The TP-Link Archer C8 is quite the speedy dual band router, capable of providing crystal clear video and audio along with a smooth web surfing experience. Any online task that requires heavy bandwidth can be performed without a problem on the Archer C8. Data transfer speeds can reach up to 1.3 Gbps on the 5GHz band and 450 Mbps on 2.4GHz channel. There’s 3 dual band detachable antennas that offer extensive omni-directional wireless coverage. The router is built around a 800MHz dual core CPU. There is 1 USB 2.0 port and 1 USB 3.0 port as well as the standard 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports for wire connections.
The C8 is quite large but it looks quite nice and sleek. Its bigger than normal size will turn off a few prospective buyers. It is quite wide compared to other routers on the market. Most think that the unit is so wide because it allows the three dual band antennae to be spaced out more. Yet the C8 is very light considering its ample size. The bottom of the unit has keyhole slots so that users can mount it on the walls of their homes or offices. Users should be aware that the wires extend all the way to the back where the antennae are located so mounting it on a wall can become a bit difficult if your wires come from the floor.
The router comes with a setup wizard on a CD that most find to be fairly easy to use. The software can also be downloaded from the TP-Link website as well. Users can configure the router and the network through the admin panel though many have found that it is a bit confusing. Wireless networks are actually pre-configured with WPA encryption. This is a stark contrast to other routers that are “open” by default. While it is possible for users to set the wireless connections to “open”, they are advised to maintain WPA or WEP encryption for optimal security.
The only noticeable criticisms of the router are its abnormally large size and the admin user interface has been known to confuse some users. Otherwise, it is a competitive product that is well worth the $129 investment.