VLAN - Which one to keep as 3rd router: Archer C7 or Netgear R7800

I use already a Netgear R7800 and and TP-Link Archer C7v5, which I will keep, but I am unsure which router I should keep as 3rd router. again a R7800 and/or a C7. Of course the C7 is cheaper.

Is there a difference between Netgear R7800 and Archer C7 re VLAN?

I am unsure where and how I will use the 3rd router. My main router (1st R7800) is a little bit to weak for video streaming in my house, but only a little bit. On some days it works, on others not.

The 3rd router should be used as wireless bridge in the bathroom with heating, so there is not a lot of humidity for a long time or be connected via ethernet cable in the sleeping room. I have to do tests where the signal is better then in the garden.

Can you give a recommendation? If you think I should choose the R7800, please tell my why, I know it is better, but as a simple AP for mobile phones, I do not see an advantage.

In terms of 'better', there's no question - the QCA9984 wireless of the r7800 is much better than the QCA9980 of the archer c7. If you want to look at something cheaper than that, ipq40xx devices might be very attractive (faster and cheaper as the archer c7) as well (do not go below 256 MB RAM with ath10k wlan).

Of course the R7800 is a lot better than the C7, but is it better to give mobile phones an access point? I have ordered the R7800 and C7 already and I have to decide which I want to send back. I do not want to buy another router.

If there is no good argument for my needs, I will keep the cheaper C7. The 1st C7 works fine as a bridge, although I noted a very interesting reception problem.

The C7 is a client of a wireless bridge-client to a R7800-master. The C7 is connected via ethernet to a tv and a dvb-box, works fine. The C7 is placed on the dvb-box and below the tv. If I change the settings of the tv from cable (to the C7) to "direct" Wifi and use 5GHz to connect to the R7800 video streaming is still ok, but the the Wifi-connection of the dvb-box is nearly unusable, internet is very slow or not accessible, so IP-TV is impossible. If I change the tv-setup to lan (and not Wifi), where lan uses the C7-bridge to the same AP (R7800), video streaming of the dvb-box is fine. So there is a big difference for the dvb-box, if I setup the TV with a cable-connection or a Wifi-connection. Ok, if it works better, I use it this way, but it is hard to understand why the setup of a tv influences a dvb-box which is another device.


But you already own specimens of both potential candidates - you're in a much better situation to test them against each other than most of us - so why are you asking?

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I am pretty sure, that the C7 is enough strong for mobile phones. I need a "repeater" for 6m, but I don't know what will come in the future, especially with vlans and I don't know nearly nothing at the moment what are the possibilities with vlans for me. Therefore I am discussing: Guest network for washing machine, etc

So if the R7800 has better possibilities to use vlan, this a reason to keep the R7800. although at the moment there is no need to use the 3rd router for vlan.

As @slh wisely points out, you're in the unique position to make a decision about their radios in your environment.

There won't be a significant difference in networking/VLAN capabilities between the two for most sane home configurations. The R7800 SoC processing power likely will run circles around the Archer C7 if you start to try to run SQM at more than a few hundred mbps.

So since you said there is no difference re vlan I tested the 2nd Archer C7 with videostreaming. It works great for video / ip-tv. I reduced the tx power to 0 with 5Ghz

config wifi-device 'radio0'
	option type 'mac80211'
	option hwmode '11a'
	option path 'pci0000:00/0000:00:00.0'
	option htmode 'VHT80'
	option country 'US'
	option legacy_rates '1'
	option channel '136'
	option txpower '0'

The signal is still very strong, could be a lot weaker, something about -50dBm in the neighbor room. The rooter ist 1m away from the wall in the other room. Together the mobile phone is 5m away from the router.

But 1 thing is still confusing me. This 5Ghz signal from the "cellar" (2nd C7) is stronger with txpower '0' in the 1st floor than the RX7800 (txpower 23) from the ground floor. The RX7800 has the half distance to the 1st floor. I believe now there must be something wrong with the place of the R7800, although I have no idea at the moment, where to put the R7800 and do tests.

There is no need to use the 5GHz signal from the cellar in the 1st floor and with tx 0 it is on the limit to be used for surfing, was a test only.

Actual radiated power vs the dBm setting may not be consistent between models. This is not something that open-source developers have paid a lot of attention to. To evaluate which one is more powerful, set both to maximum output then compare the received dBm readings using the same receiving device. This is best done outdoors at a fairly long distance.

Yes the 9880 is a first generation ath10k chip and the 9884 is a second generation which Atheros calls "Wave 2"; it should be considerably better.

Generally how much router CPU you need depends on your ISP speed, also whether you are going to run a VPN client/server on it.

It seems to me you are talking entirely about Access Points not actual routing. In that case, unless you need special configurability that OpenWrt brings, it seems a dedicated access point is likely to be better in terms of cost and performance. Tp-link EAP225v3 or similar.

There are 2 reasons, why a EAP225v3 doesn't fit. It depends on the place where I will put the router, it could be, that it is used as a wireless bridge, where no ethernet cable is possible to the internet gate. I want to connect 3 devices via ethernet cable to the router like a tv.

At the moment I am unsure if a bathroom is a good idea because of the humidity. The decision is made, I will keep the C7. The C7 has more power than I need.

Got here a bit late, but was going to offer that the C7 was well thought of as a great radio performer both in 2.4 and 5ghz bands. (Smallnetbuilder.com, others) As an AP only, it gets down to how good the antennas and basic radio chip performance are.

Sounds like you proved that out for yourself already! Enjoy.

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I run multiple C7's as 5GHz AP's and they are more than good enough for the task. I get full 866Mbit PHY rate in most places around the house and >50MByte/sec in iperf3 currency. On a frigging iPhone/iPad! (run on 80MHz channels). Sure, it does not have MU-MIMO, but neither do any of my devices (iPhone 8, iPad, laptop).

It will take long time before that bandwidth is depleted.

So do not worry about 9880 being "slow". It is far from slow if used correctly :wink:

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