I’m about to change my old Apple Time Capsule I used as router for many years. I know, it’s not a good one, but first covered my needs and lately I was to lazy to replace it.
So I decided to get a router capable of working with OpenWRT and go more open source as I once was.
I read as much as I could in these Forums and in the site. But I couldn’t find what I was looking fo; a clear winner. So I ask for you help with an easy question: if budget wasn’t anything to take care of, what router would you recommend? It has to take care of mobile devices, video game consoles, lighting, streaming and a hdd for my backups. I rather prefer to invest money now than buy twice in a year. I’m using dsl from Telekom in Germany btw.
x86_64 with at least two NICs, Intel preferred (at least 4 if your area has gigabit service on the way), AES-NI, dual-core or more; managed switch; discrete AP(s) (either purpose built or decent, current all-in-one devices configured as "dumb APs"). That's the only "clear winner" in my opinion, but not what many people have in mind when they think "router". (There are devices that meet this criteria in the 10 W class that are similar in size or smaller than all-in-one routers.)
With gigabit symmetric available in the home at US$70 a month, enterprise-level bandwidth basically requires enterprise-level equipment. There are plenty of additional reasons to select a device with RAM in the GB and the ability to run a fault-tolerant file system beyond just bandwidth.
One person's opinion who I respect and some good follow on at
I'm using PCEngines APU2C4 and APU3C4 devices, which have excellent build quality, but perhaps not the CPU power as other options. I also have some older Celeron-based iTX machines. I don't own any of the newer options so can't comment from personal experience. Personally, I avoid "no-name, Chinese imports" though some report good success with them.
At least in my opinion, the IPQ80xx is a solid SoC for current use, but likely not to be able to handle gigabit rates over the next couple years. At roughly US$150, a Netgear R7800 or ZyXEL NBG6817 will likely give you a few years of service and can then be repurposed as APs for a more powerful router. The WRT3200ACM / WRT32x perhaps have a "longer runway" with their "mvebu" SoCs. Three years out of a $150-class device isn't too bad, especially when you consider that they can be used as APs (at least until "802.11xyz" becomes "essential" to have).
If you need a raw powerful router you can buy one x86 mini pc from aliexpress with around 100-150$ with a intel calereon processor and with 6 intel gigabit NIC.
There are even some with wifi capabilities.
I personally bought one, the qotom Q515G6 and i've added to it a computex wle900vx card atheros based (around 20$) and one of the few supporting both 2.4 and 5ghz but unfortunately not at the same time. I think i will add an external usb one for 2.4ghz.
A Turris MOX and pretty much any ARM-based solution would be more than enough since you're on a DSL line. I'd look for a 64-bit ARM solution if I were you or something along the lines of a i3 CPU and at least dual NICs but again, x86 would waste of money if you're on DSL unless you need it for something else than acting as a firewall such as NAS etc. I know people like to separate those things but it's a home network, not a mission critical data center.
My personal preference is something running FreeBSD/pfsense/opnsense, a switch and using dumb APs.
Reliable? Very.... The key constraints are going to be peak throughput vs temperature.... the former easily established the latter a factor of many things although it is rarely a key issue.... in which case a fan mod does wonders....
I second Jeff.... If you are wanting peak unhindered performance.... A two if not three device solution is the only way to go....
In any event that can be built on.... what you really want to be doing is monitoring this stuff realtime on the ground level. It is the only way to truly know.
My wrt3200acm is verry fast as in regards to CPU but the wifi fals over if there is a lote of devices connected. I meen about 12 + devices. So now I use a TP-Link c7-v2 as a dumb AP for both radios and all works fine. My network is 220 down and 12 up. I run SQM, adblock, banip, dns over HTTPS and some firewall rools.
Doesn't do any work is plain wrong. The R7800 is currently one of the top rated wireless routers for small networks in the OpenWrt and DD-Wrt community. It does do work. I even let it work to bring this reply to you.
How often do you really need to pass 1 Gbps over this device? 1% of the year, or closer to 0% per year? And do you use the switch for passing this speed in hardware or do you really operate 4 stream 11ac client devices?
I only know one reason for talking about it being too slow in network use: your ISP contract is faster than 400 Mbps. Then you may need mvebu or x86 based routers for OpenWrt.
I tested my R7800 a few days back and I was able to reach ~830Mbps, so 400MBps is too low for it. I assume that SQM I not required at that speed, so it is quite capable. But it cannot do 1GBps for sure even between the LAN ports.