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* / Jordan Provost

Setup: Simple & breezy

Realizing that most of the people buying the Archer C50 likely haven’t bought routers too many times in the past, TP-Link made cài đặt extremely easy. The instructions are printed on the side of the box, rather than in an easily-lost pamphlet.

There’s a QR code printed on the side of the box, and all you’ll have sầu to lớn bởi is scan it with your smartphone, tải về the phầm mềm it liên kết khổng lồ, & follow the on-screen instructions. We phối it up in our trang chính with Xfinity 250Mbps service, và the entire process was done within two minutes. We were then able khổng lồ log inkhổng lồ the management portal và change our SSID & password.

Software: Just enough

The TP-Link Archer C50 management portal is, as you may expect, pretty barren. This router isn’t exactly bursting with features, so there’s no real need for a bunch of flashy pages. When you first log in, you’ll be able to lớn view a network maps, and you’ll have sầu access khổng lồ all the quick settings you’ll need. Clicking over khổng lồ the advanced tab lets you change some more in-depth settings, though most users will never have sầu khổng lồ touch this.

You can also fiddle around with parental controls & change settings for any USB devices you have attached, like a printer or external storage. There’s also support for guest networks, which we thought was surprising in such an inexpensive router—this will let you mix up a secondary network for guests, so you don’t have to give out your network password or compromise your network security.

* / Jordan Provost

You can download Tether, TP-Link’s điện thoại phầm mềm, but it’s pretty limited. You can view you your network bản đồ, change your Wi-Fi password và enable your guest network. There is an option lớn troubleshoot your network, as well, but you can’t kiểm tra speeds, lượt thích some other routers’ di động apps.

Connectivity: The bare essentials

When it comes to physical ports, the TP-Link Archer C50 features 4 LAN ports & a USB 2.0 port, for external devices lượt thích hard drives or printers. That’s a pretty limited danh mục of ports, but with such a small router, there’s not really any room for more, so it’s hard khổng lồ complain.

This router also features two dual-band antennas, which are rated at a tốc độ of AC1200. This is a notably low-kết thúc spec, but it is still enough khổng lồ get the job done, provided you’re not trying khổng lồ push too much data through it.

On paper, this is all fine for a router in this price range, but the real demo is to see if it can actually live up lớn the 867Mbps over 5.0GHz tốc độ TP-Link claims on its website.

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Things fall apart more if multiple devices are sucking bandwidth at the same time. While streaming some music through our HomePod, the internet tốc độ fell khổng lồ 47Mbps. When we were watching YouTube it fell even further. No matter what we did, we weren’t able to lớn get even half of our advertised internet speeds, even with just one device connected.

That sounds bad, & it’s definitely not great, but there’s a bright spot—the range. The trang chủ we tested the router in is about 2,000 square feet, with three levels, và the router located on the central màn chơi. From the moment we pulled the router out of the box, we were expecting the signal strength & range to lớn be the weak point. We were wrong.

We were able to get the same speeds throughout our entire home. Even in the basement or the upstairs bathroom, we didn’t notice any slowdowns, aside from the already slow signal. Frankly, we were surprised at how great the Archer C50’s range was.

If you have sầu broadbvà mạng internet greater than 50 Mbps, this router likely isn’t worth the nâng cấp. But, if you’re on DSL, & especially if you don’t have sầu a router built into your modem, you can get some pretty great range out of this router, provided you don’t have too many devices that need simultaneous access to lớn the website.

Frankly, we were surprised at how great the Archer C50’s range was. / Jordan Provost

TP-Link Archer C50 vs. Netgear R6230

For just a few dollars more at the time of this writing, you can piông chồng up the Netgear R6230 AC1200 router ($74.99 MSRP). For the most part, the specs are identical, but the Netgear R6230 has one feature that the Archer C50 is lacking: QoS, or Quality of Service. This feature will allow you to lớn prioritize bandwidth to certain devices or applications, so you won’t have sầu your stream interrupted by your roommate downloading a game.

Neither of these devices has MU-MIMO compatibility, và that’s to lớn be expected at this price range, but the Netgear R6230 is a much better option if you’re living with multiple people, or even if you just use multiple devices at the same time.

Want khổng lồ take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best wireless routers.

Final Verdict

Good for the right kind of user.

When you’re going for a router in this price range, you shouldn’t expect khổng lồ get high-end performance, but when it can’t even deliver the advertised speeds on a broadb& connection it’s a problem. However, if you don’t have a broadband connection, and you won’t be bottlenecked by the router’s limitations, the long range is enough to warrant a recommendation. Just don’t expect to bởi vì much in the way of multi-device streaming, it’s just not built for that.

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