Question TP-Link Options

Should I get the C90 or the A9?


  • Total voters
    1

Dentalicious

Honorable
Jun 13, 2015
10
0
10,520
1
I have a TP-Link Archer C7 v2 that is starting to show its age a bit and I am hoping to replace it with a newer TP-Link router. I have been looking at 2 models the Archer C90 and the Archer A9. However, I am not sure that I see any difference between them. My specific curiosity is about the processor and if there is a difference there? I haven't been able to find much of anything comparing these two so any information is greatly appreciated.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
I have a TP-Link Archer C7 v2 that is starting to show its age a bit and I am hoping to replace it with a newer TP-Link router. I have been looking at 2 models the Archer C90 and the Archer A9. However, I am not sure that I see any difference between them. My specific curiosity is about the processor and if there is a difference there? I haven't been able to find much of anything comparing these two so any information is greatly appreciated.
What benefit do you believe changing your router will provide ?
 

Dentalicious

Honorable
Jun 13, 2015
10
0
10,520
1
What benefit do you believe changing your router will provide ?
Well the C7 doesn't have MU-MIMO or Beam Forming. The 2.4 GHz band is rated to 600 Mbps vs 450 Mbps. Additionally, as I vaguely alluded to the C7 seems to be having a handful of performance issues that have resulted in me having to reboot the router 1 to 2 times a week for WiFi devices to keep functioning.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Well the C7 doesn't have MU-MIMO or Beam Forming. The 2.4 GHz band is rated to 600 Mbps vs 450 Mbps. Additionally, as I vaguely alluded to the C7 seems to be having a handful of performance issues that have resulted in me having to reboot the router 1 to 2 times a week for WiFi devices to keep functioning.
MU-MIMO won't be of any benefit -- https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless/wireless-features/33100-why-you-don-t-need-mu-mimo
Beamforming will give a few % improvement.
2.4Ghz won't change because your devices won't have 4 stream radios.

HAVING to reboot -- Maybe. Rebooting your router can mask the root cause so it might still be a problem.

I am not trying to say don't buy, I am just trying to say you may not get any noticeable benefits.
 

Dentalicious

Honorable
Jun 13, 2015
10
0
10,520
1
MU-MIMO won't be of any benefit -- https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless/wireless-features/33100-why-you-don-t-need-mu-mimo
Beamforming will give a few % improvement.
2.4Ghz won't change because your devices won't have 4 stream radios.

HAVING to reboot -- Maybe. Rebooting your router can mask the root cause so it might still be a problem.

I am not trying to say don't buy, I am just trying to say you may not get any noticeable benefits.
Fair enough, are there more meaningful features you would recommend looking for then?

Also I definitely am not an expert on this kind of hardware, but it has been a more recent development that only impact devices on Wi-Fi while PCs connected via wired internet are un-impacted. Being that this was a refurbished C7 when I purchased it I am of the mind it may be ready to be laid to rest. Do you think there is something else at play though outside of the router itself?
 
First try to see if there is newer firmware for the device.

Generally if you have to reboot the box there is something wrong.

Looking at a new router you have to be careful to avoid just buying a bigger number. As pointed out a lot of this stuff does not buy you much if your end device does not also support it. It is no different than the guys we see buy 802.11ax(wifi6) routers and then wonder why they didn't see anything, they forget they must replace all their phones or upgrade their nics to use it.

The vast majority of devices only have 2 antenna so they can't even use the 3x3 ability of your current router. They will run the same speed as one that said it 1200. Really the 1750 number has gotten to be the best value for the money. You only pay a slight bit more than more basic routers. TPlink in general makes quality product but all equipment can fail.
 

Dentalicious

Honorable
Jun 13, 2015
10
0
10,520
1
First try to see if there is newer firmware for the device.

Generally if you have to reboot the box there is something wrong.

Looking at a new router you have to be careful to avoid just buying a bigger number. As pointed out a lot of this stuff does not buy you much if your end device does not also support it. It is no different than the guys we see buy 802.11ax(wifi6) routers and then wonder why they didn't see anything, they forget they must replace all their phones or upgrade their nics to use it.

