TP-Link Archer C7 vs Archer C8—Which Is Better?

TP-Link Archer C7 vs C8
TP-Link Archer C7 vs C8 | Source

If you have decided on the TP-link Archer 802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless router but cannot decide between the TP-Link Archer C7 or the TP-Link Archer C8, then I hope this comparison review will help you make the decision.

As different readers have different levels of technical expertise, I would like to make this article as simple as possible, as with all my other articles on technical subjects like home networking.

Where it is not possible to remove jargon for contextual purposes, I will explain or provide links that will open up another tab so that you can continue reading from where you left off.

Before we go into our comparison, let me highlight the features of each router. That will make it easy for you to see the differences and similarities when I put both side by side.

The TP-Link Archer C7 is an 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard wireless router which means it is the latest generation Wi-Fi standard wireless router. The TP-Link Archer C7 V2 is the latest version at the time of writing.

As a comparison, the AC standard is typically three times faster than wireless N in terms of speed. If you are not familiar with the 802.11 standard and would like to have a simple and non technical explanation, check out this guide I wrote on how to select the best home wireless router.

TP-Link Archer C7

TP-Link Archer C7
TP-Link Archer C7 | Source
TP-Link Archer C7 - Rear
TP-Link Archer C7 - Rear | Source

The TP-Link Archer C7 has two USB Ports. You can use them to share files and media as well as your printer locally with your networked devices or share it remotely via your FTP server.

It is now very common for your guest to ask for access to your home WiFi network and as such providing a secure WiFi access for your guest can become very important feature. This is easily done through the Guest Network Access.

You also have an IP-based Bandwidth Control that makes it easier for you to manage the bandwidth of individual devices connected to the router if you wish to do so. You can also set the limit on the bandwidth for your guest networks as well.

It also comes with an easy one-touch WPA wireless security encryption via the WPS button.

When people are looking to buy a high end wireless router like the TP-Link Archer C7, they typically focus on two salient points:

  • speed
  • range

This router performs very well in both departments. Many owners have reported achieving speeds of around 50 mbps to over 100 mbps down. That's incredibly fast!

Range is dependent upon the construct of your building, obstacles etc and also where you put the router. However the general feedback were that the range is very good even for a long distance and in multi story buildings.

One feature that I particularly like is that it is very easy and quick to setup.

Setting up a wireless router may be a piece of cake for some people, but those with less experience will find that setting up the TP-Link Archer C7 to be a breeze.

Everything just works out of the box and changes are very easy without complex menus.

For those that are more technical, it is supported on OpenWRT. This TP-Link Archer C7 works with the latest "Barrier Breaker" release 14 of OpenWRT.

Video on Archer C7 from TP-Link

Not So Great About the TP-Link Archer C7

When the TP-Link Archer C7 V1 was first released there were many problems, especially for those using Apple devices. It also had problems on the 5Mhz band. However these problems have been resolved with the release of the TP-Link Archer C7 V2.

It should not happen, but if you do happen to pick up the earlier V1 model, you can contact TP-Link and request for a replacement or you can upgrade the firmware yourself. That should solve most of the problems.

Both USB ports on the C7 are USB 2.0 version ports. It would be nice to have a mix USB version 2.0 and 3.0 USB ports so that you can utilize the faster USB3.0 device.

You will also have to manually enter the MAC addresses into the MAC filtering page instead of just making a selection from a list of addresses that have been disallowed. However this is really no big deal as you typically only do it once when you set up the router and make the occasional changes.

TP-Link Archer C8

TP-Link Archer C8 wireless router
TP-Link Archer C8 wireless router | Source

The TP-Link Archer C7 and C8 are very similar, at least to end consumers like us who are not interested in the internals of the device. As the TP-Link Archer C8 is the newer model, it does have some additional features.

The main difference between these two models include:

  • The TP-Link Archer C8 has a 800 Mhz dual core processor as compared to the single core processor for the TP-Link Archer C7
  • The C8 has both a USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports while the C7 has two USB 2.0 ports
  • The C8, as expected, is slightly more expensive than the TP-Link Archer C7

Is the TP-Link Archer C8 a better buy?
Is the TP-Link Archer C8 a better buy? | Source

Which Is a Better Buy?

The important thing that we have established is that both the TP-Link Archer AC1750 wireless router is an excellent router for the current market price.

Now that you know that the main difference between the TP-Link Archer C7 and TP-Link Archer C8, the question is whether you should fork out an additional $25 for the C8 for an ability to connect one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 instead of two USB 2.0 devices to it. Do you also need a more powerful dual core processor as compared to a single core processor?

These two questions will determine whether you should be spending that additional $25 to buy the newer TP-Link Archer C8.

For me, I will just pay that additional $25 and get the newer TP-Link Archer C8. After all the wireless router will last me at least more than two years. If I spread that amount over two years, I am only paying an additional $1 per month for the whole duration.

Again, that's me. You make the decision, as you may be completely satisfied with the C7!

Answers to Common Questions

Before you proceed to buy either router, here are answers to 20 top questions have people asked.

