TP-Link's Archer D7 is a networking do-it-all for your home. It packs an ADSL2+ modem, Gigabit Ethernet ports, and, most importantly, fast wireless in the form of 802.11ac with a rating of 1300Mbps.
As is usual with TP-Link products, it represents good value for money thanks to its ability to supply steady ADSL performance and quick wireless transfers.
Wireless performance was solid in our tests. It didn't reach the heights of the fastest Netgear we've seen (the Nighthawk), but it provided enough speed to keep us satisfied when transferring large files to and from our Asustor NAS (network attached storage) device.
It's more comparable to Belkin's AC1800 in terms of performance. Our wireless tests were conducted using a mainstream Dell laptop with an Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 adapter built in, but we also used TP-Link's own AC1200 Wireless Dual Band USB Adapter (T4U).
We won't keep you guessing: the TP-Link adapter provided slightly faster results than the laptop's integrated adapter from close range, but still a good option if you want to wirelessly connect a desktop PC that will be located at a short-to-mid-range distance away from the router.
The laptop's integrated adapter proved to be a little quicker in our long-range tests.
File transfers over the 2.4GHz network were noticeably slow, with large files (1.19GB) averaging a transfer rate of 2.24MBps, and 793MB worth of small files averaging 1.92MBps. Our test environment is littered with 2.4GHz networks, but the router didn't appear to pick the clearest channel.
We had to identify the clearest channel using a Wi-Fi scanning tool (we used the one that's part of Netgear's Genie suite of tools), and only then were we able to get the figures we did. Using the router's 'auto' setting, file transfers were about 1.5MBps for both large and small files.
It's not the only router to perform like this in our 2.4GHz tests, and it goes to show how important it is to be able to use 5GHz when surrounded by so many other 2.4GHz networks.
That said, this router is best used for 5GHz operation with 802.11n and 802.11ac devices.
If all you need is a neat ADSL2+ modem and wireless router that can do 802.11ac in a single package, then TP-Link's Archer D7 is a sweet proposition. It won't leave too much of a dent in your wallet, and the performance it can provide over 802.11ac will be quick for big and small files, especially from close range, and solid from longer range, depending on your environment.
Some aspects have been improved, such as the attached USB drive speed, but media serving still needs a bit of work in order to be perfect. ADSL2+ performance using iiNet was rock solid, and we never experienced any connectivity issues throughout our month-long test period.
All up, if media serving and 2.4GHz performance aren't high on your list of priorities, but bang-for-buck 802.11ac and ADSL2+ performance are, then pick up Tp-link Archer D7 AC1750.
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