Published on March 5th, 2015 | by Greg0
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.