Making RBpi 3B as Wi-Fi 6 router for home

I’m using low budget Dlink DIR-841 dual band router in my home. I want to upgrade my router as well as want to use Wi-Fi 6.
I have a spare raspberry pi 3B. Using that I want to make a wireless router; if possible want to have Wi-Fi 6 in it. For getting good Wi-Fi service, definitely I need to purchase usb Wi-Fi module that’s ok for me.

Could anybody please suggest me whether it is a good idea? Also share a good reference of doing so.

It's not.

  • the RPi3 still uses USB 2.0 as system bus for basically everything (including onboard ethernet, shared with all USB ports), performance of this device would not be good.
    You want an RPi4 with PCIe and USB3 for good (wired) performance, it's still inadequate for wireless uses.
  • the onboard wireless is bad, not even good enough for 2.4 GHz
    • 1x1
    • very slow
    • tiny antennas --> low range
  • there are no good 802.11ac USB wireless cards, let alone 802.11ax
    • 2x2 at 'best'
    • tiny antennas --> low range
    • antennas too close to each other for MIMO or beamforming to work
    • the small case often leads to overheating and stability issues, especially on high load and 24/7 operations
    • chipsets and drivers aren't validated for AP mode, if it's supported at all
  • buying two half-decent (but still crap) USB wireless cards (dual-band == two radios == two USB WLAN cards) and a USB ethernet card (for WAN) already rivals the cost for the first decent 802.11ax wireless routers, including all the necessary functionality - before even adding the RPi, storage, case and PSU costs.

Thanks a lot. That means I need to purchase at least raspberry pi 4; even it wouldn’t be a good solution for regular 24x7 use.
Could use please suggest a low cost hardware (sbc) which can serve my purpose?

My motivation is to make a router myself.

small, cheap, used x86_64.

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...and even with x86_64 (which is a great wired router platform), wireless is a problem. The smaller devices tend to only offer a single mini-PCIe slot, the larger ones are a huge chunk of metal (case) in the signal path. Prices for decent, AP capable mini-PCIe wireless cards (e.g. compex' qcn9074 series) also surpass those of equivalent wireless routers (starting around 70 EUR for ipq8071a or even ipq8072a):

  • 2.4 GHz, ~200 USD
  • 5 GHz, ~250 USD
  • 6 GHz, ~250 USD

+ shipping from Singapore
+ customs fees
...having to wait 7-12 months (chip shortage), priceless.

Taking QCA based devices as example, as those make prices easily comparable - Mediatek can be cheaper (especially with DBDC).

tell us where you are, geographically, and we'll try to make some suggestions - they vary with location.


The MediaTek MT7915 radio is so far the only ax chip with good open-source support. It is usually found attached to either a MT7621 CPU, or the much more powerful MT7622.

The MT7621 is best for ISP speeds up to 200 Mb. The MT7622 can (mostly) keep up routing with a Gb ISP. If you have Gb ISP and want CPU intensive applications like a whole-house VPN that still needs to be either a Pi (with its severe I/O limitations) or an x86-64 box.

The Linksys EA8450 (also re-badged as the Belkin RT3200) is a nice 7915/7622 box, but unfortunately only sold in a few countries. The Ubiquiti Unifi 6 LR is the same chipset in a ceiling mounted AP form factor, so only one Ethernet port (but better antennas). Similar to the Pi you'd need to add an external managed switch to get traffic in and out of the single port. (If all of the LAN users are wireless, you could conceivably connect the port only to your ISP, though you'd still need something to supply PoE.)

I currently use Rpi4 + Tplink ue300 adapter with Tplink Ax10 wifi6 router.

Any suggestion? I live in Bangladesh (South Asia)

I've installed OpenWRT in my Raspberry pi 3 B and configured WAN with the built-in ethernet adapter and WiFi access point with the built-in WiFi adapter (MAC80211 802.11bgn). I'm getting similar coverage as Dlink Dir-841 2.4GHz band. Wireless performance is similar too. I'm searching for better performance in terms of coverage and speed.

The only possible advice would be looking for a modern, OpenWrt supported, wireless router - 802.11ac or 802.11ax (rather limited selection with OpenWrt support in mind). The RPi still isn't good at doing wireless - and the RPI generations <=3 are even worse.

First of all, we would like to thank you and the openwrt family.

Openwrt options on ax routers are unfortunately very few. I wish more devices were supported :frowning_face:

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I’m planning to purchase usb wifi dongle (MT7601) to use in my raspberry pi 3B. What is your opinion to have better performance than built-in wifi radio?
Wifi dongle to be purchased

Note: for me, around 100Mbps throughout would be ok for now.

Almost anything with an external antenna is better than RPi 3B's on-board one.