Good arm router

looking for good and cheap arm routers for openwrt

Define good, and cheap, also tell us where in the world you are.

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I think something like 90% (or more?) of the routers have ARM architecture. Define your question :slight_smile:

I recommend the Banana Pi BPI-R3. Wifi 6 2.4 + 5GHz for wireless. 5 x 1GBe ethernet plus 2 x 2.5GB SFP for wired connections. Expansion with USB 3 and m.2 key M slot. 2GB RAM, 8GB emmc plus NAND and NOR flash if you want to use them, also a microSD slot. And it's a 4 core Arm 64 @ 2GHz. It's all Mediatek, which has traditionally been good at handling the nuts and bolts in hardware (and not offloading it onto the CPU). Very well supported in OpenWrt.

I highly recommend it. There are other more prefab AX arm routers out there, but not with the power and flexibility.


90% or more have MIPS or SOCS architecture , i guess you mistaken mediatek with arm, it is not, i have read that mostly 80% or more of home routers are manufactured with socs and mips processor acrhitecture, making them very slower to processing encrypted data, even the linksys wrt3200acm with dual core 1.6ghz mips processor is a glorified paperweight , that is why i am asking support to the knowledgers in this community, because i would like to find arm powered routers supported by openwrt, would like to run my vpn at 100%, not at 5% of real speed, caused by mips or socs cpu archie

savy answer my friend, i was losing hope and was thinking of burrowing money to buy a firewalla.... you saved me.. that banana costs 100 * cents * less and its more powerfull, it could run an ips/ids ,ipban, vpn, etc everything!

able to tackle like a champ 100mbps openvpn connection without bottlenecking to 20mbps, found out even the linksys wrt3200acm because of the mips architecture it slow down encription services vpn speed by at least a 60 or 70%

are all the banana py supported? only find on amazon 130$ the most cheap :frowning:

The 3200acm isn't a mips device, it's an dual core mvebu Arm cortex a9. Some of the more powerful arm cpus used in routers, if getting a bit old now.


I don’t know, I think most routers are ARM based, I mean, all the nanoPis, BananaPi, GL.iNet, RockPI, MikroTik, OrangePi, etc… Wi-Fi AP/routers have more MIPS architecture but also here, there’re lots of ARM devices.

Anyway you get your answer :slightly_smiling_face:

Regarding the TOH, these models are:

But the hardware is quite different, and so is the price...

On Amazon-US and -CA the Banana Pi BPI-R3 is listed for 100-145 US$. But that's the naked board w/o a case or a psu, even w/o antennas. These will cost you extra...

So in the "good arm router" department there is IMHO the turris omnia, but it fails on the "cheap" requirement. Its dual core arm a9 @1.6 GHz is surprisingly "punchy" for a CPU core introduced in 2007..., currently arm a72 seems to be an all around better CPU (a53 or even a55 cores need to come a significantly higher frequency as these cores are, arm's marketing not withstanding, simply not as performant/Hz as the a9*).
For a long time MIPS ruled the market for low-end/-cost router SoCs, but MIPS has not really been offering newer CPU cores that attracted market attention, so IMHO the MIPS routers are slowly dying out... router-SoCs have a surprisingly long staying power and are sold for quite some time, so you can still get relative recent MIPS routers, but these are getting rarer while arm based SoCs are slowly taking over, in the budget bin, however I would assume that MIPS still has an edge over arm.

*) These are more power-efficient in-order cores, while a9/a72 are out-of-order more performant cores (that is have higher instructions per cycle), but once you push the in-order cores to equal performance (by increasing the frequency) to the out-of-order cores there will be little power-saving left...

Supported by OpenWrt? No. Not all Banana Pi boards are intended to be used in routers. The Banana Pi BPI-R2, BPI-R64, and BPI-R3 are the three boards that are well supported by OpenWrt. The BPI-R3 is the newest and best.

You would likely need addon Wi-fi cards for either the BPI-R2 or BPI-R64. I would highly recommend the BPI-R3 as the best option for you. You can find it in kit form on Ali Express that comes with the board, case, power supply, and antennae.


Your statements are not accurate enough because you are comparing an ancient architecture (ARM v7) with a modern one (ARM v8).

A7/A9/Krait etc are built on the ARMv7 architecture and supports only 32-bit instruction set.
A53/A55/A72 etc are bult on the ARMv8 architecture and supports 64-bit and 32-bit instructions

Also note that ARMv8 architecture compared to ARMv7 has many advantages:

  1. Enhanced SIMD (NEON) instruction set (able to process 128-bit at a time)
  2. Cryptography Extension (CE) instruction set to accelerate AES and HASH computing
  3. Much more performant Floating-point instruction set

For detailed information feel free to refer to:

"Raw" performance could be compared via "DMIPS/MHz" column in the table from the link above.
However, "raw" performance does not take into account all of the improvements above such as SIMD (NEON) and Cryptography Extension (CE).

ARM Architecture		DMIPS/MHz

ARMv7 Cortex A7			1.9
ARMv7 Cortex A9			2.5
ARMv7 Krait 300			3.39
ARMv7 Cortex A15		3.5 - 4.01
ARMv8 Cortex A53		2.24
ARMv8 Cortex A55		2.65
ARMv8 Cortex A57		4.8
ARMv8 Cortex A72		6.3 - 7.3
ARMv8 Cortex A73		7.4 - 8.5

PS: Item (1) has been corrected. Thanks for pointing me the error.

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Fair enough, if you need new instructions not available in a9 you need a different CPU, no remind me, which instructions are you missing for your OpenWrt router?

This is true, but IMHO beyond the point, as 32bit CPUs work just fine for a router, especially one that has considerably less memory than 4GB.

But unless your version of OpenWrt actually uses these they are pretty much dead silicon.

Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to convince people to stay on a9, it is more that I want them to avoid clunkers like a53 and a55...

I think this is one of those measures that serve well to sort a set of items into a ascending/descending series, but that tells not very much about actual performance during use as a router.

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CE boosts AES performance up to 25x:

CE boosts OpenVPN throughput up to 5x (unfortunately, OpenVPN is incapable to utilize more than 1 core):

But you can keep recommending A9 as a "punchy" choice :wink:

i am sorry for my ignorance, aparently i confused one of those with other i saw in a forum here, it looked exactly like that one i mentioned

Yes, but if your router does not use AES this capability buys you exactly nothing...

Well, so riddle me this, will these instructions actually help the new generation of the VPNs, aka Wireguard, which uses ChaCha20 instead of AES?

And I will if I think it is a good match (or a better match than a53/a55) for the discussed use case. I certainly am more impressed by beefy general performance than by a few choice instructions that mostly help with benchmarks, or in the rare case that the software intended to be run on a device actually can profit from those instructions. But the OP's requests did not read like that to me.
Feel free to prefer a53/a55 if they are better suited to your use cases.


I'm stating the obvious, but... People might be more in agreement in this discussion if functions of "router" was defined. People sometimes also use these same devices as a L2 switch, VPN node, firewall, media server, Docker host, WIFI AP, etc. and not just routing IP over Ethernet. ... and at ever increasing bandwidth. As @moeller0 mentioned, "use case" matters. :slight_smile: