I've been looking for a decent router that can output at least 1GB wired and actually process all WireGuard stuff to spit out at least 800mpbs (that's how it works using it on my computer).
I've seen discussions about purchasing x86 routers, IPQ-4019-based devices, Raspberry Pi 4B, and even Banana Pi (which sound interesting). Because there are so many options, everything is very muddled.
I currently use an Archer A7 as my primary router and for Wi-Fi, and an 8-port switch for wired connections. I was considering purchasing a device capable of processing WireGuard while using my A7 as an AP in the meantime.
Since I'm a newbie, I'm not sure if this is a good idea, but I'm willing to take some chances, so any router recommendations—user-friendly or not—are welcome. I just need to know where to go from here.
I was thinking about using a BPI-R3 (a bit overkill, but it does the job and I can keep it for some time before needing to change), as the main router and then use A7 as AP and any other if necessary, what y'all think?
Banana Pi makes good stuff. I have a BPI-R64 upstairs as my house's main router. Downstairs in my office is a BPI-R2 providing a WDS bridge, DLNA, Samba, and other services. As I write this, the R2 is performing a four-core parallel build of OpenWrt while at the same time serving up an NBD partition over gigabit LAN to the Linux VM on my laptop which is itself doing a six-core parallel build of the complete OpenWrt package set. My R3 is still on my test bench as I've had no need yet to put it into production.
I would recommend the BPI-R2 or BPI-R64 as slightly cheaper alternatives if you don't need the R3's power, but they are a little more homebrew. By the time you got a WiFi 6 card in them, you might as well get an R3.
The upshot of that is, yes, I highly recommend Banana Pi. All their offerings have had a lot of future-proof built in. You can't go wrong with the R3.
That's exactly what I wanted, so thank you. I'm going to try the R3; it seems to have a good CPU, so I assume it can handle 1GB with OpenWRT + WireGuard without any issues, right?
Additionally, I was considering buying some antennas to test out Wi-Fi while I'm going in to buy it.
Have you ever used the R3's Wi-Fi connection to perform any benchmarks? Can you rely on the Wi-Fi 6? Furthermore, do you know the Wi-Fi range when all antennas are connected? Despite researching, I was unable to find much information about it; perhaps I wasn't looking in the right places.
I'm considering using R3 as my main router and a few APs because my home network isn't particularly complicated, but since my house isn't very big, it would be nice to test out Wi-Fi 6 speeds (if it's reliable at close range, at least).
Oh yes. 1GiB is no trouble. It can source/sink better than 2GiB, and routing is easier than sourcing/sinking data.
No. Benchmarking Wi-Fi is tough. I used to, but with 4T4R/beamforming/etc it's frightfully complex to try and get any sort of lab conditions. It's best to just use it a lot and get a feel.
As I said, I dont use my R3 in production yet (because I haven't had a need to yet). But both of my R64s and my R2 have the AsiaRF AW7915-NP1 card. This card uses the same AFE as the BPI-R3. I have a lot of experience with those. So far my BPI-R3 seems to be behaving much the same.
I have a medium-sized two story house. My router/ap (BPI-R64) has to be located upstairs at the far corner of the house. I have four standard dipole antennae on it. With careful antenna "aiming" I got good coverage throughout my entire house at 5GHz. I do not use any other APs, though I do use one WDS client bridge. My office is downstairs at the opposite corner, with the floor and two walls between. I have my BPI-R2 located there as the WDS client connecting to the R64. This link is routinely 36dB over noise floor or better with 900+ MiB bit rates. My R3 is also in this office, and so far I've tested/used it as another WDS client bridge and it gets the same Wi-Fi signal level and performance.
Keep in mind I can in no way promise similar performance for you. I can say, though, that MediaTek's 7975 AFEs (shared by all my devices) have so far been very low noise, which makes them pick up weaker signals better.
Right now, as far as I know, only by using an mPCIE -> m.2 adapter. With an adapter, you can use AsiaRF's WiFi 6e card on the R3. I have one of those cards for testing, but don't use 6GHz yet, and I'm not a fan od DBDC. I'm waiting for a good 4T4R non-DBDC 6e card.
I don't know of any WiFi 6e m.2 cards yet. AsiaRF's has told me they are coming out with one, but I don't know the timeline.
BananaPi hardware in general isn't regarded as all that great, while hardware specs might be impressive there are issues in pretty much every other aspect in some way or another but the choice is yours. I would advice you in general to get hardware that's in general well supported including mainline U-boot and Linux if possible as it'll save you a lot of headaches and give you better options in the long run. The BananaPi products in general checks non of these requirements but that's up to you. In that regard you're better off with lets say a RockPro64 and pop in a NIC of choice to get more than one ethernet port, while it is older hardware it has much better support overall and it's also faster. Unless you're deadset on ARM there are also cheap x86 hardware which seems decent (if you can ignore the fact that you'll likely get no BIOS updates etc) such as https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005005262112869.html however to my knowledge there's not known what types of NIC it uses (like Intel or Realtek).
