I recently decided to get an additional router to add to the one that I have been using. What I had in mind was one that would be for the annex, as a way of extending my overall WiFi coverage across the entire property. Thanks to some research and a recommendation, I settled on the Tenda AC1200 AC9. 

While this isn’t a brand that most people are familiar with, my research suggested that it was worth taking a chance on. Besides, it is also covered by a 3-year warranty, which is a significant vote of confidence from the manufacturer.

The manufacturer describes this product as a part of the next generation of routers. It offers a dual-band network system powered by an impressive processor. It carries a promise of being able to handle 20 devices simultaneously.

Who Should Use This Product?

There are various features that I was excited to try out. These include the following: 

  • It is capable of delivering speeds of up to 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz and 867Mbps on the 5.0GHz network.
  • It provides impressive data transfer speed courtesy of the full gigabit wired connections.
  • The CPU delivers high computing performance. 
  • The external antennas give more generous coverage.
  • It comes with Beamforming+ technology that will boost the range for the 802.11ac WiFi devices. 
  • You can use the Smart WiFi Schedule for power saving. 
  • It has a USB port that can be used for file sharing within the network and via FTP.
  • The Tenda app makes setting it up and making changes very easy. 

The Tenda AC9 is for anyone that is looking to get the most out of their network. If you are looking to fully utilize the speeds that your internet service provider (ISP) offers, this is a router that can help you achieve this. 300GHz is an impressive benchmark by most standards.

At 1GHz, the CPU ensures that both the 2.4Ghz and 5.0GHz band of your network will provide high performance. The combined speed on the two bands is a mouthwatering 1167Mbps. It makes the router worth a try for gamers and other users who need a network that does not lag. 

Tenda has placed two antennas on this router in an effort to enlarge the range from which WiFi is accessible. It is aided by the use of the Beamforming+ technology. It is responsible for minimizing the amount of interference that occurs between devices—thereby allowing all devices on the network to get a reliable connection. It is an important feature when using the router for bandwidth-intensive activities such as gaming. 

What You Should Know

As previously mentioned, my intentions when purchasing the Tenda AC1200 AC9 were to simply enlarge my range. However, even when broadening my range, I was not willing to compromise on the speed that I have become accustomed to. 

Having delays in transmission and general lagging when streaming or gaming wouldn’t be acceptable. The other router was doing an excellent job in the home. This made it clear that once a new router is set up, it should either maintain my current speed or improve it. 

My First Impressions

I have become accustomed to the idea of routers having multiple antennas on them. Somehow, that was still the first thing that made an impression on me. I was fairly excited when opening the box. It came with:

  • Tenda AC9 router.
  • Power adapter.
  • Network cable.
  • Install Guide.
  • Router stand.
  • Warranty and other informational leaflets.

Most routers are designed to be freestanding, so the router stand was a surprising addition. It gives the device more stability. It did not take much to get the router started and working. I was pleased with its performance immediately. It was difficult to tell whether the speed or range was better than the other router. 

The Use Phase

To get as much information about what I could do with the router in very little time, I turned to the web. There are no English videos exploring this router. The non-English videos give you an idea of what you can expect, without the added benefit of commentary. Going online isn’t necessary. You have everything you need, between the install guide and the accompanying application. I turned to these once the web had failed me.

Once the router is hooked up to the ISP one, and connected to power, you can use the QR code on the install guide to get the application started. A basic user can have it set up in a minute or so. The manufacturer places this at 30 seconds. We may not agree on this number but can agree that it is easy to do. 

The network panel does not initially have a password. You will need to set this up yourself. 

The more advanced users can tinker with other options on the router for a personalized experience. My favorite feature is the Smart WiFi schedule. In a household with children, it gives me peace of mind knowing that they are not glued to their screens watching videos at all times of the day. 

I used this option to power down the device during hours that my family would be asleep. This is a feature that most energy conscious users will appreciate. 

Easy Storage Sharing was another fascinating feature. Being able to share files with others on the network is wonderful. What makes it even better is that I was also able to use my router to set up an FTP server, so our files could be accessed remotely. This came in handy when I was traveling. 

Over a 2-4 week period, I learned some of the nuances of using this router. These are things that you would only become familiar with through experience. Testing the dual bands from various distances showed me that the 2.4GHz network is the better one to connect to if I am using it from a distance. The speed seems to also improve as you move further away from the router. There are limitations to this, you must remain within the range, of course.

The 5.0GHz band is the quicker of the two. However, you get the best of it when you are positioned close to the device. I have since resolved to use the 2.4GHz network when I am in the annex and outdoors. All of the devices within the home are permanently connected to the 5.0GHz network. Performance with this setup has been exceptional. 

Results

At the time of writing, this router has found a place in my home set up. It is integral to ensuring that there is internet access across the property, including outdoors. All previous blindspots have been resolved, giving a full range. 

Like all routers, this one is nowhere near perfect. There are things that I like, and others that I wish were different. Here are some of them:

Pros

  • It cost a mere fraction of what similar devices would.
  • It takes very little time and knowhow to set it up.
  • Both 2.4Ghz and 5.0Ghz networks are stable.
  • Improves the range of coverage.
  • Offers USB connectivity for file sharing.
  • The ethernet ports are fast.
  • It comes with a 3-year warranty cover.

 

Cons

  • The ethernet ports only support a maximum of 100Mbps.
  • I encountered occasional drops in signal.

 

Final Thoughts

In my opinion, this is an excellent router for the price that it comes at. You cannot get the same hardware and features at the same or a better price point anywhere else. Having said that, the overall speed leaves a little to be desired. I would recommend this router for users who have an internet speed of under 100Mbps from their service provider. 

If you encounter persistent performance issues that are difficult to resolve, I would recommend resetting the device. There is a reset jack on the rear of the router. Pressing it will reboot the device. It usually resolves issues. You also have the option to automate the rebooting. If that doesn’t do it, Tenda provides good support. 

If your network is supposed to be faster than this, you may be stifled by this router. As an overall rating, I would give it a 3.9/5. For a budget router that gives you decent performance, this is a good pick.