Wi-Fi routers. You can’t live without them, but man, is it hard to know what to look for when picking one. Speed is obviously an essential part of what should make a router a must-buy, but the numbers manufacturers boast are highly dependent on your Internet service provider, your PC’s wireless adapter, and other factors.
TP-Link seems to understand users need more reason to choose their products than theoretical performance, so it’s highlighting certain “advanced technologies” to promote the just-announced Archer C2600 and C3200.
The former delivers a “more focused” wireless connection with Qualcomm MU|EFX beamforming enhancements. Translation – instead of sending and receiving data from one connected device at a time, and leaving other members of a network waiting, the C2600 simultaneously handles up to three linked machines.
Packed with Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0 ports, plus a quartet of antennas and range-boosting amplifiers, the C2600 is due out in Q3. And so is the speedier Tri-Band Archer C3200.
This slightly more aggressive router adds a couple more high-powered signal amplifiers and antennas into the mix, raising the grand total to six, and ups the velocity to 3.2Gbps. Not bad, but far from record-breaking, and behind the performance of D-Link’s new Ultras.
Again, it could be that TP-Link is trying its best to keep production costs low. But the Archer C3200 is hardly a pushover, utilizing something called Smart Connect Technology to assign connected devices to the most convenient band.
And there’s plenty of bands to choose from, as the router supports two 5GHz bands capable of reaching 1300Mbps each, and an additional 2.4GHz channel with up to 600Mbps of bandwidth. Can we hope for a price tag circling $100 here as well? Probably not, but who knows what TP-Link is hiding up its sleeve.