Reliable **router**, less than €50

If the neighbors are close enough together (5GHz range) and are you are setting up a mesh network for them, would something like the Linksys MR8300 be interesting? It has a second 5 GHz radio for mesh backhaul and very good WiFi range. The MR8300 is ipq4019 based - quad core ARM and an increase in performance from dual core MIPS MT7621.

Elsewhere on the forum, another user reported buying a like new refurbished MR8300 for 44 Euro. As of yesterday, they are $40 on amazon in the U.S. If you can find it, this would be at the top end of your price range, so perhaps not worth the cost, or perhaps it could be a deluxe option now within reach due to current pricing?

We are in our way to get rid of Ubiquiti NanoBeam/PowerBeam hardware and about to deploy fiber instead. It has worked good for us, but in the last couple of years things are getting worse. Interference is much greater now than it was in 2012 and speed is now less than it was then. Furthermore, there is now some radar somewhere making our main AP to drop connectivity. This causes avalanches of Telegram messages from our "strictly users" to our "geek team". Being a not-for-profit, we need reliability to maintain our geeks sane, well, at least as sane as possible.

So fiber it will be. Substituting a fiber backbone for a wifi one will surely improve reliability, and users will also get speedier connectivity. We think the improvement will be quite noticeable even with those old routers, that's why we aren't in a hurry to get 802.11 ac/ax routers. But, security-wise, to have 18.06 or even older on these devices isn't that good, so we need 16 MB flash to put up-to-date OpenWRT into it.

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Make sure to hover on if you are from EU. It was 50e new for Black Friday so if time is not of the essence then this might be looked at...

Depending upon the functionalities used, there are a lot of options to reduce RAM or flash requirements. Will need custom openwrt image(s), though. 8MB flash should suffice even for some future. Not enough when buying new routers, of course.
Even possible to squeeze a more or less recent openwrt into 4MB.

xiaomi 4a gigabit version , 40$ , 64 flash , 128 ram, 2 cores @0,8 ghz

Unlikely very stable. The xiaomi 4a gigabit is a MediaTek MT7603E, MediaTek MT7612E device, so I would expect many problems. See mt76 TX power not working in multiple chipsets (mt7610, mt7613, mt7615, mt7603). I don't own the device, but there are many forum posts that complain about issues with mt7603 (at least at the current time). A patch will likely arrive soon in master snapshots that properly initialises the wifi radios for some mt7603 devices, but since there is still the isssue with tx power, we don't know, if that's enough.

If you can, go for a mt7915 wireless chipset. I own one and it is running since ~ 25 days without a single disconnect. Mt7915 has been around for a year and a half or something and you will have a hard time finding complaints in the forum. Of course, mt7915 is more recent and more expensive, so might be hard to fine one below 50€...


i did not know that:( i was saving money for one of those...

Looks like the patch is in and appears to be working. More importantly, mt76 continues to receive active developer support.

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The comment you were quoting is not a patch. Some users have tried to fiddle with non-official manual "hacks". Eventually one of these hacks may potentially be applied to official OpenWRT, but as of now, none of these patches are in official OpenWRT builds and images. If it's not here, then any patch is not in.

Furthermore, when I was talking about a patch for "initialising the wifi radios for some mt7603 devices", then I was talking about this one: ramips: fix PCIe NIC initialization issues on R6220, WAC104, WNDR3700 v5 and ZBT-WE1326 #11220 . That one is not yet in either.

Anyway, we are digressing from the main topic of this threat, which is about STABLE routers...

If you can, go for a mt7915 wireless chipset. I own one and it is running since ~ 25 days without a single disconnect. Mt7915 has been around for a year and a half or something and you will have a hard time finding complaints in the forum.

Thanks, this is really appreciated information. Our only experience with a MediaTek device involved bad wifi. We could go for a pricier device if reliability is known good

On the other hand, I contacted ztblink. It turns out that they only send via DHL -€35- so, sadly, it was a showstopper.

@tatel how much would Meraki mr18 cost for your location?

cisco meraki mr18: € 80.25

About Xiaomi Mi Router 4A Gigabit Edition, the Device Page shows some warnings:

Xiaomi is currently shipping Mi Router 4A Gigabit Edition devices without proper shielding since 2020. Be aware that those might cause problems due to radio interference. Nevertheless, it's flashable.

We want shielding in a thing that goes at 5 GHz. Is that wrong?

Warning 10/2022 Xiaomi is currently shipping v2 of the 4A Gigabit Edition, it's identifiable by fw version 2.30.20, and the name when assigned an IP from a DHCP (not your ISPs) via the WAN port, MiWiFi-R4AV2. This model cannot be flashed with Openwrt.

Well, not much more to say. Xiaomi mir 4a drops out. Cudy1200 is on amazon, just in our range. Archer C6, we could probably get it in bulk out of amazon, for perhaps 40-45. Seems to be selling like hot bread. It's sold out at this moment.

Support for v2 of the 4A Gigabit Edition was added a few days ago in snapshot, so it should roll forward into the next stable release. Which is not to say the tempting low price per unit of this option does not come with some risks......

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On my Mi 4A Gigabit I have had zero issues with 7612en. It still runs but it is not the main one in the household. I have observed somewhat lower WiFi signal however nothing to write home about. I think one limitation is that this is pre wave 2 chip so expectations should be aligned. With 7612en only, it takes about 4.0 W per hour if it is doing nat and serving as AP.

The only "issue" i have discovered relates to turning off WiFi on 7612en during the night: i configured cron to stop wifi during the night for several hours and start it early in the morning. It worked for 3 days but then it failed to come back online so i had to disable that task.

It is good bang for money and it is available at AliExpress for ~30€, possibly with free shipping and 0 import customs (should be checked of course).


Did you get what you required?

Update to my experience with WAC104 (2 routers) and WAC124 (one), it is now working like a charm.
I have firts updated all packages, especially wpad-wolfssl, but also many luci modules, libs...
Sine then it works like a charm, 2 weeks withaout any crash...
Another possibility is that some guest left the house, and maybe their phone/computer had a bad Wifi protocol stack... I don't know if it exists...
today, I'm happy with those routers.
I've upgraded to latest firmware version, and upgraded few remaining packages... it's working perfectly...