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toh:buyerguide [2012/11/12 15:56]
uvray313
toh:buyerguide [2014/04/15 13:10] (current)
danitool
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====== Buyers' Guide ====== ====== Buyers' Guide ======
-OpenWrt is a niche Linux distribution, which enables you to deploy a vast number of software. Your hardware is the only limit. This guide is intended to help you pick the right hardware for the intended utilization.+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.
-| {{:meta:icons:tango:dialog-information.png?nolink}} |  **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// in the Internet and ask other users/developers for //a personal recommendation// in the forum. \\ A personal recommendation can be informative and helpful, or it can simply be a pile of crap. Unproven claims and make-believes. \\ Avoid overhyped overpriced shit. Embedded hardware can be VERY low cost! This is something good! The magic is done by OpenWrt. |+| {{:meta:icons:tango:dialog-information.png?nolink}} |  **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!  |
===== Features ===== ===== Features =====
-  * **Bootloader** +==== Bootloader ==== 
-    * the [[doc:techref:bootloader]] should not only be under any FOSS license, but preferably under the GPL, so that they really are forced to release the complete source code+    * the [[doc:techref:bootloader]] should not only be under a [[wp>Free_and_open-source_software|FOSS]] license, but preferably under the GPL, so that the OEM is forced to release the complete source code
    * some bootloaders make installing OpenWrt unnecessarily complicated or even impossible!     * 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     * some bootloaders allow you to //boot from a USB device// or //Boot over Ethernet// but many do not
-  * **LAN:** / **Ethernet** + 
-    * **How many [[wp>Network interface controller|NICs]]**? Common are one or two (//Ethernet [[wp>Media access control|MAC]]-blocks integrated into the SoC, which are connected over a [[wp>Media Independent Interface|xMII]] to a [[wp>PHY (chip)]] on the PCB.//) +==== LAN ==== 
-    * Which Layer 1 standard shall the NIC/NICs support? BASE100-TX (100MBit/s, aka [[wp>Fast Ethernet]]) or BASE1000-T (1000MBit/s, aka [[wp>Gigabit Ethernet]])? +    * **How many [[wp>Network interface controller|NICs]]** does the [[wp>System on a chip]] incorporate? Common are **one** or **two**, very seldom more.\\ These are implemented as [[doc/hardware/SoC]]-integrated Ethernet-[[wp>Media access control|MAC]]-blocks, which are each connected over a [[wp>Media Independent Interface|xMII]] to a distinct [[wp>PHY (chip)]].\\ **''Note:''** Do not confuse the number of Ports with the number of NICs
-    * Is there an integrated ethernet switch? +    * Which Ethernet-Layer-1 standard does the NIC/NICs support?\\ **BASE100-TX** (i.e. 100MBit/s, [[wp>Fast Ethernet]]) or\\ **BASE1000-T** (i.e. 1000MBit/s, [[wp>Gigabit Ethernet]])? 
-    * Which Layer 1 standard does the integrated switch support? +    * Is there an **integrated Ethernet switch**
-    * How many ports does it have+    * Which Ethernet-Layer-1 standard does the integrated switch support? (BASE-100TX or BASE1000-T) 
-    * Is the switch manageable? Which capabilities does it offer? [[https://forum.openwrt.org/viewtopic.php?pid=152347#p152347|4bit VIDs]], [[https://forum.openwrt.org/viewtopic.php?pid=120457#p120457|4bit VIDs]],  +    * How many RJ45 ports are there? Most common are 5 Ports (4 for LAN and 1 for WAN). 
- * **WLAN** / **Wireless:** (Please consult [[doc:howto:wireless.overview]]) +    * Is the switch manageable? Which capabilities does it offer? 
-   * **how many [[wp>Wireless network interface controller|WNICs]]**? Common are one or two integrated into the SoC or up to four [[wp>MiniPCI]] or [[wp>MiniPCIe]] sockets+      * [[https://forum.openwrt.org/viewtopic.php?pid=152347#p152347|4bit VIDs]], [[https://forum.openwrt.org/viewtopic.php?pid=120457#p120457|4bit VIDs]],  
-   * Which substandards of the [[wp>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): +==== Wireless ==== 
-      * 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz or both? (see e.g. [[wp>Electromagnetic_interference_at_2.4_GHz|em interference at 2.4GHz]] or [[wp>Fresnel zone]]) +(Please consult the [[doc:howto:wireless.overview|Wireless Overview]]) 
-      * for the AP to be capable to run in 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz at the same time, the router must support //<color green>dual band simultan</color>// aka //<color green>DBDC (DualBand-DualConcurrent)</color>//. This tag shall help you find suitable devices more quickly: {{tag>802.11abgn_simultan}} + * How many [[wp>Wireless network interface controller|WNICs]]? Common are **one** or **two**.\\ These can be SoC-integrated, distinct chips and also [[wp>MiniPCI]]/[[wp>MiniPCIe]]-cards
-   * 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 + * Which substandards of the [[wp>IEEE 802.11]]-family shall the wireless hardware support? Most common ones are 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, 802.11ac and 802.11s 
-   * the 2,4GHz band is quite crowded by your neighbours, by a [[http://wireless.kernel.org/en/users/Documentation/Bluetooth-coexistence|Bluethooth]] [[wp>Personal area network|PAN]], etc. while the 5GHz is usually unused +  * Capabilites: 1T1R, 2T2R, 3T3R or 2T3R .
