Raspberry Pi 4 + dumb ap + smart switch recommendations


I’m looking for ideas/recommendations to upgrade my network, I currently have 2 tp links wifi routers, both with openwrt, both capable of 2.4 Ghz only.

My current setup is ISP —wlan—> AP1 —eth—> AP2

My first tp link is acting as a router and wifi ap, the second just as dumb ap on the same network.

After browsing this forum a bit, it seems that a good idea is to use a pi4 as router (with openwrt) and two dumb aps for wifi (recommendations?)

For the Pi4, is it better to use a smart switch with the on board ethernet or the onbord ethernet and a usb ethernet adapter? (If so, any recommendations for a smart switch?)

Also, what about those usb3 wifi adapters? Are they any good (to be used directly with the pi) or a proper wifi device is better?

The tp link eap range looks interesting for an AP, is there anything better on similar or better price range?


Simpler + Faster ( but you might need to pack in / manually install the driver )

  • onboard + usb

Cheaper + More scalable

  • single onboard with vlans

Depends on your requirements ( cost / port num. / availability / reliability / pps )

  • for cheap tplink is ok
  • for mid zyxel / netgear
  • for high cisco / hp

Will you be wanting openwrt on them? Are you happy to use a 3rd party config tool?

  • avoid unless you have a very specific STA use case...

rPi = $150/90
2 x AP = $450/250
16-8port managed = 80-250/50-185

Total = 600-850/350-550

Hi, thanks for the reply!

I don’t plan on using openwrt on them, as long as the proprietary firmware supports a good and fast bridge to act as a proper dumb ap :blush: dual band (since unfortunately, I still have a couple of devices that only work on 2.4)... I’m thinking of getting two TP Link EAP225

I'm looking at these but I don't know if the config-utility (AP) runs on Linux... @trendy uses them I think...

switch: TL-SG108E $70/$45 ( so cheap doesn't hurt to have an extra around )
ap: Ubiquiti UAP-AC-Lite x 2 $175/$115
usb3: UE300 ( or something like that ) $35/$21

and some better switch examples;

Cisco SG350-10
zyxel gs1900-24
HPE OfficeConnect 1820
netgear gs116e
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That is exactly my setup.
RPi4B 4GB ram 58€
heatsink case 15€
usb3 ethernet with realtek 8153 14€
2 * TL-SG108PE 106€
2* UAP-AC-lite 160€

Unifi controller can run on Win/Mac/Debian/Ubuntu and Raspberry or their own Unifi key. But access points can be also configured from the smartphone app.


I just realized I have a Asix AX88179 gigabit usb3 ethernet, seems to be supported by linux out of the box (hope to be the case for openwrt)

The kernel module is ax88179_178a...

opkg find *88179*
kmod-usb-net-asix-ax88179 - 4.19.101-1 - Kernel module for USB-to-Ethernet ASIX AX88179 based USB 3.0/2.0 to Gigabit Ethernet adapters.
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I use the following as per recommendations of @dlakelan.

  • RPi4 4gb ( I use docker on top of OpenWRT so that the 4gigs gets utilized)
  • UE300 usb adapter,
  • EAP 245 ( dlakelan recommended the EAP225, but since the difference was 10€ I sent back the EAP225 and bought the 245, as it has a bit better 5Ghz speeds along with +1gb ethernet port serving as bridge)
    If I’d need a switch, ( which I don’t at this point) I’d buy a cheap TP-link 5x Glan one, for around 15€.

Setup is ISP —> RPi4 —> EAP245 —> AppleTV( everything else is on wifi)

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