TP-Link Archer VR2800 DSL modem router review
TP-Link Archer VR2800£200
The TP-Link VR2800 is part of the company’s Archer range.
As already alluded to, this is not only a Wi-Fi router, but a DSL router. This means that one box, albeit a sleek one, will take the feed from your none-fiber internet provider and then sling it out Wi-Fi as well as four wired connections.
My usual system uses the Huawei modem/router supplied by TalkTalk and then, as I found the Wi-Fi range fairly poor on that unit, a separate Wi-Fi router. Most recently those duties have been covered by the Archer C9.
So, does the VR2800 do the job of two boxes or is it back to separate modem and Wi-Fi router?
Read on to find out.
TP-Link VR2800 design
The VR2800 is quite a compact and rather unassuming unit.
Saying all that, it isn’t ugly either. I’d say that it errs on the side of functional.
As is the norm, the bulk of the connectivity options are tucked neatly around back.
The four removable dual-band aerials can be adjusted backwards or from side-to-side.
TP-Link VR2800 performance
Having a built-in modem is a genuine value-add, especially as this one supports all the standard DSL services you’d expect. This means that it will play nice with VDSL2, ADSL2+, ADSL2 and ADSL.
That means you’re good to go if you’re on, say, BT Infinity or an equivalent fibre-optic service, and you needn’t worry about compatibility with Cable – plug in your modem via the WAN port and hey presto.
Versatility is without a doubt the VR2600’s strong suit, and TP-Link continues that theme with support for some of the latest networking standards. Making good use of the 2.4Ghz and 5GHz bands, WiFi performance is rated as up to 2167Mbps on the 5GHz band alone. You get 600Mbps on the 2.4 band.
That speed bump is thanks to the enhancement of NitroQAM. This boosts Wi-Fi speeds by 25%. Then there’s 4-Stream tech that runs 4 data streams on the 5GHz band to increase overall speed by 33%.
TP-Link’s admin panel is both clear and intuitive. Before getting there, you can set-up the modem by using the simple wizard.
Remember to get your ISP (internet service provider) login credentials before you get going.
The setup procedure really shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes at most.
You can create guest networks on both available bands, sort out file or printer sharing via the USB 3.0 ports, and add parental controls that can limit Internet access to a time schedule on a per-device basis.
For advanced users you can get to everything from port forwarding to VPN passthrough.
A dual-core 1GHz processor powers things along. That might not sound much but you have to remember that VR2800 is also packing a dedicated processor for each band as well as that 1GHz CPU.
VR2800 in use
The TP-Link really does knock the socks off the unit provided by my ISP.
It might not be the prettiest box out there but the VR2800 certainly performs. Wi-Fi range is good with excellent coverage throughout my home – a small 2 bedroom house.
The Wi-Fi signal was not only strong, but consistent.
I was really impressed at the speeds and reliability when streaming large audio files, as well as video, over Wi-Fi.
TP-Link VR2800 modem router review conclusion
It might wear the equivalent of a business suit but the VR2800 has it where it counts.
Not only is this a sure-fire upgrade to most router modems supplied by your internet provider, but it’s most likely a better Wi-Fi router than most own too.
Packing MU-MIMO, NitroQAM and other clever tech means that everyone will get the benefit of the VR2800’s speed.
Add in the USB 3.0 ports that can be used for printers or even a 4G dongle, then this starts to look even more attractive.
The TP-Link VR2800 should be on any DSL connected user’s upgrade list.
TP-Link VR2800 price and availability
The VR2800 will be available soon (I hope to get a more precise date asap) and will have a RRP of £199
Features at a glance
Ultimate Wireless Speed – Combined wireless speeds of up to 600 Mbps (over 2.4GHz) and 2167 Mbps (over 5GHz)
NitroQAM Technology – Uses NitroQAM (1024 QAM) modulation scheme for higher data throughput, boosting wireless speeds by up to 25%
MU-MIMO Technology – Simultaneously exchange data with several devices, achieving speeds which are 4x faster than standard AC routers
802.11 ac – Provides a data transfer rate 3 times faster than 802.11n for each stream
Dual-core CPU – 1GHz dual-core CPU and 2 co-processors
Ultimate Range Wi-Fi – 4 dual band detachable antennas ensure widespread Wi-Fi coverage and a stable connection
Wi-Fi with Beamforming – Beamforming technology locates the connected devices and further improves the Archer VR2800’s range and the signal strength to each mobile device, delivering a more reliable and efficient wireless connection
Simultaneous Dual Band – Separate Wi-Fi bands enable more devices to connect to your network without a drop in performance
QoS – Device/Application-based QoS makes it easier for you to prioritize the internet traffic
Ease of Use
Intuitive Web UI– Ensures quick and simple installation without hassle
Fast Connection – Connect wireless devices securely with the press of WPS button
Easy On/Off – Turn On/Off power, wireless radio and LEDs separately using the Power On/Off, Wi-Fi On/Off and LED On/Off buttons
Remote Management with TP-Link ID – Manage your home network from your smartphone or tablet via a single TP-Link ID, no matter where you find yourself
Hassle-free Management with Tether App – Network management is made easy with the TP-Link Tether App, available on any Android or iOS device
Online Upgrade – Keeps you informed of the latest firmware and allows online updating
Guest Network – Keep your main network secure by creating a separate network for friends and visitors
Access Control – Establish a whitelist or blacklist to allow or block certain devices from accessing the internet
Parental Controls – Manage when and how connected devices can access the internet
VPN Server – OpenVPN, PPTP VPN and IPSec VPN are supported, making it easy to set up a secure connection between your private network and the internet
Encryptions for Secure Network – WPA-PSK/WPA2- PSK encryptions provide active protection against security threats
Dual USB Ports for Fast Sharing – With two ultra-fast USB 3.0 ports, you can access and share a printer as well as your files and media locally. Through the modem router's FTP server, you can also access your files and media from network devices remotely
10x Faster Transfer Speed – The USB 3.0 port provides up to 10x faster USB hard drive access than previous generation USB 2.0 connections
Built-in Print Server – Allows wireless printing from multiple computers (works in conjunction with a USB printer)
Built-in Media Server – Allows you to play music, watch videos and view photos from any device on your network