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Pros: UPDATE: 1 Year Later.
Still working great. Provides fast, reliable internet, file transfers, TV streaming (from a Silicondust HD Homerun Prime digital TV tuner box), and media sharing/streaming via 5.0GHz wi-fi and powerline adapters. We remain very impressed with this funny looking router, especially after testing a couple of other pricey routers along the way which were sent to me for review. Neither of those other routers (an Linksys AC2400 and a TP-Link OnHub) was able to provide both 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz speeds as fast as the Archer C9. And we haven't suffered dropped connections, either, except when the whole chain needed power cycling due to Comcast occasional glitches in service. Also, the free-to-download TP-Link Printer Controller app works great. All our computers - wired, powerline and wi-fi can use the HP printer (and our older Canon) that's connected to the USB 2.0 port on the router. (One computer at a time may have printer access.) Eventually, we added more wired devices which necessitated adding an 8-port unmanaged ethernet switch (Netgear GS-108 i think), and that works well, too. All in all, we're still very satisfied with the Archer C9 after a full year of use.
Very easy setup to get started.<br><br>Easy to reach Wi-fi ON/OFF button on side panel.<br><br>Best Wi-fi range of any router we've ever used.<br><br>Awesome wireless bandwidth for streaming, sharing, Youtube, etc.<br><br>Gigabit ethernet for best performance on wired <br>connections, too.<br><br>USB 3.0 port for connecting external hard drive which can be shared by everyone on your home network.<br><br>USB 2.0 port for connecting a printer or another external hard drive.<br><br>Free app for using the printer from a PC, laptop, tablet or phone.<br><br>Free "tether" app so you can set up or manage the router from a phone or tablet.<br><br>Stand-up orientation means no cooling fan needed.<br><br>White finish plus 3 white antennas give it a striking appearance.<br><br>After setup, no flashing or blinking lights to drive you crazy.<br><br>2 year warranty with "Unlimited tech support 24/7".
Cons: Quick Install Guide fails to even mention setting up Wi-fi <br>security/password. Wireless security instructions begin on page 39 of the main User Guide.<br><br>As usual, there are four ethernet ports. If you need more, add a 5 or 8 port switch.
Overall Review: Our existing setup is:<br>TP-Link TL-WDR3600 dual-band router<br>2 x PCs connected via Powerline/ethernet<br>2 x PCs connected via Wi-fi @ 2.4GHz <br>iPad Mini <br>iPhone 4S.<br><br>Internet: Comcast 50Mbps<br><br>This system worked well with two exceptions. The Lenovo laptop (model Y500 - notorious for its mediocre Wi-fi) and the iPad mini both had fairly poor Wi-fi performance when being used 2 rooms away from the router or outside on the deck. Internet was usable, but streaming video would pause/freeze for a few seconds every 2 minutes or so. Making sure all other mobile devices were not in use <br>helped a bit, but it was still stop-and-go when streaming, especially if we were both sitting outside and using the laptop and iPad. <br><br>We bought a TP-Link T4U 5GHz USB Wi-fi adapter, plugged it into the laptop and enabled the 5GHz Wi-fi band on the more basic WDR3600 router. Now, the laptop streamed OK with no pauses as long as we didn't have several other mobile devices using up bandwidth - a definite improvement.<br><br>So, finally we come to the fancy Archer C9 router. What could it offer that we werent' getting from the less expansive dual-band model? Being impressed with how well the C9 performed over the first few days we decided to try and bring it to its knees, so to speak, with an outrageous test.<br><br>We went online with ALL our devices, both Powerline/wired and wi-fi, to Youtube.com and Vimeo.com where we chose a variety of HD videos and played them them all at once.<br><br>Streaming:<br>PC 1 = 1080p video<br>PC 2 = 1080p video<br>PC 3 (2.4GHz Wi-fi)= 720p video<br>Laptop (5GHz wi-fi)= 1080p video <br>iPad Mini (2.4GHz Wi-fi) = 720p video<br>iPhone 4S (2.4GHz Wi-fi) = ??? video<br><br>They all played perfectly - glitch-free, no problems! Could hardly believe it. OK, let's add another layer of difficulty. Keep all that streaming going plus open Windows Media Center and play recorded TV shows in HD over the home network to some of the devices.<br><br>Streaming as before + streaming HDTV recordings to 4 of the computers. Result: They all played OK again. Walked from room to room to double-check, still OK. <br><br>Cancelled 5GHz wi-fi, thus adding the laptop to the already busy 2.4GHz band. Video began to stutter or freeze on a couple of screens now. Kinda makes you appreciate the benefits of having the 5GHz band as an extra.<br><br>Before stopping all the streaming i touched the router's case, and it was slightly warm, no more.<br><br>Later, i took just the iPad Mini outside and walked slowly around the backyard which took me up to 40 or 50 feet away from the router indoors. The iPad kept playing - no freezups. Maybe the so-called beam-forming feature actually can direct the wi-fi signal towards you. <br><br>**File copying from Windows 7 pc (wired) to windows 8.1 laptop (5GHz wi-fi showing 4 bars out of 5 signal strength). One other computer was on the internet at the same time as the file transfer.<br><br>Copy 1 video size 2.1GB :<br>via TP-Link TL-WDR3600 router = 9.2MB/sec. = 73.8Mbps<br>via NEW TP-Link A
Pros: The name of this game is beamforming. Beamforming directionally focuses the signal towards your device(s) rather than blanket broadcast signal. There isn’t an option to turn it off in the settings, so I will have to compare it so Linksys’s AC2400 router with Beamforming and compare. This is $50 less at the time of this writing.
