TP-LINK Archer C7 Wireless Router – Item of the Day — 17 Comments

  1. Jack –
    Looking to ditch my current ISP to go back to a previous one and will need my own modem/router again. My local ISP had issues with my Belkin Modem/Router (long story . . .). I like the idea of this one . . . do you have any suggestions on cable modems to go with this?

    • Just went to the amazon page … they have two alternatives of a cable modem/router combo. One is a cable modem router (one piece) and the other is a two piece bundle – cable modem and router separately. Both use the same AC1750 nomenclature. I am very tempted … when Time Warner upgraded my service, they provided the cable modem/router but then after a while started charging me rent for it. It’s OK, but it’s two or three years old now and isn’t quite as reliable as it used to be, plus its interface doesn’t sound nearly as easy as what Jack describes. I’m definitely investigating further.

    • I have comcast and got tired of rebooting my modem almost daily. I ordered this one: ARRIS SURFboard SB6190. Big jump in lan and wifi speeds. It works great and I’ve had no issues since. I also have a sprint Airave and that has worked perfect since I switched to the new modem. Check with your ISP to see which modems are compatible with their network.

  2. I bought this same router.

    It may now be dead. I haven’t debugged it yet, but I came in last week to a VERY messed up network, and eventually isolated the fact that if this was plugged into my dsl modem, it would make the entire network not work. Can’t say what the issue is at all, it was the most bizarre incident I have ever seen in my computer networking years.

    I bought it so i could connect it to an external antenna and broadcast outdoors so I could get wifi in my workshop. (Hadn’t installed the antenna yet).

    • That is really weird but I guess there is always a point where any piece of hardware may dislike some other piece of hardware.

      For me it was the easiest and most flawless install I have ever done.

  3. We just got this one about 6 months ago. I did a lot of research and settled on this one. I was specifically looking for a Router which would allow for a 5ghz network. Our baby monitor apparently operates on 2.4ghz and every time it was on our network quality would degrade to the point where you had to be basically sitting on top of the router to connect.

    I have been very happy with it so far.

  4. Does it have a manual on/off switch? I’m looking for a router that will allow me to easily turn off the wifi and also has a guest network. Any ideas?

  5. Jack mentions that he isn’t a networking person, but I have 20 years of networking experience and design datacenters and ISP networking equipment.

    This is the exact router I recommend to my friends and family for their homes and have deployed at least ten of these.

    If you need an access point, which is ONLY for wireless connectivity, below is the one I recommend with a tspaz link. You still need a router like this post, and this wireless access point needs to be hard wired; but it has amazing range, speed, and even some enterprise-level features that most people won’t need:

    • Thanks for that, this is what I use to extend range and specifically so for my guest networks if you read the review you will see why, I am actually going to run it as IOTD tomorrow. But I will look into your recommendation.

      While never a network admin my back ground is in infrastructure and hardware, so far TP-Link is the best “consumer grade” gear I have found for ease of use, functionality and long term dependability. I have had many others shit the bed on me, this one just works and just keeps working. The admin level configurations are also very intuitive. I really like that when recommending something to others.

      • A repeater definitely has it’s place. An access point requires you to get an Ethernet cable from your router to where the access point will be. Whereas a repeater only needs AC power. It is often very hard to get an Ethernet cable to where you need the wireless access point.

        The only downside to a repeater is that it does clog up the airwaves because it needs to repeat the transmission. But for 95% of people it will not be noticeable. If you start to have 15+ wireless devices, like you might have at your workshops, then a repeater will start to be the bottleneck.

        And I have listened to you for at least five years, and love hearing about your fiber and outside plant work. My role takes over from once the fiber gets into the building and the configuration of the routers and switches, so it’s really neat to hear what’s one step before my job.

        • Thanks for pointing this product out, Eric! All the wireless repeaters I’ve seen will only connect to the router via WPS, which is VERY insecure.

          Just a couple of questions. Do you know if this AP will support broadcast SSID turned off, and mac address filtering? Does it pretty much just emulate the router’s own security settings?

          Thanks in advance.

  6. Hey Jason,

    I can’t find the reply button to your comment, maybe it’s too many levels deep.

    That is actually the WAP I use in my house. I have access to all kinds of retired enterprise-level equipment and always just used older enterprise stuff; but I have had the best performance with that sub $100 TP Link WAP!

    It has some software that you install on a computer to configure the WAP. It is actually designed for configuring a whole bunch of WAPs, which is why I mentioned that it has some features that are almost business-class. The software definitely lets you not broadcast an SSID and do MAC filtering. Another feature that you should definitely enable is called Band Steering. There are two wireless bands, 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. 2.4Ghz came first, and is quite a bit slower and more congested. 5Ghz is capable of much higher speeds and has almost 10x the available radio space as 2.4Ghz, so it is not as congested. The problem though is 5Ghz does not go through walls well, so the range can be pretty bad if you try to go through multiple walls like if you have your access point in the basement. Band Steering will “suggest” that a wireless client drop off 2.4Ghz and connect to 5Ghz if the signal is strong enough. That makes the client faster, and frees up radio spectrum for clients that are too far away to use 5Ghz or are too old to use 5Ghz.

  7. Thanks for that info, Eric. My plan is to put it on the outside of the house (on a verandah protected wall) facing the outside entertainment area and livestock areas. Two foot concrete walls simply aren’t wifi friendly. And this avoids all the WPS insecurity issues of most wifi extenders.

  8. Ironically this is the worst wifi router I’ve ever had. Very regular disappearance of wifi connection, and even the wired connections didn’t hold steady. Had to reset the thing 2+ times per day.

    I went on to business-grade wifi APs, and am not looking back to this consumer-grade stuff. I have two of the Ubiquiti Unifi AC Lite APs (one per house floor, mounted to each ceiling. Looks like a smoke alarm).