Best 2021 OpenWrt WiFi

If you don't mind me asking, what version of OpenWrt are you running on the R6220, and how exactly do the problems with 2.4GHz WiFi manifest? I'm personally running an R6220, and the 2.4GHz Wifi is "just fine", i.e. as good as can be expected in a crowded neighborhood. As others above, I'm not convinced a different router would bring significant improvement.

The R6220 has a bit of a rocky past with WiFi, for a long time there was a bug that can have caused the WiFi calibration/MAC data to be misread. That bug has been fixed with 19.07, so if, for whatever reason, you are still running 18.06 that might be the cause of your problem.

I ran snapshot from just before christmas as requested by one of the driver developers, 19.07.5, and currently have gone back to 18.06.9 as it works the best. The biggest problem is the 5GHz signal isn't strong enough to penetrate into all the rooms and when on 2.4GHz the are lag spikes or disconnects. When your kid was playing nicely with 60ms pings and they jump to hundreds or thousands there is frustration.

I was able to use flent to write up reproduction steps, so if anybody wants to dig deeper they should be able to.

The big take away is the archer c7 worked fine for me needs, but I traded it for the r6220 as somebody was reporting WiFi issues with it. Since trading I now have WiFi issues and their home works fine. I seem to have narrowed it down to the 2.4GHz on the r6220, especially in newer builds.

If you are technical enough to be able to use multiple devices to run flent I'd love to see more 2.4Ghz vs. 5Ghz data added to the above report.

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I see, thanks for the pointers, that was an interesting read (and a good indicator that I might just not be using my R6220's 2.4GHz Wifi to the point where I notice the problems you do. Nowadays it is relegated to only supply internet to my IOT devices, they don't run nearly as "hot" as your kid playing online games.)

Did you consider an external access point? Your situation sounds like it might benefit from a strategic placement of an access point instead of expecting one router at one location to cover a larger/more obstructed space. There are a few nice wall-mountable ones supported by OpenWrt now, and if your main requirement is the 2.4GHz WiFi you don't even have to go with the higher-end models.

(In a different location, I use a few Aerohive AP121s I picked up for basically free when a school upgraded to a much more expensive solution. They run OpenWrt nicely, but I wouldn't recommend them for covering larger spaces, they are more suited to be deployed in numbers, each covering a smaller space.)

I don't have that much space to cover that one router can't serve all my needs. Even if I add an ap closer to my son's room so he could use 5Ghz I still would want solid 2.4GHz for my ever increasing collection of IoT devices. Why but an ap or two when I could just get a better router?

Because even 500$ router won't cover as much as two separate AP.
Your best bet is two AP. I'm pretty sure you can find two UAP-Lite for little over 100$

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Because, as you initially said, you don't actually need a better router, you need better/stronger WiFi. It sounds like, no matter which great new router you get, you will always struggle to some extent with WiFi coverage.

It's just a suggestion, I'm not trying to talk you out of or into anything. But you can also ... just try if it helps? That additional AP can be dirt cheap, maybe even an otherwise useless old 2.4 GHz WiFi router you already have collecting mold in a drawer. And then you can still decide whether to get a nice dedicated AP for that purpose.

My problem isn't just high lag and disconnects when gaming or the terrible flent graphs posted elsewhere, it is also annoying things like having to ask the smart speaker multiple times to turn off the smart lights. There are an ever growing number of IoT devices around, many only work on 2.4GHz. This could be just a few metres away in the same room. If I solve this broken 2.4GHz problem I also solve my other problems without needing the Cadillac solution of multiple APs.

It seems like the r7800 has been discontinued. Amazon.com only has five left in stock, and that is from a third party seller that doesn't ship to Canada. I don't know of a similar ath10k device?

So it feel like the answer to my question is "there aren't any great ones". The Archer C7 v5 was working in my home. Therefore the Archer C7 is probably the best WiFi device with OpenWrt support one can buy in 2021. As Warlock said above maybe the DIR-882, etc are also good, provided one is willing to run snapshot builds.

