NanoPI R2S + managed router vs. BananaPI router

Hello!

I was trying to buy a wired-only router to run OpenWRT but the little I found (mainly Mikrotik or using an all-in-one device without using Wifi) seemed bad to me as it is paying too much to get old hardware (32-bit MIPS or ARM processors at most and with little RAM), so now I am considering two alternatives: using something like a NanoPI R2S + a managed switch or one of the BananaPI boards like BPI-R64/R2/R2 Pro. Although using the NanoPI R2S would allow me to have a switch with more ports, using a BananaPI router would allow me to have both functions (router and switching) in one device and have everything running open-source firmware. I understand that there are some models of switches in which it is possible to install OpenWRT but unfortunately they are not available in my country. What do you consider to be the best alternative or is there any other even better that I have not considered? The use I am going to give it is for my home network, I have few wired devices and the traffic is not very high but anyway I would like to have space in resources to experiment.

Thank you very much!

I think it is better to keep your devices separate; It works out better, in the long run.

I am using a NanoPi R4S. I've been trying to get a Zyxel GS1900-8, but it has been on back order for months. I will probably order a Netgear GS308T, instead. You may be interested in this combo; it allows you to run OpenWrt on everything.

I also highly recommend only buying devices that have an easily accessible reset button. This will make your life far easier, when you inevitably mess up your config.

Maybe a Belkin RT3200 / Linksys E8450 all in one? It's the same 64 bit MT7622 SoC as the BPI-R64, no external antenna's, and it comes with a power supply, 5 port managed switch, and case - no extra charge.

I agree, I personally like to do RockPro64/x86 using Intel based NICs and FreeBSD for routing/firewall/etc and OpenWrt for APs :slight_smile:

I have about 100 days uptime using vanilla openwrt with RockPro64/x86, Intel based NICs.

The biggest annoyance is that's impossible to purchase a compact case w/ support for pcie.

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Yeah, I have a 3D-printed case but that's a bit of a pain indeed.
fwiw, 239 days running FreeBSD 13 (it will be upgraded soon to 13.1) with a bunch of network related services

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My apologies for the late reply, I wanted to thank you for all the responses I received to my post. Clearly for my purposes having a router+switch+access point as separate devices is the best option, as you explained to me in this thread. I am going to start testing with an Orange Pi R1 Plus LTS that although it has less resources than a NanoPI R4S I could get it very cheap and I think it will help me to start fiddling to determine which is the best configuration for a router (I am going to try with OpenWRT and build a router with Armbian and see which option seems more flexible to me).

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