TP-Link Archer A9 Review: Is It Worth Buying In 2020?
- 802.11ac WiFi standard
- A maximum speed of up to 1.9Gbps (1300Mbps + 600Mbps)
- MU-MIMO and Beamforming supported
- 5 Gigabit Ethernet Ports (4 LAN + 1 WAN)
- Tether App & Alexa compatible
Pros & Cons:
What I like:
- It supports Multi-User MIMO 3×3 and Beamforming technologies.
- The Smart Connect feature that automatically switches to the best WiFi band.
- Support of Amazon Alexa and IFTTT.
- It is super easy to set up and effortless via the Tether app.
- Limited 3-year warranty.
I don’t like:
- No USB 3.0 port.
WiFi speeds: What speeds can be possible for Archer A9?
The TP-Link Archer A9 is from the WiFi 5 family. It is using the popular wireless ‘ac’ standard and offering dual-band functionality. With the maximum combined speeds of up to 1900 Mbps, A9 uses both bands 5GHz and 2.4GHz in order to achieve this theoretical speed. It ensures up to 1300 Mbps on the 5GHz and 900 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band.
Moreover, the reception sensitivity of the 5GHz band is:
11a 6Mbps: -93dBm, 11a 54Mbps: -76dBm
11ac HT20 mcs8 : -68dBm, 11ac HT40 mcs9: -64dBm
11ac HT80 mcs9: -61dBm
And on the 2.4GHz band:
11g 54Mbps: -77dBm
11n HT20 mcs7: -74dBm, 11n HT40 mcs7: -72dBm
WiFi coverage & range: is Tp-Link Archer A9 handling large areas?
The company ‘TP-Link’ claims that Archer A9 can provide excellent coverage — ideal for three-bedroom houses — throughout the medium homes without compromising on performance. However, according to Tp-Link, The Archer A9 is designed to cover large areas. Moreover, it boasts four fixed high-performance (3external + 1 internal) antennas.
Related: Check, Archer A9 deserves any position in the list of ‘best WiFi router for long-range 2020‘?
Technologies: How the Tp-Link A9 expands its WiFi range?
With the two advanced WiFi technologies —concentrating wireless signal strength toward connected devices in order to expand WiFi range— such as Beamforming and MU-MIMO, the Archer A9 also allocates devices to different bands (2.4GHz and 5GHz) for optimal performance. On the other hand, 3×3 MU-MIMO technology is for communicating with multiple MU-MIMO supported devices simultaneously. In contrast, Beamforming + technology is responsible for expanding the WiFi range by focusing on wireless signal strength toward clients.
Related: 3×3 MU-MIMO & Beamforming technologies are making the router best for multiple devices?
Hardware & Design: What Archer A9 offers?
When it comes to the interface of A9, It has a wide range of ports and buttons located on the back panel. It includes five Gigabit Ethernet ports (10/100/1000Mbps) —four LAN ports + 1 WAN Port— and a single USB 2.0 port, not any USB 3.0 port. However, its USB 2.0 port supports various partition formats, such as NTFS, exFAT, HFS+, and FAT 32, and can be used as an FTP server and Medium server.
The router also includes some physical buttons: A WPS, reset button, Wireless On/Off button, and the Power On/Off button. Additionally, it runs on 12V/1.5A external power supply.
It measures 9.6×6.4×1.3 in (WxDxH), or (243 X 160.6 X 32.5 mm), and comes in black color – it looks quite premium. It packed with three external antennas and one internal antenna.
Security & Safety: TP-Link Archer A9
With multiple Wireless functions – WDS Bridge, WMM, and Bandwidth Control, the router offers high-end security options too. For example, On/Off SSID broadcast, WPS, 64/128-bit WEP, and wireless encryptions, such as WPA/WPA2/WPA3 and WPA-PSK/WPA-PSK2.
Additionally, we have other options and basic controls, including Parental Control, Guest Network, Firewall, and Access control. Other Security features include SPI Firewall, Access control, IP & MAC binding, Application Layer Gateway.
How powerful is Archer A9?
Archer A9 equipped with a single-core CPU and using Qualcomm QCN5502 Quad-Core chipset. It has a 128MB of RAM. Compared to Archer A7, Archer A9 has the newer processor, which performs faster better – even far better than most other AC1900 WiFi routers on the market. In my testing, I found the A9 stable with consistent and reliable WiFi throughput.
TP-Link Tether App
The good thing about the router is it comes with a powerful Tp-Link Tether App. It is available for both iOS and Android. The app is designed to monitor, manage, and control the router remotely. Its interface is very impressive and easy to use, and thus setting up the router is effortless.
Additionally, The Tether app can be used for controlling the bandwidth using the Quality of Service feature. Its other features, such as DHCP, Dynamic DNS, Access Control (it is used for website blacklist and whitelist), WAN Type, Port Forwarding (for Virtual Server, Port Triggering, UPnP, and DMZ), Firewall Security, Protocols (IPv4 and IPv6 supported), and some advanced features include management of MU-MIMO, Beamforming, Smart connect, and Airtime Fairness.
Verdict: TP-Link Archer A9
The Archer A9 can be used in two different modes, such as a router mode and an access point mode. It also offers wireless functions, including On/Off Wireless radio, WMM, Wireless Statistics, and WDS Bridge. Besides, it is Unifi HyppTV, Maxis Fibre, TIME, and Amazon Alexa supported.
In my opinion, A9 provides good WiFi coverage – especially small to medium homes. I would love to recommend this router without any second thoughts to anyone looking for an affordable WiFI router. In other words, It is my favorite router under budget. Plus, TP-Link is offering a 3-year warranty.