TP-LINK Archer C7 AC1750 Review
Welcome to my review of TP-link’s latest and greatest router featuring the AC1750 5ghz wireless protocol for speeds of up to 1300Mbs!
In this review I will be putting this router through its paces and give you an real idea on how this router performs in the real world.
I have been using this router for just over a week now and I have gotten to know it really well.
I will be testing the wireless throughput (both 2.4 & 5Ghz mode), LAN throughput and USB speeds.
Also I will give you a guide on the routers firmware and features and it’s safe to say this router has plenty of those.
Enough of the introduction let’s get started.
Packaging & Contents
The Archer c7 arrives in a green themed packaging with all of the key features listed on the box.
There is a 3 year warranty included with this router.
Also there is a sticker which states the router is "For Cable Connections" I feel this needed to say "For Cable and FTTC Connections"
it’s not a massive issue but might cause some confusion when looking for a FTTC router.
The rear of the packaging shows off more key features and a chart comparing it’s wireless mite against other routers.
Also on the back is information for TP-links 24h/7days technical support - which in my opinion is an excellent asset to have should you get stuck with the router.
So let’s take a look and see what you get in the box.
Inside you get the router, 3 wireless antennas, UK power supply, 1 meter RJ45 cable, manual & licence agreement and drivers CD.
Here is the business end of the router with on-off switch, wireless switch, 2x USB with activity LED, Internet Gigabit WAN port, 4x Gigabit LAN ports,
WPS button and of course the 3 x 5ghz antennas. The router is also wall mountable which is a great bonus.
Here is the router powered up and this model features neon blue activity LEDS and as you can see is vented on the top and rear for heat dissipation,
the piano black finish is stylish. The antennas can swivel to just about in pitch you wish.
Firmware & configuration
I’m not going to bore you going through all of the routers settings, and to be honest there is plenty of
features and settings on this router - but I will try and cover the basics and what people look for in a router.
This router comes with a quick install CD that auto detects the type of connection you are using, be it cable or PPPoA .
I dived straight into the routers firmware as most people will and manually configured the router to my needs, but the router did detect my BT infinity connection perfectly.
The router has an extensive help section on the right hand side of the firmware page to help configure the router.
Here is the status page which tells you what is going on with the router with internal and external IP’s, wireless status on both 5 and 2.4Ghz, traffic statistics and firmware version.
Wireless configuration for both 2.4 and 5Ghz. Both bands have standard security seen in modern routers and an addition of mac filtering.
This router also has a “guest network” feature which allows your friends or neighbours or as you wish to connect to the router and use the internet.
You can lock out access to your local network and has some QOS control and you can easily limit the bandwidth the guest is using - which is a fantastic idea.
The USB connection on this router allows you to connect wireless printers and share them across the network, you can also connect USB storage devices and use them as a NAS.
Another great feature is the information it gives you about the storage device connected to the router with size and available space.
This router also has an FTP function which allows access to your data connected to the device while you are on the move or if you wish share with your trusted friends.
There is also media server capabilities to stream information directly to your TV.
This router has parental control and access control to keep your family safe from the depths of the internet.
If QOS is your thing then this router caters for that too with bandwidth control for a certain IP or application.
In the system tools section you can upgrade the routers firmware and perform a factory reset, reboot the router, view the logs and stats along with password and date/time.
In the diagnostic section you have your very own dos style ping and trace route utility which I really like and I thought it was a great idea.
This concludes the firmware of the router and I may not have covered every single piece of configuration but you have an idea of was to expect from this device.
Internal & Chipset
In this section I will be dissecting the router and show you what is under the hood.
Over view of the internals of the routers shows the 3 internal 2.4ghz antennas and the 5ghz AC 1750 daughter card
Here we took a look at the power plants behind this router and Chipsets of choice for this router is the Qualcomm Atheros AR8327N for the Gigabit LAN interface
in its self is a feature rich chipset featuring the IEEE 802.3az standard for Energy Efficient Ethernet.
The choice of chipset to run the wireless side of tings is the Qualcomm Atheros QCA9558 & QCA9880,
this is a feature rich chipset and is the power plant behind that massive 1300Mbs wireless 5Ghz and 450Mbs wireless 2.4Ghz.
Testing & performance
In this part I will be putting the router through its paces and gauge what kind of performance you expect to get out of this router right of the box.
This is by no means a scientific test and results may vary.
We will be testing the wireless speed and through put on both the 2.4 and 5 Ghz bands.
The LAN throughput on the Gigabit ports
The USB throughput.
As before I will be using Lan Speed Test and windows very own stats.
I tested the wireless throughput with the Asus PCE-AC66 which is the fastest available adapter I had to use.
The security was set to open and distance from router to computer was about 10 meters with on internal wall (ceiling)
As you can see the results are very pleasing and would be perfect for that high speed connection or streaming where wires are just no possible.
I also tested this device with Realtek and Ralink chipsets and both connected at the rated 300Mbs with good throughput of around 50 to 60 Mbs.
I thought this was good and both these chipsets are in Laptops I had to hand.
I tested out the USB 2.0 throughput and used my WD 1TB external hard drive which achieves about 30MB/s (240Mbs) when connected directly to my computer.
The LAN speed varied too much to get an accurate representation of speeds but I was getting - so it’s not really fair to deploy any graphs to show this.
But I was getting about 50 MB/s max throughput which is good, this was from my computer to another computer and both has SSD’s installed. But either way this is plenty for the home user.
Power and reliability.
I have had this router for just over a week now and have been using it for my daily router on my full speed FTTC connection for that time.
It has not crashed once so uptime is good, it uses about 11 watts on normal use from the plug so pretty energy efficient too.
Conclusion & Thoughts
This latest generation of router from TP-link has plenty of plus points, its feature rich and an excellent performer.
Wireless performance is very good and USB performance is average from what I have seen in recent times, the NAS and FTP options are great.
There are plenty of QOS functions and the guest network option with QOS is a great idea.
The price you might think it high but This is a flag ship product.
Very easy to setup & detection of your connection.
Fast performance on 2.4 & 5Ghz bands.
Good looks with its piano black finish.
Very feature rich.
Excellent 3 year warranty and 7day TP-link support.
Price might be out of reach for some users.
Rebooting the router to change settings.
No clear indication for FTTC use.
TP-Link overview of this router can be found Here
Where to buy
The TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Cable Router is available to purchase from Here