Styling is probably polarizing. If your router is visible, this sure would look better than a WRT54G. It looks like an Apple fanboy designed it. the router has has plenty of connectivity if you need USB ports for printing or storage. But anyways, on with the speed tests: I did this same test multiple times at different times of the day. I started to test it between two high end Windows 7 x64 computers, not connected to the internet, transferring between two RAMdrives that can read and write over 6.4GB/sec. One though the router and one through a Linksys USB6300 courtesy of Linksys in a USB 3.0 port for wifi. For wired, I used high quality 6' factory made Cat 6 (not Cat5/e) cables, and gigabit ports on the computer, latest drivers. No data was sent through any keystones, patch panels, or other house wiring was used. (thus I can assure you there is minimal bottleneck in system). AKA ***This is as fast as it gets.*** Here are the test speeds I got for in the same room best possible speeds you can expect:
One large file = 117MB/sec (this is 940 mbits)
Thousand Medium files = 49 MB/sec (391 mbits)
Tens of thousands of Tiny files = 3.54 MB/sec (28 mbits)
WIRELESS AC Single point (“Connected” @ 867 mbits) Same Room.
Large single file = 35.5 MB/sec (this is 284mbits)
Medium files = 23.3 MB/sec (186mbits)
Tiny files = 2.72 MB/sec (22 mbits)
First of all, wired speeds are highly comparable to Linksys save for medium sized files over ethernet are much slower than the competition (Linksys.) I’d say 30-37% slower. Weird.
For wireless speeds are the same for larger files, about 28% slower for medium files however 88% faster for small files. This is significant as internet and gaming is chock full of tiny files and this TP-Link simply smokes the Linksys’s Beamforming router. They simply must have focused this router on internet/gaming, and it shows. So for large files, it’s on par with Linksys, medium sized files, mp3s, jpgs, it’s slower than Linksys, but for smaller files over wifi it really REALLY shines. Close to 90% Faster than linksys? Unbelievable. I had to do that test several different ways to confirm.
Classic 192.168.0.1 admin/admin and you’re in.
Cons: The marketing still bothers me, you will reach 900, 1,300 or 1,900mbits unless you bridge two identical routers, and then you might get 500mbits. With an PCI-e/USB3.0 wireless AC adapter, I still have not gotten faster than wireless N speeds (300mbits) even though I am connected at 5ghz @ 879mbits in the same room. Marketing...
The stand is not removable nor adjustable, if you have your router mounted on a pegboard, this router is not for you.
Overall Review: If you want a top end router, with beamforming, and you internet or game a lot over wifi, and you like the styling, I’d snag this without hesitation. Super fast wifi transfer speeds for tiny files, Wow. And cheaper than the slower linksys? Easy choice. Router have gotten more and more expensive, but more feature packed. And this one is on the cheaper side. I can’t not give this five stars. The only thing is slightly slower medium file transfer rate, but it makes up for it in WIFI tiny file transfer rates and then some. Which is what more people use wifi for now-a-days.
Pros: Very stable router compared to the R7000 this is will replace
No dropped connections or lag what so ever.
