8 Best OpenWRT Routers in 2021 (Expert Reviews)

There is one disgusting thing that people who upgrade their home internet face—getting a router that is not flexible. However, it is something that you can quickly avoid. Getting the best OpenWRT router will give much control over your router and your internet connection.

OpenWRT has made it all simple. It is a software that is embedded under Linux distribution and easily gets installed on many routers. You can, therefore, buy a router that has OpenWRT already installed.

We have also reviewed the best DD-WRT routers and the best Tomato routers for you to make the best choice for your home or office. All these firmware help to get the best performance for your router while also offering extra security and privacy.

Today we have decided to present this article to guide you on purchasing your OpenWRT router. The reviewed routers will make your home safer while also giving you a performance that can be envied. Have a look at our review.

Best OpenWRT routers

RouterBest forCheck it out
Turris Omnia 2 GB Wifi routerBest OpenWRT routerCHECK IT OUT
Linksys MR9600 Mesh wifi routerBest Wi-Fi 6 OpenWRT routerCHECK IT OUT
Netgear Nighthawk X4S RouterBest budget router for OpenWRTCHECK IT OUT
Asus gaming router GT-AC5300Best gaming router for OpenWRTCHECK IT OUT
Linksys WRT3200ACM Dual-band routerBest for tweakersCHECK IT OUT
Zyxel Armor Z2 AC2600 RouterBest splurge router for OpenWRTCHECK IT OUT
ZBT Dual-band 1200 Mbps wifi router WE1326OpenWRT as primary firmware routerCHECK IT OUT
CHECK IT OUT

Turris Omnia 2 GB Wifi router

Turris Omnia 2 GB Wifi router: Best OpenWRT router

You are looking for a router, but this model is more than what you need. It comes with unique features, such as 2GB RAM. The router also has various components that make its performance more enhanced.

The router comes from a brand that is not famous, but its performance is great. You will therefore have an awesome choice for your home upgrade with OpenWRT Router. It offers an open-source center ideal for your home.

You will have a special love for this router because of its performance. It features a 1.6 GHz dual-core processor. The range of connection is great and has great stability of the network to all your devices.

More about this router is that it has a dual-band that makes your connections awesome. All your devices perform faster and more stable. They get redirected to a band that will make them serve better.

To enhance the performance of the router, it is packed with various features. The MU-MIMO technology will ensure that your devices can simultaneously stream. It also has 2GB RAM that ensures you enjoy better connections and excellent speeds.

Moreover, the router is very safe. It has a simple setup procedure that allows you to set preferences toward connection and safety. You will enjoy comfort because of the automatic updates that make the management of your router simple.

For wired connections, the router still makes a great choice. USB ports, Gigabit WAN, and LAN ports (a total of 6 Ethernet ports) help in the connection of non-wireless devices. Great compatibility makes the router unique.

Pros

  • Excellent connection speeds
  • Automatic firmware updates
  • Great coverage
  • A safe connection and default configuration
  • Stable and reliable performance
  • Easy setup process

Cons

  • May confuse technophobic people

Linksys MR9600 Mesh wifi router

Linksys MR9600 Mesh Wi-Fi Router: Best Wi-Fi 6 OpenWRT router

If you are looking for an OpenWRT router with super speeds, this model makes the ideal choice. This model boasts of an elegant look and a lovely design. Better performances are enhanced by intelligent mesh technology.

The router has wider coverage and a very stable network. If your house has coverage of 3000 sqft, the router will perfectly do the coverage. Support of up to 40 devices is offered, and each enjoys a stable and reliable network.

Within the coverage, the router delivers super speeds.  It has wifi six ideal for 4K or 8K steaming videos calling, and gaming. High speeds of 6 Gbps are supported by the router making it an awesome device.

Is your intention to upgrade your router geared by dead zones in your house? This model will ensure you don’t experience dead zones again. High speeds in all parts of your house will be your favorite meal as you use your internet.

If you have plans to expand your house, this model is for you. It is simple to extend your internet. You will easily have your network extended by adding other Linksys Mesh devices.

Setting up the router and doing the extensions is very simple. Using Linksys, you will easily control the processes of your router. The Amazon Alexa also makes you enjoy an easy time controlling the router.

Pros

  • Excellent internet speeds
  • Easy setup process
  • Has a lovely design
  • A wider range of coverage
  • Easy extension of the range.

