Router for Cake and WAP

I think it's time to maybe embrace openwrt. I've tried alot of routers over the past month and each one seems to have issues somewhere.

Budget is around £200 but I can stretch to £250 if it will be really great (including wireless access point cost).

Things I want:

1: Be easily bought in the UK.
2: Atleast 2 ethernet ports. One for wan from modem and other to hard wire a device in/switch. Speed doesn't matter as long as standard 1Gbps. I have no need for 2.5Gbps or whatever.
3: Ability to traffic shape with Cake around 500Mbps. This will likely be the fastest Fibre connection I'll ever have.
4: Be relatively easy to flash to openwrt. i.e. something like how you would install merlin firmware on an asus router. I can deal with some ssh commands I guess or whatever but no physical alteration of the device.

Now I have stated wap because although pretty new to this I find it very unlikely I can find an all in one openwrt device that has wireless range of something like a RT-AX86U.

As for the wap:

1: Have as good if not better range than a RT-AX86U. I state this device because it's one I know has good enough range.
2: I kind of just want to be able to have the wap sat next to the floor beside the router. Can't really ceiling mount or anything like that. I state this because this seems to rule out Ubiquiti access points.


To be sure you can shape at 500mbps go with x86-64, such as a firewall device or a mini pc with 2nics.

6th or 7th gen i5 will be plenty.

Also have a look at Tips for getting cheap used x86-based firewall with full Gbit NAT (a PC Engines APU) if you are in the US, especially in the UK the Sophos SG/ XG series can sometimes be found rather cheap (as well as Nuage Networks, Trustwave, etc.); skip the AMD Jaguar based offers (pcengines, cyberoam).

Just for reference, in synthetic benchmarking I found the Atom based Pentium J1900 to be capable of SQM/ cake up to ~830 MBit/s - it does work very nicely on my 400/200 MBit/s ftth contract (especially keeping it purchasing price in mind). If you want to max out the full 1 GBit/s wirespeed, there are further options available in more modern Atom- and Core- (i3/ i5) generations (e.g. I found the ivy.bridge based c1037u to be capable of sqm/cake at 1 GBit/s wirespeed easily, without even waking up - but newer generations (haswell+) tend to be a lot more power efficient), as jdwl1o1 already mentioned.

Take your time to decide, there are plenty of new- and cheap used options around.

For the wireless side, ipq807x (e.g., mt7622bv+mt7915 (e.g. or the various mt7621a+mt7905 options come to mind.

I looked at the DL-WRX36.

It seems so... how do I put it. Too good to be true. It's currently £77.99

It's also stating some ridiculous numbers like 4,800 sq ft coverage... even 3 pack mesh systems state around 5,500.

Call me stupid (I know I am) but like is there anything wrong with me just buying this itself and running cake? The more I think about it Cake at 500 is probably a stupid requirement to mention. I realise that unless I get a good deal from my ISP I'll likely only ever be on 150 for the foreseeable future.


Give it a try…
I would not expect it to handle 500 MBit/s sqm/cake though.

Coverage figures are always inflated, another thing you can only test.

Don't put an AP on the floor. Consider that all the furniture, appliances, and people are near the floor. Ceiling type APs work OK placed upside down on a desk or bookshelf. If the signal has to go through more than 2 walls you really need multiple APs in a space. APs should be placed inside or at least adjacent to rooms with the heaviest wifi use.

  • An AP in the basement under the floor though can cover one room really well, and it's invisible.

FYI: I have N3050 Atom (two cores, 6W TDP) and it is able to shape 500Mbit...barely. (SQM with layer cake).

This uses airmont cores from ~2014/15. The successor core (goldmont) increased performance by 50% and ended up in the same class as arm a72 (which is known to be capable of cake @1Gbps) so airmont/N3050 reaching ~500 Mbps is "as expected". I would guess that careful configuration might push you a bit above 500 Mbps, but not all that much... especially for small packets I smell problems...