Hello, I would appreciate your help updating my home network setup please.
My current situation:
I run OpenWRT (recent version, 19.07.) on TP-Link TL-WR842ND for a while now, and it’s OK -for a week or two, but then (WiFi) connection starts having problems (gets slow, some dropped connections - locally) and a simple restart always solves it.
So I’m thinking it’s the router that can’t handle the pressure from my network. Besides my PC, phone and two laptops, I connect several single board computer “servers” to experiment with sftp/ torrent/ tor/ i2p/ media server/ xmpp, etc. Nothing serius anyone depends on, just for fun, with only a few users (almost never connected simultaneusly). I have an unmanaged switch connected to the router to get more LAN ports.
My wish (suggestions needed):
Most of devices mentioned above are connected with a cable, I don’t really need WiFi (and I prefer the security aspect of a phisical connection anyway). So I’m thinking a somewhat recent, OpenWRT supported, WIRED-ONLY router would be better in terms of stability, speed and handling the various connections.
1.) What WIRED-ONLY router with good openWRT support would you recommend?
Stability is the priority, but it also needs to be powerful enough so I don’t need to upgrade for a while. I’m not comfortable with something that would need physical adjustments to the router in order to flash OpenWRT or firmwire that needs to be compiled on my own – so please something “well supported”.
2.) Do I need a MANAGED SWITCH?
I imagine that at some point I would want to assign different ~zones (I’m a newbie) to different physical LAN ports so I can “isolate” some servers on the newtork. Since I probably used the wrong term, let me explain what I mean: I’m talking about some physical ports having IP ranges 192.168.1.X and others 192.168.100.X for example. Do I need a managed switch for that? Can I at first (without above “zones”) run a managed switch as if “unmanaged”, with no configuration, or would I immediately need to learn how to configure it?
3.) If I, later on, or temporarely, want Wi-Fi, can I still connect my current TL-WR842ND to one of the ports to serve as an “antenna” only? What “mode” does it need to be in so it’s not “routing”, just acting as a access point?
I did read through the forum (a bit) and the supported hardware list (a lot), but I don’t want to mention what I think are the candidates in order not to influence your suggestions. I‘ll mention it later after I get some suggestions first.
I’m not strictly limited by a budget but would like the router to be below 200 EUR, and another 200 EUR if you think I need a managed switch. Spending less is of course desirable. If a more expensive device is worth mentioning, please do, but I doubt I’d be able to justify spending more.