Best Smart Wi-Fi Router Comparison: TP-Link Vs. Netgear

You might have realized your Wi-Fi router doesn’t have the power to run more than the standard. You’ve probably scoured the internet for Wi-Fi routers and found a few interesting. But, not entirely sure how the brand specifications translate in real life.

We’ll be comparing TP LINK’s Archer A7 and NETGEAR’s R6700 Nighthawk. Both are smart Wi-Fi routers so you can customize them. We won’t get into all of the technobabble, so don’t worry about that.

Products reviewed in this article (in the appearance of Our rating):

Now, which of the two routers is truly the best? Let’s find out.

TP-LINK Vs. NETGEAR Comparison Table

 Features TP-LINK NETGEAR
Bandwidth 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz
Internet Speed 450 + 1300 Mbps 450 + 1300 Mbps
Ethernet Ports 4 Gb LAN, 1 Gb WAN 4 Gb LAN, 1 Gb WAN
USB Ports 1 USB 2.0 port USB 3.0 port
Wi-Fi coverage Up to 2500 sq. ft. Up to 1500 sq. ft.
Connections Up to 50 devices Up to 25 devices
Warranty 2-year Hardware Warranty, 1-year + tech support, 90 days

TP-LINK Vs. NETGEAR: Which One Is Better?

We thoroughly reviewed and tested both routers extensively. Yet, we had a hard time deciding which of them is objectively better. Both have the same Wi-Fi connection, excellent cybersecurity measures, and parental controls. You can even manage a guest’s usage of your Wi-Fi from both routers.

TP-LINK has much broader Wi-Fi coverage and a maximum number of connections. In contrast, NETGEAR has a faster USB transfer speed and a better processor.

However, when all was tested and retested, we found the NETGEAR had a minor edge over the TP-LINK. That, too, in terms of performance. As specifications-wise, both routers were more or less equal.

When working in unison, though, the TP-LINK didn’t perform as expected. The NETGEAR, however, delivered on all its promises.

Both the TP-LINK and NETGEAR have similar hardware specs. But that goes to show how it is better to have a system whose components work together in synergy. A weak system with spectacular individual components has its issues.

Setup and Configuration

Setting up the TP-LINK is very quick. You can either go to a browser link on your PC or download a tethering app on your mobile phone (available for iOS and Android).

In both cases, you need to log in using the passcode on the router’s card. You will need to make a TP-LINK account to operate the wizard, which we felt was a drawback. After that, you will have to change your password and your name if you want.

As for the configuration, you can play with a variety of settings. You can fix download limits, set bedtimes, and block certain apps and websites for each device. These being features of the Parental Controls. For the guest control, you can limit the connection they can use and the download limit.

You can use the browser or tether app, as with TP-LINK. Log in with the given name and passcode, and you can immediately change them as you wish. Unlike TP-LINK, you don’t need to make an account to operate the wizard.

You can configure your router’s settings how you want. You can choose which bandwidth to operate, or you can use them together. The parental and guest controls are quite similar to TP-LINK‘s cybersecurity.

There are more options to customize your router for different uses. However, these settings are used by tech experts. They know precisely what they prefer and don’t like, from their Wi-Fi connection while streaming, file transfer, gaming, etc.

Amazon.com: NETGEAR Nighthawk Smart Wi-Fi Router, R6700 - AC1750 Wireless Speed Up to 1750 Mbps | Up to 1500 Sq Ft Coverage & 25 Devices | 4 x 1G Ethernet and 1

Winner:

The clear winner for this section is NETGEAR. It does not require you to make an account to operate the wizard. It is also significantly more customizable than TP-LINK. Even if the standard user may not use these settings, it is a handy feature.

Hardware

The TP-LINK has a broad base that keeps it from falling over from a slope. It has three antennas for your Wi-Fi connection to remain strong over longer distances. With a relatively small surface area, the TP-LINK hardly takes up any space.

As far as the buttons are concerned, it has the standard power on/off, Wi-Fi on/off, and reset buttons. The processor is a 750 MHz Qualcomm with 128 GB of RAM.

