TP-Link Archer C7 Wireless Router (AC1750) Review
In this generation a router is a necessary gadget in any home of office but then the choice of an appropriate one depends on one’s needs as in the size of the files to be transmitted, the speed one wants and the friendliness in setting it up. TP-Link Archer C7 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router (AC1750) stands to address most of those needs you have at the back of your mind.
This Archer C7 AC1750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router from TP-Link features dual band functionality along with the enhanced 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard providing improved wireless data transfer speeds up to 1300 Mbps.
Along with the 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, this allows seamless connectivity with a wide variety of Wi-Fi enabled devices. Additionally, the Archer C7 supports both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies making it easy to allocate more data intensive tasks to the less congested 5 GHz frequency.
Along with enhanced wireless coverage, you also benefit from four full gigabit internet ports located on the back of the router. Whether connecting to the router via Wi-Fi or the integrated gigabit internet ports, you can rest assured your connection is secure as this router supports WEP, WPA / WPA2, and WPA / WPA2-PSK encryption standards.
Along with enhanced encryption standards, this router also supports a variety of access control methods including parental controls, local management control, host list, access schedule, and rule management giving you complete administrative rights to your entire network.
- Enhanced 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard
- Simultaneous 5 GHz 1300 Mbps and 2.4 GHz 450 Mbps connections for 1.75 Gbps of total available bandwidth
- Full gigabit ports ensure ultra-fast data transfer speeds
- With three 5 dBi external antennas and three internal antennas you benefit from maximum whole directional wireless coverage and reliability
- Dual USB ports simplify the process of sharing printers, files or media with your friends or family locally over the Internet
- The devices’ built-in print server supports wireless printing from different computers by connecting a USB printer to the router
- Guest Network Access provides secure Wi-Fi access for guests sharing your home or office network
- Supports IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6)
- Wireless On / Off switch lets you simply turn the wireless radio on or off
- Easy one-touch wireless security encryption with the WPS button
- Parental Control allows administrators to establish restricted access for children
It has a Wi-Fi which is 3 times faster than wireless N speeds and delivering a combined wireless data transfer rate of up to 1.75Gbps. With 1300Mbps wireless speeds over the crystal clear 5GHz band and 450Mbps over the 2.4GHz band, the Archer C7 is the superior choice for seamless HD streaming, online gaming and other bandwidth-intensive tasks
The latest Archer C7 is a dual-band AC1750 router that uses a 720MHz CPU. It can reach speeds of up to 450Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 1,300Mbps on the 5GHz band. Design-wise, the C7 hasn’t changed from the TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750 Dual Band Wireless AC Gigabit Router we reviewed back in 2014. It uses the same glossy-black enclosure, which measures 9.6 by 6.4 by 1.3 inches.
The rear of the router is home to three removable, adjustable antennas, four Gigabit LAN ports, a Gigabit WAN port, and two USB 2.0 ports. Joining them are an On/Off button, a Reset/WPS switch, a Wi-Fi On/Off switch, and two USB activity LEDs. The front of the router has LED indicators for power, both radio bands, all four LAN ports, the WAN port, and WPS activity.
Installation and Performance
Installing the Archer C7 was easy. After connecting it to your desktop PC and the internet, you power it up and type http://tplinkwifi.net in your browser address bar to access the management console. You click the Quick Setup tab on the left and chose Auto-Detect. The console will find your internet connection and will ask if you want to run Concurrent (dual-band) Wi-Fi or just single band (2.4GHz or 5GHz, but not both). You select Concurrent and you will be taken to the wireless settings screen to configure security settings. Once configured, you are ready to go.
What we liked about it
- The Archer C7 operates over both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, ensuring amazing wireless performance. Simultaneous Dual Band offers you the flexibility of two dedicated networks with multiple times the bandwidth for your needs.
- Simple tasks like sending e-mails or web browsing can be handled by the 2.4GHz band while bandwidth intensive tasks like online gaming or HD video streaming can be processed by the 5GHz band all at the same time.
- With 3 external dual band antennas combined with higher quality antenna technology, you can maintain high speeds across greater distances. This provides you with incredible wireless coverage and reliability from anywhere in your large home or office.
- With the two multi-functional USB 2.0 ports, you can share printers, files and media with different devices through your local network or via the ftp server while away from home.
- With one gigabit WAN port and four gigabit LAN ports, speeds can be up to 10× faster than standard Ethernet connections. The Archer C7 is a powerful hub to support a robust and extremely fast wired network.
- The Guest Network page allows you to create separate networks with limited access for guests, and it lets you set bandwidth control and access schedules for each network. In Parental Controls you can create access schedules and compile a list of allowed websites for specific clients.
- There’s also a separate Access Control option that allows you to create network-wide internet access rules. Other settings include Advanced Routing, Bandwidth Control, Port Forwarding and Port Triggering, VPN Pass-Through and Firewall settings, and Dual-Band Selection, which lets you enable and disable each radio band.
- In System Tools you can change time settings, run network diagnostics, update the router’s firmware, back up settings, and view system logs.
With its price tag, TP-Link’s Archer C7 AC1750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router is an affordable router that performs like a more expensive one.
Its scores in 2.4GHz and 5GHz throughput tests were significantly faster than the competition, and it offers a nice feature set, including four Gigabit LAN ports and a pair of USB 2.0 ports.
Management settings are plentiful, but the web console is slow to respond and lacks user-friendly icons to help you navigate the menu system, with that still it stands to be a better deal than most of its counterparts.
The web console is the older, text-based version used on the original TP-Link Archer C7 and lacks the graphical elements that you’ll find on newer TP-Link routers, such as the AC2600 Wireless Dual Band Router Archer C2600 and the AC3150 Wireless MU-MIMO Gigabit Router Archer
There’s also a noticeable lag between the time that you make a change and the time that the change is saved. That said, it offers a wealth of basic and advanced settings.
The main Status page has a list of settings on the left side and LAN, WAN, Wireless, and Traffic Statistic information in the center. Off to the right is a detailed explanation for each setting. Network settings include WAN, LAN, MAC Clone, and IPTV options, and each radio band has basic wireless settings (SSID, Mode), as well as WPS, Security (WPA/WPA2 Person and Enterprise), and MAC filtering settings.
The TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router may cost less than $100, but you’d never know it based on its performance and feature set. Its 2.4GHz and 5GHz throughput scores were better than similarly priced budget models and it offers numerous management settings and plenty of I/O ports.
The Archer C7’s user interface could use an update, however, and its file-transfer performance could be better. That said, it’s the fastest dual-band router in its class.