Best Router for Openwrt – Our first order of business when researching and ranking the best OpenWRT routers was to ensure compatibility. We only included routers in this buying guide if they are actually compatible with OpenWRT software. Next, we considered each router’s overall performance.
You’ll obviously want the fastest router to give you the best speeds – depending on the speeds you get from your ISP – as well as an option that gives you a good amount of range. We awarded points based on overall throughput, which refers to how well your router can provide signal and speed, even at long ranges or through obstacles.
Next, we ranked each OpenWRT router based on its user-friendliness and overall ease of installation for the OpenWRT software.
The TP-Link Archer A9 router is an excellent choice for anyone looking to get into the world of OpenWRT software so you can have full control over your home network. This is a dual-band router packed to the brim with features and functionality. The dual-band functionality gives you two channels to which you can connect your devices: a 2.4GHz channel and a 5GHz channel. This gives you more flexibility to get the most speed out of all of your devices. You can connect devices that need more speed and reliability to the 5GHz channel and those that don’t to the 2.4GHz channel.
When it comes to speed and connectivity, you’ll also get tons of options here. The Archer A9 can provide a top speed of 1300 megabits per second, or 1.3 gigabits per second, on the 5GHz channel. Plus, with beamforming technology and MU-MIMO capabilities, you’ll get long-range performance for multiple devices, even through obstacles like walls and doors.
2.ASUS ROG Rapture WiFi
With eight adjustable antennas, you’ll get plenty of range for large homes and multiple devices. Unfortunately, this design is also large and bulky, making it more difficult to install the GT-AC5300 in compact spaces.
When it comes to performance and user settings, the Asus GT-AC5300 is hard to beat. This is a tri-band wireless router with a 2.4GHz channel and two 5Ghz channels. These three channels allow you to connect more devices to the router without experiencing drops in performance or bandwidth. Plus, you’ll get blazing fast speeds on each of those channels, which is perfect for all of your online entertainment needs. This is one of the best OpenWRT routers for gaming and 4K streaming. The powerful router also gives you eight different gigabit ethernet ports so you can connect a wide variety of devices straight to the router for a more reliable connection. It’s certainly the best router for streaming on our list.
If you need comprehensive coverage throughout your entire home for all of your different devices, including personal-use devices and smart-home technology, you can’t go wrong with the Linksys MR9600 OpenWRT router. This is a mesh Wi-Fi router, meaning it uses a central base that then connects to other compatible Linksys mesh routers to create a more comprehensive coverage throughout your entire home. Of course, the Linksys MR9600 still performs well even without the additional mesh modes, even at long ranges. This flexibility is another huge selling point.
Overall performance and design are also to be applauded with this wireless router. It features a sleek design that looks great anywhere you install the device. It’s still larger than many other routers, but it’s not as bulky as some that share similar sizes. The Linksys MR9600 is a dual-band router, but it’s compatible with Wi-Fi 6 networks for ultimate speeds, especially at close ranges.
4.Turris Omnia 2020
The Turris Omnia 2GB OpenWRT wireless router is the option with one of the highest qualities you can find available on the market today, in both its construction and overall great performance. It’s built with a durable metal chassis that looks good and can withstand a beating.
Unfortunately, the metal chassis can’t elevate the router’s overall design, which is frankly a bit boring, especially when compared to other modern OpenWRT routers. On the front of the device, you’ll find a single USB 3.0 port and a line of LED indicator lights that flash to tell you different statuses. The Turris Omnia OpenWRT router also features three adjustable antennas that emit a powerful Wi-Fi signal.
5.NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S
The Netgear Nighthawk X4S OpenWRT router is the best choice for streaming 4K and full HD content in your home, even across a wide variety of different streaming devices. This wireless router offers dual-band functionality – with both 5GHz and 2.4GHz channels – but performs best on the 5GHz band. You’ll get up to 1.733Gbps of speed on the 5GHz, as long as your home network offers those kinds of speeds. The Nighthawk X4S also provides excellent performance over longer ranges, which is an excellent feature to have.
You’ll also get amazing performance for multiple devices with this Netgear wireless router. With strong MU-MIMO capabilities, the X4S can connect up to 45 different devices with hardly any service interruptions or performance dips.
6.Zyxel Armor Z2 AC2600
The Zyxel Armor Z2 OpenWRT router is the best device for homes that have multiple users and multiple devices connected simultaneously to your home network. The most important feature to consider here is the MU-MIMO capabilities, which allow the Zyxel router to provide comprehensive and reliable signal strength to any connected device. You’ll also get dual-band tech here, giving you two different channels to which your devices can connect.
The Zyxel Armor Z2 is also built incredibly well. It features a unique design aesthetic that still looks great and not quite as wild as some of the more unique options available today. You won’t have any trouble getting the Zyxel router up and running. The built-in software isn’t as great as others, especially when it comes to parental controls, but when you install your chosen OpenWRT software, this doesn’t become as big of an issue. For travelers, you might also want to consider the best travel router buying guide.
This router from GL-AR750S-Ext is a great choice for you if you are looking forward to buying a quirky, off-beat router that is highly customizable as well as extremely portable. What adds to its charm is that you don’t even have to install OpenWrt as it comes pre-installed here.
This dual-band router provides you a total speed of about 750mbps, with the 2.4GHz band offering speeds up to 300mbps and the 5GHz band taking it up to 433mbps. The company hasn’t really divulged details about their coverage, but based on most reviews, it is good enough for a medium to large-sized home.
Best Router for Openwrt – The best OpenWRT routers offer simple installation processes for both getting the router initially set up and running, as well as getting the software installed. We preferred routers that give you access to network and user management settings via web browser and smartphone apps.
Finally, we considered overall build quality and durability. We gave preference to routers that didn’t take up too much space but still considered larger options. We also awarded points based on overall durability, ranking options higher if they could handle a bump or drop without damage, even with protruding antennas.