10 Best Router For OpenWrt 2021 | Buyers Guide

In today’s world, everything is digital. But with such a digital lifestyle comes several cons as well. These cons can affect our lives in many adverse ways that we couldn’t even think of. 

The industry of routers has seen some drastic changes over the past few years. People’s mindsets and requirements have also evolved with time. Today, everyone wants a fast and reliable Wi-Fi connection that can make our daily chores fast and comfortable. However, 

Our online activities are tracked and there is no doubt in this fact. Due to which everyone seems concerned about the privacy of their data because a hacked router is the most disturbing thing that can happen to anyone’s privacy.

It means that all your data is in the hands of a scammer. With the advancement in technology, this situation can be prevented with the help of an OpenWrt. This system offers a safe and secure connection and privacy.

What is OpenWrt?

OpenWrt Router is an outstanding illustration of modern technology. It is an embedded Linux distribution that can be purchased or installed on several routers. This system opens the doors to a lot of possibilities and advancements. It is a firmware for routers that convert the ancient, customary routers into a high-end router by catering improved internet speed, reliability, storage, and safety.

OpenWrt ensures to keep our digital platform private and at the same time, secure. Nowadays, business workers and even normal individuals are on the go and want their work done as soon as possible. Wireless OpenWrt routers are truly convenient and might be very handy in situations like these.

Top 10 Best Routers for OpenWrt

To satisfy the hunger of getting the best, safe, and secure router and to cater to your tech-buds, we have compiled a list of 10 best routers for OpenWrt by doing thorough research. So let’s jump right into it!

1. Turris Omnia Open Source Wi-Fi Router

Turris Omnia 2020 | 2 GB RAM,...
  • Secure and powerful open source router and home server as "two in...
  • CPU Marvell Armada 385, Dual Core 1.6 GHz with 2 GB RAM and 8 GB...
  • It makes it possible to operate Wifi at 5 GHz (802.11 AC) and 2.4...
  • Automatic update and a unique distributed firewall

Omnia from Turris is undoubtedly the best router for OpenWrt, hence sits on top of our review list. It is an open-source router solution and is the most powerful router in terms of CPU performance.

This dual-band router features the 3*3 MIMO technology that ensures very high speed. In terms of memory, the router features a 2GB RAM and 8GB storage. These two features clearly indicate that the router is extremely efficient in the department of transferring and storing quick and secure data.

Omnia from Turris is powered by a high power dual-core ARM CPU of 1.6 GHz, which ensures rapid and trustworthy performance.

In terms of connectivity, the router features two USB 3.0 ports, one GWAN, five GLAN, one SFP, three Mini PCI Express, one mSATA, and one SIM card slot. This extensive range of connectivity ensures that the data is transferred across the devices conveniently. 

Moreover, the router automatically installs new software updates. This is pretty convenient and also improves the security to another level.

All in all, this router has a lot to offer. The superb connectivity and security are amazing, along with the automatic regular updates are a cherry on the top to this impeccable OpenWrt router. However, it might be a little tricky to understand for people who aren’t tech-savvy!

  • Automatic security updates
  • Upfront user interface
  • SFP port for using an optical network
  • Solid metal outer surface
  • Easy to set up
  • Great amount of coverage
  • Ultimate performance
  • Does not identify all LTE Chips
  • Needs to be worked with a lot of carefulness

2. NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S Smart Wi-Fi Router (R7800)

NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S Smart...
  • Fast wifi performance: Get up to 2500 square feet wireless...
  • Recommended for up to 45 devices: Reliably stream videos, play...
  • Wired Ethernet ports: plug in computers, game consoles, streaming...
  • Loaded with advanced technology: Designed with a 1.7GHz dual core...

Netgear is a renowned brand when it comes to wireless routers for OpenWrt. It offers quite a lot of features to ensure high-end and fast connections on many devices at a time. 

This dual-band wireless router can deliver internet speed of up to 2600 Mbps which is more than enough for the perplexing actions. This might also include 4K video streaming or online gaming.

The Nighthawk X4S is a great router for OpenWrt because it automatically selects the most appropriate band which minimizes hacks along with maximizing the network speed of the router. 

NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S offers an extensive range of connectivity. It features 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports, 2 USB ports, and a single eSATA port for a storage device or printer.

