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At my home, the Internet is experiencing a second youth

Suggestions from editorial colleagues that I should finally exchange the router for a newer model, I have always disposed of according to the principle: "how it works, do not move". I'm spitting my chin now.

For as long as I can remember, I've always used network equipment from the operator at home. It is true that modems and routers from service providers have never worked perfectly, but they have always seemed good enough for me that I did not have to pay so little money for additional equipment again.

However, it turned out that replacing the router with your own is the easiest way to improve network coverage and internet quality at home.

Of course, you can try to improve the parameters of the link and the home network in different ways, i.e. by moving the router to another place or changing the Wi-Fi channel to another, but as they say - from empty and Salomon does not pour. In equipment supplied by the operator, it is very easy to hit such a digital ceiling.

The software will not overcome the hardware limitations. I have experienced it myself. I am currently a subscriber to the UPC network. I decided on 1 Gb / s bandwidth, and a Connect Box appeared in my house. However, I was not able to fully use the potential of this link.

Gigabit internet did not accelerate more than half that Mb / s value when connected to Wi-Fi .

Still, I didn't complain, because half of the bandwidth at UPC is 25 times more than offered by my previous service provider. It is also a good result as for Wi-Fi in computers, smartphones and other mobile devices. In turn, I connected Apple TV and game consoles to the router with a cable. In them I had a full gigabit.

Still, not everything worked as it should. The router refused to work on many connections at the same time and had to be manually reset. I also had huge problems with games in the cloud. GeForce Now should run like a storm on a gigabit connection, and in practice the games were practically unplayable.

To make matters worse, my 2017 MacBook Pro didn't get along with the UPC router.

The problem manifested itself in the fact that just after waking the computer after a few hours from sleep, Wi-Fi worked ... half a whistle. Although the internet on mobile devices was accelerating up to several hundred megabits per second at the same time, I could have dreamed about it on my computer.

Speedtest in a newly awakened computer reached in gusts 40 Mb / s on a gigabyte connection. Interestingly, all you had to do was turn off and on the network card again for the transfer to return to an acceptable level. The UPC consultant decided that in that case ... I should replace the computer.

This, of course, was out of the question.

I continued in this deadlock and waited for the end of the contract in the hope that other service providers had better network equipment - in the case of my supplier, there is no other equipment on offer that the consultants could offer me. I also know that users of different routers around the world have a similar problem.

Fortunately, recently TP-Link Archer AX50 router came into my hands as part of the editorial tests. I am not exaggerating when I say that this equipment has breathed into my home network a second life. After setting it up, any problems with the Wi-Fi network in my MacBook Pro disappeared, as I removed it by hand. And this is not the end of pleasant surprises.

tp-link archer ax50 which router to buy

The throughput has also improved, and my Wi-Fi is now accelerating up to 700 Mb / s, and ping does not exceed 10 ms.

I just have to mention that this higher bandwidth is due to the appropriate configuration. At first, the router after connecting with an Ethernet cable to the Connect Box worked for me only as an additional access point. So he did not work alone and was such a superstructure for UPC equipment.

TP-Link Archer AX50 thus provided a Wi-Fi network in the apartment, but all settings such as DHCP were still implemented on the UPC equipment side. Already then I felt an improvement in terms of link stability, but it was not dramatic and to be honest? I was hoping for more.

Before I turned on bridge mode, transfers on the Wi-Fi network remained at a similar level as before.

So I decided to figure it out a bit - and luckily, because it turned out to be a bull's-eye. Finally, I set up the TP-Link router so that it alone manages the entire home network. To this end, I had to report to UPC to change the settings from IPv6 to older IPv4 on my subscriber account.

tp-link archer ax50 which router to buy

The Connect Box now works in bridge mode and the operator's equipment is just such a bridge between the outside world and the new device. All my devices now connect directly to TP-Link - both those using wireless and wired data transmission.

It is he who manages the traffic and what can be said a lot - he does it much more efficiently than network equipment from the operator.

I've seen transfers of 700 Mb / s only when connected with a cable, but this is not the most interesting. The network is now more stable with e.g. peer-2-peer service tests. Earlier, with several dozen connections simultaneously, the UPC router would break the connection. TP-Link is able to handle several hundred of them.

In addition, I can finally play games in the cloud thanks to services such as GeForce Now, which were previously unplayable. Streaming within the home network has also improved significantly, which can be seen in the example of the Remote Play service, thanks to which I send to the tablet screen the image of games running on PlayStation 4.

tp-link archer ax50 which router to buy

And that's all within Wi-Fi 5, although TP-Link Archer AX50 supports Wi-Fi 6.

The router I am currently testing is modern equipment prepared for the future. TP-Link Archer AX50 not only supports the currently popular Wi-Fi 802.11 ac standard, i.e. Wi-Fi 5, but also the newer type of connection Wi-Fi 802.11 ax, i.e. Wi-Fi 6. This is great news, because you buy network equipment for years.

Of the devices I use now, only my iPhone 11 Pro has a Wi-Fi 6 modem that provides less latency and even faster data transfer in the home network, but in the future such devices will be in our homes. TP-Link Archer AX50 is now ready for it.

As if that was not enough, thanks to changing the router to a new one I finally started using Time Machine.

I have never before decided on a system data backup mechanism in macOS, because it required connecting an external disk to the computer, either permanently or cyclically. However, TP-Link Archer AX50 has a USB port in its housing, to which you can connect an external hard drive - precisely with Time Machine in mind.

tp-link archer ax50 which router to buy

Configuration of native backup of Apple computers is very easy. It boils down to connecting the disk to the USB port and logging in to the router settings in a web browser once. Just turn on the Time Machine option in the right place in the settings and macOS will detect the backup disk.

It is worth mentioning that to manage the TP-Link router in the basic scope it is not necessary to log in to the panel in the browser. The manufacturer has prepared a mobile application called Tether, in which you can, e.g. change the password for Wi-Fi, configure Alexa voice assistant or update the firmware.

* The material was created in cooperation with TP-Link

At my home, the Internet is experiencing a second youth


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