TP-Link is one of the industry's leaders when it comes to offering quality, affordable routers. Its lineup includes everything from budget pieces suitable for one or two users in a small space all the way up to pricey high-end routers intended for gaming and 4K streaming in a large home or small office. If you're wondering where to start, we've rounded up the best for just about anyone right here.
The Archer A7 is a popular router thanks to a competitive price and performance that matches the needs of most people. You get AC1750 performance across 2.4 and 5 GHz bands, there are four LAN ports on the back, and setup and management are easy enough for beginners to handle.
If AC1750 performance from the Archer A7 is a bit too much for your needs, the Archer C1200 is a cheaper option that nevertheless provides speeds up to 300 Mbps and 900 Mbps across the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. It still has four LAN ports on the back, and there's a USB-A port for wireless file sharing.
If you're worried about range but don't want to spend big money, the Archer C9 features beamforming for its three external antennas to better find your devices. You get theoretical AC1900 speeds across the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands (600 Mbps and 1,300 Mbps) for smooth 4K streaming, and there's a built-in USB-A 3.0 port so that you can wirelessly share your media.
This powerful router is set up to handle 4K video streaming and lag-free gaming, and can theoretically hit AC3150 speeds across the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands (1,000 Mbps and 2,167 Mbps). It features beamforming, it's MU-MIMO capable, and it has a powerful dual-core processor (CPU) and two co-CPUs to ensure all data is sent and received properly across devices.
If you have many users connecting to one router, the Archer C5400 should be well worth the money. It has one 2.4 GHz band (1,000 Mbps) and two 5 GHz bands (both 2,167 Mbps) so that there's far less congestion, and it's MU-MIMO capable. Eight antennas provide excellent range, and a powerful CPU and co-CPUs handle Quality of Service (QoS) demands with ease.
Anyone who doesn't have an especially large home or office and without a ton of people attempting to connect at once should definitely check out the TP-Link Archer A7. It has a competitive price, has plenty of ports on the back for your wired devices, and is simple enough that networking beginners shouldn't have any issues with setup or management. Those who need more power — whether due to more space to cover, more people connecting at once, or higher bandwidth demands — should consider the TP-Link Archer C3150 for dual-band performance or the TP-Link Archer C5400 for tri-band performance.
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Cale Hunt is a staff writer at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on PC, laptop, and accessory coverage, as well as the emerging world of VR. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.