The dual-band TP-Link Archer C2300 router has lots of features, an easy-to-use menu and bonus security. And best of all, it only costs $150. At that price, you'll get good speed on 5GHz and welcome features like TP-Link Homecare, which offers parental controls, network prioritization and antivirus.
Overall, the Archer C2300 is worth a try if you want lots of customization and don't have dozens of devices on your network. The only issue I had with the AC2300 device was that its coverage onwas a bit spotty. There's a chance you could experience dead zones or slow-downs in certain areas of a medium or large-sized home if you game or stream on multiple devices at once.
Simple design with only three antennas
TP-Link isn't known for its crazy-looking routers like D-Link and its spider-like , so the Archer C2300 stays true to what you'd expect. Its simple design looks a lot like a slimmed down version of the . The device is small, lightweight, mostly black with a few LEDs and has a 3x3 detachable antenna array -- so you shouldn't have an issue leaving it in plain sight. It even has wall mount brackets if you need them. It also has lots of ventilation, so make sure you don't cover it up or it could overheat.
The Archer C2300 has your standard one gigabit WAN port and four gigabit LAN ports, but it also includes a bonus. You can combine two gigabit LAN ports to create a super-fast two gigabit wired connection using thefeature. Kind in mind though that the connected device needs to be able to use link aggregation too. Little extras like this are always nice in a less expensive router and the Archer C2300 has a lot to offer, including a USB 3.0 port and a USB 2.0 port.
Easy setup and a customizable menu
Setup was super easy. You can use a browser or the TP-Link Tether app; both are fast and work about the same. You can also sign up for a TP-Link Cloud account during setup, but it's only required if you want to manage your router remotely. I recommend doing it -- it's free.
The only concern I had during setup was that the router never asked to update the firmware. You should do this by going to the advanced tab, then click system tools in the left column, then click firmware upgrade and then finally, check for upgrade. The latest firmware ensures your router will have the newest performance and security updates.
The web interface, in general, is a pleasant experience. It's well organized with three tabs for setup, basic and advanced. Each one has pretty much exactly what you'd expect. Novice users can stay on the basic tab and still monitor and control their network with ease. This includes a network map of connected devices, Wi-Fi passwords, a guest network and USB sharing for connected storage and printers.
Advanced mode is where you can really have some fun. The menu has settings for everything in basic as well as VPN, IPv6, security, NAT forwarding, ping testing and more. It's pretty comprehensive for people who like to fully customize their router.
Tons of features for security and performance
The Archer C2300 comes fully loaded with features for everyone. Along with its AC2300 rating, which means 600 megabits per second (Mbps) on 2.4GHz and 1,625Mbps on 5GHz, the router includes TP-Link HomeCare powered by Trend Micro. This gives you in-depth parental controls, quality of service (QoS) and basic antivirus. Each one is easy to use and gives you a free extra layer of protection and security.