Best OpenWRT budget router for long-term use

Hello everyone! Earlier I had RT-N11P, but after the router was constantly slowing down and speed also, I decided to buy Archer C6, thinking that I will recieve V3.2 but in the end they gave me a downgrade version of V3.2 (or rather V4), which is even worse than my old router ASUS RT-N11P (in terms of network coverage and stability).
Previously past ASUS router served without slowing down for 4-5 years, it is desirable that proposed router will also serve without EOL for 4-5 years or more.


  • ISP: 200 MB/s only
  • Both bands are important:
    one for outdated devices (2.4Ghz)
    one for newest devices (5 Ghz)
  • Gigabit Ethernet cable compatible to get full speed (200 Mb/s)
  • Total devices on the network: up to 9-10 devices (+ Guests)
    Router price: up to 100$
    Also if USB 2.0/3.0 support (Optional)

Looking towards Xiaomi AX3200 or ASUS RT-AX53U (AX1800U also in my country, Ukraine)

Hard to know what's available in Ukraine, but what about Zyxel Multy M1 or Netgear WAX206 ?

Both a lot easier to flash than the two you suggested,

No USB on those two though.


You can see what WiFi Routers available in UA here:

P.S 100$ = 3700₴ (UAH)

in addition to the two you already suggested, you could add the Totolink X5000R, and the Mercusys MR70X.
they don't have USB, and have quite small flash chips, but you should be OK for a couple of years, unless you start installing additional packages.

if you're ok with only a WAN port, and no wired LAN, only wireless, DAP-X1860.

Belkin RT1800, Linksys E7350.

Unfortunately, this router have a V2 that does not yet support OpenWRT :slightly_frowning_face: (contacted the store support)

I'm planning to install packages like NextDNS (but I think this is not good idea to install NextDNS, I've seen on the forum that it can cause internet problems), blocking all sorts of unwanted requests like phishing, ads, etc. Will the router work stably with these tasks?

Sadly, this router is not available in UA

How I found my MR90X (which has no USB):

  • keeping an eye on the developer forum section, for blips of interesting new supported AX devices
  • going through the OpenWRT AX device filter list, but ignoring the weaker older CPU like mt7621
  • I already know that certain hot choices like any mt7622 device and Dynalink practically arent available in my country as of now

This left me with a very short remainder list, then it was just checking common resellers and a price compare web page, to identify which one is actually in stock in my country.
From there, it was:

  • which one looks ok from price
  • favoring devices that do not need a serial cable for installation and have a boot partition integrated disaster recovery option
  • sacrificing USB neediness over in-stock

If Wifi AC is also an option (200mbit ISP sound like that) and if your country has a price compare web site like, you could also filter the router category based on personal preference and personal price limit and then just check the result for actual OpenWRT suppprt.

I found it too, but it's way over the budget.

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and also has no USB.

I posted it mere as an example, of how you could find a device.

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So, if consider routers that have more than 16 MB flash, it is Xiaomi Mi Router AX3200 Global and Asus RT-AX1800U/RT-AX53U for my region (UA).
Many devices like MikroTik hAP AC2; TP-Link Archer AX23 and TP-Link Archer C6U have small flash memory where as I know 8 MB is taken by OpenWRT and 8 MB is for packages etc. Also under 16MB I kind of saw that there may not even be a 100-500KB package installed. I don't know if they have an option to expand the space
What suggest @frollic, Mercusys MR70X unfortunately have V2 (which is not supportable by OpenWRT right now); Totolink X5000R may have new flash chip that isn't currently supported (according to wiki)
@hecatae suggest Belkin/Linksys router, that's not available in my country (Linksys as outdated according to my shops)

So my question, which router (Xiaomi Mi Router AX3200 Global; Asus RT-AX1800U/AX53U) is productive/stable and suitable?

If there's an USB port, you can always use extroot

I'd go for the Asus, Xiaomi have a tendency to swap hw mid product life cycle, and you end up with the soft bricked device because the flash chip is unsupported.

you dont have to think about EOL with openwrt since you will not be using stock firmware, as long as it has wifi 6 and enough lan ports and enough ram you will be good for some years to come, have a look at the list and try to find any of them on the used market maybe on

but, realize that over time, OpenWRT may consume more and more resources, and with that, raise "minimum" requirements for using OpenWRT itself. I know that the stock firmware don't last long, which means that they don't get updated after 1-2 years. That's why asking about this to make sure there's enough for future updates, etc.

perhaps you may want to read this wiki article about flash and memory size recommendation

I wouldnt go with anything below 128mb flash and 512mb ram that should ensure it has enough size for many years for firmware + some essential packages
in the TOH list you can sort with flash size or ram size

256MB is fine? Just in my region most shops under 100$ have 128/256, 16/128 (WiFi 6).

check the used markets

but according to TOH article it has only 113mb usable flash
but its a known issue and was solved in another similar router ax6000 by utilizing uboot mod layout so you might want to search if there is same solution on the ax3600
you can start reading from this post and search the thread
Adding OpenWrt support for Xiaomi AX3600 (Part 1) - #4830 by mva

another option is buying from and ship it with a friend

Interesting that Xiaomi is breaking something as usual, as @frollic says:


Maybe I will buy RT-AX53U/1800U as (maybe) problem-free or NETGEAR WAX206, because if we look at all the options offered in this topic:

  • Zyxel Multy M1 & Mercusys MR90X costs above 100$
  • Totolink X5000R may have a new flash chip (which not supported)
  • Mercusys MR70X have V2 (not supported also, only V1)
  • DAP-X1860 - Range Extender, not Router
  • Belkin RT1800 & Linksys E7350 are missing anywhere (in my country)

What I found:

  • Xiaomi (AX3200) have some problems with sysupgrade which may cause soft brick (according to TOH) and complex installation of OpenWRT.

These devices have USB, but 16/128:
(May be excluded from the purchase as well bcz of having 16 flash memory, which are not suitable for future/long-term use)

  • TP-Link Archer C6U (also as C6 v3.2 16/128, but with USB)
  • MikroTik hAP AC2
  • TP-Link Archer AX23

But what you say:

We exclude WiFi 5 routers (MikroTik hAP AC2; TP-Link Archer C6U and so on), 1 LAN port is enough for me but who has more RAM from the above devices? RT-AX53U/1800U and NETGEAR WAX206

So, for RT-AX53U 256 MB (RAM) is OK if considering that it's a budget router, right?
If think about it, NETGEAR WAX206 is impossible to "add" flash memory or RAM (by adding swap partition) if you need it, but RT-AX53U is possible by using extroot + USB flash drive. :thinking:

Get a 3-pack, they're cheaper, at least in EU, sell the two you don't need.
The ones you sell, will pay the 3rd one, I can imagine.

Don't get hung up on it, you can configure it as a router, but the only ethernet port have to be used
for WAN, making LAN wireless only.

For 100$ + S&H I can send you a Roqos RC10 (it's not specifically in the ToH, since it's x86) :wink:
8BG RAM and 8GB (upgradable) SSD, should keep you afloat for a while.

The dap-x1860 is a good wired AP, but for router uses a device with 2+ ethernet ports is much more convenient.