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Pros: - While not a totally objective point, the appearance should work well for most people. It is plain black with all green LED's (NOT blue as is shown in the product tour above) which are reasonably sized and not overly bright. The LED indicators are also shaped so you should be able to see what is being indicated from across the room. The device has a low profile from the front so it shouldn't look overbearing amidst other electronics.
- An On/Off button is something I consider to be a premium feature for routers, so it's nice to see one included on this more affordable model.
- Wireless On/Off is uncommon even in premium routers so its inclusion here really makes this router stand out in its price class.
- 3 large, adjustable, detachable antennas allows for a reasonable degree of flexibility.
- Mounting 'key holes' on the bottom of the unit allow for wall/ceiling mounting.
- WPS button for easy configuration, also not typically found in budget routers.
- Wireless Signal strength isn't horrible. While obviously not as fast as some of the pricey wireless AC models I have used, it seems to be on par with mid-range wireless N offerings. It is decent balance of speed and range. Play around with the channel settings if range becomes an issue.
- After a week of heavy testing I have not been required to reset this model. Throughout the week it has been constantly connected via WiFi to a PC, laptop, tablet, 2 smart phones, a Wii, and 2 smart TV's, and has been connected via ethernet to a NAS (with dual ethernet), a home theater PC, and a PS3. All devices were used normally with no issues.
- TP Link customer service seems to be amazing, which is rare with network hardware companies. Just reviewing their comments on reviews of this product alone reveals that they not only read and respond to customer concerns, but are actually very knowledgeable with their products. (not your typical, "maam/sir have you tried restarting your device..?")
Cons: - Large desk-space footprint. At nearly 10 inches wide and 8 inches deep (including the antennas) it consumes as much space as many of the premium wireless AC routers.
- No vertical stand options.
- Most of the ventilation is on the bottom of this unit. There are small vents on the top, but the design might benefit from some on the sides as well. I see people put their router on a carpeted floor regularly (don't do this) and this model might not ventilate well enough in that scenario.
- While signal strength is adequate for the price, it may not be enough for some users. My home is single story 1400 sq ft with 3 bedrooms and an attached garage and sits on a 3/4 acre lot. I positioned the router in the center of the house for a week of testing. Some of the more powerful dual band routers I have tested have allowed me to connect on either band throughout the house in addition to the front/back porch, garage, and large portions of the yard. With this router, however, I was not able to connect from the garage or the yard at all, and the front/back porches were both unreliable. Indoor connections were all reliable but speed was effected significantly at a distance. My home has a very open floor plan so I was expecting a bit more performance here but it wasn't unacceptable for the price. Just be weary of the limitations if you have a multi-story, >3 bedroom home, or wish to connect reliably from outside. If that is you then you may want to spend more for a router with more powerful radios.
Other Thoughts: The router that was shipped to me is a version 1.7 and based on many of the reviews below it seems that TP-Link has made some improvements to the design over the past year or so. I had no issues that I wouldn't have expected given the price. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this router to someone living in an apartment or small to medium home. If you live in a large home and/or require throughput closer to the Gbps range you should give this one a pass and consider a premium wireless AC model.
I read complaints about the setup disk below. And even though I didn't experience those issues I don't generally use setup disks when setting up a router anyway. From my experience they can be hit or miss so I generally avoid them altogether. So, here is a brief tutorial for anyone having trouble with the disk...
I simply supply the router with power, wait a couple minutes for it to boot up, and connect a PC to it via Ethernet to configure it. Most routers, including this one, use the local address 192.168.0.1. Simply type that into your web browser address bar and it should connect you to the router to configure it. This model can also be reached via the web address: tplinklogin.net , which can be reached without internet access since the web page is hard coded into the router itself. This URL and the login username and password are printed on the bottom of the router, as with almost all routers. Once logged on you can configure wireless settings (passwords, etc..). Even if the location you intend to place the router isn't near a computer you can always temporarily plug the router in next to your PC just to configure it and then move it wherever you want afterwards without losing your settings. As soon as you configure your settings (and you don't technically have to configure anything if you don't intend to have a secure network) you can simply plug in your modem and any devices you connect to the router should connect without issues.
Another common issue less experienced network users tend to encounter when upgrading a router involves the router MAC address. Modems will register to whatever device they are plugged into when they are activated (generally a router or PC). So if you plug something different into that modem (ie. upgrade your router) it won't work unless you re-register the modem to the new device. Re-registering the modem isn't too difficult if you have the CD which came with it, but many people throw them away or can't remember which junk drawer in the kitchen it's buried in. There is an easier way to get around this called MAC address cloning which is something this router (and almsot all routers) can do. On this model the option is located under Network > MAC Clone. Simply type the MAC address of the previous device into the 'WAN MAC Address' field and click 'Save'. (The MAC address is usually labeled on the bottom of the router) This will make the modem think it is plugged into the same device it was registere
Pros: - Price. These are certainly not cheap. But comparing them to the rest of the DDR4 lineup they're basically budget RAM. If you want to build a DDR4 based system but don't want to shell out $500+, this kit will get you a reasonable capacity, and fantastic entry level DDR4 performance from a reputable brand. It's hard to beat at the moment.
