TP-LINK Archer C3150 Wireless Router review
If, like me, you use a standard router for your broadband there is a chance that you’ll find it a pretty basic bit of kit. I live in one over those houses that seems to block any sort of signal in it, mobile or wifi but I was hoping the the TP-LINK Archer C3150 Wireless Router would help ease the pain.
Now I’m not as technical as I used to be so I found the new router a bit daunting at first. Thankfully he setup guide is very well explained and it wasn’t long before I was back online. My major hiccup was the fact I was using a BT Home Hub 5 previously and I hadn’t click ed the right button on the admin interface. I also needed to dig out an old BT Openreach modem as the router doesn’t have one built in. Once I had plugged everything in I was good to go, I set up the SSID and password to my previous network so that all my devices simply swapped over.
The C3150 is a pretty awesome piece of kit and as you can see it above, it looks like it means business. Taking a look around the router itself, there are four Gigabit Ethernet wired connection ports for any of your devices that require a wired connection. My Xbox One is on a wired connection. There’s also one USB 3.0 port and one USB 2.0 port for connecting external hard drives, printers, or usb sticks, perfect for setting up media servers.
The four dual band antennas are a bit of an eyesore if I’m honest, but they have made a big difference as I can pretty much get a signal anywhere in the house and my devices are much more stable in terms of their connection. My Google Chromecast was forever losing signal, or struggling to stream for more than 10 minutes before buffering and eventually requiring a restart, but now it never drops. Most importantly for those who use the Windows 10 box app for streaming their gameplay to a difference device will be please to hear that it works flawlessly. I had all sorts of trouble with a poor connection to my tablet, but I managed to come top in a Gears of War 4 multiplayer match using my Linx 10 tablet which is pretty amazing. The hardware on the inside of the router is pretty impressive also, it’s made up of a dual core processor plus two powerful co-processors, it also has Broadcom NitroQAM(1024-QAM) technology with 4-Stream that lets the Archer C3150 transmit 25% more data.
Trying to manage my network via the BT Home Hub wasn’t too troublesome to be honest but, there were lots of things that could be improved. With the Archer C3150, there is an excellent interface to manage your whole network via your mobile and PC. You can configure all sorts of options, from managing devices to configuring your router as a media server, perfect for accessing family photos and videos on any device.
If you don’t want to get too involved with the settings, TP-Link have also developed an excellent app called Tether. Simply download the app, and once you have connected to your wifi you can go in and manage your router from the app. For parents, Tether will help you with designating which of your devices or users gets to control the router and setting the permission that comes with it. With URL-based “white list”, you can choose for websites which are safe to visit and meanwhile control and limit access to the network to certain time of the day for users in the child list. Luckily my kids are bit a young for this at the moment, but it’s good to have it there for the future!
There are lots of other useful features within the app such as the ability to share the Wifi password with anyone with a click of the button, but my favourite feature on the Archer c3150 is the fact I can set up a ‘Guest Network’. When I friends staying over I can set different access options for Guest Network users, which is very effective to ensure the security and privacy of my main network.
As someone who isn’t as technical as they used to be, I knew I needed a better router to improve my signal and general connectivity around the house. The Archer c3150 is an excellent piece of kit that is easy to set up and managae, is well supported and does allows me to get the most from my network, it’s well worth upgrading to this.