TP-Link Archer C9 router review Featured

TP-Link Archer C9 router review

TP-Link announced new additions to their Archer router line towards the end of last year. The Archer C9 might not be the newest in the range but it looks attractive for other reasons.

TP-Link announced new additions to their Archer router line towards the end of last year. The Archer C9 might not be the newest in the range but it looks attractive for other reasons.

The Archer C9 is an AC1900 Wi-Fi router. It can dish out wireless speeds of up to 1300 Megabits per second but that's not all.

tp-link c9 main

Firstly, it’s priced rather more modestly than its competition. Secondly, rather than the aggressive, angular styling followed by other brands, this TP-Link router keeps it's classy looks.

The overall design is smooth, curvy, and glossy. You get a cool white front with an elegant silver-painted, non-removable stand. The stand actually starts as edging along the top and then, seamlessly, become the stand.

Up top stands three matte white articulated aerials.
 
tp-link-archer-c9 rear

See also: Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 1 review: The perfect looking speaker

At the back are all the necessary ports. From left to right there’s a USB 2.0 port, WPS and reset button and WAN socket that goes to your modem. These are joined by four gigabit Ethernet ports as well as the power switch and socket.On the side is a second USB port, and this time it’s USB 3.0. Perfect for sharing files on your network from an external hard drive. Here you’ll also find the Wi-Fi transmit on/off button.

The router measures 8.7-inches wide, 3.4-inches deep including the stand, and 6.6-inches in height without the antennas.

The blue lights on the front indicate power, Wi-Fi connection, and Internet connection and so on. They are all nice and easy to read at a glance.

The main selling point of this router is its AC1900 Wi-Fi capability. That amounts to up to 600Mbit/s transfers over 2.4GHz and 1,300Mbit/s over 5GHz.

You do have to look at this as future-proofing as most won’t have the devices that take advantage of this. You see, you’ll really achieve that high bit rate if you have compatible triple-antennae hardware. That said, the triple aerial setup makes for better beam forming and multi-device throughput rates.

Set-up

Set up is easier these days as even modestly priced units such as the Archer C9 can be configured via a mobile device.

The Quick Installation Guide is clear and explains the steps via wired and wireless methods. I had the passwords and SSIDs updated within minutes using my iPhone.

Simply turn the unit on, look for the SSID (rear of the device) and then connect using the password (also on the router’s rear).

Then it is just a matter of opening a browser and heading to tplinkwifi.net. Once there, you’ll be greeted with a login screen, in which the default username and password are both ‘admin’ – which we suggest changing these immediately to keep your router secure.

The Quick Installation Guide is clear and explains the steps via wired and wireless methods. I had the passwords and SSIDs updated within a few minutes using my phone.

Simply turn the unit on, look for the SSID (given on the rear of the device) and then connect using the password (also on a label on the router’s rear).

Then it is just a matter of opening a browser and heading to tplinkwifi.net. Once there, you’ll be greeted with a login screen, in which the default username and password are both ‘admin’ – obviously needs changing to something more secure.

Reach

The 2.4GHz range on the Archer C9 shows a strong signal throughout the house. My desk is at the front upstairs window in the corner; the router is in the opposite corner of the back ground floor room.

As to be expected, the 5GHz range is not as far reaching as the 2.4 band, but my phone still shows a full, strong connection. I have to walk outside to loose signal from either band.

See also: BT Whole Home Wi-Fi review: Bye Bye Deadspots

 

TP-Link-C9-Design


Streaming

The Archer C9 handled streaming FLAC to the Onkyo TC-8150, whilst simultaneously sending Netflix to a laptop and tablet. All without any problem whatsoever.

The wired connection has also been stable with my NAS taking up a pair of the Ethernet ports and the switch to my A/V taking another. The final port goes to a Powerline router that feeds the upstairs rooms.

Verdict

The TP-Link Archer C9 has great range and it also looks good as well as being easy to set up. It is a great router that costs a lot less than its competitors. Well worth considering if you want to upgrade your router.

You can buy the Archer C9 right now and solve any potential Wi-Fi woes over Christmas. It costs £99.99 from TP-Link’s Amazon store.

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