Capacity of routers: where/what to look?

Hello !

I recently installed OpenWRT on my Fritzbox 4020, and am happy with the outcome, in terms of what I managed to configure with the help of a good friend and a few forums. I'm a beginner in networking and know very little about programming.
I have it in the basement and have Ethernet cables through a tunnel to connect it with 4 Unifi Access points in another building: it's a guesthouse, where there could be up to 35 devices in a peak season. For now, it's running well, with all the features I want.

Now, I used Fritzbox 4020 only because I happened to have two of them already: I just wanted to see if I could handle OpenWRT at all. It's uplinked to FB7590, which has FritzOS without any particular configuration: just plug in and play. I have VDSL100 from Telekom.

Now, due to Corona virus the guesthouse gets just a few business travelers at most, I want to be ready for more people when Corona-Crisis is over. I am wondering if my Fritzbox 4020 is capable of dealing with traffic of 35 devices doing all kind of things like video conference: they are travelers, so the devices will be laptops, tablets, smartphones, but not a huge TV. Of course if the bandwidth is going to be a problem, I am ready to order an upgrade.

I hear that Fritzbox 4020 is "not very capable", meant for home-use, and is not suited for a professional use like wifi in a hotel. But I compare CPU, RAM, flash, etc with TP-Link Archer C7, and it looks about the same as FB4020. Archer C7 is the router which a professional Wifi-Hotspot provider uses with their own custom firmware: a custom of OpenWRT or ddWRT, I forgot. They would make us use it if I were to get a contract with them. So to me, if FB4020 is as capable as Archer C7, it shouldn't be necessary to replace it with something better.

I don't really know what to look in the specs. I look online to get information on "good routers", but all I found was info on good wifi routers with good wifi quality/coverage. But my router is going to sit in a basement where nobody does anything, it just needs to handle wifi connection through APs but not through wifi on the router.

I would appreciate if someone could please instruct me in this topic and give me suggestions.


So to summarize the situation a bit.

You have a AVM FRITZ!Box 4020

  • on a 100/40 MBit/s line
  • 750 MHz QCA9561 (single core mips 74Kc)
  • 16 MB flash
  • 128 MB RAM
  • 2.4-GHz-only 802.11n wireless,
    which you're not going to use (for the bulk of your needs) anyways, offloading the wireless side to dedicated APs
  • up to ~35 concurrent devices in a commercial/ hospitality setting

As you have correctly noted, apart from the 'unused' wireless side[0], these are exactly the same specifications as for the Archer c7; switching to an archer c7 wouldn't gain you anything for this setup.

Given the circumstances, I do think that these ath79 devices are a bit marginal. While they are sufficient for this WAN speed, the number of concurrent users can push it towards (or beyond-) its limits with SQM enabled (which you probably do want) or adblocking (which would be a good idea, but legally hot water when providing public access). With captive portal/ ticketing solution on top (you haven't said anything about this topic though), this would probably too much.

For a home setting, with cooperating users, this would be all fine - for a commercial setting, with 25-30 concurrent -competing- users, this might be a little stressful (both in terms of the total bandwidth and the router trying to distribute it fairly --> SQM), so I wouldn't really recommend this device (nor the archer c7, same story). While its possible, it might get a bit too tight under full load. The prices relative to their capabilities are IMHO still a bit too steep for what they can offer (in 2021, relative to the competition). Multi-core, more (CPU-) performance (at least 2*~1 GHz) and more RAM (256-512 MB) can help here (16 MB flash minimum, better >=32 MB, if you have ticketing somewhere down your todo list), especially if there's a speed bump in sight within the foreseeable future (upcoming 2-3 years). While it does not make sense to overspend in advance, having a little more headroom would probably be beneficial, especially in a commercial setting.

Just to put some examples to the table:

  • low-end (not thaaat much better), mt7621a with good amount of flash/ RAM
  • ipq806x, while its main benefit would be the wireless side, it can do this current WAN speed comfortably (with SQM) - economically probably not the best combination
  • mvebu (a wrt1200ac/ wrt1900ac v2/ wrt1900acs/ wrt3200acm/ wrt32x might be a good fit, yes mwlwifi wireless is bad/ not recommended at all, but you don't use it for this setting anyways)
  • NanoPi r2s (with active fan!)/ NanoPi r4s (not formally supported yet, so more effort on your side)
  • RPi4 with USB3 ethernet card, a bit overkill - but lots of headroom.
  • just for completeness' sake, x86_64 is also always an option.

