High-end Access Point

I'm looking for a "good" AP to run LEDE/OpenWRT and am unable to find anything I like.
I haven't bought an access point in 10 years and may be overestimating my requirements or underestimating the performance of current hardware.

Requirements, roughly in order of importance:

  • solid 802.11ac performance, prosumer level (me and my nerdy friends, no huge crowds)
  • (expected to be) well supported by openwrt in the future / common hardware / large userbase
  • open source drivers, community friendly
  • installation not dependent on specific hardware releases / firmware versions / hardware modifications
  • indoor use
  • MIMO
  • low power
  • stand alone AP, not a router
  • >/= 128MB RAM
  • price: whatever it takes, but above $300 I'd probably build my own
  • available in Europe / The Netherlands

Most users seem to be buying full fledged routers but I need just an AP.
The most popular prosumer APs seem to be the Ubiquity Unify AP's. I was turned down by a warning that Ubiquity is locking down the bootloader and making it harder to install. I'd prefer to use a vendor that does not mind me installing my own software.

GL.inet seems to have some decent choices but they are not available in my area without a huge import fee.

Any advice on good hardware?
Am I overcomplicating things?

In case there's nothing on the market that meets your requirements how do you plan to build your own?

I can build an AP myself from parts, but I'd prefer to buy something ready made that I can install OpenWRT to.

The closed-source manufacturer wifi drivers can have better wifi performance, and since about the only thing required from a dumb AP is wifi performance, using the stock firmware can make sense.

I still like the UniFi and continue to specify them for OpenWrt, but the design is getting dated with its single core CPU and Wave 1 ath10k chip. I haven't encountered any that are completely locked.


Gl-iNet is available on Amazon prime

Both Unifi AP AC Pro and AP Mesh Pro are good access points that are supported. They are both 3x3 and habe a second Ethernet port if needed.