Buying hardware just for OpenWrt! What should I buy?

I'm torn between the Raspberry Pi and the Banana Pi R2. I want something just for running a VPN and firewall for multiple computers simultaneously. Wifi and 1 ethernet at the bare minimum, but the more ethernet the better.

I checked your ideal hardware table thoroughly and after filtering everything I came up with the Banana Pi R1, which is no longer in production. The R2 has better specs but according to your recommended HW table Wifi and HDMI are unsupported.

I'm also considering the Raspberry Pi. According to your same table the Raspberry Pi 2 B 1.2 is the latest fully supported board, so I was thinking I would get that one. Unfortunately, it has no Wifi. Can I just plug in a Wifi USB dongle?

I would also be fine with the Raspberry Pi Zero W, which according to your website is also fully supported, but has no ethernet. Not sure how I'm supposed to use OpenWRT on the Zero if it has zero ethernet ports.

So, I'm trying to decide between those three. Advice? Thanks!

Get something decent with built-in WiFi. With USB wireless adapters, you're often in for a world of hurt. Since you haven't bought anything yet, stear clear of it and get something decent from the start.

If you're running OpenVPN and you need higher speeds, you're probably looking for ARM devices - so IPQ40xx e.g.. Marvell's ARM SoCs are popular but nobody knows where their wireless support is heading (it's been sold to NXP). If you're buying Marvell now, you're getting 802.11ac stuff that won't support WPA3 e.g. - you don't want that for new hardware.


OK, so the HW table is up to date? The Banana Pi R2's wifi is indeed unsupported?

In that case what should I get? I need ethernet and wifi at a minimum. The Pi 2? Or would you recommend something else? Espressobin? Turris Omnia?

yes, get the Omnia if your budget allows it - although official openwrt has (had?) some issues there is Turris OS based on 19.07 that will satisfy most of your needs

My biggest problem with the Omnia is the "adaptive firewall", which sends the user's traffic (or at least its "fingerprint") to Turris HQ, according to their own website.

Edit: It seems it can be disabled, I'll have to look into it more.

works great

mini pciExpress for the wifi you want and choose...
I use COMPEX Atheros

More details:

(cross-reference) as you were asking this same question on Turris forum

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