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Wi-Fi Router Charts

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Mesh System Charts

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Features

Like most consumer router makers, TP-LINK has a standard feature set and admin GUI used across its line. The C7 shares many of the features of the TL-WR1043ND that we reviewed back in 2011, but with some key improvements. Here's the rundown:

Routing / Firewall

  • Static and Dynamic IP, PPPoE , PPTP, L2TP and BigPond Cable WAN connections
  • MTU Adjust on all connection types
  • DHCP Server, lease time setting, default domain and primary/secondary DNS
  • DHCP Client list
  • DHCP reservation
  • IP / MAC binding
  • Virtual Server entry for single or multiple ports with separate local and remote ports and TCP, UDP or all protocols forwarded. Enable/disable for each entry.  10 preconfigured common service ports
  • Port triggering – can set individual or range of incoming ports.  10 preconfigured common applications
  • DMZ Host
  • UPnP enable/disable with list of current UPnP applications, settings, protocols, internal port and status
  • DDNS support for Dyndns (www.dyndns.org), Comexe (www.comexe.cn) and No-IP (www.no-ip.com)
  • IPv6 support:
    • WAN types: DHCP; Static; PPPoE; Tunnel6to4
    • LAN address assignment: SLAAC; DHCPv6 server
  • SPI firewall enable/disable
  • VPN Passthrough enable/disable for PPTP, L2TP and IPSec
  • Application Layer Gateway enable/disable for FTP, TFPT, H323 and RTSP
  • DoS (denial of service) enable/disable
  • Enable UDP Flood filtering (with settable threshold)
  • Enable TCP-SYN Flood attack filtering (with settable threshold)
  • Ignore Ping Packet from WAN port
  • Ignore Ping Packet from LAN port
  • Limit/allow LAN-based PCs access to router UI
  • Remote Management with user configurable port
  • Static routes

QoS

  • Enable/disable bandwidth control with user settable egress/ingress (upload/download) speeds.
  • Bandwidth rules list based on IP address (or IP range), port range and protocol

Access / Parental Control

  • Four "Parental" MAC addresses that bypass controls
  • Eight "Child" MAC Address schedulable blocking of eight domains
  • Schedulable port or domain-based internet access control per IP / MAC address

USB features

  • SMB storage sharing
  • FTP server
  • Media server with settable auto-scan
  • Print server
  • User accounts for SMB and FTP access. No per-user folders

Note there is still no HTTPS management option for either local or remote access.

Logging in brings you to the Status page, which retains its familiar old-school look. GUI response is pretty quick, except for the times when it requires a reboot to activate new settings. Reboots aren't required for every setting change, though.

TP-LINK Archer C7 Status page

TP-LINK Archer C7 Status page

Wireless Features

The C7 has a pretty good set of wireless features. Both radios support WDS bridging / repeating and transmit power can be throttled down to Medium or Low from the default High setting. Here's the complete list of features.

  • WEP, WPA / WPA2 Personal and Enterprise (RADIUS) support
  • Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) support, pushbutton and PIN
  • Auto and manual channel set
  • SSID broadcast enable/disable
  • Enable/disable wireless
  • WDS Bridging
  • Beacon period, RTS threshold, DTIM interval, Fragmentation Threshold adjusts
  • Wireless MAC address filtering (allow or deny based on MAC address)
  • WMM disable
  • Short GI disable
  • High / medium / low transmit power adjust
  • Beacon period, RTS threshold, DTIM interval, Fragmentation Threshold adjusts
  • Wireless client isolation (from each other)
  • WMM disable
  • Short GI disable
  • Scheduled wireless enable/disable
  • Guest network

Guest Networks are supported on both bands, each with its own SSID and wireless security. A nice touch that I'm sure would be appreciated by owners of other router brands is the ability to set up and downlink bandwidth controls for the guest network. Unfortunately, you can't set different limits for each band. You also have the option to allow wireless guests access to the router's LAN clients. Guest LAN access is disabled by default.

TP-LINK Archer C7 Guest Network controls

TP-LINK Archer C7 Guest Network controls

Key wireless settings are shown in Table 2. Note that there is no way to set channel width for the 5 GHz radio. I had no problem getting 1300 Mbps link rates during testing with our standard 3x3 11a/b/g/n/ac client, however.

Setting 2.4 GHz 5 GHz
Channel Auto [default]
1 - 11
Auto [default]
36, 40, 44, 48
149, 153, 157, 161, 165
Channel Width Auto [default]
20 MHz
40 MHz
None
Mode 11bgn mixed [default]
11bg mixed
11a/n/ac mixed [default]
11an mixed
Security None
WEP (abg modes only)
WPA/WPA2 Personal
WPA/WPA2 Enterprise
Table 2: Wireless settings summary

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