Newbie OpenWrt Question Archer C7 hardware version

Hi everyone!

So, I had an archer C5 for...6 years? It's started getting really unstable which indirectly brought me to the world of OpenWRT! So to start what I decided I would do is purchase two Archer C7's since they're described as so ubiquitous and simple enough 'budget' options. My plan was to buy two, run one on factory firmware to replace the C5, and that way I need not worry about tinkering with the second one and OpenWRT in case things got wonkey and have a backup to play with when it's working.

Well out of the gate I done goofed, I apparently bought an archer A7 hardware v5.0 thinking it was a C7...oops. That was on me for misreading the ebay listing but that's okay...The A7 v5 is apparently OpenWRT supported and can be my OEM firmware one for now regardless. It's been working great.

My main question is on the remaining C7, is there a best choice for hardware version? I see 2,3,4, and 5 are all supported but given I'll be buying one I might as well get the most stable. I would assume v 5.0? Running the A7 I can tell that this is about the right speed router for my needs, and they appear similar, so I'm just most interested in the best version of C7 I should pick hardware wise.

These whole models and versions seem needlessly complicated to me but idk, I'm new to this :frowning:

Any and all perspectives appreciated!

Oh and this is a trivial point but I noticed the C7 v2 has a 2.5A power supply and the v5 has a 1.5...Since I'm (no pun intended) not much of a power user myself I assume this means the v5 uses less power?

A7-v5 and C7-v5 are identical, aside from the OEM firmware/ partitioning, so you'd already have an idea what you'd end up with.

Differences between C7-v2/3/4/5 are minimal, the v2 would have two dedicated ethernet interfaces, while the later ones handle all via the same 5 port switch and a single CPU-port, however they do slightly bump the clock frequency and apparently ship more reliable wireless hardware. Again, the difference is minimal, so either one will do - but given free choice, I'd go with the newest one (v5).

Very personally, I wouldn't quite go with ath79 in 2022 anymore - ipq40xx, mt7621+mt7615, mt7622+mt7915 or ipq807x aren't necessarily that much more expensive, but have more to offer.


Okay! I've been hearing that the archers are...dated now...I'm just kinda diving into it so I'll look into those models! Thank you!

Btw., wireless routers do age as well (PSUs, capacitors, the whole rf chain). Any c7-v2 on the used market will be at least ~7-8 years old by now (as the c7-v3 replaced it in early 2015), while the c7-v5 must be younger than ~4 years (first released to market in early 2017).