TP-Link Archer C5 flash to C7…or “how to save money as TP-Link did”

Today i came across a tutorial to flash your TP-Link Archer C5 AC1200 to an Archer C7 AC1750.

Yes, i could have bought the C7 instead of the C5 that time, but in that time the C7 was around 95€ and the C5 was on 35€ (sale otherwise 70€ at that time)
I was usually happy with it and it had 1Gbit WAN/LAN and replaced our FRITZ!Box 7270 on the family network.

So whats the problem then? Well a few since it looks like that TP-Link just cut down a few things on the C5 but basically used the same hardware on it as the C7.

up to 300MBit/s im 2.4GHz
up to 866MBit/s im 5GHz

up to 450MBit/s@2,4GHz
up to 1300MBit/s@5GHz

Since the tutorial is in german and can be easily translated, im gonna write the steps in english down here again.

Please note that you can damage your hardware, lose guarantee etc. Do it on your own risk!
This will only work with the v1.2 of the C5 since it seems the built-in hardware is identical with the C7 v2.0 one


Step 1:

Thats the easy part, you just download the OpenWRT firmware ( and do an update over the TP-Link interface since the OpenWRT bin file will be accepted as TP-Link firmware.

After it’s done, it should restart with OpenWRT installed. I will skip the original step 2 since the author uploaded the edited file you need to his webspace.


Step 2:

Now with OpenWRT – log into the box with SSH (dont forget to set up a password in the OpenWRT interface for SSH)

Optional you can cd /tmp

Now download the file




Optional wget


Step 3:

After downloading we gonna start to flash the C7 firmware back on the box. 

with the following command, we gonna trigger the process (The process can take between 5 and 10min)


sysupgrade /tplink_mod.bin


If you get an error which says that the file is not an offcial TP-Link firmware, you can try and force it with following command below – This is a risky way but no risk no fun, eh?


sysupgrade -F /tplink_mod.bin



Final step:

After waiting, you should get welcomed by the TP-Link interface saying following in the upper right corner


Log in with default (user admin / pw admin) set the box up and have fun 🙂




Original tutorial from

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