Archer C7 AP replacement


Noob here.

My network is rather simple; a router and a archer C7 V5 as a wired AP. I want to use the C7 for an other project so I have to replace it
I could get a new C7 (because it served me well) but the device isn't that modern anymore. Are there currently better choices?
Any advice is welcome.


  1. Yes
  2. Perhaps you want to explain a bit more of the requirements
  3. There are a handful of recent forums threads covering this, did you have a look at those?

Hi, Thanks for responding.

  1. By Yes you mean there are alternatives? I would love to hear them.
  2. Currently the C7 is serving some dozen WIFI client at the first floor of my house, equally divided between 2.4 and 5 GHz. It are some pc's/laptops, consoles (Xbox, Nintendo etc.), a wds client and some android phones. Also one PC is connected via ethernet.
    I don't know if these are very demanding requirements.
  3. Yes i searched the forum. The topics i found where mostly about a router replacement and/or the WAN (and/or VPN) speeds it could handle. Not a "simple" alternative for an AP.
    If i overlooked topics I'm glad to receive some pointers.

What speed you are looking at is also a factor. Also are you considering serving media files (i.e. via miniDLNA)? In fact even if you are currently doing that on your min router, as you are upgrading the AP you may consider moving that to the AP to take some load off the main router.

So that rules out any AP with a single LAN port.

For pure AP functionality, the various supported ipq40xx devices come to mind (priced the similarly as the archer c7) with 2-stream 802.11ac wave2 - or ipq8065 for 4-stream 802.11ac wave2 (for roughly three times as much).

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What speed you are looking at is also a factor. Also are you considering serving media files

I would prefer the same or higher speeds than the C7. No point in standing stil.
Media files are no issue.

So that rules out any AP with a single LAN port.

Do these still exist? Do you have an example of such a device (with 2.4+5Ghz)?

For pure AP functionality, the various supported ipq40xx devices

or ipq8065 for 4-stream

Do you have an example of one or two devices which works good under openwrt?
I tried to filter the TOH on "ipq40??" but no luck.
Correction: filtering worked

Based on the TOH and filter on "ipq" i made a selection
Asus RT-AC58U (ipq40xx device, ca. EUR 65,-)
Netgear R7800 (ipq80xx, ca. EUR 165,-)
Zyxel Armor Z2 (ipq80xx, EUR 180,-)

Besides the price, are there any reasons i should stay away of one of these?
If i missed an interesting device please let me know.

Avoid the Asus rt-ac58u at all costs, it doesn't have enough RAM (dual-ath10k devices require more than 128 MB RAM), AVM Fritz!Box 4040 or ZyXEL nbg6617 are better choices for ipq40xx.

Thanks for the warning and advice. Appreciate it.


it doesn't have enough RAM (dual-ath10k devices require more than 128 MB RAM)

Is there any source for this information or did you make that experience?
I am curious, because I am reading that a lot here lately.

My dual band router with ath10k doesn't even use 64 MB of RAM. In AP only mode it should need even less resources.

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Definitely good to know that there are problems, but also looks kinda odd. Anyway thanks for the link. :+1:

Strange about the Asus and mem problem.
Havent seen that with my C7 in AP use.

I dont know how much you might want a "faster" router, unless you'll have it running services. A dumb AP dosent need much power. More important then would be, how good is its radio/antenna performance.

As I recall, the C7 in its day was ranked pretty high in coverage by Small Net Builder, maybe you already have a good AP choice...

Don't forget that the a7/ c7 only has a single ath10k radio (the 5 GHz one, the 2.4 GHz radio is using an ath9k chipset) and also doesn't support wave2/ Mu-MIMO, etc.

Ah, true... But, isnt Mu-MIMO proving out to not be much benefit in the real world, and or most implementations arent working very well?

Also, the ath9k radio is where most of the continuing "Make Wifi Fast" development for low latency SQM over wifi is happening, brought to you by the Bufferbloat/fc-codel/cake guys... and currently only easily available on OpenWrt... <look 'em up> So there might be reasons to want that older ath9k, after all...

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Other than that my real-world experience with the IPQ4019/QCA9888-based EA8300 in moderate- and low-signal conditions show better throughput than my Archer C7v2s (single-radio measurements, not aggregate)

First of all, how the price of the C7 compares to IPQ40xx devices depends on where you live.

Second, two-stream 802.11ac wave 2 improvements as compared to wave 1 boil down to optional 160 MHz channel width and MU-MIMO. Since not a single OpenWRT driver supports MU-MIMO (which additionally requires support by more than one STA simultaneously to have any effect at all) it really depends.

Definitely. Moreover, it's not supported by any OpenWRT driver.

LINKSYS EA6350 V3. More memory than the AC58U and I was able to get it for the same price.

I'll still have to figure whether it really outperforms my C7 V5 in my today's setup, although it should have the potential to do that.

Is your C7 V2 a dumb AP or do you have a VLAN trunk configured? It seems iot makes a difference for the C7's peak performance.