Routers are an often overlooked essential bit of gear when it comes to your home internet/WiFi system. Most people accept what their internet provider company offers and simply turn it off and on for the occasional refresh.
Doing far more than just transmitting a signal, routers have a variety of operations and performance abilities based on their installed hardware. TP-Link is one of the best-known manufacturers of routers, and today, we are going to take a closer look at one of their most popular models in our in-depth TP-Link Archer C7 (AC1750) Review.
TP-Link Archer C7 (AC1750) Overview
The TP-Link Archer C7 is a double JD Power Award winner for the best customer satisfaction over the years 2017 and 2019.
It is a dual-band router that works with all WiFi devices 802.11ac (most current to date) and older. The Archer C7 comes equipped with six powerful antennas, four Gigabit LAN ports, a Gigabit WAN port, and a not so common USB port. The setup and control programs are easy to understand and navigate and conveniently done through the ‘Tethered’ app.
The TP-Link Archer C7 is not at the top of any lists but is a solid performer for the average to slightly larger sized home. Let’s look further into the hardware and abilities of this little router to find out why it is the winner of the best customer satisfaction award.
The C7 is powered by a 720 MHz processor with 128MB of RAM, which is slower than the more modern routers with gigahertz processors. This really isn’t much of a worry, as the C7 is equipped with three internal and three external antennas, each with its own amplifier to strengthen outgoing signals and catch weak incoming signals.
More about the antennas…
The three 2.4GHz at 450Mbps internal patch antennas are set in a way to reduce inter-channel interference. This set up also cuts out the need for an extra antenna to sense data blockages. The three 5GHz at 1300Mbps antennas are rated at 5dBi, which is higher than the standard 3dBi antennas that come with most routers.
They are easy to twist and rotate to help find the strongest signal. Both antennas combined, provide 1750Mbps which is ideal for streaming 4K.
Ports and buttons…
On the back of the C7 router, you will find four Ethernet ports so that you can wire in your media/entertainment center, home security system, and computer system for smooth interference-free operation. There is also an older 2.0 USB port that can be used to centralize a printer for multiple computers or to share files.
In addition to the ports, you will find a convenient off/on button, making refreshing the router a simple task. There is also the reset button, which will put the router back to the factory setting; simply push in with a pin and hold for eight seconds.
Configuring To Your Needs
Setting up your router to work for you and your family’s needs is a very simple process using the Tether app. From here, you can split your router, control access, and allow or deny permissions. You may also go in and change some settings, passwords, and permissions with a few simple taps at any time without disruption.
Why split your router?
We have all experienced a slow connection or not being able to log on to the WiFi due to too much traffic. Splitting your router is an excellent solution to solve this problem, especially if you work from home or have a small business that provides free WiFi.
Splitting the router simply means that you partition it into two or three units giving each a separate percentage, name, and login code. This ensures there will always be sufficient WiFi signal for what is most important.
Multiple ways to setup…
After connecting and switching on the power, the general setup is effortless. The Archer C7 comes with a unique name and passcode attached to the underside of the unit, and you simply need to connect a device to start configuring your setup. You can use the Tether app or a Web browser to set the router with a new name and passcode and any additional controls that you choose.
Changing the name and passcode is highly recommended and should only take a few minutes; you simply answer a few questions and verify the new name and passcode. You will want to set aside some time to program further controls, as there are many lists in 20 categories that you will have to browse through. It isn’t difficult, but it does take some time.
Why it is an award winner…
Here is where the Archer C7 shines and the main reason that it is an award winner. You can control what devices have access, when, and for how long, as well as create a Q-code for guests. You can also set permissions for what types of websites and streaming content is allowed for each connected device.
If you have kids, it may be vital for you to control their access to time spent on the internet and what they view. This can be done by registering their device to the router using the device’s MAC address. Once registered, you can set the time of day or the amount of time per day that your child’s device can connect to the internet, plus customized permissions.
The guest Q-code function is a great way to protect your passcode and limit the amount of WiFi accessed. You are able to generate a printable Q-code that is recognized by the router as a login. The guest simply takes a photo of the Q-code and has immediate access to WiFi.
Although it isn’t necessary, if you are keen to optimize the performance of the C7, it needs to be done manually. You can use DD-WRT open-source firmware to update and extend the features and performance. Do your research before you download an update, as the C7 can not stop bad firmware from running.
- WiFi: 802.11ac Dual Band
- Encryption: WEP/WPA2/AES
- Antennas: 6 (3 internal/3 external)
- Ports: 4Gbps LAN, USB 2.0
- Dimensions: 1.4 x 6.0 x 9.5 inches
Pros And Cons Of TP-Link Archer C7 (AC1750)
- Award-winning customer satisfaction.
- Control capabilities.
- External antennas 5dBi.
- State packet firewall.
- No Mu-MIMO support.
- Slower USB port.
- No network address translation firewall.
Want To Take A Look At The Competition?
We have more reviews of competing models available if you’re interested? Read our in-depth ASUS RT AC88U Wireless AC3100 Review, our ASUS RT AC68U AC1900 Review, or our Netgear CM700 32×8 Cable Modem Review and Netgear CM1150v Nighthawk Cable Modem Review. Or you can even browse our Best Small Business Routers Review!
If you’re already decided, you may want to explore what you can connect to your new modem! Don’t miss our Best Wireless Floating Pool Thermometers Review, our Best Wireless Outdoor Home Security Cameras Review, and our Best 4K POE Security Camera System Reviews for 2021!
Back to today’s review…
TP-Link Archer C7 (AC1750) Review – Final thoughts
The TP-Link Archer C7 has been around for a few years. It, therefore, doesn’t have all of the newest capabilities and specifications. However, what it does have makes it very usable for the foreseeable future. It is a middle of the road router that is great for the home or small business.
The flexibility, control, and external antennas set the C7 apart from other, even more modern, routers in this category. Although it is a little older, the Archer C7 is worth serious consideration if you are in need of a new affordable router.