What to build X86 with Wi-Fi 6

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. :smile:
  • 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!

With those specs, you're pretty much only looking at x86.
If 1gbit is enough, there's a ton of used devices out there, to choose from, starting at around $25 on US eBay.
Read Tips for getting cheap used x86-based firewall with full Gbit NAT (a PC Engines APU) if you are in the US from the bottom up.

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? :smiley: :sweat_smile: :rofl: 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. :wink:

If I saw the title correctly it is:

What to build X86 with Wi-Fi 6 ... ??? ... !!!

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?

Squashfs is the choice if you want to do in place upgrades, as on a router, using sysupgrade images.

But it's easy to have several versions installed in parallel on an x86, since space isn't an issue.

I'd go for Cyberoam, it's usually the cheapest brand on ebay, or any of the other Atom 3k based boxes out there.

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Awesome. If I go with the squashfs option, I’m limited to 100 MB. Could that be an issue or that would be more than enough for most of the extra packages?

You're not, but then you'd have to resize it, post install, or build your own image.

100 mb is more than plenty in most scenarios.

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I have a Cyberoam CR25-Wing with an 4 GB CompactFlash & 1 TB 2.5 inches internal HDD
I have a lot of 1 TB disks after replacing them with SSD !!!

You can use the CompactFlash ( 4 GB ) for OpenWrt

It is very easy to install
I use Rufus for Windows to copy Openwrt ( i have an USB CompactFlash Reader )
I place after in box
I power on & tag in BIOS to start CompactFlash

In the 1TB i have many movies that i use with minidlna server

WIth a MT7612E wifi card speed is more than enough

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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.

Edit :
Just found the package json :
https://downloads.openwrt.org/snapshots/targets/x86/generic/profiles.json

Look like it’s onyl Realtek and Intel.
If I build the images myself, can I still do the easy Sysupgrade?

SFP isn't something read a lot about here ...

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.

Oh I see!
So it’s this thing?
https://firmware-selector.openwrt.org/?version=22.03.3&target=x86%2Fgeneric&id=generic

And I would add let’s say : kmod-sfp and kmod-be2net at the end?

In the Customize installed packages list, yes.

You can try this on a flash drive, create a custom image, with the extra packages, DL the combined image, write, and boot it.

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