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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: - Setup is quick and easy. Out of the box and running in less than 10 minutes.
There's an included setup CD that won't be needed for most users. The web interface includes detailed descriptions on what does what and it's very user friendly.
- As mentioned above the web interface is neat and organized and makes management easy for users of all technical levels.
- Range. 3 internal / 3 external antennas and I literally have 5 bars (2.4Ghz) in every corner of my house. (~1800sq ft total). 5Ghz is equally impressive but I do hit 3 bars at the furthest distance which is through 4 walls.
- Speed. Gigabit ports + dual band wireless='s enough bandwidth to meet your family's needs. Youngest on the ipad, wife on her phone, netflix playing for the big guy, and I see no performance hit from my desktop. Going from N to AC and our wireless web browsing experiences have never been faster.
- 2 usb ports for networked storage.
- Low power usage and the unit stays surprisingly cool during peak usage.
- Guest network access. Always a plus in my book.
- 2 weeks of stress testing and no drops/hiccups/etc.
- Easily disable wireless access (switch on the back) without connecting to the router to keep the kids off the wi-fi late at night!

For what it's worth, I love my Cisco router. It's served me well over the years and despite reviewing several other routers I've never replaced it with any of them. Until now. I like the Archer C5 and it's earned a space among my techy toys.

Cons: - Updating firmware to version 140912 (off of TP-Link's site) didn't go as expected. Firmware update completed successfully and router rebooted as expected. This however is where things went wrong. DHCP was working and the router was pingable from all devices however none of the devices (smart phone, desktop, laptop) had visibility to each other. No internet or web interface connectivity from the laptop or desktop. Oddly enough the smart phone was still working.
In my 'other thoughts' I'll go into more detail about this. My advice though is to stick to v. 140424 until another revision is out or, if you're feeling ambitious, dd-wrt which went flawless but is definitely more suited for those comfortable with custom firmware. In all honesty though the stock firmware is great and most users I think will be perfectly fine with its stability and ease of management.

Other Thoughts: 3 out of 5 eggs... That was what I really wanted to give this router in a quick bout of frustration and here's why. After the above mentioned firmware update experience (-1 egg) I had to contact support because at first I thought I may have bricked the router and wanted to check before attempting any steps to unbreak what just happened.
While support was quick to pick up and run me through the basic steps you would take it was the conclusion of the tech that really rubbed me the wrong way.

Follow me here:
-Original Cisco router-
Windows 7 x64 desktop connected via LAN working fine.
Windows 7 x64 laptop connected via wireless working fine.
Galaxy S5 smart phone connected via wireless working fine.

-Archer C5 stock firmware-
Windows 7 x64 desktop connected via LAN working fine.
Windows 7 x64 laptop connected via wireless working fine.
Galaxy S5 smart phone connected via wireless working fine.

-Archer C5 post firmware update-
Can no longer telnet to router.
Windows 7 x64 desktop connected via LAN can ping only router; no web interface, internet connectivity, or visibility to laptop/smart phone. (DHCP working on router though!)
Windows 7 x64 laptop connected via wireless can ping only router; no web interface, internet connectivity, or visibility to desktop/smart phone.
Galaxy S5 smart phone connected via wireless surprisingly working fine minus visibility to desktop/laptop.

Plug in old router and everything works fine again.

Plug the C5 back in and same problems.

"There appears to be a problem with your desktop and laptop."

(-1 egg)

Sorry, but that's not the conclusion you should be coming to. This is where I politely wrapped up the conversation and went my own route which was downloading the stock firmware to the desktop, unzipping and copying to smart phone, and then flashing router back to stock from the smart phone. (Have to be honest here, never flashed a router from a smart phone; thought that was cool.)

Once back on the original firmware everything was working normal again. And by normal I mean flawless. This is really a solid performing piece of equipment.

There is one thing that is truly annoying about keeping review scores honest. I can't find it in myself to actually deduct those 2 eggs because one bad firmware update that inconvenienced me for an hour and a support call that didn't go how I thought it would doesn't take away from the fact that THIS ROUTER IS AWESOME!

In the past I have never had an experience like this with a TP-Link product so I'm chalking this up as a fluke. This router by itself earns a well deserved 5 out of 5 eggs.

