Feature-rich including added security
The Archer C3150 V2 is packed full of features. Often, you find that a router at this price point will be missing a few major things, but this router has it all.
With smart connect, the router will automatically place each device on either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz network, whichever has a better signal. Airtime fairness helps speed up networks with older devices connected. The Archer C3150 V2 also includes MU-MIMO for fast simultaneous connections and beamforming to focus Wi-Fi directly on devices.
One rare bonus on this router is link aggregation. This allows you to combine two gigabit LAN ports into one super-fast 2 gigabit per second (Gbps) port for wired devices. This will come in handy if you have a network attached storage (NAS) device that will be accessed by multiple devices. The router also features co-processors for the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, to help handle your network load.
My favorite feature of this router is the TP-Link HomeCare, powered by Trend Micro. This free service gives you customizable parental controls, quality of service (QoS) and antivirus. The QoS settings let your prioritize your traffic based on the device or type, like games, streaming, surfing and so on. The antivirus is basic with on/off functions for malicious content filtering, intrusion prevention and infected device quarantine. Security is a top priority in a router, so you should always look for one with additional security features. The Archer C3150 V2 offers HomeCare for free.
Consistent speed and range throughout your home
The TP-Link Archer C3150 V2 is an AC3150-rated router, offering speeds of 1,000 Mbps on 2.4GHz and 2,167Mbps on 5GHz. It has these theoretical speeds due to its high-end 1024-QAM modulation, called NitroQAM, and four spatial streams. This provides speeds 25 percent faster than standard 256-QAM 802.11ac routers. Keep in mind, though, that many factors will diminish these speeds, including interference, your internet connection and older devices on your network.
In my throughput testing, I was again pleasantly surprised by the Archer C3150 V2. It had great range and speeds, comparable to high-end routers I've tested in the past, such as theand the . On 2.4GHz, speeds were very consistent all the way up to 50 feet away, averaging just above 160Mbps everywhere I tested. A large home should see good coverage throughout. You may even get some decent coverage out in your yard.
On 5GHz, the Archer C3150 V2 really flexed its muscles, hitting nearly 900Mbps at close range and holding strong at 274Mbps from 50 feet away. It really shows that the hardware they use is solid quality.
I also tested the router's wireless file transfer speeds using an ADATA SD700 256GB external solid-state drive connected to the router's USB 3.0 port. In general, the speeds were slower than other high-end routers I tested, but they were still sufficient for transferring large files. From 15 feet away on 2.4GHz, download speeds averaged about 10 megabytes per second (MBps) and upload speeds were about 11MBps. On 5GHz, download speeds were nearly 18MBps and upload speeds were just above 15MBps. This means you can transfer a DVD's worth of data, 4.7GB to be exact, in four to eight minutes.
Should you buy one?
The TP-Link Archer C3150 V2 has nearly everything you could want in a router for around $200. It performed exceptionally well in my speed and range tests and includes all the features you need for a medium to large home. The app could use more customization options but the web interface was very helpful and easy to use. The additions of link aggregation and its HomeCare security make this router a must have. Novice users or techies who want complete control of their home network will get great bang for their buck.
TP-Link Archer C3150 V2 specs
|Brand||TP-Link||Model||Archer C3150 V2|
|IEEE 802.11 Standard||a/b/g/n/ac||Class||AC3150|
|Speed (Mbps)||3,167 (1,000+2,167)||CPU processor||Dual- core 1.4GHz|
|Frequency||Dual-band (2.4GHz+5GHz)||RAM memory||256MB|
|Ethernet ports||1 Gigabit WAN; 4 Gigabit LAN; Link aggregation||Flash memory||32MB|
|USB ports||1 USB 2.0; 1 USB 3.0||Guest Wi-Fi||Yes|
|Antennas||4 external; Dual band; detachable||Parental controls||Yes|
|Spatial streams||4 (2.4GHz); 4 (5GHz)||MU-MIMO||Yes|
|Security||64/128-bit WEP, WPA/WPA2, WPA-PSK/WPA-PSK2, HomeCare powered by Trend Micro, SPI firewall, DoS protection, VPN||Setup||App or Browser|
|Size (inches)||10.4 by 7.8 by 1.5||Weight (pounds)||1.9|