Try Ebay for new and open-box. I see RG-E5 and RT3200 options for $69 in U.S. There may be plenty of room between $170 and $69 to cover an international shipping up-charge from the U.S. to Canada?
Used on Ebay with some patience and low max bids could also be an option. Broken in past the early part of the bathtub curve - perfect! There are many very nice used 802.11ac AP options to be had too. Most/all will not be the 802.11ax you were looking for, but 802.11ac remains quite capable.
Me too - especially if SQM is in the mix. It does have two cores, so if one is sufficient for WiFi and routing, the other is free for CAKE SQM (and fq_codel will use even less CPU). In addition, since the WED WiFi hardware offload (download direction only) on this device can be used independent of hardware routing offload, I've wondered if that would work with, and free up CPU cycles for, SQM on the WAN. In any case, no harm in trying it out first. If the MT7622 in the RT3200 or RG-E5 handles everything without or with WED, done. If not, turn it into an AP only as originally intended anyway, and add a device like a NanoPi R4S for routing, plugged into an AP switch to add Ethernet ports.
I own the MT7916, installed in my topton variant x86_64 router, the performance with it is currently disappointing than those off the shelf dedicated AP devices.
Simple test result :
Client is Vivo v2120 getting ~ 123/66 Mbps (DL/UL) on 5 Ghz 160 Mhz
Client is Vivo v2120 getting ~ 50.5/53.6 Mbps (DL/UL) on 2.4 Ghz
Perhaps my topton just cannot support those 3 AMPS power it's required.
Mention of the Reyee RG-E5 in this thread inspired me to look for external reviews on it. Tom's Guide write up was favorable overall. The main negative I noted was poor performance broadcasting to a floor above it; however, I've noted this to generally be the case with many all-in-ones: they broadcast to a floor below better than a floor above. No mention if antennas were rotated toward horizontal to try to improve things in the review.
So i went with the Linksys E8450 and performance until now is impressive on the 5Ghz radio.
I can easily saturate my internet connection (500/500) with it. Will test it more but until now, I've returned my EAP 615 wall. The device is really meant for 1 room only and even there, with stock firmware, it absolutely failed in my case to deliver theoretical speeds. But I am to believe there was something broken with it.
There really is only 2 downsides :
Price and availability in Canada is not great. It is a hard to find the product and exchange rate is awful at the moment. There is no Belkin in Canada as well, only Linksys so that limits color choice.
The 2.4 Ghz radio is N only. With the saturated radio space here, it does not have an amazing throughput. But one thing I came to realize, 2,4 Ghz is rarely chosen even when 5Ghz is much weaker by mobile devices which is a good thing.
Things this thread (and other ones) made me realize :
Keep things segregated. Unification has a management energy cost.
Building your own radios is not worth the time and the money and will produce poor results.
My next step would be to replace my ER-X-SFP as a router/switch as Ubiquity has abandoned the platform. I could flash OpenWRT on it but I would be interested to go to something that has much more horse-power to handle the ISP fiber.
If you guys want to suggest things to look I'll be more than happy. Might be worth doing a little more research before opening another thread if need be. But in a nutshell :
Has to NAT at least to a gigabit.
Has to route to at least a gigabit on bridges.
Compact or wall mountable, space is limited.
Ideally with a 2,5 Gb/s syncable SFP+ mini GBIC port.
Ideally with beyond 1 Gb/s ports.
In any case, thank you everyone for your kind and surprisingly fast help! This project has a great community and can’t wait to speak with you more!
Great news that you're satisfied with the E8450 WiFi throughout! Let us know if you try out the E8450 as a combined main gateway router and a WiFi AP, and how it works for you of course. Your E8450 will definitely have some CPU headroom compared to your ER-X SFP.
Coremark loads only one core and it is at best a rough indicator, but my RT3200 benchmarks at 4677 Coremark (same CPU as your E8450) and my retired ER-X at 2224 Coremark (same CPU as your ER-X SFP), using the OpenWrt coremark package run when CPU load is otherwise near zero. For grins, my EA8500 (1.4 GHz ipq8064) yields 5715 and my RT4230W (1.725 GHz ipq8065) yields 7029 Coremark - these "ancient" mid 2010's Krait CPU's are not so old and tired - but an A72 core on my Nano Pi R4S still takes them at 10,500 Coremark.
For your future gateway specs, yeah you're probably looking at x86. Another option you may want to keep an eye on - it is not supported by OpenWrt yet, but may be in future - is the NanoPi R6S.
Try it flipped upside down? But seriously... that would tell you. People surprisingly don't often think about what kind of pattern the antennas throw. I could tell you, looking at external ones, and how they're oriented, but for those little square or round boxes ... hard to tell. Try it in various orientations, get one of those wifi analyzers for your phone (I reccomend VREM WiFiAnalyzer) and see what it throws at a distance. Also, find your best choice channel for 2.4ghz. Maybe upside down, rotated at a bearing of 28deg from North, will give much improved coverage.
Yeah I’m starting to consider it.
Reading thru it, the only thing that bother me is the upgrade part.
If I use the squashfs only, could I use the attended upgrade or sysupgrade?
Upgrading an X86 setup seems to be more complicated.
It’s not that I don’t want to tinker but sometimes I feel like I'm having a second job at home. I sure want to play with the cool stuff but also don’t want to spend a day reading and testing stuff before deploying. Considering the fact that I also have someone else at home that need’s a fairly reliable network access, what would you recommend as a X86 (not 64) setup for the easiest upgrade?
I just realized that if I want SFPs it’s not going to be plug and play.
Are there 10 Gb/s cards that are natively supported by the X86 release that OpenWRT build automatically?
If so, one that I could put any transceiver in.
If not, maybe a 2.5 Gb/s 8p8c Ethernet card could do in the worst case.
I’m trying to read about that but information is more scarce.
That's the default image, you can use the online image builder to add packages to the install
and sysupgrade images.
If you've going to build your own images from scratch, you'd also have to provide/compile all
packages with kernel dependencies (mostly kmods) manually, can't use the openwrt online
repository. I'd try to avoid it, if possible.