RPi 4 + wifi adapters or router ~ 100$

Hey All,

I’m looking for a router that can perform gigabit, with budget of 100$. USB port would be nice, would appreciate support for years too + good wifi(5 and 2.4ghz)

Or..
Would it be viable to use a RPi 4 + wifi adapters to get a better router? That’d also come out to around 100$

Thanks,
Mark

Your requirements (routing + NAT at 1 GBit/s WAN speed) and budget make this kind of difficult. Yes, the figures provided by @dlakelan and others suggest the RPi4 to cope with that kind of routing throughput, but its wireless capabilities are non-existent (don't count its SDIO based WLAN module. It can only handle a single channel - and at draft-n (read slow) wireless speeds/ low range (due to the inadequate antenna)), so you will have to include a decent 50-80 USD AP (router in AP configuration) into your calculation (ipq40xx comes to mind, maybe mt7621 or ar71xx if you're willing to makes sacrifices for lower device prices).

You might still end up with a RPi4 to deal with your requirements, but in order to service your WLAN clients, you will have to extend your budget for the cost of APs as well (which gets you closer to 150 USD). In theory, mvebu devices like the Linksys WRT3200ACM/ WRT32x would fit this niche pretty well (it's supposed to handle routing at 1 GBit/s linespeed), but sadly its wireless driver development has been discontinued (due to Marvell selling their wireless division to NXP), despite it still being pretty buggy and uncooperative with common IoT/ smarthome devices and without functional WPA3 support.

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The thing I've been looking at is to shift the WiFi component to EAP 225 devices from TP-Link. As long as you're willing to run stock firmware on an AP, that seems reasonable and somewhat cheaper than Ubiquiti gear. The other option might be to use Gl-inet devices as APs if you really want OpenWrt on your wifi APs.

But by all means the RPi4 as the router component is excellent.

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I think, considering that the APs are supposed to be just APs, the PI should be able to handle all required services, there is little point of insisting on having OpenWrt on the AP, particularly considering the fact that it often comes with some sacrifice in WLAN speed due to drivers availability (and then there is the thing with limiti g your options to supported devices to begin with). So I think it makes sense to just get any device with decent wireless speed.