Upgrade from TL-WDR3600 towards 500/500+/SQM with x86_64

After reading through 340 messages here, I understand much better what I'm up against looking to upgrade from TL-WDR3600 towards 500/500+/SQM with x86_64.

But sourcing a piece of suitable hardware from EU seems like a bit of a challenge.

Let's say "cheap" is not a goal in itself, up to € 500 would be fine, above goes into real close inspection :face_with_monocle: territory.

  • OpenWRT mature support
  • ideally a single device to manage, so probably not "RPi4 + switch"
  • some known brand, quality hardware build - no AliExpress random Chinese brands
  • wired (wifi not necessary ootb, but PC-s are usually ready for expansion)
  • 4x LAN + WAN port
  • passive cooling
  • low power draw

Things like Deciso, Sophos new gear is expensive and often not supported.

Many mini-PCs only have up to 2 ports.

Is there some obvious choice brand / model I'm overlooking or forgetting?

(I really liked Ubiquity ER-X form factor, and build quality, but reading through the forum, realized it would only be an incremental upgrade.)

(PS @slh dedication to detail across topics is noteworthy :bowing_man: keep up the good work.)

Do you plan to use some wifi router as AP only? Then you already have a switch there. Multi NIC bridging will take up some CPU power (not that much if you only use 1G, but not sure if it will hit SQM performance when all ports running 1G internally)

Non China branded device with multi port and having good performance probably PC Engines APU4? However I have no idea the availability in your country.

Do you plan to use some wifi router as AP only?

This device would be the closet WAN gateway. I have cabling to each room in the apt, where wall warts take care of room-specific wifi.

Non China branded device with multi port and having good performance probably PC Engines APU4?

Tyvm https://www.pcengines.ch/order.htm has a solid list to look into.

EDIT wow https://teklager.se/en/products/routers/apu4d4-open-source-router looks like dream come true? :smiley: Can it really be that easy.

Then adding a switch should work for you, but if you have plan to separate all those room specific wifi then multi-NIC would make sense because you don't even need to deal with VLAN, just hook different wifi AP with different subnets.

odroid H3(+) worth a look.

Sadly, no. pcengines has become kind of a one-trick-pony, as they're still using the same old AMD jaguar cores they did a decade ago in the apu2. While good back then, they just barely manage to route 1 GBit/s with no margin left, sqm (at those speeds) is beyond the abilities of the hardware.

Unless you won't get close to 1 GBit/s or can get this hardware really cheap, I would skip it for ar least contemporary Atom or Intel core (i3) boards.


4+ Ethernet ports looks like will require something like https://www.hardkernel.com/shop/h2-net-card/

Thanks. My ISP ceiling might be 500/500 for a while anyway. In theory I could buy an APU as an ephemeral solution here.

But I'll look around further for Atom / i3 solutions before making the call.

The problem, 35-75 EUR might already get you a used baytrail (Atom) based gateprotect, barracuda, trustwave or sophos system (sophos is easier to get, but also tends to be more expensive), which are much faster than those old jaguar cores...

If available in your area maybe the Fujitsu Futro 920.

I used the wrong reply button, above intended for @lkraav

Yes, but depending on ones use-case, it is usually better to hang a (un)managed switch off your router, rather than using the router CPU as a switch.

I guess Roqos RC10 is out of the question - wrong continent.

You can find the Barracuda F12 in ebay a bit over 100€ and shipping from within EU to avoid customs.


As it happens, googling revealed one Protectli FW6A for sale, just a few km away from my house. Probably the only one (for sale) in Estonia.

Reached a deal for 200 € + VAT, and cancelled my new FW6B order (450 + VAT) for now.

"Flashing" OpenWRT now, let's see how this goes! :pray: :prayer_beads:

Early impressions: case build quality is everything I know to ask for.


  • OpenWRT successfully installed: pulled mSATA drive, hooked it up to USB converter, wrote my custom ext4 image on it
  • Post-boot: resize rootfs
  • Post-boot: re-"wire" eth0 eth1 so WAN / LAN labels match
  • Next step: convert ath79 configuration -> x86 (mainly /etc/config/network)

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That will work fine.

That being said, you can get one of those Chinese N5105 4x2.5Gbe fanless PC's with NVMe for same kind of money. I think mine cost around 250$. SQM is mostly single core but the one you chose (3867U Celeron) will happily do SQM with a_piece_of_cake all day long @ 500Mbit with power to spare.

Re: moving configuration. It is not fully plug-and-play. I started with stock config, then edited config/network and config/firewall to look like old one. (Be aware that eth port names might be different and rename accordingly).

Also, you might want to resize the partition as stock OpenWRT will give you like 200MB.

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