Networking specialist TP-Link announced the launch of the Archer C8 AC1750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router, a premium model in the company’s 11AC family, offering enhanced speed, WiFi coverage and connectivity across a larger area.
The Archer C8 also debuts an updated Web user interface (UI) for improved usability in setup and configuration, and the company is targeting the digital home, typically comprised of multiple devices and high-bandwidth activities such as media streaming.
The router has a suggested retail price of $129.99 and is available from TP-Link’s retail and online partner network across the United States. With up to 1.75G bps of total bandwidth, the Archer C8 supports the latest 802.11ac WiFi technology and is backward-compatible with existing 802.11n devices.
The appliance comes with one gigabit wide area network (WAN) port and four gigabit local area network (LAN) Ethernet ports for high-speed wired connections to computers, TVs and game consoles.
"Security is paramount in the design of all TP-Link routers. Besides standard wireless security such as WPA-PSK and WPA2-PSK, TP-Link offers advanced wireless security via Wireless MAC Filtering," Molly King, marketing manager for TP-Link, told eWEEK. "IT administrators can allow or deny specific wireless clients by entering their MAC addresses."
King also noted the company recommends small business owners create a WiFi guest network.
"Visitors to your office location can be easily provided with Internet access, but you want to keep your WiFi network secure and isolated," King said. "Your internal network is protected when using guest networks."
With the dual multifunction USB ports (USB 2.0 and USB 3.0), users can attach any USB-compatible storage devices for simplified file sharing between connected devices on a network.
While the USB 2.0 port is often used for printer sharing, the high transfer speed of USB 3.0 is best suited for media streaming through a connected USB external hard drive.
Other performance features include an 800MHz dual-core central processing unit (CPU), three detachable dual band antennas with omni-directional wireless coverage and reliability, and beamforming technology that locates multiple connected devices and boosts the wireless signal strength in those directions, delivering a targeted and highly efficient wireless connection.
The Archer C8 operates simultaneously over the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, providing users two dedicated networks with optimal throughput.
This allows simple tasks such as sending emails or Web browsing to be handled by the 2.4GHz band, while bandwidth-intensive tasks can be processed in a faster, less congested 5GHz band.
Additionally, the appliance boasts Quality of Service (QoS) prioritization. Internet bandwidth for individual applications and devices can be prioritized by the user and controlled automatically.
For instance, with QoS in place, gamers can prioritize gaming traffic over other network traffic for a lag-free experience.
"Industry forecasts are showing more than 26 billion connected devices worldwide by 2020," King said. "Consumers want better control and customization of their living environments, and this is taking place through remote management and monitoring. Now is the time for consumers to future-proof their home WiFi environments and prepare for the digital lifestyle."