TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900 - Performance and Verdict Review

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TP-Link Archer C9 – Performance

The Archer C9 isn’t a class-leader when it comes to performance but it still largely lives up to its AC1900 billing. At peak I measured a throughput of 47.7MB/s, which is some way behind the 70MB/s of the fastest routers out there.

However, the drop off at greater distance is much less dramatic than those same routers. While the likes of the Netgear X4 R7500 go from 81.3MB/s at 2m to 36.2MB/s at 5m, the Archer C9 drops to only 35.1MB/s at 5m.

At 10m (through two brick walls) the R7500 regains its lead, delivering 28.0MB/s while the Archer C9 can only manage 14.3MB/s, but again that’s a decent pace in the grand scheme of things.

Nonetheless, on average the Archer C9 is the slowest AC1900 router I’ve tested using the 5GHz band, it’s just that most users won’t find the deficit a huge concern, and it is still an upgrade on most Wi-Fi N routers.

TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900

This applies double when it comes to 2.4GHz where the overall spread of results is much tighter. At 2m you’ll get 17.1MB/s while the fastest we’ve tested only delivers 17.8MB/s. At 5m it’s 10.4MB/s compared to 14.0MB/s while at 10m the Archer C9 will get you 7.1MB/s while the fastest we’ve tested hits 8.1MB/s.

It’s a similar story when it comes to USB performance. The Archer C9 delivered 23.46MB/s read and 13.31MB/s write from its USB 3.0 port, which is some way behind the 60MB/s the fastest routers will deliver, but it’s still pretty fast.

So the Archer C9 can’t quite compete for the ultimate performance crown but it did manage to stay rock solid when used as my main router for a couple of weeks, which is more than can be said of some top-end routers.

Related: Best Wi-FI extenders

TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900

Should I buy the TP-Link Archer C9?

In nearly all my previous reviews of AC1900 (and faster) routers I’ve cautioned against spending so much money on such high-spec machines as there simply isn’t the client hardware out there to take full advantage and they cost a lot of money.

With the Archer C9, though, TP-Link has created perhaps the first AC1900 router I can flat out recommend. It’s not the fastest by any stretch but it can deliver the sort of speeds you’d hope for from AC1900 when required but does so without breaking the bank. The rest of the time it’s a reliable, rock-solid, easy to use router. 

Verdict

If you’re in the market for a top-spec, future-proofed router but don’t want to spend megabucks, the TP-Link Archer C9 is a great choice. It isn’t the fastest but it’s reliable, easy to use and sensibly priced.

Need more help deciding? Leave a comment and we’ll do our best to help

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