TP-Link Archer C9 router review
The Archer C9 is an AC1900 Wi-Fi router. It can dish out wireless speeds of up to 1300 Megabits per second but the C9 has a couple other things going for it.
One, it’s priced rather more modestly than its competition. The other thing is that, rather than the aggressive, angular styling followed by other brands, this TP-Link router keeps it classy.
TP-Link Archer C9 design
Not only is the Archer C9 white, which makes a refreshing change, it is also smooth and upright.
The overall design is pebbly-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.
Around 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.
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, Internet connection and the like. They are all nice and easy to read at a glance. TP-Link does score extra points for the blue one white colour-scheme 😉
TP-Link Archer C9 performance
Yes, it does look pretty neat but 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 takes advantage of this. You see, you’ll really achieve that high bit rate if you have compatible triple-antennae hardware. Most laptops and phones don’t have it – most stop at dual-aerial setups.
That said, the triple aerial setup makes for better beam forming and multi-device throughput rates.
It seems as though the days of the complicated router set-up are over.
Even modestly priced units such as the Archer C9 can be sorted via a mobile device.
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.
The 2.4GHz range on the Archer C9 shows a strong signal throughout the house. I think it’s worth pointing out that my home office desk is literally as far away from the router as I can get it. 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 more penetrative 2.4 band, but my phone still shows a full, strong connection. I have to walk outside to loose signal from either bands. This is actually better than my Linksys EA7500, and I love that router.
I just know the C9 seems to have a longer reach than my trusty EA7500. Annoyingly.
The Archer C9 handled streaming FLAC to the Onkyo TC-8150, whilst simultaneously sending Netflix to a laptop and tablet. All without missing a beat.
I think that is probably a fair reflection of a real-world situation. 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.
TP-Link Archer C9 review conclusion
I’ve said this before and it still remains true – routers are rarely things to get excited about. The strange thing is, everyone will had a rubbish one and that’s when you tend to notice them.
The Archer C9 as AC1900 skills. It has great range and it also looks nice enough to leave out in the clear and open. That latter point, by the way, is the easiest method of getting a better signal.
The upright stature might not be a winner for some, but I like it. I like that it’s white with blue lights too. But, what I love most of all, is that this is a great router that costs a lot less than its competitors.
Add to that its quick and easy set-up, I really can’t find anything bad to say about it.
TP-Link Archer C9 price and availability
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.