The TP-LINK has a total of 5 ethernet ports. Four of which are Gb LAN ports, while 1 is a Gb WAN port (for broadband). It also comes with a singular USB 2.0 port for sharing hard drives or connecting printers. This was mildly disappointing as the USB 3.0 is now a worldwide standard.

The NETGEAR is a bigger router, with a considerable base that makes it almost impossible to tip over. It also has three external antennas. Although, these are a little larger than TP-LINK‘s. Even while it’s bigger than the average router, it occupies less space than a tablet.

The NETGEAR has the same buttons as the TP-LINK. However, it has a significantly better processor—a 1 GHz dual-core with 256 GB of RAM.

It also has 5 Ethernet ports, all Gigabit. 1 WAN for the broadband, and 4 LAN ports. The NETGEAR has one USB 3.0 port for sharing hard drives and connecting printers.

Winner:

The NETGEAR is a clear winner in the hardware world. It has a fast processor, 250 MHz. Double the RAM, and a fast USB port connection. However, it is a larger router than the TP-LINK, taking up a little more space.

Performance

When it came to Wi-Fi performance, the TP-LINK came in strong but wasn’t as good at long range. We’ll start with the throughput test for the 2.4 GHz bandwidth. At proximity, the speed was around 87 Mbps (10.9 Megabytes/second). At 30 feet, it fell to 44 Mbps (5.5 Megabytes/second)

Now for the throughput test on the 5 GHz bandwidth. At proximity, the speed was a fast 526 Mbps (65.75 Megabytes/second). At 30 feet, this fell to 100 Mbps (12.5 Megabytes/second).

NETGEAR‘s Wi-Fi performance was at odds with TP-LINK in a few ways. Let’s begin with the throughput test for 2.4 GHz bandwidth for it, too. At around 10 feet, the internet speed was 89 Mbps (11.6 Megabytes/second). At 35 feet, this fell to 81 Mbps (10.1 Megabytes/second). This is a decrease of only 8 Megabits (1 Megabyte).

Moving to the 5 GHz bandwidth throughput test. At 10 feet away, the speed was 523 Mbps (65.3 Megabytes/second). Furthermore, this went down to 434 Mbps (54.25 Megabyte/second).

Winner:

TP-LINK had either an equal or a better speed at proximity. But the speed fell by half in the 2.4 GHz bandwidth when the device was just placed 20 feet farther than the first test. For the 5 GHz bandwidth, the speed was 1/5th of the original. A significant drawback of a router of this quality.

NETGEAR managed to bag this win by remaining mostly consistent with its speed at long range. Its difference in speed not alarmingly low. The decrease in speed for the 5GHz at a distance was quite significant, though—a reduction of 89 Megabits (11.1 Megabytes).

Pros and Cons

TP-Link

Pros Cons
  • Wi-Fi coverage spanning 2500 sq. ft.
  • Not more than 50 devices can be connected at a given time.
  • Dual-band capacity (2.4 and 5 GHz bands can work simultaneously)
  • The administrator can enforce Parental and Guest controls on other users.
  • Comes with a USB 2.0 port, which is outdated
  • Wi-Fi speed is dramatically decreased halfway within range.

 

Netgear

Pros Cons
  • Has a 1-year warranty with free 90-day technical support
  • Has a 1 GHz Dual-core processor
  • Comes with a USB 3.0 port
  • Fast internet speed throughout the range of Wi-Fi coverage
  • Storage/NAS performance is exceptionally fast
  • The router has a bulky size

Final Thoughts

After thorough research and tests, we have settled the winner. The NETGEAR R6700 Nighthawk is better than the TP-LINK Archer A7.

Most of the features are similar for both routers, with a little fluctuation here and there. The TP-LINK has much broader Wi-Fi coverage and connects to double the devices at a time. It also is more compact with a better warranty. On the other hand, the NETGEAR has a superior processor and RAM. Along with this, it also has a more advanced USB port and comes with MU-MIMO.

Performance is where one can decide between the two. Both routers have exceptional internet speeds at close range. However, TP-LINK falls short because of its substantial decrease in speed. This is so, even when the device is well within the coverage range.

We recommend both routers as they are exceptional on their own for their uses.