TP-LINK ARCHER C3200

HWM (Malaysia) - - TEST -

The TP-Link Archer C3200 is quite un­usual in the realm of AC3200 routers be­cause of its rel­a­tive com­pact size. It’s shaped like a Mini-PC and chan­nels much of the same aes­thetic spirit as the Linksys EA9200.

The an­ten­nas are es­pe­cially nifty, be­cause while they aren’t re­mov­able, they can be neatly folded away into spe­cially cut-out tun­nels on the top panel. The top panel also has vents that al­low heat to es­cape to keep the router cool.

The front panel is where users will find a row of LED sta­tus in­di­ca­tors, which are less com­pre­hen­sive than we would have liked them to be. There are no in­di­vid­ual in­di­ca­tors for the Gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net LAN ports - a fault found in many other routers. So if the lights for the LAN ports go off, you’ll need to spend some time to fig­ure out which ex­act port is mal­func­tion­ing.

And again, the Archer C3200 is pow­ered by the same Broad­com 5G XStream chipset found in other AC3200-class routers. This chipset con­sists of a sin­gle dual-core Broad­com BCM4709A run­ning at 1GHz and three ad­di­tional off­load Broad­com BCM43602 pro­ces­sors, each ded­i­cated to one of the router’s three ra­dios.

Set­ting up was a bit of mixed bag be­cause the Archer C3200’s user in­ter­face isn’t as pol­ished as its ri­vals; many times, it isn’t ap­par­ent where some of the op­tions are. Most of all, the QoS op­tion is a pain to con­fig­ure be­cause you must man­u­ally de­fine ap­pli­ca­tions, IP and port ranges. For­tu­nately, the Archer C3200 ac­tu­ally comes pre­con­fig­ured and a sticker on the router will in­di­cate its pre­con­fig­ured SSID and pass­word.

Like most high-end routers to­day, the Archer C3200 can also be re­motely con­trolled and man­aged us­ing TP-Link’s Tether app, which is avail­able for iOS and An­droid de­vices. The app is a pretty ba­sic, but it shows you a net­work map that lets you see de­vices con­nected to your router, and also al­lows you to man­age your Wi-Fi and guest net­works set­tings, and also ac­ti­vate or de­ac­ti­vate your parental con­trol set­tings.

But­tons for WPS setup and turn­ing the Wi-Fi on and off are con­ve­niently lo­cated in front.

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