Feeling lost, Dont know which router to buy

First let me apologise, I have read through lots of threads, To be honest, I dont want to buy another router that really wont live up to what i want.

Currently I use and have been very happy with an Asus RT-86U, It currently has Asus Merlin on it, But, I think its only a matter of time before it reaches its end of life.

So I read on the internet Asus RT-88u is supported on Openwrt, So I brought one, Only to find out its not the best, The latest Snapshots dont boot, the One that does boot, Has problems with Wifi. So I flasshed it with ddwrt and its last build was back in 2020.

I want something as powerful as the RT-88u, So that i can run wireguard on it, I guess, I want something like RT-88u.

This post sounded better in my head, Not sure if I explained well enough.

Many thanks for at least reading.

Pick one from Broke uni student looking for a hackable "pirate wifi" setup - #4 by frollic

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I used to use an RT-AC86U with Merlin. I replaced it with an $80 Dynalink DL-WRX36. Better than I would have imagined.

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I have WRX36s too, but as APs, rock solid.

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I have to say a real big thank you to you all, This is the advice I have been searching for, You guys are going to save me from making a purchase that would have been totally wrong.

You also have the option of getting a wired-only router (e.g. x86 box or Pi-like SBC) and reuse the Asus as an AP behind a modern router. I used a Raspberry Pi 4 with the Asus (on stock FW) as an AP for a while before buying the Dynalink.

I might go back to the Pi and configure the Dynalink as an AP, just for something to muck with.

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The Linksys E8450/ Belkin RT3200 are such good suggestions; however, here in Europe they are very hard to come by, even on Ebay. They sell them for about £150 second hand on Ebay in Europe when I paid £75 for it.

Taking the going price for an rt-ac88u as a basic price range, https://git.openwrt.org/?p=openwrt/openwrt.git;a=commitdiff;h=e7c399bee677e9bac66e1bea697aefb8d828edfe might be worth looking at - if you'd be comfortable flashing via serial2usb. rt3200/ dl-wrx36 are also good options, neither trivial to flash, but those at least don't require serial console access to flash.

While not answering your question about hardware selecction (you've already gotten great answers on that part)... I just want to comment here...

snapshots may introduce new issues/bugs relative to stable releases.

Generally speaking, OpenWrt has a good track record for functional stable releases and even snapshots, but snapshots are daily builds that can result in unexpected bugs. Keep that in mind for your hardware selectoin -- it is usually best to go with something that is supported on a stable release build. Newer/bleeding edge devices will typically only be supported by snapshot until the next major stable release series is forked. So consider what is supported by 22.03 or 23.05.0-RCx unless you are tolerant of potential issues around snapshots.