- 3 separate frequencies
- Beamforming for hard to reach places
- Supports up to 3200Mbps
- Cost a bit high for general use
- Antennas do not detach
- No sFTP access to external drive (optional)
There are Wi-Fi routers and then there are Wi-Fi routers. When Wi-Fi first hit the masses, there were only a few select networking brands that were producing them and they were fairly limited in their capabilities. These days, there are a variety of different networking brands who produce everything from low cost Wi-Fi routers for the basic needs of many people to higher end models that cater to those who need faster speeds to support their higher end networking equipment and wireless devices. TP-Link offers a range of Wi-Fi based routers and the Archer C3200 clearly approaches the higher end of the market.
TP-Link Archer C3200 at a Glance
With the steady increase of Ultra High Definition (4K) steaming capabilities of televisions and content to match, alongside high resolution online gaming, networks need to be able to keep up with these high data demands without jittery video quality or dropping your online action.
You will need to dish out a bit more money for a Wi-Fi router that can support multiple wireless 4K streams; the TP-Link Archer C3200 comes at a price of $299. For that though, you will not need to worry about fragging Stormtroopers on Endor while someone watches The Walking Dead in Ultra High Definition in another room. That may not sound like it needs to cost a little extra but when you have three separate wireless connections and each of those separate connections has their own co-processor to handle the data traffic, then you can see why you need to spend a little bit more to ensure you're as lag-free as possible.
The TP-Link Archer C3200 is a tri-band AC3200 router, meaning on the 2.4GHz frequency you can reach up to 600Mbps and the two 5 GHz frequencies can theoretically get you up to 1300Mpbs each. 600 + 1300 + 1300 = 3200! That should be some pretty good bandwidth to handle 3 separate 4K video steams simultaneously.
What's in the Box?
With most retail boxes these days, there sure isn't a whole lot included. With the main unit itself, you also get the AC wall adapter, a short Ethernet cable and a quick start guide. I was quite happy to see that the power adapter has a short 1 foot AC cable to move the transformer away from the powerbar or wall outlet you'll plug it into. More companies really need to do this.