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OpenWRT is a Linux based open-source router firmware project created to unlock the hidden potential of your wireless router.
Most routers ships with stock firmware that is developed by the manufacturer of the router. Stock firmware is designed for easy user experience and avoids any advanced technical stuff that may seem confusing to the non-technical user.
However, custom router firmware projects like DD-WRT, OpenWRT etc. lift the restrictions of the stock firmware and allow full control of the device. It can greatly enhance the router’s features such as stability, privacy, network security and wireless connectivity.
The OpenWrt distributions provide several thousand packages to extend the functionality of your device. Users can use the package management feature and customize the device through the use of packages to suit any application. Whereas, developers can use OpenWrt as the framework to build an application without having to build a complete firmware around it.
Here’s the list of the best OpenWRT supported routers:
|OpenWRT Routers||Link to Product|
|NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S Smart WiFi Router (R7800)||See details at Amazon|
|Linksys E8450 AX3200 WiFi 6 Router||See details at Amazon|
|Cudy AC2100 Smart WiFi Mesh Router, WR2100||See details at Amazon|
|TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router (Archer A7) (V5)||See details at Amazon|
|Linksys WRT3200ACM Open Source Router||See details at Amazon|
1. All these routers are OpenWRT compatible. However, I am mentioning other interesting features of these routers. For full-specifications visit the official website of these routers.
2. The features mentioned here are for routers with stock firmware. Some of these features may not work with open-source router firmware.
3. These are not the only supported routers. Check the OpenWRT router firmware website to know about other supported routers.
4. The routers mentioned here may have different versions. Some manufacturers create new routers using different hardware without changing the model number. Therefore, make sure you are buying the right version (one that is compatible with OpenWRT).
5. You should do your research about the latest firmware version in the OpenWRT forums/website before you proceed with the flashing process.
6. Flashing third-party firmware may brick your device. I/Techsphinx shall not be held responsible for any damages.
Best OpenWRT Routers
1. NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S Smart WiFi Router (R7800)
The first on the best OpenWRT router list is Netgear Nighthawk R7800. It is a simultaneous dual-band router that offers a maximum speed of up to 1730 Mbps on the 5 GHz band and up to 800 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band.
It is equipped with 4 external antennas for better WiFi coverage. If that’s not enough for you then the beamforming+ technology included will boost speed, reliability and range of WiFi connections to the connected devices.
Thanks to the ReadySHARE technology, you can easily share a storage drive with any connected device or create personal cloud storage that you can access from anywhere.
You can easily set up and manage the router configurations through Nighthawk App or via the web browser.
If you are in the market for a balanced router, that you can use for day-to-day tasks like streaming videos, playing games, surfing the internet, connecting smart home devices and being compatible with DD-WRT and OpenWRT router firmware, then this router will be a great addition to your networking world.
Hardware Specs of Netgear R7800:
|Processor||1.7 GHz dual-core processor|
|Memory||128 MB Flash, 512 MB RAM|
|Ports||1 x 10/100/1000 Mbps WAN port, 4 x 10/100/1000 Mbps LAN ports, 2 x USB 3.0 port and 1 x eSATA port|
|Buttons||WPS button, Wireless On/Off button, LED On/Off button, Reset button and Power button|
|Antennas||4 x External Antennas|
|Dimensions||11.22 x 7.26 x 1.97 in|
- Simultaneous Dual Band (2.4 and 5 GHz) WiFi router.
- Maximum Speeds of up to 800 Mbps (2.4 GHz) and up to 1730 Mbps (5 GHz).
- Beamforming+ technology is included to boost speed, reliability and range of WiFi connections.
- Support for creating personal cloud storage to access files from anywhere.
- Supports WPA2 wireless security protocol, Double Firewall and DoS attack protection.
- Setup and Manage the router using the Nighthawk App.
2. Linksys E8450 AX3200 WiFi 6 Router
Linksys E8450 is a dual-band router. It offers maximum speed of up to 800 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and up to 2400 Mbps on the 5 GHz band.
Unlike other OpenWRT compatible routers on this list, Linksys E8450 is a WiFi 6 router (AX series). It is also backwards compatible with the older 802.11a/b/g/n/ac wireless standards.
As for security, E8450 has SPI Firewall and DoS security included along with the support of WPA2 and WPA3 wireless encryption. Moreover, you can easily and quickly set up this router using a web browser.
If you are looking for an AX series router to use with the OpenWRT firmware, then I recommend you to check out this router.
Hardware Specs of Linksys E8450:
|Processor||1.4 GHz Dual-Core|
|Memory||128MB NAND Flash, 512MB DDR3 SDRAM|
|Ports||1 x Gigabit WAN Port, 4 x Gigabit LAN Ports, USB 2.0|
|Buttons||WPS Button, Reset Button and Power button|
|Antennas||4 x Internal Antennas|
|Dimensions||6.14 x 3.03 x 8.66 in|
- Dual Band (2.4 and 5GHz) WiFi 6 Router.
- Supports MU-MIMO.
- Maximum speed of up to 800Mbps (2.4 GHz) and up to 2400 Mbps (5 GHz).
- SPI Firewall and DOS security included.
- Supports WPA2 (Personal/Enterprise) and WPA3 (Personal/Enterprise) encryption standards.
- Quick and easy Browser-based setup.
3. Cudy AC2100 Smart WiFi Mesh Router, WR2100
Cudy WR2100 is a dual-band WiFi router that offers maximum speeds of up to 1700 Mbps on the 5 GHz band and up to 300 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band.