The vast majority of devices only have 2 antenna so they can't even use the 3x3 ability of your current router. They will run the same speed as one that said it 1200. Really the 1750 number has gotten to be the best value for the money. You only pay a slight bit more than more basic routers. TPlink in general makes quality product but all equipment can fail.
I would tend to agree that probably something is wrong with the current router so I want to replace it, but with something a bit newer. Again, not being very well informed on router hardware I am a bit confused here. Does the C7 have 3x3 simply by virtue of having 3 antennas? As I thought I understood the 3 antennas were for adequate coverage not for simultaneous connections, but that could be purely ignorance on my part.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
I would tend to agree that probably something is wrong with the current router so I want to replace it, but with something a bit newer. Again, not being very well informed on router hardware I am a bit confused here. Does the C7 have 3x3 simply by virtue of having 3 antennas? As I thought I understood the 3 antennas were for adequate coverage not for simultaneous connections, but that could be purely ignorance on my part.
The 3 antennas are for 3 simultaneous connections to a device. Coverage is not significantly changed.
 
3x3 means it sends out 3 overlapping signals one from each antenna slightly out of sync with each other. The theory being it can dig the information back out at the far end. It has limitation going from 1x1 to 2x2 give much bigger increase than going from 2x2 to 3x3. This is why they just didn't do 100x100.

This comes into learning what those numbers really mean.

Generally 1750 means 450 & 1350. 450 is actually 3x 150 and 1350 is sorta 3x 433.

It get very complex fast. They do stupid stuff like round 433 to 450 and there are things like a 600 number can ether be 4x150 or 3x200. The 200 speed on 2.4g is a non standard data encoding that most devices do not support. But it give them a bigger number on the box.
 
Reactions: Dentalicious

Dentalicious

Honorable
Jun 13, 2015
10
0
10,520
1
3x3 means it sends out 3 overlapping signals one from each antenna slightly out of sync with each other. The theory being it can dig the information back out at the far end. It has limitation going from 1x1 to 2x2 give much bigger increase than going from 2x2 to 3x3. This is why they just didn't do 100x100.

This comes into learning what those numbers really mean.

Generally 1750 means 450 & 1350. 450 is actually 3x 150 and 1350 is sorta 3x 433.

It get very complex fast. They do stupid stuff like round 433 to 450 and there are things like a 600 number can ether be 4x150 or 3x200. The 200 speed on 2.4g is a non standard data encoding that most devices do not support. But it give them a bigger number on the box.
Ok I think I am tracking with that. Also seems like maybe I did at one point know thats how this worked, but had since overwritten that knowledge in my brain. Thank you!

I guess to the root of the question if you were in the position to be replacing a C7 v2 what would you choose (not even limited to the two I asked about)?
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Ok I think I am tracking with that. Also seems like maybe I did at one point know thats how this worked, but had since overwritten that knowledge in my brain. Thank you!

I guess to the root of the question if you were in the position to be replacing a C7 v2 what would you choose (not even limited to the two I asked about)?
I usually recommend Asus RT-AC68U. It has VERY good second source firmware -- Merlin firmware. There are lots of them available used on E-Bay for $60 - $70 because many people have chased the "big numbers" as @bill001g said not to do :) And they are still available new.
 

Sohom

Reputable
Mar 6, 2017
1,218
60
5,740
194
I wud recommend u the tp link archer a9.. qualcomm processor QCA9984 known for really good 5Ghz performance. if u r okay with mediatek processors, then i will recommend u netgear r6350 or tp ac2600... all the 3 models have support for beamforming technology... i prefer the netgear interface, but its all upto you...
 

Dentalicious

Honorable
Jun 13, 2015
10
0
10,520
1
I wud recommend u the tp link archer a9.. qualcomm processor QCA9984 known for really good 5Ghz performance. if u r okay with mediatek processors, then i will recommend u netgear r6350 or the tp link archer a9... all the 3 models have support for beamforming technology... i prefer the netgear interface, but its all upto you...
Where did you find the information on the processors? Also I think you might have had a typo as you mentioned the A9 for Qualcomm and Mediatek?
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS