Linksys WRT3200ACM, MR8300 or Zyxel NBG6817

Hi.
I've been using a Linksys WRT1200AC with openwrt for a number of years and I've been quite happy with it.
Now I need to buy a new router and I want something that can be as easily flashed and as well supported by openwrt as the WRT1200AC.
So far I've juggling with three options

  1. linksys WRT3200ACM: good but a little old as a model
  2. linksys MR8300: newer model and as far as hardware goes it seems comparable to the
    WRT3200ACM
  3. Zyxel NBG6817: I really like it especially the large flash memory. But I can't find it anywhere (new).

Can anyone (maybe a MR8300 user) confirm that the MR8300 could be an on par alternative for the WRT3200ACM?
And, is there anything on par with the Zyxel NBG6817 but newer (and, obviously, supported by openwrt)?

Thanks
john

Why?
What are you looking for that isn't possible with the WRT1200AC - or do you need a replacement for a broken device or a different location?
What's your WAN speed?
What additional features are you looking for (VPN, SQM, adblocking, etc.)?

A good wired device, pretty much the same as your WRT1200AC, but its wireless state (as with the WRT1200AC) is dire, to say the least. If WLAN is a topic for you, it's an instant disqualification - even if you've been happy with your WRT1200AC so far (WPA3 is a hard no-go, the next client device/ phone/ IoT device you're buying might not cope with mwlwifi (unfixably), security support and compatibility with future kernel versions is unclear).

Good device, much better wireless - but the wired performance can't match the WRT3200ACM or WRT1200AC. If you're looking for >500 MBit/s without SQM or ~190 MBit/s with SQM, this device is not for you. CPU performance itself is slightly ahead of the WRT3200ACM, and -as mentioned already- it's biggest strength is the wireless side.
Yes, the eMMC has 4 GB, but the usuable space for OpenWrt is 2*(4+64) MB.
Flashing OpenWrt from stock is trivial, the push-button tftp recovery method is very reliable.

This is mostly a question of what exactly you're looking for, its ipq4019 SOC (4*716 MHz Cortex A7) is the lower end alternative to the ipq8065 SOC (2*1.7 GHz cortex A15/ KRAIT300) of the nbg6817. It comes with a slower CPU and 2x2 wireless compared to 4x4 on nbg6817 and wrt3200acm, routing throughput is also below the nbg6817 (but still decent). The advantage of this device is the third (full-featured) radio, which plays its cards mostly for wireless mesh or wireless repeater use cases.

Depending on the use case, nbg6817 and mr8300 can be good options - the mvebu/ mwlwifi wrt3200acm/ wrt1900ac(s)/ wrt1200ac family are reliable and fast wired routers, but shouldn't be considered with wireless in mind.

What to choose -or potentially taking alternatives into account- depends on what exactly you're looking for.

--
Disclaimer: I do own a nbg6817 (and I'm happy with mine) and I also have a map-ac2200, which is rather similar to the mr8300 - I have no personal experience with mvebu/ mwlwifi (but the wrt3200acm was a strong contender back when I bought the nbg6817 in early 2017; thankfully I didn't opt for mwlwifi).

3 Likes

There is all so the
Linksys E8450 (aka. Belkin RT3200)

Thanks both for the suggestions.
Wifi performance is not a priority (but it has to work reliably in the future, so maybe the wrt3200ACM is not an option anymore). The main priorities are cpu and memory (and storage, I thought the with extroot I could use as much as I wanted). Also easiness of installation of the openwrt image.

So, strong as a router and as a "mini-computer" in general.

How about the turris omnia? At first it seemed a good option but I found just on thread on the forum and the user didn't seem happy with it (ironically he came from a WRT3200ACM which loved as a router but he despised its wifi part)

A bit more info about the use case for more cpu and memory would be good.

If you look at the specs for the WRT3200ACM it's actually pretty beefy with 2x1.8ghz and 512mb ram where as say the Linksys EA9500 has 2x1.4ghz and 256mb ram. The crap thing is the wireless, which can be worked around with a dedicated access point from TP-Link or Ubiquiti, which is arguably better because then you can upgrade wireless technologies, ie to WIFI 6, 6e or 7 independently.

Your WRT1200AC is not too shabby either with a 1.3ghz cpu and 512mb ram.

If you look at other manufacturers like say Asus, there doesn't seem to be much compatibility with OpenWRT.

Since you have however mentioned a mini pc, that might be a better bet, especially, with that separate access point. You will have way more cpu, memory, disk space to do all sorts of stuff including gigabit vpn not to mention the fact that it would be much more reusable in the future than a router.

These boxes can run openwrt, pfsense, opnsense etc. Get atleast a 3865u with an intel 600 series video card.

https://protectli.com/kb/openvpn-performance-on-the-vault