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TP-Link Archer D9 AC1900 ADSL2+ Modem Router review

It's nothing spectacular but offers solid performance nonetheless

Setup

As with TP-Link's previous models, a mini-CD is provided with a setup application for absolute networking newcomers. This isn't required, however: once connected to the network and power the device boots up already configured to provide 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless networking and a DHCP server. Entering "tplinkmodem.net" into any modern browser and inputting the default login details - user name admin, password admin - loads the configuration screen without the need for a client-side application.

Sadly for a flagship product, the Archer D9 uses the same old TP-Link interface common to the rest of the company's products. While this is great from a familiarity standpoint, it is looking a little dated these days and could really do with an overhaul to bring it up to the quality of rival devices.

Once logged in, configuring the router for internet access is simple: the ADSL details provided by your ISP go into the relevant boxes, are saved, and a reboot later you should be online. The router can also be configured in Ethernet mode, which disables the modem and re-purposes the fourth gigabit Ethernet port as a WAN connection. There's no option to disable routing entirely and use the device as a wireless access point, however; while you can simply leave the WAN connection disconnected for this, the router will fail to set its time and constantly fill the logs with DHCP errors.

For more advanced users, the Archer D9 includes plenty of functionality. The 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks can be configured independently, and support WEP, WPA, WPA2 and WPA2 Enterprise encryption with or without MAC filtering. It's also possible to configure a guest network, which includes optional filters: the guest network can be segregated from the LAN, prevented from accessing the USB ports, or even have its bandwidth limited or its traffic given a lower priority.

Despite being a UK model, the Archer D9 is supplied with the wireless region set to the US. Although there's plenty of overlap between US and UK networks, using the exclusive channels is illegal; changing this to UK manually, something that many users will not realise is necessary, is vital for anyone wanting to avoid the wrath of Ofcom.

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