Since I didn't feel like gambling on a device that I need to run snapshot on I've picked up an e8450 to get me by for now. Hopefully there is support soon. In the mean time I'm running stock firmware and have a working household again.

Thank you everybody for the suggestions.

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the solution is multiple APs. 2.4GHz is noisy and doesn't work particularly well, the devices you are talking about are low powered devices. The system is a 2 way street. Having a high power base just convinces devices they can connect to an AP that they can't connect to. Imagine it's like you're in a massive stadium... there's a guy in the middle on a megaphone... sure everyone can hear him just fine, but the little girl whispering off in the upper stands is just not going to communicate to the guy with a megaphone. The answer is to bring the megaphone guy close enough to the little girl with the whisper that he can hear her.

Furthermore, when there are a lot of devices connecting at low data rates from far away, most of the airtime is taken up by overhead, the bandwidth available suffers tremendously. Bringing everyone closer to the AP means everyone can connect at higher data rates, and the overhead is sent at higher rates so there's more throughput and more time available to get a packet sent in a timely manner.

In other words, get an AP closer to the devices that are flaky. It's not a "Caddilac" solution it's the solution.

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hi dana, for that i have a zyxel 6617 and that is working really good, the range of this device is over the top, i'm not a fan of ath10k, but this device after long time is working really good.

i'm not saying that is the best 2021 openwrt router, but for the price is a very good openwrt device.

Opa, basicamente essa versão do TPLINK não funciona a interface grafica, porque o roteador não tem espaço suficiente para instalar ele. Você terá que fazer todas as configurações via linha de comando usando o Putty.

That Alexa behaviour is classic latency issue. Get yourself some Ethernet cable and run it from that difficult room all the way down.

I would do that before wasting money on a new router, especially as you say your budget is unlimited.

I have setup wireless bridges loads of times for friends and neighbours, running Ethernet at each end to another router that serves the main area always worked best, especially for things like Roku (4k are catching up now on wifi), gaming and media server like Plex.

The router in top floor will server other rooms upstairs and even with an old router will be better than wireless from downstairs.

That is so true, I had a CCTV camera and a few smart light switches that were N only and just used a cheap reliable TP-link and created both N and AC locally. I ran these back with Ethernet as no point creating the circus unicyle latency issue.

Sorry to follow up so late. Got an Omada-compatible AP from TP-Link to try it out. Just wanted to add that the Omada Android app is very limited in functionality compared to the controller. Very similar to Ubiquiti functionality really, with both Omada and UniFi Android apps you can only configure very basic settings -- one SSID per radio, no fancy functions like Guest Network, etc.

If TP-Link doesn't obsolete old devices and doesn't make them un-adoptable by controllers after certain date like Ubiquiti does (March 1st 2021 for all non-AC UAP devices right now), it looks like a better buy compared to UniFi line.

I suspect at some point older devices will become unmanageable just because features will exceed their RAM abilities or whatever, but I haven't seen TP-Link add "artificial" limits. I see Ubiquiti as a company that explicitly builds in artificial obsolescence and barriers to using their products freely, this is why I have been recommending TP-Link Omada relative to Ubiquiti.

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I've been using a TP-Link AC2600 for years (purchased refurbished / like new off eBay), and I've been pretty happy with it.

For older APs such as eap330, you can't use omada controller v4, you're stuck on v3. Not sure you miss out on any particular features through.

I have a eap225v3 as well, does anyone know how wifi performs compared to stock firmware?

And finally, is it worth investing in multiple routers that supports roaming standards?

Is this router fully supported by OpenWrt?
Easy flashing process?

See https://openwrt.org/toh/netgear/r7800#installation

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I recommend that you buy the Belkin RT3200 or the Linksys E8450, these routers are better than the Netgear R7800.

Both routers are identical from the same company, only change the color and price. (Belkin RT3200 is $50 dollars cheaper)

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