- Wireless speeds up to 1750 Mbps
- Support DD-WRT
- 3 x 5dBi external antennas
- 3 x Internal antennas
- 2 x USB ports
- Guest network
- IP-Based bandwidth control
- Easy one-touch WPA
- $84.99 –
- Free Shipping (restrictions apply)
Can't go wrong with this! 10/22/2013
The Archer C7 sets up quickly using the included Easy Setup Assistant on the included CD, or through the web interface. You can breeze through using the default settings, or get into the advanced configuration through the web interface, which takes you through a whole plethora of options. The advanced settings menu tabs are very well laid out which makes finding what you need quick and easy. I really like TP-Link’s menu layout compared to others I use, like Linksys, Netgear, D-Link, and Buffalo. Also, there is a comprehensive PDF setup manual on the disc.
The router itself is very attractive, and resembles more of a business class access point than a home WiFi router, especially with the three external 5GHz antennas and glossy black finish on top. The bottom has multiple mounting points for a clean wall or ceiling mount, but no included hardware. If you don’t use the 5GHz bandwidth at home, the antennas are easily detachable for an even sleeker look and better clearance on a desktop.
The signal strength of the 2.4GHz band is superb. All devices in my home are getting 5 “bars” using channel 9, which is free of alien WiFi signals. When measured with a WiFi quality assessment tool (I use inSSIDer, WiFiExplorer, and NetSurveyor), the signal strength never drops below -55 to -60dBm.
The signal strength of the 5GHz band is very good, but drops significantly with each additional barrier, like walls and appliances. Expect 2-4 bars in an average 2-3 bedroom single story home, and 3-5 bars in an apartment or condo.
I love the dual USB storage support on this. That allows me to use two separate external drives in different functions; i.e. one can be used as network storage for my media files, while the other serves as FTP, or even IP cam storage. The downfall, as others have mentioned, is that they are only USB2.0 compatible even though the 3.0 standard has been out for years now.
Other points I don’t want to skip:
• 802.11ac functionality gives top tier speeds!
• Separate guest networks for each WiFi band (2.4GHz and 5GHz)
• Very detailed parental and access controls, as well as bandwidth controls and scheduling.
• A system log that can send alerts to your e-mail.
• Convenient built-in diagnostic tools, like ping and traceroute for network troubleshooting.
• Advanced features like VPN, NAT, DMZ, and anti-flood attack.
This is going to be short…
• USB2.0 ports instead of 3.0, as previously mentioned.
• Short AC power cable for those that want to wall or ceiling mount.
• LED status lights on the front are constantly blinking for everything. It’s chaos!
I can’t make myself take off an egg for any of these things =)
When are vendors going to incorporate PoE on home routers? So many home IP cameras have PoE support, but you need an additional PoE switch to make it work.
WiFi quality readings were taken with a Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX, and a D-Link DWA-180 USB B/G/N/AC adapter on Windows 7 64-bit.
Thank you to TP-LINK and Newegg.com for the review sample!
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