[0] not having a 5 GHz ath10k radio actually helps you for this situation, leaving more free RAM for other uses - so 'better' than the Archer c7.

TL;DR - get a pair of R4S (e.g. antratek sells them in Europe) and a pair of Samsung Endurance Pro microsd cards, and a pair of anker usb-c chargers. Have a preconfigured backup router you can switch to any time by moving some cables, just in case.

With a hotel, unfortunately, it's more about how you end up managing your bandwidth, than picking your router CPU speed, which you'll also need. Basically need both brains(attention and time) to set everything up and a capable device.

As a business traveler myself (sort of, used to spend about 2-3 months per year in hotels, but haven't gone more than 7km from my house in over a year), I'd rather have reliable 10Mbps, than wonky between 2 and 20.

This means you'll need CPU to implement the bandwidth/traffic policies that prevent a single user or a pair of users from hogging all the bandwidth.

Typically, when I travel, I'd have a phone, tablet and laptop with me, so if 35 devices means 10-15 guests, that's ok for how I use it for example (email/keeping in touch/a bit of Netflix). I do most of my work from the offices anyway and basically don't really have any work files on laptop, it's all remote work.

If you have photographers/or journalists - they won't be happy with 10mbps per person - (they carry stacks of SD cards and hard drives anyway) - and they usually email in advance.

@slh lists some popular options. Out of those mentioned I'd pick the R4S or Raspberry Pi 4. They're ubiquitous and very easy to replace if need be, about same price.
I'm leaning towards the R4S because of the robust metal case, and built-in second ethernet port.

For either device, you can easily make a backup by creating an image of the entire micro sd card once setup. Should anything go wrong, restoring is as easy as using something like Etcher.

Perhaps, get a pair of devices and keep one in a drawer for backup.

For bonus points, your friend can help you make a VRRP setup, where you can take out one of them and routing automatically fails over to the other one, and a monitoring setup on top.

Since you have 4 access points and a fritz box - you're also probably lacking a switch. Since you already have unifi access points, one of their 8 port poe+ unifi lite switches would be a good fit, or maybe go 16 port if you want to add more access points.

Consider installing an openspeedtest server on your router, it's very lightweight, and will let you do a basic test of your wifi speeds without going over the internet.

example wifi speed from a phone

Dear slh and risk,

Thank you very much for your quick replies with detailed suggestions ! For now, I’m glad to know that my FB4020 is comparable to Archer C7 or even better, that gives me time to study a bit more, esp. Raspberry Pi thing.

VRRP seems however a bit too difficult for me. My good friend lives in another continent, he answers my questions or look at the firewall status to see what’s wrong over the email, but not that he would start out something new for me;;

In fact, we currently do have a contract with the professional Hotspot provider, DSL16 for 100Euro/Mo. I’m going to cancel it at the end of the contract. The current router they use is TL-WR1043ND TP-Link version 2. They offered me VDSL50 for the same monthly premium, and Archer C7 is part of the package. So for the time being, my goal was just to be able to offer what they would offer, with more bandwidth, fewer restrictions, and additional networks.

My setting is so far this:
I have three VLANs, 11, 15 and 16. 11 is for the guests and got captive portal through OpenNDS: click "agree to the terms of use" and connect. (The network itself has WPA2, which I plan to change about once a month: I don’t want to use vouchers, it’s legally not required, as I understand) Guest policies is through the firewall rules on the router. 15 is another "guest network" but intended for a few who live there. Guest policies activated on Unifi without captive portal. 16 is for me. I was told that I don't need VLAN for all this, but I just didn't know how to start otherwise. Except OpenNDS it’s all over LUCI.

I am probably going to put a bandwidth limit on vlan11 about 4Mbs/device, if business travelers (they come every week) or anyone want more, I will give them password for 15. But we know them and it’s rather unlikely.

