MT7621 WiFi AX routers

Hello. I have been thinking about getting a new WiFi router as I have WiFi coverage issues with 2 APs (and RPi 1 + TL-WN7200ND :grinning:) I have right now (I currently live in a house with concrete walls, so yeah) and possibly to replace my current router which is an old x86 computer with OpenWRT in KVM, which works fine for my 300/300Mbps internet, but is noisy, clunky and consumes a lot of power. Since it's 2021, I thought that WiFi 6 is must-have in new router and I actually have devices that already support it (I have wired ethernet wherever I need, and also to my APs rn, so my WiFi devices are mostly phones/tablets and a bit of IoT devices), and I want it running OpenWRT for the security and because I found WiFi roaming to be working quite well with the routers I have.

I have been browsing Aliexpress recently and have seen several MT7621 + MT7905/MT7975 routers for about 50€. Are they a good choice at that price and how supportable are they by OpenWRT right now? I'd guess something like Redmi AX5/AX6 would be more interesting, but it's uncertain when they will be officially supported (or are they going to be supported soon and should I may be wait for them?) and if everything is already supported, there are no pitfalls in MT7621 routers (e.g. secure boot) and it's just a case of constructing a proper dtb and stuff like that, perhaps I could even try to add that support myself.

If there are better alternatives, I'm not comfortable on spending more than 50€ and I need something that can be bought in Europe (or easily imported)
Thanks!

List of AX routers that are supported by OpenWrt:

I recommend that you spend a little more and buy two Belkin RT3200 (normally costs 100 dollars), because it is the best all-on-one router of 2021.

Read:

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The higher the Hz, the worse wall penetration.

Thank you for recommendation, Belkin RT3200 definitely looks interesting, but I'm concerned about it not having wifi 6 in 2.4ghz band. Do you know speed one might expect out of it?

I get 750 Mbps real-world iperf3 speed but, yeah, that is on 5 GHz and about 5 meters distance. I can run some more specific tests for you if you define what exactly you are looking for. I live in a wooden house but the cellar is concrete, so I could run some tests across there I guess...

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Thank you for your help, I have no doubts this router will perform well in 5Ghz band, and I'm more interested in 2.4Ghz performance because I found it to be a weak point in the dual band routers somehow. Also, it seems to have quite a powerful CPU. Do you know if it can route with SQM at 300Mbps?

Test by @Dopam-IT_1987:

ARMv7 vs ARMv8 Latencies (ARMv8 = Belkin RT3200)

Hello. I could only find it an Amazon for 120 euro shipped. Is that a good price?

No, it's not.

The Belkin feels really hard to find. Where do/did you get your rt 3200? I can only find a „UK“ edition on belkin.com for 129€.
ebay also lists it, but again from UK only.

Probably the UK causes some Wifi side effects, when used in other regions, so I do not want to order a UK version for non-UK usage. Could be that it is simply not yet available in other countries.

While I'm not familiar with the regdom related quirks of the mt76 driver, a UK device should be fine for the whole ETSI region (so continental Europe and Australia as well), it will come with a BS 1363 (Type G) power plug rated at 230 VAC though.

The rt3200 (and its twin, the Linksys E8450) is a very interesting device - something I'd definitively suggest an enthusiast to look at, but for your use-case of deploying them commercially, it might still be a little early to recommend this one right now (support for it is still rather young, some things are still in a bit of flux, wifi6 rates still need -trivial- patching). Great device, I'd love to buy one myself - but given Brexit, shipping- and customs costs I've let it pass for now (its introductory price was 79.99 GBP (including 20% VAT), it's now selling for 99.99 GBP shipping/ customs and German VAT add another 19% on top - so roughly 25 EUR importing fees, no, thanks). I'm not saying that this device wouldn't be worth ~145 EUR (compared to the ~93 EUR it shipped for originally in the UK), but with the knowledge how much of it would be wasted in bureaucracy and double taxation, I'll pass.

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Going back to my original question - how supportable should something like this https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005002198987728.html be by OpenWRT and mt76? It is advertised to be MTK7621 + MTK7905 based and it seems to be similar to X5000R, but is cheaper and has a USB port and imo is more interesting.

That should be relatively easy - with the only caveat of an unclear support state of mt7905e (I don't see '7905' anywhere in the current mt76 driver, however that might internally be treated as mt7915e with less streams - I don't know).

Getting an mt7621a SOC supported is generally straight forward, contrary to mt7622b there is neither secure boot to consider (not an issue with the Linksys E8450/ Belkin rt3200, but with some other mt7622b+mt7915e routers), other than that you 'just' depend on mt76 driver/ firmware support. Given the CPU performance of the mt7621a SOC and the needs one usually expects from a wifi6 device, I personally wouldn't really feel comfortable with that combination though.

Disclaimer: in the end you won't know about the details, until such a device has landed on the desk of an OpenWrt developer or regular contributor (or your own), nor before at least tentative patches have been made available. Beforehand it's a bet with a rather positive outlook, but still a reasonable chance of total failure.

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I have a DIR-3060. i had it running as an access point in my home network top-level managed by openwrt. the DIR-3060 wifi performance was very fast and very strong. of course i want it to run openwrt also....

I just opened up the case on the DIR-3060 .
so far -
serial access is at 57600/N/8/1, not 115200 baud.
Uboot cant be interrupted until a firmware image decrypts and loads.. this could be a major tripping point.

I'll be posting bootlogs over the weekend.
OK -
i have started a thred with information about this device here: Dir3060 support

Hello. It looks like https://es.aliexpress.com/item/1005001615385602.html can be had for about 80 euros including shipping and it has MT7622 and MT7915A and has 16mb storage + 256mb ram. How supportable would it be? I haven't heard of tplink locking bootloaders/firmware, but might it have secure boot or something?

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To the best of my (limited) knowledge, the TL-XDR3230 has secure boot activated - throwing a spanner in the works.

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Hello. It looks like RT3200 is selling for 75£ on Amazon UK, which comes out to 100 euros with the taxes and shipping to Europe. Is this better or still too much?

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Performance seems poor so far for this new router. I got my WRT32X years ago and it can do 940 Mbit without SQM and 750 Mbit with SQM cake and A+ bufferbloat/quality ratings. It also has USB 3.0 for samba4 storage 100-120 MB/s.

is this with stock firmware or mt76?

i've been thinking about adding one of these suckers to the fold, but i'm torn.

i could go for the RAX40 (lantiq) and REALLY make a moat, or add a 7921/7915/whatever using the most recent GPL mt_wifi and kick mt76 in the jum jums a few more times.

there is no comparison between the stock driver and mt76 for ralink stuff. this is not a deliberate slight against mt76. it's just an observation corroborated by many.

Installed Openwrt on X5000R, UI only shows ac/g/n no ax. How can I check if ax mode is enable and running?