Recommendation for WIFI6 router

Hi Together,

im new, i tried already some routers for example ASUS AC67U Mesh or currently Netgear ORBI RBK752 WIFI 6

im not really happy and im sure because of my demand.

thats why i found openWRT because i think the most problems i have is software limitation from the stockfirmware.

Im Looking for an affordable router with following specs:

  • WIFI 6/Master and WIFI 6 Repeater/Node connection via Ethernet/Backhaul.
  • API/Ssh possibility? I want a list of all connected mac addresses
  • VPN Server AND Client (ovpn) OpenVpn


  • Guest WLAN within the whole MESH Network and complete seperated from my local net

If this not works possibility to seperate 1 LANPort as GUEST / tagged vlan, i could use an old/seperate router as guest network.

And the best all if everthing works in an STABLE WIFI6 Mesh :slight_smile:

I dont know if openwrt can handle this or the current hardware on the market.
I hope you pro guys can give me some advices or hints.

if there hardware with all that functions i would spend up to 500, dont know if this enough :slight_smile:
or i stay with wifi4 and mabe some open routers from aliexpress or xiaomi ?

Thank you guys.

yeah $500USD is about right for 2-3 ap

if you are stuck on a wifi6 mesh, you are likely better using enterprise / top shelf consumer mesh capable devices...

you can then run openwrt on a separate device and likely benefit from a poe switch ( can be vendor dependent )

unifi management server software runs in an openwrt chroot... given your requirements... personally i'd start with 2 unifi HD pro / IW / LR and a compatible unifi poe-switch... then run the management interface / upper level protocols on a pi4...

with the compromise of losing wifi6... which is arguably overpriced and under-useful for most like 10GbE..

you could easily switch out the AP/switch choice in the above setup for a more proprietary / wifi6 capable system... but as this is the most costly ( %75+ ) part of your budget... you'll need to do your research... each of those systems has their own ups and downs...

The first thing you need to figure out is whether you're doing mesh or you have ethernet connected to each wifi access point.

If you have ethernet to each access point then you're golden. Mesh is really a compromise for situations where you can't run wires.

Under that situation with wires you just get a competent wired router and a managed switch and wire all the APs in to the switch. Tp-link eap225 devices are inexpensive and capable running the frequently updated commercial firmware.

Hi wulfy23

Thank you for this fast response.

I have already an Zyxcel switch [GS1900-24] without poe but managed.

I have 2 Floors with round about 80 square meters each and concrete walls.
in almost each room ethernet cat 7 all connected through switch above.

i heard from unifi already, does it mean i dont need openwrt/software flash or something an can go with stock router ?

i would skip wifi6 for now if the other points work. i like the single ssid on my current orbi. 1 ssid for all radios. thats nice.

can you send link me the product ? this one ? 2 same devices and connected as mesh wifi4 via ethernet backhaul (through switch)

i can give unify a try.

i want put the router and satalite in a server rack and in the livingroom an ikea tv-board (wooden doors).

thats the reaseon why ethernet backhaul should work perfect. especially in combination with the guest wlan. because the asus and orbi has problems with that.

thank you.

ahhh, maybe i dont understand the mesh thing. i thought mesh is the new big thing.

i want the same ssid on my first floor and second floor. without reconnection or interrupption when i walk through the house.

if this is possible with accespoints, im totally wrong. but a bit happy about it :slight_smile:

yes... like I said... do your research... orbi has decent reputation but afaik it's more of a 'system'... so fantastic for people who want to drop in a mesh and go... less flexible when it comes to custom integrations...

based on the area, i'd guess minimum 3+ AP devices... all depends on the level of demand...

personally with the prevalent ethernet... I would aim for a maximum 1 non-ethernet backhaul ( WDS ) AP in that environment... but that's just me...

