A router and a modem ~ € 150-200

I thought I'd take advantage of Cyber Monday to replace the (too) cheap modem router that my ISP provides.
I would therefore like to buy two good devices - a modem and a router - which support OpenWRT / LEDE, FTTC fiber and about a dozen devices (7 of which are wireless) in a not huge house. Budget: ~ € 150-200.
Some advice?

Thank you in advance!

That depends on who your ISP is. If it's AT&T, you cannot replace your modem.

His budget is in euros... So I don't think he lives in the US.

@The_Latest_Arrival There are very few modems fully supported by OpenWrt. Lantiq devices the only ones I am sure about, but to my knowledge none of those do FTTC.

Your connection speeds are also important (it being fiber I suppose they're well beyond 100 Mbps down). x86_64 (e.g. APU4) or mvebu are the more performant options for wired throughput, but the wireless most mvebu devices come with might be a dead end (Marvell sold that division off). So that means no Linksys devices if you want decent wireless support (there might be the odd manufacturer besides Linksys using Marvell wireless but I haven't seen one).

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AFAIK, Cyber Monday is a US-exclusive phenomenon, no?

No offense, but American consumerism is infecting Europe too.

Besides, Halloween is an Anglo-Saxon culture thing, yet it's being pushed in non-English cultures as well. Same with Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

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My ISP is the Italian TIM (ex Telecom).

He has also arrived here in Europe (Italy, in my case) for some years now.

So I assume that I could buy roughly any modem and concentrate instead on buying a good router? But in doing so, do you not cancel the security and performance advantages offered by OpenWRT / LEDE installed on the router, if I have the default modem firmware?

That would imply the need for the modem to modulate on copper, e.g. (x)DSL? Thus the modem would have to be compatible with the copper technology standards deployed by the ISP.


Do they not supply the TIM Hub? Afaik that box has rather performant hardware and includes the (x)DSL modem.

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Yes, they do. Really? I didn't think that stuff was quality. Then better this way.
So if I now put a good "cascade" router, will the security and reliability advantages offered by OpenWRT / LEDE of the router not be compromised / canceled by a modem branded by the ISP (however good it is)?

Are you italian?

Why wouldn't they support FTTC? That's the same VDSL2 signal, either 8a/b, 17a/b or 30a/b. It won't work only if ISP uses supervectoring on 35a/b.

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As modem the DrayTek Vigor 165/130 are quite popular in EU, the 165 has supervectoring support.

The router is problematic, because we don't have a moderately priced device that is powerfully (CPU) and has a good supported wireless chip. The mvebu devices would be great, but they botched the wireless chip.

www.gl-inet.com has some interesting devices or you could grab a cheap/used mvebu device and add a stable AP for you wireless clients.

The ipq40xx and ar71xx platforms have the best supported wireless drivers, so research those.
https://downloads.openwrt.org/releases/19.07.0-rc2/targets/ipq40xx/generic/
https://downloads.openwrt.org/releases/19.07.0-rc2/targets/ar71xx/generic/

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If you take a closer look at the hardware specifications of the TIM Hub and try to find something similar within the stated budget you probably will be hard pressed to come up with a match. That box is really not bad at all, afaik:

  • Broadcom 63138 Dualcore-CPU (incl. VVDSL & SVVDSL SoC),
  • USB 3.0 Ports
  • WLAN: 2,4 GHz 2x2 MIMO, 5 GHz: 4x4 MU-MIMO,
  • support for Vectoring-VDSL2 & Super-Vectoring-VDSL2 (Profil 35b)
  • SFP cage/port

If not mistaken the firmware used to be based on OpenWRT 15.05 Chaos Calmer. Not sure whether the ISP leverages own patches on the firmware but the TIM Hub might work with OpenWrt. If does it may however violate service/support/warranty stipulations with the ISP.


If the TIM Hub can be configured to pass through the traffic with upstream and the downstream node to handle everything else there should nothing be compromised.

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Excellent, thanks to everyone for the advice and suggestions. I have to inform myself more, after which I will choose a good router, while at this point I would say that the TIM Hub could be a valid modem.

Just forgot there is the luxurious Turris Omnia, which is actually a speedy mvbeu device, but with a different decent wifi module, the price has come down a bit lately.

https://www.turris.cz/en/omnia/

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TIM Hub is basically a redressed DGA4130[1] under the hood.

[1] https://www.callflow.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/ultrfast-technicolor-router-spec-sheet.pdf

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I had spotted it, but it is out of my budget.

The challenge wouls be to get the broadcom based DSL part to operate under stock OpenWrt. But there are openen versions of the DGA4130 firmware available that allow to configure that device as a bridged modem, and I believe depending on firmware version it should also work with the TIM version of the device (TIM-branded devices seems to be the main source of DGA413Xs on ebay for example). Google should help you out there...

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That being said, it seems for higher speeds (which fiber will probably offer) most MIPS devices are not powerful enough and ar71xx/ath79 and mt7621 are still 'just' MIPS.

I'd wager mt7621 is a good buy as well, if you are suggesting ar71xx/ath79. Mt7621 is more powerful than ar71xx/ath79 and offers AC wireless as well.

@The_Latest_Arrival It seems like your budget allows it so you could get a decent IPQ80xx device. IPQ40xx has some quirkiness with VLANs (in case you'd use them) which apparently does not affect IPQ80xx (or it has been solved there).

Good luck!

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Thank you very much, I search for these IPQ80xx devices and try to understand better what is right for me. For now, thanks a lot to everyone!