Testing, Final Thoughts and Conclusion
I tested the router with both wireless PC's as well as smart phones and connected to both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. Most smartphones have built-in capabilities for 5GHz networks but I actually went a purchased a new dual-band USB adapter as my current one is only 802.11n.
Connecting to the 5GHz network gets you the fastest speeds possible but range is somewhat more limited on the 5GHz when compared to the 2.4GHz band. I found that changing the channels for each band from "auto" and going through them yielded the best connections for my devices. My house is a very poor layout for WiFi as it's a ~200 year old Colonial style here in Central MA, complete with a stone walled basement and asbestos shingles on the exterior that severely limit WiFi transmission. I found that even with these hindrances I still consistently got better connection and transfer speeds with the Tenda AC15 than with my older Buffalo router, even with the 5GHz band. online media streaming, gaming and P2P streaming was lag-free and flawless.
So far I'm in love with the Tenda AC15 router. It's got a TON of options and they're all super simple to access via the web interface. From blacklisting devices to setting parental controls and bandwidth limitations that are device-specific (read: kids WiFi getting cut off at bed time but still being able to use Netflix on our smart TV) it's a clear winner.
The Tenda AC15 router has an MSRP of $129.99 but I was able to find the lowest price of just $79.99 over at Tiger Direct at the time of this writing.
If you're looking for a top of the line AC router that's got enough options to perfectly suit every user then look no farther than the Tenda AC15 AC1900 Smart Dual Band Gigabit WiFi Router.