I just use an unmanaged switch from TP-Links for the APs and it works fine. (a trunk with three tagged VLANs is delivered to the APs without a problem). The APs are connected over VDSL Converter (i.e. telephone cable), I don't think Unifi switch is able to power them. They were installed by an electrician in 2014, I wasn't involved then, I don't know why he didn't just put Ethernet cables. I do plan to install a mesh AP but don’t want any more wiring for the building.

As for Raspberry Pi 4, I looked around on-line, there are many options and I don’t know what I should look for. Is this, for example,

a RP4 with USB3 Ethernet card ?
And this is R4S:
I don’t see a metal box ? And if that’s a nanopi, it’s not formally supported by OpenWRT ?

R4S cases are out of stock there ... :frowning:

Here's a forum post for Raspberry Pi 4

It explains the Raspberry Pi 4 setup.

I have a it in a case similar to this one:

The USB3 network card mentioned in the post is a TP-Link UE-300 - which I think you don't need.

In principle, since you have so little bandwidth to deal with, 1Gbps to/from the Pi across all VLANs enough for your use case, and you don't need a second port because of this.

And you need a switch anyway; so you could plug in WAN into your managed switch, and assign that port a VLAN id e.g. 99 and bring it to your Pi that way.

They call this setup "router-on-a-stick".

You can power the raspberry pi over POE from your switch, using a POE splitter like this one I'm using:

Overall shopping list so far:

  • VLAN POE switch (what are you using for your access points today? I'm assuming you have one)
  • Pi 4B (ram doesn't matter much, but you may want to get at least 4GiB in case you think of some new use case? Example:
  • Heatsink case
  • Higher endurance MicroSD card like this one:
  • POE splitter for powering the Pi - if you have a POE switch; some adequate usb-c adapter otherwise.

Do you really need captive portals? Unifi controller that can run on your Pi can work as a captive portal for guests -- but I find them annoying personally - I was thinking you could put a or something into the SSID and have a simple webpage there served off the Pi or whichever.

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Thank you very much for your concrete suggestions !

I use a, so to say, normal switch: TP-Link: TL-SG1005D V6.0. I bought it first because I wasn't really planning on getting into OpenWRT or VLAN thing. But my friend said it actually works VLAN trunks, and it did.
So I have
FB7590 --> FB4020 with OpenWRT--VLAN11+15+16 Trunk-->TP Link switch-->4 APs.
From FB4020 I used to also connect two APs through untagged VLAN16 and dLAN for our own use in another building, but now I want to hook a telephone, so I decided to get that connection from FB7590 directly.

Is the Raspberry going to create VLANs ? If I just need one Trunk port for 3 tagged VLANs I create, perhaps I don't need a managed switch but just use my switch instead ? Or do I need one also in this case ?
But most likely I want at least one untagged VLAN16 Port for plug-in-and play.
Is something like Netgear GS308E going to do the job? O it doesn't have PoE but then I can get an USB adapter for Rasp, then.
One concern is, my computer is Mac with OS 10.12.6. (mid 2012) Some devices seem to offer nothing for Mac, and moreover, mine is old.

My captive portal only shows the terms of use, I think it is a legal matter and without one, we can be liable for things. I wanted two guest-networks, one with captive portal, one without (those on that network should sign the paper copy), that's why I installed OpenNDS. I could also set it so that the guests don't have to see it again as long as they are back online within 24 hours (or an arbitrary length of time). Then it's not so annoying. I think the captive portal on Unifi can't do it.

The link doesn't seem to be working. Perhaps it got a different name now ?

For Raspberry Pi VLANs - there's no built-in switch chip on the device, and so there's no Network > Switch page in Luci with a table oriented VLAN setup.

What you'd do instead is create an interface per VLAN using a . (dot) interface name notation. Basically, in Luci > Interfaces you'd add a logical interface named "staff" and instead of choosing one of the physical interfaces from the drop-down (eth0, wlan0), you'd type in a custom eth0.15. Same process for other VLANs.

Also, you can choose to keep the untagged eth0 interface configured separately alongside all the VLAN interfaces, you can bridge it with eth0.16 or you can leave it unmanaged.

Now that I understand you're using a "dumb" aka. unmanaged non-POE switch, the cheaper option would indeed be to get a tp-link ue-300 usb3.0 ethernet adapter, declare it to be your WAN interface, and use it to connect to your FB7590.

