Review: TP-Link Archer C2300 AC2300 Router

The latest router to hit my review desk is the TP-Link Archer C2300 AC2300 router. Here’s what you get under the hood:

  • A dual-core 1.8GHz CPU
  • 128 MB of storage memory
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • Four Gigabit ports
  • USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports
  • WiFi speeds of 1625Mbps on the 5GHz band and 600Mbps on 2.4GHz.
  • MU-MIMO support
  • Beamforming support

In terms of looks, it looks flies under the radar.

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It features a black plastic exterior, with the top side divided into two main parts, one is covered by a black glossy finish and the other is covered by lots of diamond-shaped cut-outs to allow for better airflow inside the case. The lights aren’t over the top bright either which means it won’t make a student’s dorm room glow in the dark. Of interest, there’s a button on the side that disables WiFi in a single button press. I’ve never seen that before and I can see how it can be handy to get your kids off their devices and off to bed.

The router features a web-based utility which can be reached by either directly connecting the router to a computer using a cable or by connecting wirelessly to the preconfigured WiFi network using the SSID and password provided on the bottom label. Then you open a web-browser and go to http://tplinkwifi.net to create a new secure administrator password. You then access the Quick Setup wizard, which will guide you through the setup process. But there’s another option which is the TP-Link’s Tether app. This app works on both Android and iOS, and walks you through the setup procedure of the router. Either way, the setup process pretty painless and accessible for most users.

To test the router, I took my MacBook Pro and ran some speed tests. On 802.11ac I got an average of 573 Mbps next to the router. Then going to the far end of my condo and I got an average of 481 Mbps. One thing to keep in mind is that I have a concrete wall for WiFi to get through which makes this result more than respectable. For giggles I then repeated the same experiment on 802.11n and next to the router I got an average of 139 Mbps, while at far end of my condo the speed slightly decreased to 122 Mbps. That too is pretty respectable. TP-Link markets this router as being ideal for streaming 4k video, sharing files, as an extender to your existing wireless network, or simply to browse the web. Given my results, I would say that this marketing is easily believable. One other point, this router had no problem reaching the far reaches of my condo. Something that some routers struggle to do.

Here’s the best thing about this router. It’s the price. At $200 CDN retail (less of you look around) it gives you a lot of performance for not a lot of your hard earned money in return. It’s a great value for anyone who needs a router for a decent sized home while having a fair amount of performance.

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