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Standard User youngsyp
(member) Fri 27-Mar-15 11:30:46
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Experiences with TP-Link Archer C5 AC1200?


[link to this post]
 
Hi all,

I'm considering buying an Archer C5 AC1200 to improve the wireless coverage my current Billion 7800N provides and also to provide AC capabilities. Has anyone had experience of this device they'd care to share?

Proposed configuration would be using the Billion as a modem on my current ADSL connection with the C5 on Gb switch and wireless AP duties. When I move to FTTC I also have a Zyxel VMG8324-B10A clone so I have the modem requirement fully covered.

Thanks in advance,

Paul

ISP: Xilo
Service: Talk & Surf 100
Exchange: SMYG
Cabinet: 4
MSAN: Broadcom
Modem/ router: Billion BiPac 7800N
Attenuation:39.5dB
Target SNRM: 3.3dB or 52% of ISP
Current sync: 9755kbps
FTTC cab in place but not enabled..... yet!

Edited by youngsyp (Fri 27-Mar-15 11:45:55)

Standard User rhetherington
(member) Fri 27-Mar-15 20:01:22
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Re: Experiences with TP-Link Archer C5 AC1200?


[re: youngsyp] [link to this post]
 
I've no experience with the C5 but why do you think it will improve coverage? Unless you're planning to use both routers it probably won't help.

I actively avoid 802.11ac routers at the moment because the wireless chips used for 802.11ac require closed-source firmware in order to work, and so can't be fixed by the people who create most of the improvements to home routers. The Qualcomm Atheros chips used in 802.11n routers don't require closed firmware and have seen massive improvements in the recent past (with Cerowrt's "make-wifi-fast" project due to kick off in the next month or so there should be even more improvements coming soon).

I'd advise selling that Zyxel to some mug on eBay and just using the standard Openreach modem along with a router (or 2) flashed with OpenWrt (there are some 802.11ac models, such as the Archer C7, if you're insistent on that technology).

They can be set up in a multiple access point configuration for better coverage if that's what you want. I've recently done this myself and wrote a blog post with example configs for this and other tweaks i use (including support for RFC 4638 and YouView multicast, as used for UK FTTC connections).
Standard User ukhardy07
(knowledge is power) Fri 27-Mar-15 20:56:00
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Re: Experiences with TP-Link Archer C5 AC1200?


[re: youngsyp] [link to this post]
 
So wireless coverage is largely the same on most decent routers. The main issue is the restrictions on output set by the EU, so wireless can only be so powerful. There are other factors but I have personally found all routers to perform similarly, with the odd exception.

The best way to boost the signal is to keep the existing router, then run ethernet to where the coverage is poor, here connect up a second router. Name both routers the same and set them with the same WiFI password. Set one router to channel 1, the other to channel 6. This way they wont interfere.

Turn off DHCP on the 2nd router which basically means the main router does everything important.

Now as you walk around the house, devices will automatically switch between the main router and the second routers signal.

It will only be seen as 1 network, not 2. So in the iPhone for example, you will just see the network once.

This is how large businesses, schools etc do things. You only see 1 network name but there's often 10+ routers broadcasting that name. Your device just connects to the best signal.

Hope I've helped.

Other options are available but they don't always work too well. This methods a sure thing, guaranteed to sort things out (using ethernet and two routers).

I personally use homeplugs, they are great in my home but some people find them dreadful (it's dependent on your home wiring).

With WiFi Homeplugs, connect one to your main router, plug another in where the WiFi signal is poor. Again name both the homeplug and main router the same. You will seamlessly migrate between both. For me I get over 70Mbps on Homeplugs but others find they either do not work, drop out or are very slow. It's all down to your home wiring. Maybe worth trying though? Mine work flawlessly.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/TP-LINK-TL-WPA4220KIT-Powerl...

Edited by ukhardy07 (Fri 27-Mar-15 20:59:49)


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Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Fri 27-Mar-15 23:23:02
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Re: Experiences with TP-Link Archer C5 AC1200?


[re: ukhardy07] [link to this post]
 
Mine work flawlessly.
What about wawlessly?

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - Plusnet UnLim Fibre (FTTC). Sync zilch (problem somewhere) since 11:46a.m. 24/3/15
Standard User youngsyp
(member) Sat 28-Mar-15 20:22:35
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Re: Experiences with TP-Link Archer C5 AC1200?


[re: rhetherington] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by rhetherington:
I'd advise selling that Zyxel to some mug on eBay
Thanks for the comments, certainly food for thought. With regards to the comment quoted, seems you harbour some hostility towards the device, care to elaborate why?

I have both a HG612 and an ECi modem too. Was going to put them on eBay...

Paul

ISP: Xilo
Service: Talk & Surf 100
Exchange: SMYG
Cabinet: 4
MSAN: Broadcom
Modem/ router: Billion BiPac 7800N
Attenuation:39.5dB
Target SNRM: 3.3dB or 52% of ISP
Current sync: 9755kbps
FTTC cab in place but not enabled..... yet!
Standard User youngsyp
(member) Sat 28-Mar-15 20:34:42
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Re: Experiences with TP-Link Archer C5 AC1200?


