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TP-LINK Archer C2600 AC2600 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

4 out of 5 eggs Capable home router with good range and some quirks 01/18/2016

This review is from: TP-LINK Archer C2600 AC2600 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router

Pros: TP-link C2600 has 4 antennas that support MU-MIMO, which means it can support multi-input and multi-output data streams to multiple units simultaneously. Observed data rate is marked improved on several of my devices (which contained both 802.11ac and 802.11n wifi devices). My previous wifi router was a TP-link Archer C5 (hw version 1) which had three antennas. When the observed conneciton speed is about 10-20mbps better in close proximity to the router, that advantage in connection speed improved to over 50mbps link speed improvement on the home entertainment system in the basement home theater on the C2600 unit compared to my old router. The home theater is two floors down in the basement, while the router is located in my home office on the second floor of the house. This link speed improvement is rather remarkable as the old wifi router has had great performance, range and link speed compared to the unit before that which was off the Dlink variety.
Connections on wifi has been consistent on almost all of the devices in the household which includes Samsung, LG, Apple, HTC smartphones (with single and dual band, 802.11ac, n and g variety links). The surface pro 3 (which has a dual-band 802.11ac wifi chip) connects at over 866 mbps to this router has seen great throughput on the LAN. My thinkpad's 802.11N wifi link connects at full 300mbps, also provides great wifi throughput to the NAS storage on my network. Sustained file transfer to and from the NAS drive has been over 35megabytes per second (which seems to be bottle-necking on the drive vs. the network as I could not get any better through put even on my cisco router's hardwired gigabit ethernet interface).
The internet speed is also great. I get 37mbps down and ~ 6mbps up on my home timewarner cable modem service (35/5 data rate package), what really improved is the transfer latency through the router, which has seen network latency to my usual speedtest.net server on the internet reduce from over 40ms to close to 20ms. The C2600 unit has a dual core CPU and 512MB of RAM which is quite a powerful set of hardware for a home router. This definitely showed in the reduced network latency.
The gigabit switch on the unit is also quite capable, provide over 930mbps TCP user throughput under iperf sessions, with a round trip latency less than 0.1 ms. I was able to achieve over 110MBps file transfer rate between two workstations with SSD drives on the router's 4 port switch which indicates the link was able to run at full gigabit link speed without issue.

Cons: Older wifi chip sets on a laptop system in the house has intermittent connection issues (not sure if a driver update on the aging intel centrino N-1130 chipset is the cause of the problem). This single stream, single band chipset seems to have trouble holding on to the link despite of solid link quality, having to reset its link on several occasions while under heavy load. This is rather annoying.
Also the C2600 wifi router is also only capable of providing NAT service to only the LAN network to which is directly manage the DHCP service. What this means is if you have a home network like mine that has several subnet partition using cisco routers, then only the subnet on which the C2600 is directly connected can use the NAT service on the unit to connect to the internet (as the NAT's inside network is limited to the network on which the C2600 itself resides on). For instance, if you set the C2600 on the 192.168.0.1 IP and have it manage DHCP on 192.168.0.0 subnet with a mask 255.255.255.0, then only hosts on the 192.168.0.0 subnet can access internet via the router's NAT. If you have a separate routed subnet through a cisco router, let's say 192.168.2.0 mask 255.255.255.0, that network would not be able to access the internet through this router because the router forces only a single local LAN to be the inside network capable of using the NAT service on the unit. This may not be a problem for most simple home setup, but if you have a larger home network partition using several subnets to limit broadcast domain on your network, then only the subnet which the C2600 is directly connect can connect to the internet. Of course, there're work around for this using a cisco router, such as a second NAT service behind the router for the other subnets, but it is disappointing that the new C2600 wifi router was not able to direct NAT and provide internet routing to more than 1 subnet on the LAN side. The older Archer C5 unit had no issue supporting multiple LAN side subnets and was able to provide full routing across multiple subnets on my home network via a cisco router serving as an internal private router. Maybe this was done with better internal LAN security in mind, but in my opinion, the loss of the ability to provide internet routing service to multiple internal LAN outweighs the little bit of protection offered via enforcing a single internal LAN through the NAT. This short-coming is significant enough for me to warrant a deduction of an egg on the final rating

Other Thoughts: The C2600 is physically a strong performer, with great wifi range, wifi link speed and fast network response, the gigabit switch also offers you true gigabit performance with overall very little latency on the entire unit. The unit also offers usb printer server and data storage server functions, although I didn't use any of that function as I have dedicated network server already on my home network providing file server and print server functions, but for someone looking for a low power all in one network router, this would server quite well.
However, this unit is not entirely without its quirks. There are some link consistency issues observed when connect really old (more than 4 years old) Intel wifi chipset to this unit as the link would break under heavy load even when the signal is very strong. This could be deficiency of the new C2600 being able to maintain backward compatibility while pushing for maximum performance with the latest wifi technology, but it is worth noting if you have really old wifi device in the house, you may need to upgrade to get the performance you had on the old units.
Additionally, this unit is suitable for a rather flat, simple home network setup. If you have multiple subnets and require private routing service behind C2600 unit, you may run into internet connectivity issues, despite the the C2600's ability to support static routing behind the NAT as it seems only a single internal LAN is capable of using the NAT service on the unit.
On the firmware update side, this unit requires you to manually download firmware from TP-link website, which you have to hunt around to find the appropriate firmware to upgrade. In this day and age, this seems rather cumbersome as almost anything other than TP-link routers seems to be able to provide a direct automatic internet update feature (as this is a unit designed to manage the connection for a full time broadband home internet connection).