[:cloud:] - FB7590 - ue300 - rpi - switch - unifi APs.

Instead of a POE splitter, you'll need a regular USB-C power supply.

For the captive portal, it was just a suggestion. It's a separate topic. By all means, of course you'll do whatever works for you, and there's no reason you can't continue to run the captive portal if you want to.


I mentioned not as a solution to portals, but as a potential SSID you could use to hint to your guests to visit a website you'd build and host for your guests. Usually whether or not they're required by law depends on the country, and whether you as a small service provider are responsible for your users behavior, or if you need to get indemnity from your users explicitly.

Another idea to remove a captive portal would be to leave a piece of paper printed out in the room with terms and conditions and a wifi password. Essentially, make a 3d physical splash screen.

Another idea is to have them agree to terms and conditions of using wifi when they register as hotel guests and check-in, again it's a physical splash screen.

My issue with captive portals, as a guest is that they typically reset in the middle of the night, or whenever my device reconnects or changes the mac address - which android devices for example do all the time by default for privacy reasons.

To avoid buying the USB adapter, the old router can actually be used as a managed switch, though (no different from what you have now) it only give you half-duplex 100 Mbps ethernet. Most (if not all) multi-port routers have an internal managed switch which can be configured to your liking from openwrt

We are talking about commercial use here, 20-25 EUR upfront for an additional USB3 ethernet card to keep it all simple and straight forward is peanuts, compared to the additional (ongoing!) complexity of handling a one-legged router with its unique VLAN setup. You'd save pennies upfront, but shell out the big bucks in additional maintenance (every 3rd party service first needs to check the existing configuration, instead of simply having a dedicated WAN- and LAN interface, all VLAN changes would have to be done on two devices instead of just one (plus existing switches/ APs), even if that were just 15 minutes on top of every maintenance visit...) and electricity for the keeping 'unnecessary' old router running as well.

You really want to keep such a setup simple, straight forward and self-documenting to the extent (reasonably) possible (this could be a different story if you had to cope with existing cabling, but not if both devices would effectively sit next to each other on the same shelf). This is also one of the reasons why I've at least mentioned the r2s, two onboard ethernet cards - less risk of the USB3 one on the RPi4 to get unplugged (and while the r4s is better than the r2s, you don't want to deal with out-of-tree support for a new device in this setting either).

Dear Risk,

Thank you very much again for your step-for-step advice ! It’s going to help me a lot once I get to the point of doing this all.
As for bridging, I actually wanted to bridge eth0 and eth0.16 on FB4020, so that I can do everything on the router under eth0, which is a natural thing to do, and it will be connected to Unifi VLAN16 (eth0 is automatically called VLAN1 and Unifi doesn’t take “1” as tagged, and Unifi doesn’t like a trunk with an untagged VLAN and tagged VLANs, so I had to use another number for management). But, I couldn’t figure out how to do it;; I tried but it didn’t work;; So I decided just use eth0.16 everywhere then. So far I didn’t have any problem. I worry though, that certain things have to be done using eth0 (it was already there, I didn’t create it).

If I wanted a port with untagged eth0.16 for plug-in and play, I do need a managed switch, or perhaps another Ethernet port on Rpi ? I see 4 USB ports, may be two ue300, one for WAN, one for VLAN16, would that work ?

And, on Rpi, one can install OpenWRT, AND Unifi Controller, both at the same time ?

Is USB-C power supply the same as a cellphone charger with USB jack ?

Thank you for the hints about captive portal. I didn’t know about the reset: I guess reconnecting probably wouldn’t cause reset on my captive portal but change of mac address would definitely do… I didn’t know that some devices do it automatically. I had thought that I was obliged to keep Mac Addresses of the users for a few days for a potential criminal investigation, but if it changes every day, there is actually no point in doing this;;

But “click to connect”, instead of typing in some kind of login info, isn’t that bad, even if they have to do it every day. We have to accept cookies for almost every webpage we visit;;

Meanwhile I noticed that some more gave some inputs: thank you!
slh: yeah, now I looked at
looks pretty nice and compact.
And yeah, I can ask to buy me something around total 100 Euros easily: I’m going to cancel Wifi provider for the hotel, and another contract for a few residents, then we save about 100 Euro/Mo. But now we have to pay for all these contracts and my new one, till the other two runs out….

mshakov: I would actually like to keep FB4020 as it is as a back up, in case the new setting suddenly dies…


I haven't tried it, but there's enough horsepower on the raspberry pi to do that. For example, I run home assistant on a raspberry pi 4B/4GB and that runs a docker engine and a bunch of stuff in containers just fine. Main issue with that is that SD cards are slow for various database-ish workloads, and also have a tendency to die after a few hundred gigabytes written (which is why I suggested that particular samsung model).