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TP-LINK TL-SG108E 8-Port Gigabit Easy Smart Switch, 8 10/100/1000 Mbps RJ45 Ports, MTU/Port/Tag-Based VLAN, QoS and IGMP
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: - 8 gigabit ports for those of us who just can't get by with 4 or 5 ports anymore.
- File copies with simultaneous downloads from other devices were fast and flawless.
- Solid construction. The case is metal, not plastic. And the weight should keep the switch in place should you snag/pull a cable.
- A slew of advanced features that you won't find in cheaper models however most home users (including myself) probably won't use most of them.
- Following up on that, if you're into network administration or want to learn, this is a great switch to get and start with.
- Port mirroring. This feature was one of the ones I enjoyed using. You can basically 'snoop' on where traffic is going. This is a great way to make sure applications aren't sending information to places they're not supposed to or to see what the kids are up to in the middle of the night when glued to their laptops.
- Lower power use which translates to low heat. All in a fanless design.

Cons: - I only have one con with this switch and that's with the lack of a web based interface. You need to install additional software to configure and access the advanced features this switch has to offer.
Now, is this worth knocking an egg for? Not in the slightest, but it would have been nice to have and definitely needs to be mentioned if this type of thing would be a deal breaker for your purchase.

Other Thoughts: Let me be very clear here. If you don't plan on using or even know what VLAN's are, what port trunking is, or what IGMP even stands for, there are less expensive switches that can get the job done.
However, you can't go wrong with TP-Link's TL-SG108E either way. You may not use any or all of the features, but you'll have a fast and reliable switch that you can just plug in and forget about. Without a doubt, this is a solid 5 out of 5 eggs.

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TP-LINK TL-WDN4200 N900 Wireless Dual Band USB Adapter, 2.4GHz 450Mbps/5Ghz 450Mbps, One-Button Setup,Windows XP/Vista/7/8
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggs Little in Price, Big in Speed; Little Too Big in Size. 11/02/2014

This review is from: TP-LINK TL-WDN4200 N900 Wireless Dual Band USB Adapter, 2.4GHz 450Mbps/5Ghz 450Mbps, One-Button Setup,Windows XP/Vista/7/8

Pros: - This adapter is fast. First time I plugged it in and got it setup I literally said, "Wow..." Compared to the wireless card in my laptop and the pci-e wireless card I tested against, I'm thoroughly impressed.
- Reliable signal. Over 2 weeks of testing, not a drop encountered.
- Nice range. Providing you have a decent router to pair this with you'll see fairly impressive signal strength as compared to some of its much smaller competitors.
- First usb adapter I can honestly say I would choose for a desktop vs an internal model. Not to mention of ease of just plugging it in versus opening your case.
Given the price between this and a comparable pci-e card are fairly close I'd opt for the one that I could easily use between multiple pc's.
- Included usb extension cable is nice as you can keep the adapter higher up on a desktop (think on your desk for easy unplugging vs finding a port on the back of the motherboard) or to give you the peace of mind that you won't snap the adapter off in your laptop's usb port.
Which will lead into my first and only enormous con.

Cons: - Way too big to even consider for laptops. Outside of just looking plain silly, the biggest problem is blocking adjacent ports (both vertical and horizontal in layout) save for the slimmest of usb plugs. I might also add that it wouldn't be a matter of if you accidentally snap this off in the port, it's more so of when.
For a visual reference, take your average deck of playing cards. This adapter is almost as thick and long as the box and half the width.

Other Thoughts: 2 very important things I want to end on:
First off, thinking this is a good idea to speed up an older PC is valid providing you have, at the very least, USB 2.0 ports. Anything less and you're wasting your money as the physical limitaion of the usb hardware is going to kill the speed this adapter was designed to give you. You'd be better off with something slightly slower and half the price.
Second, I hate to say it but if you're looking to use this in a laptop... don't. Unless that is, you are so insanely careful that you've never EVER bent or broke any other usb connector before.
If I had to rate this as a desktop solution only I'd be giving it a solid 5/5. Laptop only a 3/5 based solely on the size. (It really is comical to see hanging off the side of a smaller laptop.)
With that said, I feel a 4 out of 5 is fair. TP-Link did a fine job with the 4200 and it's a welcome addition to my collection of techy toys. Enough so that I removed the wireless network card from one of my desktops and replaced it with this; can't see a reason I'd ever go back!
Sure there are a number of brands and models to go with. While I can't speak for them all, I'm more than comfortable recommending this one.

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Jerome K.'s Profile

Display Name: Jerome K.

Date Joined: 05/19/06

  • Reviews: 58
  • Helpfulness: 46
  • First Review: 05/24/06
  • Last Review: 01/14/15
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