Router with full OpenWrt support


I've been reading some of the posts on this forum and I am struggling to find good recommendations for a device that has decent performance and full OpenWrt support. There always seems to be issues with either WIFI drivers or proprietary features that OpenWrt cannot support, beam-forming, MU-MIMO etc due to the closed-source nature of their implementation.

From what I've read thus far, it seems that the Netgear R7800 and Linksys WRT32X are fairly decent but installing OpenWrt over the base firmware does not provide the same performance as the native one!

Is there a device out there that OpenWrt can take full advantage of?


"Full OpenWrt support" is pretty nebulous. OEMs, with access to proprietary data sheets, firmware, build chains, and other information generally can do things that open-source projects can't, as an open-source project usually can't legally use that information.

A great "short list" in

With extensive other opinions in


I'll add some "unconventional wisdom":

adding a wifi extender or access point to an existing router is going to increase the range well beyond what a single device can do even with the latest buzzwords, and usually at a cheaper price.

Also, afaik the devices with Atheros/Qualcomm hardware are the ones that run as close to proprietary as possible.

Marvell wifi are only recently getting better and will be interesting only from next stable release imho.


WLAN is still an issue unless you go for Atheros 11n, otherwise Marvell wins hands down compared to QCA (IPQ) as far as platform stability and support goes (ARM). 11ac is a mixed bag irregardless what you choose.


In terms of openness there aren't really any substantial differences between mwlwifi or ath10k, both do pretty much the complete connection handling in firmware (almost fullmac); mt76 would be much closer to a real softmac driver that has access to all the relevant connection parameters.

In terms of stability/ reliability, newer seems to mean 'better' as well, QCA9984 (as in ipq8065) or ipq40xx seem to be more reliable than QCA9880 (archer c7). If ath10k or mwlwifi are better is hard to judge, without doing a double blind test - and depends a lot on the connecting clients and the general wireless environment. Both should do the job, but ath10k (at least the newer chipsets) might be a little ahead in terms of interoperability - the difference shouldn't be that large though.