Need WiFi router suggestions for OpenWrt running Asterisk and OpenVPN

I have been running Asterisk and OpenVPN on a Pogoplug Mobile with OpenWRT firmware. Independently I also have a very old Belkin 54G router running DD-WRT firmware as a repeater bridge so that I can have wired connection for devices at a location far away from my main router. I have been thinking of upgrading the Belkin router to a more recent one (giga-bit lan and 5G wifi) and if I run OpenWRT firmware on it, I can move both Asterisk and OpenVPN over to the router too and eliminagte the need of the Pogoplug Mobile. Last week I picked up a TP-Link Archer A7 for the purpose but after spending a couple of days with it, I was disappointed because the Asterisk audio would stutter/distort although I was quite satisfied with its repeater router performance. (And I have not installed OpenVPN on it yet.) I thought an AC1750 router would be powerful enough to do the job but apparently I was wrong. To avoid make another wrong purchase, I am seeking recommendations from people who have first-hand experience here. Please note that I need good 5G WiFi to connect to the main router as a client and allow as high speed as possible for the lan ports on the repeater) so routers with broadcom chips are out. Also I would like to keep the upgrade cost as low as possible. Thanks in advance for your insights.

Hi, welcome!

Do you happen to know what's causing the VoIP stuttering?

As far as I know A7 and C7 are very similar, both using the same old 720MHz single core MIPS 74K CPU. While I haven't used my C7 for any VoIP use cases I had issues with cpu being overloaded with interrupts processing WiFi packets (topping out at about 350-400Mbps - is it perhaps just an issue with the lack of raw CPU horsepower in your case as well?

(Thinking about CPU because pogo plug if I'm reading correctly is marvel kirkwood based, which is faster than the aging 720MHz MIPS in C7/A7 ... )

I'm thinking maybe Belkin RT3200 / Linksys E8450 would be good with their mediatek 7622 - dual core A53. Should be similar in CPU performance to Marvell Armada 385 (wrt1200/1900/3200/32x), but in a newer 64bit design and with more modern better supported wifi compared to Marvell one. If you want something even faster, then R7800 - Qualcomm Krait based 32bit.

I don't think anyone is using other more powerful cores, like the ones you might find in some more modern single board computers or small NASes in routers.

Thanks for the reply.

I am thinking the same thing. If I stop Asterisk in Archer A7 and connect the Pogoplug to its lan port, Asterisk (on the Pogoplug) would run smoothly just like in the case when the Pogoplug is connected to the main router directly. The Pogoplug Mobile has a single core 800Mhz CPU, not much powerful than the CPU in the Archer A7. So I figure maybe a router with 2 CPU cores and higher CPU frequency would do. The routers you mentioned are much more powerful but expensive and I am hoping I don't have to go that far to handle the light-weight load I need for Asterisk and OpenVPN server - one VOIP line and one OpenVPN client.

True but just moving network packets around could be stressful for it.

How much network traffic are you hoping to pull through?

I've been thinking you might want to consider is using a small SBC as your asterisk server, and keeping the TP-Link as a switch/access point. That'd give you 10-20 times more compute power for about $50 extra (board, case, microsd, power like in a neo3 lts or r2s or NanoPi M3 or similar).
At that point, you might as well get the Odroid hc-2 as direct replacement for your pogoplug nas

Seems like it's lacking in the wifi department, but I'm running Openvpn and OSPF pretty successfully on a pair of Meraki MX60W (one is wired only). They are cheap as can be on ebay, and have 1gb of flash/512Mb ram which might be nice for Asterisk and Openvpn as a standalone.

They also run idle at < 5W so they aren't super power hungry.

I don't think wifi is the problem. I had the Archer A7 connected to the main router through 5GHz as a client. I also setup the 2.4GHz N as AP. With a laptop connected to the AP wirelessly, Ookla speedtest gave me something like 70Mbit.

Yes, low power consumption is a big consideration to me. I started with Asterisk on a mini desktop (230w PS), move to a thin client (60w PS) and finally to Pogoplug Mobile (12w PS). My OpenVPN server originally ran on a Netgear R6400 (DD-WRT) before moved to the Pogoplug alongside Asterisk. I get something like 16Mbit (max.) out of Ookla speedtest via OpenVPN connection, So I am quite satisfied with the Pogoplug Mobile handling both Asterisk and OpenVPN. It is just this desire to consolidate further (one device for all three tasks) biting me once in a while. :slight_smile:

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I believe the last time I checked I was getting 40Mbit on the openwrt as the appliedMicro cpu has hardware acceleration, and the box isn't doing anything but openvpn for 1 maybe 2 clients.