[Cerowrt-devel] archer c7v2 gets third party unupgradable firmware

dpreed at reed.com dpreed at reed.com
Mon Feb 15 11:11:03 EST 2016

I'm giving a talk in a couple months at a very high level, about "what's at stake" as we move into the era of "5G" (for lack of a better word, this is what the media all think is happening, and what has the ear of the FCC).

I'd love to have a list of brands and models that have "gone dark" to security improvements, bug fixing, and innovation - mainly just to point at, implicitly shame the industry and its captured regulators, etc.  This will be a modest part of the talk, which has some other well-docmented bombshells in it (like CG-NAT, for example, and the predictable failure of "white spaces" and the CEO-driven, rather than science-driven PCAST "spectrum sharing" that we are now experiencing).

So if the OpenWRT community can start keeping records of "going dark" dates, ... that would be great.  And if there is a stats-analyst out there, it would be great to have quantitative numbers related to market share of re-flashable routers over time, CVE's related to routers, ... not for this talk, but to be able to tell users what the vendors are (not) doing for them.

I don't have the resources to devote too much time to this, but I do have some visibility, which I can use. And there is a huge problem on the horizon in the "[NonInternet] of Things" that has the same issues only moreso. We need to make WiFi on ESP8266's great in all the dimensions that matter.  Not just fast, but capable of innovation and interoperability at the network layer, and capable of protecting our individual privacy when they surround us and outnumber us.

BTW, I went shopping for a pure home "gateway" box.  What pleased me was this board, because I am sure it has the "oomph" to deal with up to Gigabit packet processing (which is where all the current residential ISPs will shortly be).  It has room for RAM and a good mini-PCIe card, as well as a modest mSATA drive. You can use virtualization to provide isolation between parts.

- Jetway NU93-2930 NUC Form Factor Intel Celeron N2930 SoC Bay Trail 2 Intel LAN, 2 Display, 2 x HDMI, 1 x SATA2 port, full-size mSATA, half-size mini-PCIE, 1 External COM, 3xUSB2, 1xUSB3, Audio, 9V-24V DC-in (size 4" x 4" x 1.5").

- 8 GB SODIMM ($35)
- 32 GB mSATA ($30)
- 12v Wallwart

On Sunday, February 14, 2016 7:46pm, "Rich Brown" <richb.hanover at gmail.com> said:

> Hi Dave,
> Since I appear to be one of the owners of the Archer C7 wiki page, can you give me
> more info about the version number/package labelling/etc. so that we can provide
> the info for people to identify that it's a bad one?
> Thanks.
> Rich
>> On Feb 14, 2016, at 1:26 PM, Dave Täht <dave at taht.net> wrote:
>> A pithy note on
>> https://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/tp-link/archer-c5-c7-wdr7500 - it contains
>> a bitter "thank you" to the FCC - you can't upgrade the firmware to a
>> third party anymore.
>> I can confirm this - the archer c7v2 I got off of amazon last week has
>> firmware 3.14.3, and will not take a web upload of openwrt no matter
>> what I tried. I also failed to get a tftp upload to work (but did not
>> try hard enough).
>> So this rules out the netgear wndr 4300, and tp-link archer c7v2 for
>> future development efforts by the bufferbloat effort.
>> It's too bad - the cake qdisc is back at a "nearly ready" state and
>> could use some performance testing and optimization on these lower end
>> platforms, and I'd like to get make-wifi-fast off the ground.
>> I guess it would be good to collect a list of those companies that are
>> engaging in whole router firmware lockdown instead of just lockdown on
>> the radio, so we can avoid them in the future.
>> _______________________________________________
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