This is a router that balances AC connectivity / high speed, price, and style. To me the most remarkable thing was how good this router looks. It is a genuinely handsome stylish router that doesn't really have to be hidden away. It uses the latest AC standard, meaning it can connect at very high speeds and is a reliable solid router. At the current price of around $100, this is a really great value.
This router looks good. The body is glossy white with chrome trim. The antenna is white, so they tend to blend into the background better than black or gray. A not removable silver plastic stand supports the router nicely. There is one small design defect I don't like - the plastic stand continues around the top of the router (visually this is pretty). Unfortunately, that band gets in the way of attaching the antenna. I like to tighten down the antenna so they will not come loose - that plastic band gets in the way. If you only ever turn the antenna clockwise when you adjust them, the antenna will never come loose.
The lights on the front are subtle and not bright - so there's no worries about an inadvertent night-light, or crazy flashing lights at night.
I love the power switch (so few routers have power switches) and TP-Link went one step further - there is a power switch for wireless. That means you can use this as a router without the wireless turned on. A small function you might use one day.
Setup was about average, I've seen much more difficult and I've seen easier. The router comes with an SSID and password. The only place those are printed is on the router - you'll want to write down the password before you install the router - lifting the router and reading the tiny numbers is no fun. I would prefer a printed card in the box - that way I don't have to write the password down.
I configured my router wirelessly with a Mac - you could just as easily use a phone or a PC, the router doesn't care. Once you've set up the router and connected it to the Internet, connect wireless to the SSID listed on the router (it will be TP-Link and a few numbers). Enter the password. Now you'll need to enter the IP address of the router (listed in the manual) or tplinklogin.net. Admin is the user name and admin is the password. You can now select the setup wizard, which will be what most people need to set up their router. There are a couple of slightly cryptic settings - WAN connection type was an odd one for me. Fortunately Auto Detect found that I have an open Internet connection. You are allowed to change the SSID (or network name) and the password. If you don't mind a silly TP-Link ### name, and you don't mind entering a bunch of digits for the password - just leave that alone. I personally always change the SSID and password. Just be certain to make the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz network names different.
It is always a good idea to change the administrator password. You have to go into the advanced settings to do that.
I like TP-Link's main screen for devices that are connected. It is clean and simple.
The router can be used for network attached storage through USB 3 port on the side or a USB 2 port on the rear panel. You can connect a USB drive or a thumb drive for the storage. It can also be used as a print server for printers without a wireless card. That may require a TP-Link app on the computer to use.
The resource CD is a mini-CD. Don't bother trying to use that on a Mac. I had a lot of trouble on the TP-Link website getting downloads for any router. I wanted to see if the firmware needed updating and could never access the download section of the website. Easy information like owner's manuals and tech specs worked - I just couldn't get the firmware page to load.
The router has four Gigabit ports for wired connections. I like the color-coding of the ports on the back panel.
The only nit I have to pick is the wall wart AC adapter, it is huge. And it will take up two outlets. I prefer the laptop style AC adapters that only take up one electrical outlet.
Range and speed is exactly what I expected. The router works extremely well. It is rock solid once up and running. I love the way it looks. And the price is well near perfect. This is a great little router.