Cons

  • Comes at the higher end though the quality is good

Netgear Nighthawk X4S Router

Netgear Nighthawk X4s Router: Best netgear router for gaming and one of the best OpenWRT routers

Netgear has been recognized the world over for producing the best networking devices. This also applies to the best OpenWRT routers. The device combines internet speed and reliability for the ultimate performance in your home.

The router offers 2,500 square feet of high speed internet. This means that your whole home will be covered. This is very important because the internet is reliable and fast.

What adds to this exceptional performance is the number of devices that the router can support. It will support up to 45 devices that can be used in gaming, 4K streaming, and other online activities. For your wired devices, the router has 4 1-gigabit Ethernet ports.

The dual-band Netgear Nighthawk X4S gives you internet speeds of up to 2,600Mbps. This is 800Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 1,733Mbps on the 5GHz band.

To achieve all these excellent performance indicators, the OpenWRT router is packed with advanced technologies. These include a 1.7GHz dual-core processor, quad-stream technology, MU-MIMO, Dynamic QoS, 4 amplified antennas, and Beamforming among other technologies.

The router comes with 2 USB 3.0 ports for your storage devices and printers. This means that you can use this router to create a personal cloud that can be accessed from anywhere.

The OpenWRT compatible router comes with advanced parental controls, safety, and security features. These ensure that your users including children are safe while also protecting your data from viruses, malware, and phishing.

Pros

  • Excellent Wi-Fi performance
  • Connects lots of devices
  • Has a great range
  • Offers great safety and security features
  • Easy to set up and manage using the Nighthawk app
  • The price is affordable
  • Offers Amazon Alexa voice control
  • Offers easy and painless firmware updates

Cons

  • Netgear customer support can be better
  • Some instability on wireless networks

Asus gaming router GT-AC5300

Asus Gaming router GT-AC5300: Best router for large apartments

Gaming is one thing that many people love. Among the many things that make people look for high performing routers are gaming.  This model is an excellent choice for upgrading because of the multi-use and reliability.

The triband router has the latest wifi technology and simplicity of use. Its lovely design and routers make the stability of the network great. Coverage of 5000 sqft with support to many devices makes the router an awesome choice for large houses.

Moreover, the router has a 1.8 GHz quad-core processor and MU-MIMO technology that make performance better. All your connected devices enjoy fast connections over an extended range. Within the connection, speed gets perfectly maintained.

The router also features 3.0 USB ports and 8 Ethernet ports for non-wireless connections. What makes the router ideal for OpenWRT is the VPN fusion that allows running to normal devices. Once upgraded, the router offers awesome support.

More features that make the router great are Game IPS, Game Boost. They are located at the game dashboard, which optimizes the servers for better gaming. You can choose the network that you will use for gaming as either public or private.

Trend micro is the technology that offers safety to your router. It offers excellent protection to your connected devices and users. Each threat that comes along your network gets neutralized before it reaches your connection.

Finally, the router is AirMesh supported. You will find it very convenient to update the router to meet your needs. It makes the best choice for OpenWRT because of its ease of upgrade. Extension with other routers is very easy with this model.

Pros

  • Excellent quality
  • Perfect safety
  • Lovely design and wider coverage
  • Excellent compatibility
  • ROG Dashboard for simple configuration of your gaming

Cons

  • Seems pricey but is of excellent quality

Linksys WRT3200ACM Dual-band router

Linksys WRT AC3200 Router: The DD-WRT router

Linksys is a great model for OpenWRT because of its quality and performance. The router has a lovely design and extendable antennas that make connections simple.

It has high compatibility hence a great thing.

The router is good for home upgrading because of its compatibility with modems. It is also an open-source firmware that offers advanced customization. You will find it comfortable to use different kinds of softwares.

Moreover, it has a tri-stream technology that facilitates the doubling of bandwidth. You will, therefore, enjoy reliable streaming and gaming—no latency, dead zones, and buffering with the dual-bands offering a combined speed of 3200 Mbps.

Furthermore, the router has technologies that keep its performance better. You will be amazed by the MU-MIMO technology responsible for simultaneous streaming. High speeds and stable internet connection is one thing you will appreciate.

The router offers a simple set up process using the Linksys app. You will monitor the usage of the network and implement any possible measures. Setting up the VPN is simple, hence adequate safety for your internet and your users.

Enjoy using both wired and wireless devices with the router. It has USB ports and LAN/WAN ports that help in connection with wired devices. The speeds of the wired devices are high and perfectly balanced.

Finally, the router is excellent because it automatically updates. It, therefore, maintains the best state hence the best functionality.