I don't see a need for a mesh so much although i'm not saying it would not be suitable also... more notable is client steering, vlan isolation etc. etc. ( controller featureset )... having flexibility here will likely be the make or break when it comes to the topology selected... and a much more efficient/scalable solution than leaving yourself at the mercy of whatever cutting edge wifi6 device/s can deliver...

you may wish to start with a single UAP HD/PRO and a poe-injector... move it around and see what it can do... the pro units have better radio diversity which can be helpful for satellite/mesh deployment.

You don't need or want mesh. You want 3-6 access points each on an ethernet cable connected to that switch. Just set ESSID and password the same everywhere. Voila roaming.

The only thing you should definitely run OpenWrt on is the actual router which connects between the ISP and your LAN. The access points can be OpenWrt devices in access point mode or be some commercial solution with a management portal. I'm running those tp-link EAP devices they are similar to ubiquiti in concept.

1 Like

Got it so far.

Sounds like i walked the wrong way.

for now i just configured my 2 "old" asus as accespoints , put the same ssid on both 2.4 and 5ghz and the same for the asus router.

if i open now on the top floor accespoint a seperate guest wlan its not isolated from the rest network. because they have the same "internet". i dont know if i explain it well enough :frowning:

i dont know if an tplink, much cheaper as unifi or unifi self can handle this?

or iam totally wrong ?

or do i need now another router with openwrt software, but i guess useless if the guest network cant be tagged or something to seperate/isolate from rest of the network.

cant beleive that this is so complicated :stuck_out_tongue:

thank you guys for your patience

looks like my router doesnt support open wrt well.

should i just use a cheap and low energy cost device ?

and for now my asus set as accespoints ? or tplink, i like them it looks very nice much better as unifi.

but its necessary that it works not how it looks :slight_smile:

You've got yourself a nice switch already. I'd just get a Raspberry Pi 4 and run OpenWrt on it. They work great, have ability to route and SQM a full gigabit (with a UE300 usb3 ethernet adapter). If you've got less than 500Mbps you don't need the USB Ethernet just use VLANs. I've been running one continuously since Jan with zero problems.

You could start with 3 EAPs, two towards the edges of the floor you spend the most time on, and one towards the center of the floor you spend less time on. That should probably give whole house coverage unless you have a really maze-like house. Use different channels on each one. 20MHz channel width on 2.4GHz and 40MHz channel width on 5GHz.

By the time you're doing that, grab their "cloud controller" (set it to NON cloud mode, so it's just locally in charge on your LAN, no third party cloud involved) to run their management app, it's actually pretty good. Total cost should be something like:

  1. $100 for the whole Pi setup
  2. 170 for the three EAPs
  3. $80 for the cloud controller

so around $350

Maybe check out this openwrt mesh option...

There's no wifi6 devices supported by openwrt yet, but when we get them working, you can add them..

Aha. I missed that you had already 3 devices. So make your 3 existing devices be access points. But if you want VLAN support either the native firmware has to support it, or it should be hardware that works with OpenWrt.

This is what VLANs are for, so your APs should support VLANs. If the native firmware supports VLANs then you set them up and can get everything working without new hardware (I'd still recommend to run as your ROUTER a device running OpenWrt, but the APs can be other stuff).

Since there is ethernet in almost every room, mesh is really a much WORSE solution. Mesh is all about not having to pull wires and still connecting diverse spaces, but with wires available you want to use them!

wow this looks great, but it should be shipped to europe and the goal is far away :frowning: i need something for now or the next 2 weeks. i marked this site, i will check later maybe for an upgrade to wifi 6.

oh wow, i have an "old" rasp 3b+ i not use it atm, could make it to an open wrt router and check if that kind of network setup works for me.

and i use my 2 asus router as single accespoints for the default vlan, because they cant handle ssid vlan.

i have to buy at least 1 accespoint with vlan ability for my guests.

after that i make 2 vlan on my switch.

and the rasp pi with openwrt can handle this?
i guess i need 2 usb to rj45 adapter?

