Last updated: August 20, 2021

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Today we will talk about the TP-Link router. The brand offers models with varied technical specifications, aimed at different types of users.

The models - from the domestic and commercial segments - stand out as the most sought after routers in the country, for several reasons: variety of models, interesting features, ease of installation, competitive prices, among others.

Below, you will learn about the different TP-Link router models to find out which is the best option for you. We have also prepared a list with the specifications, advantages and disadvantages of the best models on sale.




Summary

  • You can find TP-Link router models in two segments: home - Wi-Fi and High Power routers - and commercial - VPN and Load Balance routers.
  • You can configure the network and manage the TP-Link router's functions through the Tether app, exclusively for smartphones with Android and IOS operating systems.
  • The TP-Link Wireless router comes with a power supply, Ethernet cable and Quick Installation Guide.

The Best TP-Link Router: Our Picks

Past Recommendations

TP-Link Router: Shopping Guide

Do you have a good broadband internet package, yet the connection speed is slow or fluctuates as you move around the room? Maybe the problem is in your router. In this case, the TP-Link router is the best solution, because it provides a stable and fast connection, regardless of the size or construction of your home or office. Learn more about the product in this Shopping Guide.

Imagem de um grupo de pessoas em reunião.

The TP-Link router is the best solution for your home or office. (Source: Campaign Creators / Unsplash.com)

Why buy a TP-Link router and not a model from another brand?

If you are in doubt whether to invest in a TP-Link router or a model from another brand, we have prepared this section with all the differentials of the models of this brand (vary from one equipment to another).

Easy configuration: You can configure the TP-Link router through the simplified user interface, using the Installation Wizard CD. To configure the security encryption of your Wireless network, just press the WPS button.

Did you know that it is possible to configure the TP-Link router via your smartphone or tablet? Just download the TP-Link Tether app (the app is free).

QoS (Quality of Service): Administrators can determine the bandwidth that will be allocated to each device through IP control.

Guest networking: This setting allows you to open your Wi-Fi network to guests while protecting your private network (accesses are distinct).

Parental control: Allows parents - or company administrators - to set access policies for children or employees, either to limit access to certain sites or the time of day.

Imagem de uma criança usando um gadget.

TP-Link router has Parental Control function. (Source: Hal Gatewood / Unsplash.com)

In more modern models, the Parental Control function is even more complete. You can create user profiles for each family member, filter levels - you can block sites according to age - and personalized time limit. It is also possible to suspend internet access to enjoy family time. You can also receive statistics on which sites your child visits and how much time they spend there.

  • IPv6 Compatibility: TP-Link routers have support for IPv6(Internet Protocol version 6), the new generation of the internet, making your network ready for the future of the internet. The devices are also IPv4 compatible.
  • WPA/WPA2 encryption: These encryption standards ensure that your wireless connection is protected against intruders.
  • Gigabit LAN and WAN ports: All models have two to four LAN ports and at least one WAN port that make the TP-Link router up to 10 times faster than with standard Ethernet connections.
  • MU-MIMO Technology: Multi-User technology allows the router to operate multiple mobile devices at the same time, with speeds four times faster than standard AC routers.
  • Omni-directional Signal: This technology provides a stable signal, no matter which direction or distance you are traveling. With Omnidirectional signal you have internet reliability anywhere in your home or office.
Advantages
  • Easy to configure and compatible with various electronic equipment
  • Variety of models in the domestic and commercial lines
  • It has guest network
  • It has parental control
  • Options in different price ranges
Disadvantages
  • In models for domestic use, the antennas are external
  • Occupies space
  • The most modern models have high price

Which is the best TP-Link router for home use?

TP-Link has two lines of routers for home use: Wi-Fi and High Power routers. We'll talk about the differentiators of each throughout this section.

Wi-Fi routers

The TL-WR routers (820N, 840N, 845N and 940N) have two or three fixed antennas of 5bBi and 2.4GHz band, four LAN ports (10/100Mbps), 1 WAN port (10/100Mbps) and Wireless speed ranging from 300 to 450Mbps. The models in the AC/ Archer line - AC1750, AC2300, AC3150 and AC5400 - are considered intermediate and premium.

