TP-Link Archer C50 Review

If you’re searching for a wireless router, the vast majority of people will be seeking anything to replace the built-in router that comes standard with most internet and DSL modems. Moreover, while low-cost routers such as the TP-Link Archer C50 may do the necessary tasks, they generally do not provide a substantial increase in performance, prompting the question: for whom are they intended?

Our reviewers put the TP-Link Archer C50 through its paces for a week and found that while it is a reasonably priced router, it may not be worth the money, especially if you have a large number of people that want an internet connection at the same time.

The TP-link Archer C50 (C50) router was released in 2014. It really is driven by MediaTek MT7620A @580 MHz chipsets, 64 MB RAM, and 8 MB flash. The AC1200 router works with IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac standards, and the utmost velocity that you could get with Archer C50 is usually 300 + 867 Mbps.

The Guest network is really a useful feature of the Archer C50 router that creates another network for guests. It has 1 x USB 2.0 port(s). The Archer C50 router has 1 x 10/100 Mbps WAN and 4 x 10/100 Mbps LAN ports.

TP-Link C50 AC1200 Wireless DualBand RouterMediatek, ARCHER_C50_V3 (RouterMediatek)

Features

  • ARCHER C50

Design

Because of the Archer C50’s tiny size and lightweight plastic construction, it feels a little fragile in the hand. However, given its low price, you shouldn’t anticipate a heavy-duty body. Unfortunately, it is not an eyesore; the router is completely black, with a sectioned pattern and glossy finish across the body. Because of its modest size, the bright green LEDs on the front of the device are the most noticeable characteristic.

Having said that, it’s a respectable-looking device, and you won’t feel forced to conceal it. That’s a good thing, since this is one router you don’t want anything to get in the way of its performance. Overall, we couldn’t have asked for much more from a low-cost router like the TP-Link Archer C50.

As you might guess, the TP-Link Archer C50 administration portal is a wasteland of information. Because this router doesn’t have a slew of functions, there’s no real need for a slew of fancy websites to accompany them. The first time you log in, you’ll have the option to examine a network map and access all of the fast configuration options that you’ll require. Advanced settings can be changed by selecting the Advanced tab, however, most users will never need to utilize this feature.

You may also play about with parental controls and modify the settings for any USB devices that you have connected to your computer, such as a printer or external storage. Additionally, guest networks are supported, which we found unexpected in a router of this price range—this allows you to set up a separate network for visitors, preventing you from having to share your network password or compromising your network security.

Features

  • Helps 802.11ac regular – another generation of Wi-Fi.
  • Simultaneous 2.4 GHz 300 Mbps and 5 GHz 867 Mbps connections for 1.2 Gbps of total available bandwidth.
  • 2 dual-band exterior antennas provide steady wifi connections and optimal coverage.
  • USB Port – very easily share the printer locally and documents & press with networked products or even remotely via FTP server.
  • Easy network administration close at hand with TP-LINK Tether.

Performance

During our testing, the TP-Link Archer C50 was unable to achieve the speeds that were advertised. Already noted, we tested the router over a 250Mbps connection, however, we were unable to achieve more than 85Mbps while connected through a wired network. In our tests, we were unable to get speeds more than 65Mbps due to the wireless signal intensity. We initially believed that Xfinity was experiencing technical difficulties, but subsequent testing throughout the day consistently produced the same results.

When many devices are sucking up bandwidth at the same time, things start to break apart even more. We noticed that our internet connection dropped to 47Mbps when we were streaming some music through our Apple HomePod. While we were watching YouTube, the temperature dropped even lower. Even with only one device connected, no matter what we tried, we were unable to get even a fraction of the stated internet download rates.

Even while this seems awful, and it is certainly not good, one bright spot exists in the range of options. The home in which we tested the router is around 2,000 square feet in size, has three stories, and the router is placed on the center floor. We had anticipated that the signal strength and range would be inadequate from the minute we took the router out of the box. We were completely mistaken.

We were able to maintain the same download and upload speeds across our entire home. Our tests were carried out in the basement and upstairs bathroom, and we did not detect any slowdowns, except the already sluggish signal. We were pleasantly impressed by the length of the Archer C50’s shooting range.

If you have a high-speed internet connection of more than 50 Mbps, this router is probably not worth the investment. For those who have DSL, and especially those who do not have a router integrated into their modem, you may get some fairly good range out of this router, assuming that you do not have too many devices that require simultaneous access to the internet, which is not always the case.

Specifications

WIRELESS
StandardsWi-Fi 5
IEEE 802.11ac/n/a 5 GHz
IEEE 802.11n/b/g 2.4 GHz
WiFi SpeedsAC1200
5 GHz: 867 Mbps (802.11ac)
2.4 GHz: 300 Mbps (802.11n)
WiFi Range3 Bedroom Houses
4× Fixed 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
Working ModesRouter Mode
Access Point Mode
Range Extender Mode
HARDWARE
ProcessorSingle-Core CPU
Ethernet Ports1× 10/100 Mbps WAN Port
4× 10/100 Mbps LAN Ports
ButtonsWPS/Wi-Fi Button
Power On/Off Button
Reset Button
Power9 V ⎓ 0.85 A
SECURITY
WiFi EncryptionWEP
WPA
WPA2
WPA/WPA2-Enterprise (802.1x)
Network SecuritySPI Firewall
Access Control
IP & MAC Binding
Application Layer Gateway
Guest Network1× 5 GHz Guest Network
1× 2.4 GHz Guest Network
SOFTWARE
ProtocolsIPv4
IPv6
Parental ControlsURL Filtering
Time Controls
WAN TypesDynamic IP
Static IP
PPPoE
PPTP
L2TP
Quality of ServiceQoS by Device
NAT ForwardingPort Forwarding
Port Triggering
DMZ
UPnP
IPTVIGMP Proxy
IGMP Snooping
Bridge
Tag VLAN
DHCPAddress Reservation
DHCP Client List
Server
DDNSNO-IP
DynDNS
ManagementTether App
Webpage
PHYSICAL
Dimensions (W×D×H)9.1 × 5.7 × 1.5 in
(229.9 × 144.2 × 36.9 mm)
Package ContentsWi-Fi Router Archer C50
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, CE, 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 PowerCE EIRP:
<20dBm(2.4GHz)
<23dBm(5GHz)
FCC:
<30dBm(2.4GHz & 5GHz)
WiFi Reception Sensitivity5GHz:
11a 54M: -73dBm
11ac VHT20 MCS8: -68dBm
11ac VHT40 MCS9: -64dBm
11ac VHT80 MCS9: -60dBm
2.4GHz:
11g 54M: -76dBm
11n HT20 MCS7: -74dBm
11n HT40 MCS7: -71dBm

Verdict

Even while you shouldn’t expect top-of-the-line performance from a router in this price category, the fact that it can’t even provide the claimed speeds on a broadband connection is concerning. For those who do not have a broadband connection and who will not be slowed down by the router’s restrictions, its extended range is sufficient to make it worth considering. Just don’t expect to be able to do much in the way of multi-device streaming; it’s simply not designed for this.

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