TP Link Archer C7
The TP-LINK Archer C7 is an affordable and reliable 802.11 AC router that provides excellent coverage, durable external antennas and solid speed. This router is dual band, wireless and pretty much bare bones. It doesn't have the extra special high tech bells and whistles of other routers on the market yet it is quite cheap. It retails for around $100.
The unit has the wireless standard for “next generation” routers, 802.11AC. In terms of technical data, the TP-LINK Archer C7 can provide support up to 450 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. It can also support 1,300 Mbps on the 5 GHz band. The device averages 100 Mbps at 2.4GHz when in 11n mixed mode. When in 11ac mixed mode, it averages 87 Mbps. Most users will be content with its throughput and its wireless coverage range.
In terms of aesthetics, the TP-LINK Archer C7 measures 9.6 inches by 6.4 inches and has a depth of 1.3 inches. The exterior is a glossy black that is made of plastic. It does look a bit basic and some would even go as far as calling it cheap when put side by side with the new, higher quality 11 ac routers. It has 3 5dBi antennas that can detach. Each is incredibly sturdy with ample girth so they won’t fall downwards. They remain upright at all times thanks to their sturdiness and superior craftsmanship.
The front panel has all the normal LEDs of the typical router and the rear panel contains 2 USB 2.0 ports for external drives and printers. The back also has 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports along, a Gigabit WAN port antenna connections, a power button, a WPS reset switch and a button to turn wireless radios on and off. The TP-LINK Archer C7 also has 3 antennas on the inside in addition to those found on the outside.
The router allows the configuration of IGMP proxy to manage IP multicasting. There is also WDS bridging and the router provides support for WPA2 Enterprise, which is a bit rare for most consumer oriented routers. So, while the TPLINK Archer C7 is fairly basic, it does boast these advanced features that set it apart from other traditional low cost consumer routers.
Yet the TPLINK Archer C7 does not permit users to set the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands to function solely at 802.11n. Users will be limited to the 802.11b/g mixed mode, the 11a/n/ac mode at 5GHz, the 11a/n mixed and the 11b/g/n mode at 2.4GHz. The unit has also been criticized by users for having an average throughput and lack of wireless settings.
While the TP-LINK Archer C7 doesn’t provide the premier 11ac performance on the market, it is serviceable. Those who don’t need ultra fast speed will likely be perfectly happy with it. It doesn’t have as many extra features as premium 11 ac routers but is priced at about half the amount of those competitors, so it is a good deal.
Submitted By: M. Hostetter
This router offers great performance and it doesn’t freeze after being used for a long time. It’s built around the Atheros chipset that has the speed of 560MHz with 128MB of regular memory and 8MB of flash memory, these are impressive specs for a home router at this price point. The router provides several useful features normally not found in home networking equipment, one of the features that I use a lot is the ability to assign a specific ip address to a device.
Submitted By: wise derriere
When I upgraded my security settings from WEP to WPA2 on my old Netgear router, the throughput on the network went up by almost 20%. The router couldn’t keep and I needed to be reset frequently. It was time for a router upgrade. The Archer has great speed and range thanks to 3 big external antennas. I tried several routers and the only that didn’t exhibit the locking up behavior was the C7. I recommend buying several routers at once so you can test and compare them and then return the ones that don’t perform well.
Submitted By: Harry
It’s a nice router but the signal strength on the 5GHz band is very low. I’m having problems getting signal in the adjacent room. The range on the 2.4GHz is much better. Overall, the router is a great value when you consider the price and all the features you’re getting.
Submitted By: Dr. Tim
I went with this router after struggling with a really cheap model for several months. I am really big into online gaming and my old router kept causing a ton of lag and I’d end up getting killed all the time. Some friends of mine already had this router and they were happy with it, so I decided to give it a try. I hooked it up and had it running really quickly. At first I didn’t make any type of changes to the default settings. My PC is hooked directly into the LAN ports, and the internet is REALLY fast and stable. I ran some internet speed tests and was getting much better results than I ever could with my old router. Mostly I just use this for my PC, but I also have a tablet that I use on the wireless connection. This too works great. My tablet is older so it isn’t the fastest, but I’m sure that is because of the tablet, not the router. I can access the internet from anywhere in my house so the signal strength is more than enough (unlike my old router). I am very happy with how easy everything was and how well it seems to be working. I’ve only had it 10 days but so far so good.
Submitted By: Chris Lee
I was quite excited with the potential for this router when I got it out of the box. After 3 years using the fantastic Asus RT56U, I decided to try a router which had guest SSID features.
- - Certain 2.4Ghz clients would be dropped randomly.
- - 5Ghz signal was very weak. Much worst than my RT56U. It was unsable so all devices were forced to use 2.4G.
- - I waited months for a firmware update, and got nothing from Archer.
- - I gave up troubleshooting these issues and ended up selling it at a loss.
- - The router had less features than my RT56U, Media server, ftp, USB, etc. The admin UI was so ugly.
- - not recommended. I don’t care if there’s special firmware available a product must work out of the box.
Submitted By: Ravi
Worst router of its kind on the market! I bought it to setup as a repeater, and it doesn’t have repeater, or even an AP functionality. The UI is lacks a lot of options, cant choose n only nor ac only mode. No wonder it is the cheapest of its kind, because it is the worst, I recommend anyone NOT to waste your money and time on this router.