The majority of home and small business owners probably do not consider replacing the router supplied by an Internet service provider. However, by not investing in an upgrade, you deny yourself the many extended features and enhanced performance that a consumer grade router provides. The TP-Link Archer D7 is an affordable, sophisticated little device that has the capability of providing a more consistent connection at a price that is much less than many comparable models. Typically, a factory model D9 is designed to provide a wireless Wi-Fi Internet connection. However, for a little extra, you can upgrade the device to handle both ADSL and Wi-Fi.
The D7 measures 13.2 x 9.4 x 3.8 inches and weighs about 3 pounds. The technology is encased in a glossy, black plastic case and comes with a silver stand that adds to the overall appearance of the unit. Unfortunately, as the unit stands on end, there is no way to mount the router on a wall. The height combined with the antennas exceeds 12 inches, which means that the device must also be positioned on an open surface or in an enclosure that will readily accommodate the span.
There are three adjustable and detachable antennas that match the height of the router. The rear of the device features four Gigabit Ethernet ports that include three LAN ports and one LAN/WAN port. The backside also has a 3.0 USB port, a DSL port, the WPS button and the power switches for the router and Wi-Fi. The right side of the router bears a 2.0 USB port. The front side of the unit has eight icons that glow light blue when the device powers on.
Once plugged in and turned on, the router's browser interface automatically detects the available ISP settings and requests that users enter a user name and password. A mini-CD included in the package also provides easy-to-follow instructions for anyone not familiar with the Internet set-up process. Though not hard to comprehend or navigate, the interface has an abundance of options that are especially appealing to experienced router users and tech fans. Here, you can forward ports, configure VPNs and perform other settings.
There is no denying that the Archer D7 impresses with its performance. Though the unit may not be the fastest 802.11ac device, the recorded speed capability rivals many competitors. The router has dual-band functionality, providing both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz connections. Users may make the desired guest and control restrictions on both frequencies. Programming also includes the opportunity to restrict the bandwidth on specific ports or to certain IP addresses. The two USB ports provide the convenience of accessing storage, streaming media or adding a network printer. However, once again you must visit the TP-Link website to access and download the printer control software.
The signal strength that the D7 provides is more than sufficient for home or small business use. The 5 GHz band performs smoothly and data transfers are capable at speeds of up to 1,300 Mbps. The 2.4 GHz band transmits at speeds of up to 450 Mbps and over longer ranges. The lower band connects faster if the upper band range has difficulty. Unlike Internet service supplied modems, the dual-band options on the TP-Link Archer D9 enable users to switch from one band to another in order to avoid traffic congestion. The device also evaluates the appropriate band setting for devices based on the amount of online usage and distance located from the router.
In a nutshell, the D7 greatly increases the potential for reliable and consistent Internet connections. The device performs exceptionally well and provides a wealth of features. The TP-Link Archer D7 is a worthy investment. Though not necessary, the unit does offer many configuration options for the tech fan who prefers fine tweaking. The device also lends itself to future upgrades, which may include increasing the amount of Internet speed. In the event that your community Internet connection converts to IPv6, the D7 contains the technology to handle that too.