Appearances are a matter of taste. This is certainly not discreet! It’s black shiny with a sliver of silver down the middle and three antenna make me think it belongs to an alien in some film, and so I’ve chosen not to have it clearly visible. It is well built though, and feels solid.
Spec wise, it has three gigabit LAN ports and one WAN/LAN port. It also has two USB 2.0 sockets, WPS, WiFi On/Off and power buttons on the back, as well as an ADSL socket. Strangely, for such a high spec model, the modem isn’t geared up to working with Fibre broadband, and delivers slower speeds, so you may still need a Fibre modem as well as this.
Setting up was really easy. The menu system does look rather old, not having pleasant graphical flourishes, but that doesn’t mean it’s missing anything. It’s still easy to use, and with almost every option you dare to think about available. It also does have some tips available when selecting certain options.
As for performance. Whilst it’s described as an AC 1750, don’t think you’ll get anything like 1750MBps. 802.11AC theoretically gives 1300 MBPs and .11n gives a maximum of 450Mbps. The key word here is theoretical. In reality, whilst in the same room as the modem/router it’s more than comfortable streaming HD videos to a .11AC enabled computer. Things do tend to go down significantly in most domestic settings where you may have a couple of walls in between your router and computer. In these cases, I found range to be pretty average, so don’t expect it to make the far room connected, and speed, whilst great for Youtube and general browsing etc, not able to stream Full HD video. If you’re in the next room (and don’t’ have super thick walls), then this should still just about play Full HD films.
This is a good affordable option for people looking for a 802.11AC router if their fibre provider gave them a modem with poor WiFi. For people looking to improve range /speed over an existing decent modem/router, then this might not be the best option if you’re looking to use it at home. TP-Link maybe should have dropped the modem altogether and made this cheaper still, and easier to whole heartedly recommend.