Recommendation(s) for Simultaneous Dual Band Router/Repeater under 80$

Hello guys,

I am looking for recommendations for a router/repeater that meets the following criteria:

  1. Supports LEDE/OpenWRT
  2. Supports Simultaneous Dual Band Technology
  3. Supports usage as a WiFi Repeater with usage of both radios (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) under LEDE/OpenWRT
  4. Is easily available on North American e-commerce websites (Amazon/Ebay etc) and ships quickly
  5. Is preferably under 80$

I have scoured through the whole supported hardware list of OpenWRT and could not find one that met these criteria for the life of me. Either, the newest versions available now in market don't support OpenWRT (TP-Link, I'm looking at you) or OpenWRT can be installed but won't support both radios or they are too expensive to risk a possible brick and void warranty.

The only one closest to this criteria I could find was the TP-Link RE450, which is a little expensive.

All suggestions are appreciated.

Thanks a lot!

Please don't cross post, that just waste others' time.

With those requirements, you basically end up with mt7621 or ipq4019 SOCs (eventually also the mvebu/ Linksys WRT1200AC, if you stretch your budget a bit/ look at refurbished devices; ipq8065 will probably a bit too expensive to fit into those constraints).

Taking the north american market into account, the best match could be the AFoundry EW1200 (which is slightly difficult in terms of the initial flash; mt7621). The AVM Fritz!Box 4040 is currently the only fully supported ipq4019 device (might be harder to obtain in north america), but several other ipq4019 alternatives could be supported in the future.

There are still older ar71xx designs available, but it's questionable if you'll still get the correct hardware revision or if those devices actually meet your performance expectations.

You might take a look at the TP-Link Archer C7...

I have used stock, DD-WRT, OpenWRT, and now LEDE on mine (v2).

Thanks for the replies guys.

That was in strong contention. Unfortunately, they are on v4 now which is not supported.

After loads of searching, I think I only have three choices left:

Linksys RE6500 - Says its supported in the TOH but could not find any info regarding installation or threads of people trying to install. Anyone any idea if it is supported without any problems?

TP-Link RE450 - Think I'll have to shell out the extra $$ and buy this one.

D-Link DIR-860L - More expensive than the RE450 so I might as well go for TP.

All opinions are appreciated but this is all I could come up with after hours of searching.

Careful with the D-Link DIR-860L, there are two hardware revisions - so far it seems the north american market only gets the A1 variant (unsupported), while B1 (mt7621/ supported) is available in europe. That's why I mentioned the AFoundry EW1200 instead, which is available in north america and pretty similar in terms of its underyling hardware.

If you go for ordering directly from china, Xiaomi WiFi Router 3G (not! Xiaomi WiFi Router 3) could be another option, but please check the corresponding thread in this forum before.

Thanks slh.

I just purchased the TP-Link RE450 since its more portable and it would be good to use this as a travel router as well. Hopefully they send me a V1 (which I think is supported? correct me if wrong cuz then I will cancel the order).

If not, will go with the AFoundry EW1200 on your suggestion. Although, on Amazon it does not have very good reviews (hopefully they were due to bad stock firmware :wink: )

Its crazy how there is barely any dual band routers that meet this criteria.

I've seen Archer C7 v2's on eBay.

I went ahead and purchased the TP-Link RE450 for 79.99 USD. After a lot of research seems like that is the best/cheapest option when it comes to buying a dual band repeater. Make sure you are getting V1 because V2 is not supported.

If you want something cheaper, than the other option is to go for an older used router from TP-Link/Netgear that allows firmware upgrade (many of the new models are patched to not allow OpenWRT anymore). If you do not want to buy a used one, than the only option cheaper is AFoundry/Xiaomi like slh suggested but it seems like do not have good availability on Amazon.

Its a pretty sad day out there when all the routers are upgrading their hardware to prevent openware firmware from being installed (thanks shitty US regulators).

I hope this helps someone!