TP-Link Archer D7 - Performance, Value & Verdict

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TP-Link Archer D7 – Performance

TP-Link Archer D7 ACUp to now the D7 has proved a mixed bag and that continues under testing.

At our test distances of 2m and 10m line of sight and 15m behind two standing walls the D7 achieves speeds of 70.6MBps (564.8Mbps), 50.5MBps (404Mbps) and 19.4MBps (155.2Mbps) respectively. At two metres this is an excellent speed which is only 10-15 per cent down on the very fastest wireless routers, but at 10 metres it is fairly average and by 15 metres it is behind the pack.

The problem with range continues with 802.11n 5GHz (graphs in the photo tab above). Speeds of 39.1MBps (312.8Mbps) and 37MBps (296Mbps) at 2m and 10m are excellent, but at 15m this drops to 14.5MBps (116Mbps) which is a little off the pace.

At 802.11n 2.4GHz the pattern repeats once more. 15.1MBps (120.8Mbps) is a strong speed at 2m, then 9.34MBps (74.72Mbps) is fractionally below average while 4.27MBps (34.16Mbps) is weak and there were even a few drop outs where connectivity was lost completely.

TP-Link Archer D7 2

Should I buy the TP-Link Archer D7?

In a word, ‘no’. The D7 is a perfectly decent router serving up speeds most will find fulfil their needs. The inclusion of a modem will be a useful extra for those outside fibre areas. Furthermore TP-Link has priced the D7 well and it can be found online for just £119.

The problem is ‘perfectly decent’ isn’t good enough when competition is so high. This isn’t only in the premium AC1900 sector, but from the increasing competition offered by cheap-to-free 802.11ac ISP-supplied routers like the BT Home Hub 5, TalkTalk Super Router and EE Bright Box 2. The D7 is faster than all three, but not by much but they have price on their side and come with fibre-ready integrated VDSL modems making the choice obvious.

Verdict

TP-Link hasn’t produced a bad router in the Archer D7, but it is a router that will struggle to find a market. It is cheaper but slower than the best premium routers but not significantly quicker than the much cheaper ISP-supplied wireless ac routers which now come with more modern VDSL modems. The D7’s good looks may attract some, but TP-Link really should have stripped out the modem and cut the asking price by £30. That would have set the cat amongst the pigeons.

Next, read our Best Routers roundup

Score


Score in detail

  • Value 6
  • Features 7
  • Performance 6
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