The router is protected with high-end WPA/WPA2 wireless security and double firewall protection to keep your data safe from hacking and scamming. You are also able to create a guest network to keep the network separate from the existing home network.

OpenWrt settings can be adjusted via the accompanying Nighthawk app that assists in setting the options according to the user’s preferences. 

The parental controls are not quite extensive and advanced. However, Netgear R7800 provides the ability to manage website access, modify web filtering, and restore Wi-Fi settings access for every device. 

Overall, Nighthawk R7800 is a great router for OpenWrt as it enables users to modify quite a lot of features as compared to other OpenWrt devices in the market today.

  • Impeccable Wi-Fi performance
  • Delivers great design
  • Handle multiple devices seamlessly
  • Outstanding connectivity
  • Can rank network traffic
  • MU-MIMO boost functionality
  • Fantastic wireless coverage
  • Poor customer service
  • Software interface could be improved

3. TP-Link AC1900 Smart Wi-Fi Router

TP-Link AC1900 Smart WiFi...
  • Wave 2 Wireless Internet Router, 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and...
  • MU-MIMO Gigabit Router, Three simultaneous data streams help your...
  • Boosted Wi-Fi Coverage, Beamforming technology delivers a highly...
  • Beyond security, Archer A9 goes beyond traditional network...

TP-Link AC1900 has quite many great features and is equipped with the latest beamforming technology. Overall, the device is great for OpenWrt due to the advanced features.

The router offers great coverage ideal for medium to large-sized houses. It offers a great performance of 600Mbps on the 2.4 GHz and 1300Mbps on 5 GHz band. The device offers a solid set of features topping which is beamforming technology. 

In terms of connectivity, the router features four Gigabit LAN ports, two USB ports. The device is extremely easy to install and offers useful management options.

The beamforming technology distinguishes this router from the others in its league. TP-Link AC1900 is an MU-MIMO Gigabit Router which means it has improved performance and speed. This router can cope with multiple devices at a time alongside providing a stable connection to all the devices. 

Other than the advanced features, the router offers some great security features that give the user more control over the network. This makes the device best in terms of OpenWrt. 

The device offers advanced parental controls which enable the parents to keep a check at the activities and overall time spent on the Internet by the kids. 

The device is pretty efficient for streaming 4K videos and online gaming. Other than that, it comes pretty handy for networking as well, facilitating the customers who run home businesses.

All in all, TP-Link AC1900 is a great device but can do better in quality control and customer support department!

  • Overall optimal performance
  • Exceptionally easy to set up
  • Easy networking due to dual-band Wi-Fi
  • Extensive parental controls
  • Features beamforming technology that send focused signals right into the device
  • Quality control problems
  • Poor customer service

4. Linksys WRT AC3200 Dual-Band Open Source Router

Linksys WRT3200ACM Dual-Band...
  • Fast wireless router provides Wi-Fi coverage for your home (works...
  • Open source firmware offers advanced customization; Certified...
  • Tri stream 160 technology doubles bandwidth from 80 MHz to 160...
  • Enjoy 4K HD streaming, gaming and more in high quality without...

Linksys WRT AC3200 is the card of all trades. It ensures a stable and secure internet connection. The feature that allows this router to stand out is that it is equipped with great technology. It supports both the technologies; Tri-stream 160 MHz and MU-MIMO technology that boosts the performance of the router to another level.

This device offers certain high-end features that are most suitable for OpenWRT. The router is a dual-band, 802.11ac device with a high-performance Wi-Fi unit. The router offers Gigabit speed of up to 2.6 Gbps. The router supports high- level performance seamlessly well. You can stream 46 videos and play heavy online games easily and reliably. 

Linksys WRT AC3200 is powered by a 1.8 GHz dual central processing unit. The two equipped technologies boost the overall speed. The speed increases reactive multiple performances and DFS (Dynamic frequency selection) up to 3 times the existing 800 MHz channels.

The routers exceed in terms of connectivity. It features four 1G Ethernet ports for super-fast connections, one 3.0 USB, and one eSATA/USB 2.0 hybrid port for sharing and cloud storage.

The cool feature this brand offers is its Smart Wi-Fi app that effectively monitors and manages the network. This router is suitable for OpenWrt as it supports open-source customization with OpenWrt and DD-WRT. 

