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Review: TP-Link Archer VR900

by Parm Mann on 16 October 2015, 15:30

Tags: TP-LINK

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacvh2

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Specification and Test Methodology

TP-Link Archer VR900 Specification

Hardware Features
Interfaces 1 10/100/1000Mbps RJ45 WAN/LAN Port
3 10/100/1000Mbps RJ45 LAN Ports
1 RJ11 Port
1 USB 3.0 Port
1 USB 2.0 Port
Buttons WPS Button, LED Button, Wireless On/Off Button, Power On/Off Button
External Power Supply 12V/3.3A
IEEE Standards IEEE 802.3, IEEE 802.3u, 802.3ab
VDSL2 Standards ITU G.993.2, Up to 30a prole (POTS)
ITU-T G.993.5 (G.vector)
ADSL Standards Full-rate ANSI T1.413 Issue 2,
ITU-T G.992.1(G.DMT),
ITU-T G.992.2(G.Lite),
ITU-T G.994.1 (G.hs),
ITU-T G.995.1
ADSL2 Standards ITU-T G.992.3 (G.DMT.bis),
ITU-T G.992.4 (G.lite.bis)
ADSL2+ Standards ITU-T G.992.5
Dimensions ( W x D x H ) 9.6 x 7.1 x 3.5 in. (245 x 181 x 90 mm)
Antenna Type 3 external detachable dual band antennas (RP-SMA)
Antenna Gain 3 x 2dBi for 2.4GHz and 3 x 3dBi for 5GHz
Wireless Features
Wireless Standards IEEE 802.11a/n/ac 5GHz,
IEEE 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz
Wireless Speeds 1300Mbps at 5GHz, 600Mbps at 2.4GHz
Frequency 2.4GHz and 5GHz
Transmit Power <20dBm(EIRP)
Wireless Functions Enable/Disable Wireless Radio, WDS Bridge, WMM, Wireless Statistics
Support 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wireless Schedule
Wireless Security 64/128-bit WEP, WPA/WPA2, WPA-PSK/WPA-PSK2
encryptions, Wireless MAC Filtering
Software Features
Quality of Service ATM QoS, Traffic Control(IP QoS)
Security NAT Firewall, Access Control, MAC / IP / URL Filtering, Denial of
Service (DoS), SYN Flooding, Ping of Death, IP and MAC Address Binding
Operating Modes VDSL/ADSL Modem Router, Wireless Router, 3G/4G Router
Management Web Based Configuration (HTTP), Remote management,
command Line Interface, SSL for TR-069, SNMP v1/2c, Web Based
Firmware Upgrade, Diagnostic Tools
DHCP Server, Client, DHCP Client List, Address Reservation, DHCP Relay
Port Forwarding Virtual Server, Port Triggering, DMZ, ALG, UPnP
Dynamic DNS DynDns, NO-IP
VPN Pass-Through PPTP, L2TP, IPSec Passthrough
Protocols Supports IPv4 and IPv6
ATM/PPP Protocols ATM Forum UNI3.1/4.0, PPP over ATM (RFC 2364),
PPP over Ethernet (RFC2516), IPoA (RFC1577/2225), MER\IPoE (RFC 1483
Routed), Bridge (RFC1483 Bridge), PVC – Up to 8 PVCs
Advanced Functions Parental Control, Network Address Translation(NAT),
Port Mapping(Grouping), Static Routing, RIP v1/v2(optional), DNS Relay,
DDNS, IGMP V1/V2/V3
USB Sharing Support Samba(Storage)/FTP Server/Media Server/Printer Server, 3G/4G Modem
Guest Network 2.4GHz guest network x 1, 5GHz guest network x 1
IPSec VPN Supports up to 10 IPSec VPN tunnels
Other
Certification CE, RCM, RoHS
Package Contents AC1900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit VDSL/ADSL Modem Router Archer VR900
External Splitter
RJ11 DSL Cable
RJ45 Ethernet Cable
Power Adapter
Quick Installation Guide
System Requirements Microsoft Windows 98SE, NT, 2000, XP, Vista™ or Windows 7, 8, 8.1, MAC OS,
NetWare, UNIX or Linux
Internet Explorer 11, Firefox 12.0, Chrome 20.0, Safari 4.0, or other
Java-enabled browser
Cable or DSL Modem
Subscription with an Internet Service Provider (for Internet access)
Environment Operating Temperature: 0℃~40℃ (32℉ ~104℉)
Storage Temperature: -40℃~70℃ (-40℉ ~158℉)
Operating Humidity: 10%~90% non-condensing
Storage Humidity: 5%~90% non-condensing

Comparison Routers

Model Firmware HEXUS Review Retail Price Product Page
BT Home Hub 5 4.7.5.1.83.8.204.1.11 - £129 BT.com
TP-Link Archer VR900 0.9.1 1.2 v004c.0 Build 150909 Rel.39821n October 2015 £140 TP-Link.com

Test Methodology

Evaluating the wireless performance of a router can be something of a minefield. The sheer amount of surrounding wireless broadcasts is such that the test environment is always subject to change, and performance will fluctuate as a result. With this in mind, please be aware that your results may not mirror our own and the following benchmark numbers should be viewed as theoretical.

To provide examples of real-world performance, the Archer VR900 has been installed on the ground floor of a three-storey house built in 2006. Wireless performance is then tested from a 2012 ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop outfitted with a TP-Link Archer T4U dual-band wireless adapter at multiple locations.

Location A is defined as a first-floor room directly above the router, representing a distance of roughly 15ft and one separating floor. Location B is on the ground floor at a horizontal distance of roughly 45ft from the router, with multiple separating walls. Finally, Location C is on the top floor at a vertical distance of roughly 40ft, with two-floor separation.

In each location, we test wireless performance by copying a 2GB file to and fro a Synology NAS wired to the network via a TP-Link TL-SG1024 Gigabit switch. For comparison's sake, we also run the same file transfer using a wired connection to the laptop, and we also test transfer speed to a router-attached storage device - in our case an SK hynix Canvas SC300 SSD installed in a basic USB 3.0 caddy.

With all that out of the way, let's start with the simplest but arguably most important comparison: is a premium router such as the Archer VR900 a worthwhile upgrade over the BT Home Hub present in so many properties across the country? Read on for all the answers.