TP-Link Archer C2300 Review (Page 1 of 5)

By: Aaron Lai
April 13, 2018

As I have been helping out in our church's junior high school youth group for the past few years, I have learned it can be important to use the same medium to talk to he group, especially as it will probably be different from what you use or what you used to use at their age. Nowadays, the majority of the youth in our group are not on Facebook or Snapchat, but are instead using Instagram. To me, this seemed quite strange, especially as Instagram seems to be focused on sharing images and videos rather than communicating with your friends. Sure, there might be a messaging feature, but it definitely is not as full featured. Of course, some of my gaming teens are using Discord for voice and text chat. In my days, I really valued the chat aspect, as my other family members would often be on the phone. Thus, my go to application was MSN Messenger. For me, getting a girl's username then was the equivalent of getting her phone number, but I digress. Even now, I am still using Skype on a daily basis for chat, though only a few of my friends are actually on it. If there is one common thing about all my ways to keep in contact with people, it is the fact they all require Internet access, which is something today's product will help you. Today, we have the TP-Link Archer AC2300, which seemingly looks like a down-sized version of the Archer C3150. What is this device capable of, and will it be capable in keeping me connected with my friends? Read on to find out!

Today's review unit arrived directly from TP-Link's Canadian offices in Richmond Hill, Ontario. It has been interesting to see more products shipping to us directly from provinces within Canada rather than making an international trip either from the United States or Southeast Asia. Shipping with the standard ground service from UPS, this box arrived in great condition, despite having a pretty notable bruise at the top edge. The edges are sealed with TP-Link tape, and the brown corrugated cardboard box does not have any more damage to speak about. Inside is just the Archer C2300, with no padding or anything to prevent damage to the product itself.

Thankfully, there seems to be no damage to the retail container of the TP-Link Archer C2300. The retail box shows off an aquamarine and turquoise theme, matching with TP-Link's own logo. The front shows off the router with some notable features at the bottom of the box. In the top corner, it has a circular marking showing "802.11ac Wave 2", which refers to a revision in the 802.11ac technology, including support for higher physical rates, MU-MIMO, 160MHz channel width, and additional spatial streams. Otherwise, the sides show off more features and specifications of the router. There is not a whole much else to talk about here, so let us get onto the unboxing.

Before we do, I have grabbed the specifications and features from the manufacturer's website for your perusal:

Hardware Features
- Memory: 512MB RAM and 128MB Flash
- Interface: 4 10/100/1000Mbps LAN Ports, 1 10/100/1000Mbps WAN Port, 1 USB 3.0 Port + 1 USB 2.0 Port
- Button: Wi-Fi On/Off Button, Reset Button, WPS Button, Power On/Off Button, LED on/off Button
- Antenna: 3 Detachable Antennas
- External Power Supply: 12V/2A
- Dimensions ( W x D x H ): 8.5 x 6.5 x 1.4 in.(216 x 164 x 36.8 mm)

Wireless Features
- Wireless Standards: IEEE 802.11ac/n/a 5GHz, IEEE 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz
- Frequency: 2.4GHz and 5GHz
- Signal Rate: 1625Mbps at 5GHz, 600Mbps at 2.4GHz
- Transmit Power (5GHz): 11a 6Mbps: -91dBm, 11a 54Mbps: -72dBm, 11n HT20: -70dBm, 11n HT40: -69dBm, 11ac HT20: -60dBm, 11ac HT40: -61dBm, 11ac HT80: -56dBm
- Transmit Power (2.4GHz): 11g 54Mbps: -73dBm, 11n HT20: -72dBm, 11n HT40: -69dBm
- Wireless Functions: Enable/Disable Wireless Radio, WMM, Wireless Statistics
- Wireless Security: 64/128-bit WEP, WPA/WPA2, WPA-PSK/WPA-PSK2 encryptions
- Transmission Power: CE: <20dBm(2.4GHz), <23dBm(5GHz), FCC: <30dBm
- Guest Network: 2.4GHz guest network x 1, 5GHz guest network x 1

Software Features
- Quality of Service: WMM, Bandwidth Control
- WAN Type: Dynamic IP/Static IP/PPPoE/ PPTP(Dual Access)/L2TP(Dual Access) /Bigpond
- Management: Access Control, Local Management, Remote Management
- DHCP: Server, Client, DHCP Client List, Address Reservation
- Port Forwarding: Virtual Server, Port Triggering, UPnP, DMZ
- Dynamic DNS: TP-Link DynDns, NO-IP
- VPN Pass-Through: PPTP, L2TP
- Access Control: Parental Control, Local Management Control, Host list, Access Schedule, Rule Management
- Protocols: Supports IPv4 and IPv6
- Advanced Features: Smart Connect, Airtime Fairness, Link Aggregation
- USB Sharing: Support Samba(Storage)/FTP Server/Media Server/Printer Server
- IPSec VPN: Supports up to 10 IPSec VPN tunnels
- VPN Server: PPTP, OpenVPN

- Certification: CE, FCC, RoHS
- Package Contents: AC2300 Wireless MU-MIMO Gigabit Router Archer C2300, 3 Detachable Antennas, Power Supply Unit, Ethernet Cable, Quick Installation Guide
- System Requirements: Microsoft Windows 98SE, NT, 2000, XP, Vista™ or Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, MAC OS, NetWare, UNIX or Linux
Internet Explorer 11, Firefox 12.0, Chrome 20.0, Safari 4.0, or other Java-enabled browser
Cable or DSL Modem, Subscription with an Internet Service Provider (for Internet access)
- Environment: Operating Temperature: 0℃~40℃ (32℉ ~104℉), Storage Temperature: -40℃~70℃ (-40℉ ~158℉), Operating Humidity: 10%~90% non-condensing, Storage Humidity: 5%~90% non-condensing

Out of the box, we have a pretty standard set of box contents. Everything is contained within a white cardboard box, with another cardboard shell holding everything in place. From here, you can see the TP-Link Archer C2300 router unit, which was wrapped in a translucent plastic bag. Three detachable antennas are also included in another translucent bag. The power supply is wrapped with a short twist tie to keep the cable together. A short white CAT5e Ethernet cable is also included, measuring approximately 120cm in length from end to end. Finally, TP-Link has provided us with quite a few books of quick guides and other documentation for usage with the router.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware
3. Configuration and User Interface
4. Performance Tests
5. Conclusion