Upgrading the TP-Link Archer C5 (v1.2) to an Archer C7 (v2.0)

I own a TP-Link Archer C5 router, version 1.2 – which is identical to the TP-Link Archer C7, version 2.0, save for some limitations which are introduced through software. These limitations include a 300Mbps cap on 2.4GHz (450Mbps for the C7) and a 876Mbps cap on 5GHz (1300Mbps on the C7). Not that much, but still enough to be worth tinkering for.
Since I was looking at increasing the WiFi speeds in my home, I searched around a bit, and found out on Stefan Thesen’s blog and Hagensieker’s blog that it is perfectly possible :)

First, make sure you definitely have an Archer C5 version 1.2, with three antennas. Don’t even try with another version. If it breaks, noone is to blame but you.

You’ll need to flash DD-WRT, OpenWRT or LEDE-Project (check the respective projects for instructions on how to do that) first.

Next, download an Archer C7 firmware from the TP-Link website. I downloaded version 3.14.1 (141110) – which contains the firmware in the file ArcherC7v2_v3_en_3_14_1_up_boot(141110).bin

Now, remove the first 256 bytes, which is the bootloader (which we don’t need to flash it):  dd if=ArcherC7v2_v3_en_3_14_1_up_boot(141110).bin of=tplink_mod.bin skip=257 bs=512 (In case you don’t trust doing it yourself, you can also download the firmware from the blog of Stefan)

Next, you can transmit this (using SFTP) to your router, and then force flash it: sysupgrade -F /tmp/tplink_mod.bin. This will flash the firmware, and reboot the router. You’ll have to reconnect to it (default IP address is and the web interface should report an Archer C7 :)

Afterwards you can either upgrade to the latest C7 firmware, or whichever 3rd party firmware you want. I reflashed to LEDE-Project.

Initial testing showed an improvement in WiFi throughput speeds – so I’m happy with my ‘new’ C7 :)

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  1. After you have installed the DD-WRT firmware, you also have the option of simply using the web GUI to install C7 v2.0 firmware that has already had the bootloader stripped out from here…


    Or the ArcherC7v2_webrevert.rar file found here…


    To get the webrevert file, you must have an account and be logged into the dd-wrt website to see the download links.

  2. Works like a charming! So! Thank you for this great explanation! Now I have a wifi speed unlocked C5!
    Thank you guys!

    So, finally I updated my C5 with LEDE. I tried the stripped C7 official firmware and DD-WRT and OpenWrt too. Finally, I decided to use LEDE project firmware. I’m happy with my amazing wifi speed and with my “new” Archer C7 too!
    Have a nice day!

  3. Why is it necessary to trim off the first 256 bytes of the stock C7 firmware after the unit’s been flashed to OpenWRT/LEDE?

  4. To get rid of the bootloader, which will confuse the OpenWRT loader, if I recall correctly. I don’t have the unit anymore.

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