TP-Link has been well-known for wireless routers with performance comparable or even better than Asus, Linksys, Netgear, etc. with a much cheaper price. More importantly, most of its routers support UniFi and MaxisNet fibre broadband, including the IP phone and IPTV functions.
Let's compare 3 of the TP-Link Archer series of wireless-AC routers at the price range between RM400-RM600: the C7, C8 and C9. Below is the comparison table (click image to enlarge):
The Archer C7 is the oldest among them, with old housing and old web user interface. However, it seems to outperform its successors C8 and C9 in terms of network throughput and maximum simultaneous connections supported, with the help of its 6 antennas (3 internal and 3 external). It has the lowest price too.
The Archer C8 is a new design with new housing and newer, more user friendly web user interface. It also has a dual core CPU. Its USB performance is better than the C7. However, its 3 dual band antennas are shorter, and seems to perform weaker than the C7, despite it comes with Beamforming technology.
The Archer C9 has the same design with C8. It comes with a faster dual core CPU, newer Broadcom chipset, and even better USB performance than C8. However, its network throughput is a bit disappointing in the comparison.
If you are familiar with TP-Link old user interface, here is how its new user interface looks like:
TP-Link is phasing out C8 to replace it with C9, so the availability of C8 in the market is very rare now. However, the C7 is still widely available in the market.