TP-LINK Archer T2UH AC600 High Gain Wireless Dual Band USB Adapter

I'll admit straight off the bat that I like TP-Link equipment. Up until a few years ago I'd never heard of them and always bought Linksys equipment, now most of my equipment is TP-Link.

In order to get the most from the TP-Link Archer you will need a dual band wireless router (most wireless routers nowadays are dual band). If you still have an older 2.4GHz single band router you can still use the TP-Link Archer albeit at the reduced speeds the 2.4GHz bandwidth allows.

TP-Link's Archer is a USB 2.0 wireless adapter. This allows it to be used on virtually any computer. Why not USB 3.0? Well this is a bit of a quandary that I can't answer. Even though most modern computers/laptops come with USB 3.0, you don't actually need the extra speed of the USB 3.0 interface for this adapter if you are using a single channel.

USB 2.0 supports up to 480Mbit/s, but a single antennae 802.11ac adapter running on 5GHz has a maximum transfer rate of 433Mbit/s. So USB 2.0 is all you actually need. However if you use the dual channel capability of this adapter (allowing you to send and receive on both the 2.4Ghz and the 5Ghz channels at the same time), you have a maximum transfer rate of 600Mbits (hence the AC600 in the products name), but that is more than the USB 2.0 standard allows therefore the limiting factor isn't the wireless adapter but the USB 2.0 interface itself. So one star off for that.

The wireless adapter itself is quite small and has a proper external aerial which swivels so that you can receive the strongest possible signal from your wireless router. You do have to watch this however when carrying it around on trips as the antennae looks like it could fairly easily snap off if snagged on something in your bag.

As mentioned the adapter attaches to your computer/laptop using a USB 2.0 interface which is at the top. The USB interface is actually on an extender cable of about 3 feet so that you can place the adapter slightly away from your computer to get a better signal if required (I see most people not pulling out the cable and just leaving the adapter as is).

Although the TP-Archer does come with it's own drivers CD, I never had to use it. Just plugged the adapter into my computer and it automatically detected it and was up and running in less than 2 minutes. About as easy as you can get.

I live in a 3 story house with my router being housed in one of the bedrooms on the top level. I plugged the adapter into a laptop and carried it around my house, even down to the very opposite corner from where the router sits and never experienced signal loss. I went out into my garden (which is fairly small) and still had a signal although at reduced strength. You shouldn't have a problem with range using this device.

Overall TP-Link have done it again, a nice, cheap although well made wireless adapter supporting the latest 802.11ac standards.