Easy to use and quick to learn user interface via web a browser.
Cost 25% less than other brands.
Cons: The only downside is there is no DD-WRT support for this router at this time.
Overall Review: I have a mix of Android phones, iPad, windows and macbook laptops here. I never once had any issues with windows, IOS or android OS.
Easy to setup. I will be using this for access point duty only now.
Pros: Excellent WIFI performance: I have two other 802.11ac routers, an ASUS and a Netgear, the TP Link Archer C9 is as fast as the ASUS with better range and it's faster then the Netgear. I measured the WiFI performance with a Nexus 5 phone using OOkla Speedtest, to test Internet performance, and iperf to test the bandwidth to my LAN. I have 150Mbit FIOS which gives me 152Mbit down and 161Mbit up from a wired connection (measured from OOKla's website using the TP_LINK router to access the Internet). Over WIFI the TP Link delivered 153 MBit down and 70MBit up on the 5G band when measured in the same room as the router which is comparable to my other routers. When measured in an adjacent room it delivered the same bandwidth, 152 down and 71 up, none of my other routers came close to that performance. On the 2.4G band it delivered 59 down and 43 up which are excellent numbers for 2.4G.
To measure the maximum WiFI bandwidth I used iperf which is a Linux network measurement tool. I set up the iperf server on one of my Linux systems with the command 'iperf -s'. I then used the iperf Android app on the Nexus 5, using command iperf -c IP_ADDRESS. I ran it three times, the results ranged between 200MBit/second and 227MBit/second which is as fast as any router that I've tested.
Intuitive User Interface: The browser based user interface is fairly intuitive although aesthically it looks a little cruder than the ASUS or the Netgear routers. I was able to set up port forwarding, the WAN port, the LAN ports and the DHCP server fairly easily.
Cons: The one area where this router is seriously deficient is firmware updating. It can't browse the Internet for a firmware update as other routers can, you have to manually download the firmware from TP_LINK's website and then upload it to the router. This is a relatively minor complaint, the much more serious problem is that a firmware update returns the browser to the factory defaults rather than preserving configuration as other routers do. This is a really serious bug especially if you have multiple routers. The default IP address of the router is 192.168.0.1 which it returns to after a firmware update. On networks with another router that use's 192.168.0.1 (which is a fairly common default IP address) this can lead to conflicts. On networks which use a different subnet, for example a 192.168.1.xx net, which is also common, you have to change the IP address of your Ethernet NIC to talk to the TP LInk router before you can restore it's settings.
Overall Review: About Me: I'm a Newegg EggXpert, we aren't paid for these reviews but we do get free review units. We also get early access to new devices which is fun. I'm an engineer who has been designing computers since the 1970s. I specialize in networking and high performance computing.
Pros: - Super easy setup
- Intuitive menu designs. Probably one of the best I've seen ever in a home router. Rivals ASUS's clean interface.
- Excellent build quality
- Pretty good speeds for home router. I was able to connect at AC speeds with an Intel 7260 2x2 adapter in my laptop and had great throughput. Copying a 6 GB file I was able to manage a consistent 27 megabytes a second which quite frankly is nothing short of fantastic.
- FINALLY no more reboots after most changes in the web interface. This was a major turn off for me with TP-Link products in the past.
- Full featured router including USB hard drive support and usb printing support
- One of the best guest modes I've seen with Speed Control, scheduling, and other settings all of which worked very well.
Cons: - No access point only mode
- No N/AC or G/N only mode. Why we still support B clients is beyond me. This isn't a problem limited to TPLink. I've seen this in really every other home router manufacturer. Annoying more than anything.
Overall Review: Really I have virtually nothing bad to say about this router. Aside from my two cons, I am fully satisfied with this router and would have no problem putting this on my short list for myself or to recommend to family and friends. TPLink has come a long way with their products over the past year or two and I have to say I am impressed with this one.
Another reviewer complained that it doesn't have HTTPS management and while this is annoying if you are going to manage it outside of your home via a web console, internally this really isn't needed. I'm not sure for home users it's a big deal since most won't be configuring outside of the home anyway unless it's via their app.
Thank you, TP Link, for listening to customers and for improving your products. I look forward to seeing more of what you have to offer in the future.
*** UPDATE ***
It's now a year later and I ended up with another one of these to review.
