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Amazing performance that will beat your budget expectations. Game, stream, and surf lag-free and uninterrupted. - NPTEN-AC15 - 09/03/2016 16:42:32
Tenda might be a company that is mostly known for the entry-level products at lower speeds, but they also got some top of the line devices that easily can compete with anything else on the market. Today I?m taking a look at the new Tenda AC15 which is an AC1900 Smart Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi router.

Tenda designed the AC15 with the smart home in mind and as such the router brings a lot of features that can make your everyday digital life a lot easier. Starting with the dual-band AC1900 technology we know that we have a strong router in our hands that will deliver some of the best possible wireless network speeds. The AC15 also features beamforming technology that helps to boost the range of the high-powered amplifiers and external antennas.

The AC1900 standard defines a total speed capability of the router up to 1900Mbps where it is capable of delivering both 1300Mbps 802.11ac at 5GHz and 600Mbps 802.11n at 2.4 GHz concurrently. The Beamforming+ technology helps to achieve the best connection with each device as it locks onto a device?s location and strengthens the signal in that direction rather than blasting it equally in every direction.

The router is equipped with 3 external dual band antennas with a 3dBi strength. Sadly the antennas aren?t replaceable, at least not without taking the unit apart, but they should offer plenty of performance for small to mid-sized homes.

Tenda built the AC15 router around a Broadcom dual-core processor and equipped it with DDR3 memory, but the specifications page does not reveal which exact processor nor how much memory it has. That might, however, be something we can find out through the user interface or by opening it up.

Next to the obligatory WAN port, Tenda equipped the AC15 router with three more Gigabit Ethernet ports for your wired network devices. It also features a USB 3.0 port for easy storage and printer connections which then can be shared to any device that you want via your network. This also allows you to create a personal cloud system and that?s even an easy task to do thanks to Tenda?s personal cloud system. We?ll have a close look at that when we got to the user interface.

There is an ever-increasing concern what effect WiFi signals can have on us humans and it?s better to be on the safe side than sorry. Whether this is a concern to you or not, the Healthy e-life functions in the router allow you to dim the LEDs as well as turn the WiFi signal on and off by a user defined schedule. Why should you be bothered by blinking lights and wireless signals when you aren?t home or asleep. Might as well turn it off, which also saves on the electricity bill.

The initial setup and further configuration of Tenda?s AC15 is a breeze as you can do it from any device, whether it?s wired or wireless. You can either use the easy web setup wizard or use the available Tenda apps. Once setup, you have a powerful wireless router that supports IPTV, VPN, FTP, DDNS and DLNA among others.

Feature Highlights:

? Ultimate 11ac speed of up to 1900Mbps, delivering both 1300Mbps 802.11ac at 5GHz and 600Mbps 802.11n at 2.4 GHz concurrently.
? Broadcom dual-core processor with DDR3 memory for multi-client with responsive performance and fast speed.
? Beamforming+ technology boosts range for the 802.11ac WiFi devices.
? High powered amplifiers and three external antennas for whole-home coverage.
? USB3.0 for personal secure cloud and printer sharing.
? Smart managements of WiFi schedule, LED indicator and power saving all are for your healthy E-life.

Package and Accessories

The retail package for the Tenda AC15 router is a beautiful full-coloured one. The front teases the features and the units design with its eye-catching and bright design. The rear of the box has some more information on the routers usage scenarios as well as more information about the features.

The full network specifications can be found on the side of the box, so you know what you get before you make the purchase.

The router itself is wrapped with a plastic cover to protect it from scratches. There?s also an extra SSID and password sticker on the plastic which you can remove and place somewhere else for safe keeping.

There?s an install guide, GNU license notice, and a wireless standard certification included, but the last two are more for legal reasons.

Besides the router and the manuals, we also find a power adapter, an RJ45 LAN cable and the foot for the router inside the box.

A Closer Look
Tenda created a beautiful router with their AC15. The bubble wrap resembling glossy surface is either something you like or not, but most routers are tucked away somewhere in a corner, behind a couch, or under a desk, so it most likely won?t matter much. I personally quite like the design, it isn?t as boring as most routers.

Each function has its own LED. There is a power LED, one for each of the three LAN ports as well as the WAN port. Both of the wireless bands also have their own LED followed by one for the WPS function, the USB port, and for activity.

It is great to see individual LEDs for all functions and that isn?t a thing a thing that we see that often on more budget-oriented devices such as this one.

The rear of the router features all the wired connectors as well as a power button. The physical power button to turn the device off is something that I always enjoy seeing on a router. It?s rarely used, but it?s a win when you need it.

The Tenda AC15 is a stand-up router which can make it a little bit trickier to access the rear. This doesn?t matter for our cables as they are static, but a router comes with more features that we frequently need access to. The AC15 features two buttons on the top, in between the antennas, one for the WPS function and one to turn the WiFi signal on and off. The main reset button is also located here, but you won?t hit it by accident as it requires a small and thin object to activate.

The bottom features the mounting holes for the stand, but other than that there isn?t anything to show here.

The Tenda AC15 is easy to take apart as it only has two screws beside the snap-together clips. Once open, we see a simple PCB with foam rings around the LEDs that prevent light leakage from one LED to another on the front, and we can also see the antenna connections.

While the AC15 doesn?t feature external antenna upgrade abilities, internally you can switch antennas with ease as they use default connectors.

Lifting the PCB up reveals all the real parts and again we see a simple design with a huge heatsink in the middle. Despite it having run for several days, the heatsink wasn?t hot to touch at all when opening it up. That?s a great sign for the device and it?s something that should ensure a long running time.

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