TP-Link C2600 or Linksys WRT32X?


#21

@jeff Wise words. I do have a Raspberry Pi 3+ with wifi that I'm not using, maybe I should just set it up and be the backup solution, though its wifi is weak, the family would have to get cozy around it.
If I were to get the WRT32X or C2600 I would put it in service and keep the Asus on standby.


#22

It's not apples to apples. The RT-AC68U is a broadcom based unit, and of course is wildly popular since it's super stable and mature at this point (basically same router as R7000, EA6900, etc...). But like you learned is not OpenWRT friendly since broadcom is closed source. FYI, 75 is perfectly find for a router CPU, they go up to almost 120 IIRC.

The WRT unit is the world famous Marvell unit which is polarized as either being terrible or perfectly fine :slight_smile: I personally have never had any of the issues users complain about with mwlwifi, but everyone's clients are different , so not two homes are the same. The WRT supports HW acceleration if you are into OpenVPN, and has a pretty damn fast CPU for switching.

The AC2600 is a QCA based unit which runs ath10k. It's also a pretty good unit, but like others have mentioned is pretty much EOL from TP-Link at this point. From a OpenWRT perspective, I feel this unit has the best "life" expectancy from a future perspective since all it's major components are supported, driver, firmware, and base code. The WRT is next in line however it's driver/firmware are still provided via Marvell. Once that stops, then it stops. And if you look at the track record, Linksys was sold to Belkin, and now I think sold again to Foxconn (which I think just bought Belkin, likely for IP). So who knows where the WRT series will land up. The RT-AC68U is a great router, Asus's most popular ever which is while they still sell it today, though some 20 revisions later.

I personally own all three. And if it were my choice, it would be between the WRT and TP-Link. But you need to choose what your requirements are. Vendor support, OpenWRT support, Mu-mimo (do you even need), CPU speed, memory speed, flashing, recovery etc....


#23

@cybrnook Glad to hear you own all three, this is exactly the feedback I'm looking for. On pure WiFi performance, stability, range (think "dumb" WAP mode) how would you rank the 3? I do realize clients do make a difference.


#24

Just AP mode:

  1. RT-AC68U
  2. AC2600
  3. WRT32X

However the "margin" I would have in between the three is small. This is just me having to pick an order. For RT-AC68U, I think John still maintains an older "legacy" branch of his fork that still uses the old driver. This will yield you the high range and compatibility. However, no fixes for things like KRACK etc..


#25

Thanks! Yes the latest stock or Merlin firmware for RT-AC68U is not great for 2 reasons: (1) Wifi range/performance is average and (2) this bug: https://www.snbforums.com/threads/psa-alert-wireless-and-wired-lan-bridging-buggy.54576/

But the latest DD-WRT builds have great WiFi performance for my setup, though a few workarounds needed for guest SSID/VLAN.


#26

This is the Merlin build you would want:
https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=!AAkJBWoo-OiyKJo&id=9332FC159A7E129!3957&cid=09332FC159A7E129

You will need to flash from recovery mini server since it's the old partition layout.


#27

Is a Netgear R7800 for $80 on the used market the better deal of all the choices here?


#28

That's a great price for a strong QCA platform (newer CPU and Radios than the AC2600, so for $80 that's the winner).

But...... What hole are you looking to fill that the RT-AC68U you already have doesn't fill? :slight_smile: You just getting something to play with? If that's the case, they are all good choices.


#29

Asking myself the same question :slight_smile: I suppose it's frustration not being able to find firmware for Asus that just works well (that bridging bug in stock/Merlin, DDWRT is always alpha quality). Not sure whether life with a different WAP would be any easier though, I might trade one set of issues for another.


#30

No bridging bug in John's fork link that I sent you.

From your link
Firmware versions that do NOT have this problem:
Stock 3004_376_3626 (yes, very old, I think it's what my router came with)
john9527's fork 374.43_37EAj9527
DD-WRT Brainslayer build 01-10-2019-r38253
DD-WRT Kong build 2018-12-27


#31

I know, that's my post :slight_smile: Problem with the Merlin (or stock) firmware is that you can't do proper isolated Guest SSID in AP mode, on its own VLAN. DD-WRT works, with workarounds. Should be possible in OpenWRT, I hope ...


#32

To bring this thread to full closure, I ended up with a used R7800. Now I have to figure out the best build for it and get familiar with its VLAN setup.

Thank you all for offering suggestions and helping me out.


#33

Plain 18.06.1 (or master) should work well, if you're looking for newer (prebuilt) images hnyman's or escalade's builds will be fine as well.


#34

Just looking for the simplest, barebones build with no extra packages as I will be running just a plain Access Point. Optimizations for performance WiFi welcome though :slight_smile:


#35

I'm not sure what has been done with ath10k lately, but a trunk build may contain newer wifi drivers.


#36

Using hnyman's build on my new R7800 and pretty happy with the wifi performance. It improves signal and coverage slightly over the Asus RT-AC68U and OpenWRT is a blast to play with. Looks like I made the right choice.


closed #37

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