TP-LINK broadens its connectivity solution catalog with a new router that proposes access to the next generation of Wi-Fi connectivity at a reasonable price. The TP-LINK Archer C5 is presented as an ideal product whit which to take a quality leap from the standard product that is “given” by the operators as it radically improves home connectivity.
The TP-LINK Archer C5 is a discreet design router of compact size with an acceptable material quality for its price. The combination of three 5 dBI external and three internal antennas offer omnidirectional coverage; we will also see the classic array of informative LEDs on the front, a WPS configuration button, wireless connectivity control, two USB 2.0 ports and four Ethernet Gigabit outlets.
The Asian Company delivers the product in a complete Kit that includes everything necessary for its setup; the router, the antennas (easily installed without need of tools), a quick start guide and the drivers in a mini CD, although the best thing to do is to download the latest version from the manufacturers official website itself.
In normal conditions, installation is reduced to only connect it to the modem/router of our operator through an Ethernet port and gaining access to the TP-LINK from a web interface in which we will find a configuration wizard that will guide us through completion of basic options. As always, it is interesting to research a bit more by downloading the complete user’s guide in PDF format so as to take full advantage of the device.
Beside the basic functions that we can expect from every router, the TP-LINK Archer C5 incorporates interesting novelties, like the possibility to create networks for guests (in 2, 4 or 5 GHz), Dynamic DNS service support, or an efficient and easy to use user control. Taking advantage of the USB port to for content sharing or for network printer connection is easy thanks to an interface based in text but that is fast and intuitive.
Relative to its performance, we geted average speeds of up to 490 Mbps in 802.11ac mode on the 5Ghz band, functioning in bridge mode with another router compatible with the standard. In a more realistic scenario, using a HP EliteBook Revolve 810 we can reach without problems the 105Mbps in 5Ghz and around 90Mbps in 2.4GHz, although, evidently the speeds can slightly vary in function of the testing environment and the hardware used. Compared with other routers that have been passing through our laboratories, we are before an outstanding product with more than enough features for a domestic or professional environment that can compete against much more expensive alternatives without problem.
It is worth mentioning that, for the moment, there are not many devices capable of reaping the benefits of the last Wi-Fi specification. But, practically every device that is offered in the market (including smartphones, tablets, and computers) offers support for it, so it is only a matter of time (and budget).
The TP-LINK Archer C5 is an outstanding product that has, in his quality to price ratio, the best argument to convince consumers. For a bit more than 80 euros, it is possible to take the leap towards Wi-Fi 802.11ac that, when it is made a de facto standard, will considerably improve our wireless connectivity experience. Maybe, advanced users will miss wider control possibility with this wireless device but, in general terms, we find ourselves before recommendable product with a competitive price.