Advice on the best setup to use OpenWrt (1000mbps while SQM enabled)

How fast is your internet connection?

1000mbps up and down.

Do you need Wi-Fi?

No, but I would like you to suggest to me two option . One without wifi at all . And one with with both wifi 2.4ghz and 5ghz .

Do you need Gigabit Ethernet?

Yes , 4 at least .

Do you need USB ports? How many? USB 2.0 or 3.0?

At least 1 supporting 3.0

How many family members/devices must the router support?

7 at most . Since not all devices will be connected to it . ( I have a mesh network that will be connected to it by cable . So other devices will not be connected to it directly )

What other services do you want?

Mainly I will use it for SQM so it must be great for that and support 1000mbps while SQM enabled. Also having adblock will be great.

My price range is up to 400$ . The cheaper the better it is. Also make sure it’s stable with no issues .

x86_64 and a small managed switch.


Can you give me a link to the specific full setup I need to buy. That you just suggested ?

Sorry I’m pretty much a beginner not an expert:)

Maybe something like this?

Has 4 Intel NICs and i5 should be enough for 1Gbit SQM.
Qotom has large offerings of different mini PCs so I think you can find what fits your budget.


Thank you !

is that the cheapest solution for my needs ?

Also last question, how do you guys know the specs needed for my speeds and use ? For example if my speed is less than 100mbps up and down how do i know what specs do I need ? I there some sort of a guide or criteria?

The (big) problems are routing speeds (plain routing, without SQM) above 300-500 MBit/s, depending on SOC and devices - lower speeds can be covered by (most-) semi-contemporary SOCs (ath79 is getting close to its limits around 150-200 MBit/s[0]).

SOCs that can do >500 MBit/s would be:

  • x86_64, here the sky is the limit - but neither wifi, nor an integrated switch.
  • RPi4, it's fast, but no wifi (no, the onboard wifi is barely usable for anything serious and USB WLAN is not an option), no integrated switch and a second USB3 network card would be needed. Yes, it is also a good option for SQM, but reading between the lines of your original post, 1000/1000 MBit/s with SQM (and more), I don't feel comfortable to recommend this for this use case anymore
  • mvebu, fast routing at 1 GBit/s wire-speed, bad wifi (and no hope for this to improve; mwlwifi), sure it can do SQM well - but 1000/1000 with SQM, hmmm…
  • mt7621 with hardware flow-offloading can do routing at 1 GBit/s wire-speed, but only using the afforementioned hardware acceleration, which rules out SQM coexistance and the CPU itself is the weakest among all of these
  • FriendlyElec NanoPi R2S, cheap, but no wifi, nor integrated switch - tops out around 500 MBit/s without SQM (significantly less with SQM), a tendency to overheat
    • the FriendlyElec NanoPi R4S promises improvements in the future, but it's still brandnew, exact performance figures aren't available yet, nor is official OpenWrt support - maybe in ~half a year, but it's not a contender right now.
  • QCA IPQ8065, this SOC heavily relies on its proprietary hardware acceleration (two little-endian NSS/ NPU core running their NSS firmware at 800 MHz), which is not available for OpenWrt (yes, there are some efforts underway, but don't rely on this to become formally part of OpenWrt - in the best case it'll take time and efforts, but more likely it will never be merged). Without NSS support, it maxes out around 500-600 MBit/s (without SQM), but offers very good wifi support and an integrated switch.
    • ipq807x has now been shipping for a while and is promising to allow routing at wire-speed up to and above 1 GBit/s without NSS support (even more if the NPUs were supported one day), including 802.11ax wifi and an integrated switch, but this is still under development and will still require considerable efforts before the first devices might get basic support (especially the switch hardware might be challenging).
    • ipq40xx takes the spot below these, but it's cheap and good if you don't need as much performance.

Judging from the expectations raised in your original post, I don't really see any option other than x86_64 (and something faster than AMD's 'Jaguar' GX-412TC - as in PC Engine's APU2/3). SQM or VPN services raise the bar significantly, so don't aim too low.

[0] take this as a rule of thumb and don't question the last MBit/s here - a lot more is involved once you can do more exact benchmarking, e.g. PPPoE taxes the device with a serious overhead. Things like SQM or VPN, just as well as general latency expectations under load provide an even bigger impact.


I use an RPi4 with shaper on an ATT gig fiber (actually in reality it's less than that, probably closer to 750Mbps). It works but it's a bit of a custom solution. It is however faster than a j1900 x86 so it's quite capable.

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As a datapoint for mvebu, my turris omnia allows unidirectional traffic shaping at around 1 Gbps, but for bidirectional saturating traffic that reduces to around 500/500 Mbps. IMHO still pretty impressive...

