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!
(Please consult the Wireless Overview)
(Please consult the Internet access technologies)
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.
OpenWrt targets traditional routers. These run on ARM or MIPS CPUs.
However running inside a VM or on common x86 Hardware is also possible.
While most consumer Hardware can lack Ethernet ports, Hardware for
IPC (Industrial PC) or
are built and advertised for 24/7 operation.
embedded devices or
SBC (Single-board_computer) may be viable alternatives.
Most hardware is constructed to run at a temperature range from 0-40°C (Operating Temperature).
This is appropriate for most indoor use cases.
However - increased temperature can speed up the aging of electric components.
Industrial PC, Server Hardware or outdoor equiment may be certified and constructed to extended temperature ranges:
Some plastics used in wiring or enclosures are problematic in outdoor operations under direct sunlight. Specialized UV resistant outdoor cabling and enclosures exist. Shielding from water (rain) and/or dust is certified with an IP_Code.
Since Christmas 2011, geizhals offers a filter for devices supported by OpenWrt:
Note_1: You can safely ignore the filters for "3G-Router" and "BitTorrent-Client", since they apply to the OEM firmware only. Once you installed OpenWrt, the full software repository stands to your disposal.
Note_2: Do not expect the filter to be perfectly up-to-date, since it is updated manually conforming to the OpenWrt ToH!
Amazon also lets you search for OpenWrt, but you cannot filter for OpenWrt support:
Note_1: The filter is not 100% perfect, be sure to double check a router before buying
You could use the tags to quickly find the devices with your desired features. Sadly not many devices have been tagged so far.