TP-LINK ARCHER C3200
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.