TP-Link AC1900 High Performing Dual Band Wireless AC Gigabit Router
This is an ok mid range router, wish I knew what the warrany period is
This router has one major flaw and it’s not hardware, firmware, or software related, read on.
Initial set up for this router is extremely simple, so much so that a non-technical person who knows how to use a mouse and keyboard can handle this, no geeking required. However, if you’re so inclined you can set up custom configurations for a number of options. The feature list here is long and while not as robust as some more advanced routers it doesn’t cost as much as those advanced routers. The router ships with an adapter power supply and 4 foot CAT 5E patch cable.
Accessing advanced features is intuitive enough for anyone that wants to venture into those woods. TP-Link have laid things out nicely and finding your way around doesn’t involve clicking through multiple pages to find one item. In some cases labels are different and might be a little confusing, as an example rather than listing the VPN set up as a separate tab it’s under Security/Basic settings (and does not have many configuration options). While being able to forward ports easily enough there is no provision for putting a common label (game or service you’re opening the port for) with each configuration (see image below), just the port number, protocol, and internal IP show up. Lag kills so gamers; there is a QOS panel that will allow you to set up the router to pass those important lethal packets with priority.
Most routers today are able to check for, download, and install updates themselves whereas the TP-1900 wont. You’ll need to download the new firmware from their support site, store it on your desktop and then navigate to that point through the router so it can pull the file and update. This router does not run cool, it gets quite warm even without much happening, literally just sitting there powered up and nothing connected to it the front panel middle top is far warmer than I would expect it to be meaning that it’s not reducing power consumption when nothing is going on. The power adapter on the other hand is cool to the touch.
Wireless performance is excellent. Using a phone app it’s easy enough to wander around the block to monitor signal strength and range and the TP-1900 holds its own when compared to the resident Netgear R8000. Having the ability to articulate the antennas at the connector (see image below) will allow for changing the broadcast pattern which in some cases can often provide better coverage in upstairs/downstairs situations. Transfer speeds through the router to network shares are definitely at gigabit speeds.
Connectivity is standard, same as what you’ll find on routers these days with 4 gigabit Ethernet ports (yellow) for network connections and one (blue) for connecting to your ISP modem. There are two USB ports, one USB 3 and one USB 2. The odd thing here is that the USB 3 port is located on the side of the router (see image below). The USB 2 port sits next to the WSP button in line with the Ethernet ports. I don’t understand why the USB 3 port wasn’t included on the back, was it an afterthought? It makes for a not so neat set up to have one USB cable sticking out the side. Write speeds to move an 8.4 GB file to a USB 3 external drive on the router ran around 41 MB/s (see image below) which is well below gigabit network transfer speeds. So the TP-1900 is no speed demon when writing to an external drive but it’s faster than many I’ve owned making it an alright easily set up back up option.
Fit and finish on this product it good, it’s visually appealing with large clear indicator lights across the top. Cable connections are easy to access as the unit has a metal stand built into it that won’t allow the router to lay flat on its back. Keeping this upright position means cables come in at a comfortable 90 degree angle and the antenna’s sit up higher which is desirable. The metal bracket wraps right across the top as well with holes for the antenna’s and it protrudes high enough that you cannot get at the knurled part of the antenna connector to over tighten it, a very good idea as over tightening antennas can lead to damage to the internal connector in some cases.
One thing I did not like, when changing the user name and password the system will not allow anything other than letters, upper and lower case, and numbers. It rejects all punctuation characters that every other newer router I have used does allow. I can’t fathom why they wouldn’t allow for this higher degree of security.
While this is a good wireless router it isn’t a great one. There are some deficiencies that more technical people will miss but if you’re a non-technical individual then this may be what you’re looking for. Easy setup, good in home and surrounding area wireless coverage.
*The good bits
It looks great
The included quick set up guide is large and easy to follow
Rocker power switch that lets you know if power is on or off unlike soft buttons
Most items that anyone would want to customise are there
Ability to adjust antennas for customised coverage
Decent USB data transfer speeds
Password security is not as tight as it could be due to not accepting punctuation characters
The warranty card DOES NOT give the warranty period. Allow me to give you exactly what it says:
‘TP-LINK warrants the TP-LINK branded hardware product contained in the original packaging against defects in materials and workmanship when used normally in according to TP-Link’s guidelines for some time period which depends on the local service from the date of original retail purchase by the end-user customer.’ That’s it exactly down to the letter. In the material presented on this site they claim a 2-year warranty yet that claim is not backed up with the material that’s included in the box which could give them an out and is confusing to say the least.