Looking for performant, easy-to-maintain wired router

I suspect with SQM at those speeds it might fall a little short. I'm not even sure my RB5009UG+S+IN could handle that without issues.

might be worth reading (more the later specimens, than the old apu series with ancient AMD Jaguar cores); e.g. a baytrail-d Atom j1900 can do ~830 MBit/s max. with sqm/cake and all bells and whistles (or the full nine yards (easily) without sqm).

New 4-port (up to 2.5 GBit/s) n95/ n100 mini PCs start around 130-250 EUR when ordered directly from China, OpenWrt should do (does) a pretty good job on those.

How about getting a NanoPi R4S? It can even go up to 1G without problem.

Would I have to build openwrt from source or are there published builds for those setups? And I'm curious how I'd manage to do vlans - I presume I'd need to do tagged vlans to a vlan-aware switch, or attach multiple ethernet dongles or whatever to the pi?

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I'm taking my current setup to another household with older equipment and increase coverage at said household.

I'll be using just one wifi ap, the incoming U6-LR. I used to have the dumb AP positioned on the opposite side of the house from the MR8300 and as such I currently do have wifi radios enabled on both, but ever since moving the dumb AP to the middle and doing testing around the house with iperf, the dumb AP does better or identical to the MR8300's position (all wiring goes to upstairs bedroom closet, so that can't be changed, there will be some form of a router there). Hence, I plan to just stick with the single AP downstairs for wifi.

Take a look here https://openwrt.org/toh/friendlyarm/nanopi_r4s_v1
(no need to compile from source or attach Ethernet dongles)

For vlan related info look into NanoPi R4S-RK3399 is a great new OpenWrt device

If you have physically separated NICs for different subnets then why do you need VLAN?
And how to do VLAN with OpenWrt is another topic, you can create a new one when you have that problem.

As far as I'm aware, I already have setup VLANs with openwrt so I don't have any issue doing that; and as far as I'm aware, I have to use the "VLANs on Switch" section to tag which vlans on which switch ports I want available. (Are the switch ports of my router physically separated NICs?) I don't "trunk" any vlans outside of the router; right now it's just one port from the router to another router for the guest network, the remaining three ports go to different wired PCs in the house and the camera system (which I plan to move to its own vlan).

I presume I'd need to pair this with a vlan-aware switch or other hardware?

Yes, since you want to continue connecting wired PC's you would need to pair a NanoPi R4S with an inexpensive managed (vlan aware) switch to have extra ports for connecting them. Alternatively, you could use any inexpensive all-in-one device with Gig ports supported by OpenWrt (so you can turn the all-in-one into a managed switch) as a managed switch.

It's hard to go wrong with a NanoPi R4S if you want a performant, easy-to-maintain wired router supported by OpenWrt that is good for "whatever" for up to Gigabit ISP service. It comes with a great metal case and two Gbps ports, 4 GB of memory, six CPU cores (and will handle Gigabit SQM on one of them), plus USB3 ports if you want to hang storage off those.

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Cool, thank you for the info! Would you have any recommendations on the switch, or is performance there of no concern? Also curious, if I were to not go the NanoPi route, what sort of cpu would I be looking for?

For a managed switch
When you have PoE devices you can look into Netgear GS308EP or ZyXEL GS1200-8HP
When you don't have PoE devices you can check i.e ZyXEL GS1200-8 or GS1900-8

An RB5009UG+S+IN has a SoC from the same generation (64 bit ARM v8) e.g. - no need for an extra switch. And a 2,5 GbE and SFP+ port, in addition to 7 GbE ports.

It has a PoE+ enabled sibling too, if you'd like.

That looks interesting! Convenient and fast with the switch included.

From the device page it looks like OpenWrt support isn't all there. Do you have to build your own custom firmware image from a patch set? There is also a note that 2.5GB is not supported on 6.1 kernel. It will probably be a year or two before OpenWrt is on >6.1 kernel.

It looks a little pricey at $225 shipped (no POE, +$110 for POE option) in my location vs. $92 shipped from FriendlyElec for an R4S (no unique mac address, metal case and 4 GB), but it does include a switch. Only one USB3 port and 1 GB memory vs. two USB3 and 4 GB on an R4S, but neither are likely to be a restriction on a router.

Performance should not be a concern for a switch. Just make sure to get a manged switch that handles VLANs. If you want to put OpenWrt on your switch too (you don't have to), it narrows down the options a bit.

You should be looking at the R4S for Gigabit support, which is supported by OpenWrt and has a Rockchip RK3399 CPU. Not all NanoPi's are supported by OpenWrt (FriendlyWrt is based on, but it is not OpenWrt). The R2S is tempting for its price, also supported by OpenWrt and it will route Gigabit no problem, but for things like SQM its slower CPU will limit you to the half Gigabit range. I would stay away from the R2S and pay the extra for the R4S.

The R5S and R5C CPU's are actually a little slower than the R4S (but if 2.5G ports are important to you, they are a good option). These are also not yet OpenWrt supported, but there is a pull request open that may add support for these soon (but limited to 1 Gigabit support on the ports for now).

Yes, I maintain the patch sets for this baby. On 5.15 it's fully functional, there seems to be a regression in the Marvell switch code with 6.1 which limits the 2,5 GbE NIC to 1 Gbps.

The only major hurdle here is the hacked bootloader you need. That's why support has not been merged. It's easy to flash though.

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Very appealing, definitely will consider. Would be nice if the hacked bootloader wasn't in the way for official support.

Am curious, if I were to go lower in performance and get an all-in-one (or other similar openwrt-officially-supported device with at least 5 switch ports), how much weaker would that be, and what CPUs would I be looking for there? I've seen a few threads where people mention various ARM architectures, but I don't know where or how they get information on which ones perform better than others.

An Filogic all-in-one with a MediaTek MT7986A CPU such as the Redmi AX6000 will have four A53 cores running at 2 GHz. The A53 is an efficiency core, but at 2 GHz it's moving right along. There's not much this won't handle with Gigabit ISP service. A qualcommax target with an ipq8072A CPU such as the DL-WRX36 is similar (quad A53 core at 2.2GHz), but OpenWrt qualcommax WiFi stability is a bit hit or miss - it's OpenWrt supported, but reliant on a closed driver. Mediatek is more likely to be better supported by OpenWrt over time.

Initial OpenWrt installation can be tricky on some of these, so be sure to read through the OpenWrt device specific pages to understand what you are getting into after you sift through the choices.


Optionally, just buy a performant wifi router with the number of ports you like and in openwrt turn the radios off. Probably more CPU and memory per dollar.

That's also what I'm considering, except I don't know what's performant, I'm not at all familiar with the various cpu types/generations/models nor know how/where to learn this info.