Pros

  • Excellent speeds for browsing and file transfers
  • Automatic updating
  • Easy setup and management process
  • Open source firmware
  • Supports several performance technologies

Cons

  • May offer difficulty in a technological setting

Zyxel Armor Z2 AC2600 Router

This router is a top performer when we talk about OpenWRT routers. It has an excellent design coupled with reliable and fast Wi-Fi.

The design of the router makes it a good addition to any home. It looks like it should be a gamer’s OpenWRT router. You can enjoy your gaming while using Wi-Fi or by connecting to the 5 Ethernet ports.

The router is one of the best OpenWRT routers for compatibility. You are assured that if you are a tech geek, you will love the customizations provided by this router. The customizations include NAT, tunneling, shaping, WAN backup, complex routing, and overclocking among others.

The router offers excellent internet speeds of up to 2600Mbps powered by a supersonic Quad stream. With a coverage of 2,500 square feet, the router is excellent for most homes. This means that your whole home will be covered with high-speed internet. The range is supported by Beamforming for Wi-Fi stability.

The router comes with MU-MIMO technology for a better internet connection to your devices. This combined with Stream boost optimization makes this device excellent for gaming and streaming.

This dual-band router is easy to set up using the Easy 123. The user interface for this router is very good for its set up.

Pros

  • Compatible with OpenWRT
  • Offers good internet speeds
  • Comes with the latest technology

Cons

  • The range is not all that good
  • Does not have dynamic frequency selection thus can get interference from other routers epecially in apartments

ZBT Dual-band 1200 Mbps wifi router WE1326

Are you looking for an affordable router for OpenWRT?  We have brought you an affordable and high performing model. The lovely design of this model and its extendable antennas makes the router a great performer.

The router boasts of great performance because of the technology used. It is compatible with 802.11 ac/a/b/g/n wifi technologies. You will, therefore, be in love with the performance despite the wifi technology in use.

More about this router is that it has a dual-core processor that amplifies its performance. Each connected device enjoys high internet speeds with a lot of stability. Imagine having all devices despite their internet consumption, enjoying stable connections.

The combination speeds of the router are 867+300 Mbps. You will, however, love the stability of the network because of the high speeds it offers. When used for online gaming, streaming, or downloading large files, it offers great speeds with little latency.

If you have a large home, the router manages to deliver high speeds. When used for business in workplaces, the router delivers excellence. When your devices are connected, each will have a good internet rob run.

Do you have wired devices that need to use the router? Don’t get discouraged by the price of the router. It comes with Ethernet and USB ports that make the connection for both wired and wireless devices possible.

The most interesting thing is that wired devices offer a more stable internet than wireless connections. It offers 10/100/1000 internet speeds.

Finally, the router boasts of advanced security features. You will comfortably use the parental controls to ensure that your children are safe with the internet. In case you need to filter some content, the router still makes the ideal choice.

Pros

  • Easy to set up and manage
  • Comfortable to use due to safety
  • Stable connections
  • Comes at an affordable price
  • Greater performance
  • Has a lovely design

Cons

  • Not ideal for big houses
  • The firmware update process is quite tasking
  • It is prone to overheating

TP-Link AD7200 wifi triband router

TP-Link AD7200 wifi triband router: one of the best routers for OpenWRT

Having a look at this router, your eyes will push you to get it. It has a lovely design with foldable antennas that help in range extension. When used for OpenWRT, the router delivers excellence with high speeds and reliable connections.

The router has a powerful innovation and technology that makes it stand out. It has a high speed that allows it to deliver awesome streaming. Uploading and downloading content using the router is extra fast.

Being a triband router, it offers fast combined speeds of 7200 Mbps. It has four-stream technology that makes its performance great. The bands help in directing each device to where it will perform best. High internet devices get adequate support hence great functionality.

Moreover, the router comes with technologies that make its performance outstanding. You will love the multi-use support because of the MU-MIMO technology. As a result, each device delivers the right speeds it needs for performance.

The router also features a 1.4 GHz dual-core processor. It offers adequate support in making the router perform better in terms of speed and stability. When combined with the beam steering technology and the Multi-band technology, it delivers extraordinary support.

Enjoy great support of your wired and wireless devices. You will enjoy the use of the 2×3.0 USB for fast sharing of files. 3.0 ports are 10x faster than the 2.0 ports hence an awesome performance.

4x Gigabit ports and the single WAN gigabit port will ensure that you enjoy fast streaming using wired devices. Therefore, you will have no worries in connection with game consoles, computers, and other devices.