Both have four LAN ports, one WAN port and, in some cases, UBS 2.0 and 3.0 ports. These models also come with the latest wireless internet standard: 802.11ac, which is designed for high-traffic online activities. This version is three times faster than the previous standard (802.11n.). The Archer line is composed of eight models with technical configurations very different from each other, that's why we prepared a comparative table:

Antennas 2.4GHz 5GHz band
AC750 3, omnidirectional signal 300Mbps 433Mbps
AC900 3 fixed 433Mbps 450Mbps
AC1200 4 fixed and one internal 300Mbps 867Mbps
AC1350 5 fixed antennas 450Mbps 867Mbps
AC1750 3 fixed 450Mbps 1300Mbps
AC2300 3 detachable 600Mbps 1625Mbps
A3150 4 detachable 1000Mbps 2167Mbps
AC5400 8 fixed 1000Mbps 2167Mbps

High Power Routers

Still on the residential models, you can invest in a high power router. TP-Link has two models in this category: TL-WR841HP and TL-WR941HP.

The TL-WR941HP model is more powerful.

The difference between them is that the first has two antennas and speeds of 300 Mbps and the second has three antennas and speeds of 450 Mbps, being even more powerful. But they have many features in common.

These devices have high gain antennas, with 8dbi - four times more range than a conventional router - which amplify the reception and sensitivity of the device. The wireless signal is strengthened and reaches all environments, even the most distant (the range is up to 900m²), establishing a stable internet connection for all connected gadgets.

Imagem de uma jovem mexendo no celular na beira da piscina.

With a TP-Link high power router, the connection reaches the external areas of the house. (Source: Antonio Guillem / 123RF.com)

Moreover, the Wireless speed over long distances is twice as high as that of a simple router, as there are amplifiers in these devices. Another advantage of models in this segment is that apart from serving as a wireless router, they also work as a signal repeater and Access Point, giving you flexibility of use.

What is the best TP-Link router for commercial use?

If you have a small, medium or large business, you should invest in a router for commercial use. TP-Link works with two lines of routers in this segment: VPN and Load Balance.

VPN routers

TP-Link VPN router is a network device that allows you to connect to a virtual private network (Virtual Private Network/VPN). This way, you can surf safely. The hardware comes pre-configured, so you don't need to install any additional software, just configure the LAN and WAN networks, encrypt them and connect them to the VPN router.

The most interesting thing is that TP-Link VPN router establishes the connection on the device itself, using IPSec, OpenVPN or PPTP tunnels.

TP-Link VPN routers support Gigabit Ethernet connections on LAN and WAN ports, which ensures high-speed connection to the cable. In addition, these devices support various VPN protocols, which allow:

  • High security.
  • Remote employees connect to the main office securely.

Imagem de homens em uma reunião comercial.

The VPN router is ideal for small and medium-sized businesses. (Source: Austin Distel / Unsplash.com)

Speaking of security, these devices have abundant security strategies like SPI Firewall, "DoS" defence and IP binding to protect your network from cyber attacks. The TL-ER6020 and TL-ER6120 models have some additional features like Load Balance, Access Control, Bandwidth Control, Load Balancing, Section Limit, PPPoE Server, among others.

These two models are also capable of managing Internet connections from clients and other users, from 50 (TL-ER6020) to 100 connections (TL-ER6120). Both have protection technology against electric lightning, avoiding power surges - as long as it is in deep grounded conditions. This way, your network infrastructure investments will remain safe.

TL-R600VPN TL-R600VPN TL-ER6120
Ideal for Micro and small business Small and medium enterprises Small and medium enterprises
Ports 1 Gigabit WAN port and 4 LAN ports 2 WAN ports, 2 LAN ports, 1 LAN/DMZ port and 1 console port 2 WAN ports, 2 LAN ports, 1 LAN/DMZ port and 1 console port
Number of IPsec VPN tunnels 20 50 100
Number of PPTP VPN tunnels 16 16 32
Flash memory 8MB 32MB 32MB

Load Balance Routers

The Load Balance router performs connection balancing to distribute the bandwidth between two or more webservers and automatically select the best line according to the traffic - to ensure high internet availability.

