Newbie - looking for a router

Hi, I want to buy a router. This world is pretty new for me so I'd appreciate your feedback, I need both a router and a modem, which I prefer to buy them separately.
I'm looking for a well supported router by openwrt community (one that updates frequently, btw there are ota updates for openwrt)?
I'd like to install NordVpn on my router and an adblocker as well. How complicated the process of the installation is for a newbie to install openwrt with VPN and addblocker?

My budget is around 100$ for the router and 25$ for the modem. I thought about the tplink archer c7 1750, but some said it's too weak to run a VPN.
I will have around 7-8 devices on the network while the use will be mostly surfing and streaming.
Other rotuers that I thinking of:
Linksys EA4500 (refurbished from amazon, is that ok?)

any other suggestions? and what about the modem?

I would recommend that you invest a little bit more than 100$ for the router or try to get a refurbished or used one.

  1. The Linksys WRT3200ACM is a great router (I'm using it myself) and it has a good performance at OpenVPN (1.8GHz dualcore) and also good OpenWRT support.
    There are community builds provided by davidc502 which are ideal for beginners (Adblock, SQM-QoS, OpenVPN and a lot of other usefull things are allready pre installed)

  2. The Netgear R7800 is also a pretty nice router, should provide the same VPN peformance (1.7GHz Dualcore) and has afaik better Wifi Performance than the WRT3200ACM.
    Community builds are provided by hnyman.

and what about the modem?

Cable or xDSL? So what kind of Internet connection do you have?

I saw the WRT3200ACM, unfortunately it's too expensive (the cheapest price I saw is 153.24€ on amazon), almost twice from my budget. The Netgar is even more expensive.


How much speed do you expect with your vpn connection?

Thats why I suggested that you should maybe look for a used or refurbished unit...

I would suggest to buy a modem with Broadcom xDSL chipset. For ADSL(2+) there are plenty of cheap modems avalible and I would defenitly buy a used modem on ebay if you only need it in Bridge Mode.
Do you need a Annex A or B modem? And how fast is your connection (8,16, 20mbps)?

For ADSL(2+) speeds (max 20bmps) you acatully don't need a very powerfull router but a WRT3200ACM or Netgear R7800 would be a good investment for a possible Line upgrade in the future and OpenVPN is also pretty CPU heavy.
Afaik NordVPN doesn't offer Wireguard at the moment so if you want decent OpenVPN performance you need performant router for sure.

To be honest, I don't really care as long I can stream smoothly videos online. How much speed can I expect?

I searched, but didn't find any refurbished units..
What about this one:
Linksys MAX-STREAM EA7500 AC1900

Annex B, up to 100mps.

Any suggestion for other vpn services that supports both Wireguard and OpenWrt?

That doesn't sound like ADSL(2+). I'm pretty sure that we are talking about VDSL (maybe even with Vectoring).
Please make sure which type of connection we are talking about...

Afaik this device isn't supported by OpenWRT yet... So if you want something which is compatible with OpenWRT you will have to buy a different device.
For a cheap device maybe take a look at the following Thread:

But as a OpenWRT beginner I would recommend you something like a WRT3200ACM or Netgear R7800 which have both great OpenWRT support and stable + frequently updated community builds.
A used/refurbished Linksys WRT1900AC/ACS would also be a option (but I'm not sure if you will find an offer within your budget) or a TP-Link Archer C2600.

For recommendations take a look at the following thread: EU VPN Provider with Wireguard support?

yes, you are right, is VDSL

I found this listing, is it the R7800 you have mentioned? is that safe to buy it?

so I can choose any VPN provider that supports wireguard (like bunkervpn)?

Thank you for your answers!

Well VDSL modems are not as common as ADSL(2+) ones and also not as cheap.
Maybe your ISP provides a VDSL router which can be used in bridge mode.

Which device are we talking about? The Archer C2600?