- Practical, low profile heat spreaders. Consumers finally seem to be embracing the fact that large, fancy heat sinks on RAM are gimmicky and more than anything just get in the way. These heat spreaders are a good match for the thermal output of the modules and they will clear just about any heat sink. I checked this with a Zalman CNPS8900, which is very low, and it clears the modules, albeit barely.
- Quad channel bandwidth. This is a given for any DDR4 kit and is also not likely to reveal any performance benefits in the current software generation.
- Buy with confidence from Corsair. I have had multiple Corsair products and have never required customer service, but from what I understand they have a good reputation on that end.
Cons: - I can find nothing wrong with this kit.
Other Thoughts: I have experienced no issues running on Asus X99 Deluxe. I tested all XMP profiles for stability and have experienced zero issues with any of them. I settled on the DDR4 2400 profile (obviously) and have been running stable for over a week.
This is my first experience with DDR4 memory and while I have no complaints I wouldn't recommend anyone jump the DDR3 ship just yet.
Some people are satisfied with their current system performance but might be wanting something a little better. If you are in that camp I suggest waiting for DDR4 to drop in price. Your money would currently be better suited upgrading your graphics card or CPU, or adding more DDR3.
For another group of people, money isn't an issue and having the latest and greatest gadgets is simply a given. For those of you in this category I would also suggest looking elsewhere. This is a great DDR4 kit but it is far from the best.
However, if your gaming PC is beginning to show its age and you have your eye on DDR4 for a potential new build, this kit might be for you. You will get great performance for a price which isn't terrible. You will also have a clear upgrade path for the next 3 to 5 years by getting on board with a brand new memory standard.
This review is from: TP-LINK Archer C9 Wireless AC1900 Dual Band Gigabit Router
Pros: -Less expensive than most of the other premiere dual band AC1900 routers.
-Signal strength is sufficient and comparable to other AC1900 routers I have tested. I have a 1400 sq ft single story home and both the 2.4ghz and 5ghz bands are accessible throughout the house. I have a 500 sq ft garage attached on the side of the house and the 5ghz band begins to get a little spotty at that range, whereas 2.4Ghz remains strong. My home sits on a 3/4 acre yard, which while I'm mowing the lawn I like to listen to Pandora on my phone. If I connect to WiFi on 5Ghz I tend to lose reception about halfway between the house and the edge of the property. 2.4ghz on the other hand covers the entire yard without interruptions. Basically, all of the devices which tend to leave the house (phones and tablets) get connected to 2.4Ghz and indoor devices (PC's and laptops) connect via 5Ghz. This router never gave me any issues using that configuration.
-Connection rate is adequate enough to cover most needs. My primary PC connects to the router via Wireless AC at a rate varying between 702 and 877mbps. The PC sits in an office separated from the router by two walls and a distance of about 25 feet. I am using an ASUS PCE-AC68 AC1900 adapter.
-The router looks very clean and professional, and feels sturdy and high quality. With its white polished surfaces and minimalist design it seems that TP-Link has borrowed a chapter from Mac's playbook. This should fit the bill nicely if you are aiming for that sort of aesthetic.
-Adjustable/detachable antennas allow for flexibility and upgradability.
-WiFi On/Off button. This is a feature I would like to see on more routers. The ability to physically turn off the WiFi without disrupting a connection to wired devices is very convenient.
-Rocker style on/off switch. This should be standard for all high end routers.
-WPS button. This is fairly standard these days but its nice that it wasn't overlooked here.
-1 each USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports, also fairly standard for high end routers currently.
-LED indicators are an attractive/uniform blue, are not overly bright, and are shaped which makes it easy to see what is being indicated from across the room.
-The browser interface is easy on the eyes and straightforward to use.
Cons: -The device only stands upright. The stand cannot be removed or adjusted so laying the router flat is not an option without getting creative. This is particularly annoying for me because the antennas stick upright making the device fairly tall. I typically keep my router in a cubby on my living room entertainment center cabinet which isn't tall enough for this. This router also features no wall mounting points. Physical placement options for this model will be very limited.
-The stand is framed around the antenna attachment points which covers the grip grooves on the antennas making it difficult to screw them in tightly.
-No grounding post for DC power brick. Netgear seems to be the only mainstream router manufacturer that grounds their products properly.
Other Thoughts: My primary router is a Linksys WRT1900AC. I tested 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz signal strength on both routers using WiFi Analyzer for android at all four corners of my property and in all rooms of my house. The Linksys model offers superior signal strength, showing an average 5-10dBm advantage on the 5Ghz band and up to 5dBm on 2.4Ghz. My primary PC also maintains a faster connection rate with the Linksys at 866Mbps-1Gbps over the TP-Link rate of 702-866Mbps.
That being said, the TP-Link Archer C9 is considerably less expensive than the Linksys model and many other routers with similar specs. If you don't mind the fixed stand, and the aesthetics of the router suit your taste then this router is a great choice. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to someone.
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