Despite the growing number of Wi-Fi 6 routers, devices of the previous standard are still being released. They are a little cheaper, and if the user doesn’t have very high requirements, you can save a little money. And in some cases, this will be a completely rational decision. In addition, ac Wave 2 routers can practically not be inferior to inexpensive ax representatives in terms of speed performance. And there are plenty of other functions too. We will analyze how things are with TP-Link Archer C80 in today’s review.
TP-Link Archer C80 Package Contents
Regardless of communication standards and other functions, the lion’s share of routers is equipped with completely standard equipment. This rule also works with the Archer C80. The manufacturer’s standard package contains a router, a small Ethernet cable, and a power supply.
Design and usability
As is the case with the bundle, the shape of most routers is the same, with a slight difference in size, number of antennas, ports, and other details. In this regard, the Archer C80 turned out to be an absolutely average device. And unlike the new generation routers, our today’s guest of the editorial office is more compact. The rectangular case has received dimensions of 215 × 117 × 32 mm, and you won’t have to look for a lot of space for it.
But his four antennas are not the shortest. Nevertheless, in most even small niches in furniture, it will be possible to find a place for them. Naturally, their direction can be easily adjusted.
Considering that the case is not the largest, and all antennas are installed on the back of the case, they slightly divided the ports among themselves. Among them, there is the usual set of one WAN port and four LANs. Next to them, there is a power button, a power jack, a recessed reset button, and a button to activate WPS or turn on/off Wi-Fi.
On the front side, there are 5 small indicators of the status of the device and networks of both ranges, the presence of a connection to the Network, and one diode signaling a LAN connection. They shine in a soft green color, but if they interfere in the settings for some reason, you can turn them off or set a work schedule.
Separately, it is worth noting the rather practical design of TP-Link Archer C80. The body is made of plastic and is only available in black. But, unlike most TP-Link routers, the Archer C80 is almost without gloss. This is a big plus because the gloss was often scratched even from a soft cloth when wiping it from dust. And even though routers rarely find themselves in “honorable” places, the “sediment” remained. And this model has successfully bypassed such a fate.
There are four legs at the bottom. True, they are also plastic and cannot prevent accidental slipping. But there are mounts for wall mounting.
Recently, we have had quite a few manufacturers’ routers. Subjectively, the design of the Archer C80 is one of the most successful, thanks to its practical finish. But the rest of the design is completely typical for routers, including competitors.
Functionality TP-Link Archer C80
Let the Archer C80 and the previous generation router, but this does not make it useless against the background of new devices. The set of features is quite good, and the speed indicators are not much inferior to the closest Wi-Fi 6 routers. The C80 received the 802.11ac Wave 2 standard and can transmit data in the 2.4 GHz range at speeds up to 600 Mbps / s and in 5 GHz – up to 1300. Also, the router supports Beamforming, Airtime Fairness, and 3 × 3 MU-MIMO, which will help many devices connected to the network work better.
Immediately upon setup, the router will prompt you to enable Smart Connect. With this function, the client will see only one local network, and the router will select the range for it itself. Not all ac-routers could do this.
The router does not do this with guest networks; you can create one separate network for each range. At the same time, clients in these networks can be isolated from the main one and each other.
In addition to router and access point modes, Archer C80 supports proprietary OnaMesh technology. With its help, it is possible to create one network of several routers (or a router and a repeater) in a large dwelling. Clients will more logically switch between the nearest points without the need for additional user actions.
If among all clients there are those for which separate rules are needed, the router has a parental control function. In it, for a client or a group of clients, you can create restrictions on the viewed content and a time frame with an exact schedule.
And also, in the case of many clients on the network, they can be prioritized using QoS. This will allow better control over access, which can be especially useful for owners of not very fast channels from providers.
The security settings of the Archer C80 look the same as those of most of the manufacturer’s routers.
Also, with the general settings of the device: the router can find updates on its own, it is possible to save the settings and restore them, assign the administration capabilities to certain clients, reboot schedule, turn off indicators (also with a work schedule, if necessary) and so on.
But that’s not all. The basic functions of the router are also available through the smartphone app. As before, not all settings are in the application, but there is access to the main features. Otherwise, the application will offer to get into the classic “admin panel” through the browser.
TP-Link Archer C80 in action
The work with the router begins as standard for TP-Link – the device will offer several standard actions for creating a local network and establishing an Internet connection. Also, during this process, you can create and print QR codes for quick access and log in to the TP-Link Cloud, with which you can then remotely control the router.
But the speed indicators were still able to please. We used ROG Zephyrus S17 and ASUS Expertbook B9 laptops for the tests, and the tests were carried out in our typical two-room apartment. Measurement of Speedtest speed in the 2.4 GHz band near the router was 131 Mbps download and 96 Mbps upload. Having moved as far as possible from the router, the speed dropped to 103/72 Mbit / s, which is still fast compared to many other routers. The 5 GHz band in the same places showed 471/658 and 356/249 Mbps. At the same time, at the time of measurements, a direct-wired connection showed 934/946 Mbit / s, and with a router via Ethernet, you could see 801/925.
The average data transfer rate between clients in the 2.4 GHz band was 96 Mbps near the router and 74 Mbps at the farthest point. Interestingly, in the interim, it loses less than similar devices.
The same measurement at 5 GHz in front of the router showed an average speed of 676 Mbit / s and 245 away from it. In both cases, the indicators are slightly higher than devices of a similar standard and price category.
In the case of a wired connection, the measurement was almost the maximum for the port capabilities.
Otherwise, there were no problems with the Archer C80 either. About ten clients and a gigabit channel is not a problem for him at all. It will not provide the maximum speed, but so will other routers. In addition, the loss of speed in the C80 is not as high as it has been in similar routers. Also, everything was in order with stability, both when downloading large files and while streaming images to a TV, which did not interfere with other clients with Internet access.
TP-Link Archer C80 Pros:
Practical design; a set of features; OneMesh support; speed indicators
TP-Link Archer C80 Cons:
Conclusion: Should you buy TP-Link Archer C80?
As it turned out, even buying a previous generation router, you can still get good speed performance and a good set of features, including Mesh support. The TP-Link Archer C80 lacked only a USB port for additional connections, which can be found in other devices of this standard with a similar price. Otherwise, if there are no specific requirements for the router, it will be a good buying option.
TP-Link Archer C80: Specifications
|A type||Wireless router (router)|
|Maximum connection speed, Mbps||1300 + 600|
|Multiple SSID support||+ (2)|
|Connection interface (LAN port)||4×10 / 100/1000 Ethernet|
|Input (WAN port)||1×10 / 100/1000 Ethernet|
|USB connection (external storage / printer / 3G modem)||–|
|VPN (virtual networks) support||+|
|Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)||+|
|Antenna type (internal / external)||External|
|Number of antennas||4|
|MU-MIMO / MIMO support||+ / +|
|Weight, g||No data|
|Advanced encryption modes||WPA / WPA2-Enterprise (802.1x)|
|Power (PoE / Adapter)||– / +|
|Other||Smart connectivity – Smart Connect brings customers to a less congested channel, and Airtime Fairness optimizes airtime usage, hotspot mode|