- Looks great and can be on display in the home
- Very easy setup process
- Multiple users can benefit from dual core processor and MU-MIMO
- Web portal controls aren't very easy to understand and layout is sub-par
The wireless router industry is a minefield. There are numbers everywhere, little changes in those numbers mean big changes in reality. Wireless speeds advertised on the box aren’t really the speeds you’re going to get, and your wireless receiver may not be good enough to capture the full speed the router is giving out. It’s crippling, which is why when offered to take a look at the TP-Link Archer C2300 I asked for one of their AC1900 adapters too.
If I’m honest, these numbers don’t mean much to me, especially within the real world. The large numbers advertised on the box mean nothing, and to be honest, are very unrealistic when it comes to internet speed. SO why would anyone invest in something like this, rather than stick with the box that their internet service provider gave them? Well, I did some testing, and my results are below.
The TP-Link Archer C3200 has been made for ADSL connections, and I have a cable broadband supplier, so I straight away plugged this into my network switch to use it that way. I was supplied with a USB wireless adapter, the TP-Link AC1900 to plug into my laptop, as I knew my network card was slow. My house receives 200mb broadband from Virgin, and after installing the TP-Link driver, I received 220mbps wireless broadband to my laptop. Pretty impressive stuff when before I was only receiving around 15mbps connected to my Virgin router.
This was all very impressive, but not really a real reason to upgrade from my Virgin router. So why would I choose this over something else? Well the answer is pretty simple. The TP-Link Archer C2300 has a processor, which has cores. Think of these cores as a motorway. On cheaper, smaller processors there’s usually one core, or one highway where all information travels to your wireless devices. With a multicore processor, as well as help from MU-MIMO, the information going to your wireless products can be split up to travel down these different highways.
In a nutshell, this means more people can stream higher quality content while playing games at the same time in your house. Perfect if you’ve got more than four devices all on one broadband connection. And with more smartphones and games consoles and laptops than ever before, this is good news. The last thing is ‘beamforming’ technology, which is supposed to create a direct line between the wireless router and your device. This helps for those with larger homes, or thick walls.
On top of all this, the TP-Link Archer C2300 looks good too. With a silver metallic band wrapping round the outside separating the top and bottom, and a glossy black and diamond pattern on top, this box would bring the modern aesthetic out of any living area in the home. Practically speaking, there are several Gigabit ports on the back which can be doubled up for faster speed if needed using the browser software, two USB ports on the side, one being USB 3.0 and the other 2.0 to create some kind of network hard drive, and an array of indication lights on top so you can quickly spot the status of your network.
For the more tech savvy among you, there are a whole host of options available in the web browser to sort things like port numbers and VPN setup procedures, as well as a whole host of in-app features like parental controls and device blocking.
Okay, so the TP-Link Archer C2300 is not cheap, coming in at around £160 online, but for these kind of features, and if you have multiple high volume users in your home, this is the best bang for buck. It’s the perfect home router. Not so much for business, but for those people, you have your own choice of wireless solutions. For more information on the TP-Link Archer C2300, then please visit their website.