What's your favorite enthusiast LEDE/OpenWrt device?

you can use two 2.5gb transceivers in the BPI R3 :

18 posts were split to a new topic: Looking for "best overall" OpenWrt router with a USB port (2023)

Divide and conquer…

If you want the best of the best of the best, with money being secondary, you'll split the functionality into router, managed switch and AP(s), each being best for their job (and all of them can run OpenWrt).


True, but I don't mind having less CPU performance, for example, by having all these devices together

Thanks, @eginnc and @fakemanhk


interested to see your solar power setup as well

Asus AX-54

So far so good, not expensive and quite reliable, even in snapshot firmware.

Proxmox virtualised :slight_smile:

For portable, I’ve been really pleased with GLInet devices.

For standalone, the Protecli/Qotom style boxes work very nicely. Unfortunately I find a lot of off the shelf devices aren’t powerful enough for the Gig PPPoE we (madly…) have in Europe.

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Recently got an Acemagician AD03 for $120 with an Intel N95. Proxmox as the host OS, running OpenWrt as an LXC container. It can easily do cake SQM at gigabit speeds and has plenty of resources left over for running some docker containers like Unifi controller, jellyfin, frigate, minecraft server.

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The basic logic is sound regarding functionality, but the “best of the best, with money being no object” for the router/firewall part is definitely a non-OpenWrt, likely something like OpnSense, just on the sheer functionality, security, non-obsolete kernel/OS and update frequency.

With respect to APs, OpenWRT is actually well suited for a “best of the best” proposal, hardware support is quite good as anything else coming close is basically proprietary.

With respect to switches, well I’m afraid this one doesn’t nearly qualify, let’s just start with SFP, just to name one.

Don’t get me wrong, I love OpenWRT, it’s just doesn’t nearly qualify for “best of best, with money being no object”, it almost sounds offensive, being as starters a low end solution.

If you prefer OPNsense, fine, just use it - nothing against that. But that doesn't mean OpenWrt would be worse or 'bad' in that regard, in terms of performance it very likely beats OPNsense/ pfSense on the same hardware (the performance delta on the venerable PC Engines' APU2 is quite significant).

I've been running OpenWrt on x86_64 hardware for the last ~2 years at home, on hardware that could easily run OPNsense as well. I still prefer (frequently updated master snapshots) OpenWrt - but it's just that, personal preference. What OPNsense wins in terms of in-place upgrades, it (imho!) loses in terms of hardware compatibility, performance/ efficiency and features (PPPoE is not new fashioned black magic, sqm/cake is imho nicer than fq_codel). But both can roughly achieve the same purpose, a lot of it comes down to 'just' personal preference and familiarity (the router would be my only daily-driver xBSD system, while I'm more familiar with Linux throughout my software stack and am more likely to fix issues once, from router to switch to AP to server to client).

Apart from this, it is nice if you can cover router, switch and APs with the same configuration syntax and semantics, rather than having to get vastly different approaches to interoperate smoothly. In all of these, the switch side is the weakest point so far (OpenWrt not quite being head to head with the OEM firmware), but it still does work for typical at-home-uses (VLAN settings are available and fully offloaded, LAG and QoS are weaker points, as is the >>1000BASE-T/ SFP topic with rtl93xx only having very initial support), router- and AP uses are far more mature.

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My comments were about the above statement and nothing else, you bringing it down to low cost obsolete HW is quite inconsistent with you above statement.

There is little or no OpenWRT 10Gb SFP+ support regarding router/firewall HW, so it’s just normal to challenge such statements.

Again, I really love OpenWRT, just not as “best of the best, with money being secondary”, just a reality check here…

Best of the best AP probably wont be OpenWRT as that would be a WIFI7 or WIFI6E on top-shelf hardware with great range and speed. A lot of that gear is broadcom based with zero openwrt support. For hardware that is supportable, unfortunately, opensource wifi drivers are generally too far behind the commercial offerings to contend with the best that money can buy at any given moment in time.

On the router side, you could make an argument for openwrt on an x86 PC as being the best but it depends on the definition of best. If best includes seamless dual wan, source based vpn routing, and router failover then opensense/pfsense are going to be better. The interface for controlling routing/firewall/DNS functions is fantastic. If you need a comprehensive package library then openwrt is best. But again, if money is no object, then why do you want to run some random package on your router? Let the router be a router, AP do wifi, and everything else goes on a dedicated server running linux or proxmox which will be best at serving up files, running your dockers and VMs, etc. etc.

Openwrt shines when you have some constraints on power usage and cost. If instead you ask whats the best 80% solution then openwrt on a modern-ish, well supported device is going to be the best solution at least for the router. For a little more money, I'd still lean toward coupling a commercial AP or two (like ubiquity) with openwrt running on the router/fw. If budget is really tight then openwrt on a few second-hand routers is hard to beat.


reached this same conclusion years ago: openwrt on x86, any poe switch, any still supported Ruckus AP's. Nothing else compares

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Assuming you do not want/need anything exclusive to the Linux kernel, as these two alternatives are BSDs... I have no opinion on whether these offer a better user experience than OpenWrt (never tried them) or whether they are better or worse, but they certainly are not drop in replacements for each other.

Hardware support will be much better on linux for sure but the major stuff you'd run on a BSD-based router has good support. What matters most when comparing the two OS is the quality of the network stack. Netflix, for example, runs a customized, NUMA optimized version of FreeBSD on its content distribution servers for good reasons, I imagine. I don't know if linux has completely caught up to the BSD network stack yet but its taken a long time. BSD has had berkley packet filtering in its network stack forever. Its taken a long time for the linux world to move off of iptables to netfilter, for example. Maybe today the two are kernels are equally capable. I dont know which is better anymore.

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Using an EA8300 for 2 years with openwrt without any issues. Partition 1 is 23.5.0.rc4 and partition 2 is 22.3.0. Speeds are good. I will never go back to factory..

Linksys WRT3200ACM. Dual Core Arm processor running at 1.8gz and has a single USB 3.0 port and E-Sata port should you want to attach another drive. And support for VHT160mhz.

Though, I am hoping to getting to use OpenWRT on the Asus RT-AX89X router very soon. Most powerful router with an ARM SoC that has strong potential to support custom firmware like OpenWRT.

I have the WRT1900ACv2 and 3200ACM, they are really great, I have even connected the eSATA to this 4-bay eSATA enclosure to work as local backup storage when the 1900ACv2 being retired from network!

BTW I didn't notice the 3200ACM can run VHT160??? Is this supported by default?

If you don't have the AX89X now, and you can live with only RJ45, the QNAP 301W, or Buffalo WXR-5950AX12/WXR-6000AX12 can also be good alternative. 301W has more storage that you can directly put some containers to run on it, while the later one has the same 5GHz 8x8 config as the AX89X (I bought the used 5950AX12 with less than US$170)

I live in america so the Asus router is the only one I am looking up to.

I already own two RT-AX89X routers. One is HW revision b1 and the other is b2.

just waiting...patiently.