Help selecting a dedicated router? (Gigabit, POE, PPPoE support, SFP nice to have)

Hi All

Spending too much time trying to work with (below) average gear - need something better.

Im ok with keeping the Archer C7's as my dumb APs, but i need a new dedicated router.

I currently have an SFP/RJ45 media converter used to go from my ISP (Bell) fiber line to the WAN port on my Archer C7, but as you can see in my post above, things are just not working out!

I had my eye on the Ubiquity ER-X-SFP Edgerouter X, but its out of stock for several more weeks near me. So, maybe theres an easier option i can go and pick up this weekend.

A router with an SFP port built in is not required since i have the media converter already, but condensing may be interesting.

Don't need a wireless router, as i'll keep wifi controlled by the APs.
POE is also interesting, although i dont have any immediate use for it today.

Today i have 500/500Mbps, but future support for 1Gbps+ would be cool too.

I can't imagine i'm anywhere under $150, but dont want to spend $400 either.

Any thoughts?.

The current king of this space is the RPi4 + UE300 ethernet adapter. It's the best system when balancing

  1. Widespread availability
  2. high speed
  3. unbrickable
  4. inexpensive
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Wow - well i wasnt expecting that answer! Haha I got an RPi4 laying around already so i may have to try this out..

But i just found a Ubiquiti Router (ER-X) without the SFP port in stock for $80 CAD, so i think ill give this a shot first. Didnt even think to look for the non-SFP model.. ugh. lol

Appreciate the help again!

The RPi4 blows the ERx out of the water performance wise. I'd do that first

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I don't recommend the ER-X for 500 Mb ISP. It doesn't have enough CPU.

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Oh really. Damn.

What would you recommend then? How much CPU's required to support a 500/500 connection?

See: So you have 500Mbps-1Gbps fiber and need a router READ THIS FIRST

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Fair enough, thank you i'll give that a shot then first i guess.

Doesnt seem like there is an official RPi4 OpenWRT build yet, but i found this thread:

is that what i should follow?
Would OpenWRT just simply recognize the USB ethernet jack?

or should i be running a specific OS instead?

OpenWRT snapshot works flawlessly out of the box; Realtek USB ethernet included. I tried the RPi community build linked above but it has a lot of highly idiosyncratic customization, none of which I needed and some of which was in the way.

With the snapshot, I mirrored all the packages locally to be on the safe side. Yes the kmod packages will remain available for a few months and the rest mostly don't have a sell-by date, but they can develop dependency issues without warning, and you have lots of room on even a small SD card so you might as well just grab everything you might ever want.

Got a link to the snapshot? and what size SD would you recommend? Just to be safe :slight_smile:

And whats all this about kmod? lol

OK, looks like you've got a bit of a learning curve in front of you. The snapshot is simply the latest rolling build; for the Pi 4 it's at https://downloads.openwrt.org/snapshots/targets/bcm27xx/bcm2711/
You have a choice of squashfs or ext4, I think ext4 is what most people use, it's certainly more amenable to customization anyway.

The sweet spot for SD card pricing is around 32GB, that's dozens of times more room than you'll ever need for any foreseeable OpenWRT-related purpose, and there's hardly any point in buying anything cheaper: a good quality SanDisk Extreme or Ultra tops out around $10.

Maybe don't worry too much about the kmod issue for now -- but for reference, kmod packages are kernel module packages that are bound to the precise build you're using. When using snapshots in production (i.e. your real-world router not just playing around) it's something to be aware of, but they keep the kmods for each snapshot available for several months; plenty of time to figure out which of several approaches to take for maintainability over time if you decide to keep it.

Wicked, thanks.

For future use, this wiki page has the dd syntax required to install the image.

Had one of these laying around, so i'll boot up and see if this works!

Hmm.. im guessing now there isnt a driver to support that USB-C hub...

The snapshots don't have USB drivers Afaik. You need to grab all the kernel modules and install the ones for your particular USB device. Check the kernel logs to see what it detects. Also you will need a USBC to USB a adapter or something the USB c port is power for the pi

Yea i got the rpi on my network and was able to do an opkg update, get drivers up and install luci

However, the dongle i was using wasn't getting detected.
It also had USB-C power pass through, so it's kinda like an OTG in that sense...

Went to go buy the UE300 anyways. Wasted too much time already!

@Cheddoleum @dlakelan

Hey all - Ok got the Pi booted up, PPPoE configured and it looks like things are working as they should...

Had to manually create my WAN port for obvious reasons. Do i need to also create the "wan6" port i saw on my Arhcer C7?

I also noticed that there is no switch interface in Luci, is that because the Pi doesn't have multiple LAN ports? I had to instead set eth0 to eth0.35 in the CLI which isnt a big deal, but i was just curious.

Thanks for the help gents!

You can even use multiport PCI-E ethernet adapters if you have a pi CM4: https://pipci.jeffgeerling.com/

The owner seems to be an Openwrt user, since he references openwrt a couple of times. Quite impressive performance for such a cheap device - seems to cap out around ~3Gbps of throughput in total....he posted a video here

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