Home renovation: should I ditch my R7800 for MikroTik?

#1

Good morning,

I'm about to start a building project, which provides the opportunity to run cat6 around the house and relocate my network equipment.

I currently have a Netgear R7800 (running OpenWRT). I live on a private road which will never be furnished with FTTP, so I'm pretty much stuck on FTTC with 25Mbps down and 2.5Mbps up. I currently run the R7800 both as a wireguard server and a client (with some policy-based routing); and that's pretty much as fancy as I get.

In the interests of concealing and wall-mounting, would I be bonkers to swap the R7800 for, say, the MikroTik RB750Gr3 + MikroTik hAP ac lite and flashing them both?

The rationale for (potentially) switching is the more subtle aesthetic, and modularisation; separating the router and WiFi AP (for various upgrade paths later, if I wish).

Am I mad, or is this a reasonable switch?

Thanks!

#2

In terms of performance and long term maybe?
But then again, if you don't plan on getting a ~500mbit+ connection anytime soon the slower MikroTik RB750Gr3 might be a viable option. The R7800 doesn't perform better than that using ethernet due to driver issues and I'm not sure how much love the IPQ8 gets upstream. I'm also a bit unsure about long term support for MT7621 upstream but perhaps someone has more insight than me in that regard.

#3

Thanks. I take from your reply that in many (most?) cases, I'd be taking a (small) backward step, but that given my specific case (no prospect of anything even approaching 500MBit), it might be ok.

I guess the logical related question is: if not the MikroTik kit, then are there any other options? I'm not a big fan of these space-age, look-like-they-fell-off-the-set-of-robot-wars consumer routers, so something bland that I can wall-mount and place out of sight is the principal consideration here. The R7800 has been solid for me, and if it wasn't for the house being remodelled, I'd keep it.

#4

The r7800 is good for 350-400 MBit/s in OpenWrt right now, given your explanation I don't see a reason to replace it. Yes, you should definately put cat-7 wherever possible and prepare for future upgrades, but that doesn't mean you'll have to buy/ install them straight away (at this moment I wouldn't spend huge amounts of money on multiple conceiled/ ceiling 802.11ac APs and rather make do until 802.11ax gets affordable).

2 Likes
#5

That's really sound advice. Thanks!

Now that somebody's laid it out in those terms, that makes perfect sense. In which case, I'll plan where I want to put the boxes and lay cat7; but then make-do for now and wait for 802.11ax. You've also saved me the hassle of finding a Windows machine to flash the MikroTik kit :grinning:

Cheers.

#6

CAT7 is not TIA/EIA standard, CAT6A however is so it makes little to no sense going for CAT7 since its more or less "undefined".

Edit: You should also be aware that you don't usually want first gen wifi hardware so you're looking at ~2y+ before 11ax would become viable having the arguments above in mind.

5 Likes
#7

I'm erring towards sticking with what I've got (if it ain't broke...) but adding a switch so that I can install ethernet ports wherever I need them. I can then replace the router and consider options for WiFi hardware at a later date.

From what you've all advised, that sounds like the best way to future-proof myself and giving me options for the future.