If you have a family with a lot of connected and wireless devices, you need a router like this one. Why:
- it has a regular 2.4 ghz network for most of your older devices
- it has a 5ghz network in a clearer part of the spectrum (this is better for more devices and for areas that have multiple routers, like a crowded neighborhood)
- the 5ghz network is fast
- the Ethernet ports are gigabit so you get really good throughput for hardwired devices like FireTV and other streaming services.
- it's a really good looking router (it looks like something that belongs in your home not like an alien spider on some starship)
- its beamforming technology means that it'll direct more power in the direction of your devices to get them the signal power they need.
- It has a USB 3.0 port so if you attach a USB3 hard drive you can get some serious speeds to that device, much faster than USB 2.
- It has some nifty and easy to use software.
- I find that this router is extremely reliable. TP-Link builds very high quality goods.
- They actually have a real life tech support department that actually listens to you and is very responsive -- in this day and age not many companies can claim this.
- Guest Network -- this is very important for when people come visit.
- about the only con to this router that I found is that I can't mount it on a wall
- the only router that is faster out there is the NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router (R8000)which is my main router right now (the Nighthawk is a tri-band router that is wall mountable and obscenely fast but unfortunately it looks like a giant alien spider crawling up my wall and I would much rather have this router on my wall). That said, I have both of these routers running in different parts of the house and this TP is a very fast router comparable to the Nighthawk.
DISENTANGLING THE LINGO
- Please bear in mind that there is a lot of talk out there that says that this is a 1.9Gbps router or the Nighthawk says that it's a 3.2Gbps. The reality is that this TP-LINK operates at two frequencies: One can push signals in the 2.4Ghz space to 600mbps (which is pretty good) and it has a Second frequency in the 5Ghz space that can push data at around 1.30Gbps (which is really fast) but those are theoretical speeds in controlled conditions. I never get quite those speeds out of this router but I do get close, particularly if I'm close to the router. Those speeds, 1.3Gbps, are quite enough to stream movies and conduct serious gaming or to handle multiple devices particularly when paired with the fast processor on this router. The Nighthawk just gives you two 1.3Ghz antennas so if you have more devices, you can use the extra capacity.
DON'T UNDERESTIMATE HOW MUCH YOU HAVE (THIS IS ME, FAMILY OF 4+)
- 3 TIVOS
- 3 FIRETVS
- 4 TABLETS
- 4 KINDLES
- 4 LAPTOPS
- 2 DESKTOPS
- 4 BLURAY PLAYERS
- 4 TVS
- 2 GPS CAR NAVIGATION DEVICES
- 4 SMARTPHONES
- 2 PRINTERS
- 2 AIR CONDITIONERS (Yes, they want to be connected and Refrigerators and Washers are getting connected too)
= 38 DEVICES --- you need a router that can handle the connected household.
The stuff adds up and at any one time half of those devices are running -- so, as you plan your network out make sure you have enough capacity. I'm comfortable that this router can handle the needs of my family and I don't consider myself a-typical for a family of four in this day and age. The number of devices in the internet of things is growing every single day.
MATCHING YOUR ROUTER TO YOUR NEEDS
- SINGLE APARTMENT DWELLER - If you are a single apartment dweller and rarely stream anything, have a computer and cable then this router is likely too much router for you and you might want to look at a more reasonable product like TP-LINK Archer C20i IEEE 802.11ac 2.40 GHz ISM Band Ethernet Wireless Router - - 3 x Antenna(3 x Internal - 733 Mbps Wireless Speed - 4 x Network Port - 1 x Broadband Port - USB - Fast Ethernet - Yes Desktop
- GAMER - You're too smart for this review and know better
- AVERAGE FAMILY -- This router is perfect for a family of 4 with multiple ipads, iphones, FireTVs, Firedevices, kindles, etc
- COOL URBAN MTRO DUDE -- Get this router, it's fast, cool, trendy, looks good
- SUPERUSERS -- You might need a NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router (R8000) if you're a diehard gamer and have a family or if you're a bunch of college dudes.