TP-LINK Archer A7 vs C7

There are things to consider when choosing the right Wi-Fi router. You have to look at its specifications, features, and even the price. But if you have narrowed down your choices to Archer A7 and Archer C7 of the company TP-Link, which one should you choose? Read this article to help you come to a sound decision.

 

Main Differences

The TP-LINK Archer A7 and the TP-LINK Archer C7 are basically the same routers. Both have the same hardware, the same ports, the same performance and also the same security features. The only noticeable difference is the price. The A7 is usually cheaper.

 

Comparison – TP-LINK Archer A7 vs C7


TP-LINK Archer A7

TP-LINK Archer C7

Wi-Fi 4

IEEE 802.11 n/b/g 2.4 GHz

IEEE 802.11 n/b/g 2.4 GHz

Wi-Fi 5

IEEE 802.11 ac/n/a 5 GHz

IEEE 802.11 ac/n/a 5 GHz

Wi-Fi 6

WiFi Speeds

5 GHz: 1300 Mbps (802.11 ac)
2.4 GHz: 450 Mbps (802.11 n)

5 GHz: 1300 Mbps (802.11 ac)
2.4 GHz: 450 Mbps (802.11 n)

External Antennas


3

3

Processor

Qualcomm CPU

Qualcomm CPU

WAN Ports

1

1

LAN Ports

4

4

USB Port

1

(USB 2.0)

1

(USB 2.0)

Wi-Fi On/Off Button

Power On/Off Button

WPS/Reset Button

WiFi Encryption

WPA
WPA2
WPA/WPA2-Enterprise (802.1x)

WPA
WPA2
WPA/WPA2-Enterprise (802.1x)

SPI Firewall

Access Control

IP & MAC Binding

Application Layer Gateway

IPv4

IPv6

Dual-Band Trechnology

External Memory Slot

Dimensions

9.6" x 6,4" x 1.3" /

24,30 x 16,06 x 3,25 cm

9.6" x 6,4" x 1.3" /

24,30 x 16,06 x 3,25 cm

Warranty

2 years

2 years

TP-LINK Archer A7

TP-LINK Archer C7

Wi-Fi 4

IEEE 802.11 n/b/g 2.4 GHz

Wi-Fi 4

IEEE 802.11 n/b/g 2.4 GHz

Wi-Fi 5

IEEE 802.11 ac/n/a 5 GHz

Wi-Fi 5

IEEE 802.11 ac/n/a 5 GHz

Wi-Fi 6

Wi-Fi 6

WiFi Speeds

5 GHz: 1300 Mbps (802.11 ac)
2.4 GHz: 450 Mbps (802.11 n)

WiFi Speeds

5 GHz: 1300 Mbps (802.11 ac)
2.4 GHz: 450 Mbps (802.11 n)

External Antennas

3

External Antennas

3

Processor

Qualcomm CPU

Processor

Qualcomm CPU

WAN Ports

1

WAN Ports

1

LAN Ports

4

LAN Ports

4

USB Port

1

(USB 2.0)

USB Port

1

(USB 2.0)

Wi-Fi On/Off Button

Wi-Fi On/Off Button

Power On/Off Button

Power On/Off Button

WPS/Reset Button

WPS/Reset Button

WiFi Encryption

WPA
WPA2
WPA/WPA2-Enterprise (802.1x)

WiFi Encryption

WPA
WPA2
WPA/WPA2-Enterprise (802.1x)

SPI Firewall

SPI Firewall

Access Control

Access Control

IP & MAC Binding

IP & MAC Binding

Application Layer Gateway

Application Layer Gateway

IPv4

IPv4

IPv6

IPv6

Dual-Band Trechnology

Dual-Band Trechnology

External Memory Slot

External Memory Slot

Dimensions

9.6" x 6,4" x 1.3" /

24,30 x 16,06 x 3,25 cm

Dimensions

9.6" x 6,4" x 1.3" /

24,30 x 16,06 x 3,25 cm

Warranty

2 years

Warranty

2 years

 

Performance

If we look at the specifications of the two wireless routers, we can see how similar Archer A7 and Archer C7 are. Both of them are built with a similar processor, the single-core Qualcomm CPU (720 MHz). They also have similar flash memory of 16MB and a RAM of 128MB. These specs make the routers function with an AC1750 Wi-Fi speed, ranging from 450Mbps to 1,300Mbps. To ensure that they don’t cause any lag, both routers operate on 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands.