This is good enough for me, if I keep in this direction I'm going probably going to buy the antennas for the Wi-Fi, I was looking forward for it to at least cover my room, but from what you said it can do better than that, thanks.
I've seen that BPI-R3 doesn't support the current version of OpenWRT, only snapshot so I'm guessing that could lead into some unexpected events in the long run.
The RockPro64 sounds interesting too, for almost the same price it's faster and it does support OpenWRT LTS which could be good.
And about the MiniPC that you linked, I don't even know how this one would work, I don't really know where to check for OpenWRT support for this, and if it's indeed a MiniPC I would have no idea on how to set up it to be a router, maybe I just got it wrong.
I'm going to do my own research based on these suggestions, thanks for the help.
Last year, I bought a MinisForum TH50 in the hope to play Forza Horizon 5 but it didn't cut it. Then I bought a UM690 that can do it in high settings (in 1920 x 1080 at 60 fps).
In the meantime, a few weeks ago,I replaced my old copper based VDSL line with fibre optics 2 Gbps / 1 Gbps.
The TH50 does a really good OpenWRT router with WireGuard and SQM Cake. I just had to flash OpenWRT on a USB drive using Rufus. The TH50 may be overkill but I didn't know what to do with it. The good thing is that it has two 2.5 Gbps Ethernet ports that were immediately detected. It uses a little less than 10 W at idle and 25 W while downloading or uploading over 850 mbps. It gives me an A+ bufferbloat result (without the VPN) at about 900 Mbps.
As a client of the vpn.ac provider, I have been able to download at about 850 Mbps from youtube using a not too distant server in the next country. The CPU frequency jumps at 4 GHz while the load remains very low. Why should I buy another router now ?
That sounds interesting, so with MiniPCs you can just flash a drive and install like an OS? I didn't think it would be like that, lol.
TH50 is unfortunately not an option, way too expensive for me to use as a router (2k in my country), but I'll definitely look into this, thanks.
I've seen your replies in a topic talking about BPI R3 vs RPi4, and someone mentioned the AX6000, before it sounded like both it and R3 didn't have support for Wi-Fi 6.
Now with both of them having it and the only differences being the RAM and Wi-Fi range (which doesn't really matter for me), would still choose BPI R3? (I'm pretty sure you are picking it, just want to check)
To be fair, I don't even think this is a valid question since even installation is simpler with the BPI and both of them are essentially the same price with the AX6000's only benefit being the Wi-Fi range.
Just making sure it's clear, in that thread what was being spoken of was the Redmi AX6000.
The only difference isn't RAM (I don't know about Wi-Fi range, more in a sec).
The R3 has 8GB of eMMC on board plus a microSD card slot (in addition to NAND and NOR flash but those are really just for devs), whereas the AX6000 only has 128MB of flash. You will have to use an extroot of some sort with that little storage.
The R3 is also expandable with a PCIe m.2 slot which the AX6000 doesn't have. Plus the R3 has the two 2.5Gbit SFP slots.
I haven't seen a reliable comparison of wi-fi range between the R3 and the Redmi AX6000 and I don't own an Ax6000, so I can't really speak toward the range. The only I can say is that it looks like the AX6000 uses 2.4 + 5GHz signal mixers for each antenna which drops the signal by a dB or two compared to using discreet antennae for 2.4 and 5GHz.
I'm not slagging the AX6000, it's a fair router and I do love the MediaTek chipset in it. If ALL you want is a router, it's a good device. My point then and now is just that at a third more than the AX6000, the R3 is a far better value for money, especially if you want to now (or ever) do more than just routing.
Yeah, 100% agree with you, just wanted to know your opinion on the subject.
Researching I found that AX6000 claims at least 100m² of coverage but who knows. Anyway R3 is looking good and it's what I'm probably going to get. Thank you again
That is a general consensus, the fact that you have zero support in mainline apart from the SoC they use in some cases kinda tells you a story which is common for Banana Pi products. It's not really a sustainable solution unless you don't mind getting stuck with hardware that doesn't have any support (ie not working properly).
It's been explained numerous times why RPi4 is a rather bad choice, it "works" but it's also like telling someone building to lets say a gaming rig to go for a CPU which doesn't support AVX instructions...
In most cases x86 just works, there are occational hiccups but to keep in mind that OpenWrt targets baseline x86 (AMD64) more or less so you're missing out of new enhanced functionality/instructions however given how well x86 is supported overall (especially if it comes with Intel NICs) you'll lots of other options too when it comes to distros.