Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
Good value, great performance
on 21 March 2013
Having used some of TP-Link's older hardware that is a bit more primitive in appearance, this model is much more sleek and sophisticated. Some might argue it's a bit on the large side, but in reality, it accommodates a full suite of 4x gigabit LAN ports and a gigabit WAN port, plus 2x USB 2.0 ports as well as the triple external antenna array and concealed triple internal array.
Typically labelled as a "Cable Router", the same rules apply in that this is simply a Router which has no in-built modem, so you are quite at liberty to use high speed non-"cable" (ie. ADSL, Fiber, Satellite etc.) broadband with this device if you choose, provided you have a separate modem for whatever your flavour of broadband and are feeding it the broadband signal via the gigabit WAN port.
The two headline specifications for this product are the 4x gigabit LAN ports combined with the high speed (450+450) dual-band wireless network. For the uninitiated, this translates to being able to move data around your network at high speed not just on hard-wired devices, but also on compatible wireless devices that can take advantage of the 5Ghz wi-fi band. As high-speed internet is becoming wider-spread, speeds of over 100Mbps would not be appreciated if you were using networking hardware that maxed out at 100Mbps (ie. non-gigabit LAN ports and non-high-speed wireless). The wireless system here supports up to 450Mbps on the 2.4Ghz band, and a second simultaneous 450Mbps on the 5Ghz band. People who store and stream High Definition movies in their homes can benefit from being able to get simultaneous distribution of content without hitting the barriers that non-high-speed networking equipment would struggle with.
The 4900 is the top model in this particular range, which pushes for 900Mbps WAN-to-LAN throughput, beating the lesser models which only list as supporting 800Mbps WAN-to-LAN throughput.
Set-up is relatively straight-forward. As always, take a steady approach and you'll get there. There are no major issues that I could ascertain.
The only potential black mark you could throw at this product is the use of USB 2.0 not USB 3.0, which would have allowed connection of high-speed USB 3.0 peripherals.
There are a couple of other competitors in this price-band, but you have to be specifically wanting the full 450+450 wireless performance to warrant spending this kind of money on a wireless gigabit router, else you could save yourself some dough and opt for a 450+300 model which might not offer quite as strong wireless performance but would save you some money.