With three internal and three external fixed antennas, the Archer A7 and Archer C7 work well in a three-bedroom house with many wireless devices. However, the coverage still depends on the construction and layout of the house. The thickness of the walls and even the location of your residence can affect the performance of the wireless routers.

Additionally, the routers come with one USB 2.0 port, which you can connect to an external storage device for multimedia use and storage sharing. Each has five Ethernet ports: one Gigabit WAN Port and four Gigabit LAN Ports for connecting devices directly to the router. For example, if you want direct access to the internet, you can plug your laptop into one of the Ethernet ports. The A7 and C7 also support FTP, media, and samba servers.

Features

Since the A7 and C7 basically have almost the exact specifications, it’s no surprise that their features are also similar. They support router and access point working modes and have the same set of buttons (power, Wi-Fi, and reset).

Their security features are also similar with the same Wi-Fi encryption (WPA, WPA2, and WPA/WPA2-Enterprise) and network security, consisting of SPI Firewall, Access Control, IP, and MAC Binding, and Application Layer Gateway. These wireless routers can connect to OpenVPN and PPTP servers. Their software has IPv4 and IPv6 supported protocols, which allow you to connect your devices to the internet and multiple IP networks.

One of the best features of the routers is the OneMesh™, a Mesh network that helps you create a flexible network for your household without changing any of your Wi-Fi devices. With OneMesh™, you can eliminate areas with weak signals. There is also Smart Roaming and unified management that allows you to organize the Wi-Fi system in your household. They also feature parental controls like URL filtering and time Controls, limiting the browsing activities of the children.

But no matter how similar they are in most features, the Archer A7 and C7 still differ somehow. For starters, the A7 has two additional features that the C7 doesn’t have. One, the Archer A7 can be connected to a virtual server, and it means that you can control and organize the physical router’s activity through a cloud-based platform. Two, you can control some of A7’s features through the Amazon Alexa assistant. You can instruct Alexa to conduct speed tests, connect devices to the router, and create a network solely for your guests.

Although the Archer C7 doesn’t feature a virtual server and Amazon Alexa compatibility, its simplicity makes it a top choice for many consumers. According to TP-Link’s website, The New York Times named the Archer C7 as “The Best Router for Most People”. The recognition is based on wireless router reviews by the newspaper in collaboration with the website, the Wirecutter.

Ports

When it comes to the ports, the Archer A7 and C7 still have similar specifications. Both of them have one USB 2.0 port found at the back of the router. On the right side of the USB port is the Gigabit WAN Port (in blue color), which you use to connect the router to the internet source. And just a little away from the WAN port, you can see four more sockets (in orange color). Those are the Gigabit LAN ports for connecting your devices (computer, laptop, video game console, smart TV, server, to name a few) to the internet.

 

Price

You may think that just because TP-Link Archer A7 and Archer C7 have almost similar specs and features, they also have similar prices. While that may be true, there is a slight difference in their costs.

First, they belong in a similar price range, which is $70 to $80. They are not exactly that cheap, but it’s worth the price because these wireless routers are reliable in providing your household with solid internet connectivity. They are of high quality, and you are assured that they will keep you and your family stay connected to the digital world.

Second, it’s quite surprising that the Archer A7 is cheaper than the Archer C7, considering that the former has more features than the latter. The A7 costs around $70, while the C7 is around $76. They both have a two-year warranty and include 24/7 technical support, which you can access for free.

 

Conclusion – TP-LINK Archer A7 vs C7

Comparing the Archer A7 and the Archer C7 isn’t that complicated. As previously mentioned, they are both similar to each other. The specifications of the wireless standards, hardware, security, and software down to their physical design are almost identical. But if we have to pick a winner, it would probably be the Archer A7 due to the additional features that the C7 doesn’t have. However, the C7 is also a good choice because it’s straightforward and convenient.

If you’re into technical challenges, go for the Archer A7. It features a virtual server, which you can set up if you want to store the router’s data in the cloud. And if you want to command the device without having to touch it, you can do so with the A7 due to its Alexa compatibility. For a lesser price than the C7, you definitely get your money’s worth with the Archer A7, no doubt about it.

But let’s say that you want to save yourself from the complexities of setting up a router, and you just want one that works immediately, then the best choice will be the Archer C7. Once you have set up the wireless router, you can already start using the internet. There is no need for you to waste time putting it on the cloud or making an artificial intelligence do what you can. It’s simple and easy to use. The C7 wouldn’t be ¨the Best Router for most people¨ if it’s too difficult to install.

Marcel

Founder of TechVert.com. Tech enthusiast. Interested in gaming, computers, and walkie-talkies.

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