Replacement for a wndr3700: Wi-Fi and VLANs

Hi,
I'm a long-time user of OpenWrt looking for a replacement for one of my aging devices.

Current situation:

  • Netgear wndr3700 v1
  • receives various VLANs over a VLAN trunk from another device which also manages the 1Gpbs FTTH Internet connection
  • exposes three VLANs over its Ethernet ports
  • exposes three or four VLANs over Wi-Fi SSIDs

Requirements:

  • about 30ish IoT devices connected to one 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network; they do very little traffic.
  • about 3 or 4 mobile devices connected to another 2.5 / 5 GHz Wi-Fi network, which are expected to do some heavy spot traffic (I do not expect anything spectacular: one 4K video stream on a single device at a time and maybe one or two low-res streams on other devices)
  • one or two low-res video streams from the surveillance cameras will constantly pass through one of the Ethernet VLANs
  • no need for USB devices / storage
  • no VPN or other services
  • I do not feel the need for Wi-Fi 6
  • edit: about 80 m2 to be covered with at most an internal wall, so no big deal
  • price range: if possible below 200 euros, but I may consider more expensive options
  • availability: Italy
  • I have experience with both hardware and software, but if it's not needed to solder a JTAG connector just to install the software I'll be more happy :slight_smile:

Is a Linksys E8450 / Belkin RT3200 a decent option for my needs?

Other alternatives that can support tens of mostly idle devices plus 2 or 3 more demanding devices (on both Wi-Fi and Ethernet)?

Are there other stuff that I need to consider?

Thanks in advance!

Assuming you get all the coverage you need from the current router I'd build an x86 system with a nice smart switch for VLANs and use your router as a dumb AP.

The chances you will outgrow it and need to upgrade again are practically zero.

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Hi lookout for a r7800 on ebay. I picked one up for £20. At that price it was a no brainer! I have since upgraded to running a x86 box for my router and use the r7800 as my AP but I think it could work for you. I upgraded because I run adblock with masave block lists.
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thanks, that's surely an option. To tell the truth, the other device is just a fanless x86 with Ubuntu Server directly connected to the FTTH ONT. It manages the VLANs and other stuff; unfortunately it's not in the ideal position to provide WiFi coverage, so I need that VLAN trunk and an access point in another room.

What's stopping me to create a custom x86 device are two main factors:

  • in case the hardware breaks, I have to find a suitable replacement and I guess it's easier/cheaper with a consumer access point
  • years ago I tested various WiFi adapters to create access points, and I wasn't too happy due to various restrictions (had to use 2 adapters to support 2.5 and 5 GHz, the number of supported SSID was limited and so on). Maybe that was just bad luck.

In any case, I'll think again about this solution!

Nope, they still suck. Which is why you keep your router and make it a dumb AP.

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Well if it were at least 802.11ac, I might agree (although 802.11ax doubles the speed of 802.11ac - and multiplies it by a factor of 7-8 compared to 802.11n), but the wndr3700 is a 802.11n device, which warrants a upgrade for the wireless capabilities alone...

x86_64 (n100) + filogic 820/ 830 would be my choice for 1 GBit/s wan speed, maybe mt7621a+mt7915DBDC if multiple wired APs are desired. filogic 830 should also double down as fallback router, in case of hardware failure (an emergency replacement doesn't need to be 100% equivalent).

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Yeah, I should have looked at the specs.

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With AX being affordable and QCA sh*tcanning FOSS, recommending ath10k devices is the last thing I'd do.

Ath11k is even harder to recommend, with all the shenanigans they keep pulling.

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E8450 is good, others like Asus RT-AX53U (or it might name as RT-AX1800U in some countries), Zyxel Multy M1, or Mercusys MR90X are great

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I onley posted about the r7800 if you can pick one up for cheep. It would still be a big step up from the OPs old router. Can you tell us more about what you are on about with ath11k?
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thanks, those are excellent options, even easier to buy then the E8450.

I would recommend those routers, which one of the most dedicated RT3200 developers recommended somewhere in the forum these days : Cudy WR3000 or GL.iNet GL-MT3000.

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MT3000 is good only when range is not an issue (with it's small antenna, probably not working well for large home).
Cudy WR3000 is good if not planning to use a lot of packages, a basic router with a few packages (I helped friend to buy one, can still install Wireguard/OpenVPN together with collectd)

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Filogic hardware is rather easy to come by nowadays, and you're not left with a memory hungry wireless driver that isn't getting any love anymore from Qualcomm. At least with MediaTek, devs have access to the code and can actually fix things themselves.

Vote with your wallet.

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Not much of a choise in the realm of OpenWRT, year of our lord 2024.
It's either ipq807x or filogic based WiFi devices.

And filogic platform is certainly better, both WiFi and routing performance wise.

Thats my personal experience, i've got multiple ath79, ipq40xx, ipq806x, ipq807x and filogic devices running latest OpenWRT.

Look at the list, choose according to your needs:
https://downloads.openwrt.org/snapshots/targets/mediatek/filogic/

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Howdy @mad77

Just getting rid of my own WNDR3700/3800/4200s, myself.

@notgood Is there any specific data you have for backing filogic? I'll admit I've been sitting on the sidelines for quite awhile since moving into metered internetville, and going from EasyTether to USB tether, and still trying to figure a way around double NAT issues, but these devices are starting to show their age.

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Mediatek/filogic has:

  • good ethernet/switch drivers, unlike ipq807x.
  • hardware NAT offload in official builds, unlike ipq807x.
  • wifi-ethernet hardware offload in official builds. Your router/AP can push gigabit over WiFi+Ethernet+NAT while staying close to zero CPU utilization.
  • mt76 wifi drivers uses modest amount of RAM, unlike ath11k, and is more stable in general. Better rate vs distance retention, at least for my filogic and ipq807x devices.
  • no problems with self managed wifi regulatory. Qualcomm (and Intel) deserve a special place in hell for this crap.
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The names of any routers we should take a look at?

Depending on your location

Why is that :thinking: ?