Top ten routers currently in use?


#21

Thank you, everybody for all the recommendations!

After going through them, it was looking like if I wanted an OpenWRT device for ≤$50 US, I'd be buying either an Archer C7 or a GL-AR300M. Amazon sells refurbished C7s for $50 and new GL-AR300Ms for $40, both with free shipping. The average price of used C7s (including shipping) on eBay was $35 in the last few days.

			| Price	| Flash size	| RAM	| WiFi	| Bands
Archer C7v2 refurbished	| $50	|  16MB		| 128MB	| AC	| 2.4 & 5
Archer C7v2 eBay	| $35	|  16MB		| 128MB	| AC	| 2.4 & 5
GL-AR300M		| $40	| 128MB + 16MB	| 128MB	| N	| 2.4
GL-AR300M-Lite		| $18	|  16MB		| 128MB	| N	| 2.4
GL-AR750		| $45	|  16MB		| 128MB	| AC	| 2.4 & 5

I very much liked the GL-AR300M as it comes with OpenWRT by default. In fact, its page on Amazon is basically a panegyric to OpenWRT, touting its beautiful strengths and universe of features. Its clear this router was designed for people like me. It comes with dual flash areas (128MB NAND, 16MB NOR), but you can get it for half the price if you opt for the "lite" model with only 16MB flash.

However, I don't need a pocket sized router and rewiring the installation site to provide 5VDC power over a MicroUSB cable would be inconvenient. The GL-AR300M's lack of 5 GHz would be a serious problem in the congested urban area where I'm planning to put it.

End result: I'll likely be getting a used Archer C7 v2 for this installation. However, at a different location, it looks like I'll need a much beefier device, so I'll be re-reading this thread as I compare the more expensive routers.

Thanks again!


Edit: Added GL-AR750 to table. If the 128MB NAND isn't usable on the AR300M, the slightly more expensive AR750 seems promising: it has a MicroSD slot for extra storage. Other nice features: 5GHz band, WiFi AC, and (optionally) power over Ethernet.


#22

Also standard openwrt doesn't handle the NAND flash on the gl-inet so you might as well use the lite version.

Used c7 is fine but my advice is to flash openWrt even if it comes pre flashed, to be sure you know what's really on there.


#23

NAND support for ath79, in general, is waiting for Kernel 4.19 and the upstream spi-nand framework. GL.iNet supplies a relatively current, "close to the tree" OpenWrt and package epositories, as well as complete and functional source tree on the ath71xx target that does support NAND.


#24

@slh thanks for the tip. I took a quick look around just in case it was cheap enough to upgrade my C7 (I'm due for a software upgrade since it's still running LEDE there, anyway) and it seems:

  1. AVM Fritz!Box 4040 isn't available in the US (too bad -- looks nice).

  2. ZyXEL NBG6617 isn't common and very expensive (>200 USD).

  3. The Linksys EA6350v3 isn't supported: https://openwrt.org/toh/linksys/linksys_ea6350_v3.

  4. In fact, Linksys support seems surprisingly spotty, which is too bad because the EA7300 is fairly inexpensive: https://openwrt.org/inbox/linksys/linksys_ea7300. It seems the EA8500: https://openwrt.org/toh/hwdata/linksys/linksys_ea8500 is supported, but then we're back to >200 USD.


#25

With the admission that I'm happily running four or five Archer C7 v2 units as APs and have found it challenging to convince myself to spend money to replace them:

  • The ZyXEL NBG6817 is occasionally available through Amazon (US) Marketplace for US$150
  • The ZyXEL NBG6616 was already noted as having limited availability in the US; hence slh's suggestion of the EA6350v3. It is presently supported
commit a873b292840848b67addb5be0c762d292bde33a1
Author: Oever González <redacted>
Date:   Wed Jan 23 21:20:55 2019 -0600

    ipq40xx: add support for Linksys EA6350v3

#26

If price is not an issue, and you are looking for one of the best packaged devices that runs OpenWRT, I would recommend the Netgear R7800. I work as an IT consultant and have installed dozens of OpenWRT devices at client locations. Over the years I have used several different models as my standard unit, including the TP-Link wr1043nd, wdr4300, archer-c7, and c2600. But the R7800 out performs them all on range and throughput. The only downside is that it costs about $200. The TP-Link c2600 was a pretty good deal, and came reasonably close to the R7800 in performance for half the price, but it has been discontinued.


#28

ZyXEL NBG6617 is great for people in EU.

I didn't know about Linksys EA6350v3, thanks


#29

then to choose an APU2 from pcengines.


#30

The APU2 isn't a turnkey solution, especially if you need dual band, simultaneous wireless. Not that you couldn't engineer something based upon the APU2 that would do that. But for a simple wireless router, the R7800 is a nice package.

If you don't need wireless and are just looking for a good, open source, high end router, I often recommend pfSense (usually running on hardware I have built, but sometimes running on an off-the-shelf appliance).


#31

Simply depends upon interpretation of "Top ten routers". In case, it means "Top ten most powerful routers" APU2 is among the leading ones.
Also, regarding reliability.
But you are correct, APU2 is not for "Plug and Play" usage.


#32

If it's an optional package, then that would depend on whether people install it or not. I imagine it should be installed by default, with option to opt out (or opt in) during first time set-up.


closed #33

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