Solving bufferbloat with SQM and advice on installing OpenWrt on a 4/32 device

Hi! Im trying to solve bufferbloating on my home network. I have been having latency issues for the past 6 months and after countless calls with the ISP and a lot of research and testing i discovered my latency issues are caused by bufferbloat. The router provided by my ISP (Zyxel VMG1312-B30B) is not a supported device for openwrt but i have a router which supports older versions of openwrt (4/32 device) TP-Link TL-WR841N ver: 11.1

Even though it lacks in hardware id still like to use it only for sqm (My internet only has 10Mb download 1Mb upload so hopefully the hardware should suffice).

My internet is A-DSL which means i would have to use the router provided by the ISP (Zyxel VMG1312-B30B) as a modem and the TP-Link TL-WR841N as a router. My idea is to have all traffic go through TP-Link router with SQM and then from TP-Link to the zyxel router.

My questions are:

How would i go about installing openwrt on the TP-Link TL-WR841N ver: 11.1?

Would the hardware be sufficient for using SQM on 10Mb/1Mb connection?

How would i make the traffic go through the TP-Link into the Zyxel? Should i use bridging?

Im new to networking and openwrt, any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Probably, if you get enough software installed on that device... it will be tricky to get recent OpenWrt installed on that in the first place.

That would be best, as it might help avoid double NAT, but is not a strict requirement.

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I found this

Would you recommend using this build? it seems to work with my router. Obviously its outdated but i cant instal newer versions of openwrt anyways on a 4/32 device.

Mmmh, I have no first hand experience with 4/32 devices, but I would always try getting my hands on something a bit better that would allow to at least use up to date OpenWrt to avoid putting a router into service with known security issues. Now, another router might not be an option for what ever reasons, so personally I would probably try, but I would make sure to treat the internal network then as hostile territory, and keep each devices firewall up to date and enabled...


@LigmaSack can you try my 17.01 backports builds ? [Testing] lede-17.01 security backports for 4/32 devices - there should be room to install sqm if you remove thingsl ike ipv6

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I realize that this is not really addressing your request (installing OpenWrt on a 4/32 device), but I second @moeller0's gentle suggestion, and strongly recommend you think about a newer router.

For example, a used TP-Link Archer C7 goes for $25-40 on eBay. You'll get a very capable router (16/128Mbytes) that will easily handle new releases of OpenWrt for the next couple years. Not that long ago, Wirecutter called the Archer C7 the best router for most people. It will certainly be better than a 4/32 device. I plan to continue with my Archer C7 when my fiber optic upgrade is installed later this month.

I am very aware of the plague of e-waste that comes of discarding used electronics, but trying to revive such an old device ignores these costs:

  • the risks involved in running old (17.xx) OpenWrt
  • the time you expend getting it going
  • the time that forum members spend responding to your questions
  • the hassles debugging any future issues that might be caused by the hardware

Good luck. Please let us know what you decide.