What's your favourite cheap LEDE/OpenWrt device?

Bought two from Amazon for 20 euros each.
Not bad in terms of performance (about 700 mbit in LAN), the coverage for an AC is interesting, the software especially as regards the Broadcom drivers with those binary blobs (there is a Chinese guy who gets them updated from other firmwares that use the same HW) is a bit unstable, but at least it goes to 160hz at most I hooked 1733mbit (where obviously it didn't exceed 700mbit here too).
Above all, not very easy since OpenWRT must be flashed from the serial port the first time, which means that they have to be completely disassembled.

Something happened to me by 2018 when I installed this router, and now I remember why I had so much hatred against. I had a remote software called "Remotr". The day after I installed, I saw someone connecting to it and moving the mouse. I'm accepting many of those Chinese brands but for a laptop or router that is the main core of my network, I'm very hesitant, unless I can install OpenWRT straight away, which I could not by that time. I would not rely on in 3rd party firmwares.

the Wavlinks currently on the market are in practice the rebrand of Phicomm.

Which had this problem, in fact the router I just bought had port 2000 open and impossible to close, luckily mine were only APs and they lasted less than 24 hours with the original firmware, enough time to do 2 tests. (For security during the tests I inhibited port 2000 both inside and outside the home network).

I discovered here on the forum in a couple of posts that you find that in 2018 there was a release of LEDE (which was then integrated into OpenWRT), naturally in Chinese.
I tested it some time ago of one of the latest releases (build in December 2022), it actually give a little more performance to this router, but nothing exciting.

My new budget favourite router is the Cudy WR2100 when it is at $30. Pretty amazing overall in features. AC2100 + 5 Gb ports 16/128 and integrates pretty well AFAIK

This is an 880 MHz MIPS MIPS1004Kc (probably dual core) CPU, clearly not the fastest, but will probably do OK as AP? And $30 for a new device is really not much money.

I think being a dual-core MIPS should be OK for an AP. I would not recommend any single core though, even for AP.

OpenWrt seems to be CPU-bound on downstream wifi (see Archer C7 5GHz performance, sirq 99% and State of TP-Link Archer C7v2|v5 in 2022 - #136 by dsouza). In my experience Archer C7 with OpenWrt limitis Wifi downloads to ~360Mbps, even being a 3x3 802.11ac.

Some folks got better speeds overclocking the Archer C7, but for a new device I would definitively recommend to stay away from single core devices even for AP for OpenWrt.

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Perhaps a bit rich for this thread, but the Belkin RT3200 is currently $49 shipped from walmart.com

128mb flash, 512mb ram, can do 500mbps with SQM, sips 6 watts of power, great OpenWRT support, and solid wifi performance so long as you stick to 802.11ac

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If we are able to suppor the ZyXEL WSM20, it's going to be by far the best budget OpenWRT by far.

A $25 128/256 device with a decent chipset and wifi AX chip, like the Cudy WR2100 I mentioned before, but even better.

Where is it available at such price? Here in Europe it’s sold in a 3 pieces bundle at ~119€

They are retailing now and then at low prices, like any other device in this forum.

yes i do not know why but two are 69 euro, and one cost more than two. very strange.

There are some random offers. The offers for 2x69€ might be there. There was an offer for 79€ in DE and ES for 3 units like 1 week ago.

I snapped 3 units without thinking much. But I find still the 2 x 69€ pretty decent, since they are greater than most low-end routers nowadays (still we are fighting to support it, I have 100% faith considering the amount of equivalent piece of software that this router has with other already supported ones)

So far for me:

  • TP-Link Archer C7 v5 (16 MB Flash / 128 MB DDR / QCA9880 / ~ USD $40 )
  • Netgear WNDR3800 (16 MB Flash / 128 MB DDR / AR9220 / ~ USD $25 )
  • (really cheap one that surprise me) Nexxt NYX1200-AC aka Cudy WR1000 (8 MB Flash / 64 MB DDR / MT7612E / ~ USD $19 )

Xiaomi AC2350 as dumb ap (great range, strong signal)
Xiaomi 3G as main router (configured without wifi)
on both you can easily install Openwrt

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Devolo Wifi Pro 1750i Access Point! It’s a business ap but you can get one on eBay for about 15€ works great with openwrt. Official firmware is based on openwrt but no longer supported.

Pity they both have no usb port

With this router you have much more of what you are paying.

I've bought like 2 packs of 3, 6 units in total. I've also purchased a Xiaomi AX3600 which has USB port.

Obviously you cannot have it all, otherwise, they would be retailing for 2x or 3x and it would not serve my purpose of having like a ton of units all over the place. This is why I paid almost 3x for the Xiaomi AX3600 and have much more.

Also I bought almost 2 years ago a couple of Asus XT8 retailing at almost 8x more and they feel like throwing the money to the toilet because even my ZyXEL WSM20 wifi is more stable.

Absolutely, but since right now I need a cheap router, with 2.4 and 5GHz radio (ac is enough), with an usb port (for tethering) it's not for me. One of the Gl.Inet travel routers would fit the bill, but the ones running openwrt proper aren't cheap.
The Beeline SmartBox GIGA seems a good candidate, but it's only available in Russia.

I think the GL-INET Slate/Beryl shouldn't be very expensive?

The ax3600 does not have a usb port, at least externally.

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