Linksys WRT 3200 ACM router?

Looking at upgrading my VPN router - about to be moving into a larger house (2-story). Just started doing some research - came across this review on the Linksys WRT-3200 ACM ...

The review specifically mentions support for OpenWrt and overall the review sounds positive - only negative appears to be degraded performance through a wall. They don't go into detail on what type of wall but mention that speed downstairs was a non-issue.

The majority of traffic is streaming via Roku device.

Anyone have any experience with this particular router? Or - possibly recommend something similar?


The "usual" questions to help narrow down device selection include:

  • What bandwidth do you have now and what do you expect in the next 2-3 years (router lifespan)?
  • Do you already use QoS or SQM ("bufferbloat mitigation", "lag reduction") or want to use it?
  • Do you expect to run a VPN on your router? If so, what kind and what bandwidth?
  • Do you have a budget in mind?
  • What part of the world are you in (availability and price changes worldwide)?

Hey Jeff ...

I am in Nicaragua ... router options are limited but traveling to the US in a few weeks and planning on picking something up. My bandwidth - download is 6Gbps - at least that's what i am paying for - it fluctuates. I am running a Netgear R6200 as my primary router running the Netgear firmware and have a TP-Link TL1043ND as my vpn router - running OpenWrt. Typically - we are streaming off one Roku device at a time - SlingTV, Amazon Prime, etc. We haven't had too many issues with performance, buffering, latency, etc. but lately we have been having issues with the VPN tunnel dropping. I am going to upgrade both routers - starting research with the vpn router upgrade first.

Ahh - budget - want to keep it at $250 or less for each router. I might dabble with QoS but in reality - there's only two of us - so traffic is relatively light to begin with.

If you mostly care about VPN speed: Comparative Throughput Testing Including NAT, SQM, WireGuard, and OpenVPN

The wireless on the WRT3200ACM is questionable. Mainly because there are several bugs (including one that prevents WPA3 from working) that are unfixed as a result of Marvell being bought out.

For wireless performance, the best router I've personally used is the R7800. But that has questionable wired performance.

No silver bullet here.

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Interesting .... right now - i have the VPN router connected to the primary via ethernet but the devices - Roku, laptops, etc are all connecting via wireless. We are in the process of building a new house - i plan on running CAT6 throughout the house - so going forward the roku devices will be connected via ethernet. But - with that said - wireless issues are concerning.

Yes - VPN speed is something i want - want to be able to stream a 1080p movie without issue. Right now - biggest problem is connectivity - the vpn tunnel is dropping on a regular basis.

It sounds like both devices don't need to excel at everything. You might be able to pick one for wireless, one for routing/NAT/SQM, as long as one or the other did well with VPN.

Yeah - i think you're right. The real need for VPN is the ability to watch US content television - i.e. spoofing our location.

Because of our location and limited options here - i want to make sure i pick up a couple routers that are not going to be obsolete in the near future ... quite frankly haven't been up to speed on routers last couple of years since retiring and moving to Nicaragua - so doing my research. Appreciate the feedback.

If your VPN is WireGuard, you should be good to go with anything really.

An Archer C7v2 gets ~90Mbps over WireGuard. You can also overclock to improve performance.

We're using NordVPN - have it configured via OpenVPN service on OpenWrt.

So - to narrow it down further - don't need the fastest vpn router on the block. Looking for something that is a solid performer - all around - compatible with OpenWrt and not destined to be obsolete within the next 2-3 years. Willing to spend a little $$ to get something decent.

As much as I loved my Archer C7v2 units, I'd purchase a multi-core, ARM-based router these days. Multi-core, ARM-based devices with 128 or 256 MB of NAND flash (often dual-firmware to help with "oops" situations, plenty of space for the future, and much faster flashing) are available starting around the US$60-80 price range that the Archer C7 is selling for. The newer SoCs generally have better 5 GHz performance as well as around 2x the routing performance and 3x the VPN throughput of current, single-core, MIPS-based devices. Multi-core devices tend to "bog down" less under load than single-core devices.

Thank you ... that's great info -

In Nicaragua? I'm guessing you mean 6Mbps ? Otherwise, let me know where that is, i'll be right over.

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If it's only 6mbps, anything should work really...

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Ha ha - my bad - yep 6Mbps. Yeah - the TP-Link TL1043ND works fine when its up - right now i'm streaming a movie while typing this - checking the status on it - looks like it is not working hard ... 54% memory available. The constant VPN tunnel drops are driving me up the wall though. I've tried changing VPN servers on the router to no avail. When the VPN drops the primary router will still be running hard - i'll switch to that network and then load the Nordvpn client on the laptop and connect via VPN no problem. Not seeing anything abnormal in the logs ... thought it might be something with overall traffic with the ISP but it occurs at different times throughout the day ... so it feels like the issue is with the router. So - hopefully by upgrading both - i can eliminate them as being the issue.

I did a google search on "Multi-core ARM based routers" and found this ....

Interesting reading ...

That might be a RAM issue. You could try adding a USB flash drive as a swap device.

If performance is not enough, I would overclock. I think the newer 1043NDs support that.

Yep - when i posted up a thread on installing OpenWrt and OpenVPN - there were comments regarding that model and the lack of RAM. Unfortunately, the options here in Nica are limited - it was relatively cheap and has served its purpose for the time being. Been doing some more research - thinking about this model ... a bit more $$ ($389 on Amazon) but i think it will be worth it in the long run ...
NetGear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 Tri-Band Gigabit Wireless AD Router
1.7GHz quad core processor
512MB Flash

Please always check the ToH before.

the r9000 seems to be great hardware, but it's not supported - and given that it's a rather exotic SOC, chances aren't that likely for it to ever will