I've always been interested in finding the best wireless routers and modems for the best prices.
Ok, based on the box alone, can you spot the difference between the TP-Link Archer C9 and the TP-Link Archer C8?
Well, there is no difference, at least on the looks anyway. In fact, both the TP-Link Archer C9 and TP-Link Archer C8 are housed in the same stylish white box.
So why should you buy the Archer C9 instead of the Archer C8?
To answer that, let's look inside the box and see what are the differences that we can find between both these two gigabit wireless router from TP-Link.
The easiest and clearest way to do that is to put them side by side and look at their features.
TP-Link Archer C9 vs C8
|Features||TP-Link Archer C9||TP-Link Archer C8|
Wireless Combined Speed
Individual Band Speeds 2.4GHz 5.0GHz
5GHz: 1300Mbps 2.4GHz: 600Mbps
5GHz: 1300Mbps 2.4GHz: 450Mbps
1GHz Dual Core CPU
800MHz dual-core CPU
1 USB 3.0 + 1 USB 2.0 Ports
1 USB 3.0 + 1 USB 2.0 Ports
HD Streaming & Online Gaming
Data Transfer Rate
1900 Megabits Per Second
1750 Megabits Per Second
Total Lan Ports
Wireless Comm Standard
Approx Price at time of writing
Dimension ( L x W x H )
8.7 x 3.4 x 6.6 inches
8.7 x 3.4 x 6.6 inches
4K HD Streaming
So What Are the Main Differences Between the Two?
When we compare these two TP-Link wireless gigabit router side by side, we can see that there are only very minor differences between the older C8 and the newer C9.
The total combined speed of the Archer C9 is higher than the total combined speed of the C8. The Archer C9 has a total combined speed of 1900 Mbps while the C8 has 1750 Mbps.
These speeds are split between the 5 Ghz and 2.4 Ghz channels, with the Archer C9 having 1300Mbps on the 5 Ghz and 600 on the 2.4GHz. The C8 also has 1300 Mbps on the 5 Ghz but a lower 450 Mbps on the 2.4 Ghz channel.
The C9 has a faster dual core processor running at 1 Ghz while the C8 runs at 800 Mhz. If you have a 4K TV, then you will find that the C9 is capable of supporting it.
The Pros and Cons of the TP-Link C8 and C9
As both the C8 and C9 evolved from the C7, their pros and cons can be traced back to the C7.
Here are the Pros:
- These wireless routers are very fast, right from the C7.
- They have excellent range.
- They have three external antennas.
- They have good built-in web user interface with good help and explanation of terminology corresponding to the displayed menu that stays displayed to the right in each menu.
- I find it very, very competitively priced.
I don't find many cons with them, but everything must have its pros and cons, right? So just to nit pick, I saw someone in a forum say that there are too many blinking lights! Ha, ha, ha...
By the way, if you are interested in how the TP-link Archer C7 stacks up against the Archer C8, check out my comparison review of the Archer C7 vs C8.
So, Should You Be Buying the TP-Link C9 instead of C8?
To me, the answer is very obvious if the difference in price is not a lot. In this case, based on the Amazon price (at the point of THIS writing) of $127 for the C9 and $123 for the C8, I will definitely go for the C9 even if I do not need the extra features right now.
This is because the difference is only $4 for newer and more powerful hardware which I may or may not use in the future. I think it is a small price to pay for future proofing. The cost is actually in the service fees rather than the hardware.
By the way, do take note that prices are based on supply and demand. They are not static.
I would highly recommend that if you are shopping specifically for either the TP-Link Archer C9 or TP-Link Archer C8, then you should get the Archer C9, even if the difference is $10 to $20 more.
Given the small difference in price between the newer, faster, and better Archer C9, there is no reason to buy the C8.
Can Your Existing Cable Modem Cope With Your New Archer?
One of the things that you may want to take note of is that if you are getting either the C9 or C8, then you may want to check your existing modem to see if it can supply that kind of throughput to your wireless router. This is assuming that your service provider is able to provide that throughput to you in your area first.
Advances have been made in the market with cable modems. If you are still using an old modem, then you may want to check out some excellent DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems like the Arris Motorola SB6183 or even the latest Arris Motorola SB6190.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Rick on July 17, 2019:
I know this is old by now, but I figured I'd mention it anyway. I have two 4K TVs on wireless and the Archer C8 does fine with both of them going at the same time. I don't know why they would say it doesn't support 4K.
rcalzadilla on September 26, 2017:
I have only basic internet speed with xfinity/comcast of 3Mbs Up and 0.78Mbs Down and I am getting 720p HD with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, consistently. Didn't have HD streaming before.
I have just upgraded to both Arris SB6183 and TP-Link Archer C9 and this confirms your suggested choices. I made this decision after a lot of reading but if I had read this article before, I would have arrived at this decision much sooner. You are right on the money!
I am just a user not a tech.