TP-Link newest world’s first 802.11ad router offers blazing fast speeds, but is it the right solution for your home networking needs?
The Talon AD7200 will be available in Singapore from this week, priced at $499. Besides your usual retail partners, you can order it online from Qoo10 and Lazada, direct from TP-Link. It made the announcement at their new Singapore office and service centre located at the Aperia Mall. The world’s first 802.11ad router, offers an additional channel over 60 GHz frequency, compared to the usual 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies on other routers. With this speeds, you can download a full 4K movie in 8 minutes. The 60 Ghz band supports up to 4600 mbps, and combines with the other two frequencies for total throughput of around 7200 mbps. There’s a 1.4 GHz dual core processor, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 4 10/100/1000 mbps LAN ports (times have changed, wired is in fact slower than wireless). All this housed in a rather weird looking square box with 8 antennas sticking vertically up. Not exactly the most attractive router.
There are limitations. TP-Link recommends that the new 802.11ad 60 GHz channel operate for same room usage. The higher frequencies translates to low wall penetration and actual range is <10m. The router does support automatic handover to the standard 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands once it is no longer in range.
Device support is also limited. 802.11ad is still very nascent and not many devices offer it at the moment, but they are on the horizon. I just don’t think it really make sense to be an early adopter here as there is no advantage for you to switch early without a complementary device. Network support is also another issue. Today’s broadband providers typically max out at 1 Gbps offerings although Singtel does have a 10 Gbps plan. If you do subscribe to Singtel 10 Gbps plan, such a router would potentially allow you to exploit the fastest possible broadband in Singapore. That being said, other use cases could be local network sharing, such as from your media server streaming 4K content to your TVs or mobile phones.