We’ve looked at so many routers over the years. Wireless N this, AC that…So TP-Link have thrown in a new contender into the ring which is a little different from the rest…the TP-Link Talon AD7200 802.11ad router. Yep, Wireless AD.
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It still has Wireless AC & N (and A, B & G for that matter), but this tri band router is the first to throw in .11ad. So yes, quite a contender.
The Netgear Nighthawk X10 is also .11ad
So, what about the .11ad and all the other features?
TP-Link Talon AD7200 Features
Welcome to the world of AD. That’s right, AD, not AC. Yes, this is the world’s first consumer wireless router to have the all-new 802.11ad standard on board.
Using the 60GHz band, .11ad is the fastest wireless standard yet. It’s what helps the Talon AD7200 provide data rates up to 7.2Gbps (over 3 bands).
This means that up to 4.6Gbps is available on the 60GHz .11ad band. Of course, these aren’t the speeds you will get in the real world. They are purely data rates. However, when paired up to a .11ad client, this makes for significantly faster speeds than Wireless AC.
However, there are a couple of drawbacks (for the time being anyway). There are hardly any 802.11ad clients yet! So, unless you are lucky enough to own one of these devices, the only way to utilize this standard is to bridge two Talon AD7200 routers together - not a setup for the masses!
Another issue, is that due to the relatively high frequency of 60GHz, attenuation is increased. This results in reduced coverage. Wireless AD will only really work in one room, with unobstructed line of sight. Any obstacles will annihilate the signal. So really, it is designed to connect high demanding throughput devices within a single room.
Think NAS box, streaming video without having to use Ethernet (once the NAS box manufacturers start rolling out 60GHz radios of course).
That being said, .11ad will get rolled as time goes by. And hey, it’s pretty cool to own a Wireless AD router, right?
TP-Link Talon AD7200 Ports
7.2Gbps Tri Band
So, over 3 bands, the Talon AD7200 accumulates up to 7.2Gbps wifi bandwidth. As already mentioned, that’s 4.6Gbps on 60GHz. But then there is also 1.7Gbps on 5GHz, and a further 800Mbps on 2.4GHz.
Basically, you will be using Wireless AD (60GHz) to stream raw video across the living room. Putting your high demand wifi devices on 5GHz, and all the rest on 2.4GHz.
Not Band Steering or Beamforming, which you may already know about… but Beam Steering.
What is it? Well, on the 60GHz band (it only works on this band), this technology ‘moves’ the wifi signal around any objects. So, if a chair or table is in between client/router, beam steering moves the signal around the obstacle, rather than pass through it – which seriously degrades the signal strength. In fact this is a killer in 60GHz.
MU-MIMO on Wireless AD
If your wifi devices support it, there are 4x4 MU-MIMO antennas on board.
MU-MIMO lets multiple wireless clients talk with the router at the same time using MIMO technology. MIMO is an efficiency technology that increases wifi throughput by using more transmitters and receivers to send & receive wireless data and readjusting wireless signals. MU-MIMO simply lets multiple clients (four in fact) do this at the same time.
As long as your wireless clients support the technology, of course.
Dual Core 1.4GHz Processor
In order to keep things ticking over, TP-link have installed a Qualcomm 1.4GHz dual core CPU. This helps to power all the features and of course helps all the clients in your home access each other and the internet.
TP-Link Talon AD7200 Tech Specs
- Tri Band = 1x 4.6Gbps (60GHz) / 1x 1.733Gbps (5GHz) / 1x 800Mbps (2.4GHz)
- 1.4GHz Dual Core CPU
- MU-MIMO (4x4 - on AC)
- Beam Steering (on .11ad)
- 4x 1Gbps LAN / 1x 1Gbps WAN Ports
- 2x USB 3.0 Ports
Some will think the Wireless AD is a bit of a gimmick. Well, yes and no. Maybe more the 'yes' for now. As we said, if you are lucky enough to be one of the few to have a Wireless AD client, you should actually see 1 Gigabit per second speeds on the 60GHz band (in perfect conditions it has to be said).
Another drawback of having AD is that there is only one 5GHz band. Normally tri band routers have the two 5GHz bands. So you need to think about whether or not this will cramp you network style. If you have a plethora of AC clients...it might.
Otherwise, the rest of the features are pretty standard. There's 'only' 4 LAN ports, and no link agg supported.
However, it does have two USB 3.0 ports. And with MU-MIMO, your AC clients (that support MU-MIMO) should see positive gains in speed.
Shipping with Wireless AD has inevitably bumped up the price. Techies who want the latest and greatest will have their wallets out in anticipation no doubt. For everyone else, this AD router may be overkill for you....for now at least.
If you own a Talon AD router, or are on the verge of buying one, comment in the section below.