This means that the router’s settings of parental control, protected VPN, access interruptions, network traffic, hotspots, and web servers can be controlled, adjusted, and managed quite efficiently.

Overall, the device offers some exceptional qualities. However, there are certain performance issues reported about this device which should be kept in mind before getting hands on this device!

  • Cost-effective
  • Excellent connectivity
  • Optimal performance
  • Possess open-source firmware
  • Automatic updates
  • Supports both Tri-stream 160MHz and MU-MIMO technology
  • Easy file transferring
  • Easy setup
  • Does not block individual websites
  • Some features are complex

5. Linksys WRT1900ACS Open Source Dual-Band Gigabit Wi-Fi Wireless Router

Linksys Open Source Dual-Band...
  • Wireless AC, up to 4.3x faster than N technology: Simultaneous...
  • 4 high performance antennas: Engineered to enhance dual band...
  • Dual Core 1.6 GHz CPU: Powerful CPU promotes simultaneous high...
  • Share content via an external storage device with ultra fast data...

Yet again, Linksys has booked its mark on our list with its tremendous qualities that have hooked customers and also us to this router. Having said that, the performance of this router has also been criticized. Overall, there is a mixed review on this router which is as follows.

The cool thing that Linksys offers is the easy to operate Smart App. This app allows us to modify the settings easily. It is extremely efficient, convenient, and handy for the users. 

In terms of connectivity, Linksys WRT1900ACS offers various USB ports and an eSATA port which are pretty basic but also offer a great deal of versatility and flexibility to the users.

The router offers beamforming technology that sends concentrated signals directly into the device connected. This increases the overall speed and performance of the router on multiple devices.

This router is powered by a Dual Core 1.6 GHz ARM-based processor that offers up to 4.3x faster speed than N technology. The router is undeniably suitable for the young generation whose work solely depends on the use of the internet. 

The widespread parental controls allow parents to keep a check at their children’s time and activities on the digital network. They can even manage, control, and adjust their daily usage according to their preference. Moreover, the great coverage of this router ensures that every device in the house gets the best internet connection.

  • Pretty easy to set up
  • Versatile and flexible connectivity
  • The app allows easy accession and management
  • Optimal performance
  • Fast file transfer
  • Widespread parental controls
  • Offers latest technology
  • Heats up while running
  • Bit pricey

6. Slate GL.iNet GL-AR750S

GL.iNet GL-AR750S-Ext (Slate)...
  • 【DUAL BAND AC WIRELESS ROUTER】 Simultaneous dual band with...
  • 【OPEN SOURCE & PROGRAMMABLE】 OpenWrt/LEDE pre-installed,...
  • 【VPN CLIENT & SERVER】 OpenVPN and WireGuard pre-installed,...

GL.iNet is a leading brand in the industry of OpenWrt routers. This brand is well-known because of its compact and lightweight routers. The router weighs only 86g. At such a small size and weight, this router has managed to mark its place on the list of the best router for OpenWRT.

Slate GL.iNet GL-AR750S is a 775MHZ CPU powered dual Broadband AC router. This lets you jump between 2.4GHz and 5GHz. This juggling assists in preventing traffic and offers fast internet speed for optimal and improved performance.  

In terms of specs, the router possesses 128MB RAM, 16MB NOR Flash, and 128MB NAND Flash. Moreover, the router also possesses a micro SD card slot that is upgradable up to 128GB. 

In terms of connectivity, the router possesses three-gigabit ports at the back, one WAN and the other two LAN, being only of the little travel routers with Gigabit. 

In terms of advanced features, the router possesses OpenVPN and WineGuard that are pre-installed along with OpenWrt. These features not only aid in translating and protecting online data activities but also helps in joining workplaces via a safe private cloud.

  • Dual-Band delivers high speed
  • Can be used as a Repeater, mini Router, and Access Point from only one login
  • Great performance
  • Cost-effective
  • Great for streaming UHD videos, and playing games on multiple devices
  • Useful when traveling
  • Amazing battery life
  • Low speed of USB 2.0 when copying very large files

7. GL.iNET GL-AR300M (Shadow) Mini VPN Travel Router

GL.iNET GL-AR300M (Shadow)...
  • [OPEN SOURCE & PROGRAMMABLE] OpenWrt/LEDE pre-installed, backed...
  • [VPN CLIENT & SERVER] OpenVPN and WireGuard pre-installed,...
  • [PACKAGE CONTENTS] GL-AR300M-Ext mini router (Antennas color:...

