Gadgets Archer-C9

Published on March 5th, 2015 | by Greg


TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900: A Speedy Dual-Core Router

Recently, it seems like our internet bandwidth has been taken up mostly by streaming episodes of Netflix’s show House of Cards. Keeping it buffering nicely can be a bit rough, when we’re also gaming in another room, downloading Torrent files, and browsing on phones and tablets. So many devices can really push a network- we count at least thirty on a regular basis, and up to a dozen of those operating simultaneously.

The TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router might not have the brand recognition in the United States of some of the competition. But that doesn’t stop it from being a well-priced consumer-friendly option, without customers facing the extra costs of a big marketing budget, and missing some of the awkward ‘cloud’ features that don’t help most folks out. Like others in this class, you can expect to use both bands at the same time, running on 2.4GHz at 600Mbps and 5GHz at 1300Mbps connections (hence the 1900 rating in the name).

Three antennas provide great coverage, and the router fully supports the new beamforming technology that helps expand your range by focusing on sending signal to where it’s needed rather than trying to cover everything. The heart of the system is the dual-core CPU, a 1GHz processor that definitely felt snappy. TP-Link built in a USB 3.0 port, so you can plug in your thumb drive and access the files over the network, as well as a USB 2.0 port for plugging in a printer and sharing it. Many of the other features are pretty normal: guest wireless access, IPv6, WPS one-touch pairing, and gigabit ethernet ports. But the unit is nicely compact, almost subtle in appearance, and can even be accessed via an unusual free app called Tether that you can use to configure your router.

The manual and interface leave a little to be desired, but in real-world tests we could get over 70 Mbps. There’s plenty of ventilation, keeping the Archer C9 cool, smart since we’ve had issues in the past with overheating. We’re looking forward to getting DD-WRT firmware on, and some of the other functionality that it should bring. It’s available now, online and in stores for around $150.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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