Yes, if you want to use Wireguard you will have to choose a VPN provider which supports it.
Pretty much any VPN provider supports OpenVPN but OpenVPN is very CPU intensive compared to Wireguard, so you will need a very performant router to achieve a decent troughput with OpenVPN.
For example my WRT3200ACM can achieve a max troughput of about 90-100mbps via OpenVPN (it also depends a little bit on the used config).

Btw, another thing worth mentioning is the processing power needed for QoS.
SQM-QoS with Cake is a very usefull/powerfull feature to fight bufferbloat with OpenWRT but it also cost a lot of CPU power to shape a bandwidth of 100mbps Download.
So if you want to use SQM-QoS and OpenVPN you will definitly need a good performant router if your connection speed is up to 100Mbps over VDSL.

What kind of videos? FullHD or even 4k?

Sorry I forgot to add the link:

Ok, I'll find other VPN provider that supports Wireguard (apparently bunkervpn or azirevpn)

I didn't know about it, need to read about it, but the r7800 is enough for that?

Yes, the R7800 is definitely powerful enough to shape 100mbps with SQM and it is generally a very good router!
Imho one of the best options for OpenWRT with a lot of community support. You will not regret buying a Netgear R7800... :wink:

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You convinced me, no doubt there.
Is that safe to buy from the link above?

I would says it's safe to buy from this seller (good feedback and the router looks brand new) but I'm not from the USA so i don't know the return policy over there.
If you wait a little bit longer the R7800 might be available for a cheaper price at black friday. At the last black friday the device was available for 130$ (at staples).
Anyway i would take the offer if you need a new router asap...

What about the VDSL Modem? Which router do you currently have from your ISP? Maybe your ISP router can be used in bridge mode...

130$ for new or refurbished?
I just found refurbished one on Amazon for 160$, including the shipping (I'm from Israel so usually the shipping is expensive) and it seemed a bargain deal, but then I saw this link which gave me some doubts if buy a refurbished one or a new one, which is much more expensive.

I'm currently moving, so I don't have router yet. Any ISP i'll choose will provide a poor router + modem but will charge me for it monthly (~5$), which doesn't worth it in a longtime perspective.
I thought to buy the TP-Link TD-W9970 N300 VDSL/ADSL2+ 300Mbps, it cost here around 45$, so I don't need wait for the shipping.

each task (vpn/sqm) alone will bring the router to its limits, so doubful if it can handle both at the same time.

if you want a fast and cheap router for a few hundred mbps, use an old pc/laptop (core-i aera if possible).
it will run circles around the highest-end consumer routers but will use a bit more power (more recent components use about the same)


I dont have much experience with refurbished routers but my friend bought a refurbished WRT3200ACM a few month ago and he's still happy with it.

I'm using my WRT3200ACM with SQM-QoS and OpenVPN client at the same time and i dont have any problems with my VDSL connection (100/35mbps) and the R7800 should be on par with the WRT3200ACM.
Yes, performance wise there are for sure better options (like x86) but for a beginner a R7800 or WRT3200ACM is a good choice (imho).
For VDSL and 100Mbps download speed these devices should be sufficient...

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Not x86 for a noob. WRT1900ac or wrt3200acm and r7800 are all good routers to go for IMO.

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ZyXEL NBG-6617 if you want something cheaper than WRT3200ACM or X4s

You can save most on the VDSL2 modem, if you go with a used lantiq VR9 (VRX268 or VRX288) device (e.g. O² Box 6431; often the initial installation can be challenging for previously ISP branded devices, read the corresponding device page in the wiki before buying(!), and you will have to install OpenWrt to unlock full functionality as modem), which you can often find in the ~10 EUR range (used). A new VDSL2 modem with vectoring (profile 17a) support would set you back around 100 EUR, more for profile 35b (super-vectoring) capable ones.

Besides the previously mentioned ZyXEL NBG6617, Netgear r7800 or Linksys WRT3200acm, I'd also add ZyXEL NBG6817 (very similar, but often slightly cheaper than the Netgear r7800) or AVM Fritz!Box 4040 (very comparable to the ZyXEL NB6617) to your router list.

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