Netgear 4300 for OpenWrt in 2022

Is Netgear WNDR4300 any good in 2022. I need to act as a wireless bridge and for running tail scale subnet to access my IOT devices from the internet. Will it be too much for the Atheros AR9344 @560Mhz or is it good enough?

Yes such devices are old, but they can still be usefull, such as backup devices, or AP. Meanwhile don't expect wonder, know the hardware limitations. So as long as they work, keep them. They are still plainly supported by 21.02 and upcoming 22.03. I own a couple of devices from that generation, and I'm using one from time to time.

I do have Asus RT-68U running Freshtomato as my main router. Need this WNDR4300 (used, yet to buy) to act as a wireless bridge between the solar inverter and the home network. and to run tailscale which I think is easier to install on openwrt using opkg etc.

You plan to buy a 4300 ? :woozy_face:
You can have much better on second hand market for cheap. Even if you buy a new device (basic one such as Netgear WAC104), it cost about 36€/40$.

I am in Pakistan, 40$ will get me a Netgear 7000. while WNDR 4300 is 10$.

I wouldn't really consider 802.11n devices to be a good buy in 2022, 802.11ac is just a major speedup (let alone 802.11ax).

In its era, this device was among the higher end of the 802.11n scale and OpenWrt will still run well on them, it's more about the routing (CPU-) performance which disqualifies it for >~ 150 MBit/s WAN speeds and modern WLAN performances.

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Don't need the wifi performance, in fact, 2.4Ghz radio will be operating on the lowest possible power, bcz router will be placed next to the inverter at like 4 feet. Bandwidth requirement is also not so high.
just need it to run tailscale, if that needs the CPU performance.

Netgear WNDR4300 is one of the best routers for home use. It can be used for both wired and wireless connections, it is compatible with a number of different devices and it has an excellent range.

Ok, so assuming that you have basic need and you want to spend the fewer, your choice is reasonnable.
I'm using myself a WNDR3700v2 from time to time.

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Well, these devices are close to a decade old by now - and electronics age as well, particularly PSU, capacitors and rf chains (even more so when operated in hot climates). I wouldn't pay money for those anymore.

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he does have the WNDR3700 and WNDR3800 in stock too and

If I count the discounts WNDR4300 will cost me Pkr 1750 while WNDR3800 cost Pkr 1700. I think Wndr4300 is a better deal.

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Next upgrade is Netgear 6100 which cost Pkr 3599 after discounts
Netgear Nighthawk R7000 Which cost Pkr 5100 and is not supported by Openwrt. I can do tomato, but I do have similar hardware in Asus RT68u (in fact better @1400Mhz compared to @1000Mhz)

Well I must confess that I keep it only for vintage purpose. Of course a 10y old device is inclined to harware failure anytime.

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that is a risk never the less. And trying to fix even a simple capacitor can be a headache.

can I use v22.03.0-rc1 on Netgear 4300?

Noob question snapshot is v22.03.0-rc1 or higher?

If you intend to use a release candidate, may as well use the current release: 22.03.0-rc3

If you want to use a Development Snapshot build (which does not include LuCi),
Click HERE

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You would better stick to 21.02.3 for now. 22.03 is still in RC state, and latest releases (rc2/3) haven't been announced yet. Furthermore the memory consumption is higher with 22.03. That is why I decided to keep my devices from that generation to 21.02.

Master snapshot is the daily basis development, aimed for future releases.
22.03 RCs are the incoming 22.03 next stable version.

is it due to the "migration from iptables based firewall to the nftables based firewall4?"

22.03 (Linux kernel 5.10) consumes a few more memory than 21.02 (kernel 5.4). Considering the low amount of memory of the 4300 (64MB), each MB is valuable. I can't tell about the memory consumption of the different firewalls by themselves. Each devices that I use with 22.03 are APs, so I have disabled the firewall.

This is my Asus 68U with 256Mb ram and only 29.72 is being used. Obviously different firmware.

according to table it has 128MB ram half that of Asus 68U
WNDR4300 v1 Atheros AR9344 560 128NAND 128