Thanks to companies such as Linksys and TP-LINK, Wireless AC is becoming the new norm in wireless networking. Over the past several months, we've seen a wave of Wireless AC devices flooding the market that will support new tablets, smartphones and adapters pushing Wireless AC speeds. TP-LINK is the latest networking expert to release a Wireless AC router for a decent price.
Called the Archer C8, this new router provides speeds of up to 1.3 Gbps on the 5 GHz band and up to 450 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band. This is ideal for homes and businesses with a large number of gadgets competing for bandwidth. For instance, the Netflix group could use the less-congested 5 GHz band while others could connect to the 2.4 GHz band to surf the Internet.
The new router provides four gigabit Ethernet ports for wired devices (LAN) and a gigabit Ethernet port for connecting the router to the network's modem (WAN). The router also provides a USB 2.0 port and a USB 3.0 port for sharing files and media over the local network. As an example, users can connect a printer to the USB 2.0 port and save the USB 3.0 port for connecting an external hard drive.
A list of highlights provided by the company include IPv6 support, IP-based bandwidth control, guest network access and three detachable dual-band antennas. The router also provides a Quality of Service feature, allowing users to prioritize specific traffic over other network traffic. For instance, gamers can make their gaming data a higher priority over, say, Netflix traffic, thus enabling a better connection and less lag.
"The new Archer C8 joins TP-LINK's high-performance 11AC family and is positioned as a premium router for the digital home," said Lewis Wu, Executive Vice President at TP-LINK USA. "The Archer C8 is designed to support the increasing number of Wi-Fi devices that people are adding to their network today."
To take advantage of this new TP-LINK router, you may need a Wireless AC adapter for your laptop or desktop if you're still using Wireless N technology and want the faster Wireless AC speeds. Currently, the fastest adapter TP-LINK provides is the Archer T4U, which provides speeds of up to 867 Mbps on the 5 GHz band and up to 300 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band. This device measures 3.6 x 1.2 x 0.6 inches, which is rather long for an adapter.
TP-LINK's new Archer C8 is available now at retail and online stores across North America for $129.99.