TP-LINK Archer C9 Router Review

Networking, Reviews

Testing

Setup

The setup process of the Archer C9 is incredibly simple. The software that TP-LINK has built in to their routers features a Quick Setup section. If you click on this you’re greeted a few different screens, which upon completion should mean that you’re ready to go. Below are a few screenshots of the setup process.

Screenshot 2015-12-07 03.32.50
Region and Time Zone
Screenshot 2015-12-07 03.33.04
WAN Connection Type
Screenshot 2015-12-07 03.33.14
WAN Connection Type
Screenshot 2015-12-07 03.34.03
Wireless Settings
Screenshot 2015-12-07 03.34.21
Summary
Screenshot 2015-12-07 03.34.35
Test Your Connection

With the TP-LINK Archer C9 being a cable router, this means that you’re either going to need to have a Fibre-Optic Internet connection coming in to your house, or an external modem to connect through. Personally, I can’t get Fibre-Optic in my area so I had to unfortunately opt for the external modem method.

The Archer C9 does a great job of automatically grabbing the settings from your modem. The whole setup process took no more than 5 minutes. With such a simple setup process, the C9 doesn’t require that you have an expert-level knowledge of networking and can be setup by almost anybody.

Once you’re setup, there’s a whole host of different things you can do. There is a Basic overview and an Advanced overview of the router’s settings. The basic overview allows you to view the entire network and see which devices are connected, view the modem’s information, turn the 2.4GHz / 5GHz Wi-Fi channels on/off and also change the SSID or passwords, enable file sharing and printer sharing, and also enable the guest network.

The guest network feature is incredibly handy if your guests want to connect to the internet, but you perhaps don’t want to give them full access to the internet. E.g. Limiting download capabilities or which websites they can access, so that they don’t use too much of your bandwidth.

Screenshot 2015-12-07 03.41.01

Screenshot 2015-12-07 03.41.15

Within the advanced overview there’s a whole plethora of settings to fiddle around with including Port Forwarding, Security, Parental Control, Access Control, Advanced Routing, Bandwidth Control, IP & Mac Binding and also Dynamic DNS settings.

Features such as bandwidth control allow you to extend on the previously mentioned guest network feature, with the ability to limit the speed at which guests connect to the Internet.

Coverage

For myself, Wi-Fi coverage is incredibly important because of the fact that I live in a rather large old Victorian house with very thick walls. Thanks to the C9’s high-powered amplifiers and Laser-Focused Beamforming technology, coverage really wasn’t an issue for me. For the most part I receive an 18Mbps connection from my ISP, with my speeds dropping to around 13Mbps at the furthest point away from my previous router. This is primarily down to how thick the walls are in my house.

When testing the Archer C9 I was pleasantly surprised to see how well the dual-band antennas and Beamforming technology worked in providing great coverage. Not only was I receiving a 15Mbps at the furthest point away from the router within my house – a 2Mbps increase on my previous router. I was able to also go outside and still receive a decent connection of around 9Mbps. With four walls and a conservatory between myself and the router, as well as also being on another level, this was a very impressive and speedy connection to have when around 40-45ft away from the router.

TP-LINK Tether Smartphone Application

As well as having a great admin panel, TP-LINK also have an application available for your smartphone.

The app in question, TP-LINK Tether, allows you to view a map of the network and details about each connected client, and also modify some basic features of the router including the guest network, parental controls and blocked clients.

The application works incredibly well, and can be very handy if you’re like to turn on the guest network without logging in to the admin panel on your computer. A great addition to an already brilliant router.

Verdict

From our time testing the TP-LINK Archer C9 router, we’ve come to the conclusion that it provides fantastic Wi-Fi coverage, and boasts some excellent features. The dual-band antennas and ability to simultaneously broadcast 2.5GHz and 5GHz bands at 600Mbit/s and 1300Mbit/s, respecitvely, are enough on their own, but combine the hardware with the highly customisable, and easy-to-use, TP-LINK router software and you’re really on to a winner here.

With most retailers selling the Archer C9 for around £100, you’re receiving a hell of a lot of performance capability for the price.

For those of you looking for a cable router to use with your Fibre-Optic connection, or existing DSL connection, without breaking the bank, the Archer C9 from TP-LINK is definitely an option worth considering.

    Pros

  • Excellent wireless performance and range
  • Won’t break the bank
  • Great build quality and design
  • Easy to use software
  • Smartphone application for quick network adjustments

    Cons

  • None
10 Stars

Comments are closed.