Connecting to the user interface is just as easy with the TP-Link VR900 as it is with almost any network attached smart device these days. Windows will automatically detect network devices and all you need to do is open the File Explorer. Under the Network infrastructure, you’ll find the new router and all you have to do, is right-click it and select View device webpage. The user interface will now automatically open in your default browser.
The most important thing when you get a new network attached device such as a router, and especially when it is the first and last point between you and the world, is to change the default password. The TP-Link VR900 automatically loads the page to do just that when you connect to it the first time. To get a strong password, it is recommended to use both uppercase, lowercase, and numbers in it.
Once you have changed your password, you can login with it.
When you enter the user interface for the first time, it will load the Quick Setup. This will help you get the router up and running and is mainly needed when the DSL modem will be used for the internet connection.
The router has a long list of pre-configured ISP setups and you’ll most likely only need to select your region and then your provider. Username and Password are either in your sign-up notice from your ISP or it will be automatically transmitted to the router. Which depends on your ISP.
Since I don’t connect through DSL but I am on a fibre optical connection, I can not get past this point and will have to move on to the more manual setup. But that’s nothing to worry about. You don’t need any login details on such a connection and the external settings such as IP and DNS will be provided automatically. Anything else is a breeze to change and modify to your needs and you’d have to do that anyway after the quick setup.
Most users will probably never make it past the Basic tab. You can find all the important settings that most common users need right here. The first page will show you the Network map where you quickly can view the connection status and get details about each point by selecting them.
The Internet mode will allow you to set the type and not much else, whether the details are provided via PPPoE, Dynamic, or Static IP.
The Wireless page allows you to set the SSID and password for each band separately and also enable or disable one of them, in case you don’t need it. After all, there is no need to run a wireless signal that you’re never going to use.
Guest networking is a very useful feature. It allows you to grant guest access to your internet connection while still keeping a lid on what they can do and what not. That way you don’t need to share your normal password with them either.
The TP-Link VR900 features both a USB 2.0 and a USB 3.0 port that allow you to connect both storage drives and printers. In return, you can access those devices from all connected systems, may they be computers or other smart devices.
I’ve previously mentioned that the router also supports 3G and 4G connections. That will have to be enabled in the router setup, but it isn’t difficult. You’ll, of course, need a USB adapter plugged in to do this.
The final part of the Basic setup is the Parental Control. It allows you to limit the internet access in several ways to protect your kids, or yourself. You can set time frames where internet connections are allowed for specific systems as well as restrict web addresses via black and whitelists.
The first page on the Advanced tab will basically show what the first one on the Basic tab did, just with more details right away.
As previously mentioned, for the most parts you’ll never really need to enter the Advanced settings, at least if you’re an average PC user. There is, however, one function that wasn’t selectable in the quick setup or basic tab and that is the operating mode. This is needed if you want to connect another way than through DSL. Well, that’s not entirely true. If your details are transmitted to you via DHCP, then the router will do it on its own when the WAN cable is connected to the proper port.
As for the rest of the Advanced settings, they are pretty much self-explanatory. They do what you see and most don’t require any more explanation.
The scheduler is a wonderful feature to make sure that you, or anyone else in your household, will keep to their bed times. That is of course just one option to use the scheduler for, but it will probably be the most used. Anyway, why should it broadcast a lot of wireless signals when it isn’t being used? Like when you’re at work or asleep.