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TP-Link Archer C1200 AC1200 Wireless Dual Band Router Reviewed

TP-Link Archer C1200

The TP-Link Archer C1200 is a dual band, wireless gigabit router that appears to be an update to the Archer C5. It’s designed to provide enough bandwidth for the smooth streaming of games and videos. If you’re a fan of watching movies or television online, this router promises to help stream videos clearly and without hiccups during your viewing. If you’re a gamer, TP-Link believe that the C1200 will give you fast performance without any noticeable lagging, which can mean the difference between victory and defeat.

The TP-Link Archer C1200 specifications:
Interface4 10/100/1000Mbps LAN Ports
1 10/100/1000Mbps WAN Port
1 USB 2.0 Ports
ButtonPower On/Off Button
WPS/Wireless On/Off Button
Reset Button
External Power Supply12VDC / 1.0A
Dimensions ( W x D x H )9.6x6.4x1.3 in. (243x160.6x32.5mm)
Antenna Type3 external antennas
Wireless StandardsIEEE 802.11ac/n/a 5GHz
IEEE 802.11n/g/b 2.4GHz
Frequency5GHz and 2.4GHz
Signal Rate5GHz: Up to 867Mbps
2.4GHz: Up to 300Mbps
Reception Sensitivity5GHz:
11a 54Mbps: -76dBm
11ac HT20: -68dBm
11ac HT40: -65dBm
11ac HT80: -62dBm
11n HT20: -74dBm
11n HT40: -71dBm
11g 54M: -75dBm
11n HT20: -72dBm
11n HT40: -69dBm
Transmit PowerCE:
<=20dBm (2.4G)
<=23dBm (5G)
Wireless FunctionsEnable/Disable Wireless Radio, WMM, Wireless Statistics
Wireless Security64/128-bit WEP, WPA / WPA2, WPA-PSK/ WPA2-PSK encryption
Quality of ServiceWMM, Bandwidth Control
WAN TypeDynamic IP/Static IP/PPPoE/L2TP(Dual Access)/PPTP(Dual Access)
ManagementAccess Control
Local Management
Remote Management
DHCPServer, Client, DHCP Client List,
Address Reservation
Port ForwardingVirtual Server, Port Triggering, UPnP, DMZ
Dynamic DNSDynDns, NO-IP
VPN Pass-ThroughPPTP, L2TP, IPSec
Access ControlParental Control, Local Management Control, Host List, Access
Schedule, Rule Management
Firewall SecurityDoS, SPI Firewall
MAC Address Filter
IP and MAC Address Binding
ProtocolsSupports IPv4 and IPv6
USB SharingSupport Samba(Storage)/FTP Server/Media Server/Printer Server
Guest Network2.4GHz guest network × 1
5GHz guest network × 1
CertificationCE, RoHS
Package ContentsAC1200 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router Archer C1200
Power supply unit
Ethernet Cable
Quick Installation Guide
System RequirementsMicrosoft Windows 98SE, NT, 2000, XP, Vista™ or Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1/10
MAC OS, NetWare, UNIX or Linux
EnvironmentOperating Temperature: 0℃~40 ℃ (32 ℉~104℉)
Storage Temperature: -40℃~70 ℃ (-40 ℉~158℉)
Operating Humidity: 10%~90% non-condensing
Storage Humidity: 5%~90% non-condensing

It certainly appears to be a robust device and comes with the usual inclusion of 4 gigabit ports. Like all the TP-Link routers we’ve seen, it’s also easy to install and maintain, even for the least tech savvy individual. The included Tether app will help guide you through the installation process and help you manage your Wi-Fi settings from the convenience of your mobile device.

Differences between the Archer C1200 and Archer C5 models:
Interface1 USB 2.0 Ports2 USB 2.0 Ports
External Power Supply12VDC / 1.0A12VDC / 2.5A
Antenna Type3 external antennas2 dual band detachable antennas (RP-SMA)
Reception Sensitivity5GHz:
11a 54Mbps: -76dBm
11ac HT20: -68dBm
11ac HT40: -65dBm
11ac HT80: -62dBm
11n HT20: -74dBm
11n HT40: -71dBm
11g 54M: -75dBm
11n HT20: -72dBm
11n HT40: -69dBm
11a 54Mbps: -74dBm
11ac HT20: -67dBm
11ac HT40: -63dBm
11ac HT80: -59dBm
11n HT20: -71dBm
11n HT40: -69dBm
11g 54M: -76dBm
11n HT20: -73dBm
11n HT40: -71dBm

C1200 Performance

Our standard wireless tests were run to assess the wireless performance of the TP-Link Archer C1200 against the Archer VR600. The wireless signal was checked before we connected to the access point from 5 different locations:

  • Same room
  • Same floor next room separated by a void
  • Same floor opposite end of house
  • One floor above
  • Outside

We tested at the same locations again, after establishing a connection to the 5Ghz band on the C1200:

Summary of the connected vs unconnected state on the TP-Link Archer C1200:
LocationNot connected (5Ghz)Connected (5Ghz)
Same room-26-30
Same floor, next room-59-56
Same floor, corner room-61-61
Same floor, outside-68-69
Floor above, corner room-64-63

Finally, we conducted some basic file copy tasks over the wireless network using the in-built Wireless N on our Intel NUC and two Wireless AC USB adapters. As you can see from our results, you can still get a lot of variance even amongst the Wireless AC devices:

Final Thoughts

Out of the box, the Archer C1200 is ready to go with a combination of convenience and good performance. This is the perfect budget device to add to any home. Within minutes of taking it out of the box, you’ll have fast, house wide internet access.

The 3 antennas that are stationed behind the unit help amplify your wireless signal to cover wide areas. When you’re walking around your home with your phone or tablet, you won’t have to worry about losing connection to your Wi-Fi network.

We did have issues with performance on a Wireless N device (Intel NUC) but those went away when we connected via Wireless AC adapters. That said, there was a significant difference in speed between the Netgear and D-Link adapters with our file copy tests.

If you are after a budget wireless router for the home, the TP-Link Archer C1200 is one to add to your consideration basket.

Great Value for Money

4 thoughts on “TP-Link Archer C1200 AC1200 Wireless Dual Band Router Reviewed”

  1. Thanks I have both but still undecided about which one to keep.
    C1200 webui interface is much better, has better processor I think. The only reason I consider keeping the c7, which is more expansive, is the good support from open source firmware (lede, openwrt, etc.)

    1. It’s good that you have both to try at the same time as these thing tend to perform slightly differently in different environments. I would say, forget about the full feature set and focus only on the features you need now and possibly in the future. Compare the 2 based on those requirements and see which one comes out in front. If both still are the same, then pick the one with the faster processor (or nicer GUI, whichever is more important to you)

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