AP Hardware for around 50 EUR / 60 USD

That NBG is not cheap here in US, more than the WRT32X !!!

The gl-b1300 looks like it's in the range of cost.

slh indicated that the NBG6617 was significantly more affordable in Europe. The Linksys EA6350 v3 he suggested as another, less-expensive, alternative (with the caveat that the v1 and v2 are not supportable). I'm waiting on the https://www.gl-inet.com/products/gl-s1300/ to be released, hopefully soon after the New Year's break.

Thanks for linking this helpful post!
With future proof I didn't mean the support of higher internet speeds, number one priority for me is the OpenWRT update support! Because I know that the images get bigger and bigger from time to time. That is way I want as much flash as possible, even on the dumb APs.
Gigabit LAN should be enough for the next 10 years I guess. Everything in my network that needs high speeds is wired anyway.

I just looked around some online markets and if I'm lucky I could get 2 used EA6350 for 80 Euro. (currently asking the seller if they are v3's)
I guess that is a pretty good deal, for AP only hardware?
The 128 MB flash and 256 MB RAM should be more than enough for OpenWRT and the mesh plugin. (I hope it is called plugin?)
POE-APs are no use to me as I need gigabit switches on each of the APs, since there are some wired clients on every AP.

I also think @dlakelan is right. I should get either a really powerfull router or mini-PC for handling all the other tasks and start using VLANs.
I really fell in love with the WRT32X, but they are so expensive in europe. Wish I could buy it somehow cheap in the US.
The thing is, even if it doesn't have enough power anymore in lets say 3 years. The prices for these high end routers are so stable in the european market. I could sell it with minimal losses.

What I also would like to ask.
Lets say my APs have a different wifi chipset than the WRT32X.
Is this a problem for the mesh wifi? Will I run into any compatibility issues?

Just found this: Netgear R7800 exploration (IPQ8065, QCA9984)
Wouldn't the EA6350v3 have enough cpu power to provide an upload speed of 40 Mbit/s running openvpn? It is using the same chipset as the RT-AC58U.
When I need more speed one day I could still outsource these tasks to a mini-PC and keep the EA6350v3's running as APs.

Instead of mini-PC, check
Top-of-the-crop hardware.

Actually the APU2 is a good board, but not top of the crop any more. The mini PC I linked with J3160 at 1.6GHz CPU is probably faster.

In any case the PC based hardware is all much higher performance than even high end embedded stuff like the WRT32X so if prices are similar the x86 based solution is a no brainier.

Sadly the two EA6350 have been v1's.

But you guys got me thinking:
One dedicated APU2 or Mini-PC for all the routing and server stuff.
Three Archer C7 running OpenWrt, for wifi mesh.

Shouldn't this be the best option for me?
Considering the fact that the C7's have the best bang for the buck in terms 5 GHz troughput.
Or will OpenWrt stop to support devices with 16 MB flash?

I've been advocating this route for about a year here. For anyone with the up-front cash and/or anything like significant requirements (+200Mbps WAN, SQM, gaming, NAS functions, proxy, etc)

I think 16MB is fine for a while, certainly for dumb AP mode.

archer-c7-v1-squashfs-sysupgrade.bin	83100d7101d9e6d5a36ad431228779ff579b8e684c60a49b617eacf80671c291	3968.0 KB	Wed Jan 30 22:12:16 2019

So about 4MB for the base image for an archer c7. If it has 16MB flash it should be fine for the remaining years you're likely to get out of it (4-5?). But I'd be looking at used and hopefully something like $30-40 at most. Otherwise that GL-B1300 starts to look a lot better: smaller, more modern chipset, 32MB flash and 256MB RAM.


The GL-B1300 isn't available used anywhere, costs 80 Euro new and has only 3 LAN ports.
Then I guess I am going to first get me some C7's. They cost about 40 Euro used.
Is it recommended to look for the latest hardware revisions? Or is the wifi performance the same for each of the revisions?

What APU/Mini-PC would you then suggest?
Especially which specs should I be looking for? (except for AES obviously)

Any of the C7s seem to work based on the fact that there are images for v1,v2,v3,v4,v5 on the download site (which is very limited research on my part). I did remember someone complaining about the v5 here, but it was a while back. I'd recommend to read the device page and make sure you understand any limitations related to specific versions.

I'd recommend any MiniPC with AES-NI and 4 Intel NIC ports. 2G RAM and 32G flash or better. The one I linked above seems nice.

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The v1 revision should be avoided at all costs, as its 5 GHz wlan (QCA9880-AR1A) is not supported by ath10k - revisons v2-v5 and the archer a7 v5 come with the supported QCA9880-BR4A and should be fine, although I wouldn't buy them for their current prices anymore (neither new, nor used).

I have similar situation and use 4 x Archer C7 v2's (bought for 40EUR/piece second hand from German Ebay!) as dumb AP's. Router is x86 and handles everything else. All devices run OpenWRT. Archers are excellent as AP's. So much so that I switched off 2.4 and only run 802.11ac on 5GHz band. Handover is seamless and I am guaranteed at least 100Mbit PHY in every part of the house (often >300Mbit) using 40MHz wide channels.

Router handles DHCP, Adblock, VPN etc.I would really recommend using OpenWRT for router as well.

P.S. I do not run mesh. All AP's are wired and powered from PoE Gbit switch. So there is no background backhaul on radio...

In ebay germany there are Archer's C2600 available at ebay for just 65eur (refurbished, shipping included).This device should have enough performance for your needs (IPQ8064).
Its imho a good bang for the buck...

I already bought three C7's and they all arrived today.
Right now I am thinking, is it worth the extra 60 bucks to replace them with three C2600's?

IMO: The 60 bucks more aren't really worth it for me. Since I will be using the x86 for high cpu tasks and high speed clients are all connected by cable.
But thank you @Kherby for linking this device. Might be useful for others.

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No 128 MB is good. I have Netgear WNDR3700V4 with 128 MB ROM (NAND) + 128 MB RAM. I use it as openvpn server, dnscrypt-proxy, torrent downloader, nfs server, ssh server, simple adbocker and i also have python, git on it. it uses about 64 MB ROM. On the other hand 128 MB RAM is small. 256 MB minimum would be better. I also have other device some isps with 128 MB ROM and 256 MB RAM, but i do not know if Openwrt works on it. I'm going to try this week.

To give some short feedback...

I ended up buying this x86 router (2 GB RAM, 32 GB SSD, J3160 4 LAN) and three used Archer C7's acting as dumb APs.

I also replaced my ISPs modem-router-switch by a modem only, so my ISP gets cut out of my network. This was a very good tip!

The current setup is working superb! So thanks again to everyone helping me out and giving suggestions.


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