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Pros: - Quality packaging
- Quality look and feel of hardware
- Quality all around
- Unique Default Wifi Key
- Automatic Firmware updates
- Automatic guest network setup
- Admin interface has configurable widgets
- Did not heat up
- Parental controls
- 8 Gigabit LAN ports! (It is about time)
- 3-year warranty (I might like 8 better)
Cons: - Huge Size
- Very Heavy
- No Touchscreen
Other Thoughts: I considered taking an egg off because of the price, especially since I recently reviewed a less expensive router with a touchscreen that far exceeded my expectations for usefulness. However, it is really something to behold. During testing I kept finding new things to be impressed about. Also, I could have put more time into testing bandwidth at range and with multiple devices. If it lives up to its promises of managing multiple channels and providing greater overall bandwidth across all mobile devices, then the added cost would be justified, for certain applications anyway, those with a large number of bandwidth-hungry mobile devices. I am thinking maybe a rec center with a large number of mobile users within range of a single access point and a very high speed (like 150+ Mbps) Internet connection.
As for my network, Internet is about 60Mbps, there are about ten nodes wired with gigabit and ten more wireless, maybe up to 15 with guests. The Internet bandwidth is the bottleneck. The wired nodes often tap the full lot. The only time Wi-Fi is a bottleneck is when one or two of the laptops is pulling a big file from the local network. Occasionally a notebook downloading might choke the Wi-Fi. I have four kids and their friends streaming stuff to phones and tablets and I don’t notice the Wi-Fi maxing out often. I just don’t think contents for phones and tablets is that bandwidth intensive. If you lack wires and use multiple laptops transferring files or all downloading from Internet at the same time, or you have 20 of the latest 1080p tablets streaming at the same time, maybe your bottleneck IS Wi-Fi and in that case this may be a good solution for you. More than likely, your bottleneck is the memory and CPU of your router and anything over $100 will probably take care of that. This router won’t break a sweat. I had about 1000 ports open to the Internet (through wired nodes) as I maxed out my 60Mbps with no problems. A $50 router will puke on that test every time.
You might not need this router at this price, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want it. If you can afford it, I say go for it. You will be impressed and somewhat futureproofed. It is really big and really heavy. I can’t imagine what is in it to make it so. Shielding between the multiple radios, perhaps? Better quality components? Giant heat sinks?
If you are not a techie, you will find the setup pretty easy. It will work with no setup and because the Wi-Fi key is unique, you won’t have to worry about being vulnerable (and you should worry otherwise). Also, it automatically sets up a guest network, so you won’t have to give your key to guests and they won’t have access to your nodes. I do not like an unsecured guest network either. Passersby can snarf your bandwidth and download things you could get in trouble for. So yes, go into the admin interface and give your guest network a different passkey.
The admin interface is intuitive and it is the first one that I have seen that is configurable with widgets you can turn on and off. I like a few more features like in DD-WRT, but it gets the job done and Linksys appears to be setting up a developer community, so if they get traction we should expect additional features in the future.
The parent controls allow you to intuitively and quickly restrict time-of-day usage. You don’t want to find out the hard way what your 13yo daughter is doing with her iPod after you are asleep. There is also blacklist capability, but I cannot remember if there is a whitelist, but I found managing those lists too cumbersome to be useful. Windows and IOS have decent restrictions that do the job for you and if you have kids you should familiarize yourself with them.
I haven’t seen it perform the automatic firmware update, but there are setting to manage if and when that happens. I am not 100% sure this is a good thing, but leaning toward it. Security patches are a common thing and it is pretty important we stay up to date. On the other hand, what if something is using the connection in the middle of the night, can it brick itself or could the update process itself be a security vulnerability? I don’t know. This is the first router I have seen that does it automatically. I am thinking it’s a good thing.
The bottom line is you will be paying extra, but you will be getting extra. It is a solid quality product.
This review is from: TP-LINK Touch P5 Wireless AC1900 Touch Screen Gigabit Router
Pros: 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz
The touchscreen exceeds my expectations by far
I experienced about a 10% range boost
Performance is ample
Does not seem to heat up
Cons: It is twice as big as what I was using before
Some web interface limitations irked me a little
Newegg review interface (me typing right here) caused me pain me again
Other Thoughts: First a gripe on this review interface. This is the third or fourth time I have spent an hour typing in a review, only to be logged off by the time I am done and then after logging back in having my entire review be deleted. Very irritating, so yes, this is the second time around. I know, I should have edited in Word and used cut and paste. Mid way through the last attempt, I did try to cut my review text out of the window, but I couldn’t select it.