TP-Link has three models in this category: TL-R470T+, TL-R480T+ and TL-ER5120. The simplest model, TL-R470T+, offers 5 ports, one LAN, one WAN and three that alternate, equipped with advanced load balancing to ensure maximum bandwidth and backup features. The router only releases internet network to users with pre-authenticated accounts. The compact size, makes this model ideal for small offices and internet cafes.

Imagem de uma mulher utilizando a conexão Wi-Fi em um cybercafé.

The TP-Link Load Balance router is ideal for internet cafes. (Source: Malcolm Garret / Pexels.com)

The equipment can also detect and block Denial of Service (DoS) attacks and offers IP filtering options, which strengthen the prevention against viruses and malware. The TL-R480T model has very similar resources to the previous model, the difference is that its performance is superior. The same happens with the TL-ER5120 model, but in this case, the device is suitable for medium-sized companies.

Imagem de uma mulher trabalhando.

The routers of the professional line are more expensive. (Source: Negative Space / Pexels.com)

Purchase Criteria: Factors to compare TP-Link router models

The TP-Link router is the electronic device responsible for transmitting broadband internet to all other devices, be it a smartphone, tablet, computer or a Smart TV. However, choosing the ideal device is not a simple task, as the brand offers a wide variety of models in different segments. With that in mind, we have listed the main purchase criteria below:

  • Number of antennas
  • Wireless speed
  • Design
  • Special Editions

We will detail each of the criteria listed above throughout this section.

Number of antennas

When you go to buy a TP-Link router, you'll realise that the device with one antenna is a thing of the past, as you'll find models with two to eight antennas in one device, with the more antennas, the better the connection.

A model with three 5dBi antennas already offers coverage and stability in the internet connection for home use. Better still if any of these antennas has 5GHz band and Omnidirectional technology.

Imagem de um roteador com quatro antenas.

TP-Link router has multiple antennas. (Source: Kittichai Boonpong / 123RF.com)

Wireless Speed

The simplest TP-Link router models offer speeds of up to 300Mbps, sufficient for a home network as it offers support for HD streaming services and light online gaming. Models with up to 450Mbps are even better, as they mitigate data loss over long distances and through obstacles present in a small office or large flat.

Imagem de um roteador.

Wireless connection speed varies by model. (Source: Kittichai Boonpong / 123RF.com)

You can also find Dual Band models - with 2.4 and 5GHz bands - that offer the flexibility of two dedicated networks. The 2.4GHz band has lower power and longer range.

It's responsible for performing simple tasks and can have speeds of 300, 450, 600 or 1000Mbps. The 5GHz band has higher power and shorter range. It is responsible for performing complex tasks. It can have speeds of 433, 867, 1300, 1625 or 2167 Mbps.

Special Editions

TP-Link also has a line of routers that operate with Wi-Fi Mesh, that is, a network of devices working in convergence: Deco Line, models M4, M5 and E5. This line uses a system of units (two or more routers) to provide Dual Band Wi-Fi coverage for the whole house. The devices automatically switch as you move around the house. A two-unit set covers up to 280 square metres and a three-unit set covers up to 420 square metres. You'll have fast, stable internet access on up to 100 devices.

Did you know that the Deco M4 model can be controlled via voice command, supported by the Amazon Alexa virtual assistant?

In addition to acting as a router, these devices operate in the functions of signal repeater and Access Point, just select the mode that corresponds to your connection needs.

Design

The latest models feature premium design, with textured finish and surface with small holes that dissipate heat and ensure stable operation and good long-term functionality. The devices for domestic use are available in two colour options: white and black. The models for commercial use are available in grey. The models in the Deco line have a modern, minimalist design.

(Featured image source: citalliance / 123RF.com)

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