TP-LINK Archer A8 vs A9

For those who are in search of a high-quality yet affordable smart Wi-Fi router, you have two options to consider. You have the Archer A8 and Archer A9 from TP-Link. These two router models are equipped with top-notch hardware for a high-performance Wi-Fi connection for your house or workplace. But which of the two is the best choice for your budget? Let’s compare their specs, features, and prices to help you decide which router to get.

 

Main Differences

Both routers are quite similar. There are only small differences between the TP-LINK Archer A8 and Archer A9 in terms of performance, ports and features. For example, the A9 has a USB port, which is not the case with the A8. The Archer A9 also has an internal antenna. This is also not present in the Archer A8.

 

Comparison – TP-LINK Archer A8 vs A9

TP-LINK Archer A8

TP-LINK Archer A9

Wi-Fi 4

IEEE 802.11 n/b/g 2.4 GHz

IEEE 802.11 n/b/g 2.4 GHz

Wi-Fi 5

IEEE 802.11 ac/n/a 5 GHz

IEEE 802.11 ac/n/a 5 GHz

Wi-Fi 6

WiFi Speeds

5 GHz: 1300 Mbps (802.11 ac)
2.4 GHz: 450 Mbps (802.11 n)

5 GHz: 1300 Mbps (802.11 ac)
2.4 GHz: 600 Mbps (802.11 n)

External Antennas

3

3

Processor

Single-Core CPU

Single-Core CPU

WAN Ports

1

1

LAN Ports

4

4

USB Port

(1 x USB 2.0)

Wi-Fi On/Off Button

Power On/Off Button

WPS/Reset Button

WiFi Encryption

WEP
WPA
WPA2
WPA-Enterprise

WEP
WPA
WPA2
WPA/WPA2-Enterprise

SPI Firewall

Access Control

IP & MAC Binding

Application Layer Gateway

IPv4

IPv6

Dual-Band Trechnology

External Memory Slot

DNS Relay

Dimensions

9.6" x 6,4" x 1.3" /

24,30 x 16,06 x 3,25 cm

9.6" x 7,3" x 1.3" /

24,35 x 18,65 x 3,27 cm

Warranty

2 years

2 years

TP-LINK Archer A8

TP-LINK Archer A9

Wi-Fi 4

IEEE 802.11 n/b/g 2.4 GHz

Wi-Fi 4

IEEE 802.11 n/b/g 2.4 GHz

Wi-Fi 5

IEEE 802.11 ac/n/a 5 GHz

Wi-Fi 5

IEEE 802.11 ac/n/a 5 GHz

Wi-Fi 6

Wi-Fi 6

WiFi Speeds

5 GHz: 1300 Mbps (802.11 ac)
2.4 GHz: 450 Mbps (802.11 n)

WiFi Speeds

5 GHz: 1300 Mbps (802.11 ac)
2.4 GHz: 600 Mbps (802.11 n)

External Antennas

3

External Antennas

3

Processor

Single-Core CPU

Processor

Single-Core CPU

WAN Ports

1

WAN Ports

1

LAN Ports

4

LAN Ports

4

USB Port

USB Port

(1 x USB 2.0)

Wi-Fi On/Off Button

Wi-Fi On/Off Button

Power On/Off Button

Power On/Off Button

WPS/Reset Button

WPS/Reset Button

WiFi Encryption

WEP
WPA
WPA2
WPA-Enterprise

WiFi Encryption

WEP
WPA
WPA2
WPA/WPA2-Enterprise

SPI Firewall

SPI Firewall

Access Control

Access Control

IP & MAC Binding

IP & MAC Binding

Application Layer Gateway

Application Layer Gateway

IPv4

IPv4

IPv6

IPv6

Dual-Band Trechnology

Dual-Band Trechnology

External Memory Slot

External Memory Slot

DNS Relay

DNS Relay

Dimensions

9.6" x 6,4" x 1.3" /

24,30 x 16,06 x 3,25 cm

Dimensions

9.6" x 7,3" x 1.3" /

24,35 x 18,65 x 3,27 cm

Warranty

2 years

Warranty

2 years

 

Performance

At a first look, we can see that the TP-LINK Archer A8 and Archer A9 look similar to each other, and that goes the same way for the performance of the two routers. As smart Wi-Fi routers, their internet speed can reach up to 1.9Gbps. If we test them, they can reach 600Mbps on a 2.4GHz wireless frequency band and 1.3Gbps on 5GHz. That’s already fast enough to provide an excellent internet connection for extreme online gaming and streaming.

