V2 TL-1043ND and an Archer C7 v4

I am comparing two TP link routers for use as a Wireless Bridge Repeater; a v2 TL-1043ND and an Archer C7 v4

The 1043ND runs on 2.4GHz N while the C7 runs on 5GHz AC

I put both routers in the same spot and yet the 1043ND appears to be giving me better performance, 68/95 vs 81/101.

Hardware Highlights of 1043ND

Model Version SoC CPU MHz Flash MB RAM MB WLAN Hardware WLAN2.4 WLAN5.0 100M ports Gbit ports Modem USB
TL-WR1043ND v2.x Qualcomm Atheros QCA9558 720 8 64 Qualcomm Atheros QCA9558 b/g/n - - 5 - 1x 2.0

vs

Hardware Highlights Archer C7

Model Version Target CPU MHz Flash MB RAM MB WLAN Hardware WLAN2.4 WLAN5.0 100M ports Gbit ports Modem USB
Archer C7 AC1750 v4 ar71xx-ath79 775 16 128 Qualcomm Atheros QCA9563, Qualcomm Atheros QCA9880 b/g/n a/n/ac - 5 - 2x 2.0

So would I be better off with a more powerful AC router such as the R7800 (or whatever anyone here can recommend)

or

Should I use the 2.4GHz of the C7 and use the 5GHz internally as the network that my devices connect to (as well as the wired ports)?

what you see is normal for 2.4 vs 5 Ghz wifi

2.4Ghz is better at penetrating through walls and furniture but it's max speed is slower

5 Ghz is garbage at penetrating through walls and furniture but it has higher max speed.

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That is interesting, I used to have a buffalo that worked the other way around, but taking your comments as Gospel and going back to my questions

  1. "So would I be better off with a more powerful AC router such as the R7800 (or whatever anyone here can recommend)

or

  1. "Should I use the 2.4GHz of the C7 and use the 5GHz internally as the network that my devices connect to (as well as the wired ports)?"

You seem to suggest that 2 is better, in which case..

  1. What is the most powerful 2.4GHz on the market (that does not require the same chip or spec at the other end)?

  2. Am I OK use the AC Radio as the network for clients to connect to or would this reduce the performance of the 2.4GHz?

  3. If 4 is OK how do I configure OpenWrt assuming I scan for a network on the 2.4GHz and enable the master wifi on the 5GHz, do I create some sort of bridge or switch or firewall setting?

So far the 2.4GHz of the C7 is giving 52/91 but I have yet to figure out how to get internet access through it.

That's a rule of thumb.

Did you increase the power of the wireless radio to the max from the wifi page when you did these tests? That's the main reason I think your buffalo router was better. Maybe it had more power for 5Ghz than 2.4.

  1. I dont know. But the only wifi chipsets that have high performance (comparable to the stock firmware) in OpenWrt are the Qualcomm/Atheros.

  2. maybe? The speed depends from the distance and obstacles between it and the clients. If all devices are in the same room as the 5Ghz wifi then yes it's good, if they are behind multiple walls it can be a bottleneck. Since I don't know your home nor I am able to calculate attenuation or things like that, you can only test it out and see.

  3. the article about it is this https://openwrt.org/docs/guide-user/network/wifi/relay_configuration but it may or may not work on your devices. Doing a mesh setup usually works https://openwrt.org/docs/guide-user/network/wifi/mesh/80211s (as also indicated in the article itself)

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You will see improvements with the wave2 chipset (qca9984/ 4x4:4, vs wave1/ qca9880-br4a in a 3x3:3 configuration for the c7) in the r7800 (and 802.11ax will improve on top of that in the future as well). Not quite in the absolute distance, but the reliable throughput over the distance. Will that be enough to be worth the expense, probably not if you're just looking at the r7800 for its wireless capabilities, if the faster SOC (more flash, more RAM, better build quality) is also under consideration for your endeavour, it very well could be.

The r7800 is a great device (especially for- and with OpenWrt) on its own account, just don't expect a world of a difference, its's still 802.11ac for both.

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is the 5GHZ running at 80 width? you know you can increase dbm ("range") by dropping to 40mhz and even 20 mhz.

If running 5ghz @ 80mhz @ max signal strength gives you less than 100mbs, might as well drop to 5ghz @ 20 width (same signal strength) --> the 2x2 ac clients will probably give you better than 100mb

50% signal boost @ 40 gives you fatter bandwidth of course but I would assume "range" is your concern with 5ghz so 100% double range boost @ 20 width would be your corner case. The big assumption is the benchmarks you took were 5ghz @ 80 width.

Another way playing with 20 width is intel client adapters in windows can be set to only transmit in narrow channels 20ghz for 5ghz. That will give you range if all your stations are intel under windows and you prefer the router to be set to the fattest width aka "1300mbps" mode for archers. Caveat is mac and android and ios and maybe all other client adapters like realtek, qcom/atheros, and broadcom dont have this setting.

Thanks, that is really useful to know. I was using 80mhz.

Sadly I only have one windows client I can't remember if it had intel and I replaced it or if it had a different one and I got intel one.

The devices I use most are Apple, the most sensitive is gaming, not big 1st person shooting but games that do not like low latency.

I need to understand the what things I can tweak, what you highlight is that sometimes LESS is MORE.

I am connecting to a subscription service so I do not know where the routers that I am connecting to are. I know that there are two routers in range and one seems to perform better than the other. I was trying to find an app that could help me determine the direction but they only seem to say better or worse. I use the second one when the first gets overloaded or weather changes.

I did thing that one was really close; behind an internal wall rather than through a wall into the next building, which is where I suspect the better one is.

What I have found is that tweaking the Distance Optimization makes a difference, at first I assumed setting it higher was better but sometimes lower is better, I had it at 30 but 20 gives better. Currently at around 51/95 on old router with aftermarket antennas.

It is quite an achievement considering that devices like an iphone struggle to get a reliable connection.

It is a 2.4Ghz and Current power is 23 dBm of a max 24 dBm

So if 2.4Ghz is the best solution, I am now wondering what OpenWRT supported router offers the best 2.4Ghz performance without special client adapters?