Best practice ideas with multiple routers?

I have sky fibre internet into a HH5. This is now working as planned finally replacing my sky modem and Archer C7 v1.1 plugged into the skyrouter.

I got my homehub with OpenWRT in mind because the skyrouter severely limited my options forwarding through! I actually have two HH5's one spare in case i fudged up, but i didnt! :grin: So I may consider using the second for other plans in this case now....

I have unraid sitting on a box running most of my network and server needs, I currently use that to VPN in with port forwarding etc...

Planning my next steps, and i'm considering a VPN client on one of the routers instead, sensible or leave it on the big-boy-puter?

Also thinking about pi-hole on one of the routers, is the throughput good enough?

I want to maximise what the hardware can do without stressing the main dsl/router out, so i presume offloading these two is a big factor?

I'm also wondering how I can use one of my extra routers now to extend my networks reach in a sensible manner? I only live in a small flat, so i've never invested in an out the box mesh network because its totally over the top, but give I have 3 (at least) routers in my possesion that can all run OpenWRT, I wonder what my options are, or is the easier and best still to just hardwire to my second box as i would have done 10 years ago, and give it a different name and channel?

Anything else spring to mind I could put them to use with?

Appreciate your advice and responses, feeling pretty good I can finally properly port foward into unraid and set up my reverse proxy,lets encrypt, and nextcloud etc... Been putting off faffing around with the HH5 and my network in general for ages, but it seems I have more time on my hands currently :joy::man_shrugging:

Probably your best bet is to run an ethernet from your main router to the place where you have the least good wifi signal, and put the second device as an AP in that location on a different channel from the main one.

Certainly what I know best, is Mesh with 19.07 not recomended yet?

Mesh among ath10k devices like HH5As should work. But wired is always preferable for performance.

The HH5A is nice, but not the fastest, so I would try to keep its load as light as possible. I got one and delegated it to work as dedicated bridged modem (still with OpenWrt so I have configurability and a decent GUI/UI), as it did not allow me to traffic shape a 50/10 connection deliver decent transfer rates over 2.4 and 5GHz wifi simultaneously. As a modem it is great though. So as long as you keep everything heavy off it, it should work well :wink:

Is it worthwhile having one HH5A as a dedicated modem, and one for wifi?

Traffic shaping isn't something i'd thought of, but given the girlfriends Netflix habbit, and all the video calls we're doing right now, its probably sensible to consider, is this best with its own hardware?

Probably. It really depends on your traffic load.

That is were I would recommend a somewhat more powerful device as primary router connected to one oh the HH5A's as modem and a second one as dumb AP. For the primary router rasperberry Pi4B's are the new hotness (they have not respectable WIFI, hence the dedicated AP, but quite powerful CPUs to allow traffic shaping well into the gigabit range; you do need a usb3 ethernet dongle though as by default they only come with a single ethernet port). There are a few threads here in the forum about how to install openwrt on a pi4b.