Router Focus thread

This thread is about what device (or devices) that we as a team want to focus on as a router platform.

The top contenders IMO are the

  • GLB1300
    Price: $95
    Performance: ~100mbps
    Problems: only 3 ports
    notes: Can probably be made faster, ~2 days to evaluate difficulty (see if it’s doable at all)

  • Archer C7 (v2-v5)
    Price: $65-75
    Performance: ~40mbps
    Problems: Kinda slow, issues securing variants
    notes: Can probably be made faster, ~2 days to try (determine if there’s any improvement) ~1 week to do (if there turns out to be any improvement from trying). This has the same chip as the n750, which I have got working, but saw no improvement from (Wireguard was too much for it to help)

  • EdgerouterX
    Price: $55
    Performance: ~100mbps
    Problems: no wifi, hard to flash, easy to brick
    notes: Can be made faster 100% sure of this, there exist forum posts showing 5x perf increase using specific patches (cake SQM at 500mbps versus 100mbps stock), I’ll guesstimate we can get at least half that (250mbps). ~2 weeks to do.

  • any x86_64 box
    Price: Varies
    Performance: as fast as the wire
    Problems: wifi issues, hardware variants, not as pre-packaged
    notes: could maybe make any wifi card work right ~2days to evaluate


@Deborah @Jehan this is all I can think off of the top of my head. Ask me for specific things to jog my memory and I’ll update the original post.

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Three open routers: - not commercial. delayed - The only one out, prohibitively expensive for a home router. - looks expensive

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@fRESH_OiL the GLB1300 isn’t exactly open source hardware but the Manuf ships OpenWRT and added and maintains openwrt firmware support themselves upstream. So it’s pretty good on that scale.

I have an Omnia, it’s a fast but wonky little machine in every way. It just got upstream OpenWRT support recently since the Turris guys really love their own fork.

As for the LibreRouter, we’re talking to them and trying to get some evaluation samples.

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Some x86 boxes I found interesting. These are advertised as pfSense or x86 routers, minipcs, or network security appliances.

ASRock NAS-9601 (not network attached storage)
ASRock NAS-9602 (Same features except the 9602 uses the newer Apollo Lake chip and the 9601 uses the previous Braswell chip)

  • Intel® Apollo Lake SoC Processor
  • Supports Single Channel DDR3L up to 1867MHz, 1 x SO-DIMM, up to 8GB system memory
  • 1 x VGA
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x M.2 (Key E) , 1 x M.2 (Key M)
  • Gigabit LAN : 6 x Intel® LAN
  • Supports Bypass Function
  • 1 x MiniPCIe with SIM socket for WiFI/3G/LTE
  • 1 x TPM
  • 12V DC-in Jack / 4-pin ATX PWR Con.

I was recently quoted $430 for the newer 9602 model.
Can’t find for sale online. Found one distributor in USA with unit listed on website and his shop is actually 20 minutes from me.

Jetway JBC390F541XA Intel Celeron J1900 w/ 6 Intel LAN Ports Networking Appliance (using much older J1 series Celeron)
$300 barebones
Available from mitxpc and on Amazon (same seller)

Protectli makes x86 appliances (advertised as pfSense appliances). Seems these devices might be well suited as x86 Althea devices. 2-6 nics. ATOM, Celeron, or Core CPUs. Solid state.
$300+ for 6 port units
Available on Amazon and direct from Protectli

Kansung appears similar to Protecli.
Older 4 ports starting at $125 (barebones) $150 total for 2gb ram and 32gb ssd-pre installed.
Newer 6 port units starting around $300 (4gb ram, 32gb ssd)
Only available through Amazon (customizable options)

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I’ve been going down this sort of list myself the WRT3200ACM is falling pretty fast in price (down from $250 to $160 now) meaning it’s probably got a refresh coming. But in my tests it gets about 400mbps down and has fancy tri band wifi.

I still need to modify Rita to properly set wifi ssid and password with that fancy wifi though.

As for the other x86 devices, many look promising but i really think there are only a couple of real use cases home router and enterprise appliance. Once your into appliance territory using a big desktop is just better unless it needs to go up on a tower (and I haven’t had to fill that need yet)

For a home router no-fan is nearly mandatory and you really want very nice antennas and wifi cards, for which I’d lean to the 3200acm as the higher end.

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Big desktop requires space, energy, fans. These solution are small, low energy, no moving parts.

Enterprise appliance covers a large range of products, not all x86. Is anyone working on targeting any non-x86 enterprise products? Some say they run OpenWRT, are they defacto compatible?

Many companies in the enterprise space do B2B only; its difficult to search the products, and harder still to find prices on them without going out for quotes.

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when I say ‘enterprise appliance’ I’m thinking more about the role of the device. The actual hardware I have in mind are very traditional x86 desktops and servers.

There’s definitely a usecase for smaller x86 devices I just haven’t had to fill it yet. But there’s no reason to go into the world of quotes and other non-commodity hardware. Since we can run on any x86 device we are spoiled for choice.

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