TP-Link Archer C2300 Detailed Review
TP-Link Archer C2300 definitely looks familiar as it is rather similar to the higher end Archer C3150. They both have similar design but slight difference in specs. The key feature of this router is the price. At the price range of sub RM600, it is in the perfect price point for the performance it offers. The C2300 is literally the C3150 with 1 antenna less but comes with the same powerful signal coverage although the slightly lesser maximum WiFi speed.
Don’t let the simple design of the hardware fools you. It is in fact a really powerful wireless router. The C2300 can even rival some other routers with bolder performance claims. It is a great wireless router with an elegant design that blends in the background of your home.
TP-Link Archer C2300 is a bit warm to the touch when running thanks to the 64-bit Dual-Core CPU powering the router. The Broadcom BCM4906 is actually the same CPU powering the much more expensive Asus RT-AC86U. As such, the top part is filled with ventilating holes with a huge chunk of heatsink underneath it to make sure the wireless router is adequately cooled.
The wireless router is not shy of expandability as well. Behind the router are 4 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports and a Gigabit Ethernet WAN port. Looking at side and you will see the dual USB ports with one of them being USB 3.0. You can use these ports to share a USB printer or share files on the network. The router even have a TimeMachine feature if you are an Apple user.
Setting up the router
Configuring the Archer C2300 is very easy thanks to the relatively simple setup wizard. We recommend using a computer to setup the router as the Unifi option is not visible if you use the TP-Link Tether app.
Simply connect to the WiFi of the router and navigate to tplinkwifi.net. The default WiFi name is below the router. The setup wizard will be asking you several questions to complete the setup process. It takes us around 8 minutes to get the wireless router up and running.
Archer C2300 is compatible with Unifi
TP-Link Archer C2300 is fully compatible with TM Unifi with HyppTV working perfectly. It is also compatible with Maxis Fibre and TIME Fiber. Fear not, click here for out guide on how to configure TP-Link Unifi routers for you.
Remember to select the VLAN profile in the setup wizard. If you forgotten that step, you can refer to the screenshot above on how to manually select it in the firmware.
Features and Options
The firmware on the C2300 is really easy to use and navigate around. It is separated into the basic and advanced type depending on which kind of user you are. We recommend you to download the Tether app which is available for both Android and iOS devices. The app lets you to monitor and manage your wireless router directly from your smartphone without the need of a computer.
TP-Link Archer C2300 support wireless router and access point operation mode.
TP-Link Archer C2300 actually comes with quite a good amount of options for the advanced users. Most of the options are actually in the Advanced tab and they are rather extensive. You can fine tune the small details on how you want your network to function. There are even more under the hood options hidden under the “systems parameters” menu so make sure you check them out.
We loved the fact that we can actually perform a speedtest right from the router itself. This features lets you to diagnose if it is actually an ISP issue or there is a bottleneck somewhere in the network. As you can see from the screenshot, the Archer C2300 have no problem maximizing our 1 Gigabit Fibre Internet. You can scroll through the pictures to see all our findings from the firmware.
Speaking of features, the Archer AC2300 is by no means a weak contender. It comes with the TP-Link Homecare which consist of an Antivirus, QoS and Parental control. I recommend enabling the Antivirus feature as networking attacks are on the rise these days. Having an Antivirus firewall solution right from the home gateway is a decent protection as we have more Internet connected devices these days.
We found the TrendMicro powered Antivirus feature to work really well. Our attempts to open some known websites containing malware are blocked by the wireless router.
As the number of internet connected devices grow, devices will naturally compete for bandwidth. This is where QoS will help. We added the devices we always use to the priority list to ensure that they always have the highest priority. You can even select the QoS profiles to determine which packet the router will prioritize. There is even a gaming profile baked into the QoS feature despite this is not a gaming router.
As for how effective it is, we cannot tell as we are running a fast internet connection and we do not have much devices in our network. I would imagine QoS to be extremely useful in a slower Internet connection or you have more devices connected.
We will test the performance of the Archer C2300 from the boot up time, USB speed and of course the WiFi speed. We have determined that the Archer C2300 have no issue maximizing our 1 Gigabit Internet connection.
The router takes 48 seconds to boot up until the WiFi and Internet is fully usable. We don’t keep a record of how every router boot in the past but 48 seconds is a fast one.
The USB performance is also extremely fast. We are testing it with the same USB external hard drive we have been using and we are looking at over 46MB/s write speed and over 50MB/s read. This can even rival some cheap NAS storage devices.
The WiFi performance from the Archer C2300 is great. There is a smart connect feature which I recommend you to enable it. This option will combine both 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz and automatically steer your devices to the right band.
We tested the router with our usual test laptop with a built in 2×2 AC1200 wireless card and it performs really well. The speed is expected on our AC1200 device, peaking at around 478Mbps at short distance. On longer distances, we are still getting a really respectable 454Mbps.
The performance gain is more apparent when testing it with a 3×3 capable device such as TP-Link’s own Archer T9E. TP-Link Archer C2300 supports is 3×3 which means it can transmit and receive with 3 antennas simultaneously. To realize the full potential, 3×3 devices have to be used. We are reaching a speed of more than 600Mbps when running the same speedtest with TP-Link’s own Archer T9UH USB WiFi Adapter.
Sadly, most devices in the market are only up to 2×2 WiFi speed. You definitely need the latest devices to enjoy faster WiFi speed.
All in all the TP-Link Archer C2300 is an impressive wireless router. The WiFi performance is really great, covering a large space while able to deliver a fast speed. It is not the best WiFi performance out there. But, at less than RM600, it is a steal for what it offers! This is probably our favorite router in terms of value for money after the Archer C6.
The router is also really easy to setup and it comes with a good amount of features. We really like the Antivirus feature and not to mention that it is on a sub RM600 WiFi router. We have trouble finding a downside from this router so we just got to nitpick and that would probably be the lack of individual LEDs for each of the LAN ports.
If you want to know more about what routers to buy, please refer to Blacktubi’s router buying guide here.
P/S: The SRP at the time of writing is RM679. To buy it under RM600, you need to get creative and look around for the best deals. :p
TP-Link Archer C2300
TP-Link Archer C2300 performs really well with amazing WiFi coverage at an inexpensive price. The price is literally a steal for what you got!
- Great WiFi performance
- Fast bootup
- Good amount of features
- No Individual LED for each LAN port