When I switched to fiber a year ago, I replaced my old WD MyNet N750 with a X86_64 mini computer and I am very happy with it (celeron with AES + 2x 1Gbps LAN + 32Gb msata)
Unfortunately, this computer can only boot UEFI OS. It's not so easy to upgrade and I had to install an OpenWRT 20 snapshot instead of a stable 19.x (snapshots have UEFI builds).
Every time I need to upgrade it I have to reinstall my old WD router during the process as Snapshot versions don't work every time and it might take longer than expected (and I can test the build on the WD before the final upgrade on the X86 computer).
I love this old WD router, he has everything I want but it is starting to get very old and I have a feeling that it is not going to last long.
Eg. the “Emergency Room” mode (web page available at startup after a reset which allows to push a firmware) is more and more capricious, the last time it took me more than 25 attempts to be able to flash it.
In addition it begins to be really limited in power, even for my 300/300Mbs connection. (but it is a backup router, that does not matter too much until I upgrade to full Gbps)
So I am looking to replace this venerable backup router and I cannot identify, in the jungle of routers, a good candidate.
I bought a Fritz!box 4040 last year but I don't like it at all (pb with VLANs and not stable at all, need to reboot it every 3 days, even with the stock FW used as a Wifi AP... perhaps a pb on this particular one).
What I need (after all):
- low cost if possible (~50$) even if it is not really decisive, I can go for 150$ if it is a really good choice (but the lower the better)
- small size with no external antenna if possible (I just love the WD form factor, small, 4+1Gbps, no ext. antenna + USB to power the wired Zigbee gateway located next to the router... just perfect for my needs !)
- Wifi not needed .... but I don't care too much especially if it doesn't have ext. antenna
- at least 1+2 Gbps ports (I'm missing a port on the x86-64 so I had to install an usb/ethernet adapter) no pb if it has more ports of course
- more powerful than WD N750, but I don't expect it to handle a full Gbps with SQM (the WD has a single core 560MHz Atheros AR9344 + 16/128MB) I can just be happier with a smoother Luci experience and a better throughput
- very "VLAN friendly" (so not a IPQ40xx please !!) because my ISP needs that (vlan 832)
- very (very very very) easy to deal with, easy to deploy openwrt (from the stock FW or like the WD with an embeded web service during reset), hard to brick, easy to unbrick
- well supported (stable branch please)
there are too many references to explore, detail, dissect, verify ... I admit not knowing where to start to choose my backup openwrt router:
- by the choice of SOC?
- by the choice of an architecture [choose an X86_64 again] ?
- BananaPI / Nanopi or equivalent
- Using a compatible manageable switch?
- chossing a Gl.inet / Ubiquiti / Mikrotik ?
- and why not a simple multi ports gpbs repeater or powerline (like a TL-WPA8630P ??) ?
It would be really great if any of you could help me get on the right track.