Best Hardware for dumb Access Point?

Hey there,

currently I use a LinkSys WRT1200AC as my main router and three TP-LINK (WR740?) as dumb access points in less used places in the house. Sadly I had to move one of them and now my main spot in the house doesn't look good.

So I need something dumb (nothing powerful in terms of computing power) but with good wireless strengths. I already looked at another WRT1200AC since I really liked the easy Installation, but they increased in price heavily and it seems like they don't get recommended anymore.

I am on the search for something affordable (150 Euro max) which is hassle free to install and mantain.

Sadly I wasn't able to spot any "Community Favorites" so far.

Thank you very much!

I'd look at the supported ipq40xx based devices (ipq4018 starting at around 70 EUR) with 2x2 radios (some ipq4019 tri-radio ones starting around 130 EUR, if you don't have a wired backhaul). Those (>=256 MB RAM is important!, don't go with the 128 MB RAM rt-ac58u!) have pretty good wireless capabilities for reasonable prices.

If you have higher expectations, ipq8065 with 4x4 radios can do a great job at around 170 EUR (Netgear r7800/ ZyXEL NBG6817).

2 Likes

Thank you very much. I can work with this information :smile:

The Netgear R7800 looks pretty good, is available for 160 Euro and delivered fast. Seems like that's my favorite for now. Don't want to upgrade or worry about a bottleneck in the future, so the ipq8065 with 4x4 radio sounds good!

Will look around a bit more, but sounds like a solid choice.

Thank you!

Edit: As an ipq4019 Alternative I am taking a look at Linksys EA8300. 30 Euro cheaper, but also less perfomance. This way I could stay in the LinkSys eco-system if I ever want to return (even when I am running OpenWRT since two years without a problem... :D).

A cheaper option is the 3x3 TP-Link Archer C7. Somewhat controversial, since there may be a bug in recent OpenWrt versions of the ath9k, but I've been having better results lately with snapshot versions...

That said, it was one of the better performing (by the judgement of radio coverage) on SmallNetBulders, back when it was new, it used to be one of the most common routers used with OpenWrt, and it has radios (ath9k/ath10k) that take advantage of the new Make-Wifi-Fast code that is not available elsewhere. It's about $80-90USD new, used ones cheaper. You probably want a v2 or v3 anyway...

In no particular order: TP-Link EAP245 v3, GrandStream GWN7610, Ubiquiti UAP-AC-PRO, or Ubiquiti UAP-HD. The TP-Link and GrandStream models are within your budget. The Ubiquiti devices will only be within your budget if you can find them refurbished or used.

These devices are targeted at the small/medium business market and completely outclass APs marketed for residential use.

None of these APs can run OpenWRT, but since you asked for a 'dumb' AP I presume this is OK for you.

The Ubiquiti AC PRO can run openwrt. I've got the AC LR and it works better with openwrt than with stock firmware