1. Can I use the OpenWRT with the C7?
Yes you can but it must be V2 and above
2. Am I getting V1 or V2 for the C7?
You should be getting V2 and above
3. Is it compatible with Apple devices
Yes. It is compatible for both Apple and PC
4. I have Apple devices and I have problems with the C7.
Check to see if you are on V1. Either upgrade the firmware to V2 or get a V2 replacement.
5. Is it backward compatible with a/b/g/n devices
Yes. You can use the 2.4 Ghz channel for the a/b/g/n and the 5 Ghz for the AC devices
6. How many connections can I make at any one time?
The number of devices is limited by the bandwidth which you have to subscribe from your provider
7. Can the C7 be mounted on the wall?
8. Can I stand it vertically?
Not for the C7 but you can stand the C8 vertically
9. Is this a modem or router or both?
It is ONLY a wireless router
10. What kind of modem does it work with?
It works with any modem
11. Can it be used as an access point?
Yes. Just disable the DHCP
12. Can the WiFi be turned off?
13. Can I only use either the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz only
Yes you can.
14. Does it have beamforming?
The C7 does not have beam forming but the C8 has.
15. Can I connect any printer to it?
Yes. As long as your printer has a USB connector
16. Can I use Roku with it?
17. Is it suitable for gaming
18. Is it difficult to install?
No. Installation is very simple and fast.
19. Can I upgrade the USB 2.0 port?
No, the C7 only has USB 2.0 ports. Get the C8 if you need a USB 3.0 port.
20. What is the voltage

TP-Link Archer C9

By the way, if you are someone who loves the latest in gadgets, TP-Link has recently released the TP-Link Archer C9. If you would like to know the differences between the TP-Link Archer C7 vs C8 vs C9, here is a comparison of these three TP-Link wireless routers side by side.

Note: I only highlight the differences.

Archer C7
Archer C8
Archer C9
Wireless combined speed
Individual Band Speeds 2.4GHz 5.0GHz
5GHz: 1300Mbps 2.4 GHz: 450Mbps
5GHz: 1300Mbps 2.4 GHz: 450Mbps
5GHz: 1300Mbps 2.4GHz: 600Mbps
CPU Processor
Single Core
Dual Core 800MHz
Dual Core 1GHz
USB Ports
2 USB 2.0 Ports
1 USB 3.0 + 1 USB 2.0 Ports
1 USB 3.0 + 1 USB 2.0 Ports
Cost (subjected to change by merchant)
Approx $90
Approx $115
Approx $150
Date first available

Video on Archer C9 from TP-Link

What was your decision?

Which of the TP-Link wireless routers did you decide on?

  • TP-Link Archer C7
  • TP-Link Archer C8
  • TP-Link Archer C9
  • Still undecided
See results without voting

With either of the TP-Link Archer C7, C8 or C9 you will get a powerful wireless router. However you must first get that input to your router. So you may want to check the bandwidth that you have subscribed to and upgrade if its is too low.

Once you have done that, you might want to check out some very robust cable modems from Motorola namely the Motorola SB6183, Motorola SB6141 and SB6121 so that you can get that bandwidth from your provider to your end devices via the TP-Link router.

By the way, just in case you find the TP-link routers not powerful enough for your use, check out the latest tri-band Asus RT-AC5300 to deliver you that experience you are looking for!

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Comments 10 comments

Jason 10 months ago

This is a very informative article. The only question I have is if C7 and C8 have similar range? C7 is well known for its marvelous range. I am not sure if C8 is at least the same.

Martin(again) 13 months ago

FYI has the C8 on sale for $119 until Sept 14. Making it $10 cheaper than the C7. (sorry for mistake above)

Martin 13 months ago

FYI has the C8 on sale for $199 until Sept 14. Making it $10 cheaper than the C7.

Pat 13 months ago

Does the "beam forming" give the C8 and C9 better range over the C7 (particularly on the 5Ghz band)? If so, that could be a significant advantage (and worth the price premium).

James Causian profile image

James Causian 15 months ago from Huston, Texas Author

All three i.e. TP-Link Archer C7, TP-Link Archer C8 and TP-Link Archer C9 are gigabit routers.

Chris 15 months ago

Another thing you may want to mention and compare are the ethernet ports. Do all three routers have Gigabit Ethernet or do any of them still use 10/100 LAN. That makes a huge difference if you're like me and have an internet speed package over 100 Mbps.

James Causian profile image

James Causian 16 months ago from Huston, Texas Author

You have the choice of using both bands simultaneously or switch off one or the other.

andy 16 months ago

Q13 "Can I only use either the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz only - yes" implies you can only use one band at once. However, the website says "Simultaneous 2.4GHz 450Mbps and 5GHz 1300Mbps connections for 1.75Gbps of total available bandwidth". Are they making a false claim?

James Causian profile image

James Causian 17 months ago from Huston, Texas Author

Can you please elaborate on your comment so that I can help you? Beam forming was one of the points (fourth point from the top of the table) in the comparison table.

Andre 17 months ago

You mentioned beamforming as another difference for the C8. Yet this was not highlighted in your table summary. of the differences.

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