WIFI 5 "upgrade" from Archer C7 V2?

Hi there,

I currently have an Archer C7 V2 and it works great with OpenWRT. However, I've been considering an upgrade that has more RAM since I use the BanIP package and it recommends 512mb RAM or more.

I only need WIFI 5 and don't need "tri-band" or anything else beyond with the Archer C7 offers, really. Just a basic router like the Archer C7, but with more RAM, ideally, and maybe a bit more CPU horsepower. I'd like to stick with the TP-Link brand if possible, but am open to other ideas.

So far I've found the TP-Link AC20, but it has tri-band and appears to have a Broadcom wifi chip, which I read OpenWRT doesn't support, is that true? The only other ones I can find are the TP-Link Archer C2600 and TP-Link Talon AD7200 (both appear to use Atheros chips), although they came out in 2015 and 2016 respectively, but maybe that's not a huge issue?

Any suggestions? I'd rather not build a mini PC or use a Pi.


My (admittedly limited) knowledge of current TP-Link offerings leads me to suggest you should consider some other brands, too. TP-Link seems to have fallen behind the likes of Netgear, Belkin, Linksys and so on in their all-in-one wireless device offerings. The Netgear WAX202 looks like what you're asking for, and if you want really future-proof, then the WAX206 might be the ticket (faster SoC and 2.5 Gbe wan port).

Oh yeah, Broadcom = Big No. They are pretty open-source hostile with their proprietary binary blobs for drivers and unwillingness to tell anyone without $$$ how to use them.

As efahl already implied, the sweet spot for wifi5 devices is behind us, wifi6 devices may even be cheaper and are more easily available (new, but even in used condition, wifi5 devices often aren't any cheaper). Yes, the selection of OpenWrt supported wifi6 devices is still limited, but growing - and we already have a couple of good devices for relatively little money.

Depending on local availability and pricing on the used markets, you may still find other bargains though.

Thank you guys. Yeah, after looking into this a bit more I think you're both right. I'll look into those Netgear ones, and other early WIFI 6 ones. It probably is a good idea to get something that is a bit more future-proof.

And thanks for letting me know about Broadcom, that's pretty bad, I'll steer clear of them.

What about the Linksys WRT3200ACM? A bit long in the tooth? Seems oddly expensive, too.

Also read about the Belkin RT3200 / Linksys E8450, any thoughts?

I'd also like a USB port, though, and it appears those Netgear ones don't provide any, which is too bad. Any others that are comparable?

PS. What is "160Mhz" and does OpenWRT support it?

This one is both old (albeit still capable in wired-only operations), but its wireless side is a dead end. Do not -under any circumstances- buy this, if you care about wifi.

Standard channel bandwidth on 2.4 GHz is 20 MHz (40 MHz possible, if you have no neighbours), standard channel bandwidth on 5 GHz (and 802.11ac and up) is 80 MHz (160 MHz possible). Not that many routers support 160 MHz channels and those that do, might have to disable other features (beamforming, Mu-MIMO) if you force it. I wouldn't bother too much about 160 MHz on 5 GHz (or 40 MHz on 2.4 GHz), it's rarely worth the trouble - details depend heavily on the hardware involved and reliability often suffers.

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Thank you! That's a big help.

The WAX206 is looking pretty good, actually.

And, just to confirm, older Wifi 5 devices will still work fine with Wifi 6 routers, I'm guessing, correct?

Take a look:

Still available if you're interested... :slight_smile:

Thanks, NC1. I'm going to try to find a new device to buy, though.

Anyone have any thoughts or opinions about the Belkin RT3200 / Linksys E8450? How do you think it compares to the Netgear WAX206, for example?

It's a nice device, and if you're in the US then it's available for $50 at Walmart right now (https://www.walmart.com/ip/Belkin-Dual-Band-AX3200-Wifi-6-Router-3-2-Gbps-White-RT3200/103632882). But, it's a bit tricky to do initial setup that I believe makes the WAX20x boxes nicer if you don't want to deal with the UBI stuff.

Being the first WiFi 6 device that OpenWrt supported, it is very well researched, has a ton of discussion (Belkin RT3200/Linksys E8450 WiFi AX discussion), but may still have some niggling issues (mostly with wifi speeds on things like Apple devices or whatever, I can't remember them all). Most of this you can ignore, but it makes "interesting" reading when you can't fall asleep.

That said, I've set up three of them and had one of my kids set up another one, and they all have performed without issue. First one went into "production" in Feb 22, just before the 22.03 release, and it has been working 24/7 flawlessly...

The hot new model is the Dynalink DL-WRX36 which has twice the RAM (1 GB) and more than twice the CPU than the MT7622 in the RT3200 and WAX206. In the US it sells for $80.

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Okay, good to know, thanks very much.

That Netgear WAX206 is still looking like a good candidate to me. I can live without the USB port, I suppose.

Is Dynalink a decent brand?

ipq807x vs mt7622bv+mt7915 is a matter of perspective, ipq807x has the better specs on paper, mt7922bv the better driver support (especially on the wired side) and filogic 830 follows up on ipq807x on the specs side. However if an archer c7 has been sufficient so far (just with a desire for more RAM), both will do, easily.

Both devices are cheap for what they're offering and will work fine.

Thanks, @slh. I think I'll look into the WAX206.
I appreciate everyone's help here in this thread greatly, thank you all.