Best Hardware for OpenWRT

Hi, I know this question is stupid but maybe I get some hints:
What should I buy right now for a LONG-TERM stable OpenWRT supported HW?
Priority is rather:

  • low power usage, not speed
  • fine with 11N/AC - at lets say 50mbit net
  • dont need USB or anything else fancy
  • external Antennas would be nice but not 100% required

Just a small "work horse" for wifi in 1-2 rooms.

P.S.: I was well with the Linksys for quite some time - until I tried to update.. just bricked one WRT3200 and one WRT1900ACS during a simple upgrade, maybe I can recover them somehow, someday :frowning:


These requirements are rather easy and met by most contemporary devices, your main concern would be making sure to leave a healthy margin in terms of flash-/ RAM sizes (16 MB flash and 256 MB RAM would be my lowest acceptable limit, for me personally 128+ flash/ 256-512 MB RAM would more future proof); I would strongly prefer multi-core SOCs these days.

Within these constraints, these targets sound promising:

  • mt7621a (mt7615 or mt7915 wireless, don't go below (e.g. mt7602e, mt7603e, mt7610, mt7613BEN) those)
  • ipq40xx
  • ipq806x
  • mt7622bv
  • ipq807x
  • filogic 820/ 830

Some modern 802.11ax based devices (mt7621a+mt7915DBDC, mt7622bv, ipq807x) are surprisingly cheap, so unless you find something decent on the second hand markets, these are worth considering regardless.

While ath79 and lantiq/ xrx200 would technically meet your requirements as well, I would skip them in favour of more contemporary devices these days - you'll get faster devices with more flash/ RAM and better WLAN without paying much extra.

These devices (apart from their bad wifi) are virtually unbrickable, so recovering them should be easy.

Both of your Linksys devices have dual partitions, so you should be able to switch back to the other working partition and try again. See the directions on the device pages for easy directions to reboot into the other partition.

@slh Many thanks for the detailed explanation which I will consider.
But my question is maybe more simple: which product (not which chipset) to order (not which chipset/SOC) does fit ?
Indeed I sometimes code Kernel-drivers, FPGA etc. myself, really :slight_smile: But please not for my Wlan-Router @home - it just has to work..

P.S.: I'm sure I'll get the WRT to work again but it's PITA if they fail on a simple Update and fall to dead. I know they have sep. partitions (flash areas in real) but in real: they failed and I just want to have a simple working solution (yes, with OpenWRT!)

best regards, Michael

Filter the ToH by chipset/SOC to find the makes/models of products which contain those chipsets/SOCs.

Then go shopping for something available in your region at a price you like.

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I think it is worth noting that EA8300 are dirt cheap (<$20USD) on eBay now. Looks like people don't want them because they can only do 400Mbps throughput on the WAN. But they are dual partition and an easy GUI install. I got a few for running wireguard and they can do 220-290Mbps with a commercial provider. Very well supported and easy to use.

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Found a cheap EA8300 one on eBay this evening. Took a punt. Should hopefully solve my "can't run CAT6, and Powerline performance is poor, so line-of-sight Wi-Fi it is, then" problem I'm currently enjoying... fingers crossed!

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Holy cow, this EA8300 was a steal. Took the OpenWRT 22.03.5 firmware on the first go, and I've got it set up with one radio as STA and the other two radios as AP, and what was previously an unreliable uplink which couldn't be solved by cabling (don't ask) has been sorted. Solves my problem! Thanks for the suggestion.

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