TP-Link Talon AD7200 by Kenny Yeo
AT A GLANCE
FREQUENCY RANGE 60GHz, 5GHz, 2.4GHz
NETWORKING STANDARDS 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ad
PORTS 1 x Gigabit Ethernet WAN, 4 x Gigabit Ethernet LAN, 2 x USB 3.0
The TP-Link Talon AD7200 is notable because it is the first consumer router in the world to support the new 802.11ad wireless standard, which is also known as WiGig.
802.11ad makes use of the stratospheric 60GHz frequency range, allowing the Talon AD7200 router to hit wireless data transfer rates of up to 4,600Mbps, which is the equivalent to a whopping 575MB/s!
The Talon AD7200 also supports speeds of up to 1,733Mbps on it 5GHz band and up to 800Mbps on its 2.4GHz band. Add this to the 4,600Mbps on its 60GHz band and you get 7,133Mbps - hence the name Talon AD7200.
In the real world, we found the Talon AD7200’s performance to be less quick, but still very impressive. Using the highspeed 60GHz network, we recorded speeds of close to 800Mbps, which was almost on a par with what you’d expect from wired Ethernet connections. This was also over three times faster than what most 5GHz networks can achieve; typically around 230Mbps.
Unfortunately, using the 60GHz network does come with one crucial tradeoff and that’s range. The high frequency signals get attenuated easily, so the router and client devices need a clear line of sight and have to be in the same room. In our tests, we couldn’t get a signal even if we were in the adjacent room.
Range aside, it’s still the early days yet for 802.11ad and there’s no telling if manufacturers will even jump onboard, given its extremely limited working range. For the time being, the workaround is to get another Talon AD7200 router and configure it to work as a client device.
Fortunately, the Talon AD7200 also works well as a regular router with support for 802.11ac as mentioned above. Performance on the 5GHz band was really respectable too, and our tests showed that it was capable of going toe-totoe with the top routers in the AC2400 and AC5300 class.
Coming in at $499, the question of value will be highly dependent on your intended usage. If you don’t mind the limitations of 802.11ad and you already have a usage scenario that can benefit from the high speeds of the Talon AD7200, then this router comes highly recommended because its 60GHz network is unbelievably fast.
Incredibly fast, but limitations mean it you may not fully utilize its speed just yet.
Two USB 3.0 ports allow the router to be connected to printer and external storage devices for print and file sharing.