Future of 432 devices with well developed drivers against new unsupported 5GHz devices

OK I understand now. So, I would expect less than 5 Mbps of WG throughput from a 4/32 device.

  • Perhaps in your location people don't have that much speed; but in the US and KR, some places have 100+ Mbps provisioned speed. I believe Google Fiber's first paid tier is 1000 Mbps.
  • In 2015, I actually switched BACK to OpenWrt because I realized I had a 4/32 device that only had a LAN-to-WAN throughput of ~30 Mbps. Here are WG results through an OpenWrt device on a 1000 Mbps interface:

Speed using WG:


Speed (no WG):


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That's what I meant @lleachii... Newer devices are not necessarily so much faster and if you consider for mesh networks at home you always need 3 or 4 devices to cover a whole house and room.

You're also right about internet speeds here. Maximum upload is still around 40 MBit/s even when you already get 250 Mbit/s down through cuper. Cable providers are still much worse. They can just offer less than 30Mb up even when they provide 1000 down already.

Yes, with fiber you can reach the physical limit of their interfaces if you find a reasonable provider for less than 100€/month if you want 1GBe sync up and down. - That's usually a bit much especially if you have absolutely no service which is able to use that bandwidth...

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I think you've missed something here, 5Ghz often works better than 2.4Ghz and you're listing ridiculous arguments in general which others also have pointed out. I just showed you one device that's cheap and is much capable of doing what you're asking for. The PSU is usually 2A tops so pretty much the same as your current devices.

This is a non-starter for me for at least three reasons:

  1. OEM firmware is generally insecure
  2. OEM consumer firmware doesn't support "advanced" networking, such as 802.11s, B.A.T.M.A.N., OLSR, GRE, VLANs, ...
  3. There are plenty of well-supported devices not in the 4/32 class that are/were moderately priced that have significantly better 5 GHz wireless performance than the either ancient or cheap SoCs and chips in the 4/32 devices (Edit: that many times don't support 802.11ac and/or MIMO, slowing down the wireless for current clients.)

Being able to route say 100Mbps and being able to enjoy 100Mbps are two different things in my opinion. I've seen 100Mbps feel so so slow when shared across a small organization (say 10 simultaneous users, like a small coffee shop) and bufferbloat leaves you with a pretty constant 800ms round trip time. Load a web page, it requires 5 or 10 DNS lookups, that takes 5 seconds, load those resources, they each require 5 different DNS sub-lookups... that takes 25 seconds... and then BLINK after 30 seconds your page shows up all at once. You didn't need to actually get more than say a megabit of data, but you waited 30 seconds for it even though if you had SQM you'd have gotten it in less than 1 second.

So, routing X speed vs SQM of X speed are two different things. And actually available 4/32 devices with say single 400MHz MIPS cores running routing/SQM/WiFi all on one core are unlikely to SQM more than 30 or 40 Mbps realistically.

To get SQM with 100Mbps you should have at least 2 cores and something in the 700MHz range or better. In reality because it's not that much more expensive than a low end device, you should get something like a WRT32X with 4 ARM cores and 1GHz+ (~$110 here in US). After all if you have 100 or 200Mbps you're paying 50 or 80 $/mo you might as well make it work well by getting enough router to be satisfied.

so, if you have low end requirements: 40Mbps or less, you will be well served by GL-iNet devices around $20 to $50, and if you have 100Mbps-250Mbps you'll be well served by WRT32X or similar NBG6817, and if you have more go x86. Nowhere in this equation is there room for a new device with 4/32 because even the cheap $20 GL-iNet device is cheaper and better

It's strictly a matter of 4/32 as legacy already existing devices that people want to continue to use.


I hate to state the obvious, but apparently it isn't obvious to you.

If you had one or two decent, current devices, you wouldn't need 3 or 4 ancient ones.

Not only that, but eliminating or reducing backhaul traffic, as well as unit-to-unit interference would likely further improve your wireless performance.

As much as I like the idea of using hardware as long as possible and usefull I think your approach is only for a tiny minority of users....the ones with the knowledge and equipment and lust for these mods will do it....the overwhelming majority don't care for personal (imho good) reasons.

Using older devices longer? Buy a used 8/64, 16/64 or 16/128 for little cash on ebay before their owers will throw them away because no one buys these old dogs ;- ) e.g. one NETGEAR N600 WNDR3700v2 sold for ~7,5€ P&P included another one for ~9€

...and as speaking of ressource saving: Don't throw your 4/32 device in the standard waste bin ;- )

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You got that wrong. I just installed Windows 10 Pro yesterday on a new SSD, along with Office (full package including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and Outlook and some), email accounts, Norton Antivirus, Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Tor, WharsApp, and some utilities, and it's not 32 GB yet! (and hibernation is enabled).

I wish you good luck if features updates comes out and want to be downloaded and installed.

Seriously though as others have mentioned. The fundamental question is a tad one dimensional. And reframing paradigms is kinda critical here.

I for one would love these devices to remain active.... but the practicalities of hardware constraints had me repurposing and adjusting over a year ago.....

The question is as much;

"how long will these devices continue to support contemporary demands, both internally and externally......."

And from a practical level..... the best way forward is a narrow one....... what hampers advances in this domain are broad questions..... broad aims...... the scope is unrealistic and ill defined.

And it is not obvious to you that houses are built using different construction methods and materials. Both can dramatically limit the reach of any 2.4/5 GHZ unit. New or old.

Laws of physics do not care about what you perceive to be a sufficient amount of WiFi units for a (mesh) network.

Pretty sure it's obvious to Jeff, he's an active Amateur Radio operator and a trained EE and has helped multiple people with mesh networks here. Of course you're also right, that if you live in a concrete block house with rebar everywhere you'll need a lot more wifi APs than someone in a wood frame house with large open rooms. Still, modern technology usually tends to operate at higher efficiency and lower noise and with better antenna designs and etc. So that newer tech will tend to reduce the number of nodes needed for good coverage on average.


I'll add to that some practical experience in a 20' x 50' (6m x 15m), two-story Victorian row house (lath and plaster construction).

To get reasonable coverage in that environment, it required:

  • 4 - WRT54g (Mid 2000s)
  • 3 - Netgear (WNDR4300?) / TP-Link units (TL-WDR4300 and TL-WDR4900) from the early 2010s
  • 2 - TP-Link Archer C7v2 (c. 2014)

A 2:1 reduction by using better technology

That the release date of inexpensive 4/32 units is long after that of their underlying technologies doesn't magically make them perform like current units with current chip sets, RF components, and antenna design.

I am now finding that one, current IPQ4019 router I am working with in a different environment is likely going to be able to replace 2 Archer C7v2 units.


Especially 802.11ac (and newer) does push the envelope here, as antenna design (and the intelligence behind it) was significantly improved to make beam forming and MU-MIMO possible (more antennas, much better algorithms to deal with weak signals), which -as a side effect- also improves coverage (at decent throughputs) quite significantly.

The "use your ISP-orginal-devices as a Modem on WAN-Port of an mid-aged OpenWrt-Hardware and if you need wifi througput, take a third OEM-device with working drivers for their WIFI." solution is exactly what I'm doing with my home network.
Huge Hitron device for the modem, old Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH w/OpenWRT for the firewall, Asus RT-AC66U for WiFi needs. Works very, very reliably and I find it the best comprise for me.

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That could do on the short run. But on the long run, of you consider power consumption, you would be better of with the modern plus a suitable router with reasonable WiFi.