What advantage does the Zyxel NWA50AX has over the Totolink X5000R when used as dedicated AP running OpenWrt?


My current router is an Asus AC58U running on OpenWRT and I'm considering buying an AP with WiFi 6 and use the AC58U as dedicated router.

I see lots of posts on networking-related online communities recommending the Aruba AP22 and Grandstream GWN7660. However, I live in Taiwan and the AP22 costs more than $300 here while the GWN7660 isn't available for purchase.

The 2 OpenWRT-compatible options I found under my budget are the Zyxel NWA50AX, which costs $94 and the Totolink X5000R, which costs $43. Their CPU are both in the MT7621 family with different subfix and the RAM capacity are also the same. The biggest difference in spec is that the NWA50AX has 128MB of flash while the X5000R only has 16.

I want to know if the NWA50AX has any advantage over the X5000R other than the flash capacity that can justify the price difference. Does it have better antenna design, thermal or PCB quality since it's marketed as prosumer/SMB AP? Or will the X5000R be sufficient for my use case?


aren't any of the IPQ807x devices available ?


The DynaLink WRX-36 is available for $120. However, I've read in the thread that the ath11k wireless driver isn't as mature as the mt76 one and the installation process is also quite a bit more complicated.

On top of that the primary reason I want WiFi 6 is better 2.4 GHz in places without optimal 5GHz signal so the WRX-36 would be overkill.

I've been running two if them as APs for the last 1.5 weeks, no issues at all.

You have to be able to read and follow the instruction, so you've already passed :wink:

I fail to see the connection ?

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While there's no doubt that the WRX36 is far more powerful, I don't think there would be a noticeable difference in wireless performance on 2.4 GHz so I would prefer to spend less if the X5000R or NWA50AX is good enough as dedicated AP.

The spec of the WRX36 is quite tempting though......

Well maybe you can test totolink and return it if you don't like the results. You should be able to return to factory with openwrt

It seems that the X5000R lacks dedicated FEM and uses the built-in amplifier of the MTK wifi chips:

While the PCB of the NWA50AX has it:

However, I found out that Amazon can ship the GWN7660 directly to Taiwan so I'll go with that one. It's not as powerful as the WRX36 but I've heard good things about it's reliability.

It's not supported by openwrt though, is it ?

For X5000R and NWA50AX I want OpenWRT since the quality of stock firmware isn't ideal. However, the stock firmware of the GWN7660 seems decent so I'll just run stock, just like people generally don't want to run OpenWRT on Ruckus and Aruba APs.

GWN7660 also uses the Qualcomm IPQ6000 chipset so there's still potential for future support.

True, but it'll take time ...