TP-Link Archer C2300 Review

The TP-Link Archer C2300 ($149) is a wireless router that is so unassuming in appearance that it may be overlooked while yet providing excellent performance. It is the industry leader in data transmission, and it includes anti-malware filtering, an easy-to-use quality of service interface, and a two-year guarantee.

TP-Link Archer C2300 review reveals that it is a great value for money and one of the finest Wi-Fi routers available. Read on to learn more about this product.

TP-LINK (Archer C2300) AC2300 (600+1625) Wireless Dual Band GB Cable Router, USB 3.0, MU-MIMO

Design

You shouldn’t be fooled by the TP-Link Archer C2300’s outward look. The router may have the appearance of a mild-mannered, everyday home router, but it has the heart of an internet tiger. The Linksys WRT 32X and Netgear Nighthawk XR500, which are both aimed at home networking, are competitors in terms of performance with the C2300. With its tremendous capabilities, while remaining invisible in the background, it is the closest thing to a home-networking equivalent of the stealth fighter.

It’s a hot router in more ways than one, to be sure. The black, rectangular design has a large heat sink beneath the surface as well as a vented top to help disperse the generated heat. Its casing was scorching hot to the touch, with a temperature of above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

The C2300 is 8.5 x 7.5 x 1.5 inches, which is about one-third the size of the Nighthawk XR500. It is about the size of a cigar box. The TP-Link router is small enough to fit on a shelf and includes holes on the bottom for wall installation.

The C2300 is equipped with Broadcom’s BCM4365E Wi-Fi chip, which allows it to establish a dual-band network capable of moving three separate streams of data traffic. This device’s memory and flash storage are both 512 MB, and its maximum throughput is 600 Mbps in the 2.4GHz mode and 1.6225 Gbps in the 5GHz mode, according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Theoretical bandwidth is 2.225 terabits per second.

Although the C2300 does not have the Killer Prioritization engine found in the WRT 32X or the geo-filtering functionality seen in the Nighthawk XR500, it does make use of TP-Quality Link’s of Service (QOS) software to distribute available bandwidth. In addition to NitroQAM modulation, the C2300 has Broadcom’s NitroQAM modulation technology, which may increase data transmission rates by as much as 25% by cramming more data into the available frequencies. Otherwise said, it is a high-performance router in every way to save its physical appearance.

Instead of a slew of flashing lights, the C2300 sports four subdued light blue indicators on the front. They indicate whether or not the system is operational, whether or not it has an internet connection, and whether or not there is activity on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. With a single switch on the top, you can turn off all of these lights.

Performance

Powered by a Broadcom BCM4365E Wi-Fi processor, the C2300 achieves outstanding range and speed by utilizing the latest Mu-MIMO and beam-forming methods, which are hidden behind the device’s sleek black casing. The router immediately established itself as the router to beat at our Utah site, which was using Ixia’s ixChariot software at the time.

With a peak speed of 963.6 Mbps, it is the fastest router on the market and is on the verge of delivering 1 Gbps of data at its maximum capacity. The WRT 32X (544.5 Mbps at 15 feet) was 42 percent quicker, while the Norton Core (672.2 Mbps at 5 feet) was 28 percent faster. The Nighthawk XR500 (24 percent faster) was also 42 percent faster (715.4 Mbps at 15 feet).

With distance from the router increasing, the throughput increases, with 682.3 Mbps accessible at 15 feet increasing to 913.8 Mbps available at 50 feet, making this an outstanding midrange router. The C2300 produced 613.2 and 342.5 megabits per second at 100 and 150 feet, respectively. Only the Norton Core performed better, delivering 384.1 Mbps at a distance of 150 feet.

In our tests of how effectively the router transmits its signal through walls and ceilings, the C2300 set the standard, with a download speed of 921.7 Mbps accessible on the other side of our soundboard wall. That’s about 200 megabits per second more data than the 700 megabits per second that Norton Core handled.

On the other side of our metal wall and ceiling, the TP-Link router reported speeds of 620.8 and 629.8 Mbps, respectively. Those are respectable speeds, although Core performed somewhat better, achieving 662.6 and 705.8 Mbps for the metal wall and ceiling tests, respectively. Despite this, the C2300 should perform well when it comes to spreading a data signal in houses with a lot of walls and thick ceilings.

This transmission power was more than enough to power my old, 3,500-square-foot house completely. The C2300 has a range of 110 feet with my iPad Pro, which was only a hair shorter than the Nighthawk XR500’s range of 115 feet, but still rather remarkable. The C2300 may be linked to TP-Deco Link’s mesh system, which is ideal for bigger houses.

While I was catching up on my normal email, movie viewing, and internet surfing, I also spent some time on Twitch watching League of Legends players zap each other and playing a few rounds of online games, like Fighter Patrol 42 and Real Racing 3. It passed my informal saturation test, in which I played HD and 4K films on a Surface Pro 3 and an iPad Pro while a Macbook Air played an online radio station and a Samsung TabPro S transferred data onto and off of a network storage system, with no issues whatsoever. There were no skips, lost frames, or other abnormalities during this workout.

