TalkTalk Super Router review
The quality of ISP-supplied routers has been generally awful over the years, but the times are changing, with first BT and now TalkTalk embracing the latest 802.11ac technology. Read on for our TalkTalk Super Router review.
That isn’t the only thing the Super Router embraces. Despite its plain looks, it’s also surprisingly well-endowed elsewhere. Take a look at the rear of the device and you’ll see four Gigabit Ethernet ports, flanked by a port for direct connection to TalkTalk’s ADSL and VDSL services without the need for a separate modem, plus a Gigabit WAN port. The latter allows the router to be used as an access point to a wired network, or in combination with a separate modem.
The Super Router’s wireless potential looks formidable on paper, with a full-blown 3×3 MIMO antenna configuration and concurrent dual-band networks. This setup delivers maximum link speeds of up to 1,300Mbits/sec over 802.11ac and 450Mbits/sec over 802.11n.
In testing, however, the Super Router put in a mixed performance. In the best-case scenario, testing with a 3×3 stream Asus PCE-AC68 PCI Express card from 2.5m, speeds hit 45.7MB/sec over 802.11ac. That’s quick, but not nearly as fast as the premium routers we’ve tested recently.
The problems occur when you connect non-802.11ac devices, and performance over 802.11n was disappointing. At close range, our 3×3 stream card gained only 11.7MB/sec, and the Super Router’s 5GHz network was so weak that neither of our test devices were able to connect from 30m away with a single wood wall in the way.
We weren’t impressed with the speed of the device’s single USB 2 port, either: our tests revealed a top speed of only 5.4MB/sec, a result that’s very slow in comparison to most routers these days.
It’s certainly good to see ISPs finally beginning to furnish their customers with better-specified routers, but the Super Router’s performance is below par and can’t compete with more expensive 802.11ac hardware.
|Gigabit LAN ports||4|
|WPA Enterprise support||yes|
|Dimensions||184 x 55 x 147mm (WDH)|