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Router recomendations?
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Guppy 27 May
So my RT-N66U just died :< first the radios and within hours the WAN port also stopped working.

What router would people recommend?

Requirements (in prioritized order);
* Custom firmware or shell access
* 4+ 1Gbs Ethernet ports
* Good fast multi radio WiFi

I've been using tomato firmware since my old wrt54G but it doesn't looks like it's being maintained anymore, so what custom firmware are the "cool kids" using these days?
damarrin 27 May
I use a server with IPFire for routing and a TP-Link Archer C7 with DD-WRT for Wifi (DD-WRT is not really necessary in that role, but still nice to have all the options).

Edit: I realise the Archer is getting long in the tooth, but I can just replace it with something newer when the need arises without disrupting the general functionality of the network.

Last edited by damarrin on 27 May 2021 at 11:39 am UTC
dvd 28 May
I use openwrt on my router, they have a handy table of devices where you could see which version supports which device to which degree. link
wvstolzing 28 May
This is not a recommendation, because I haven't used the product yet (unfortunately) -- but I've been ogling these PC Engines APU2s for a long time now:

https://www.pcengines.ch/apu2.htm

It's possible to customize pretty much every aspect of the final product; you can choose whether you want an internal wifi module as well. (My personal choice would be to go with a separate access point, though.)

Until I'm able to get one of these, I'm using an ancient Mac mini (w/ a usb2 ethernet dongle for the second NIC, which is ok because it's connected to a measly pppoe input which tops at 24Mb) on stock Debian.

It's connected to this cheap *managed* gigabit switch: https://www.tp-link.com/us/business-networking/easy-smart-switch/tl-sg105e/v1/
which does 802.1Q vlans if you need them for any reason.
g000h 28 May
I'm personally considering buying a Seeedstudio dual-gigabit IO-board for Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 (with a CM4) and rolling my own router with it. Inside the network, any old Wifi Access Point will suffice. Note that a Pi CM4 will run like wildfire as a router (i.e. much faster than a dedicated model).

Meanwhile I also have TP-Link Archer C7 (as someone mentioned earlier) which is quite customizable with alternative roms.
denyasis 28 May
I also use IPFire. Interface looks like your having a flashback to the 2000's. But it runs great. The hardware is an old ITX board from 2008/9 My first ITX board I ever owned actually. It's an MSI industrial board/case/ps made for factories and commercial setting. 2 gigabit lan ports.... And 4 com ports...


I run my home through a gigabit Ethernet switch and the wifi is a TPlink EAP245 access point (it's POE, so only one cord).

Ipfire you can ssh into and has a package manager so you can customize it a bunch. The TP link is pretty much setup and forget. The POE is nice as I can put it where I want (stairwell) while everything else is out of the way (basement). It really helps with getting that perfect coverage, which BTW, is my entire house (3 story) and my entire property (.13 acre). I get pretty good iperf3 numbers and hit near max on the wired network.

I like having the components split up as it gives me some flexibility to upgrade or repair without having to replace (and re-setup) everything.

I haven't really looked into custom firmware for the EAP. To be honest, It sounds cool, but I don't ask much of it since it's only acting as an access point and the standard firmware does way more than I need for that simple task.

Last edited by denyasis on 28 May 2021 at 9:42 pm UTC
I recommend using an old computer with pfSense. Install a second Ethernet card, a WiFi card and get a good switch if you use want to connect your devices with cable.
I've been running such a setup for a couple years and it works perfectly, I run OpenVPN/DNS/NTP servers, black/white lists to block ads etc etc.
g000h 29 May
Quoting: Stupendous ManI recommend using an old computer with pfSense. Install a second Ethernet card, a WiFi card and get a good switch if you use want to connect your devices with cable.
I've been running such a setup for a couple years and it works perfectly, I run OpenVPN/DNS/NTP servers, black/white lists to block ads etc etc.

I agree that's a nice way to do it.. BUT... It uses up a decent amount of electricity that can be saved by some of the other suggestions.

More recently, I've been considering the idea of using a spare computer to act as a NAS (for storing videos, photos, and music) which spends most of it's time off (i.e. in deep sleep) and then use Wake-On-LAN to boot it up (to watch a movie) and some SSH type control or keyboard command or similar to get it to shut down again. That way electricity is only used while the NAS is active.
wvstolzing 29 May
Quoting: g000hI'm personally considering buying a Seeedstudio dual-gigabit IO-board for Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 (with a CM4) and rolling my own router with it. Inside the network, any old Wifi Access Point will suffice. Note that a Pi CM4 will run like wildfire as a router (i.e. much faster than a dedicated model).

Meanwhile I also have TP-Link Archer C7 (as someone mentioned earlier) which is quite customizable with alternative roms.

I had no idea that devices such as this existed.

A video posted just yesterday, comparing the seeedstudio w/ the 'dfrobot':
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7teLVwi408
Arehandoro 30 May
I have a protectli used as router/firewall: https://protectli.com/vault-4-port/
That I use with the Mikrotik Audience for Wi-Fi: https://mikrotik.com/product/audience

The disadvantge is that I need to keep the ISP router in modem mode, and need to keep several appliances on which in turn uses more energy. Something I need to fix this summer. The performance is great though. If you are in Europe, instead of protectli perhaps https://www.deciso.com/ are a better option to avoid paying import taxes.

If you are network savvy, or don't mind getting into it, I could also recommend any of the Mikrotik products. Rock solid and highly configurable.

Last edited by Arehandoro on 30 May 2021 at 9:13 am UTC
wvstolzing 30 May
Quoting: ArehandoroThe disadvantge is that I need to keep the ISP router in modem mode, and need to keep several appliances on which in turn uses more energy.

I never really understand why it's not possible to get PCI-E (or even usb) modems for any type of DSL; they always come in those combo boxes.

That would be so helpful for people who wish to build their own router, but who aren't lucky to have fiber reaching all the way into their apartment.

(& some of the crappy combo devices distributed by ISPs don't even have a 'bridge mode' to allow usage as a modem only)
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