I'm looking for a new router, and the question that is most important to me is which devices have the best right to repair/user rights/FOSS track record. Price and features are a factor, but I'm happy to go down to mid-range ac wifi and a slower SoC at higher prices if there are companies that stand out (although I can't really afford anything enterprise grade).
What router/SoC manufacturers/vendors make life easiest for the OpenWrt developers? Do any donate hardware or money directly? Are there any that were fighting on the right side of the firmware-locking legislation in the US a few years back?
Additionally if there are developers that have had good experiences with whichever hardware, is there a model that you would like to get hold of? Depending on the price of what I pick I'd consider donating one at the same time (even if a working build is likely a few months away).
You need to check the LibreRouter:
Made by a bunch of FLOSS hackers leaded by AlterMundi.net, and manufactured by www.dragino.com (but Open Source Hardware, so you can manufacture it if you want).
That's awesome. And definitely on my list now. The ideal in my mind before reading your post would be the system76 or purism of routers where this one feels more like the pinebook of routers in terms of level of ambition as well as level of polish and finished-ness.
Part of my goal would be to check it out for myself for a while, then feel comfortable giving or recommending them to friends and family who are much less invested and varying levels of technical -- I feel that the lack of open products that fulfill this niche is a low hanging fruit that has a higher benefit/cost ratio than my other options.
Edit: Hmm, reading the specs it seems the in-built radios are n -- which is going to be slow enough to impair my work and make cohabitants quite unhappy, and it has no compliance certification in my country. I guess these barriers aren't insurmountable, but my preference would be something aimed at individual consumers rather than communities.
Wiki: Devices with OpenWrt as a stock firmware …
I am not so happy with both, because my copies needed fine tuning of the defaults a bit too much. Furthermore, their support was so lala (too much fighting). However, both offer a wide range of possibilities and they offer an additional layer of Web interface, which might please your acquaintances more than LuCI does. Again, do not expect any miracles especially when it comes to Wi-Fi stability in IEEE 802.11ac.