TP-LINK are most defiantly one of the best companies for routers and networking solutions, their products are well made, work well and are extremely cheap.
Their latest router, the TD-W8980 or rather the N600 fits all of this criteria and then some, with a sleek and shiny black curved design that looks great, it’s available in two versions, one for cable connections and another for those who have an ADSL connection, however both still include similar specs.
A dual-band 802.11n router, the N600 is capable of providing 300Mbps speeds on both 2.4GHz and on 5GHz bands simultaneously, this results in a total of 600Mbps speeds, transmitted through the three attachable external antennas as well as the two internal antennas for an extensive range.
Alongside this, the N600 also includes four Gigabit Ethernet ports (one of which is a WAN/ LAN port), as well as two USB ports, WPS functionality and a Wi-Fi on and off button.
With two USB 2.0 ports you can connect either a printer or a hard drive to share these devices between your connected PCs and handheld devices, alongside which the N600 can also act as a FTP or media server.
Out of the box the TP-Link N600 is extremely easy to set-up, connect to the box, enter the pre-configured password, head on over to 192.168.1.1, type in the default username and password (admin, admin), select the settings you require for your connection and you’re good to go, it really is that easy.
This is only helped by the brilliantly organised user interface, which makes it easy to change settings by selecting the different sections in the left hand panel, however it is lacking in some settings, such as QoS and guest networks.
Despite its price, performance is great on the N600 and wiith the addition of two wireless networks, it’s like having two routers but only plugging in the one, this means that you can use the faster 5GHz band on newer devices like the iPad, Xbox or the iPhone 5, and then use the 2.4Ghz band on older devices that don’t have access to the 5GHz band.
If you prefer however, you can disable one of the bands and just use the one that works with your device for better performance.
All-in-all the N600 from TP-LINK is a great router, certainly one of the best I have used in a long time, a defiant buy if you’re looking for something new, that’s future proofed but still works with some of your older devices.
And priced at around £80 the N600 is way too cheap for all of these features, I really don’t know how they manage it.