Pros

  • Easy to set up and manage
  • Offers excellent compatibility
  • Has a lovely design
  • Extended wifi coverage
  • Ideal for use in both wired and wireless devices

Cons

  • Comes at the higher end prices

Choosing the best OpenWRT router

OpenWRT is a Linux based router firmware. The firmware can be used to make your router perform better. Among the things you will experience is high speeds, stable internet, and various advanced settings. Below are some points you should look at when buying OpenWRT routers.

Wi-Fi performance

In every router, we have to check the needs of your home and ensure the router satisfies that. That is you have to check the size of your home, the number of devices, the activities that take place in your home, and the interference likely to interfere with your router among others.

Therefore, as you are getting one of the best routers for OpenWRT you have to get one that:

  • Has a good range to cover your home fully with high-speed internet. This way you will be sure that there will be no dead zones in your home.
  • The router has to support the number of devices you have in your home or are planning to have. This means that all the users and all the devices will get enough bandwidth to carry on with their functions.
  • It has to have a good Wi-Fi speed to ensure that the functions being done online are carried out without lags. A good router will support all the activities including gaming, 4K streaming, video conferencing, and other online activities.
  • Can cover a story house or a house with concrete walls with high-speed internet.

Price

When buying a router, one of the things you should look at is your budget. It would be best if you chose a router that matches your budget and has the best price. As you focus on your budget, it is worthy of focusing on the quality too.

One of the things to note is that routers last for very long. Therefore, it is good to check the quality of the router to ensure you get a router that will stand the test of time.

Compatibility

Your router should be compatible with OpenWRT. The process of customizing and implementing security measures should be very simple. It should also be very easy to set up and manage.

All the routers reviewed in this article are compatible with OpenWRT. The routers will, therefore, give you a better performance when using OpenWRT as compared to the manufacturer’s firmware.

Security

One of the things that will make you comfortable is the safety of your network. Having great security features for your router is awesome. You will find it lovely to be able to control what your router is used for.

OpenWRT will most definitely give you better security and privacy. This is because it is less prone to hacking and also you can easily work with different VPN providers.

What is OpenWRT?

OpenWRT is a custom aftermarket Linux-based router firmware that can be used in compatible routers. The name OpenWRT stands for Open Wireless Router. It is the oldest of the 3 common open-source firmware; DD-WRT, Tomato, and OpenWRT.

OpenWRT currently is a merger of classic OpenWRT and LEDE. It comes with loads of options in router control, configuration, and management.

Since the firmware is open, it is free to all persons. The firmware can be downloaded and installed to a compatible router anytime anywhere.

This firmware functions to improve the performance, stability, and security of your connection. The firmware was originally made for the Linksys WRT54G wireless routers but under the development agreement, Linksys had to release the firmware to the public.

Due to its availability for free online, developers have the chance to tweak it to suit their needs and also modify the code. The updates are therefore also free to everyone.

From the time the OpenWRT was released to the general public, many routers have been made by different manufacturers to be compatible with OpenWRT. Therefore, it has spread far and wide to different router manufacturers.

As compared to Tomato and DD-WRT open-source software, most tech enthusiasts love OpenWRT more. This is because the other two firmware includes non-free binary blobs.

What are the benefits of using OpenWRT?

OpenWRT firmware improves the performances of the router and also gives you better security and privacy. The router, therefore, exceeds the limits set on your router by the manufacturer’s firmware.

The router offers better Wi-Fi speed. This is very important in homes with several devices that are internet demaning. You also have a close control over your router and connections.

The routers using the firmware thus present with the following features:

  • Have an easy to use web interface or command line
  • Dynamic DNS
  • Offers mesh networking support
  • IP tunneling
  • Offers printer support and file sharing through Samba
  • IPS via Snort
  • You can have a real-time network monitoring
  • Enables load balancing which helps in multiple ISPs
  • Gives you an active queue management
  • Packet injection
  • Depending on the update it offers DNS and DHCP via MaraDNS, Dnsmasq, and more
  • Comes with a wireless distribution system
  • PeerGuardian VPN Support
  • Writeable file system for router configuration
  • Security and privacy features such as firewall, Stateful NAT, and ultimate port forwarding via Netfilter

Final verdict

Some of the benefits of buying an OpenWRT router are advanced security, ease of customization, and many more. Having one that is of great quality is the best thing ever. Our best OpenWRT routers are of awesome quality and will serve you best.

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