Seeking guidance on Multi-WAN hardware and firmware selection

I'm searching for OpenWrt compatible hardware that will meet the following specs:

  • Multi-WAN load balance (including ability to dynamically adjust for dropped WAN port(s))
  • OPTIONAL: Multi-WAN aggregation (combine bandwidth from multiple WAN port(s))
  • minimum of 2 WAN gigabit ports (3 WAN ports preferred)
  • minimum of 4 LAN gigabit ports (6 LAN ports preferred)
  • 2.5GHz and 5GHz wireless
  • router preferred over switch or computer
  • under $200 (used)

To meet these goals, I'm currently using three routers and three OS's. I'd like to combine them all into just one router and one OS.

Two routers that ALMOST meet my goals:

  1. The "Asus RT-AC88U" router meets all of my hardware and price goals;
    but OpenWrt doesn't support its Broadcom chipset.
  2. The "Ubiquiti EdgeRouter ERPro-8" router is OpenWrt compatible; but it lacks WiFi,
    and costs significantly more than I'm willing to pay.

I also looked into alternative firmware to OpenWrt:
dd-wrt supports the "Asus RT-AC88U" hardware; but dd-wrt's implementation of "Multi-WAN" is not integrated into the firmware (instead: manual patches).

The OpenWrt implementation of "Multi-WAN" is integrated into a 2nd generation package (mwan3) that looks more mature than dd-wrt's approaches. Hence, I'd prefer to use OpenWrt over dd-wrt.
2nd generation:
1st generation:

I'd appreciate any pointers to OpenWrt compatible hardware that meets my goals,
or guidance on alternatives.

Thank you.

I'd buy something like this , and use the Asus as an AP.

unfortunately no such openwrt capable commercially available hardware exists especially under 200$
you need to combine a wired only router for multi-wan needs (use ERPro-8 if you like it) and 1 or multiple AP (like 1 or all your current 3 devices if the're capable) for your wifi needs

I was looking at these yesterday...


but once you add more stuff for WiFi and ram and storage and who knows what else you'll have blown your budget, and still no decent wifi, buy you get 6x2.5Gbps ports - amazing overkill performance wise.

Soooo, how much simultaneous throughput do you need across all of these ports.

e.g. I have some Mikrotik hAP ac at home, they gave a 5 port switch and an SFP port which can be turned into a 6th port integrated.

e.g.g. You could also maybe get a $20 potato wifi router that can run mwan3 and a cheap vlan capable 8 port switch.

Separating WiFi is good advice in general, you'll probably want your WiFi somewhere where you can get good range and throughput, and your router close to your modem(s).

I know we're on openwrt forum :slight_smile: but it might be worth adding there's a great 3rd party alternative for Asus rt-ac88u ofw supporting dual-wan

Hello maurer,
I don't need a low of throughput. I'm more concerned with reliability and flexibility.
I hadn't considered Raspberry Pi's and the like.
Thank you for the pointer and the idea.
Thank you for your response.

Hello risk,
Thank you for the pointers to the ODROID cards. That's a path I had not considered.
I don't require a lot of throughput. But I do require reliability and consistency.
Also, I appreciate your advice about separating the WiFi from the rest of the network.
I'll consider that.
Thank you for your response.

Hello again, maurer;
I was trying to avoid commercial firmware. But you have a point that the "Asus RT-AC88YU" combined with Merlin may be the best fit for my case. I'll research it more.

Thank you everyone. This is more help than I expected. Much appreciated.

There is almost nothing on the market combining more than 5 ports and good built-in wifi into a single box. You are looking at a multiple-box solution for the proposed network. Which is possible in the $200 budget if you don't need a lot of speed. For example the OpenWrt compatible Realtek-based switches with single core MIPS.

Hello mk24,
Thank you for the information. I've located some MIPS based alternatives for further study.
Again. Thanks.

I was thinking maybe Belkin RT3200 ; (because it's based off of MT7622/MT7915 ).. and it's about 100gbp/115eur ... or it's Linksys branded clone E8450 if you're in the US.

It's kind of the same as a Ubiquiti U6-LR which I'm using at home and they're solid wifi access points.

Basically decent wifi, decent CPU and cheap.

Then, use the leftover budget (or rather $10-$15 as needed) to just get an extra USB ethernet nic for a second wan, maybe one more for a third WAN.. depends on what you need.

... but then I saw that the USB port, is a single USB 2.0 only port. Not sure why they'd do that, but it is what it is.

There's a very poor selection of devices with more than 5 ethernet ports in general.

With all those ports, do you by any chance have a home server of some kind?

I'm thinking, get a switch, get separate wifi access points, run a router in a VM.

Hello risk;

I do a lot of experimenting, and when I have several simultaneous projects; I usually run out of ports :slight_frown: .

Thank you for your suggestions. I'll look into them.