Netgear XR500 as an R7800 alternative

Hello everyone,

I recently decided to replace my ISP-provided router and landed here. Since it seems to be well supported and easy to install, I decided to look for an used Netgear R7800. Unfortunately it is hard to find one in my area but there's plenty of XR500 which according to the DD-WRT guys "can be regarded as a rebranded R7800 (with double the amount of Flash Ram and the new DumaOS)". For some reason XR500 is not supported by OpenWRT (which is the firmware I decided to use!).

Given that one week ago I didn't know about the existence of OpenWRT and open router firmware in general and considering that this is not my field, even if I have some knowlendge of linux, low-level electronics and high-level software, is there a chance I can install OpenWRT on the XR500? Should I look for something else?

Thank you!

Netgear xr500 should be pretty identical to R7800, with the doubled flash memory

XR500 is supported by OpenWrt since a few weeks, but only in the development master.

https://git.openwrt.org/?p=openwrt/openwrt.git;a=commit;h=70c12d26ca6eb01a938feb38f89720d78df0ca6d

Downloads

Note that the master snapshots do not include LuCI GUI, so you need to install it by yourself. (Easy with opkg)

The xr500 will naturally be in the next stable release.

EDIT:

In general, XR500 seems to the almost identical successor to R7800, which has been the probably best all-around OpenWrt wifi router in the last few years.

Looks like XR500 is pretty much the same as R7800, but with double flash, without eSATA and a slightly revamped router cover.

Thank you!

Archer C2600 would be another one, can be bought cheap used or refurbed in some regions.

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These devices are mostly equivalent (ipq8065 + 2*qca9984):

  • Askey RT4230W rev 6/ RAC2V1K
  • Netgear r7800
  • Netgear xr500
  • ZyXEL NBG6817

ipq8064+qca9980 would be a step down, still reasonable for the right price, but ipq8065 is better.

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The quick download link, new builds will show up here every day or two:

https://firmware-selector.openwrt.org/?version=SNAPSHOT&target=ipq806x%2Fgeneric&id=netgear_xr500

You might want to try out DumaOS that comes with the XR500 before switching, I heard it's quite good and has SQM built in. OpenWrt is the best though provided your router is well supported.

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Thank you all four, guys! I've found an XR500 at a very good price, I'll let you know.

Setup and running like a charm! It's slightly more power-user-oriented than I expected it to be, it means I'll have to learn something. I am just a bit afraid I could inadvertently do something very bad in terms of security...

I am also wondering if I should keep up with each snapshot is released. Should I better just install the new stable version?

Is there a test I can run in order to check that everything is running correctly and/or help you with the development?

No, the buildbot builds automatically a new snapshot roughly daily.
It makes no sense for a casual user to sysupgrade so frequently.

Stable 21.02.x is to a large extent code based on February 2021. Pretty old. It is likely better to stay on the master, if it keeps running ok for you. (it does for me, the R7800)

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I started a new topic "So I got the XR500..". I would appreciate it if you guys would give me your thoughts.

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