It has MU-MIMO technology included for providing reliable and stable connection simultaneously across multiple connected devices.
Moreover, this router offers multiple working modes, one of such is the mesh mode that allows combining other compatible Cudy products to create a large WiFi network that can cover your entire home.
As for security, apart from WPA/WPA2 encryption standards, this router offers 20+ DDNS Support and built-in VPN clients such as WireGuard and OpenVPN.
The best thing about this router is that it officially supports OpenWRT router firmware and you can download a snapshot of the firmware from the official website of Cudy.
Hardware Specs of Cudy WR2100:
|Processor||880 MHz Dual-Core CPU|
|Memory||16MB Flash, 128MB RAM|
|Ports||1× 1000/100/10 Mbps WAN Port, 4× 1000/100/10 Mbps LAN Ports|
|Buttons||WPS Button, Reset Button|
|Antennas||4 x Omni-directional Antennas|
|Dimensions||9.84 x 5.28 x 1.42 in|
- Dual Band (2.4 and 5GHz) MU-MIMO WiFi Router.
- Maximum speed of up to 300Mbps (2.4 GHz) and up to 1733 Mbps (5 GHz).
- Multiple working modes (Router, Access Point, WISP, Extender and Mesh) are available.
- 20+ DDNS Support and Built-in VPN clients (PPTP, L2TP, WireGuard and OpenVPN)
- Mesh support for whole-home coverage.
- Officially supports OpenWRT and you can download an official OpenWRT snapshot from Cudy official website.
4. TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router (Archer A7) (V5)
TP-Link Archer A7 is a simultaneous dual-band WiFi 5 router that offers a maximum speed of up to 1300 Mbps on the 5 GHz band and up to 450 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band.
It has the TP-Link OneMesh technology included, which allows you to combine this router with other compatible TP-Link products to create a mesh network for an increased coverage area.
You can combine TP-Link Archer A7 with other compatible OneMesh products to create a mesh network
Archer A7 supports WPA/WPA2 personal and enterprise network security and features multiple modes (Router, Access point mode).
You can easily set up and remotely manage the router configurations through the Tether App or via the web browser. Moreover, this router is also compatible with Alexa voice control.
If you are looking for a budget router that is compatible with OpenWRT firmware, then check out this router.
Hardware Specs of TP-Link Archer A7:
|Processor||750 MHz Qualcomm CPU|
|Memory||16 MB Flash and 128 MB RAM|
|Ports||1 x Gigabit WAN Port, 4 x Gigabit LAN Ports, 1 x USB 2.0 Port|
|Buttons||Wi-Fi On/Off Button, Power On/Off Button, WPS/Reset Button|
|Antennas||3 x High-performance Antennas|
|Dimensions||9.6 x 6.4 x 1.3 in|
- Simultaneous Dual Band (2.4 and 5 GHz) WiFi 5 router.
- Maximum speed of up to 1300 Mbps (5GHz) and up to 450 Mbps (2.4 GHz).
- Compatible with TP-Link OneMesh products for whole-home coverage.
- Multiple modes (Router Mode, Access Point Mode) are available.
- Works with Alexa.
- Supports WPA, WPA2, WPA/WPA2-Enterprise encryption standards.
- Easy setup and management with Tether App or webpage.
5. Linksys WRT3200ACM Open Source Router
The last on this best OpenWRT router list is Linksys WRT3200ACM. It is a dual-band router that offers a maximum speed of up to 2600 Mbps on the 5GHz band and up to 600 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band.
Thanks to its TRI-stream 160 technology that increases bandwidth from 80Mhz to 160Mhz, you can enjoy 4K HD streaming, gaming etc. in high quality without any lag.
Linksys WRT3200ACM has MU-MIMO to provide reliable connections to multiple devices simultaneously and beamforming technology that optimizes performance and reduces interference by focusing wireless signals to connected devices.
Moreover, this router supports WPA/WPA2 wireless encryption standards and you can easily set up and manage this router using the Linksys Smart WiFi App or through a web browser.
If you want an open-source router combined with powerful hardware that is compatible with both DD-WRT and OpenWRT router firmware, then this router is a great choice.
Hardware Specs of Linksys WRT3200ACM:
|Processor||1.8 GHz Dual-Core CPU|
|Memory||512MB RAM and 256MB flash|
|Ports||1 x Gigabit WAN Port, 4 x Gigabit LAN Ports, 1 x USB 3.0 port, 1 x Combo eSATA/USB 2.0 port|
|Buttons||WPS, Reset and Power button|
|Antennas||4 x External Detachable antennas|
|Dimensions||9.68 x 7.63 x 2.04 in|
- TRI-STREAM 160 MHz Dual-band (2.4 and 5GHz) open-source router.
- Maximum speeds of up to 600 Mbps (2.4 GHz) and 2600 Mbps (5 GHz).
- MU-MIMO and Beamforming technology supported.
- Supports multiple operation modes (Router, Access Point, Wired Bridge, Wireless Bridge and Repeater).
- Supports WPA/WPA2 wireless encryption.
- Compatible with both OpenWRT and DD-WRT.
- Easy setup and management with Linksys Smart Wi-Fi App or web browser.
This concludes the best OpenWRT router list. However, these are not the only routers that are compatible with OpenWRT router firmware. There are portable travel routers by GL.iNet that ships with OpenWRT. You can read about them here.
Also check out: Best DD-WRT compatible routers and Best Routers to use with Tomato Firmware.
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