Looking for performant, easy-to-maintain wired router

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.

Cortex A72 is performant e.g. ...

How do you know that, just from others' recommendations? Unless there some table out there already having performance ratings listed akin to passmark or the like, I'm curious how this knowledge is obtained lol.

Maybe You could replace the ISP router and connect Your's directly to ONT?
I've done it.

I did a test before and found that it can't give me > 700Mbps NAT throughput even without SQM.

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I think we've been there before, the stuff being recommended is all ARM v8 (which is what the Cortex A72 is), if you want beefier than that you're looking at plain x86_64. You can keep asking, but repeating the same question won't give you different answers, even though you might feel they are not satisfactory.

There's a table floating around somewhere on the forums where numbers were kept for common/popular SoCs concerning routing etc, but I am unable to find it. But again, those were pre-gigabit, and most of those devices would not cover your use case.

Good point - it can be challenged in bridge mode with one of the Gig ports being a converted USB3. However the R2S is nonetheless reported to handle near line rate here. In any event, the R4S is so much more capable that I wouldn't bother with an R2S just to save the small price difference.

Agree, in fact I own R2S/R4S/R6S (bought from China directly with help of friend so it's almost half price of AliExpress listed price) and loved the R4S most (R6S is also great with custom build)

Let's see...

Barracuda F12 has five ports and can be found on eBay at very reasonable prices, including brand-new units in factory packaging.

Supermicro SYS-E50-9AP-N5 has five ports, but this model is pretty rare in the secondary market. Also, the physical placement of the ports is unusual; two on one side of the case, three on the other.

Dell Wyse 5070 Extended makes a mean five-port router, but there's work involved in putting one together; you need to unlock the BIOS, get a four-port NIC to complement the existing single port, install it into the device, etc.

Lanner FW-7525D has six ports, but finding one at a good price can be challenging. There are other six-port Lanner models, but the warning applies to them as well.

Sophos 125 and 135 have eight ports (Revision 3 units actually have nine, but the ninth one is SFP), but Revisions 1 and 2 are potentially susceptible to the AVR54 bug, while Revision 3 is still new enough to be hard to find at a decent price. (I wonder how much of a problem AVR54 is right now; my guess is, whatever could have died from it, has died years ago) Also, all three revisions are actively cooled (don't know how much of a turnoff that is for you). For some reason, eBay has listings for a whole bunch of Revision 3 units from Japan...

Barracuda F180 and F280 take the cake: they have 14 ports, including eight handled by a Marvell switch. I initially got stumped by that switch, until it turned out that, absent guidance from the router's OS, it acts as an external dumb switch: the router's OS detects it as a single port, while all the switching is done on the switch by its own circuitry (a Marvell Prestera chip and friends), in a manner invisible to the router's OS.

And then, there's AliExpress, full of things like this, running on anything from Celeron to i7:

Perhaps r5c is more suitable for fast network routing than r4s

Maybe, the r5c's 4 a55 cores seem less well balanced and performant than the r4s 2 a72 (the a55 should beat the r4s' 4 a53 cores though), without testing/benchmarking I think it is not clear which is more suitable (unless the r5c's dual 2.5 Gbps ethernet ports are desired).

R4S is actually faster than R5S/R5C if you are on 1G interface (if 2.5GbE is strictly needed then R4S will be out).

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If you need SQM, since it's single threaded, so putting it on a A72 on R4S will definitely beat the A55 on R5S/R5C.

BTW the Youtuber Van TechCorner has some tests on R4S/R5S/R6S already, you can see how they perform.