Not much has changed since the last time I reviewed this. Speeds are still good with current firmware as is signal strength. I still stand by my statement that we really need to quit supporting B clients and really even G clients at this point, though the latter is less of an issue. I did test with a newer Intel Wifi Card this time around and achieved similar results. Still a great router for the price and it would be on my short list to recommend to others.
Pros: I actually waited nearly 2 months to write this review because I wanted to actually get a more realistic picture of its reliability, speed, and stability. Suffice to say I’m pretty satisfied.
Physically, I find this router to be pretty attractive. Unlike some that try to look as techy as possible, this one seems to take the high road and looks like something I might actually want to put in view in my house. That being said, it still sits in the basement tied to my modem.
The router’s HUD/digital interface is leaps and bounds better than many others made by both TP-Link and others. Its simple and relatively powerful without going overboard for the average, non-N+ certified user. From the factory, it comes with security enabled by default (though that seems like a given anymore) and offers simple to use guest network controls (speed, access, etc).
As far as connectivity, I had no problems getting any of my devices to see or connect to this router. I have had to power cycle it once, but that may have been an issue with the modem (I always power cycle them in tandem). It features a USB 3.0 port and supports flash drives, hard drives, and printers. I didn’t trial these features much beyond my USB 3.0 flash drive which it quickly recognized.
Cons: Despite the nice physical appearance, the stand wasn’t really designed to be anywhere where it might experience a slight breeze or a bump. That is to say it isn’t particularly stable. Furthermore, if your Ethernet cables are soft and flexible, you’re going to have trouble getting this to stand the way you want it to.
As several others have pointed out, the router will still broadcast your network SSID even after you tell it not to. For those of us in houses with enough space in between, it probably isn’t a big deal. However, if you’re in a crowded area of apartments or townhomes, you may want to hide your SSID.
Overall Review: This is just one of many routers I have received from Newegg over the past year+. While it doesn’t feature the absolute best range, its speed is comparable to most of the others and its price point is $30-50 less than most. I have received a variety of different TP-Link items from Newegg and haven’t been completely satisfied with all of them; however I’m glad to say I do like this router and will continue using it until something better comes along for me.
Pros: -Easy setup
-Small form factor
-Good range (both 2.4 and 5GHz)
-Very nice and clean interface. No lag when clicking through menus and changing settings. Applying changes is quick and painless. I can change settings and update firmware without a break in my netflix stream. ASUS is still my fave interface but TP Link is getting close.
-2.4Ghz can be set to N Only and 5GHz can be set to AC only
Cons: -While others like the physical design I do not. While I normally stand routers vertically I like options to lay it flat or wall mount it. This rounter can't do either. Is always very unstable. A slight bump into the desk and this will fall on its face. The gray plastic trim piece makes it difficult to screw and unscrew the antennas.
-The ac power adapter is huge and is part of the plug rather than a brick along the length of the power cord. It is heavy and long enough that gravity can rotate it and this unplug it over time which is quite a hassle. Will also easily block other outlets on your power strip.
Pros: The first thing that struck me about this router was how nice it looked. The pictures online really don't do it justice. The way it's designed, it's meant to stand up. Opposed to lying flat like most routers do. Even though it stands up, it sits securely in that position. The standing position also makes it easier to ascertain the status of your network at a glance.
For what I would consider to be mid range price, this router offers high end performance on the wireless network. The range is remarkable. Rivaling the range of even the most high end routers. I was very impressed with this routers range. But what was even more impressive was that it was able to maintain a strong signal even on the edges of this routers wireless range.
I think that is attributable to this routers beam forming capability. Beam forming is a feature I have become very fond of. Although, I have found that even though many routers offer beam forming, they don't implement it well. In this case, TP Link has implemented it correctly.
The TP Link Archer C9 AC1900 is a dual band router. With up to 600 Mb/sec on the 2.4 GHz band and 1300 Mb/sec on the 5 GHz band. The 2.4 GHz wireless band on this router is outstanding. It supports double the overall bandwidth that most routers do for 2.4 GHz and the range is excellent.
This router has 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 2 USB ports. One USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 port. File sharing with this router was really easy. There was no need to tell it what you wanted to share. All I had to do was hook up the external drive to one of the USB ports and it automatically made the entire drive available to share without having to go into the routers advanced setup and configure it manually. Just plug it in and map your drive. Go to the Start Menu, right click on Computer and select Map Network Drive. Then in the Folder text box insert the routers IP. Type: \\192.168.0.1\ ,make sure you insert the slashes. Then click on Browse, track down what it is you want to share and click OK. Nice and easy.
