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TP-LINK Archer C9 Wireless AC1900 Dual Band Gigabit Router
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs decent performance now, bright future 08/01/2015

This review is from: TP-LINK Archer C9 Wireless AC1900 Dual Band Gigabit Router

Pros: Broadcom-based device with dual core BCM4709A0 CPU/Switch, and 2 BCM4360 wireless chips. 4709A0 is ARM Cortex A9 architecture. If you look around the internet, you can find pics of the internal architecture and the massive heatsink that looks like it is built for a graphics card.

16MB flash (Spansion)

128MB system memory (Hynix)

Although this is a residential-class router, its hardware is definitely at the top end of residential, and low to middle of the pack for small business class networking.

Internal board has JTAG/Serial capability, as well as documented pinouts and recovery procedures. This is critical for the DIYer who wants to flash a third-party firmware, as it provides a way to recover from a bad flash.

Wireless beamforming works well. Devices that connect initially with -70db drop to -50 or lower within minutes, and keep a strong connection.

Data throughput is noticeably quick, and sustained data transfers are only limited by other hardware and run length.

The feature set of the firmware is pretty good for home users who don't want to mess with the sometimes complex and confusing configuration process.

TP-Link has had very good support in all my dealings with them. I've installed and recommended them for several years, and when I've had issues, their support has been responsive, and the RMA process for bad devices has been fairly pain-free.

The appearance of the device is good. It has a 60-degree stand, and I'm fairly sure that allows enough airflow, but I placed it in a suspended ceiling face-down so that it can get even better airflow. The stand should make it pretty clear to the consumer that it produces significant heat and needs some room to breathe.

Cons: Factory firmware does not have OPENVPN capability. For many users, this means nothing. But for the person who depends on VPN capability, it is critical, and in my view, separates the "men from the boys" in this price range. For me, it is the primary consideration, since almost all dual-band wireless routers have a full feature set.

Produces significant heat. The cpu is based on the same architecture as many low-cost dual-core tablets, but routing and switching are more processor intensive.

Other Thoughts: In other reviews on Newegg, you can find more info about the stock firmware. This review focuses on 3rd-party compatibility and feature support, so I don't have a strong feeling one way or another about the stock feature set - except for the previously stated disappointment that there is no VPN capability.

There is a beta version of DD-WRT for this router, with the latest build r27506, dated 9 July. I have tested it, and VPN works. It is NOT stable enough for prime time, requiring a reboot almost daily.

Because it is Broadcom-based, it is fairly certain that by the end of 2015, there will be a stable DD-WRT firmware and it will be moved out of beta. It is also likely that there will be a Tomato toastman or shibby eventually, at which point I will put this router in full-time service.

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Linksys RE6700 AC1200 AMPLIFY Dual-Band Wi-Fi Range Extender
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs Update to earlier review 07/19/2015

This review is from: Linksys RE6700 AC1200 AMPLIFY Dual-Band Wi-Fi Range Extender

Pros: This is an update to an earlier review. With support from Linksys/Belkin, I've successfully found what I couldn't before. There is a page in the configuration, "Cross Band", that allows me to isolate the repeat function on 5Ghz, and disable 2.4, making it perfect for adding ultra-high bandwidth to an ethernet-only device. So now I can give this device 5 eggs. It is a first-rate piece of hardware.

Cons: none at all.

Other Thoughts: Linksys/Belkin support is very good, and completely justifies the slightly higher price you pay for the brand name.

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Linksys RE6700 AC1200 AMPLIFY Dual-Band Wi-Fi Range Extender
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

2 out of 5 eggs one unthinkable oversight 06/30/2015

This review is from: Linksys RE6700 AC1200 AMPLIFY Dual-Band Wi-Fi Range Extender

Pros: Automatic setup, just follow some simple instructions.

Has a usable 56' radius for 2.4, closer to 27 for 5ghz.

Speed and throughput measure very well with speedof.me.

This device has a passthrough plugin, though I wouldn't recommend plugging your hairdryer in this. Probably should be restricted to use by 2Amp or less devices, and anything like radios, audio equipment, and similar might pick up noise or mess with the signal with emf.

It is a first-class wireless extender.

If anyone is looking to add airport or dlna support to a receiver, this device will do it - although there are $35 devices that do that as well. My experience with do-it-all extenders is this: They do everything poorly, or one thing well. So don't expect this to both extend wireless and be a media extender; pick one use and you'll be fine.

Cons: A significant flaw in the design and execution of this device is...Roughly half of the people I know who use one of these do so for the purpose of adding wireless to a tv or blu-ray with all sorts of smart features but no wireless. The wireless-to-ethernet traffic occurs ON THE 2.4 BAND ONLY. I frequently purchase and install another brand of device that allows the W2E traffic to occur on the 5GHz. The value of this is that almost every wireless device in the typical home uses the 2.4 band, and this can be fairly congested, especially if someone is attempting to stream video to a tv or bluray. It should be configurable in the web ui, but it isn't. For this reason, I will not buy or recommend this device. IF Linksys/Belkin were to make this a user configuration choice, I would then begin installing and recommending this device.

The user settings made available in the software are sorely lacking. Let me repeat that: The user configuration options are MISERABLY LACKING. You cannot turn off either or both bands of the client wireless access. This means that you cannot effectively configure this to use full duplex for the purpose of making it a W2E bridge. But I repeat myself. Again.

Other Thoughts: Appears to use half duplex as an extender. Down speed seems to be around 70% of source wireless, and up is no more than half. Although this is typical, it bears mentioning, because people would position this device more carefully if they understood how much signal degradation occurs when traffic goes through the extender. There are no "smarts" built in to the signal negotiation process, so this device should ONLY be used as a repeater when placed at the outer range of the source signal.

The appearance of the device itself, with antennae extended, is as if it were a personification of all network administrators: It looks at you, bug-eyed, mouth wide open, shoulders shrugging, palms up, saying "What did you do? It works for everybody else!"

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Clayton P.'s Profile

Display Name: Clayton P.

Date Joined: 11/12/02

  • Reviews: 59
  • Helpfulness: 27
  • First Review: 09/27/07
  • Last Review: 07/19/15
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