Looking for a router

Guys... I know... there are plenty of such topics, but please don't avoid my own :frowning:

So... in general - my OpenWrt router died (Asus AC1200G+). It wasn't good enough :slight_smile: currently, I'm looking for some sort of cheap replacement. It could be with poor WiFi or even without WiFi at all. I don't care. But it must support gigabit ethernet (4+ ports).

It's not hard to find cheap gigabit router. It's much harder to find a router with good OpenWrt/LEDE support. I have that AC1200G+ and a couple NEXX 3020. Both of them has horrible OpenWRT/LEDE support, and that's why I need your help. Could you point me to a good and cheap one?

It should be something like an entry point, and it will (should) process VLAN's without issues. Like I'm planning to connect a couple of switches and other routers to it. Just building a large/smart home network

Many thanks

Many options and opinions in the long thread. Keeping that information all in one place has advantages to all readers of the site.

Thanks Jeff! I will try to read it, but it is long one :slight_smile:

Guys! Tell me please what to choose. I'm deciding between TL-WR1043ND v4 and EA4500. I don't need Wi-Fi almost at all. Just looking for some "more faster router" which will be able to give real one Gbit. Also, I'm looking for "more stable" OpenWRT solution. Could you advise me? Thanks!

In which country do you live? It kinda depends as availability differs and so does pricing.

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Well, the EA4500 might be discontinued, according to the ToH. At least for me, its 128/128 configuration is vastly superior to the 16/64 of the TP-Link, and it appears to have a more powerful processor as well.

I can't comment on stability and support, as I haven't worked with any "kirkwood" devices.

Neither appear to support 802.11ac which, for me, is a deal breaker.

If you need 1 GBit/s WAN-to-LAN routing, the TL-WR1043ND v4 won't be able to accomplish that (far from it, probably around 150 MBit/s, depending on the details) - and I'd be sceptical about the EA4500 as well, but I don't know enough about kirkwood to judge about its performance capabilities.

In general, routing at 1 GBit/s line speed requires a pretty recent router from the mid- to top end, something based on mt7621 or mvebu.

If you 'just' need a 1 GBit/s LAN switch, both of your options would work.

I'm from Ukraine. I see that I will be able to buy both of them without issues.

What does it mean "disscontinued"? Does it mean that LEDE/OpenWRT will not update software for this model?

Yep, you are right. EA4500 looks awesome in case of hardware. But I found interesting articles about "kirkwood" chips.

So... Seems "Marvell 88F6282" a bit "slow" model.

That typically means that it is no longer generally available for sale new. Ongoing OpenWRT support generally depends on the device's ability to support current releases and one or more developers with interest to update the device and access to testing on the device.

Checking https://www.linksys.com/us/p/P-EA4500/ shows "THIS ITEM IS COMING SOON" which is rather strange, given that it was introduced to the market over six years ago now.

Maybe new revision... dunno

What about TL-WDR4300. Seems it has much better perfomance than previous one. Do you know if it is stable with OpenWRT?

The TL-WDR4300 is a stable and good router, which is very well supported under OpenWrt, but it won't come close to routing at 1 GBit/s speed either (likewise around 150 MBit/s max.) - it's also EOL for a couple of years now.

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For me, "I wouldn't pay a dime" for a new 16/64 device. It is already under-resourced and will only get worse with time. My Archer C7 "idles" at close to 32 MB of memory and I provide no services on it; no DHCP, no DNS, no NAT, no QoS/SQM, just a dumb AP. A 560 MHz MIPS processor isn't likely to be good for much more than 100-200 Mbps as a router, with nothing else running.

Edit: Remember that five years ago, when these devices were on the market, 300-1000 Mbps service was rather uncommon for the home market.

Stay away from ARMv5 hardware (like Kirkwood) while it does work (for now) it's a deprecated platform and it's not going to get any better as time passes. The WDR4300 does work fine but it's starting to show its age, if possible I would recommend you to go for ARM over MIPS but it's a $$$ issue. If you can live without WIFI I guess the EdgeRouter X could be an option otherwise just look for a supported IPQ4 device IMHO.

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I'm using a Banana Pi with rtl8152 wan usb adapter for 15/10Mbps VDSL connection. The wan USB adapter could go gigabit with rtl8153 or ax88179. It's tricky getting the wan driver installed from another router.

Huh... guys... like an almost final decision. Compared WR1043ND (v.4) and WDR4300. Like here is their hardware configuration:

TL-WR1043ND
CPU: Qualcomm Atheros QCA9563, 750 Mhz
RAM: 64 Mb
Flash: 16 Mb

TL-WDR4300
CPU: Atheros AR9344, 560 Mhz
RAM: 128 Mb
Flash: 8 Mb

Like from what I see... They are almost the same. One have a higher CPU frequency, second has more RAM. So, probably, WR1043ND is a winner here because it was released in 2016 and seems more popular. Also 8Mb flash is not so good in our days. But throughput should be almost the same for both of them.

But... I took a look at EdgeRouter X, and it is fantastic. Like it has much better CPU and RAM. Unfortunately, it is not supporting hardware NAT and other tricks, so everything goes through CPU.

A friend of mine also has that Ubiquiti EdgeRouter X, and he says that it's damn good. It cost ~50$, and it is available in the local store. But after short googling, I found that there is also another router RB750r3 for the same price. A lot of people says that last one is more better choice. Also, I noticed that OpenWRT is suitable for both of them.

So... what do you think? Is it worth to pay more and take EdgeRouter or RB750r3? Will it be a better choice like for money/quality instead of buying those old routers? What you prefer more Ubiquiti or Mikrotik?

Wireless version for same price:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/High-Performance-MT7621A-11AC-Dual-Band-2-4G-5GHz-OpenWrt-Gigabit-Dual-core-Wireless-WiFi-Router/32817736604.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.27424c4dGzjoKX
It uses zbt-wg2626 firmware.
https://downloads.openwrt.org/releases/17.01.5/targets/ramips/mt7621/lede-17.01.5-ramips-mt7621-zbt-wg2626-squashfs-sysupgrade.bin

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MT7621 will at least perform twice as fast (in general) than the ones you mentioned previously which translates into ~500mbit even without hardware/software acceleration which is in the works to my knowledge. You might want to compare installation and possibly recovery procedure on both as one might be more convenient than the other.

MT7621 already supports hardware flow-offloading in the openwrt-18.06 branch and master, you just need to enable it in the firewall configuration (it's disabled by default and might not yet be as mature as one might want it to be).

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