Powerful Wireless Client/Bridge - Which router?

Hi guys,

I'm looking to setup a network as shown below:


The goal:

  • AP provides access to the internet via Net A
  • OpenWrt connects to Net A wirelessly
  • OpenWrt creates a completely separate Net B (or it gets created by separate Mesh WiFi node)
  • OpenWrt runs OpenVPN (if possible)
  • Device A connects to Net B and has internet access
  • Device B connects to OpenWrt via LAN and has internet access
  • All devices locally connected to OpenWrt (via wireless or LAN) achieve gigabit connection speeds between themselves


  • OpenWrt must have powerful radios to get good connection to AP
  • 5GHz must be used because of extensive 2.4GHz channel congestion
  • Installation needs to be stable and clear
  • The OpenWrt device should be reasonably priced
  • The OpenWrt device must be available on Amazon.co.uk

Most importantly of all, OpenWrt device must be able to wirelessly connect to AP and share the internet connection on its own network (even if just via LAN in case of using Mesh WiFi). The link between OpenWrt and AP is the key.

Which router would be the best for this use case?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Best regards,

What I've already tried:

  • I've managed to get OpenWrt installed on an Archer C50v4 but it was unstable and upload didn't work correctly no matter what I've tried
  • I've researched many potential devices but still can't determine which one to get

I am afraid that in such an environment you won't be able to achieve better speeds with 5GHz, due to low penetration through obstacles.
You should consider some point to point link with directional antennas, if laying down a cable or using powerlines is not possible.

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fwiw, what OpenVPN speeds are you requiring?

I know the C50v4 barely manages 13 mbps with everything being ethernet wired (Even slower to wifi devices connected to LAN side). Linksys EA6350v3 fairs better at 25 mbps on ethernet only.

Also, using same radio (5GHz) for both client and as an AP might not work all that well if at all.

I would expect to get at least 100Mbps via OpenVPN (it shouldn't be the bottleneck in the connection). If it's not possible, I'll just setup VPN on all the devices. It'd be great to have it on the whole network though.

Also, if one device won't be able to also rebroadcast on 5GHz, I'm happy to get another access point. @trendy

Most importantly, I need a device which will reliably connect to the target AP and be able to share that internet connection on its own network.

I have a couple of spare routers (non OpenWrt) which can act as access points so perhaps that's the only option.

In this case, the most critical requirement is just that this OpenWrt device (maybe not even OpenWrt) has a strong enough radio to connect to AP reliably. I think for this even C50v4 was fine but just had issues.

Guys, I've updated the initial post based on the suggestions so far.

fwiw, Linksys routers such at EA6350v3, and I think EA7500v2, have built in wireless bridge mode (and repeater mode), but you cannot use the same 5 GHz radio for both the bridge and as an access point. I can't comment on reliability and signal strength through thick walls.

Wireless communications is two way so the quality of the wifi provided by your internet connected router is just as important. (eg. is the 'receiver' deaf as a door post, perhaps due to poor antenna design, and so cannot hear your wireless devices through thick walls ?). In the past, I've read buying a pair of dedicated high end AC1750 or better Asus routers was way to go if you wanted reliable high speed wireless bridge link - this was before general availability of mesh systems such as BT whole home wifi system and Netgear Orbi etc.

For 70+ mbps openvpn, you'd be looking at £100-£200 routers btw.

As far as I know, that requires x86_64/AMD64 with AES.

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Look at a CPE such as the Nanostation AC loco to make the link to the AP. These have a directional antenna which is good for point to point use. I assume you don't own the AP so you can't do much about its performance or location.

As others said you need a lot of CPU for 100 Mbit OpenVPN, this would be best done in a separate box from the wifi client.

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See https://openwrt.org/docs/guide-user/services/vpn/openvpn/performance for a first orientation.

I'd also recommend to read the following forum post for some explanations:

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