Dumb AP upgrade recommendations

Hello everyone,

I'm currently using Xiaomi MI R3G as a dumb AP connected with vlans to my main "router on a stick" (Dell Optiplex 7080 Micro).

I'm no longer happy about the range and speeds of that AP as I'm trying to get closer to having a Gigabit network :slight_smile: it's mostly to connect my home devices and access my homelab, NAS etc.

I'm not sure what should I pick to make a new dumb AP.
I was thinking about AX (no real reasons why - maybe because it's "futuristic") - ASUS RT-AX53U but it seems the only way to have OpenWrt on it now is with soldering which I'd prefer to avoid. But I can consider other options as well.

I was also looking at TP-Link Archer C7 but I'd prefer something cheaper, unless its a good pick for at least several years. If you'd tell me to wait because soon AX support will become wide with OpenWrt - then probably it wouldn't make sense to buy it.

I guess there are lots of devices better than the Xiaomi I have. However it's mentioned many times that R3G has good amount of RAM memory which isn't as easily found in other devices for similar price.

I'm also not sure if it's better to pick something without AX network, or maybe it's better to wait a moment and choose AX ?

Belkin RT3200 will satisfy your requirements and is rock solid as an AP running OW.

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I am using Belkin RT3200 as a main router and MIR3G as an AP. I had the same dilemma as yours, as RT3200 is not expensive, better hardware, ax speeds etc.. And I was thinking of getting an up upgrade. However, when I received the RT- it is 3 times bigger in size than the mir3g. You cannot " hide" it easily behind a TV, it is just big and with its vertical shape, hard to be hidden.
On top of it mir3g as an AP can give you a 800 + megabit connection, so unless you have a gigabit ISP connection and want to exchange free room space , against 200 Megabits- I would not go for it, and I will not... for now :slight_smile:
Hope it helps.
Regards

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Thank you both for your answers :slight_smile:
2 important thing I'm taking out of it are that :

  1. RT3200 might be the right direction....
  2. ... if the size won't scare me :smiley:

Thanks & Regards!

I'd like to add that not too long ago I was in the same situation and in the end went for a "better", but still 802.11ac AP. While that will probably not give you the 800+ mbit of an AX device it can do 500-ish mbit on VHT80, even 700-ish if you push VHT160 which I don't -- if you, and that's very important, get a 4x4 MU-MIMO device.

In my case that turned out to be a TP-Link RE650 which, after a few months of use, turned out to be a cheap (~€30 used) worthwhile upgrade from my previous 2x2 ac AP, both in speed and in range.

I'm not advocating against AX wifi, clearly that is the way forward, but as long as the device selection is still a bit slim there's still wins to be had with AC devices.

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Makes totally sense and I was thinking about something similar.
But for me the upgrade would have to be an access point, not extender as I don't need another device - just want to replace the old one.

there's no difference, from an openwrt point of view, you can use the device whichever way you'd like,
an extender could be used as a router, and a router as an AP or extender.

I did as @takimata, and repurposed routers as APs.