What's your favorite enthusiast LEDE/OpenWrt device?

Please no extensive discussions in this topic, they usually escalate quickly and get lengthy. For detailed discussions please open a new topic (and then possibly come back to this topic with a clear statement like "Device XYZ is my favourite because of the following performance numbers....").


Where could we get it at this price. I might need one, or 3 or 5 of them, as it looks promising

In terms of "enthusiast" routers for OpenWrt, I think the only two viable choices at this point are the WRT3200ACM and R7800. The R7800 has wifi drivers getting really good and with NSS offloading also getting better it's finally performing well. The WRT3200ACM / WRT32X on the other hand already has incredible performance and can shape 800Mbits with SQM Cake, do over 100MB/s with USB 3.0 NAS, etc. it's wifi is just fallen behind but still works well enough for most people.

Obviously an mini x86 PC would beat anything though.

Hopefully someday there is WiFi 6 support and this list grows/gets interesting again, but that's all I'd recommend for now.

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I think R7800 and other ipq806x devices could be the de facto recommendation for most users if NSS offloading is officially integrated into a stable release. The ability to shape nearly 1 Gbps with minimal CPU load is amazing. Ath10k gives it excellent and stable wireless too. Bonus points because these devices are getting relatively inexpensive on the used market.

But price is some 200$ ...

Miwifi-D2 or WR1200JS 30 / 40 $

Agree that once NSS offloading is stable then it'll be the de facto. Right now I'm still content with my WRT32X, it's a beast and got it for only $120 'renewed' a couple years ago.

We are still talking about enthusiast devices here. Yes, mt7621a+mt7603e+mt7612e devices are cheaper - yes, they can make a lot of room for the simple tasks by hardware-offloading netfilter rules, but in terms of performance they're significantly behind mvebu or ipq806x (or even ipq40xx for that matter) and the wireless side -while decent- can't match ath10k either (that only improves significantly with mt7615e ane mt7915e).

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Stop lying to yourself, the best router right now in the 2021 is the Belkin RT3200.

It is that you can not recommend a router that is inferior to the Belkin RT3200 and worst of all more expensive.

If anyone at this point wants to buy a NEW all-in-one, the only routers worth buying are the Linksys E8450 ($150 dollars) and the Belkin RT3200 ($100 dollars).

Belkin RT3200 is $50 dollars cheaper than the Linksys E8450 and both routers are identical from the same company "Foxconn", only that one is white and the other is black.



Only 1 USB port??? and it's USB 2.0??? aww :frowning:

Quite a few modern routers (including mid- to high-end ones) are removing USB from their design (although the SOCs support it). The reasons for that would be up to speculation, but I assume it comes down to a combination of issues:

  • interference for the 2.4 GHz band, which needs considerable efforts (and good device cables) to remain acceptable
  • printers these days often come with wireless support (or at least ethernet)
  • 4g/ 5g cards -although USB at heart- usually come in internal/ mini-pcie form-factor, probably because of electrical/ mechanical stability and to sell dedicated mobile routers. On top of that they need a variety of different protocols/ drivers these days (rather than PPP over emulated serial in the early days), making it harder to integrate for an unknown user-supplied cell modem.
  • NAS usage requires considerable performance, while at the same time >=1 GBit/s WAN speed, nBASE-T and 802.11ax already keep the SOC busy.
  • driver support and GUI integration (think about the OEM firmware) for less common devices probably is an issue and support drain.
  • power requirements, while SOC- and 802.11ax wireless cards already need quite a bit of power (easily beyond 20 watts), USB 3.0 pushes the power envelope from 500 mA to 900 mA per port, USB 3.1 and power delivery would probably push it out of scale. There is an economic and engineering aspect if you'd need to twice as big PSUs to cope with the potential needs for USB3+ than you'd strictly need for the router itself.

This is what I want in routers. I'm willing to pay $$$ for it. I'm not fussed if it comes with a brick PSU.

with 7+ Gigabit lan ports. The more the better.

It seems these router manufacturers are getting out of touch with people getting more and more IoT devices and all sorts of electronic devices.

On the contrary I think the're in touch. Most people just use WiFi these days and no other gimmicks like usb3.1 or 7x gig nics. Think macbooks - without integrated lan ports for quite a few years now...not to mention smartphones and tablets...
And as I don't like being out of topic I also recommend belkin rt3200 as a go to device - even if support is master only for now


(eco-friendly purchasing selling points / rhetoric?)

in that order would be my guess...

also thought it was kinda odd to see a single USB2 port on a spankin new all-in-one style device...

but yes... can see the reasoning as kinda valid... ( although personally i'd be looking for the 'pro' variants that have the ports... )...

functionally... i've avoided using the USB3 on the ipq806x(rt2600ac) for the interference factor...

so yeah.... support/interference... makes alot of sense for a device who's primary role is wireless and is under ~350AUD/250US...

