Best Wireless AC router for LEDE?

Compex doesn't seem to be selling the wpq864 anymore, and they don't seem to have a replacement either. The PCEngines board is still on-sale, though. I'm going to see if there are other options available to me as well, and if you have any, I'd like to hear them.

I have one of their older boards and do not use an internal WiFi card.

I run a separate "Dumb AP" as I can more optimally place the device. The router is in the basement where the cable comes into the house.

Also, a draw back to the internal cards is that while they are "Dual Band" cards, if you read the fine print you will find they can only run one band at a time, so you need to card to run dual band.

That almost makes them sound like they wouldn't make good routers...

There are dual band (2.4/5Ghz cards) : scroll down in the page.
WLE900VX is 3x3@2.4GHz and 3x3@5GHz
WLE600VX is 2x2@2.4GHz and 2x2@5GHz <-- i bought mine with my APU2C4 at
WLE200NX is 2x2@2.4GHz and 2x2@5GHz

I will defer to you as an owner that these do SIMULTANEOUS dual band. This was not the case with the older cards for my ALIX

These make great routers and are capable of running alternative products like ipfire or pfsence as well as performing other tasks. I was questioning was the AP hardware, which may no longer be correct

What do you mean by "simultaneous dual band" ???

haaa sorry i reread your first post, i din't know that...i will check it...

What do you think about these cheap boards ?

is it runing an openwrt fork from mediatek supporting Hadware nat ?

And this one with a MTK 7623 Arm quad core 1.3Ghz

there is no LEDE support for those 2

True, but:
For the ZBT WG2626 there is something in Openwrt:[Platform*~]=MT7621

I’ve just got a 3200ACM to run with radio off for NAT with lede. However, I notice that, although you too have the 3200, you are doing this with the1900ACS. Should I return the 3200 and swap it for the 1900? Box not opened and I’m still within the free return time limit. Thanks.

I am so unsatisfied with the 3200ACM's radio that I swapped it out of production use. It's quite conceivable that as a wired-only router it's just as good as the 1900ACS, but then why bother? The 1900ACS is cheaper, and if you ever need to use the radio better (although not great). I suppose the reason to get the 3200ACM is because down the line the wireless driver support might improve. However, it doesn't look like that will happen any time soon (

Honestly if I were starting from scratch I would probably get another R7800 and figure out how to run fastpath/CTF on it, since it sounds like it's possible to get good NAT performance, just not by default.

May not fully answer your question (as I cannot recommend a certain hardware).

But I see expensive access point (AP) devices listed here.
Having done quite some research before buying my own access point, my general recommendation is, don't waste money on AC features that you can't practically use right now:
(I did only general research for WiFi stuff. I did not research which hardware currently has the best LEDE software support)

Regarding multi-user-MIMO (MU-MIMO) routers: safely ignore devices that support that by now.
(MIMO works by sending on the same frequency on 2,3,4 or more antennas at the same time. Devices knowing the distance between the antennas, receiving frequency interferences and doing some matrix multiplication calculations, Wifi chips can theoretically increase your throughput. Multi-user-MIMO as an extension to MIMP has a special data protocol extension, such that a required matrix calculation basis can be shared between devices, effectively increasing total throughput in your network)

  • As far as I understand, LEDE 17.01 does not yet have drivers to support MU-MIMO. The access point will just fall back to Single user MIMO instead, handling one client at a time
  • Even if LEDE would already support MU-MIMO, note that MU-MIMO additionally requires that ALL of your WiFi client hardware in your Wifi network need to support MU-MIMO as well, before your AP can transfer any data in parallel to your clients, making actual use of lots of antennas.
  • Even in best case, MU-MIMO currently only works for downloads from the internet, not for uploads from client to Internet (a MU-MIMO standard for uploads is aimed for year ~2020)

Number of antennas per band (band = 2.4 or 5 GHz):
Aim for 2 or 3 antennas per band. 1 isn't practical any more, 2-3 antennas have real usage, but 4 or more will not pay out at the moment, you will just waste money.
As long as MU-MIMO is not both supported by all your client devices and LEDE-supported, kind of easily ignore APs with more than 3 antennas. It wont hurt to have more antennas, but you wont be able to practically such many antennas. As most smartphones only have 1 or 2 antennas, your AP can only send with 1 or 2 antennas any way. Tables and WiFi cards have 2-3 antennas. This means all antennas of the AP above 3 would be idling any way in single user MOMO mode. And this is for close distance only.
Also, in practical, sending with additional antennas to a single device is a bit like buying additional 3D game video cards: a second one will not double your speed, but probably add 50% throughput, a 3rd one will probably add another 25% throughput, in sum being miles away from a 300% total throughput.
If the distance between client and AP is going to get large, the AP will not send in parallel, but switch to single stream with Smartbeam-Mode using multiple antennas:
The antennas then send a single stream on all antennas with a tiny time difference between antennas. This causes amplitude interference, in best case causing a double amplitude at the physical location of your client's antennas. This is similar to doubling total transmit power of a single antenna (which is forbidden from legal point of view to be increased beyond a certain power level). But using signal interference to increase signal ampliture is not limited by law. But still, it does not help to have like thousands of antennas sending from your AP, as your client needs the same amount of antennas to make practical use of Smartbeam. Also the client occasionally has to send data back to the AP and as said, usually clients do not have more than 3 antennas themselves, causing additional antennas at the AP to remain idle.

From my point of view, at this time, the current sweet spot is still 2 antennas per band and single user MIMO

Beyond that:

  • even when aiming for fast expensive devices right now, note that the CPUs of expensive routers are still not considerably faster (which can be a disappointment, when wanting to handle CPU-intense stuff like VPN on the router)
  • new WiFi features are constantly popping in (like WiFi AX). Don't expect any current expensive AP to last more than 2 years without being considerably outdated after that time.
    Rather get a new better AP hardware in 12-24 months (and in sync with updating your client devices). Advanced APs will be a lot cheaper by then and most likely you will not be able to use the advanced features right now.

OmniTIK 5 AC looks like a really interesting device. There is also a POE version that can power other outdoor devices.

It is based on QCA9557 + QCA9892 so ath10k should work great for it.

Which LEDE version do you use on this device?

Actually my colleague Marko is working on getting 100% support working for it, it is already 95% working right now, so he is pushing custom patches now to upstream Lede, so it will be supported officially soon.

TP-Link Archer C7 Dual-Band router is the best one to go for. Speed, security you name anything and this router have it. It's one of the most secure and powerful router in the market.

The best thing I love about this route is it's one touch WPS encryption

WPS is insecure and the worst thing you could possibly use, next to no encryption.

The Archer C7 is a solid router, but -like all other ar71xx devices- it tops out at ~300 MBit/s routing speed (significantly less if you need anything special, like sqm, vpn, etc), while still being in an upper price range. These days you can find significantly faster devices (with full LEDE) support in roughly the same price range or even cheaper.

Archer c7 is anything but powerful. Yes, it is a great device. But calling it powerful is misleading, because it is one of the weaker models on the market today.

AKA security hole. Don't use WPS.

For me personally I prefer the mt7621 devices. They are getting old, but unless using pppoe are able to route gigabit speeds which is impressive. And they use the most open AC chip on the market currently, which will help for continued development.

Really looking forward to the Arm mediatek devices with the mt7615 wifi chips. Hopefully mt76 will be able to support these chips in the future as well.

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I hope you're joking. He specifically mentioned push button connect.