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TP-Link Archer A7 vs C7 (2021): Which Wi-Fi Router Is Better?

With so many devices at home requiring wireless connections, getting a good, solid router is imperative. The AC1750 routers from TP-Link, the Archer A7 and Archer C7, are great choices for this, with their impressive mix of performance and features. However, their specs and features are so similar that choosing between them will give you pause, unless you know exactly what their differences are. We compare the Archer A7 and C7 below to help you find your home’s new Wi-Fi router.

Archer A7 vs C7 Wi-Fi Router Comparison Chart

ModelTP-Link Archer A7TP-Link Archer C7
TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router (Archer A7) -Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Internet Router for Home,...2RY7168 - TP-LINK Archer C7 IEEE 802.11ac Wireless Router
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Processor750 MHz single-core
Qualcomm QCA9558
720 MHz single-core
Qualcomm QCA9558
ClassAC1750AC1750
Speeds1300Mbps + 450Mbps1300Mbps +450Mbps
CoverageUp to 2,500 sq. ft.Up to 2,500 sq. ft.
MU-MIMONoNo
BeamformingNoNo
Total Ethernet Ports44
USB Ports11
Alexa SupportYesNo
Guest NetworkYesYes
Parental ControlsYesYes
Mobile AppYesYes
Smart RoamingYesYes
Dimensions9.6 x 1.3 x 6.4 in9.6 x 1.3 x 6.4 in
Weight0.93 lb0.93 lb

Design

The Archer A7 and C7 are identical in design.

The TP-Link Archer A7 (left) is indistinguishable from the Archer C7 (right).

Looking at them front, top and back, the TP-Link Archer A7 and C7 routers are perfect mirrors of each other. They’re flat devices with a simple design that doesn’t make them stand out. If not for the three long external antennas sticking out from their backs, guests might not figure out what they’re for on first glance.

That and the LED lights on the front panel are the clearest indications that the Archer A7 and C7 are Wi-Fi routers. Several icons on the front light up correspondingly when those features are active. The antennas can be shifted sideways to provide better coverage for certain parts of the house, but for the most part they’re fine when left at the default angles.

Both TP-Link routers have a solid plastic build that’s functional and lightweight. The back panel is identical on both devices, too, with color-coding for the main Internet port and multiple Ethernet ports. Overall, the Archer A7 and C7 routers have unremarkable designs, which isn’t really a bad thing for networking devices to be honest.

Connectivity

The Archer A7 and C7 have identical connectivity options.

We swear we’re using different product photos for the Archer A7 (left) and C7 (right) in this post.

As mentioned, the TP-Link Archer A7 and C7 routers have the same back panel featuring similar buttons and ports. To the left are the power cable port and button, a USB 2.0 port and the Gigabit WAN port to connect the Wi-Fi router to your ISP’s modem. On the right are four Gigabit LAN ports for direct wired connections to your PCs, gaming consoles, etc. There’s also a separate WPS/Wi-Fi switch at the far end if you want to disable the wireless network while leaving the wired network running.

Both Archer routers provide sufficient coverage for up to 2,500 sq. ft., enough for most three-bedroom homes. Note that connection speeds will still vary depending on your home’s actual layout along with other obstacles such as thick walls and furniture. You can further expand its wireless coverage through the OneMesh range extender, which will also enable Smart Roaming to allow uninterrupted streaming even when you’re moving around the house.

Performance

The Archer A7 and C7 have similar performance.

The whole family can enjoy fast Wi-Fi on any device with these TP-Link Archer routers.

Once again, the Archer A7 and C7 Wi-Fi routers offer the same things in this category. They’re both AC1750 routers, providing a maximum of 1300Mbps on the 5GHz band and 450Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. This should prove more than sufficient for buffer-free 4K HD streaming if your ISP connection speed is high enough. With dual-band Wi-Fi, these Archer routers will allow your family to connect more devices with minimal disruptions. TP-Link claims you can connect more than 50 devices at once to the Archer A7 or C7 router.

Both TP-Link routers are powered by a single-core Qualcomm CPU along with 128 MB RAM. This processing power lets both routers easily handle multiple devices and maintain their connections. They’re also equipped with TP-Link OneMesh, which enables the formation of a mesh network with compatible routers and extenders, resulting in seamless whole-home wireless coverage.

All in all, the Archer A7 and C7 are dependable Wi-Fi routers that are surprisingly powerful for their price point. Neither one has advanced features such as MU-MIMO or beamforming, but the Archer routers prove they’re not really needed. TP-Link recommends it as best for Internet plans up to 300Mbps, so expect to maximize your connection speeds by using either router.

Software and Other Features

The Archer A7 has Alexa-enabled features while the Archer C7 does not.

The Archer A7 router works with Alexa and can be set up with the TP-Link Tether app (right).

Finally, here’s where the Archer A7 and C7 differs. TP-Link intended to offer the Archer A7 to Amazon and other big box retailers, so they added Amazon Alexa support to what’s essentially the Archer C7. With Alexa, the Archer A7 can be controlled via voice commands, letting you turn on/off the guest network by telling a connected Echo device or Alexa app to do so. Other things you can do include connecting a new device, checking connection speeds via speed test, prioritizing certain types of traffic and performing Quality of Service (QoS) tasks.

With QoS, you can set up device or app priority to ensure faster performance when needed. This ensures uninterrupted video conferences, for example, while the rest of the family is watching Netflix or gaming on the PS5. The Archer A7 and C7 also has parental controls, letting you set up URL filters and device schedules. You can set up either router and manage all of its settings through TP-Link’s Tether app, making it much easier to get up and running compared to older generation routers.

Verdict

The Archer A7 is better than the Archer C7.

This Wi-Fi router comparison is pretty straightforward given that one device has features the other doesn’t and all other considerations are equal. So, it’s easy for us to recommend the TP-Link Archer A7 smart Wi-Fi router over the C7 with its added ability to work with Amazon Alexa. If you’re truly not interested in voice control, the TP-Link Archer C7 dual-band router might net you some savings if it’s available at a discount. Either way, you’re getting a powerful, no-frills Wi-Fi router that should prove more than adequate for most homes with a lot of wireless devices.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ What is the difference between the Archer A7 and C7?

The TP-Link Archer A7 and C7 routers are essentially the same device, but the Archer A7 has Amazon Alexa support for voice commands.

๐Ÿ“Œ Can you mount the Archer A7 or C7 on the wall?

Yes, the TP-Link Archer A7 and C7 routers can be wall-mounted. However, neither comes with screws in the box for this purpose.

๐Ÿ“Œ Does the Archer A7 or C7 create two networks, 2.4GHz and 5GHz, simultaneously?

Yes, the TP-Link Archer A7 and C7 are dual-band routers that broadcast these two bands at the same time. You can set up which band each device connects to for better connection management.

๐Ÿ“Œ Which is the best TP-Link router?

The best router recommended for most people is the TP-Link Archer A7 smart Wi-Fi router.

Last update on 2021-05-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Derick Bondoc

Managing Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, gaming and snacks.