8E itself is rather small and unobtrusive. The PCB itself is covered with almost entirely with a black heatsink that is attractive and does a good job of removing heat from the two radios. The 3 rear antennas are black and can be adjusted in various directions to suite your space needs.

The included resource/driver CD is used to install the Archer T8E drivers and the included TP-Link Utility. You can use the TP-Link Utility software to connect to wireless networks or you can use the built-in wireless utility in Windows. It's important to note that the TP-Link Utility software will not supported in Windows 8.1. Overall, the Archer T8E is compatible with Windows XP/Vista/7/8 both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

Wireless security is provided by the normative and modern WEP/WPA/WPA2-PSK standards. Inside the box you will find the Archer T8E wireless adapter, the resource/driver CD, and a quick install guide. Network bandwidth speeds are to be expected for an 802.11ac network and 802.11n network in my testing. Wireless speeds will vary to some degree depending on one's environment and numerous other factors. Wireless AC and wireless N speeds are more than capable or transferring HD video/audio across a network seamlessly.

Cons: You may have to visit the TP-Link website to download the latest driver versus what is provided on the included resource/driver CD. This is normal for almost all computer hardware in existence today and does not warrant the loss of an egg in my opinion.

Other Thoughts: One might ask why you would spend a little extra cash on this wireless adapter when a similar USB dongle might do the trick. Well, this dedicated PCIe adapter does not occupy one of your USB ports and more importantly, the 3 external antennas offer better signal strength and better link margin within your network. You are simply going to be able to maintain a stronger and speedier stable connection than using a simple USB dongle.

The TP-Link Utility software has the ability to change the Archer T8E from an infrastructure connected device (connects to a wireless network like a normal wireless adapter) to an ad hoc soft access point (allow the Archer T8E to act as a small router and give other wireless devices internet access) if one chooses to do so. This can only be performed via the TP-Link Utility software and I personally cannot find a real-world reason to use the capability, but it is nonetheless a neat option that someone might have a desire and/or reason to use.

I have had the luxury of reviewing several modern TP-Link wireless products over the past few years and must say that TP-Link has holistically improved the quality and offerings of their products. I have been quite pleased with their subsequent rise from obscurity years ago to a heavy weight in offering quality wireless products for home use. Well done TP-Link - another great product with the Archer T8E.

TP-LINK Archer C5 AC1200 Dual Band Wireless AC Gigabit Router, 2.4GHz 300Mbps+5Ghz 867Mbps, 2 USB Ports, IPv6, Guest Network
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: The TP-LINK Archer C5 AC1200 wireless router (hereafter simply referred to as the “Archer C5” in this review) is an excellent and capable 802.11ac and 802.11n simultaneous dual band router for a very affordable price. One can choose to what devices within their network operate on which band (i.e. the 802.11ac 5GHz band for HD audio/video streaming and gaming, or the 802.11n 2.4GHz band for email, browsing, and similar lower bandwidth intensive tasks). The theoretical total bandwidth available with the Archer C5 is 1,200 megabits per second (Mbps) - 867 Mbps in the 5GHz 802.11ac band and 300 Mbps in the 2.4GHz 802.11n band. The Archer C5 is backwards compatible with 802.11a/n devices in the 5GHz band and 802.11b/g devices in the 2.4GHz band.

Cosmetically the Archer C5 is a shiny black plastic case with 3 detachable external antennas. The front LEDs indicate LAN port connection activity as well as wireless band use, power status, etc. - the LEDs are not overly bright or obtrusive. It's worth noting that the 3 external antennas are used for the 5GHz transceiver solely; the 2.4GHz transceiver uses 3 internal antennas. This strict antenna dependence allows the Archer C5 to maintain network speeds accordingly and a nice design feature by TP-LINK. The rear of the Archer C5 features the standard WAN port as well as four gigabit (1000BASE-T) Ethernet ports. There is a WPS button that also doubles as a reset button (long-press to reset the router) as well as a dedicated power on/off button. A switch is also located on the back to quickly switch both wireless radios on and off easily. There are 2 USB 2.0 ports on the rear of the device to share a thumb drive, hard drive, or related type storage device across your network. The Archer C5's firmware also features a network print server so you can enable network printing via one of the USB 2.0 connections.

Security standards used with the Archer C5 are the standard and modern WPA2/WPA2-PSK/WPA/WPA-PSK/WEP encryption. There is also the capability for parental controls within the firmware as well as IP and MAC address filtering and binding. The router also supports IPv6 and guest networking.

Wireless speeds are clearly dependent on numerous factors depending on distance, surrounding physical environment, building construction, and even weather so exact speeds will vary to some degree based on every individual deploying this router in their home. But in my home and in my testing I experienced to be expected data rates for both 802.11n and 802.11ac bands. High definition video streaming and moving large files operated as I expected for both the wired and wireless connections.

