Good "wide range" router that's not "enthusiast"?

tl;dr: Is there a supported router that is (possibly) newer/has broader range than the Archer C7, but that is not as expensive as an "enthusiast" router/AP? Is the D-Link DIR-878 any good?

Dear people,

I currently have an ISP provided router + WiFi AP with an connection of 240Mbps. Since the house I live in has very thick walls, I get almost no signal from where the ISP AP is to the places where, say, my wife is working or some of our TVs are. (That's in the 2.4GHz range; no hope of any signal in the 5GHz range). :frowning:

I pulled a (long) ethernet cable and took an old TP-Link TL-WR740N and installed Gargoyle (a derived firmware from OpenWrt) and it is serving the parts of the home that are not served by the ISP gear, but its throughput is both low (especially with a small armel NAS where I have Debian installed), since its ports are 100Mbps and, more importantly, its range is also moderately small (but still better than what the ISP provides). The problem here are also the very thick walls of my home. :frowning:

I spent many, many hours on the OpenWrt site and this forum reading and rereading hardware recommendations, looking what I find in my country (Brazil) and something that is supported by OpenWrt and I saw that the Archer C7 is quite probably a safe bet regarding support and affordability.

I can get the Archer C7 for about R$650 which is about US$100. Since I am a little bit worried about the range of reach of the routers, I wanted to know if there is something that is has broader range than the C7, but is not as expensive as the "enthusiast" router/APs (some are upwards of R$3500 which would be something about US$500).

Is the D-Link DIR-878 well supported by OpenWrt? It is only a little bit more expensive than the Archer C7 and it supposedly supports "MU-MIMO Wave 2" which is something to be said to improve reception/range...

If that's not a good option, what should I prefer? Any comments are welcome.

Thanks for any help.

You might find this topic interesting:

Dear @tmomas, first of all, thanks for your response

Also, thanks for pointing me to that thread. I had read it before writing my post. It seemed, at least at first, that the focus of that thread was a bit below routers like the ones that I am looking for.

Also, I would prefer to order something that could get to my home a little faster than importing from China, because I am in a little bit of a rush to get this straightened out (read: "my wife needs better coverage from the place where she is working due to the pandemics").

Thus my question about the Archer C7 (or similar ones) and the D-Link DIR-878 (or siblings) regarding their quality and, of course, if they are well supported by OpenWrt.

That being said, I tried to find some routers with Google in my local market (like the GL-B1300) and got an empty result.

Once again, thanks for your answers.

The Archer C7 (depending on the version) on recent builds has some wifi issues.
Overall a router running on Openwrt might not be the best AP in regards to Wifi performance.
Generally if your issue is Wifi performance it is best to get quality AP's and connect them to a router via Gigabit cables.
Not 100% what customization you would need on the AP to justify the installation of Openwrt.

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For reliable over 100 Mb speed you generally want to be in the same room with the AP. Trying to cover a large obstructed area with one AP will have poor results simply because the transmitter in a typical client is not very powerful.

What @faser said, for APs with wired backhaul, you can use stock firmware especially if it is a device sold as an AP in the first place.

Routers based on the MT7621 + MT7615 at about US $30 direct from China are suitable for 240 Mb ISP speed, and good performance for the price.

no idea whether they are available in your country but the TPlink eap225 is a good and relatively inexpensive device as a pure AP.

Well you also could go for UniFi® AP AC LITE which is a cheaper approach for wide coverage.