TP-LINK was founded in 1996 by two brothers, Zhào Jiànjūn (赵建军) and Zhào Jiāxīng (赵佳兴), with a network card they had developed. The company name was based on the concept of "twisted pair link", a kind of electromagnetic cabling, hence the "TP" in the company's name.
TP-LINK sells through multiple sales channels globally, including traditional retailers, online retailers, wholesale distributors, direct market resellers ("DMRs"), value-added resellers ("VARs") and broadband service providers. Its main competition includes companies such as NETGEAR, Buffalo, Belkin, Linksys, D-Link and Asus.
TP-LINK began its first international expansion in 2005. In 2007, the company moved into its new 100,000 square meters headquarters and facilities at Shenzhen's Hi-Tech Industry Park. TP-LINK USA was established in 2008.
- Wireless Routers
- TP-LINK markets a range of wireless networking products, including the Archer line of dual-band wireless routers using the new "802.11ac" wireless standard, along with other dual-band wireless routers using the 802.11n wireless standard.
- Range Extenders
- TP-LINK Wi-Fi Range Extenders are under the repeater mode to work with wireless router and access point and help eliminate "dead zones" by boosting wireless networks in home and office.
- Powerline Adapters
- TP-LINK sells a range of adapters and starter kits using the HomePlug Powerline Alliance networking standard. The latest models support speeds of up to 1200Mbps.
- Wi-Fi Adapters
- TP-LINK markets a range of Adapters, including the Archer line of dual-band wireless adapters to match the dual-band routers both using the new "802.11ac" wireless standard.
- TP-LINK provides a variety of switches for business networking solutions. The products are Unmanaged Switches, Easy Smart Switches, Smart Switches, Jetstream L2 Managed Switches, and Jetstream L2+/ L3 Managed Switches.
- Portable routers
- TP-LINK’s line of portable "travel" routers are smaller in size than typical home devices, targeting business travellers or families that travel and need to share one Internet connection in a hotel for multiple devices.
- 3G/4G routers
- 3G/4G routers, also called MIFI, share Internet connections deriving from modems accessing various wireless broadband technology standards such as LTE, HSPA+/HSUPA/HSDPA, UMTS, and EVDO.
- TP-LINK markets VPN routers under the "SafeStream" brand along with load balance broadband routers with functions including IPsec/PPTP/L2TP VPN, load balance, access control, IM/P2P blocking, DoS defense, bandwidth control, session limit and PPPoE server, which meet the needs of small and medium enterprises, hotels and communities with large volumes of users demanding a network with security.
TP-LINK is one of the few major wireless networking companies to manufacture its products in-house as opposed to outsourcing to original design manufacturers (ODMs). The company says this control over components and the supply chain is a key competitive differentiator.