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Wireless Reviews

Router Ranking

Using the Router Ranker, I filtered for the current test method (Revision 8) and AC1200 class routers. The list currently contains only four products including the three covered in this review. The chart below shows the Total Router ranking. Since the list is so short, there's really no reason to sort it by price. Of the routers in this review, the TP-LINK Archer C5 earned the #1 ranking.

Product Rank for AC1200 class routers using Revision 8 testing

Product Rank for AC1200 class routers using Revision 8 testing

The composite image below shows the individual category rankings for the three routers in the roundup. Based on the previous benchmark summaries and the throughput vs. attenuation plots, it should come as no surprise the Archer C5 collected top category scores for Routing Throughput, Average Wireless Throughput, Maximum Wireless Throughput and Wireless range.

Performance Ranking for Linksys EA6352 (L), NETGEAR R6220 (C) and TP-LINK Archer C5 (R)

Performance Ranking for Linksys EA6352 (L), NETGEAR R6220 (C) and TP-LINK Archer C5 (R)

Closing Thoughts

As noted in the opening, AC1200 class routers are the new entry level routers for most consumers. They offer a large performance gain over the rapidly disappearing N class routers at very attractive prices. The three routers in this review are similarly priced around $90, although we saw prices move around frequently on Amazon. You can also get certified refurbished EA6350's for around $55, but not directly from Linksys.

Keep in mind, however, that AC1750 class routers have fallen in popularity and also can be found for around $100. TP-LINK tends to be leading the charge here, with its Archer C7 V2 at $100. But if you're willing to consider manufacturer refurbished models, you can pick up a NETGEAR R6300 or Linksys EA6500 for even less.

While I prefer the user interface on the R6220, the relatively poor 5 GHz performance of the NETGEAR R6200 tilts the balance in favor of the TP-LINK Archer C5. For less than $100, it's one of the best values you can get in an AC1200 class router.

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