Home » TP-Link Archer A9 Review: Best Budget WiFi Router

TP-Link Archer A9 Review: Best Budget WiFi Router

TP-Link Archer A9 is TP-Link latest mid range wireless router with updated hardware for better performance and coverage. It will be retailing in Malaysia for just over RM300 which is an extremely good deal for the price. Despite looking very similar to the Archer A7, the A9 is a significantly improved wireless router with upgraded hardware and components.

TP-Link Archer A9 also introduced Beamforming and MU-MIMO  feature both the Archer A7/C7 lacks. The WiFi ability has been updated to a slightly faster AC1900 as well. This will result in an improved WIFI performance on the Archer A9 with better WiFi speed and coverage than the Archer A7. 

Hardware and Specs

  • Wireless AC1900
    • 2.4Ghz 4×4 Wireless N up to 600Mbps
    • 5Ghz 3×3 Wireless AC up to 1300Mbps
    • MU-MIMO, Beamforming and Smart Connect
  • USB 2.0 port and 4 Gigabit Ethernet LAN port
  • Qualcomm QCN5502 Quad Core chipset with 128MB RAM

Powering TP-Link Archer A9 is a greatly improved chipset with more RAM than the Archer A7. This newer processor will perform better than most other AC1900 wireless routers in the market. We notice that the Archer A9 is really stable as well.

The 5Ghz WiFi radio is powered by Qualcomm QCA9984, known for really good 5Ghz performance. Compared to the Archer A7, the Archer A9 also introduced support for Beamforming and MU-MIMO. TP-Link also included a smart connect feature which will make the WiFi connection even more seamless for the users.

The Archer A9 with a newer hardware will perform better than Tenda AC18 and even TP-Link’s own Archer C9. Not to mention that Tenda’s AC18 does not feature MU-MIMO capabilities. 

TP-Link Archer A9 looks exactly the same as the Archer A7 apart from the AC1900 wording. The design is still really practical with individual LAN port status indicator which many brands stopped doing to save cost. It has 3 non-removable external antennas and an additional 4th antennas inside for the 2.4Ghz band. On the back, we found 4 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports and a single USB port for file sharing and printer sharing. Full specs here.

Setup and Features

TP-Link Archer A9 Unifi Setup

TP-Link Archer A9 is very easy to setup with the built-in setup wizard. We connected this router to the Unifi modem and insert the PPPoE username and password obtained from TM. Remember to select the Unifi profile if not your Internet will not work. 

We written a handy guide for TP-Link Unifi setup guide here

Features

TP-Link Archer A9 also introduced multiple improvements in the firmware. The firmware is still really easy to navigate with information clearly displayed. 

Like the Archer C2300, TP-Link Archer A9 comes with Smart Connect. With Smart Connect, both the 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz band will be combined and share the same WiFi name. This will eliminate the need of manually changing WiFi connection and the smart connect algorithm will automatically steer devices to the most suitable band according to the signal condition.

TP-Link Archer A9 can also function as an Access Point and it will be a really good access point due as the wireless performance of this router is really good. TP-Link OneMesh feature is also coming to the Archer A9 really soon in the future.

The router comes with a priority based QoS function. This is just a basic QoS feature to select which devices to have a higher priority. We do not recommend using this QoS feature since our Internet connection is really good these days. 

The USB ports on the router will let you to share files of a USB drive to your computer. You can also use it to share a USB printer on the network.

TP-Link Tether App

It’s 2019 and there’s an app for everything. The same goes tot TP-Link routers with the TP-Link Tether app available for both Android and iOS devices. The app lets you to monitor the status of your wireless router remotely and make changes easily on the app. 

You can also link the wireless router to TP-Link Cloud which bind the router with a TP-Link ID. Once the router is linked to TP-Link cloud, the app can manage the router even when not connected to the home WiFi connection.

Performance

Wired LAN Speed

We used Ookla’s Speedtest.net to test the maximum speed the router can handle on our 1 Gigabit Internet connection. This is tested via a wired Ethernet cable. TP-Link Archer A9 can support up to 941Mbps which is the maximum speed possible on Gigabit Ethernet connection. 

WiFi Speed

We tested the WiFi speed of the Archer A9 by running speedtest with Ookla’s Speedtest.net on our Macbook Pro with an AC1200 wireless receiver. Most devices in the market only support up to AC1200 receiver and AC1200 receiverswill peak at around 600Mbps. We will be testing the speed at 2 distances from the wireless router. The far distance will be over 7 meters with a wall in between. 

TP-Link Archer A9 features really good WiFi speed on the 5Ghz band. We are getting way over 600Mbps on the close distance test. As for longer distance, it is still getting a really impressive 482Mbps. Do note that this is from a router less than RM500. 

We can see the combination of newer hardware and the inclusion of Beamforming actually make a difference in performance.  The router is definitely an A+ for the 5Ghz performance in this range. The WiFi coverage is slightly stronger than the Archer A7 as well. 

Closing Thoughts

TP-Link Archer A9 is a great WiFi router with good performance and decent WiFi coverage. We highly recommend this router to those looking for an affordable WiFi router yet performs decently. This is our favorite mid range wireless router currently due to the affordable price point and good performance.

Like all new TP-Link routers, it supports Unifi HyppTV and comes with 3 years warranty. It also supports Unifi, Maxis Fibre and TIME. If you are wondering which TP-Link routers to buy, we would suggest save up a bit more and get the Archer A9, it is a really good product.

TP-Link Archer A9

TP-Link Archer A9 is our favorite mid range router with fast WiFi speed and stable firmware.

8.5

Tubi Score

Good Stuff

  • All Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Good performance
  • Easy to setup

Bad Stuff

  • May be confused for the A7

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Michael

How does the Archer A9 compare to the C2300 for range?

The_Duk3_
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The_Duk3_

Hi Alvyn, I love your reviews and thank you for all your effort and time spent. I would like to know which router would be best to buy between the Archer A9 and the Archer AX10? I don’t own any AX supported devices at the moment, but do have quite a few n and ac devices connected to my current router. I have a 100mbps fibre package and want to make full use out of it especially on Wifi Range, Wifi Speed and Wifi stability. Both routers can be bought for more or less the same price. Thanks

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