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Thursday, August 27, 2015

TP-LINK AC3200 Tri-Band Wireless Gigabit Wi-Fi Router (Archer C3200)

Update Dateline the Next Day:
I got a prompt reaction to my initial lukewarm review. Due to that prompt positive reaction and assurance I could get local support, I tried setting up the router again today and got dramatically different results. I "swear" I followed the exact same steps but today it was bing, bang and bong. Everything fell into place. I got great wired speed and was able to see all three wireless bands from a tablet, a laptop and a desktop. My wifi analyzer shows the TP-Link in green. It is at the same level as my Fios wireless and much higher than my Netgear wireless router. The photo from my yard did not come out but the green signal was 25% higher at a 150 feet. So ignore what I wrote below, I have to assume I made some elementary error yesterday because today I am very happy with this router.
my apologies to TP-Link

I followed the TP-Link Quick Installation Guide and set it up.  My tablet and my three wireless computers saw it and connected and used the Internet.  I tested the signal and it was strong throughout the house and even out in the yard.   I then followed the instructions which led me to the page to change the user name and password.  After I did that, it would not let me proceed to the management page.  I did a factory reset and tried again to no avail.  I called technical support and got a very pleasant but very hard to understand technician.   I am sure the language barrier impeded our progress.  We finally got through to the management screen and I did the quick start setup.   The only unit I had that would address the new password was my tablet.  My  other three devices would not log on to the wireless signal.  The hardwired unit was just fine but the wireless units would not connect.   I did another factory reset and all my wireless units will connect.  I have no clue why it doesn't accept a change of passwords but it doesn't. 

I tried the USB by hooking up a USB hard drive.  That was not recognized by my network.  This product may be fine but it certainly needs better documentation, a better setup and more English language training for it's support staff.  It works fine and has a strong signal as long as you are willing to run unprotected from someone changing your password as the admin/admin entry that gets you to the setup screen never did accept a change of password.  I'm disappointed in the product, for the price I expected a better implementation.  I'm not even going to bother attaching the screen shots of the wireless signal tests I ran since the unprotected nature certainly precludes the router's use.

From the vendor:
·                        Tri-Band technology creates 3 separate Wi-Fi bands for connecting more devices to your network
·                        Smart Connect helps devices run faster by assigning them to the best available channel
·                        Combined 3200Mbps Wi-Fi for lag-free 4K video streaming and gaming across multiple devices
·                        6 high-performance antennas with Beamforming maximize coverage area and stability
·                        1GHz dual-core CPU and 3 co-processors handle simultaneous connections without interruption
·                        Intuitive interface and Tether app for easy installation and network management
·                        Industry-leading 2-year warranty and unlimited 24/7 technical support

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

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