OpenWrt is a niche Linux distribution, which enables you to deploy a vast variety of software. Your hardware is the only limit. This guide is intended to help you pick the right hardware to meet your particular needs.
|OpenWrt does not recommend any hardware or manufacturer!
There is no "best hardware", so stop asking. Purchase something that meets your requirements.
Inform yourself about the current hardware support on the Internet and ask other users/developers for a personal recommendation in the forum.
Avoid overhyped, overpriced products -embedded hardware can be VERY inexpensive! OpenWrt is what does the magic!
- some bootloaders make installing OpenWrt unnecessarily complicated or even impossible!
- some bootloaders allow you to boot from a USB device or Boot over Ethernet but many do not
- Is there an integrated ethernet switch?
- Which Layer 1 standard does the integrated switch support?
- How many ports does it have?
- Is the switch manageable? Which capabilities does it offer?
(Please consult the Wireless Overview)
- Which substandards of the IEEE 802.11-family shall the wireless hardware support? Most common ones are IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n and IEEE 802.11s.
- Frequencies (or bands):
- For the AP to be capable to run in 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz at the same time, the router must support dual band simultan aka DBDC (DualBand-DualConcurrent). This tag shall help you find suitable devices more quickly:
- At 2,4GHz you only have 3 distinct channels without overlap, in the 5GHz band there are 19 (EU)/ 13 (USA)/ ?? (Japan) channels without overlapping available
- Do the current capabilities of the Existing Linux Wireless drivers for your WNICs satisfy your requirements?
- Are the antennae detachable? If so, you could replace them with ones with a better gain, or with (home-made) directional antennae.
- If a device has a built-in modem, is the modem fully supported by OpenWrt?
- The most crucial decision is your choice of RAM. If you are going to run
BitTorrent, a web server and other stuff, enough RAM will make them run smoothly. Some of them tolerate SWAP pretty good, others do not. FYI: If you are considering adding more RAM, keep in mind that there are no DDR1-Modules bigger then 64MB. Also, the SoC sometimes only support so much. For example, the Marvell Kirkwood, supports a maximum of 512MB.
- Occasionally the computing power of the CPU proves to be a bottleneck. To compare you should have a look at the CPU included on with SoC. Do not compare raw MHz, e.g. a MIPS 34KE@300MHz is in most scenarios faster then a MIPS 24K@400MHz.
- as you can see by referring to the flash layout with a total of 8MiB flash memory, you can use about 5MiB for own packages.
You could use the tags to quickly find the devices with your desired features. Sadly not many devices have been tagged so far.
toh/buyerguide.txt · Last modified: 2013/05/07 12:22 by icheyne