Just bought a TP-Link archer a9 Advice Wanted Should I return it?

I am new to this. Just found out it doesn't support 2.45GHz (the wiki should be updated to show that as this was known at least a year ago), is it still usable in 2023? is it otherwise usable? is there a better googling for hours I didn't many list that had better options for the money, note I'm am looking for wpa3. Any advice would be appreciated before I install openwrt on it so I can return it if there's something better for about 60$. I was worried the c7 would be unsupported sooner with having less mem.

C7 should see continuous support, 16/128 is still fine for another release or two and the router is one of the evergreens in the community. It is EOL though since 1 year, so you'll probably only find used ones.

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OK but can I do wpa3 with it? and is it likely the a9 will ever get that kinda support? cause I'd rather stick with the 9 if that's the case and wait case I could have it run more but if it's only ever going to be 5GHz that kinda changes things. Or is the c7 able to do more then I think? and what do you mean by EOL? and if there's anything I can do to be able to help with getting 2.45GHz running I might be willing to risk bricking it in the future to help test that functionality. You mean "end of life" right? if so why sense year one just curious? when you say release or two do you mean major or bug fix and how long between these two releases are we talking a year or 3? cause if it's only a year is there anything in that price range will out last that? Basically I'm willing to keep what I have now for the better features and security (mostly that one) assuming 2.45GHz will likely work in the next 1-3 years. I'm just finding it hard to find something not lacking in a lot that's not way more then 60$ now if I have to spend 80 or 100 I'm OK with that unless 60$ will actually do it. Because wpa3 is important if I can get it.

A9/C9 won't see support since it is with Broadcom chipset, which either doesn't get any support or minimal. So I wouldn't get my hopes up.

EOL = end of life - the device is EOL since mid of last year, I couldn't get new ones over a TP-Link partner in May or June 2022. Around the same time it wasn't possible to get new ones from Amazon either here in Germany. So they probably emptied their storages in 2022 and then it was done.

Still, the C7 has been used and is used by many many people alongside OpenWrt and support will continue over subsequent releases 23.X, maybe 24.X, as long as the flash size of 16 MB is enough.

Archer C7 does support WPA3, you need to check for the necessary packages though.

If you are looking for something with more CPU power, similar to the A9, you might want to check out the ArcherC6v3 (v3.20) - while there seem to be some issues with wifi strength (one 2.4 antenna not working) and memory (see the thread on ArcherC6 crashes), the device runs stable with minor adjustments. I can vouch for roughly 30 of those in action.

Just make sure to order an C6v3 (or A6v3 for that matter), not an v4. The latter is not supported and has 8/64 flash/ram. Some websites might only list "C6" or "A6", so make doubly sure to get the right version.

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What's the a vs c in it? so of the a or c witch one should I avoid or either are they the same? Also how fast is the c7? and for the c6 dose the 2.4 get better with the adjustments and what are they adjustments? Why in general is Broadcom such a pain? Also a lot of listings don't say what version it is, how do I id a v3? and is v1 and 2 not supported? I know v4 and later won't.

It just depends on where you live I think whether A or C is available. Technically they are the same. For the C7/A7 you'll find an extensive thread here: State of TP-Link Archer C7v2|v5 in 2023

Broadcom is a pain because of propriety firmware, their wifi chipset is badly supported with OpenWrt most of the time. Thus there a few devices with Broadcom chipset that are supported.

2.4 coverage might get better when we get a fix for the antenna thing. I don't have the time to look into it as of now and would start from scratch there. For wifi inside of a flat it is perfectly fine.

C6v2 is supported as well, see here: https://openwrt.org/toh/tp-link/archer_c6_v2 (but it only has 8MB flash!)

The C6v3 should outperform other versions due to better chipsets though.

Difference between v1/v2 and v3 can be seen via design. See C6v3 page for comparison to v2: https://openwrt.org/toh/tp-link/archer_c6_v3

v3 and v4 look the same though, so you can't be sure unless the seller explicitly tells you the version printed on the sticker below the device or, if it is still in original package, what it says on the packaging. The last 50-60 C6v3 I got from Amazon was in autumn last year. The v4 has replaced the v3 and you might find no new v3 anywhere. If no version is shown for new product, it is better to assume it being v4.

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Thanks I guse I'll just have to ask about serial number to each seller (few bother to photograph it). and 2.4 might get better for the c9, c7 or c6 or all the above? so to be clear the C6v3 is the best of the one's listed? and I'm ok with none tp-link options or are all the good ones in this price and feature range mostly tp?

Anyone have any other suggestions to look into?

I have one archer c2600 in my setup and it’s a mean machine for a router/AP. Very long range and there’s even a sub-community on this forum that has a modified version of openWRT that uses the NSS cores. I’ve seen screenshots of people with 1G download speed achievable. I got mine for a steal on eBay for $30.

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is it better then the c6v3? if so that's exactly what I'm looking for.

The Archer C6 is a mt76 dual core with 16/128 flash/ram running at 880mhz.

The Archer C2600 is a Qualcomm ipq806 dual core with 32/512 flash/ram running at 1400mhz.

In terms of hardware, the C2600 outperforms the C6.

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dose it outperform a NETGEAR R7800? And all can do wpa3 yes? and what's the difference between the C2600 and the AC2600?

The R7800 is a dual core ipq806, too, with 128NAND/512 flash/ram running at 1700mhz.

Both the C2600 and the R7800 have 2 USB 3.0 ports. The R7800 has more flash, but according to openwrt’s device page, some models have a quirk in the flash that needs edited via CLI in uci.

DO NOT get the AC2600. It’s a Broadcom chipset and you’ll shoot yourself in the foot because wifi is broken.

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Yes, WPA3 will work for both the C2600 and the R7800.

At this point in will be preference of price point for what you’ll pay to get one of them and whether or not your tech savvy enough to troubleshoot and fix the R7800 should the model you get have the flash quirk.

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So how hard is the R7800 to fix or how to avoid the revision with the quirks? at this point I'm between the R7800 and the c2600. and I assume both are about the same in how long they'll be supported. that modified version that uses the nss cores is it only for the c2600 or both? and is the c2600 better with that firmware then the R7800?

From what I’ve seen, Both models are supported with the NSS version. You can visit this page for more info.

Fixing the flash quirk for the R7800 appears relatively simple enough by following the instructions in it’s device page

You can review the C2600 device page here

EDIT: I misread the R7800. The quirk is if you’re compiling your own image and flashing the kernel. I’d suppose if you use any images found in the OpenWRT site/forum, you’ll be fine.

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Thanks, so it should be pretty bullet proof either way your saying? Basically just the NAND block thing?

Yes, and again per my edit, that NAND thing is if you compile your own image

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ok so if I ever do I just have to do what is says on the page to set the flags right so it will compile?

Exactly right

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