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Thank you for your help .

Based on what you guys are saying I think these are my options now .

1 -

2 -

Which one is a better option ? Also are a 2Gb RAM and 32GB SSD enough ?

( don’t need wifi )

i5 (even the mobile versions like in the Qotom) should always outperform Celerons.
You can always google the CPU's and see estimated benchmarks, for example:

Where I live we don't even have an option of 1Gb in and out (at least not for residential users), so I can't ask anyone for real life experience. When I was searching for recommendations not lot of users have the speed you can have.

@slh gave you same great tips, all that devices would be fine without SQM, but if you want full speed with SQM it's hard to give exact answer cause you have to benchmark it.

I use to be kind of obsessed with sqm, but for various reasons I had to use an old asus router (ac68u) with openwrt but without sqm for a limited time. I use to run dslreport tests and all, but now I just use the net as is. I have 250 mbit up/down. And I actually don't miss sqm. Your case may be different, but have you even tried using that connection without sqm?

Edit: BTW, very nice writeup @slh, I have good experience from running openwrt on ubiquiti erx without sqm

The faster your connection and the less you do interactive stuff, the more likely you can get away without sqm. It also helps a huge amount if your ISP gets their act together and controls their own buffers, so it will depend on ISP and even local configuration.

Anyone who does video conferences, voip phones or gaming will find even with 250/250 Mbps connections it's not hard to garble them if you have 3 or 4 people in your household actively using the network.

However, for gigabit WAN it's possible you can get away with just fq_codel

Actually my connection now is ~500mbps down and ~110mbps up . ( it’s 5G NR router not fiber connection )

And yes I have tried it. It’s great for gaming but Not when someone is downloading or using it heavily. ( more than 15 devices are using it )

Why than I say I need something for 1000mbps up and down ? Because just to future proof my purchase and making sure he can handle SQM easily for 500+mbps connections even 1000mbps up and down.

That’s true for fiber connection most likely . But not for most of those who have 3G&4G and 5G ( for now at least ) connection .

These 3G&4G&5G router most of them if not all of them don't have any kind of SQM or QOS
They are very very bad on controlling bandwidth over multiple devices. So I’m facing a big issue with bufferbloat.

By the way I have heard of ( ubiquity the dream machine ) and I think he can handle SQM up to 800mbps or close to that. and it have SQM built in.

What you guys think of it ?

The only problem with running SQM on a wireless connection is that weather and general radio noise will cause variable speeds. SQM can't really work reliably with variable speed connections unless you set the SQM speed to the say 99%tile lowest speed you get... And then sometimes that's a lot less than typical speed. Like you might pay for 500Mbps but throughout the day there might be variations in speed, there might be say 10 minutes through the day where the speed is as low as say 40Mbps... that's on the order of 10% of the daylight hours. So If you set your SQM speed to say 38Mbps you'll get rock solid pings all day long, but you'll be throwing away 90% of your bandwidth :wink:

of course if you have more reliable connection speed, it will work better, so this varies from person to person.

True .

Actually That what I was planning to do for example I will put the sqm bandwidth to 100mbps to grantee let’s say 95% of the speed of the hole day .

It’s ok because it’s more than enough for the other users and they absolutely will not notice a difference.

However when I’m not gaming or I need the 500mbps . I can simply connect my console/laptop cable directly to the main router . Or connect my phone to the wifi of the main router to get the 500mbps speed .

I don't think I've read someone running OpenWrt on a UniFi Dream Machine, but you may perhaps be able to run SQM through the ubiquiti firmware. I set up one of these recently, and they do look very nice (== enables you to place it on a good location thanks to the high WAF) and the wifi seemed fine. However, for the same price you will get that small x86 computer running OpenWrt managing gigabite SQM.

I noticed your need to have 4x ports. You could easily (and cheaply) solve that my adding a unmanaged switch. Doing so, you open up for more potential router options.

Here's a few worth considering:

  • Odroid-H2 (assuming OpenWrt supports booting from UEFI which has been a challenge in the past)
  • ZBOX CI329 nano - this is barebone, hence you need to add some components
  • Gigabyte BRIX IoT (barebone)
  • NanoPi R4S - not x86, nor ready yet, but seems promising

Personally, I went for a Dell Optiplex 3040 SFF and added an Intel i350-T4 4 Port Gigabit Network Adapter (watch out for fake ones). This computer is larger than any options previously mentioned, and makes more noise, but if you have a place for it, this may be your cheapest option moving forward.

I would have gone for a Dell wyse 5070 extended + 4 port pcie card, but couldn't find good prices in Europe.