- Simultaneous dual band
- Wireless speed up to 450Mbps +1300Mbps
- 3x 5dBi dual band external antennas
- 3x internal antennas
- $169.99 169.99
- $99.99 –
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OK router but I prefer the TL-WDR4300 05/12/2014
Received a v2 unit as advertised. Firmware was current out of the box with the initial release, version 3.13.34 Build 131217 Rel.60903n.
Firmware is robust and feature packed. Port forwarding is fairly easy to do, as is using UPnP and changing security settings for the wireless networks, including changing the SSID and creating a WEP or WPA/WPA2 key.
Box includes the router, power cord, 3 external 5GHz removable/pivoting antennas, 1 short (3'?) Cat5e cable, manual, software mini CD.
Gigabit speeds are good. Between my server with a Supermicro X8DA3 board utilizing an Intel PRO 1000 PM Gigabit ethernet adapter, and a secondary workstation with a Gigabyte P45-UD3P utilizing a Realtek 8111C Gigabit ethernet adapter, with Cat5e cables I achieved speeds of 773.9 Mbps upload and 534.3 Mbps download via the LAN Speed Test (Lite) v1.3.1 app.
2.4GHz WiFi signal strength and coverage is also excellent. Choosing 2 spots in the house (at distances of roughly 15' and 25' from the router), my results were as follows:
98% average signal
-43 dB, 5/5 bars
99% average signal
-55 dB, 5/5 bars
The 2 included USB ports function well for printer and flash drive/HDD sharing over the network.
Router handles concurrent traffic very well. Even with wired and wireless traffic flowing simultaneously between 2 wired computers, a wireless laptop, 3 smartphones and 1 tablet, there were no issues or lock ups. Bandwidth did not seem to be hindered in any way (other than the actual connection I have at home, which is a 30/4Mbps Charter cable connection). I was able to speed test and pull >100% off every device (as is typically the case with Charter - you pay for 30Mbps, yet I usually pull closer to 50-60 down on average).
Actual wireless performance and throughput is not even close to rated speeds in my experience.
Again using LAN Speed Test (Lite), on the 2.4GHz spectrum my transfer rates were 48.3Mbps upload and 40.1Mbps download; the rated maximum throughput here on 2.4GHz is 450Mbps, meaning I didn't even achieve 9% of that throughput in my testing. I was even further disappointed by this considering that the AC1750 has 3 separate antennas for each radio spectrum - 3 internal for the 2.4GHz and 3 external for the 5GHz. I expected the performance to be better spectrum vs. spectrum since each band has it's own antennas and the spectrums are not sharing antennas.
I was not able to test the (rated 1,300Mbps) throughput on the 5GHz band, but can verify that the signal strength and coverage of 5GHz is worse than the 2.4GHz by far - again surprising, since the 5GHz antennas are external and quite long. Again, using my 15' and 25' measuring gaps - at 15' the signal was at -61 dB with 4/5 bars, and at 25' the signal was at -66 dB with 3.5/5 bars. This is with the exact same security encryption as the excellent 2.4GHz coverage results above. Given the <1/10th throughput on the 2.4GHz band from my testing, I believe I can safely assume that the 5GHz throughput is no better than 1/10th - meaning "at best", 130Mbps, if the signal is optimal (and in my testing, the 5GHz coverage is definitely weaker, so I wouldn't bet on it).
The power brick is 'morbidly obese'. The router pulls 2.5A based on the label on the bottom, and the power brick is easily the biggest power brick I've seen on a router, ever. I would assume the extra power is required due to the 6 total antennas with this unit.
The shape is odd. The top is somewhat convex, and the only flat part is the bottom. Unless you can prop it up against something (somewhat sideways), the only way to 'sit' the router is on it's bottom.
I'm very happy with my TP-LINK TL-WDR4300 N750 router, which is practically identical in looks and features, at least on the outside, to the Archer C7 AC1750. The main differences you notice on the surface, are the blue lights (N750) vs green lights (AC1750), and the larger power brick on the AC1750. Internally, it's a whole different story - the N750 has no internal antennas, and only the 3 external that are shared with the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. Again, because of this, I expected the AC1750 to perform at least somewhat better due to having twice as many antennas, and not only that, but having each band on it's own set of 3 antennas. Real world performance, however, shows this not to be the case, in the least.
Both routers have a similar firmware feature set. Plenty of features, lots of bells and whistles, and customization across the board. Many of the same other features - 2 USB 2.0 ports, Guest WiFi network, DDNS built-in.
The key difference here is the N750 is about $30 cheaper on average and performs just as good with wired gigabit throughput, 2.4GHz throughput and coverage, and 5GHz coverage, as the AC1750. Because of that - I cannot soundly recommend the AC1750. It's not a bad router per se, but it's cheaper, smaller brother (the N750) performs just as admirably for quite a bit less.
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