I'd like to share the experience I had last week.
I was a heavy OpenWRT user a couple of years back with the TP Link router. However with moving to a new flat I got a new Internet Service Provider. My new ISP's modem was also a router with with a support for both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WIFI, so I started using that instead of my own router. All worked will until more and more devices started connecting to the WIFI (vacuum cleaner, printer, smart light switches, etc.). I practically had to turn off and turn on the modem every other day.
That's when I decided to buy a TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750 and install OpenWRT on it. Bought it and installed the latest OpwnWRT (19.07.1). Unfortunately 5 GHz WIFI was not working. as the interface didn't came up. Across forum I've read that it might be related to hostapd being upgraded from 2.7 to 2.9, and the country settings. So I changed my country back to default and rebooted my router, but no luck. I tried a couple of other things (downgrading ath10k packages), but nothing helped.
This is when I decided to go back to the original TP-Link firmware. So I downloaded that and tried to upload it via the OpenWRT firmware, but I got a warning: "Image metadata not found". Then I tried it via ssh with the
sysupgrade -v command, but the same result. Then I did a
mtd -r write firmware.bin linux. So the original TP Link firmware downloaded from TP Link didn't have the boot text in its name, so I did NOT strip the first n bytes before using mtd. That command completed, however it bricked my router. Luckily I was able to salvage it with the TFTP solution.
I'd like to give OpenWRT another go, because I might have used a DFS channel and that's why the 5 GHz WIFI was not coming up. However before I do that I'd like to ask a couple of questions:
- Does the latest OpenWRT work on Archer C7 (more specifically does the 5 GHz WIFI work)?
- Is it worth installing OpenWRT nowadays (will I get a better WIFI performance than with the stock TP Link firmware)?
- If 5 GHz WIFI does work, what settings do I need? E.g.: default country, auto channel selection, channel width, etc?
- If something would not go as expected, what's the correct procedure of reinstalling the original TP Link firmware again? I've read on some forums that sysupgrade might be buggy (some memory issues maybe), what's the situation nowadays with the stripped non-stripped firmwares, etc.
Oh, my router is TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750 V5.