This router comes equipped with 3 dual band antennas. I've found that routers that utilize dual band antennas tend to have superior range than routers that have only single band antennas. This router also features a 1 GHz dual core CPU. You might be wondering, as I was when I first saw a router that was equipped with a CPU, what difference is it that a CPU makes on a router? Well, a faster CPU for your router means that it will respond to any task significantly faster. It's really hard to explain this aspect. But when working with a high end router that utilizes a much faster CPU you'll notice that it's much snappier than your average router. It will boot up faster, things load quicker, devices will connect faster, pretty much every aspect of the routers function gets a speed boost.
Cons: This router tends to get very warm, even with typical operation. Some equipment is built to tolerate heat, so it might not be an issue. But I was surprised at the amount of heat this router generates.
The antennas are difficult to screw into place. There is this ornate looking grey bracket that outlines this router. Although it looks very nice, it gets in the way of being able to fully screw in this routers external antennas.
USB performance is poor. The USB 3.0 port doesn't perform at USB 3.0 speeds. With the drives I tested, all of which were USB 3.0, I saw roughly 1/3 the speed I would normally see with those drives with sustained transfers. On a quality USB 3.0 port I would normally see my external hard drives sustain 60 MB/sec reads and writes. But using the USB 3.0 port on this router I was consistently seeing around 20 MB/sec. A definite improvement from some of the older TP Link routers I've owned, but far from what I would like it to be.
The USB 2.0 port performs the same, in terms of bandwidth, as the USB 3.0 port.
I updated the firmware to the latest version. With the factory firmware USB performance was even worse than the results I listed above.
USB performance has been an issue on several of the TP Link routers I've owned. I think the USB 3.0 port on this router is more an attempt to ensure compatibility than high performance.
To be honest I rarely use most of this routers features. I am in a unique situation where I have no wireless signals in range of my home, no cellular either. So there is virtually zero interference with my Wi-Fi. I live in the middle of nowhere so I have no need to take any extraordinary steps to protect my network. Anyone who is going to be using my Wi-Fi is a trusted friend or family member who I would willingly give full and unrestricted access. I just wish the USB ports performed a little better. Having to wait for large file transfers at 20 MB/sec if extremely tedious.
Overall Review: Even though USB performance isn't ideal, it's still high enough to stream most things, including HD videos and it's plenty enough to run a network printer.
This router is IPv6 compatible. Which is the next step for IP address assignment. IPv4 is still the standard, but with its limited number of potential maximum IP addresses, at some point there won't be any more available IP addresses using that system. Which is where IPv6 comes in. It will allow for a lot more, virtually an endless supply of potential IP addresses. All it does is basically allow it to use more digits. So when that eventually takes effect you can rest easy knowing this router won't have any trouble with it.
There is an app that you can use to access some of this routers features, see who is connected to your network at any given time and block unwanted connections. The TP Link Tether app for iOS and Android. Most of the functions are pretty basic, but it can definitely be useful for a lot of people.
The Archer C9 also has a guest network feature. Which would be nice for allowing someone temporary and restricted access to your network. You can have your guest network active all the time. The router issues you a password, that can be changed at any time, for your guest network that you'll have to issue to your friends, family or customers depending on how you use it. You can also leave it open and unprotected if you want.
This router features WPS or Wireless Protected Setup. It's pretty much just a button you can press when connecting new devices to give that device immediate access without entering a password. Or if your device also features WPS, you can press it for both the device and the router and they'll connect without having to find your wireless network and enter a password. Yeah, it's a nice feature that can potentially save you some time but I rarely use it.
In my opinion this router is well worth it. I have only seen one router that had superior range and performance on the wireless network and it costs $100 more than this one. In fact, the wireless range and signal strength was so good that it extended further than my previous router and range extender. I measured the distance to where I was able to maintain a strong signal to 220 feet from the router. That was through a path with plenty of obstruction, the distance was even greater from the side of my house with the big window. Completely negating the need to use a range extender. Very impressive. The only flaw I take issue with is the USB speeds, aside from that, this router is really solid. The range and signal strength are excellent. Aside from Cross Band, this router has all the features of even the most high end routers.
TP Link is a brand that has a lot to offer at a really good price point, this router is no exception.