Wireless Performance - more
In 5 GHz downlink, the playing field is more even. 256 QAM is supported in all products and TP-LINK limits the 5 GHz maximum link rate to the 867 Mbps normally found in AC1200 class routers. The WRT1200AC holds its own this time, dueling with the TP-LINK Archer C5 throughout the test range and staying connected as long.
5 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation
5 GHz uplink is a much different story, however. This time the WRT1200AC hugs the bottom of the chart, its only bright spot that it stayed connected as long as the Archer C5, which was the winner in this benchmark.
5 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation
The WRT1200AC ties with the NETGEAR R6220 at #2 rank out of seven AC1200 routers tested with the current procedure. But as the filtered and sorted Router Ranker screenshot below shows, at $180, it's the most expensive by far. Even ASUS asks only around $100 for its RT-AC56U, which is the top-ranked AC1200 router using the previous Revision 7 process.
As I called out in the opening remarks, this is a bold and perhaps foolish move, when you can pick up a refurbished WRT1900AC for $175 and a new one for slightly more than the WRT1200AC. And there are plenty of other AC1900 class routers for the same or less and AC1200 class routers for around half the price.
AC1200 Router Rank
The ranker performance summary below shows the WRT1200AC's ranker sub-scores alongside the top-ranked TP-LINK Archer C5. The only #1 subrank is for range, which ties the TP-LINK. Average and maximum wireless throughput sub-ranks both come in at #3 vs. the TP-LINK's #1.
Ranker Performance Summary Comparison
In all, the WRT1200AC deserves its #2 rank, and might even have edged into #1 had TP-LINK's Archer C5 been a true AC1200 class router. It's kind of ironic that Linksys had its own technique come back to bite them. The WRT1200AC is actually a pretty good router, with storage sharing throughput that blows away the competition. It's just waay too expensive for its AC1200 class.