(and they can then spruik / add 'nas' style offerings that fit their proprietary-app/cloud ecosystems to make more commercial $$$ especially when the nas is purely cloud based)

Maybe, but I'm not familiar with that device, and I think that proves my point all anyone talks about is the WRT3200ACM (which can do SQM cake at 800Mbits) and the R7800 (may overtake it with NSS driver). It doesn't even have USB 3.0. The point is that router might be good, but OpenWrt doesn't even support it or AX yet officially, so I'm going to hold until a device emerges as the best for WiFi 6. The main programmer of DD-WRT mentioned that might be the RAX120 (IPQ8078) that might apply here too but we'll see.

That's absurd, all the top routers have USB 3.0. Netgear RAX50, RAX120, XR1000, Asus ROG line, new Linksys line, etc.

While the userbase probably isn't big for NAS on a routers, I use it every day on my WRT32X. I have a 3TB external that read/writes at 120MB/s (faster than some NAS boxes) thanks to OpenWrt with samba4. My movie collection is tied from there to my Shield TV with Kodi and RetroArch too. I wouldn't buy a router without it.

One of the things that frankly surprises me about this discussion...do enthusiasts still want radios in their router? Given the proliferation of whole-home mesh wifi and the rapidly evolving wireless standards, I just took it as read that "enthusiasts" long ago moved to a separate router/switch/AP model versus all-in-ones. The latter strike me as very late 90s/early 2000s. =)

That being the case, I'm going to strongly argue the Pi 4 running OpenWRT is the superior edge router/firewall right now, whilst connected to Orbi as an AP (unless you need guest VLAN...then things get complicated) and pretty much any cheap off-the-shelf managed switch. Best of all possible worlds, IMHO. Granted, Orbi is not cheap, but damn those radios are POWERFUL. No all-in-one can even come close (though the long-deprecated Google OnHub was certainly a contender back in the day, particularly for apartments and smaller homes...that was some seriously underrated hardware).


Yes! This is what I want....but I need guest and IoT vlans....is there an alternative?

i consider myself an enthusiast, but not a belt-clip holster-type guy like you.

i love radios and those "oh so 1990s" (heaven forbid the freakin decade that made it happen) all in ones.

for me it's about convenience. just as you consider your belt clip holster the ultimate tool for accessibility, ruggedness and portability, i consider those "dated" 1990s designs with radios as a similar analogue for networking.

i want to move one item. not 5 with a bunch of wires and plugs, mr belt clip holster.

gosh sometimes IT-minded people chafe thy nickers.

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Do all-in-ones really have enough power for adequate coverage of a good-sized home, though? I mean, hell, I was on OpenWRT pre-White Russian, so I get what you're saying, but given the only wired point in the home I currently live is in a basement wiring closet, there's a little less than zero chance that a radio in there is going to reach the far corner of the second floor, particularly as radio bandwidth continues to widen for speed (and thus shorten for range). Hence the '1990s' comment...all-in-ones are on their way out whether they like it or not, because you aren't going to get a Wifi6 signal from the extreme corner of a house to the opposite extreme corner with a single device, period. It's a physics problem, not a style issue.

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that's based on the assumption that all residences will continue to have a single wired point in the house in a remote location such as the basement wiring closet.

i know what you're saying. my parents house is turning 31 years old now and that's where our fiber drop is (with the circuit breaker etc). the gateway sits in there, and we actually use a MoCA to route the WAN ethernet to the room with the router (which is not in as remote of a location as the wired point).

there are many attractive solutions to the 'single wired point' that allow you to move the WAN to a more-friendly location.

MoCA is cool. i wish it would work over satellite coax so i could route some gigE to my room, but that's merely a wish.

Well, to be fair, I find the quaint notion of wiring every floor for CatX (whatever is en vogue at the time) as a 'tool belt' solution. For my part, I have zero desire to string cables and switches all over my house...and were I going to, I wouldn't need the radio (and thus an all-in-one), right? :wink: And if I'm just doing it to move my radio to a centralized point, why bother vs. whole-home wifi?

I get it - different use cases, different desires, different needs - thank God we live in a technology-rich time we can all be satisfied. I just remember the me that would have gotten SUPER excited over the recent all-in-ones that have a dozen external antennae and look like a crazed technological spider...and then remember he was very young and immature, and very adult, refined me doesn't want something in bright purple plastic sitting in the middle of my kitchen. LOL

To each their own, granted - but OpenWRT is the core that makes all that possible and why I remain a strong fan to this day. But seriously - can we please change the 'wireless freedom' mantra to something a little more modern? =) Yeah, it made sense when we were all rocking WRT54Gs, but come on. laughs