Unfancy replacement for Archer C7

Hi all,

I have a problem which seems simple and there are many threads about which I am aware of. But, I read many of them (including favorite cheap and ) and found no real answer.

Following scenario:

  • my parents use a Archer C7 with respective newest OpenWrt since years. Absolutely stable in operation, stable wifi with good coverage, fast enough.
  • I am using Linksys WRT 1900ACS / 3200 ACM / 32X since years in all combinations (wifi bridges for neighbors, for client access, as server, whatever). Fast, stable in general, wifi coverage mid even with long range antennas and ALWAYS a little bit "problematic" (bad drivers, many tweaks necessary to be half of acceptable). But I am a techi and lived with it.
  • now my parents have a faster internet connection, TV via internet, more streaming, more clients. I short: the Archer C7 comes to its performance borders
  • simple thought: just give them one of my Linksys
  • simple problem: complains about range and wifi stability (I can both confirm)

Now the simple question: is there any real replacement for the Archer C7 supporting OpenWrt with focus of stability, support and mid performance (no fancy newest wifi necessary, not even 5ghz if this is necessary to find one)?

I don't need a very fast device, just more modern hardware and good supported wifi. And, important: I must be deliverable in Germany.

Thanks and best regards
Robert

https://openwrt.org/toh/views/toh_available_16128_ax-wifi
Check 2.4ax usb ports, multi-gig ports etc what do you need most.

Trick question, how fast is "faster"?

Over 200Mbps warrants the OP

Hi slh,

currently around 100Mps, but will be even faster in the future.

But this seems to be not the real/only limitation. The internet and wifi usage changed at the same time and the overall power of the C7 is just hitting it`s borders.

So how fast must a replacement be? Good question, and to be honest nearly fully equal if the hardware is from within the last 3 years or similar.

At the end more performance is not that hard to find (even my Linksys devices are beasts for a router). What makes ne more headache is very good stability on the wifi side, similar coverage like the C7 and good OpenWrt support (vs. e.g. bad drivers making support impossible in 2 years or something like that).

So in sum, "just" a well supported main stream router from today I think.:slight_smile:

Best regards
Robert

If you don't mind two devices, get a Fujitsu S920 (the quad core version !) and an extra NIC, for a grand total of 40€, and use it as wired router.

Repurpose the Archer as access point.

Hi Robert,

If you don’t mind buying used and tinkering a bit with installation,
you could take a look at the FRITZ!Box 7520 (aka 1&1 Home Server).
Some people sell them quite cheaply on Kleinanzeigen.
It’s a software-limited version of the 7530 in a different case.

https://openwrt.org/toh/avm/avm_fritz_box_7530

No, sorry. But it is really thought to be a simple all in one setup.

Ok, will have a look. But to be honest a new one with simple Web UI installation procedure is my main goal.

Best regards
Robert

Why not simply come back when the "will be even faster in the future" actually happens ?

There usually no point in being proactive and do future proofing.

1 Like

If your parents don't need many LAN port, the GL inet GL-MT3000 could be a candidate.
Super easy installation using the built-in recovery Web UI.
It’s on discount right now in their official EU store and delivering from Germany.
And good reviews here on the forum.

This topic might be helpful:

You can also check Cudy WR3000:
https://openwrt.org/toh/cudy/wr3000_v1
It seems to have a web UI based installation.
2 stepped though.

1 Like

Comparison in same price bracket you bought C7 time ago.

If you'd be a tad adventurous and not risk averse, the Xiaomi ax3000t might also be an option (but read up on it first).

With OPs requirements for easy installation and availability new in Germany, the air gets thin quickly for middle tier routers with OpenWrt support.

Most of them, like the Asus have a command line based installation.
The Xiaomi have to be hacked using a vulnerability to enable SSH access.

The most user friendly installation I’ve seen so far were the GL inet devices.

Cudy WR3000v1 has stable wifi - I have one running for 3 months without any issues, has a very fast CPU - it can handle gigabit (without PPPoE), even with FQ_Codel SQM, or gigabit PPPoE by setting up SFO manually without SQM. It can handle 500Mbps PPPoE with FQ_Codel SQM.

The only downside is the small amount of flash (16MB) and only four ports. It can be found for about 40-50€ and is really easy to install OpenWrt on.

1 Like

I dont think it will be parents flashing openwrt...

Youre right, but in that case Im myself just "lazy" and want little effort over time in terms of new installation and maintenance.

And if I need to use a vulnerability it would even for myself a exclusion criteria in terms of longterm support. E.g. maybe firmware parts not open source may need a update only possible with reflashing original firmware. Newer version -> no way to install OpenWrt again.

Is the GL-MT3000 able to work for a whole house like the Archer C7 from the coverage side? I`ve no experience with it.

The C7 was placed in the 2nd floor a wifi was available in all 3 floors (ground, first, second).

If it is really necessary I would even buy a Flint 2, but this seems a little bit to much an support looks kind of exorrimental/there is no long time experience right now.

I don't have experience with WiFi over several floors.
I guess the beefier Flint 2 would be better for a whole house.

The support for the Flint 2 is actually great.
There is a stable release now, since 23.05.3 came out.

There is a lively discussion thread going on:

It is not "unfancy," but for this I would also consider the Flint 2. If you err on the side of over doing things a little and exceed their expectations, your "customer" is less likely to request/require ongoing tech support.

Four external antennas with the option of placing 2 vertical and 2 horizontal could also be helpful in directing the radio coverage across the 2nd floor and up/down to the floors below and above.