Hardware recommendations

Hello, I currently have a Dlink-DIR-632A (WiFi w/ 8-port wired switch) running DD-WRT and want to upgrade to something similar, with an 8-port switch if possible, that I can run OpenWRT on. What are some good options? I've noticed that there aren't too many 8-port switches around any longer that also have WiFi. Thanks for any input! I have not run OpenWRT before.

The SoCs used in SOHO routers almost all support 5 physical ports at most. Eight ports on a device is likely two, daisy-chained, with the resulting bottleneck of a single line between the “halves”.

You’d likely be best off buying a managed (VLAN-aware) switch.

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Max 6 ports are available:

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I believe you can configure the turris MOX with 3x8 switch ports (https://mox-configurator.turris.cz/AEEE), but as @jeff notes, that really are three 8 port switches which seem to share an undersized "backplane" if compared with a reasonable 24 port switch. If switching really is mostly required in three groups with most traffic ontra-group than the MOX AEEE might be a solution, albeit at a much higher cost than a stand-alone 24 port Gbps switch.


Is a 2-device solution an option? There are a number of a inexpensive, unmanaged GigaLAN switches. The Netgear GS108 for example.

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The DIR632 is a bit of a strange unit. It has a 9 port 10/100 switch chip. There is a mainstream Linux driver for the chip but it is not included in OpenWrt because this is perhaps the only router ever built with that chip. I have run some experimental builds and OpenWrt can work there.

Since it runs all routing traffic "one armed" through one CPU port at 100 Mb, it's not a high performance setup.

When buying new equipment you definitely want gigabit. Though there are some $30 managed 8-port switches (which means 7 usable ports since one is the uplink from your router), getting to 16 ports costs considerably more.

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Thanks for the advice! The main reason I want to upgrade is, as mk24 points out my old DIR632 is only 100Mb and I just bought a ARRIS CM8200 DOCSIS 3.1 Gig Modem for my cable connection and it appears that my broadband speed is now being bottlenecked to 100Mb do to the DIR632. I could probably get by with 5 or 6 physical ports if I had to and run my printer etc. via WiFi. I repair PCs for people at home so it's nice to have a few extra ethernet ports available.

What is a good option for a new unit to buy that will run OpenWRT and has 5 or 6 gigabit ethernet ports?


First question, what is your line rate [Edit: and what do you expect it to be over the lifespan of your router]?

That's going to determine hardware you need to have the line be your bottleneck, not the router.

Hi Jeff, The plan I have says "Download speeds up to 1000Mb/s" so 100Mb/s is definitely a bottleneck...

Do you have a budget in mind yet?

As a heads-up, "gigabit" rates, especially gigabit symmetric, are in the realm of what was "enterprise" connectivity not too long ago, and still is.

Budget permitting, reaching those speeds and doing what people have come to expect from OpenWrt (such as SQM "bufferbloat control") pretty much requires a mid-range x86_64 router with two NICs and a managed switch, from what I've tested.

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Hi Jeff,
Budget isn't too much of an issue but would definitely like the "Most bang for the buck" type situation. Would like to get the most speed out of the broadband connection and have as many physical LAN ports as possible. I could always run a 2nd switch but would like to avoid that if possible by having 5+ ports available. Being able to run OpenWRT or DD-WRT (Or even Tomato?) would be optimal. Thanks for your input!

"Nothing" out there in the all-in-one market offers more than 4+1 ports, due to the common switch ASIC core being targeted at that application. 4+1 ports are "standard" on most full-size all-in-one units.

"Best bang for the buck" is relative. I'd put that as the GL.iNet GL-AR300 with its QCA9531 SoC, 128 MB of RAM and 128 MB of NAND flash, at US$30 on Amazon right now (US$40 with 25% off coupon). However, many would find lack of 5 GHz wireless and the routing/SQM speed of a single-core, MIPS-based processor not up to their desires.

On the upper end of the spectrum, "best bang" for me goes to the ODROID H2 and a used, Cisco SG300-52 (or -28, or upper-range ZyXEL) managed switch with, for one example, a Linksys EA6250v3 as an AP. One of the few combos that can route gigabit symmetric and provide robust wireless. That's reasonably close to what I run, and what I would buy if looking to achieve rates over 500 Mbps with SQM.

There are those that believe the high-end "mvebu" devices, like the WRT32X, can achieve at least one-way gigabit rates. I haven't tested one yet, so I can't confirm. There are concerns around wireless support given its history with Marvell and its acquisition by NXP.

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Sorry to sound like a broken record, but the turris omnia combined 1 WAN port (either Gbps Ethernet over copper or alternatively a SFP module) with 5 ports on the LAN side of it's switch. It also combined a 32bit dual core ARM Marvell mvebu SoC with two ath10k radios, and in my testing allows traffic shaping up to 500/500 Mbps bidirectionally (but at that point it is pretty much maxed out).
There are downsides as well, first at around 300EUR it is quite pricy, and while its default OS tracks OpenWrt pretty closely it seems that it is tricky to get stock upstream OpenWrt installed (but I have not tried myself, just relaying information gathered in the forum)

Realistically, with a 300 EUR budget, getting a dual NIC x64 as primary router and one or two OpenWrt supported routers as APs seems like the better plan to me.

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