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Router Comparison Spring 2016

Router Comparison Spring 2016

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Router Comparison – The Products

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Today’s first router is the Linksys WRT1900ACS, a brand new model released in October 2015. You may not have heard of Linksys but they are owned by the more familiar Belkin and have now sold over 100 million routers, an industry first. The WRT1900ACS goes with quite a retro styling, sharing design with their popular range from days gone by. Inside though the device is very much up to date with plenty of memory, a dual core processor all running a stylish operating system/user interface. Support for both common WiFi bands is present (2.4Ghz and 5GHz) and it will connect to the latest Wireless-AC devices as well as those from the past decade.

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Up next is the Netgear R7500, or Nighthawk X4 as it is also known. The Nighthawk certainly has a stand out design in its own way, looking like some sort of sci-fi craft. It too uses a dual core CPU and supports the latest Wi-Fi technology (Wireless-AC and 2.4/5GHz). Netgear also go a little bit above and beyond many other manufacturers, such as offering two USB 3.0 ports along with eSATA which maximises our potential for attaching storage or devices such as shared printer.

Archer_C2600_un_V1_1012_large_0_20150614181008 Archer_C2600_un_V1_1012_large_5_20150614184346 Archer_C2600_un_V1_1012_large_1_20150614181731

TP-LINK are a company we have been watching for a while now (founded in 1996 and now operating in 120 countries). They may not be the first name that comes to mind in the average consumers thoughts about network equipment but we have no doubt that will change. Their devices are on sale everywhere from supermarkets who might have their average specification kit to Amazon who offer that and more recent higher end kit such as the C2600 we are using today. It matches the Netgear and Linksys models with its dual core CPU, four GB ports for connecting wired devices and all the latest wireless-AC support and 2.4/5GHz bands.

Router Comparison – Features

The first thing which is worth noting about the three routers we have been testing is that all offer quick and easy setup (known as WPS). We unbox, attach their antenna, turn them on and then search for the Wi-Fi using our PC/Tablet/phone… or whatever device we plan on using (SmartTV, Console, etc). Select the network which the router is transmitting and then hit the WPS button on the router to begin accessing the internet. Done. No passwords, no messing about (though the manual method is still available).

Here is a summary of the key specifications of each router:

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Wireless a/b/g/n/ac Yes Yes Yes
2.4GHz support Yes Yes Yes
Famous Essay Writers In The Philippines 5GHz support Yes Yes Yes
http://www.richehisen.com/vu-master-thesis-wiki/ Vu Master Thesis Wiki Processor 1.6GHz Dual Core 1.4Ghz Dual Core (and Dual Core 730Mhz Packet Processing Engine) 1.4Ghz Dual Core
Should Lawbreaker Sent To Prison Memory 128MB Flash/ 512MB RAM 128MB Flash/ 256MB RAM 32MB Flash / 512MB RAM
GB LAN Ports 4 4 4
Dissertation On Banking System 2.4GHz speed 600Mbps 600Mbps 800Mbps
Buy Custom Essays Review 5GHz speed 1300Mbps 1733Mbps 1733Mbps
USB 3.0 ports 1 2 2
USB 2.0 ports 1 0 0
http://www.latestrecipes.net/annerose-menninger-dissertation/ Annerose Menninger Dissertation eSATA ports 1 1 0
Short Research Paper Guest Networks Yes Yes Yes
http://www.wosir-szelment.pl/?help-making-business-plan Help Making Business Plan Parental Controls Yes Yes Yes

Router Comparison – Software

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7500c 7500b

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Management of your new router very much varies from brand to brand as the screenshots above show. We’ve tested all of them extensively and it would be fair to say that while the appearance varies, the functionality is very similar. Our preference was for the Linksys. Well set out, intuitive and responsive. TP-LINK feels more minimalist on the surface but has plenty of features when delving into the advanced mode. Netgear offer good functionality but their interface doesn’t quite feel as modern and when accessing through a browser it can take time to move between screens. That said, they do offer a desktop client which is faster and firmware updates are easier than TP-Link. Automatic download and install for Netgear, manual for TP-LINK. (Linksys are automatic too).

Router Comparison – Apps

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So, on each of the routers we can configure our network (for example changing passwords, setting up access for guests so we don’t need to share our password, etc) using an internet browser… as a nice bonus all three also offer the ability to do the same on our phone/tablet. Styling is very similar to the main control panels we would access on our PC and each is very quick to install and open. All the key functionality is available and each offers compatibility with Android and iOS devices.

Router Comparison – Summary

As well as checking out the functionality and ease of use for the three routers above, we also checked performance on all of them. In terms of signal strength, the C2600 just edged things in our test which was passing the signal across 30ft and through 3 walls. It offered around 5dB stronger signal than the Netgear with the Linksys sandwiched between (Tested on 5Ghz using a Sony Xperia Z Series handset). That said, signal strength will vary depending on your environment and even with the small variation in signal strength and rated Mbps figures each was more than capable of providing full speed from the UK’s leading ISP packages for home users.

Overall, a very closely matched set of routers all of which are designed to offer strong signal strength and enough bandwidth for many devices, HD streams and gaming. Each will offer top notch performance and features with the TP-LINK rated for the fastest speeds, which may make it a touch more future proof. Linksys being the easiest to manage while offering some cool optional extras like high gain antennas which enhance signal strength and Netgear leading the way on balancing performance and connectivity/features.

 

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Wireless AC Routers
Author Rating
5

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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