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The Witcher III: Wild Hunt - PC
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 week to 1 month

1 out of 5 eggs Boring 12/27/2015

This review is from: The Witcher III: Wild Hunt - PC

Pros: Good graphics

Cons: I didn't even get over the first quest, the story line is just not engaging, and quests seems forced, I hated the combat mechanics

Other Thoughts: Much hype to a less than thrilling game.

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Corsair Gaming VOID Wireless RGB Gaming Headset - Carbon
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • neweggOwned For: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggs Good headphone, so so mic 09/13/2015

This review is from: Corsair Gaming VOID Wireless RGB Gaming Headset - Carbon

Pros: Good overall sound quality, sound fidelity is high as long as the source does not contain very high frequency contents (such as brass instrument or high pitched female vocals). The soundscape of the headphone's audio reproduction is quite even, with only slight bias toward bass. This gives nice punchy sounds without getting overly muddy on the sound with exaggerated bass track. The audio is clearly reproduced without any artifact of a wireless connection (as long as the content is not high frequency). The 7.1 sound is quite good if the game properly support the simulated surround sound. Directional sound response is nicely done, give you a clear sense of audio orientation and create realism and suspense.
The cushions for the ears are thick and well padded, and comfortable for wear. There is a LED light on the mic for mute status indication.
The headphone uses a standard micro-usb type B connector for charging, can take to up 1 AMP of input current, so most cell phone chargers can readily charge this head phone without you having to resort to booting up a computer to charge the headphone. The omni-presence of micro-usb cables also means you don't have trouble finding the cable to charge the head set. The battery life of the headphone is also quite good, I have had the headphone for more than 2 weeks, and only had to charge it once.
If you don't want to bother with the LED light tweaking software, you don't even have to bother with installing/downloading any device driver. The USB dongle for the wireless streaming is readily recognized by Windows 7, 8.1 and 10, and the unit shows up as a standard USB digital audio device.

Cons: The good sound production is marred by audio clipping at high frequency. High pitched female vocal (in songs) and brass or string instrument can be often be heard clipped at the high end when transmitted via the wireless link (assuming to be audio artifacts due to bandwidth limited compression used for transmission).
The LED light on the ear muffs are pointless to me, I never bothered to install the control software after reading comments regarding the iffy behavior of the software.
The mic input is over compressed in an attempt to reduce upstream spectrum use from the headset back to the computer. In addition, the LED status light is good on paper, it works for bystanders who can see you from afar regarding the state of the mic, however, since the mic is so close to your mouth and below your field of vision normally, you would have to bend the mic and look down to see what that LED, which is completely useless in the heat of the battle for a game. The voice from the mic is also tinny, needs substantial input boost to properly pick up the voice, and is too compressed to use for anything others than normal speech. In another word, you can use it for chatting in a game, as a skype headset, and not as a regular recording device for anything other than that despite of the high price of the headset unit.
Since the unit is only recognized as a standard USB digital audio device, the headset can only be used as a standard stereo device under windows. Any games would have to provide simulated 3D sound provision to provide surround audio.
The ear muffs are big and fluffy, but I find myself unwilling to wear it for extended period of time. You definitely feel the presence of this headphone on your head, not like some studio quality headphone I have that allow you to forgot the existence of a headphone and allow you to be absorbed into the sound. That combined with the high frequency audio clipping issue (especially with high bit rate MP3 320kbps for instance), make it not suitable for anything outside of gaming and audio conferencing.
The USB streaming dongle is also of significant size, making connecting it behind a computer difficult and would seem to be easy target for breaking itself or the USB port when bumped or kicked.

Other Thoughts: I really want to like this headset, and in concept it is great. It's wireless, has comfortable ear muffs, long lasting battery. However, the high frequency audio artifact makes using this distracting, and the mic phone is also not sufficient beyond gaming chat and audio conferencing. The color changing LEDs in the ear muffs are not my cup of tea, and it seems to be a hassle requiring your to install extra software to turn them off. They should only be turned on using the extra software for anyone wanting that feature.
With everything said, for the purpose it is designed for, which is gaming (FPS especially) who the soundscape is often low frequency grumble and the occasional wise crack over audio link on the simulated combat radio channels, this headset serves well for all its promised functionality. I would recommend it as what is claims to be a gaming headset with the convenience of wireless streaming, just make sure you leave the computer far away so you can't accidentally kick or bump the USB dongle to ruin your day.

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Anonymous's Profile

Display Name: Anonymous

Date Joined: 09/02/05

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