3+ Gbps Router Appliance?

My neighborhood finally got fiber and Bell Canada is offering 3 Gb/s symmetrical service for $60. Or they were. I might have missed that window.

Regardless, if I sign up for that service I'll need a router appliance that has a minimum of 3Gb on the WAN side.

None of my neighbors (that I know) got the 3-gig service but some got the 1.5 and they are getting between 970 and 1600 down so I don't know for sure that I'd see see the full 3000 but I might as well aim higher than lower.

I like the NanoPi devices but they support only 2.5 Gb. Can anyone recommend a device with 4 or 5 Gbps WAN?

x86_64, your list pretty much starts and ends there.

Uuuuch. I was afraid someone might say that.

Then the other angle is: do you really need those speeds in real life outside of speed tests?

I doubt that the path through internet to the servers of the typical services that you use (Netflix, Facebook, GitHub, aws, azure, whatever) really offer those kinds of speeds on sustained bandwidth basis. Likely you won't find counterparties (except the speed tests), and your benefits may be smaller than you think. Your last mile will be a highway compared to the narrow country roads leading to the counterparties :slight_smile:

Like slh said, you likely need a x86 appliance for wired routing. Then a typical solution is x86 for routing and a separate AP for wireless. But assuming that you want the 3 Gbit upto the AP offering WiFi, in that x86+AP scenario you would need a higher than gigabit LAN, so the x86 and AP should both also support 2.5/5/10 Gbit for LAN.

Sure, it is fun to tweak for absolute top performance, but is the price/hassle vs. benefit ratio good enough?


I agree with @hnyman, I've been using 1/1 gbit for the fast 5-6 years, never had any complaints from the rest of the household, about choppy internet access, etc..

Most devices requiring heavy bw are wired through, only one gaming laptop, phones and tablets are using wireless.

It's however a small family, there's only three of us.

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Another real life experince here. My contract is for 1800/1000 mbps but only the ISP's crappy box can deliver that. So I've configured it as a bridge and got 4-500mbps max with openwrt + sqm and that's more than enough for my household. So 3gbps is only nice for speedtests in my opinion as well

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For this i'd see lenovo m720q/m920q with dual 10gb network adapter, fujitsu futro s920 with gx-424 might be too slow. For network card if bell hardware have copper 10gb then intel have x540 or x550 (multigabit) cards, if sfp then mellanox have cheap cards with nice offloading. But all depends of how intense You gonna use it.

The x540 have an issue with load distribution, and maxes out one core, capping itself, instead of using all.

Might be a kmod/kernel bug, or config error, haven't been looking into it.

Looking over the costs to upgrade my entire infrastructure in the light of day makes me reconsider the value proposition of 3Gb/3Gb... but my eyes sure did get big there, for a second. Frankly even 1.5Gb/300Kb is theoretically ten times what I have now and should be fine for the foreseeable future.

I guess it'll be a while yet until faster hardware begins to trickle down into a more consumer-friendly price bracket, and until the rest of the internet catches up to where 3000Kb/s will show meaningfull performance improvements beyond a few scenarios (like a speedtest between me and my ISP :grin:).

Okay, thanks for the sanity check, everyone.


Question isn't really when the hardware will drop in price, but if you really need the speed ?

My ISP have been offering 10/10gbit just as long as I've had mine 1/1gbit subscription with them.

Would it be cool to have 10/10gbit ? Sure !

Can I afford it ? Yeah, it's ~$45.

Do I need it ? Hell no!

Stepping down from 3gbit to 1.5gbit, will still require >= 2.5gbe network hardware, or you're
only utilizing 66% of the capacity bought.

I'd go for 750mbit, if offered.


No, but like you said, it'd be nice.
But it's $120 more a year than the 1500/940.
Bell also offers 500M which might be an option. I'll have to see what offers I can get.

2.5G ethernet is common and cheap enough these days. NanoPi and other devices have 2.5G as standard already.

Client side 2.5gbe is pretty common indeed, switches are still expensive, imho.

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Yeah, but at some point I'll have to take the leap because in this household we're brushing against the limits of 150Mb/s. Also, 1.5G would be nice.

If it's symmetric I would take that for sure. You can saturate it under SQM with a cheap x86 mini PC with dual gigabit ports. It will absolutely be a very fast experience for up to easily 10 users... Upload makes a big difference, do not go with a fiber plan that has less than 250Mbps upload, prefer symmetric.