Home / Computing / Peripheral / TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900

TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900 review

By

Updated:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR

1 of 7

TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900
  • TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900
  • TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900
  • TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900
  • TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900
  • TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900
  • TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900
  • TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900

Summary

Our Score:

9

Pros

  • Good Wi-Fi speeds at range
  • Easy to setup and use
  • Rock solid reliability
  • Good feature set for the price

Cons

  • Can't compete with fastest routers over short distances
  • Only one USB 3.0 port
  • Can't be wall mounted or laid flat

Best Deals for TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900

  • amazon
  • ebay

Key Features

  • Wi-FI AC1900 speeds
  • Four gigabit Ethernet ports
  • USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports for printer and file sharing
  • Dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz
  • Manufacturer: TP-Link
  • Review Price: £89.99

What is the TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900?

The Archer C9 is among the cheapest AC1900 known-brand routers you can buy, undercutting the likes of the Netgear R7000 by some £30 or so. Yet it wants for little when it comes to other extra features, such as USB support for sharing hard drives and printers and four gigabit Ethernet ports.

So if you want to get the up to 1,300Mbit/s wireless speeds of AC1900 but don't want to break the bank, it's well worth a look.

Video: How to improve your home's Wi-Fi

TP-Link Archer C9 – Design and Features

Unlike the rather aggressive, angular styling that D-Link and Netgear have opted for on their high-end routers, TP-Link has kept things modest with the Archer C9.

Its front is a smooth, curvy, glossy expanse of white with an elegant silver-painted stand propping it up from behind and three matte white aerials sticking out its top. If you’re an Apple hardware fan then it’s the clear choice for you.

Related: Best Routers

TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900

Elegant it may be but it’s not necessarily the most practical. The stand means you can’t lay the router flat or mount it on a wall. Moreover it isn’t sure footed enough and will fairly easily tip over. For most households these will all prove to be fairly minor points as once installed you'll leave the router well alone, but its tendency to topple over definitely proved a little frustrating during testing.

Otherwise it’s a clean bill of health as the three aerials are removable, yet sturdy, and are easy to position. The lights on the front for indicating power, Wi-Fi connection, Internet connection and the like are all easy to see and tell apart – unlike the uniform rectangular lights of the Netgear R7500.

Round the back the selection of connections is nothing special but ticks all the crucial boxes, and again they’re clearly labelled. From left to right we’ve got the USB 2.0 port, WPS and reset button, the Ethernet socket that goes to your modem, four more gigabit Ethernet ports for the rest of your network and the power socket and switch.

On the side is a second USB port, and this time it's USB 3.0 – ideal for sharing files on your network from a USB drive – while the one on the rear is only USB 2.0, but it’ll do for sharing printers.

The main event with this router is of course its AC1900 Wi-Fi capability. That amounts to up to 600Mbit/s transfers over 2.4GHz and 1,300Mbit/s over 5GHz.

TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900

As ever you’ll only achieve the latter if you have compatible triple-antennae hardware, which is still pretty rare. Most laptops and phones don’t have it – most stop at dual-aerial arrangements – which only really leaves the option of a few PC cards or having a router-to-router setup where the speed of the AC1900 connection is used to span the gap between two remote buildings, for instance.

All that said, the triple aerial setup makes for potentially better beam forming and multi-device throughput rates, so there are still benefits for users of non-AC1900 products.

TP-Link Archer C9 – Setup

As I’ve come to expect of modern day routers, setup is easy. Once everything is plugged in – remember this is a router only, not a modem router so you’ll need a separate modem – just browse to http://tplinkwifi.net and the router should show up automatically and it’s then a simple case of setting your admin password and wifi name/password.

TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900

Outside the basic setup dialogue the interface is also a joy to use. The network map layout of icons in the basic view is really useful and the selection of options on the left is pretty much ideal. Jump into the advanced menu and the layout again makes it really clear as to what will be where and everything is cleanly and logically presented.

TP-Link doesn’t make an app for your PC akin to Netgear Genie. Instead, the only software you should ever need to install is the USB printing tool (there are both Mac and PC versions), which you only need run when printing.

This is an approach I’m generally a fan of as it means there’s no extraneous software running in the background. Instead, if you do want a quick and easy way to administer your router without logging into the web interface you can download an app for your phone (Android or iOS).

Best Deals for TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900

  • amazon
  • ebay

Vincent Hebert

January 29, 2016, 8:11 am

I own this router since last november and I love it. It is indeed rock solid under load which is great. I use my network storage a lot to stream video on my home theater setup and it uses wifi, no issues. I also have the whole family using it and it never fails to deliver. I have rebooted it once in 3 months!

Menorca Man

January 29, 2016, 11:03 am

I own the Archer D9 version (built-in DSL modem) of this router and am delighted with it. Of all the modem-routers I have owned (and I have owned many!!) this is by far the best for both rock solid performance and value for money. Comes with a big thumbs up from me.

nichomach

June 10, 2016, 10:19 am

I've bought this to take over routing from a Virgin Superhub 2ac, which has been locking up badly under load. Thus far, after swapping that into modem mode and using this instead, I have found it to be excellent. Significant improvement in wireless connectivity, easy to set up, seems very solid (video streaming via the SH 2ac was particularly prone to locking up, and has been fine via this). Configuration of alternate DNS servers and so forth was very easy (which Virgin doesn't let you do on their routers) so I'm able to use OpenDNS again. Price was very competitive. All in all, very satisfied.

Overmind

October 26, 2016, 6:39 am

I need a router that can directly use multiple public addresses instead of NATing them to private.

comments powered by Disqus