Convert TP-Link Archer C5 Version 1.3 to C7 Version 2.0

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The TP-Link Archer C5 Version 1.2 with three antennas (not the Archer C5 version 2.0 with two antennas) is the exact same hardware as the more expensive Archer C7 version 2.0.

The C5 can be converted into a C7. The version numbers are important. You must have an Archer C5 version 1.2 with THREE antennas.

NOTE: I'm told this no longer works with the latest firmware builds on new units. For this to work you need to downgrade the firmware and that must be done via TFTP. Instructions are here

This blog assumes that you are starting with factory firmware. I recently bought one off of eBay and it came with a corrupt flash of DD-WRT firmware. It was a gunfight but I won.

Now lets begin. Download a version of DD-WRT for the Archer C5 version 1 from here. Login as a guest user of the ftp site and download the March 25th version of TP-Link Archer C5 v1.
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Now hook your computer ethernet to one of the 4 LAN ports on the back of the router and go to a browser and type

user = admin
password = admin

You’ll see this below:
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Click on “System Tools” on the left near the bottom then “Firmware Upgrade” then “Choose File” and select that March 25th DD-WRT file you downloaded above. Then hit upgrade.
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Wait a few minutes then go to a browser and type:

user = root
pass = admin

We don’t really need to log in here in the browser but checking never hurts.

Now open a terminal prompt on your computer and type

telnet -l root

NOTE: In my pic below the command shown is ssh -l root I have ssh enabled on my router and took this screen shot without realizing it didn’t match my tutorial here. Issuing the telnet command gets you to the exact same prompt.

you should see a password prompt

pass=admin (unless you changed it when you logged in the browser and saw DD-WRT)
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now type

cd /tmp

then (also you need to have internet access for this) Make sure you are plugged in your modem and can access the internet.



mtd -r write tplink_mod.bin linux

It will bark at you and say there are some errors or something……just ignore. You should see parenthesis with an “e” and a “w” switching back and forth. It’s writing to the router. When it completes it will reboot and when it does go to a browser and type:

You’ve done it. Your router is now a C7 version 2.0 and uses all three of those antennas. It’s now a AC1900 instead of an AC1200 router.

You should now update to the latest version of C7 firmware found here:

Download the file and flash as you did before. You now have the latest version of C7 version 2.0 firmware.

You can also go back to the DD-WRT ftp site and download the latest DD-WRT for the ARCHER C7 VERSION 2.0 this time (make sure not C5) and install it. Just remember DD-WRT turns the address to

Yer a power user hacking geek!