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TP-Link Archer D9 (AC1900) Wireless Dual Band Gigabit ADSL2+ Modem Router Review

  • 04 min read
  • 08 Sep, 2014
TP-Link Archer D9 (AC1900) Wireless Dual Band Gigabit ADSL2+ Modem Router Review
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Hot on the heels of the Archer D7, TP-Link have released the Archer D9, a completely redesigned unit retaining similar features of the D7.

** ** Archer D9 Archer D7
External Ports 1 x Gigabit WAN/LAN Port
3 x Gigabit LAN Ports
1 x RJ11 Port
1 x USB 3.0 Port / 1 x USB 2.0 Port 1 x Gigabit WAN/LAN Port
3 x Gigabit LAN Ports
1 x RJ11 Port
2 x USB 2.0 Ports
Buttons 1 x Power On/Off
1 x Wi-Fi On/Off
1 x WPS
1 x RESET 1 x Power On/Off
1 x Wi-Fi On/Off
1 x WPS
1 x RESET
ADSL Standards ADSL:
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: ITU-T G.992.3 (G.DMT.bis) ITU-T G.992.4 (G.lite.bis)

ADSL2+: ITU-T G.992.5 | ADSL: 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: ITU-T G.992.3 (G.DMT.bis) ITU-T G.992.4 (G.lite.bis)

ADSL2+: ITU-T G.992.5 | | Wireless Standards | IEEE 802.11ac/n/a for 5GHz IEEE 802.11n/g/b for 2.4GHz | IEEE 802.11ac/n/a for 5GHz IEEE 802.11n/g/b for 2.4GHz | | Wireless Speeds | Up to 1300Mbps @ 5GHz Up to 600Mbps @ 2.4GHz | Up to 1300Mbps @ 5GHz Up to 450Mbps @ 2.4GHz | | Antenna | 3 × 2dBi for 2.4GHz and 3 × 3dBi for 5GHz | 3 x 2dBi for 2.4GHz and 3dBi for 5GHz | | DHCP | Server, Client, DHCP Client List,Address Reservation, DHCP relay | Server, Client, DHCP Client List,Address Reservation, DHCP relay | | QoS | ATM QoS, Traffic Control(IP QoS) | ATM QoS, Traffic Control(IP QoS) | | Port Forwarding | Virtual server, Port Triggering, DMZ, ALG, UPnP | Virtual server, Port Triggering, DMZ, ALG, UPnP | | Dynamic DNS | DynDns, NO-IP | DynDns, NO-IP | | Dimensions | 221mm (L) x 86mm (W) x 168.5mm (H) | 229mm (L) x 160mm (W) x 37mm (H) |

Apart from the new design, some of the notable differences to the D7 are as follows:

  • Use of the Broadcom AC1900 wireless platform - support up to 600Mbps on 2.4Ghz
  • Support for Beamforming - boost wireless signal where required
  • Support for USB 3.0
  • Concurrent dual-band supporting a max of 1.9Gbps bandwidth

Unboxing

TP-Link Archer D9 Box
TP-Link Archer D9 Box
Front of the Archer D9
Front of the Archer D9
USB and Reset on the D9
USB and Reset on the D9
Back of the Archer D9
Back of the Archer D9
Status LEDs
Status LEDs

Configuration

The configuration screens on the D9 are identical to the ones we wrote about in the D7.

Login Screen
Login Screen
Status Screen
Status Screen

ADSL2+ Performance

From what I can gather, the D9 uses the BCM6301 ADSL2+Line Driver with a BCM6318 ADSL2+ Bridge/Router for the processing. According to Broadcom:

“The primary BCM6318 processing engine is a 333 MHz MIPS32®, with a 64 KB four-way I-cache and a 32 KB D-cache. Additionally, the BCM6318 integrates a Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) switch with four integrated EEE 10/100 Ethernet ports and one RGMII interface. A USB 2.0 host/device port is also available for connectivity to USB peripherals.” - source

As expected, the max sync speed on the D9 was almost identical to what we saw on the D7. That said, the actual downstream sync achieved was lower with the D9 than the D7 which was interesting considering both use the same combination of Broadcom chips.

Archer D7 DSL Connection
Archer D7 DSL Connection
Archer D9 DSL Connection
Archer D9 DSL Connection

Wireless Performance

TP-Link continue with their use of Broadcom chips with the inclusion of the BCM4360 which supports the “3-stream 802.11ac specification” to deliver up to 1.3Gbps on 5Ghz and Beamforming technology to deliver signal boost where needed. Wireless performance was consistent with what we saw with the D7 and the D9 performed slightly better on 2.4Ghz. The different channels being used on 5Ghz could be attributed to the performance difference between the 2 routers. In any case, our portable devices (iPhone 5S, Nexus 7 and Surface Pro 2) had no problems connecting to the Archer D9 from several locations.

Wireless Performance
Wireless Performance

Further benchmarking will be performed once we get our hands on a compatible AC1900 client adapter.

Final Thoughts

It’s great to see another router utilising the AC1900 platform. TP-Link continue to refine and improve their product designs with each model being more ergonomic and elegant than its predecessor. The Archer D9 is a another great all-rounder from TP-Link with almost everything (still lacks VoIP) you need available straight out of the box.

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