I am looking for a wifi router while I have a spare Rasp Pi 3+ in the storage. Just wonder what are the disadvantage of using Raspberry Pi 3+ with OpenWrt (compared to some basic wifi routers from TPLink/ASUS/..., like the ASUS RT-N56U)?
I am not a heavy user - living in a small apartment (so coverage is not the thing that I concern). I have about 10 wifi devices in the house though. A bit streaming/casting is needed.
Thanks and best regards,
You have to distinguish between the RPi4 and its predecessors. While the RPi4 has a USB 3.0 bus and its ethernet card connected via that (which can reach 1 GBit/s), the previous generations attached it via USB 2.0 (which is very, very slow). Furthermore for a router you'd need at least two ethernet interfaces, so either by adding another USB ethernet card or using a managed switch behind it.
The SDIO based BCM43438 wireless of any RPi (including the RPi4) is very limited. only one tiny antenna (1-stream) and slower than first generation 802.11n WLAN cards. Besides, you'd want concurrent dual-band wireless (two WLAN cards) on any semi-modern router.
we should also distinguish between router and access point.
For someone with ~100Mbps or less the RPi3+ would do fine as a router. That is, as a device that moves packets between networks.
As an access point the wifi hardware is super weak. But you can use other better access points behind the router... the idea that a router should have an access point all in one is actually not a good idea really. Placement of an access point should be based on coverage. placement of the router is usually based on entrance point of wires... not the same thing at all.
so by all means, try out the pi3 as a router. you will need a smart switch, and an access point to go with it.
If you have more than 200Mbps I'd suggest the Pi4, which has gigE full speed and no usb2 bottleneck.