Aftermarket routers generally perform better than anything you get when you sign up with an ISP. The TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Cable Router.

Despite trouble with a faulty router that was sent to us by the company, we had a replacement sent to us relatively quickly. (The problem was around the wireless network not working when security was enabled).

The unit itself is quite big (measuring 9.6 by 6.4 by 1.3 inches) and the three aerials do make it stand out when placed near a telephone socket. It sports a glossy, black finish. It has to be said, it is not a beautiful looking device to our eyes. The latest AC routers tend to have a sleeker design. Its looks may turn off some prospective buyers.

The rear panel sports two USB 2.0 ports, which support printers and external drives. There are also e four Gigabit Ethernet ports and a Gigabit WAN port as well as a power switch, a toggle button for the wireless radios, the antenna connections, and a WPS/reset button. Inside there are also three internal antennae.

The unit is relatively quick and easy to set up. It comes with a resource mini disc and a quick-connection guide. It is best to ditch the connection guide and head straight for the browser-based management web console and set up from there – it is by far the most easiest and won’t mean you clog up your computer with installing software.

The interface is very sparse, so would suit the power user over the casual user. It boasts advance features that are missed out in some other routers, such as configuring IGMP proxy for managing IP multicasting. It also supports WPA2 Enterprise.

The dual-band router supports up to a theoretical 450Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 1,300 Mbps on 5GHz. The performance is as good as its pricier rivals. In tests we managed 530Mbps at short range and 490Mbps at a distance of ten metres.

Overall, the router may not look that good, but the price is right for the average buyer looking for high speeds at a reasonable cost. (Source: Amazon for £89)