The TP-Link Archer C80 is a low-cost long-range router that should suit medium-sized households well. The Archer C80 offers a few commendable features for a router under $100, like 3×3 MU-MIMO, parental controls, and remote control via TP-Tether Link’s app, but it also misses some of the functions we’ve come to expect in a router at this price range (like smart assistant compatibility and no USB port).
When compared to other cheap routers on the market, I tested the TP-Link Archer C80 for a week to determine if its design, connectivity, network performance, range, and software make the device a fair investment.
The shape of most routers is similar to that of the bundle, with minor differences in size, number of antennae, ports, and other characteristics. In this aspect, the Archer C80 proved to be a completely unexceptional instrument. And, unlike newer routers, our editorial office’s guest of the day is more compact. The rectangular case has dimensions of 215 117 32 mm, so you won’t have to worry about finding enough room for it.
His four antennas, though, aren’t the shortest. Nonetheless, they will be able to fit into most furniture niches, even if they are small. Their direction can, of course, be simply changed.
They slightly divided the ports among themselves because the case is not the largest and all antennae are mounted on the back of the case. There is the standard set of one WAN port and four LANs among them. A power button, a power jack, a recessed reset button, and a button to enable WPS or turn on/off Wi-Fi are all located next to them.
On the front, there are five little indicators showing the device’s and networks’ condition, as well as the presence of a network connection and one diode signaling a LAN connection. They glow in a soothing green tone, however, you can turn them off or establish a work schedule if they conflict with the settings for whatever reason.
It’s also worth noting that the TP-Link Archer C80 has a very practical design. The body is made of plastic and only comes in one color: black. The Archer C80, on the other hand, is almost gloss-free, unlike other TP-Link routers. This is a significant benefit because the sheen was frequently scratched when dust was wiped away with a soft cloth. Despite the fact that routers are rarely found in “honorable” locations, the “sediment” remains. And this model has managed to avoid such a destiny.
We’ve recently received a number of routers from various manufacturers. Due to its practical finish, the Archer C80 is considered one of the most successful designs. However, the remainder of the design, including rivals, is fully standard for routers.
The process of working with the router begins as is customary for TP-Link – the device will provide various common actions for setting up a local network and connecting to the Internet. You may also create and print QR codes for easy access, as well as log in to the TP-Link Cloud, from which you can control the router remotely.
The speed indications, on the other hand, were able to please. For the tests, we used ROG Zephyrus S17 and ASUS Expertbook B9 laptops, and we conducted them in a typical two-room apartment. In the 2.4 GHz band near the router, Speedtest measured 131 Mbps download and 96 Mbps upload.
After moving as far away from the router as feasible, the speed reduced to 103/72 Mbit/s, which is still fast when compared to many other routers. In the same locations, the 5 GHz band showed 471/658 and 356/249 Mbps. Simultaneously, a direct-wired connection showed 934/946 Mbit / s at the time of tests, while an Ethernet router showed 801/925.
In the 2.4 GHz band, the average data transfer rate between clients was 96 Mbps near the router and 74 Mbps at the farthest point. Surprisingly, it loses less in the interval than similar gadgets.
There were no issues with the Archer C80 in any other way. He has no trouble dealing with ten clients and a gigabit channel. It won’t provide you with the fastest speeds, but neither will other routers. Furthermore, the speed loss in the C80 is not as significant as it has been in previous routers. Also, everything was in order in terms of stability, both when downloading huge files and when streaming images to a TV, and it didn’t interfere with other Internet-connected clients.
The C80 is marketed by TP-Link as a router for three-bedroom houses. That estimate, however, underestimates the router’s range. I was able to keep a reliable Wi-Fi connection in every corner of my two-story, 3,000 square-foot home with five bedrooms.
I had a constant signal in every closet, bathroom, and bedroom, and there were no dead zones. The signal was strong even in the garage, front yard, and rear. The only time I saw lag was when I tried to use numerous gaming and streaming devices at the same time.
TP-Link Tether app
The C80 is simple to set up in less than five minutes, complete with guest networks. One of my favorite router companion apps is the TP-Link Tether. The UI is simple and straightforward, and you can see exactly which devices are connected to each of your network bands. You can even have the app send you a notification when a new device joins your network.
You may set up parental controls by creating a profile for each member of your family, blocking content, and setting time limits for how long particular devices are permitted to connect to the Wi-Fi network. This allows me to manage my child’s PlayStation time as well as screen time on other devices in the house directly from the Tether app.
You’ll need to use the online administration tool to configure more complex functions like NAT forwarding, DHCP servers, and IPv6. The online management application also has more advanced parental control options, such as the ability to filter out information based on keywords (instead of just blocking websites). Although the web tool has a user-friendly layout, it isn’t as convenient as the Tether app.
- Product NameArcher C80 AC1900 Wireless MU-MIMO Wi-Fi 5 Router
- Product BrandTP-Link
- Product Dimensions8.5 x 4.6 x 1.26 in.
- Warranty2 years
- SecuritySPI Firewall, Access Control, IP & MAC Binding, Application Layer Gateway, Wi-Fi Encryption (WEP, WPA, WPA2, WPA/WPA2-Enterprise (802.1x))
- IPv6 CompatibleYes
- MU-MIMOYes, 3 x 3
- Number of Atennas4
- Number of BandsDual
- Number of Wired Ports5
- ModesRouter Mode, Access Point Mode
- Processor1.2 GHz CPU
- Range3-bedroom houses
- Wi-Fi CapacityMedium
- Parental ControlsYes
Price: Under 100
The TP-Link Archer C80 costs under $100, which is a fair price considering the unit’s high speeds, dual-band connection, and performance-enhancing technologies like MU-MIMO.
However, it turns out that even if you purchase a router from a prior generation, you may still obtain outstanding speed performance and a strong collection of capabilities, including Mesh compatibility.
The only thing missing from the TP-Link Archer C80 was a USB port for connecting to other devices, which can be found in other devices of this type and at a similar price. Otherwise, if the router does not need to meet any special specifications, it will be a decent purchase choice in most cases.