Cons: The dual USB 2.0 ports are dated technology. Dual USB 3.0 ports would have been nicer, especially when used in the networked storage device mode. While USB 2.0 speeds are perfectly adequate for wireless printing, the 2.0 speeds are dismal when reading/writing to a USB 2.0 storage device. If these speeds are not an issue for you then this is trivial; but you expect to move large amounts of data to and from the attached USB 2.0 storage device then the speeds are going to be quite slow - this is a limiting capability of USB 2.0 specification, not the wireless or wired capability of the Archer C5. While USB 2.0 is disappointing, this does not warrant the loss of an egg in my opinion.

Other Thoughts: Setup was easy and quick following the quick install guide. I opted for the wired connection type setup but the wireless setup option is simple and clearly documented in the provided material. Once I logged into the router's management page/firmware I easily changed both radio SSIDs and password protected them via WPA2. I also quickly setup MAC filtering and entered a group of addresses for my network; I also assigned/binded 3 unique IPs within the subnet to 3 unique devices on my network quickly. The firmware layout and navigation is clear and easily navigated.

In the box you will find the Archer C5 router, the 3 detachable external antennas, the power supply unit/cord, a resource/document CD, a single Cat5e Ethernet cable, and a quick install guide.

As with any networked device or technology it's good practice to download and install the latest firmware for your device, this device included. The Archer C5 firmware quickly points you to the appropriate firmware to download and install easily from the management page.

This is the 4th TP-LINK wireless router I've been afforded to review and I must say that TP-LINK has done an excellent job on all of them, this Archer C5 included. The quality of the radios and the amount of features you get for the price is hard to beat. TP-LINK has really improved the quality and diversity of their network products over the past few years and is a serious contender in this market.

TP-LINK TL-WA860RE 300Mbps Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender/Repeater with Power Outlet Pass-through, Dual External Antennas, Wall Plug Design, One-button Setup, Smart Signal Indicator
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: The TP-LINK TL-WA860RE wireless range extender is a great device to expand the wi-fi coverage of your home network with relative ease. By placing this range extender in an opportune spot within your home you will be able to get enough energy to enable those wi-fi devices to be a normal part of your network. This range extender operates in the 2.4GHz band and is 802.11n ready - also backwards compatible with 802.11g and 802.11b networks. Additionally, there is a single fast Ethernet (100BASE-TX) port on the bottom of the device which will enable a wired device to be connected via Ethernet cable and available in a wireless manner on your network - a wireless bridge function.

After removing the range extender from the convenient and well-packed packaging, you merely plug in the range extender into a wall outlet near your wireless router. From here you can sync the range extender with your wireless network via a WPS push button (by far the quickest and easiest method), or by connecting to the range extender's web interface via a web browser after connecting to it wirelessly from a computer, tablet, phone, etc. Either method is simple and illustrated and documented clearly in the included quick-start guide. I connected the range extender to my 802.11n network via the web interface method in roughly 7 or 8 minutes – the WPS button should take someone a mere minute or two total.

After this initial setup it is recommended in the documentation to place the device roughly halfway between your router and the area in which you want to extend wireless coverage. This is completely subjective and dependent on one's home and the available wall outlets - though not terribly difficult. The range extender will actually indicate via a LED color and function on where it should be placed in terms of distance from the router. The signal LED on the device should be solid green in order to get solid connectivity and service, if the signal LED is solid orange the device is too close to the router and if the signal LED is blinking orange it is too far from the router. There is also an Ethernet LED which shows if the wireless bridge mode is enable with a device connected to the range extender via the wired connection, and a power LED that indicates if the range extender is powered on or off.

It's also a nice feature that the range extender provides an electrical outlet on the face of the device in order to still use the wall outlet like one normally would. Included in the box is the range extender unit, the quick start guide, a CD that includes more in-depth documentation if needed, and a single Cat 5e Ethernet cable.

Cons: The single Ethernet port for the wireless bridge connectivity is only a 100BASE-TX port. A Gigabit Ethernet (1000BASE-T) port would have been nicer and speedier; though Fast Ethernet is perfectly capable of streaming HD media across a connected 802.11n network. This does not warrant the loss of an egg in my opinion.

Other Thoughts: TP-LINK did a great job overall of creating a robust and easy to setup and use device. In my testing I was able to provide 802.11n wireless coverage to the entirety of my basement (with my router located 2 floors up). Before the use of the range extender I only had wireless coverage in a small corner of the basement.


Anonymous's Profile

Display Name: Anonymous

Date Joined: 10/19/05

  • Reviews: 3
  • Helpfulness: 1
  • First Review: 11/17/14
  • Last Review: 01/22/15
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