ok ok im super happy we getting closer to my desired house network functionality :slight_smile:

when i tested everthing out i cann still upgrade with better hardware, like all from unifi ?

you've turned around 360... you originally wanted something robust... and seemed to have settled at barely there...

nothing wrong with your suggestion... but from afar it seems like you've dropped your bar into a well... it wont cost much to try it... and you'll learn heaps... just dont expect wonders from it...

sure you can upgrade... and it's a strength of using skill over marketing... you'll likely be back at square one though... needing several AP's and a router...

if you wanna go dirt cheap and get something functional... i'd suggest;

  • rpi4 + UE300
  • eap225

that gives you an affordable, functional and somewhat scalable base...

You already have a wifi6 orbi system, which can be configured as AP (and supports a wired backhaul). Depending on where exactly you're lacking flexibility (the router side or the AP side), it would make sense to just keep it and to add a decent router meeting your requirements (an RPi4 in combination with the also existing gs1900-24e could fill that role even up to high performance needs, even though a more classic router is easier to understand for beginners).

What speeds does your ISP provide?

Also what are the symptoms you are trying to resolve?

The RPi3 is marginal because it has a couple hundred Mbps total bandwidth ability with it's built in USB2 networking.

But it should handle say 100Mbps symmetric you can use vlans and avoid a dongle. If you like it you can upgrade the RPi4 easily

And yes if you already have an Orbi system hook it up to the ethernet as APs

i mean , the costs not priority but i can still send the orbis back.
and buy for that value a complete new setup. with more configuration options.

i just thought because of sustainable , i could use my current routers.
and the raspi to check if the settings or the functionality of openwrt fit my needs.

i not a big fan of raspi and sdcard for such a important and necessary hardware in my network.
but i have one here an can try it quick without any additional cost.

and obi cant handle guest wifi or ssid with vlan if you use ethernet backhaul.
im really disappointed.

eap225 sounds great and there not that expensive and they look good :slight_smile:
i will buy one and check it out and buy more if it works like expected.

next answer:
i have 600mbit internet and the possibility of 1gbit , i had full 1 gbit the last months but i downgraded to 600mbit, didnt used or needed that much :wink:

open wrt, is atm not possible to flash my asus ac68u, the upload said that this firmware is not supported and they did some security stuff. maybe i have to downgrade first. the stck firmware is from december 2020

in general im good wwith 1gbit network and wlan, its enough for stream and all my iot devices, like lights...

the symtoms i try to resolve:

a seperate/isolated quest wlan in my whole house, like every accespoint or mesh or whatever :slight_smile:
only internet access nothing else.

second: a stable and good speed, not the best, but good wlan for all my devices and laptop.

a vpn server (could use my synology, so no must have) to connect to my network when im away, a vpn client to force my network to another country to watch maybe netflix/prime on tv.

and access to connected devices in my lan, esp. mobilephone to see if a person is at home or not...

OpenWrt does no writing to the sd card during normal operations, so the whole thing should survive for years without the problems normally found with SD cards and RPi in "desktop" type usage.

Also if you want permanent logs, you can plug a USB stick and format it as f2fs and log to that, sparing the sdcard and easily replaceable when the USB stick dies after a while (i'm logging to a f2fs formatted 1GB USB card, it's about 2/3 full continuously and works fine after 12 months full time usage, it was some random used device I found on my shelf)

I'm guessing a cable modem. That's a lot of bandwidth but often cable is asymmetric and you might have only 15Mbps upload or something, that can be more of an issue for people without them realizing it (interactive video chats etc).

There is no question in my mind that the right solution in your network is RPi 4 which has gigabit ethernet, and the EAP devices, send the Orbi back. You'll get 100% of what you want from that setup. I know because it's nearly identical to my own setup. It runs a main family SSID, a guest SSID, and a separate SSID for my kids chromebooks from the school (which is vlanned to the same VLAN as the guest network, and isolated from everything "personal")