How are you running the controller today, is that troublesome for you?

In the unifi controller, in settings>networks, you can setup a network without a VLAN. Theoretically you could bridge eth0 and eth0.16, but I'm not sure if the dumb switch will cause issues for you in that setup with ethernet frames coming from the same mac address on multiple ports (both access point port and rpi port), I wouldn't recommend the setup. Best thing to do would be to reconfigure unifi/access points to behave the way you want.

Bonus, pi also has WLAN ... Might be useful for configuration or troubleshooting, it's not very powerful.

Basically yes. Raspberry Pi can't use higher voltages than 5V, so if you have particularly weird 18W (9V/2A) charger, you'll be limited to 10W for the Pi, but even that should be enough without keyboard, mouse, monitors and HDD plugged into it. Most usb-c phone chargers can indeed do 15W without a problem. If you're considering buying a new one, same people who make the Raspberry Pi also sell the 5V / 3A wall adapter.

As for other boards, there's nanopi r2s. (Quad core a53 : rk3328 . one nic on usb-3). That one is slower than the Pi. Only thing it does better is nicer looking second ethernet and it has hardware AES support, which you don't need for your use case. R4S is based on RK3399, and second nic is a proper pci-e nic - i like it more than the pi for a router.
There's also odroid N2+ based on amlogic s922x. It's awesome, much faster than pi, hardware AES support, supports emmc modules for storage which are much faster and more reliable than SD cards. There's also Odroid H2+ to which you can attach a network card and get 6x 2.5Gbps ports for relatively cheap.

These are all theoretically better, but not nearly as popular or easy to procure or as well supported by Openwrt. You could maybe get R4S and run FriendlyWRT for now, switch to regular openwrt build later. You could also run Armbian on these and build yourself a Linux router from scratch without using OpenWRT.

However, Pi is popular and therefore well supported and easy to get going, and easy to replace if anything goes wrong for whatever reason.

To be clear, the RPi4 is a known quantity with OpenWrt and can deal with 1 GBit/s WAN speed - running the unifi wifi controller on this device would be technically possible, but not on OpenWrt as a host OS (no JAVA) - you'd have to look into VM/ containerization options to run another OS hosting the controller on OpenWrt (I wouldn't do this on a router, but it's possible).

The r2s is slower (and has a heat dissipation problem <-- active fan needed), but it's a phyiscally more robust design with the second onboard ethernet card (which is a huge plus when the nightshift temp frantically looked for a way to charge their smartphone, to watch the second half of the of the soccer championship…). But for the given WAN speed (100/40 MBit/s, maybe 250/40 MBit/s with super-vectoring down the line), the r2s can cope comfortably.

The r4s would ideally be preferred (at least over the r2s), but it isn't supported in mainline OpenWrt yet (the PR adding this is a bit stuck, it's unclear when it will be formally supported), let alone in a stable release.

Hardkernel's odroid N2+/ AMLogic s922x isn't supported by OpenWrt at all - and it's not very likely to ever will be (yes, I know there have been some private attempts to support a meson target, but it's very unlikely to get merged).

The x86_64 based Odroid H2/ H2+ is of course a very reasonable alternative, with plenty of performance left. Likewise PCengine's APU2 (slower than the H2+) could be an alternative for VDSL based internet speeds.

The focus in my advice was on ease of use (plus local availability) and robustness - with good enough for the given internet connectivity, avoiding overspending just in case.

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This could be its own topic.

It's just a bit more complicated. If you haven't used containers before it's worth getting familiar before attempting to use them on openwrt.

It basically turns your simple openwrt running pi router into more of a server, and that means more moving parts installed, more things to configure, more state and then some more config/state within unifi. Backups/restores/updates the whole enchilada.

