Towards the end of last year, we had a period of about 11 days when we had no internet access owing to an issue with our Internet Service Provider – BT Optic Fiber network had a hardware problem, coupled with a failure of our BT Smart Hub (Home Hub 6). However, the replacement Smart Hub failed two weeks later, which prompted me to look for an alternative, more reliable Modem router. I settled on the TP-Link Archer VR2600 as it was the fastest one-box setup which was reasonably priced at £159.99 on Amazon.
It arrived the next day with Amazon Prime delivery. I was really pleased as I wanted to get everything setup properly once and for all, as many of the devices I had could not work properly with the issues with the BT Smart Hub. And the fact the data transfer speed of the router is rated much better than the BT Smart Hub would be a great bonus.
Now it does have many extra features such as ability to setup a local printer for network access, as well as using a USB hard-drive for network storage – both of which I do not require. But it is good to know that it has these options available if needed.
The setup of the VR2600 was fairly straightforward. I simply plugged in the power supply, connected the fiber cable to the correct port, connect my LAN cables, connect to it through my computer (although it is suggested to do this via a network cable, I did it wirelessly without any problems).
The thing which worried me the most was how to setup the modem router for BT Optic Fiber internet, but I need not worry as it was fairly simple. In my web browser, I connected to the VR2600 with the address: tplinkmodem.net. Once in there after authenticating with the password, you will have the various options to choose from.
For BT Optic Fiber users, I would use the settings in the screen shot below. The password is an option and can be left blank if desired. Once this is saved, it should connect to the Internet.
As I wanted to get the fastest transfer rates I could, I set the Channel width for both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels to the widest option available (40 MHz for the 2.4GHz channel and 80MHz for the 5GHz channel). This is not an issue for me as there are not that many houses using up the bandwidths around me; clearly this may not work as well in the city. I also set the 2.4GHz to only work with 802.11gn (not b) as we do not need 802.11b.
I have to say that it is definitely more reliable than the BT Smart Hub, has faster data transfer rate, and looks much nicer with those 4 antennae and mounted on the wall. And we’ve not had any issues with our internet, which is great. My daughters were traumatised by the lack of Wi-Fi when we had the problem, so at least we need not worry now – definitely the money spent. And Wi-Fi access has been restored to the Lifx bulbs x 5, Smart plugs x 6, Ring Video Doorbell and Ring Chime, Logitech Harmony Hub, Amazon Echo Dots x 3, Withings Body Cardio Scales.