What is the difference between the Archer C5 and C50? And v1 vs v2...

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anoukaimee

Occasional Visitor
I've been shopping around for a router, and it looks like the Archer C5 will meet my fairly minimal needs (in terms of speed, at least) very well. But I'm confused about a few things:

  1. Amazon is currently selling this "C50" https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0168G0KZY/?tag=snbforums-20 for just under $50, and a "C5" https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JZFG6QS/?tag=snbforums-20 for about $70. The former has two white antenna, the latter two black antenna (which is what I've seen most often for the C5). Is there some difference? I've looked everywhere and the only thing I found was on Amazon: the C50 only has one USB port, and the C5 has two. Other than that difference, is the C50 an identical model? Or has it been tested and reviewed anywhere, and if so, does it get similarly great touts?
  2. Additionally, Amazon is selling the "TP-Link AC1200" here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IUDUJE0/?tag=snbforums-20 for about $90. From what I've read, it is the first version of the Archer C5, with three antenna instead of two, and a Qualcomm Atheros instead of a Broadcom (with at least one person saying the Qualcomm is inferior). Further, most say the extra antenna on the first version is basically superfluous. But I've also read that the extra antenna can be enabled using DD-WRT, making it basically a C7 at a slower speed (3x3?). Can that third antenna be enabled? Would be great for range.
  3. Also, it appears that DD-WRT supports at least one of these three models (there is surprisingly only one thread on it), but the compatibility chart is confusing, in that it gives the full model number. I cannot find that information anywhere: WikiDevi, TP-Link's site, Amazon, or here (although I've been thorough, I've just been searching for an hour). Can anyone confirm that the C5, C50, and/or the C7 is DD-WRT compatible? I've attached a PDF of the results so you can see what I mean (if you can read it).
Can anyone clear up this hot mess?

Additionally, I want to use this as my a main router and put my ASUS RT-56U behind it as a repeater (although should I reverse this? the ASUS has beamforming, but the Archer has great range per reviews). I read in the SNB review that there is a limitation wherein it can connect to an access point or repeater (I can't remember which mode exactly) only in one band, not both. Is this a hardware issue, or can it be overcome with custom firmware?

A C7 might be a better idea, but if the $50 Archer C50 is identical to a C5 and I can enable both bands, I'll buy it over the C7, which is retailing for $100 now.

Please help!! Thank you.
 

Attachments

  • Router Database _ www.dd-wrt.pdf
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RogerSC

Part of the Furniture
Mentioning dd-wrt in relation to TP-Link routers reminds me that TP-Link is locking down their firmware (unless they've made a change in policy) so you cannot use third-party firmware like dd-wrt, tomato, etc.

You might look into this if you're including third-party firmware in your plans, or think that you might want to use it in the future.
 

paraplu

Regular Contributor
Archer c50 is using a mediatek chip. Better stay away from this.
 

anoukaimee

Occasional Visitor
Mentioning dd-wrt in relation to TP-Link routers reminds me that TP-Link is locking down their firmware (unless they've made a change in policy) so you cannot use third-party firmware like dd-wrt, tomato, etc.

You might look into this if you're including third-party firmware in your plans, or think that you might want to use it in the future.

That took some looking into as well! But the FCC made them settle to the the tune of $200k and continue to allow alt firmware. So that's all good; pretty positive they're never going to try that again. Although it makes me skeptical of a company that would basically give the finger to its customers so they didn't have to find a real way of complying with the required limits.

Thanks.
 

RogerSC

Part of the Furniture
That took some looking into as well! But the FCC made them settle to the the tune of $200k and continue to allow alt firmware. So that's all good; pretty positive they're never going to try that again. Although it makes me skeptical of a company that would basically give the finger to its customers so they didn't have to find a real way of complying with the required limits.

Thanks.

Wasn't aware of the FCC supporting third-party firmware on TP-Link routers, interestng...I guess that they don't want to be responsible for suppressing inovation, as they say. I'm finding the new FCC attitudes refreshing...they're doing something to limit the impact of their decision on transmitted power to the area of router technology that they're actually concerned with. Looks like they paid attention to all the input that they got during their public comment period. Encouraging.

However, I don't trust TP-Link as a company at this point. I wouldn't stake the future of my home network on them, or maybe their routers are cheap enough that it just doesn't matter?
 

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