Sub 200€ router with mature support and good throughput on 1Gbps connection

Hey there,
I have been away from OpenWrt for a couple of year and now I am looking to get on the train again.

I am looking for a dual band router with very good 2.4 AND 5 GHz capabilities.
I would like a device that has mature OpenWRT support, so that everything pretty much runs out of the box. I don't mind tinkering with it later for optimisation, but I would really appreciate if installation to a state where I could productively use it would be in the 1h range :wink:
I would prefer a router with at least 3 or 4 external antennas, because I would like to replace one or two them with directional antennas to reach a single, far out stationary client.
My connection is 1000down/100up, so I need pretty solid throughput of a least 900 mbps through LAN and would appreciate if hardware offloading worked out of the box and of course solid hardware crypto VPN speeds would be great too.

I dont care for bleeding edge devices, I wouldn't mind WiFi6 but I would not miss it either. I would prefer mature support on a 3 or 4 year old device to a bleeding edge device with lots of quirks.

So in short, I want it all. What would be the device of choice in the ~ 200€ segment?
Are Qualcomm Atheros WiFi chipsets still the best supported devices or are there other options on the table nowadays?

I read some good stuff about the Netgear R7800 here, I can get those on the second hand market for 100€ over here, is that a solid option or are there better devices for a little more money?

R7800 is not good enough for your use case. You can get 750-800 Mbit/s out of it, using tricks like irqbalance and flow offloading. Anything more requires the use of custom builds with support for the "NSS" engine. It is conceptually similar to hardware flow offloading, but uses a different interface.

So - sorry to say that, but the device that you want doesn't exist. Linksys mvebu-based devices can route gigabit easily, but have a bad and unfixable WiFi driver (known incompatibilities with ESP8266 based devices, strange way of setting the country code, and no WPA3). R7800 is a bit too slow. ESPRESSObin v7 (or maybe ESPRESSObin Ultra) has a fast CPU but only 2 external antennas.

My recommendation would be an x86_64 box, with a recent MediaTek adapter added (if you are OK with a single 5 GHz band, or can install a separate 2.4 GHz adapter). This Mediatek card looks good on paper, but I have not tested it personally: . Do not buy Intel WiFi cards, they cannot function as access points in the 5 GHz band.

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Except for the price, the turris omnia seems like a decent match, but switching from its OpenWrt derived turrisOS to pure OpenWrt is not completely straight forward.

That said, personally I will probably switch to a wire-only primary router next time in combination with one or more APs....


R7800 is solid but the 900 Mbps will only work with somewhat experimental NSS support. Have a look here:

Another vote for that here as well. If you have a 200 € budget you can easily combine a decent AP with a beefy router that can route gigabit (the latter without wireless).


Third vote for splitting router and AP. Not only is it more cost effective and performant but it let's you place the APs to achieve better radio environment. For example instead of hacking an external antenna into an all in one, add a directional CPE device already designed to light up a distant area.


But what exactly would that "beefy router" be?

An x86 based box would do gigabit easily. An rPi4 or NanoPi R4S should also be sufficient.

GL-Inet has the router called Burma or some such, it's mvebu platform if I'm not mistaken, but without mwlwifi mess.

That is a 1 GHz dual a53 router. Not sure whether it will actually perform well at 1 Gbps. At least SQM is unlikely to reach that speed. Otherwise this looks like nice platform.

So outside of an x86 platform for wired-only, which one you'd recommend between Brume, rPi4 or NanoPi R4S for raw CPU (as in openssl) performance?

Since I have no first hand experience with either, I do not know. Just looking at the pure CPU performance without accelerators, the >= 1.5 GHz quad core A72 in the RP4B seems like having the most "oomp", but it is also the most incomplete as a router, since it only has a single ethernet port and hence will require at least an additional USB ethernet dongle.

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In all honesty RPi4 is a very poor choice since he's specifically asking about OpenSSL performance and the RPi4 lacks hardware crypto to begin with. USB also is less than ideal for reliability and performance. You might want to consider using a computing module and an IO board but in that case a board using Rockchip RK3399 is a much more suitable and cost effective solution.


Good point, but I had read "as in openssl" not necessarily as the main application, which in retrospect is probably the wrong reading...

That is often brought up, yet quite a number of users seems to be sufficiently happy with the RPi4B+USB3-Ethernet dongle solution even for Gbps-links, but certainly the quality of USB3 ethernet dongles is a hit and miss thing. I note that the "NanoPi R4S" also has the second ethernet adapter connected via USB, albeit internally. (EDIT correction, as @mpa wrote, this is wrong, the nR4S does not suffer from USB ethernet ;)) About the Rockchip RK3399, I can offer no opinion since I never used one.

Sure that will give on e PCIe 2.0 1x slot, so will allow for a "real" ethernet NIC, but at a considerable price increase.

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The NanoPi R4S has one Native Gigabit Ethernet, and one PCIe Gigabit Ethernet interface:


The biggest problem about the very attractive nanopi r4s mostly is that no one really knows what it can do so far. It's just to new to tell, and while the underlying core speed is one (promising) metric, the network interconnect is a different one (PCIe or SOC native doesn't really imply up to which throughput it can keep up), nor if the manufacturer messed up in regards to cooling, CPU scaling or board design. On paper this device looks very nice, but I've only seen a very sparse suggestion that it apparently can route 1 GBit/s today (no hints what that entails though, no rough CPU usage, no indication if PPPoE was in use and no words about SQM or VPN), much more feedback will be needed before it can be compared with the RPi4.


Thanks, so I mixed up things here... it also has 2 A72 cores at up to 2GHz, so on paper should be similar to an RPi4B. With the caveat the @slh mentions, not much real-life data available how it performs.

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Can't say much about Linux and Nanopi (the majority of boards aren't upstreamed to mainline u-boot and that's a go no for me and the crab NIC doesn't help) but RockPro64 and Intel NIC(s) performs very well on FreeBSD 13 :slight_smile: I can probably get you some numbers if interested which should give you an idea.

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You mean Brume?!

Mine arrived. It works with wired. WiFi is bad though. Drops or does not connect. You need an external AP. Not sure if it’s a general problem or I am missing something.

Also uses OpenWRT from at least a year ago.

I thought Brume only had 2,4 GHz on board. One sure would/should not buy it for the wireless.

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