New OpenWrt project - Which hardware, option?

Hi Everyone,

I am new to openWRT and excited to modify my current home network to improve both security and performance. Before jumping into my question here is the context:

I am currently running a linksys WRT-3200ACM still under original linksys firmware as my main router and an Asus RT N12 setup as additional wifi access point (no mesh) to cover first floor (mainly used by IOT devices).

I'm planning to segment my home network with 4 different VLAN (3 SSID):
-Camera (all wired with POE)
-User (laptop, NAS, home automation system - not connected to the cloud)
-IoT (for Alexa, heating system - cloud connected, TV, etc)
-Guest (only WiFi)

Something important to know is that most of my devices are wired (new house so office with laptop are wired as well as NAS, solar inverter, ventilation system, TV, Home cinema, etc). Therefor I'm not necessarily looking for the most performant wifi in term of speed but more for something stable that can handle around 20-30 wifi equipment without too much issues.
House in it self is 2 floors, around 120 square meter.

ISP connection is 125mb/8mb. I'm planning to move to 200/10, gigabit is not possible yet where I'm living. The wired network is gigabit (handled by a 24 ports netgear switch).

Now that you have the situation here is my question:
I read that the router I have (linksys WRT-3200ACM) is known for not working well regarding wireless part with openWRT. So I'm hesitating with 3 scenarios:
1/ Keeping the WRT3200ACM, hope that it will do the job in wifi and buy new router for first floor (around 100€) and configure mesh network
2/ Use WRT3200ACM for routing part, buy 2 cheap wifi router (dumb AP) for wifi provision. (budget around 150)
3/ Replace WRT3200ACM with another router and buy a second router for mesh wifi (total budget around 250)
In any case I will not use the asus RTN12 anymore.

Budget will be different for each case from cheap to more expensive. I'm not sure what to do and what kind of hardware I should choose in this case...
Any advice?

Thanks in advance.

Eric

There is still reasonable use for the Linksys WRT3200ACM. It does have WiFi troubles but at least using 21.02.2 most of those shouldn't be an issue. There may be a couple of tweaks needed for optimal WiFi but both the 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz have been reliable for me on 19.07 and 21.02.2 when it's setup with the right configuration, you might need a couple of tweaks to ensure you have good WiFi performance but I don't think you need to replace it if it's working for you currently.

From a future proofing sense the downside to the WRT3200ACM is the firmware/driver development for mwlwifi ceased a while ago, so it has no real development path going forward in terms of the WiFi side and any issues that are present now won't be fixed, probably ever. Equally WPA3 support will likely not ever work if you are interested in that.

Otherwise, I'd say you can run OpenWrt on it just fine and continue using it much like it is now with the Linksys firmware.

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Thanks for this feedback. I'm not really interested by WPA3 at the moment, only important features for me are:
-Multiple SSID support
-Wifi mesh 802.11s support (router wired).

I will then go for the first option and look for a good router under openwrt to setup a mesh network. Any advice for budget of max 100€?

Thanks in advance.

Hi eric i'm use rt3200 in France is a good wifi for me

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The 3200 should be fine for such usage. Avoid mesh and run a cable to the upper floor.

Such asymmetry in up/down can lead to starvation of the uplink from the acknowledges.

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Unfortunately where I live i dont have possibility for a better uplink (no fiber, only docsis and VDSL; VDSL offering me max 30mb download so not an option for me).

I will move the linksys to openwrt this weekend :slight_smile:

Then you need to setup sqm to handle the low upload speed

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Hi all,

Just to inform that I moved on and openWRT works perfectly on WRT3200 :slight_smile:
I just acquired a TP-Link Archer C7 as dumb AP. Got some issues with the setup on this last one but I will create a specific thread in the right section.

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