This router by GL.iNET is pretty similar to MUDI. Although it is great for professionals and individuals who are into modifying the software according to their preferences. 

The router offers high storage of 128GB RAM. Along with that, 128MB NAND Flash is catered. The device also backs 1 GPIOs for hardware modification.

This router efficiently converts any public network, phone tethering, and even 3G/4G modems into a secure Private Wi-Fi platform. 

When it comes to OpenWrt, the device has pre-installed OpenWrt, OpenVPN, and is easily compatible with more than 25 VPN clients. The users also get access to more than 4000 software packages that allows them to modify and adjust the network experience according to their requirements.

  • Automatically updates
  • Great range
  • Flexible and well-featured
  • Extensive connectivity
  • No slot for SD Card

8. GL.iNet GL-E750 (MUDI) 4G LTE OpenWrt VPN Router

GL.iNet GL-E750 (MUDI) 4G LTE...
  • 【4G LTE WIRELESS SMART ROUTER】Converter, transfer 4G LTE...
  • 【VPN CLIENT & SERVER】VPN (both OpenVPN and WireGuard)...
  • 【COMPACT & DURABLE】145*77.5*23.5mm compact size with 285g...

This router from GL.iNET is specifically for people who want safe and secure wifi connection. Threats and scam follow your way when you are traveling so this device is great to prevent those types of situations. 

MUDI is certified in providing cybersecurity from scamming, viruses, and data outflows by offering great cryptography. This router is small and has a compact size. It weighs 285g and is considered the best wireless router for traveling.

In terms of specs, the router possesses 128MB RAM, 16MB NOR Flash, and 128MB NAND Flash. Moreover, the router also possesses a micro SD card slot that is upgradable up to 128GB. 

In terms of connectivity, the router possesses three-gigabit ports at the back, one WAN and the other two LAN, being only of the little travel routers with Gigabit. 

In terms of advanced features, the router possesses OpenVPN and WineGuard that are pre-installed along with OpenWrt. These features not only aid in translating and protecting online data activities but also helps in joining workplaces via a safe private cloud.

  • Offers further configuration route via Luci or SSH
  • Charges itself when attached to a charger
  • Has software option
  • Optimal performance
  • LED display helps in checking the status
  • A bit pricey
  • Heats up

9. Zyxel Armor Z2 AC2600 Wireless Router

Zyxel Armor Z2 AC2600 MU-MIMO...
  • 2nd generation AC2600 chipset for 2600 Mbps speed 802.11ac....
  • 4x4 MU-MIMO technology that enables accelerated transmission to...
  • Stream boost optimization to deliver the best gaming and...
  • Beam forming antennas for enhanced wireless coverage and...

Zyxel is a well-known manufacturer when it comes to tech devices. It has had its name in the market for 30 years. Armor Z2 from Zyxel is one of the best routers for OpenWrt and is appropriate for people who want constant and speedy network on multiple devices. 

The router use 4*4 MU-MIMO technology which offers awesome internet speed. The router runs on a second generation AC2600 802.11AC chipset that provides 2600 Mbps speed, efficiently with a coverage of 2500 Square Feet.

The router also features intelligent beamforming technology in the antennas of the router assist in increasing speed and connectivity.

Armor Z2 is powered by dual-core 1.7 GHz CPU. It supports Dual-Band StreamBoost technology. This is great to stream 4K videos and play online games.

All in all, Armor Z2 is a great OpenWrt router at a reasonable price in the market today!

  • Brilliant design
  • Safe and easy to use
  • Offers widespread coverage
  • Offers MU-MIMO streaming
  • Easy to install
  • Average performance
  • Slow interface

10. GL.iNet GL-X750 (Spitz) 4G LTE OpenWrt VPN Router

GL.iNet GL-X750 (Spitz) 4G LTE...
  • [SMART 4G LTE SMART WIRELESS ROUTER] Transfer 4G LTE signal to...
  • [OPEN SOURCE & PROGRAMMABLE] OpenWrt/LEDE pre-installed, backed...
  • [VPN CLIENT & SERVER] OpenVPN and WireGuard pre-installed,...