FWIW there's a package here if you want to try a small hello world

... but this should be its own topic.

Dear all,

thank you for your replies !!

As for Unifi Controller, it’s actually not important for me, even though many people on unifi community recommend having it run all the time. (RasPi was also recommended there) Captive Portal is the only feature I need that requires Controller running all the time, but I have OpenNDS for it. (I also have Email Notification for dead APs on FB4020) I just asked only in case it’s easy to make it run together with OpenWRT.

Initially I kept the network without a VLAN. But the AP didn’t like a mix trunk of an untagged VLAN1 (i.e. for the network without VLAN) with two other tagged. So I had to make it also tagged, and had to name it 16.

If there is a risk that the dumb switch might get confused by bridging of eth0 and eth0.16, I will leave things the way they are: so far it’s working well, perhaps it’ OK.

It’s nice that Pi also has WLAN. I experienced a few times that I did something wrong that I couldn’t access the Luci over LAN Port any more, but over WLAN I could. Actually if I can do the maintenance over WLAN all the time, I don’t really need another USB-Ethernet adapter for it.

It’s good to know that Cellphone charger is enough; I have a few of them available.

I have never heard of FriendlyWRT. Can it run OpenNDS ? That’s very important for me, because I like it better than Captive Portal of Unifi, and I managed to configure it to my liking. I don’t think I can learn another program so quickly to replace it.

How fast does the supporting of OpenWRT for new devices develop ?

By the way, now I see R4S is also in Box and two Ethernet ports:

Now I’m a bit confused about different kind of Rpis….

Pi4B: naked, supported by OpenWRT fully. Need to buy a box separately. Doesn’t need fan.
R4S: comes with a box and two ethernet ports. Not fully supported by OpenWRT. Doesn’t need fan. May be not available in Germany.
R2S: weaker version of R4S, slower but good enough for me, fully supported by OpenWRT. It needs fan. May be not available in Germany.

Is it right ?

I think it depends really on if OpenNDS can run on it. I’m sure other things I do and are all fine with FriendlyWRT. (I also have a few statistic things intalled but they are not that important.)

You can keep them as separate interfaces with separate IPs and subnets on OpenWRT, but put them both in the same permissive firewall zone. Maybe this helps you reconfigure access points. Not sure why this didn't work for you before.

No, just 1, to be able to contain/encapsulate/separate your WAN connection somehow.

It's OpenWRT that's been patched by the manufacturer of the device. Kind of like how some people here on the forums build their own OpenWRT images with custom kernels and sometimes closed source drivers.

I don't see why it couldn't run OpenNDS.

Similarly, you or I or anyone could git clone and make our own images with packages, configuration, etc etc we need which would work on R4S after about a few afternoons of following instructions, but then it'd be up to us to do that all over again every time we want to update to the new version. In fact there's folks here on the forums who are doing that.

Depends on who's working on it. There's a forum thread about R4S development, there are other rk3399 targets in the current 21.02-rc1 version of OpenWRT, I'm not sure why folks from the forum thread aren't sending more patches to make the support official - maybe they lack some guidance? Hard to tell.

Roughly, none of them need a fan with a big enough heatsink, R2S just happens to have one. rpi4 throttles at 85⁰C CPU temperature, don't leave it in the sun, or somewhere where there's absolutely no airflow and you'll be fine.

Give it a try, and let us know how it goes?

rpi4 naked board
Heatsink case
high endurance microsd card
tp-link ue-300
Maybe get a microHDMI - HDMI cable or microhdmi to HDMI adapter... to be able to connect the pi to a monitor or a tv to run raspbian on it for easy firmware update and for fun.

Screw the board into the case. Put microsd card into computer, put raspbian on the card using e.g. etcher, put card into pi, upgrade firmware as per raspberry pi documentation e.g. using rpi-update. Give it a spin for a few hours and check the thermals.

