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TP-Link Archer MR600 review, dual band router with SIM for 4G

The choice of a router that is currently vast and endless: there are all types and for all budgets, with the various manufacturers trying to offer increasingly advanced and interesting features. The routers are not all the same and even in the home or in a small office you should carefully consider the choice of the model that best suits your needs.

TP-Link is one of the most active companies among router manufacturers, and one of the most interesting solutions currently offered Archer MR600, capable of offering speeds of up to 300Mbps on 4G + network and which, among other things, boasts One Mesh technology from the same manufacturer.

Peculiarities of this product that, in addition to the traditional gigabit port designed for fast wired connections and applications that require bandwidth, such as game consoles and set-top-boxes, it is also possible to take advantage of a data SIM. The option in question is convenient in various situations, useful for example for indoor commercial activities: businesses without a fixed line will be able to manage the new procedures related to the electronic receipt and related telematic transmission in a simple way, relying – if necessary – on the capillarity of the 3G / 4G network.

The user can have a data SIM with a tariff plan that includes a more or less generous Giga equipment for browsing the Internet and use the router in question to create a reliable connection to connect all the devices present, such as the recorder electronic cash desk, but also desktop computers, printers, smartphones and tablets (equipped with Ethernet ports and can provide both wireless and wired Internet access). Various characteristics and details of the product below.

Packaging and product description

The Archer MR600 arrives in a box inside which we find: the real router, the 12V power supply, an RJ45 network cable, the adapter for nano SIM, two removable antennas, short manual with indications for the link. The black router does not look bad in classic or modern environments; the dimensions are 22916037 mm; it can be easily positioned on a desk and on the back we also find the predisposition for those who prefer wall mounting).

On the back we find: the connectors for the two 4G LTE antennas, the input for the power supply, the on / off button, three 10/100/1000 Mbps LAN ports, 1 10/100/1000 Mbps LAN / WAN port , the WPS button) to establish a connection between the router and other WiFi devices to be paired), the hole for the reset, a button to switch the WiFi on / off and the Micro SIM slot.

TP-Link Archer MR600 review, dual band router with SIM for 4G

Configuration

For installation, simply position the antennas vertically, insert the SIM card in the slot and turn on the router. When the internet LED remains on (the status LEDs are located at the top), the router connected to the internet. obviously it is possible to connect the device to a router (wired or wireless) and configure the device using the default SSID and password indicated on the label under the router. We have made the configuration from the Mac with a browser but it is also possible to do it from the iPad or iPhone and any other device via a browser or the dedicated "TP-Link Tether" app, available both on the Play Store and on the App Store.

By default, two SSDs appear in the list of network connections: "TP-Link_9EC3" and "TP-Link_9EC3_5G" (the names can be changed later); select one of the two connections and type the password WPA2 (the default one shown below the router), and open the router address from the browser (default 192.168.1.1), type the username and password using "admin" as the default and from here possible start QuickSetup or the usual advanced procedures for advanced users.

If we already have a different router connected, it will obviously suffice to connect a cable from the ethernet from the existing router to the new WAN socket to immediately surf the internet. In the latter case, the Archer MR600 will appear in the list of network devices like any other device.

TP-Link Archer MR600 review, dual band router with SIM for 4G

Technical characteristics and functioning

From a technical point of view, the TP-Link Archer MR600 supports a maximum speed of 300 Mbps in download and 50 Mbps in upload in 4G + Cat6, able to take full advantage of the speed offered by the main telephony operators. As for WiFi, this type of connection simultaneously supports the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies, offering respectively a maximum of 300 Mbps and 867 Mbps, excellent numbers by virtue of the context for which this router was designed: home, small shops or offices not very large.

Peculiarity of the product support to the OneMesh network: combined with products of the same type it is possible to create a flexible and convenient Mesh network, expanding the signal with multiple routers or mesh extenders: mobile devices can automatically switch to the nearest device, with greater network stability . Like other routers from the same manufacturer, it is possible to create guest networks, activate Parental Control functionality (the application of filters and limitations), NAT forwarding, dynamic QoS (priority to packets based on the type and their end use) and other settings relating to firewalls, IPTV and VPN. The manufacturer claims that it is possible to connect up to 64 wireless devices simultaneously, such as tablets, laptops and smartphones (management entrusted to a Qualcomm processor).

From the administration interface, you can show wireless / wired clients and Mesh devices connected to the network, start speedtest to check the speed and get details on the various types of connection and on the IP and MAC addresses of the various clients.

TP-Link Archer MR600 review, dual band router with SIM for 4G

Performance and conclusions

The performances we obtained were excellent both with the connection via modem (by connecting the router in cascade to an external modem), and with the connection via SIM (relying on mobile networks).

Speed ​​obviously depends on various factors. In our area, with a connection created using a Vodafone SIM, the performance proved to be adequate for a basic work activity (26.8 Mbs in download and 21.1 Mbps in upload). Obviously the data indicated here does not make sense, since much depends on the area where you find it, on the operator used and on other factors.

Taking into account that, typically, this type of connection designed for those who cannot / do not want to use a fixed network, the data obtained is more than sufficient. With the connection in cascade to the traditional modem, the results were identical and in some cases superior to those obtained with the modem offered by the operator; obviously the connection with the traditional modem can guarantee a data transfer speed typically higher than that which can be obtained from a mobile network.

Pro

  • Suitable solution for both work and entertainment
  • Suitable for shops, vacation home, internet access from remote areas
  • Simple and intuitive configuration app

Versus

  • Bulky antennas
  • USB port for printer and / or disk sharing is missing

Retail price

The TP-Link Archer MR600 AC1200 router costs € 149.90 in the list but at the time of writing on Amazon it is possible to buy it for € 124.99, price in line with competing products that offer dual band and 4G LTE connections.