14 April 2018

REVIEW: TP-Link Archer C2300 WiFi Router

The archer takes aim once more

Router design at the moment is going through a strange phase. Think mobile phones around 2003-2005: weird shapes and strange, often impractical, design quirks. However, not everyone is concerned about the look of their router, and aren't going to position it somewhere to catch visitors' eyes and cause a 'ooo, what's that? moment' Appealing to our fondness for minimal and functional looks, TP-Link prove that a powerful router doesn't have to look like an alien mother-ship. We check out the TP-Link Archer C2300 WiFi Router.

Here we have a curvy-looking WiFi router with three antennae, seemingly designed with a fairly conventional, non-headline grabbing aesthetic. The Archer C2300 looks quite like most other routers at this price but has to be positioned flat on a surface; there is no way to make it stand vertically, as with the TP-Link Archer C9. But looks aren't all that important when it comes to routers... the numbers and letters are.

The TP-Link Archer C2300 is a MU MIMO Gigabit router, meaning it can communicate with multiple devices at the same time, cleverly directing the appropriate speed and bandwidth allocation for each person/thing. Basically, each family member can be on their phones and laptops at the same time, and the system won't panic and slow down. Which is good.

The C2300 is also capable of throwing out wireless internet speeds of up to a combined 2.2 Gbps, with TP-Link arriving at that number by adding the 600 Mbps speed over the 2.4GHz network, with the 1625 Mbps 5 GHz network. This makes it ideal for heavy-demand usage such as 4K gaming and media streaming. If you have the likes of the Roku Streaming Stick Plus (and a 4K TV, mind), this is a great choice.

Hooked up and working at Test Pit Towers for a good couple of weeks, we can happily report that the TP-Link Archer C2300 WiFi Router performed very well, and we have some pretty solid demands when it comes to the internet, 24/7. For a start, the coverage this thing projects is impressive, and we found that even in spots of the house that were typically 'WiFi dead zones', the router filled 'em with glorious internet.

Beamforming is used to good effect to accurately target individual devices, maintaining strong connections, especially for smartphones, as you move around. Beamforning often gets overlooked on these kinds of routers, but that constant stable connection to a single device, no matter where it is, could be useful to the growing community of live-streaming vloggers. We might have to try that ourselves soon.

Other than your wireless connection, the TP-Link Archer C2300 WiFi Router comes with four available LAN ports on the rear, and two USB ports on the side, next to the WPS button. One of those USB connectors is 3.0, making it perfect for hooking up an external hard drive to share some media - aptly aided by the 1.8GHz dual-core processor.

So although it might not have blown us away with sexy angular looks, the TP-Link Archer C2300 really didn't need to try. This is a solid router, impressing us in terms of range and optimisation, especially where several mobile devices were concerned, all vying for attention. We like.


Available from www.amazon.co.uk

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