The Archer C8's performance as an 802.11ac Wi-Fi router, paired with a 2x2 Asus USB-AC56 Wi-Fi adapter, was not at all impressive. In fact, it finished last or next to last in three of my four test locations.
TP-Link's router performed much better with a 3x3 802.11n client equipped with an Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 Wi-Fi adapter operating on the 5GHz frequency band; in fact, it was faster at close range than any of the four routers I compared it to. It placed second when the client was in the kitchen, 20 feet from the router and separated by one wall.
But its performance fell off a cliff when I moved the client to my home theater, and it finished in last place when the client was in my home office (the room that's the farthest from the router).
The Archer C8's performance as a 2.4GHz 802.11n router was a decidedly mixed bag. While it eked out a first-place finish when the client was at close range, it finished third when I moved the client to my kitchen, and it couldn't maintain a connection at all when the client was in my home theater and in my office. If you're looking for a router to service legacy clients, give this one a pass.
Does it get a buy or pass recommendation?
The TP-Link Archer C8 is one of the more basic dual-band 802.11ac routers I've reviewed, but it's priced accordingly. If you don't need a lot of features and don't have clients that you know are difficult to reach, there's little need to spend more cash for things you won't benefit from.
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