Lowest cost (max. $10.00) OpenWrt device?

Every now and then, I see someone asking what is the lowest cost/cheapest openwrt device out there for this year. I can't seem to find anything for last year or of course this year.

Anyone know of any devices with/in case which are under $10.00? The A50V11 router was sub $10.00 a few years ago.

I am not sure what do you mean by "for this year". If you mean new devices in the market then this is difficult. You should be looking at the range of $20, give or take cole of bucks, but then it doesn't matter much as you don't buy a router every day (otherwise you will have too many routers by the end of the year).

If on the other hand you meant routers that are available in they market, used, then a good option would be suported ISP-provided routers, simply becsuse the are common, so you can buy a used one for cheap.

New and yes, I am aware of many devices which are in the $20.00 range.

I just enjoy when people share the hardware they have found.
What I mean by this year is that we are only in January and I've found a post or two from 2018.

I don't know of any devices which are not routers that run openwrt :slight_smile:

Raspberry Pi and the likes are not essentially routers and they run OpenWrt. x86 platforms are routers either, unless you use them as such. Some other embedded devices and SoC-based hardware can be feasible targets for porting OpenWrt to, though if it's not a networking device then why would someone want a distro that's mostly about networking such as OpenWrt on it?

Sorry, I am not asking what is feasible or what runs openwrt.
I am only asking what is the lowest price hardware that runs openwrt that people have found lately. As I posted, there was an A5-V11 device that was under $10.00. Wondering what people know of that is super cheap like that. Maybe the hardware compatibility list needs to also have price ranges or something.

It is interesting to see the super small SoC's that are ready to go in case and all like the A5-V11 was. Wondering what others have come up with, found, can share.

That's too much work to keep up to date, plus prices and availability vary greatly, particularly for the extremes. And, anyway, the cheapest device will likely be low specs and probably in the 4/32 area which is no longer recommended and not sorted by the latest release.

Moreover, there is very little point of that. People don't buy a router everyday, so normally they want a router that meets their needs rather than just the cheapest router! And as for community project who need a large number of budget devices, they tend to target devices that are more common in title local market.

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From my experience: Nobody will keep that updated.


Perhaps a script could be written to scrap prices from a couple of sites.


I believe it when I see it :slight_smile:


Buy used I think.

This. If budget is your primary concern, get your device second-hand. Especially look for devices distributed by ISPs to their customers. They are put out in the hundreds of thousands, and since the customers usually get them for free the second-hand prices are low as well (the Home Hub 5A being a prime example for this.)

That being said, I'm not sure if one can get a reasonably usable OpenWrt device for $10 or less nowadays. Maybe consider spending the fiscal equivalent of a restaurant dinner, $20 to $25 will get you something you will actually want to use.

The reason was simple. It's because I've come across posts where people ask that question over and over and so when you look, it's like starting over every time since there is no such list.

It doesn't matter what the users reasons are, it would simply be useful information for those that do buy a lot of these devices to work with openwrt. Sometimes, the point is to use the smallest resources you possibly can to see what you can achieve. While there are plenty of inexpensive devices, it is always interesting to see and know what others have been doing.

I think some of the comments here in terms of adding something like price into the hardware list are right, it would be difficult to manage and keep up with changing numbers.

Either way, I was simply trying to start that kind of post since I am always fascinated by what people find.

It is interesting to see how cheap devices have gotten, but at the moment, the biggest concern of people posting on the forums these days is how to handle their newfound speed as they upgrade from something in the range of say 20 to 50Mbps which could be easily handled by things with MIPS processors from 2002, into the ranges of 200 to 1000 Mbps which are only barely able to be processed effectively with anything at all in the commercial home router space when using SQM, which is also a much more desired feature now that online gaming is rampant.

So, I just don't think there's as much attention being payed to the low end at the moment.

There will always be low end and will be locations where speed is still single or moderatly double digit Mbps, but honestly the concept of "finding out the cheapest device" just doesn't make much sense. I mean if the target of the discussion is finding out what device is for $10 while we already know there are reasonable devices for $20 then we are splitting hairs. If you want a cheap device then you will look for used devices that are available where you live, most probably ISP ones. That can make a difference for community projects, but probably doesn't make much difference for home users.

This isn't quite fair of course, it's a major simplification. The Gl-inet stuff is pretty inexpensive and comes with openwrt installed. Some of their devices can be had for about $20, so I think maybe people looking for low end devices simply look at that and go for it. It saves a lot of time and frustration and risk that things won't work or work only half-assed and waste 2 to 10 hours of your life, which most people value higher than $20


My point, exactly. It's a diference of only $10 more that what you would hypothetically pay for cheapest juiceless device.

ZBT and a few others have them out of Shenzhen. You'll need to figure out FCC, duty, tariffs, which is your real issue. Also they lock them to stock QCA firmware, you'll have to figure out flashing from ttyusb.

Whilst I can perfectly see your point, we all know (or are able to know) there are regions on this planet where getting a super budget "toy" cellphone or an efficient stove makes that day the greatest in years. However, the idea that hundreds of millions human beings who can barely feed their children were not interested in networking is wrong. If you scrimp and save for months to buy a device, $10 can be a real challenge, and $20 are simply twice as challenging. This, if nothing else, makes the question worthwhile.

Alas, the absence of any hint to one suitable new device in 17 posts suggests there may be none. Maybe openWRT's demands went up faster (be it due to abandoning 4/32 or by other changes) than hardware performance prices fell down?

I do understand that there are parts of the world where the $10 is a big deal, but then prices and availability will be different. And, again, it makes a lot more sense to look for a used device than a useless new but cheap one.

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You guys are mainly discussing why there would be a need for cheap devices but my question was simply what are the cheapest devices out there today like some other posts I've seen :).

I don't care why someone would want a cheap device, there is always a reason to find cheaper and that's all I was asking. It's always interesting to see what people find available for sale. That's it, that was the point of the question.