[re: ukhardy07] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for your response, it's just this kind of experience I'm interested in.

Currently the wireless strength throughout the house is generally sufficient to enable what I want. I also had the house wired with Cat5e when it was built, so have added flexibility there that means I don't use wireless unless I have to. I bought an Amazon Fire TV stick in the US recently and it's this that I want to improve the wireless capability for. Also, we're moving imminently into a 245 year old house that is much larger than our current house and I don't want to start ripping it apart to bury Cat5e in the walls. I've had an idea to run 2 lengths at each end of the house some how though, from the modem/ router in the loft with 8 port GbE switches on each end. I could then experiment with wireless access points at each end of the house plus the Billion in the loft raining Wi-Fi down.

I've kind of gone off the idea of a single access point now.

Paul

ISP: Xilo
Service: Talk & Surf 100
Exchange: SMYG
Cabinet: 4
MSAN: Broadcom
Modem/ router: Billion BiPac 7800N
Attenuation:39.5dB
Target SNRM: 3.3dB or 52% of ISP
Current sync: 9755kbps
FTTC cab in place but not enabled..... yet!
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Sat 28-Mar-15 21:33:58
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Re: Experiences with TP-Link Archer C5 AC1200?


[re: youngsyp] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by youngsyp:
I have both a HG612 and an ECi modem too. Was going to put them on eBay...
Not exactly a good idea. Particularly the HG612, but the ECI could also be useful.

The HG612 is currently the only way you are likely to find out exactly what is going on if and when you do get FTTC.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - Plusnet UnLim Fibre (FTTC). Sync zilch (problem somewhere) since 11:46a.m. 24/3/15

Edited by RobertoS (Sat 28-Mar-15 21:35:32)

Standard User ukhardy07
(knowledge is power) Sun 29-Mar-15 02:54:14
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Re: Experiences with TP-Link Archer C5 AC1200?


[re: youngsyp] [link to this post]
 
I've kind of gone off the idea of a single access point now.

Good, if it was possible to cover a giant area with one access point businesses would be doing it.
Sadly it's not a solution.

These AC devices actually often cover less than say a 3 year old router...
This is because the AC devices use 5Ghz which penetrates walls, concrete etc far less than 2.4Ghz.

Yes they are faster, yes they promise the world, in reality the range is the same or worse than the current router although yes it's faster.
Standard User rhetherington
(member) Sun 29-Mar-15 07:08:03
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Re: Experiences with TP-Link Archer C5 AC1200?


[re: youngsyp] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by youngsyp:
Thanks for the comments, certainly food for thought. With regards to the comment quoted, seems you harbour some hostility towards the device, care to elaborate why?


No real hostility, as i've no experience with the VMG8324-B10A. I actually usually like ZyXel stuff (all my home switches are ZyXel) and i'm sure it's a competent device.

My distaste is for combined modem/router products. I see no valid technical reason in favour of using them over a separate modem and router, and they bring disadvantages such as lack of features, customisability and placement (you either have to site the modem/router near an existing phone socket, install an extension or use a longer phone cable which could degrade your connection speed. Separates lets you keep the modem near the phone socket and place the router for optimum access and Wifi coverage).

The only reason i said to sell it on eBay was because there are plenty out that want a combined modem/router for some reason. Whether that be because they're worried about a possible additional £5/year in electricity separate modems and routers might cost, they just like the look of a combined device, or they don't know there's a better way.

Anyway, another mark against the Archer C5 is that it uses a Broadcom chipset (ew). Broadcom are notoriously bad at supplying the code for their chips, so if you should decide you want to get the fixes and improvements OpenWrt you'll be stuck. If you want 802.11ac then spend the extra £20 and get the Archer C7 (v2). It's supported by OpenWrt and is currently the front runner for the new unit for CeroWrt's "make-wifi-fast" project. The 2.4GHz radio code is open so it can be improved. The 5GHz radio will also work fine but any improvements to Wifi that CeroWrt develop will have to wait on Qualcomm to integrate.

Edited by rhetherington (Sun 29-Mar-15 07:08:47)

Standard User youngsyp
(member) Tue 31-Mar-15 12:28:07
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Re: Experiences with TP-Link Archer C5 AC1200?


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
The Zyxel will give me the line stats information the HG612 will, when I move to FTTC. That was one of the reasons for buying it.

Paul

ISP: Xilo
Service: Talk & Surf 100
Exchange: SMYG
Cabinet: 4
MSAN: Broadcom
Modem/ router: Billion BiPac 7800N
Attenuation:39.5dB
Target SNRM: 3.3dB or 52% of ISP
Current sync: 9755kbps
FTTC cab in place but not enabled..... yet!
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