However, they differ in other areas. The Archer A8 is built with a 1.2 GHz Single-Core CPU, while the Archer A9 has a Single-Core CPU. They both have three external antennas, but Archer A9 has one internal antenna, boosting the Wi-Fi coverage. Now, their Wi-Fi range can cover a three-bedroom house, but others say that the Wi-Fi connection is still good within 3,000 square feet. It only depends on the environment and if there are any physical obstructions that can block the signal.

 

Features

Both the Archer A8 and A9 have many features to offer. These wireless routers are MU-MIMO, which means they can transmit and receive data on three streams simultaneously. All devices connected to these smart routers get faster internet connection than what standard routers provide. They also feature the Beamforming technology that increases the Wi-Fi coverage. The routers are able to detect devices and boost the signal strength to the devices no matter how far they are from the router.

The other common features that A8 and A9 have are the Smart Connect and Airtime Fairness. The Smart Connect automatically switches the connected devices to the best Wi-Fi connection. This also prevents internet traffic congestion that causes the signal strength to decrease. Meanwhile, the Airtime Fairness is a great feature that strengthens the network by preventing slower devices from interfering with the Wi-Fi signal. With these two features built into the routers, you can enjoy a lag-free Wi-Fi connection for longer periods.

They have parental controls that you can use to filter the URLs and manage internet usage. They have similar working modes, such as the router mode and the access point mode. Moreover, you can also see the same set of buttons on both routers. You have the power, Wi-Fi, and reset buttons.

Apparently, there are features that are only present in one of the router models. The Archer A8 is compatible with TP-Link’s OneMesh™, a feature that helps you create a Mesh network with just one Wi-Fi name. It provides smooth coverage and a stable connection. Aside from that, the OneMesh™ eliminates areas with weak signals and gives you uninterrupted streaming even if you’re moving around. Meanwhile, the Archer A9 is compatible with Amazon Alexa. You can easily control the router through voice commands. The only thing you need to do is set up the system. Then you’re good to go.

There is also a slight difference in the security features. Both A8 and A9 have similar Wi-Fi encryptions (WEP, WPA, WPA2, and WPA/WPA2-Enterprise). Their network security consists of SPI Firewall, Access Control, IP & MAC Binding, and Application Layer Gateway. Furthermore, you can set up a network solely intended for your guests. The feature that sets them apart is that A8 doesn’t support any VPN server like A9. The Archer A9 can connect to VPN servers like OpenVPN and PPTP.

 

Ports

Let’s talk about their ports. The Archer A8 and Archer A9 have one Gigabit WAN port in blue color. It’s the port you use to connect the router to the internet source. Each of them also has four Gigabit LAN ports in orange color. You can use them to connect any internet-able device like a desktop computer, a smart TV, a laptop, a game console, or a printer.

However, only one of the routers has a USB port. The Archer A9 has one USB 2.0 port for data transfers. It’s on the left side of the WAN port. It supports NTFS and FAT32 partition formats and has three supported functions, working either as an FTP, Media, or a Samba server.

 

Price

This comparison will not be complete without discussing the prices of the routers. Of course, one of them is more expensive than the other, but they are almost in a similar price range. Although you can find much cheaper routers, Archer A8 and A9 don’t really belong in the expensive category. So, how much do they cost?

Currently, the list price of the Archer A8 is around $80, while the Archer A9 costs around $90. There is a slight price difference, but it’s justified because the A9 has more features to offer than the A8. The Archer A9 supports VPN, has a USB port, and is compatible with Amazon Alexa, which is a major plus in any smart device. Even if you pay $10 more, it’s still going to be worth the price.

But just because the Archer A8 is cheaper, it doesn’t mean that it’s less than A9. No. The Archer A8 is still an excellent router with an outstanding Wi-Fi speed to connect everybody in the house. It’s still as powerful as the A9, only that it costs less.

 

Conclusion – TP-LINK Archer A8 vs A9

It’s important to note that choosing a router really depends on the budget you have. But after comparing the two routers based on their performance, features, ports, and prices, we can say that the TP-Link Archer A9 is the best choice. Even if it’s a bit more expensive than the Archer A8, you actually get to enjoy more exciting features from A9 than its competitor. You can set up the Amazon Alexa, which makes it easy and convenient to operate the router.

On the other hand, the Archer A8 is still a good catch. Its performance is similar to A9 and has the most important parts of a smart Wi-Fi router. It also has a wide coverage like the A9 and can accommodate many devices at the same time. If you want something simple without paying too much, then go for the A8. It’s cheaper but of high quality. You won’t go wrong with it either.

Marcel

Founder of TechVert.com. Tech enthusiast. Interested in gaming, computers, and walkie-talkies.

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