Looking for travel WiFi 6|6E/2.5GBe/USB PD/5G router

I am looking for a router with these requirements

  • WiFi 6|6E
  • M.2 B Key (I believe no PCIe is ok, I will be using RM510Q-GL)
  • USB A 3.0+ or M.2 M or M+B Key
  • USB C PD (any voltage)
  • 2+ x 2.5GBe
  • OpenWRT Support
  • Travel friendly

I found the Banana Pi BPI-R3 Mini which is very close, but has these problems

  • WiFi 6
  • Lack of OpenWRT support

I am trying to replace my gl.inet slate plus with something I won't need to upgrade for a long time.
My home internet is LTE/5G so I need a M.2 B Key for a modem, looking at RM510Q-GL. I'm using a phone right now which has very sloppy hostapd configuration that I cannot change.
I also use a wireguard server elsewhere to network some PCs and I need to be able to travel with it.
I need the USB C PD so I can use the same chargers as all my other devices and to be travel friendly. All of my chargers/ps support all USB PD 3.0 voltages at 65W.
I need the USB A 3.0 or preferably an M.2 M or M+B Key for network attached storage.
My entire home network is 2.5GBe, which is still a little slow for what I do, but 10GBe does not seem to be an option yet for a lot of devices I am using. If there is a device that has 4 2.5GBe that would be perfect, but for now I am using with an N5105 4 port i226V 2.5GBe mini PC to extend the network.
And of course, OpenWRT support is essential. Beta/snapshot builds are acceptable.

Does anyone know of anything that comes close to these requirements? Thanks

1 Like

With 6 GHz support as a requirement, your choices are between:

I'm hoping there's some hidden obscure wifi router I don't know about. The ones you listed are just too big and don't meet all the requirements. The main thing they share is the Filogic 830, which is what the BPI-R3 Mini has. I'm not sure what they did to gut the 6ghz but it's the same soc. I'll probably have to make some compromises somewhere. I can settle with WiFi 6.

Acer Predator Connect W6 - not travel friendly

  • Too big
  • Ridiculous design, ethernet on one side, power on the other
  • Barrel jack power input
  • No M.2 B Key

ZyXEL EX5700 - not travel friendly

  • Too big
  • Barrel jack power input
  • Gigabit ethernet

Those are the only "hidden obscure wifi router[s]" with 6 GHz radios that are currently supported by OpenWrt, $EndOfList.

Beyond that, you'd have to do your own investigations about potential candidates and then follow this up with the development efforts to get it supported by OpenWrt - or wait weeks, months, years for further devices to become supported 'by chance'.

However, in practice "small" and "6 GHz" is at odds with each other, as 6 GHz is so far a premium feature, typically only found on high-end/ expensive routers, which don't tend to be small - and 8-16 antennas also need to go somewhere.

2 Likes

The vast majority of the thigns you're asking for are not going to be found on a travel router in the size class of the slate plus. For example, I've never seen a router (travel router or full size) that has USB C PD (although maybe some exist)... that would require a beefy power supply which is counter to a travel router's typical purpose... they're usually compact and low power, often powered by a simple USB power adapter maxing out ~12W.

As @slh pointed out, there are only 2 OpenWrt supported devices that have 6GHz for Wifi 6E support, and they are most certainly not travel routers.

Maybe you should consider 2 devices -- a higher power, larger device for home, and then a portable one for travel purposes.

Yeah ok. Well I can settle for WiFi 6 then, but I can't sacrifice any of the other features. I don't use the WiFi much, but when I do it need it to be at minimum 75MBps on the local network.

Well the Banana Pi BPI-R3 Mini fits my requirements perfectly except the OpenWRT support and the WiFi 6, but I can settle with WiFi 6. If I knew anything about supporting the device I would, but I don't. I'm not sure what I would need to know before I got started.

If there aren't any WiFi 6 boards that meet those requirements, is there documentation for supporting a new board? The BPI-R3 is already supported in snapshots.

You also asked for USB-C PD. That's not on that device.

Yes...

Yes it is
Image saying PD12V

DC Power 20W/12V,USB TypeC PD

Thanks for the link, I'll look into it.

That's the input power. It doesn't deliver power to another device over USB-C, since there is no other place for power to come into the device.

I'm confused by what you mean. I need it to be powered by USB PD, I don't need a power output from the device itself.

Ok... I misunderstood that part of your requirements list. No worries, then.

I thought when the B is capitalized it is bytes, not bits, so I meant 75 Megabytes.

Also it must be nice to have modern internet... I get excited if I hit 3 megabytes. But I need the speed for the local network, not the internet. I have 2 different internets here, 5G through a Pixel 5 on LOS and 4G through a Pixel 4 on LOS.

The only way I can see for someone to get a compact 6 GHz solution is if they DIY it - either AX210 (although I think I've read that Intel chips have some issues with AP mode???) or something like the Alfa AWUS036AXML (MT7921, triband) - either way you'll be sacrificing antennas (2T2R instead of 4T4R) - and I've only beaten on the Alfa as a client adapter, not AP mode - so it might faceplant if you try to use it as an AP.

The EX5700 is definitely no travel router, but it does have 2 x 2.5 Gbps ports.

Please don't put Intel wireless and AP mode into one sentence, really, you don't want to go there.

Heh, I thought I'd heard that it was problematic, sounds like "problematic" is an understatement.

So forget that solution then. I haven't experimented with the MT7921 in AP mode - while in theory it makes more sense to have the high-power triband interface be the AP, in practice, it's more likely to fail and cause a loss of access to the router in my use case (travel router).

i believe mt7921 support is pretty good, but lack of dual 2.5gbe.

im guessing that post was flame for recommending intel chipset for ap lol
it's weird seeing so many people say that on forums and reddit and such, there's just no clue. years ago when i first got into openwrt i learned within 5 minutes intel was a no go.

Of course it lacks any wired Ethernet since it's a USB adapter... But you can plug it into anything that has USB 3.0 host support and stable power.

Again, I have not actually tested that adapter in AP mode - while it would make more sense to have the triband adapter be the AP, since OpenWRT identifies devices based on bus topology, if you change the topology (add a hub, remove a hub, look at it the wrong way), it moves to a different radio device and you lose wireless access if it's the AP. If it's the client for a travel router, this is just an annoyance. That's the biggest issue I can see with that particular USB adapter.