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TP-Link Talon AD7200 Wireless Wi-Fi Tri-Band Gigabit Router review: Too fast for its own good

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To this end, though, keep in mind that the Talon is physically huge, so good luck finding a place to keep it out in the open where it's not an eyesore.

So I only have regular Wi-Fi devices, can I still use this router?

Yes. The Talon is just as useful as any other high-end 802.11ac router on the market.

And in this regard, the new router performed decently. On paper, it has a top ceiling speed of 1,733Mbps on the 5Ghz band, and up to 800Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. In real-world tests, which always yield much lower speeds than ceiling speeds, the router topped out at about 570Mbps in best-case scenarios on the 5GHz band, making it about average among top-tier routers.

As for range, that depends a lot on the environment. I tested the router in an office space with walls and lots of other Wi-Fi devices around, so your mileage will vary depending on how your home is shaped and how large it is. Given that, it still performed well, maxing out at about 160 feet.

As for signal stability, the router's 5GHz band passed my 48-hour stress test without any problem. It didn't disconnect once during this time. On the 2.4GHz band, however, it disconnected a few times, which was a bit disappointing.

CNET Labs 2.4GHz Wi-Fi performance

Asus RT-AC68U
225
211.4
Netgear R7500
188.8
119.3
TP-Link Talon AD7200
278
99.2
Arris SBR-AC3200P
122.3
70.2
Linksys E8350
139.4
68.3
Asus RT-AC3200
235.7
66.4
Netgear R8000
134.4
57.6
Linksys EA8500
138.7
57.1
Asus RT-AC87U
170.7
56
Linksys WRT1900AC
168.3
50.34
Linksys EA9200
226.2
40.9

Legend:

Close range
Long range

Note:

Measured in megabits per second. Longer bars mean better performance.

There's a lot of different tech involved in this. Is the router difficult to use?

No, setup and management of the Talon are the same as that of a typical router with a web interface. When I tested it, the router had three main Wi-Fi networks, one for each band (2.4GHz, 5GHz and 60GHz.) TP-Link says it will update the firmware to let you set up all three bands as one Wi-Fi network and let devices select the best band to connect to.

The Talon has some cool features like port forwarding, quality of service (QoS), advanced wireless settings, OpenVPN server and so on. But there are no extra network ports (it has the usual four LAN ports and one WAN port,) no dual-WAN, or built-in online protection, or link aggregation. This is especially disappointing since high-end routers from Linksys and Asus almost always include these features. The router's powered by a rather modest dual-core processor that runs at 1.4GHz. Many other routers have a faster processor, which leads to faster web interface responsiveness and storage features when the router is coupled with an external hard drive connected to its USB 3.0 port.

Should I get it?

At $320, the Talon AD7200 is definitely expensive, but it is $180 cheaper than the second 802.11ad router, the Nighthawk X10, just announced by Netgear. So if you're excited about 802.11ad and have a few 802.11ad clients (or plan on getting some), the Talon will let you experience multigigabit wireless speeds at a decent price.

However, as a 802.11ac router, it's only about average. If you're on a budget, the Asus RT-AC68U, the Netgear R7000 or the Linksys WRT1900ACs will will give you similar Wi-Fi performance for far less. Those who want to go high-end should look at the Asus RT-AC88U or the Linksys EA9500. They are demonstrably faster routers with many more useful features. If you're curious about the longest Wi-Fi range, the Netgear Orbi is the router for you.

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