Again on our list, we have the GL.iNet router. As discussed earlier, these routers are well-known for their compact and small size. Although they are small and lightweight but manage to pull off an amazing deal of performance. 

GL.iNet GL-X750 (Spitz) is another great router suitable for traveling. The unique features offered by this device make it stand out in the league of best OpenWrt routers. 

The router is powered by a powerful QCA9531 CPU of 650MHz. It has the ability to transfer 4G LTE signals to Wi-Fi. This is helpful in delivering fast network speed. 

In terms of connectivity, the router features two Ethernet ports, one micro SIM slot, and a USB 2.0 port. The device features a pre-installed OpenVPN and WIneguard that ensure the safety and privacy of the user’s data. The router also features a built-in mini PCIe 3G/4G module that works with many operators all around the world.

Overall, GL.iNet GL-X750 (Spitz) offers some great features for OpenWrt plus the compact and lightweight aspect makes it best for traveling.

  • Great hardware performance
  • Worth the money
  • High speed
  • High performance
  • Great for VOIP calls, streaming, gaming, etc.
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Aligns itself from SIM cards
  • Provides a less range

Who Is OpenWRT Router Best For?

OpenWrt firmware router is best for users who don’t just want a basic plug and play router. These users require the ability to personalize and modify their network according to their needs which are offered by OpenWrt routers. Although these routers require some tech awareness, they are not too complex and can be used efficiently by anyone.

Is there an initial password set? If so, what is it?

No, there is no initial password set. You have to create the password manually after logging in first. This can be done easily by using the word ‘password’ in the command line.

What happens if I forget my password? Can I reset it?

The answer is yes, the password can be changed if you forget it. It can be done simply by the Troubleshooting panel given on the User Guide to reset the root password.

How can I access web admin GUI?

The web admin GUI can be accessed by entering on any browser you choose to use.

How to enable SSL for web admin GUI?

SSL for web admin GUI can be enabled by installing ‘opkg update’ in an SSH command line. The next step is installing ‘opkg install luci-ssl’, after which it is suggested to restart the router. Then simply follow the steps of accessing web admin GUI by entering on any browser you choose to use.

How many devices are too many for a router?

Many wireless routers in the market claim to support around 250 devices at a time. However, it is not recommended to do so. This will negatively affect the Internet speed and you will most likely experience poor and sub-par connectivity.

Which is better: DD WRT or OpenWRT?

Basically, DD WRT is based on OpenWRT. DD WRT is easier to install and manage than OpenWRT. The only downside to DD WRT is that it doesn’t support as many devices as the OpenWRT. However, it does support some usual home routers.

Does DD WRT support VPN?

Some DD WRT routers come with the installed manufacturer’s registered firmware. The branded router firmware doesn’t normally support VPNs. However, this can be replaced by the stock firmware DD WRT in a procedure called the flashing. Once this is done, the VPN connections can be configured from the settings panel.

Will DD WRT speed up the router?

DD-WRT can significantly enhance the router’s speed and make connecting to the internet a much improved and easier experience. Nonetheless, this system does have some probable risks and disadvantages that you should definitely bring into consideration before you choose to blaze the router. To start with, installing DD-WRT may cancel the warranty on the router.

Is tomato better than DD WRT?

Tomato has unified Tor and BitTorrent users and even made USB incorporation easier. Tomato is also suggested for bandwidth checking usage. Also, Tomato offers real-time, 24 hours, daily, weekly, and monthly bandwidth watching, whereas DD-WRT only offers real-time bandwidth checking.

Bottom Line

If you are in search of upgrading your old wireless router or want to have more lightness with its system, you should definitely check out the best OpenWrt routers mentioned in this review. These routers are more stable than regular routers. They improve privacy without having to reset the router frequently.

From installing VPN to eliminating the need of having another router, OpenWrt offers many advantages. It gives the network a high-level boost along with offering access to advanced settings. This open-source option is suitable for tech department offices.

OpenWrt firmware router is appropriate for users who don’t just want a basic plug and play router. These users require the ability to personalize and modify their network according to their needs. Although these routers require some tech awareness, they are not too complicated and can be used efficiently by anyone. All in all, if you are considering getting more control over your router, these ten are a must to check out!

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