Specifications

WIRELESS
StandardsWi-Fi 5
IEEE 802.11ac/n/a 5 GHz
IEEE 802.11n/b/g 2.4 GHz
WiFi SpeedsAC2300
5 GHz: 1625 Mbps (802.11ac)
2.4 GHz: 600 Mbps (802.11n)
WiFi Range3 Bedroom Houses
3× Detachable High-Performance Antennas
Multiple antennas form a signal-boosting array to cover more directions and large areas

Beamforming
Concentrates wireless signal strength towards clients to expand WiFi range
WiFi CapacityMedium
Dual-Band
Allocate devices to different bands for optimal performance

3×3 MU-MIMO
Simultaneously communicates with multiple MU-MIMO clients

Airtime Fairness
Improves network efficiency by limiting excessive occupation
Working ModesRouter Mode
Access Point Mode
HARDWARE
Processor1.8 GHz 64 Bit Dual-Core CPU
Ethernet Ports1× Gigabit WAN Port
4× Gigabit LAN Ports

Link Aggregation (802.3ad) available with 2× LAN ports
USB Support1× USB 3.0 Port
1× USB 2.0 Port

Supported Partition Formats:
NTFS, exFAT, HFS+, FAT32

Supported Functions:
Apple Time Machine
FTP Server
Media Server
Samba Server
ButtonsWi-Fi On/Off Button
Power On/Off Button
LED On/Off Button
WPS Button
Reset Button
Power12 V ⎓ 2 A
SECURITY
WiFi EncryptionWPA
WPA2
WPA3
Network SecuritySPI Firewall
Access Control
IP & MAC Binding
Application Layer Gateway

HomeCare™ AntivirusMalicious Site Checker
Port Intrusion Prevention
Infected Device Isolation
Notification and Log
Guest Network1× 5 GHz Guest Network
1× 2.4 GHz Guest Network
VPN ServerOpenVPN
PPTP
SOFTWARE
ProtocolsIPv4
IPv6
Service KitsHomeCare™
Parental ControlsHomeCare™ Parental ControlsCustom Profiles
Content Filtering
App Block
URL Filtering
Time Limit
Time Schedule (Bedtime)
Log Insight
Monthly Report
WAN TypesDynamic IP
Static IP
PPPoE
PPTP
L2TP
Quality of ServiceQoS by Device

HomeCare™ QoSQoS by Application
Cloud ServiceOTA Firmware Upgrade
TP-Link ID
DDNS
NAT ForwardingVirtual Servers
Port Forwarding
Port Triggering
DMZ
UPnP
IPTVIGMP Proxy
IGMP Snooping
Bridge
Tag VLAN
DHCPAddress Reservation
DHCP Client List
Server
DDNSTP-Link
NO-IP
DynDNS
ManagementTether App
Webpage
PHYSICAL
Dimensions (W×D×H)8.5 × 6.5 × 1.4 in
(216 × 164 × 36.8 mm)
Package ContentsWi-Fi Router Archer C2300
Power Adapter
RJ45 Ethernet Cable
Quick Installation Guide
OTHER
System RequirementsInternet Explorer 11+, Firefox 12.0+, Chrome 20.0+, Safari 4.0+, or other JavaScript-enabled browser

Cable or DSL Modem (if needed)

Subscription with an internet service provider (for internet access)
CertificationsFCC, RoHS
EnvironmentOperating Temperature: 0℃~40℃ (32℉ ~104℉)
Storage Temperature: -40℃~70℃ (-40℉ ~158℉)
Operating Humidity: 10%~90% non-condensing
Storage Humidity: 5%~90% non-condensing
TEST DATA
WiFi Transmission PowerFCC:
<30dBm
WiFi Reception Sensitivity5GHz: 11a 6Mbps: -91dBm
11a 54Mbps: -72dBm
11n HT20: -70dBm
11n HT40: -69dBm
11ac HT20: -60dBm
11ac HT40: -61dBm
11ac HT80: -56dBm
2.4GHz: 11g 54Mbps: -73dBm
11n HT20: -72dBm
11n HT40: -69dBm

Conclusion

It’s not only that the TP-Link Archer C2300 is the fastest router we’ve ever tested; it’s also compact and inconspicuous, and it’s jam-packed with high-end capabilities. It has the ability to safeguard a network against viral and hacker assaults, and it can be configured to meet your specific needs. When purchased for $149, it is less than half the price of the Linksys WRT 32X or Netgear Nighthawk XR500 routers, while providing double the coverage under their warranties, which are now for two years.

However, even though newer protocols such as Wi-Fi 6 have been introduced to provide faster and more reliable performance, the TP-Link Archer C2300 remains our best wireless-AC router because it provides excellent performance at a very reasonable price.

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