TP-Link Adds MU-MIMO And Tri-Band Wi-Fi Routers To Line-Up

TP-Link Archer C2600 Wi-Fi Router

Networking vendor, TP-Link, introduced two new additions to its Archer family of Wi-Fi routers this week: the Archer C2600 and the Archer C3200. The two 802.11ac routers were unveiled at this year's CES in Las Vegas.

The dual-band Archer C2600 is designed to support more devices at the same time than the faster Archer C3200, according to TP-Link. The Archer C2600 uses Qualcomm's MU | EFX multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) technology that lets up to three clients connect to the router simultaneously. In contrast, older router architectures queue up incoming connections, serving incoming clients' connections one at a time.  

Note that although MU-MIMO architecture can usually handle up to four connections, in the Archer C2600's case, TP-Link uses the fourth channel to support the other three point to point connections by providing services that optimize and monitor data transmission. 

Qualcomm's MU | EFX also takes advantage of available bandwidth by not letting data streams sit idle. The algorithms used by the router let the device dynamically adapt to channel conditions, client movement and application requirements for maximum throughput. So if a device is only using one of several data streams, then the router will reallocate the remaining data streams and use them for a different client.

Performance-wise, the Archer C2600 delivers speeds up to 2.6 Gbps using the 2.4 GHz band at 800 Mbps and the 5 GHz band at 1733 Mbps, thanks to Qualcomm's VIVE technology.

Features for the Archer C2600 include:

  • Dynamic Grouping, provided by the Archer C2600's intelligence, gathering and teaming clients based on usage and network demand.
  • Gigabit Ethernet connectivity for wired devices.
  • Qualcomm's MU | EFX architecture helps focus clients' wireless connections by using better beam-forming enhancements.   
  • The Archer C2600 comes with six high gain antennas, best suited to boost expanded Wi-Fi coverage.
  • 4 Gigabit LAN Ports and 1 Gigabit WAN Port.
  • 2 USB 3.0 for device-to-device storage transfers.

TP-Link Archer C3200 Wi-Fi Router

The tri-band Archer C3200 is the second router announced this week by TP-Link. It has two 5 GHz bands that run up to 1300 Mbps each and one 2.4 GHz band that can go up to 600 Mbps. Ideal for 4K video, online gaming and other network intensive workloads, the Archer C3200 distributes work from incoming connections between its two 5 GHz bands; a balancing act that lessens bottlenecks when dealing with multiple clients. In total, the C3200 can run at speeds up to 3.2 Gbps, thanks to its triple band configuration.

Additional features for the Archer C3200 include:

  • Smart Connect technology that assigns devices to the appropriate band automatically.
  • Six external antennas and six amplifiers.
  • Additional buffering capability provided by RAM.
  • 4 Gigabit LAN Ports and 1 Gigabit WAN Port.
  • 1 USB 3.0 port and 1 USB 2.0 port.

Pricing for the Archer C2600 and C3200 routers was not given, however, TP-Link stated that the new products would be available in Q3 of 2015.

Images courtesy of TP-Link.

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