One egg off, not for Newegg’s web fail, but for just a handful of little irks. Really worth closer to ½ an egg, but here goes, this time in summary:
This thing is huge!... and heavy! Fairly decent looking with big vents on the bottom and holes in the pattern on the top. You can see straight through it at some angles. I am guessing the above characteristics help with heat because it does not seem to heat up.
The rather large piece of hardware comes with a power adapter and a 4’ Cat5E cable. There is a diagram for the novice that shows that you need to plug it into the wall, plug it into your modem and turn it on. If a person can get this far, then no instructions in the box are necessary. That is where I think the touchscreen will be useful to many people. As soon as I turned it on, the touchscreen presented a wizard and within minutes it was set up and working. The touchscreen is solid, of good resolution, good response to the touch, the wizard is straight forward and after initial configuration the menus are pretty darn good. If you don’t know what your router is supposed to do, it will tell you. If you do know, you can find the settings you are looking for easily.
I was a little put off by having to continually enter the password into the touchscreen as I was testing it, but better safe than sorry I guess.
One particularly nice thing about the touchscreen when testing it, I was able to switch between router, repeater and access point mode without having to switch cables around, change IP addresses or reset anything. I am sure there are other instances where direct access to the configuration are useful too. In my case, the router is way up high now and not accessible without a ladder, so I will be using the web interface.
Being used to the DD-WRT web interface, the first thing I noticed is there is no bandwidth graph. Then I noticed I was not able to copy and paste a Mac address from the DHCP active clients to the reservations or port forwarding screens. Bummer. Other than that, 99% of the functions people need are there and in a pretty straight forward interface. I have probably seen 30 different router interfaces and this one is laid out as nice as any and better than most. I read this router would run DD-WRT, but pretty sure you would lose the touch screen and I am incentivized or brave enough to risk bricking it.
It has the guest network feature and EVERYBODY should use it! It allows your visitors to use your Internet without seeing your network. Trust me. It is easy to set up and I suggest you learn how to hide your own internal SSID.
I abused it as best I could. I opened 1000 or so test ports downloading a combined 70Mbps through this router. The convenient CPU and Memory display on the web interface showed the CPU went from 4% to about 25% and the memory bumped from 14% to 16%, which was unexpectedly low, but not weird enough to worry about it. After thirty minutes of this there were no issues and the hardware did not heat up AT ALL!
I measured the signal strength at the fringe (about 60 feet on 2.4GHz in this environment) and it was a little higher than my RT-N16. I didn’t run any bandwidth tests out there, but my guess is about a 10 foot improvement. Nothing earthshaking. This is what I would expect from any consumer grade access point in this environment. Better than most, that would be my take away.
So by and large, from all measures I tested, it performs like a high tier consumer grade router. Should it cost double because of the touchscreen? It’s a limited utility feature that comes at a premium. It definitely works and works well. As component costs come down I predict many more routers with touchscreens in the near future. It is that good. It really fills in some of the gaps from unboxing to production, especially for the novice.
If this thing is still humming away flawlessly in 6-12 months with no down time, I will come back in and give it 5 eggs. I have never talked to TPLink customer support (yes I have other TPLInk products) and hope I never have to. Customer Support can be a 2 egg swing one way or the other.
Pros: I listed them under my previous review: about $.50/GB and puts up good benchmarks for the price: Today's CrystalDiskMark: Read - 253.1, 232.7, 25.81, 209.9, Write - 263.0, 262.8, 77.68, 203.4. (these varied a little from the first run before I installed the OS).
note: This was tested using SATA II. I would have expected to get a little closer to 300MB/s for sequential R/W, but I am guessing I have hit the SATA II bandwidth bottleneck. No problem for me as I am still CPU bound with my 980X running at 4.2GHz. I can peg all 12 virtual cores with a video transcode while keeping the temperatures under 50C. If I were pulling in big levels of a video game or grabbing a large chunk of video for editing, I might be thinking about a new rig with SATA III.
Cons: It did not come with cloning software.
Other Thoughts: It was quite a challenge to get my old SSD cloned to this one, probably because I run a dual boot with Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 and the MBR is on the Windows 7 drive. OCZ was helpful in pointing me in the right direction, but cloning Windows 8.1 just doesn't seem to have happened that often relative to Windows 7. I ended up using WHS 2011 to restore the image over my network. Then I had to insert a USB flash drive with the Windows 8.1 recovery programs on it. None of the repair options worked. I ended up loading the DOS prompt and typing the following three commands: bootrec /fixmbr, bootrec /fixboot, bootrec /rebuildBCD and that did the trick. The only thing is that now the boot selection menu is white ascii text on black instead of the new blue Windows 8 GUI. It is not a problem for me.
I have used the system about twenty hours over the last three days and had none of the freezing problems others have complained about.
This is subjective, but Windows 8.1 seems a little snappier on the OCZ ARC 100 than my other older SSD.