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Wireless Reviews

Wireless Performance - more

I pulled the same recently-retested AC1750 class routers included in the average throughput comparison into the throughput vs. attenuation plots, i.e. the ASUS RT-AC66U, D-Link DIR-868L and Linksys EA6500.

The C7 wasn't the best of the bunch in 2.4 GHz downlink comparison and the C7 V2 again tended to stay below the other routers until 33 dB attenuation, where it joined the other routers for the rest of the way down the curve. The standout in this group is obviously the Linksys EA6500. The C7 V2 didn't stay connected for the 60 dB test that we use for 2.4 GHz range ranking, so that didn't help its total rank score.

2.4 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

2.4 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

The 2.4 GHz uplink plot shows the C7 V2 as the top dog all the way out to 39 dB, where it again joins three other routers as signal levels further decline. The 57 dB test was the last one completed for the C7 V2, so again, the 2.4 GHz uplink range rank won't be great.

2.4 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

2.4 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

The 5 GHz downlink plot shows very similar performance for the most part, but with the C7 V2 having lowest maximum (0 dB) throughput of 400 Mbps. Remember, I average two tests to produce the plotted result, so this wasn't a fluke. Low 0 dB attenuation throughput could indicate a problem handling strong signals. The TP-LINK's trend for the rest of the plot is to stay under the other three products, but not extremely so.

5 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

5 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

For 5 GHz uplink, the C7 V2 again has lower throughput with strong signals (low attenuation values), but recovers at 12 dB to join two other higher performing routers for the rest of the curve. The D-Link DIR-868L is the overall loser in this benchmark comparison.

5 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

5 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

Closing Thoughts

Filtering the Router Ranker to show only products tested with the latest method (magenta color bar), the C7 V2 takes the top position. But this ranking is heavily influenced by its top-of-charts total routing throughput and not outstanding wireless performance.

Looking at sub-ranks shows the V2 tied for second place with the Linksys EA6500 for Average Wireless throughput, tied for first with the ASUS RT-AC66U and dead last for Wireless Range.

It really earned the last ranking because it wasn't able to stay connected for the 60 dB tests used for 2.4 GHz range ranking and 39 dB tests used for 5 GHz range rank.

TP-Link Archer C7 Ranking Performance Summary

TP-Link Archer C7 Ranking Performance Summary

That being said, at $99, the Archer C7 V2 isn't a bad way to get your feet wet in AC class wireless networking for small to mid-sized locations. And if you already have a V1 and like it, there's no reason to trade up to the V2. Save your money for the Broadcom-based Archer C8, which TP-LINK's site says is "coming soon".

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