Then get one of the images from here if you want to try 21.02 release candidate:

Put that onto the card, and off you go. :slight_smile:

edit: just learned that apparently 21.02 claims to have all the stuff needed for containers in the default kernel config. That should make it dramatically easier to run docker and have it pull an image that encapsulates e.g. a slimmed down ubuntu base with java and a unifi controller inside. Controller gets you all kinds of monitoring as well. And at that point you may want to start thinking about getting one of their gigabit POE switches down the line, and start thinking about ditching the USB adapter.

edit2: no, you don't need a microHDMI to HDMI or any kind of gui to update the firmware on a pi; there's also "raspbian lite" you can upgrade the firmware over ssh; and also no, don't worry, it'll work fine even if you don't update the firmware, and you can do it later whenever. (it'll run slightly cooler and faster and may be able to network boot or boot off of a usb hdd without an SD card with the new firmware - It's good to have, not critical to your use case, might as well do it while you're messing with it at the beginning, but not critical if you don't have all the stuff).

Hello, just for clarification, are you referring to the MediaTek MT7621AT?

Yes, however keep in mind that MIPS is a dying platform and "everyone" is migrating to ARM/ARM64.

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Dear Risk and all,

thank you so much for all the suggestions. The recipe with the ingredients
pi4 naked board
Heatsink case
high endurance microsd card
tp-link ue-300

Looks good. As for the Unifi controller, for now I can check the controller when I get on-line, and I don't really need the log of a lot of things that the controller keeps. APs often disconnect from the Controller even if they are up and working, the controller would send me warning then, even if there is no problem, so for monitoring it's better to use ping-monitor from the router: otherwise I worry too much. I will be just happy if RasPi can improve the quality of Internet use: FB7590 is a lot stronger than FB4020, so the connection through FB4020 is sort of spoiling it, I guess.

But yeah if it's "dramatically easy", perhaps I will try in the future. Right now I have no idea about docker...

It will take me some time to start with this project (I have to figure out about a few other IT issues like setting up analog Phone over VoIP adapter over dLAN....) but I will do it and come back to report :slight_smile:

Thank you again to all :slight_smile:

Now, I looked around a bit:

There are many boxes. Which one is "heat sink" ? The prices are all the same. And as for the card, I should get "high endurance" card, not the one sold here together as an option, right ?

And now I realize, I don't understand how Unifi PoE switch is going to replace USB-adapter.... I need a WAN Port, right ? Can Unifi Switch make this only one Ethernet port into various ports, including WAN ?
Or, are you talking about Power adapter ?

Hmmm, something's fishy there.
I run a controller for multiple sites on a cloud VM and use set-inform https://.. to adopt devices. It's supposed to be the pinnacle of flakiness and yet I don't get disconnects often at all (when I do it's because of an ISP outage on a site).

Heatsink cases:


There can be a port on your switch that you plug your modem into that's an untagged member of VLAN 123; and you could make your Pi port a tagged member of 123. Pi can then have eth0.123 as a logical WAN interface, and you can do routing to/from eth0.123.

To be clear, you don't have to use a unifi switch, any brand will do, however, their switches provide metrics that you can see in the same controller dashboard as your access points metrics. If you were to get a an alternative like maybe a TL-SG2210MP instead, and you wanted some kind of monitoring of port traffic and power usage, it'd be up to you to figure out how to get SNMP data into prometheus+grafana or some other setup and get graphs and alerting out of it. It's a lot more work compared to getting a more expensive Unifi US-8-150W that's easier to setup once you already use their controller, and where you get a bunch of metrics and graphs preconfigured out of the box...

...also, you could just get a cheap-known-good USB adapter and not overthink the switch/power stuff now.

Thank you for the reply !!
Right now I'm in a situation where one of the APs, AP2, is disconnected, even though I can ping it and ssh to it. So I tried set-inform
(IP address of my computer on which Unifi Controller is running)

But it seems nothing is happening.... it shows disconnected. But interestingly, if I change a configuration, like changing Tx Power or channel, it does respond to it, even though it says disconnected.

But well, I actually got used to it, it's not a serious problem for now, unless it might lead to more serious one....

By the way, I went back to your older reply and wanted to install openspeedtest on FB4020 with OpenWRT, but there was no package for it. Is it possible to do it on FB4020, or should I wait till I get RaspPi ?

And, in case I do want Unifi Controller on it, is the procedure to run it at the same time with OpenWRT supposed to be done before I install OpenWRT (like disk-partition?), or can I first do OpenWRT thing and add it later ?