Phicomm K3C AC1900 MU-MIMO Gigabit Router Reviewed

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RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
and they pick odd partners to work with.

I wouldn't consider Asus an odd partner. Asus seem to like experimenting with underdogs (see the RT-AC87U...)
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
I wouldn't consider Asus an odd partner. Asus seem to like experimenting with underdogs (see the RT-AC87U...)

I should have picked a different term - maybe more a measured release into consumer space - the Lantiq chips have found their way into many vertical applications (much like QTN did at first)...

Anyways, seems to be a decent performer, and the chip/sw stack has a fair amount of history over the years going back to old-school 802.11/11b days...
 

avtella

Very Senior Member
Hopefully better than Puma.
The Puma 5 in the SB6141 was solid though they screwed up on the 6. I hear the 7 rectified the issues.
 

Easy Rhino

Senior Member
Things are not good in Phicomm land for me right now. using the latest .197 firmware

Tried setting it up as a main router, and noticed that sometimes the CPU utilization would be kind of high even when doing basically nothing on the network. And shortly after, clients lost connection and had to reboot.

Then I worked on setting it up as a wired AP per the FAQ on Phicomm's site. After a while (hours) the clients couldn't get valid IP configurations, it seemed like the Phicomm was still being set as the gateway even though it wasn't the gateway any more.

I emailed phicomm support (and they responded from Shanghai) and they suggested using the wireless extension WISP mode. I didn't notice a messed up dialog box like Tim did, but while it seems to work initially, after a few hours, the clients can't connect at all.
2018-03-23_9-29-39.jpg
 

Easy Rhino

Senior Member
I need to walkback my criticism slightly.

I did a factory reset on the Phicomm (had I previously done one after the firmware update while trying to troubleshoot? I don't recall). Anyway, this cleared up and obvious problem where I would try to change the IP address in "lan settings" and it wouldn't even save the change.

So after the factory reset and configuring again as a wired AP, it's worked pretty stably for... about 4 days now, successfully extending both wired and wireless connections. That's a big improvement than before.

My Galaxy S8 has trouble getting a IP address when it roams between the two APs, but it's just the S8 so i'm guessing it's a client problem.
 

CrystalLattice

Senior Member
Thanks for resetting & reposting. Looks like luck of the draw on amazon reviews. Nice to own new tech.
 
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Ryan_C

Occasional Visitor
Phicomm's K3C AC1900 MU-MIMO Gigabit Router provides our first look at an router with Intel Wi-Fi inside.
Read on SmallNetBuilder.
Great review Tim!

Would really love to see a review of Phicomm K3 as well and put it against things like R7800, Ac-86U, etc. I read some early reviews of K3 from China. I feel the K3 might be the best consumer-grade single router on the market (US & China) in terms of range and throughput. Please do that when you get a chance!!
 

Easy Rhino

Senior Member
is there a reason you'd think the k3 would be better than other 4x4 routers?

I'm curious to see how the Asus blue cave shakes out. same lantiq chips as the k3c but an extra steam might be really good.
 

Ryan_C

Occasional Visitor
is there a reason you'd think the k3 would be better than other 4x4 routers?

I'm curious to see how the Asus blue cave shakes out. same lantiq chips as the k3c but an extra steam might be really good.
Phicomm started selling K3 last summer in China. I have read many reviews and user feedback on K3 (I can read Chinese). At least one trusted source put it again R7800, which in my opinion is one of the best in the market. K3 won by a clear margin. Since Tim reviewed K3C, I think it won't be too long before he gets on a K3 here.
 

CrystalLattice

Senior Member
My K3C works as AP after 24hr burn-in. Ebay prices have shot up since trade war started. Amazon price is more fair at moment. Lack of some features, like IPV6, makes it less desirable in U.S.(46% converted).

As AP, it can't synchronize with NTP server. There is no way to input time, so timed reboot & timed wireless off is unavailable.
 
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Easy Rhino

Senior Member
For an NTP workaround, if I plug in the K3c's WAN port, it will DHCP itself and synchronize to NTP. I can then move the plug back to a LAN port to use as an AP, and I need to go back and change the LAN Settings IP address to what I want, and it remembers the time. I'm not sure if this would survive a reboot. Probalby not?
 

CrystalLattice

Senior Member
A shame the Asus blue cave finishes #7 in snb test. Was expecting great things from other Intel based router.
 

Easy Rhino

Senior Member
My K3C works as AP after 24hr burn-in. .

Have you still been using it? I'm about to write mine off as an AP. My two main clients (my galaxy s8 and my desktop with a USB wifi adaptor) have sporadic trouble connecting to this and being able to reach my 192.168.1.1 gateway when their either roam in or wake up from sleep.

I changed it so it doesn't have the same SSID as my main network, so while it will still be flakey, at least my wife's phone won't try to connect to it and fail, thus sending the WAF right down the toilet.
 

CrystalLattice

Senior Member
Huh! Will try it as sole AP behind firewall in vlan next.
 
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