-   * Is it relevant to you, whether the WNICs are [[http://www.linuxwireless.org/en/developers/Documentation/Glossary?highlight=%28softmac%29#SoftMAC|SoftMAC]] or [[http://www.linuxwireless.org/en/developers/Documentation/Glossary?highlight=%28FullMAC%29#FullMAC|FullMAC]] devices? + * Frequencies (or bands): 
-   * Do the **current capabilities of the [[http://wireless.kernel.org/en/users/Drivers|Linux FOSS drivers]]** for your WNICs satisfy your requirements? +      * 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz or both? (see e.g. [[wp>Electromagnetic_interference_at_2.4_GHz|Electromagnetic interference at 2.4 GHz]] or [[wp>Fresnel zone]] or [[http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless/wireless-basics/31883-how-to-buy-a-wireless-router-2012-edition?start=1|Throughput and Range]]) 
-   * are the [[doc:hardware:antennae]] detachable? If so, you could replace them with ones with a better gain, or with (self made) directional antennae +      * For the AP to be capable to run in 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz at the same time, the router must support //<color green>dual band simultan</color>// aka //<color green>DBDC (DualBand-DualConcurrent)</color>//. This tag shall help you find suitable devices more quickly: {{tag>802.11abgn_simultan}} 
- * **Modem:** +     * 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 
-   * Common Layer 1 protocols that utilize a [[wp>Modem]] are: [[wp>Digital subscriber line|DSL]], [[wp>DOCSIS]] and [[wp>Mobile telephony]], e.g. [[wp>3GPP Long Term Evolution|LTE]]. {{tag>ADSL2plus VDSL2 DOCSIS Mobile_telephony}} +     * The 2.4 GHz band is quite crowded with [[http://wireless.kernel.org/en/users/Documentation/Bluetooth-coexistence|Bluetooth]] [[wp>Personal area network|PAN]], while 5GHz is usually unused. 
-   * If a device has a built-in modem, is the modem fully supported by OpenWrt? + * Is it relevant to you whether the WNICs are [[http://www.linuxwireless.org/en/developers/Documentation/Glossary?highlight=%28softmac%29#SoftMAC|SoftMAC]] or [[http://www.linuxwireless.org/en/developers/Documentation/Glossary?highlight=%28FullMAC%29#FullMAC|FullMAC]] devices? 
-   * E.g. there are no FOSS drivers for the Broadcom modems in the [[doc:hardware:soc:soc.broadcom.bcm63xx|BCM63xx SoCs]], but there are FOSS drivers for Texas Instruments/Infineon/Lantiq Modems in these SoCs: [[doc:hardware:soc:soc.lantiq]]! + * Do the current capabilities of the [[http://wireless.kernel.org/en/users/Drivers|Existing Linux Wireless drivers]] for your WNICs satisfy your requirements? 
-  * **Bottlenecks:** RAM, CPU, Flash + * Are the [[doc:hardware:antennae]] detachable? If so, you could replace them with ones with a better gain, or with (home-made) directional antennae. 
-    * the most crucial bottleneck is the RAM. If you are going to run ''[[doc:howto:voip.asterisk|asterisk]]'', ''[[doc:howto:umurmur|mumble]]'', ''[[doc:howto:Direct Connect]]'', ''[[doc:howto:BitTorrent]]'', a [[doc:howto:http.overview|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 already consider soldering (much) more RAM, keep in mind that there no DDR1-Modules bigger then 64MiB. Also, the SoCs sometimes only support so much. For example, the Marvell Kirkwood, supports only a maximum of 512MiB+ 
-   * on seldom occasions the computing power of the CPU proves to be a bottleneck. To compare you should have a look at the whole [[:doc:hardware:soc|SoC]], which contains the [[:doc:hardware:cpu|CPU]]. Do not compare raw MHz, e.g. a MIPS 34KE@300MHz is in most scenarios faster then a MIPS 24K@400MHz. +==== Modem ====  
-    * as you can see [[doc:techref:flash.layout|here]] with a total of 8MiB flash memory, you can use about 5MiB for own packages. +(Please consult the [[doc:hardware:Internet access technologies|Internet access technologies]])  
-  * **Ports:**+ * Common Layer 1 protocols that utilize a [[wp>Modem]] are: [[wp>Digital subscriber line|DSL]], [[wp>DOCSIS]] and [[wp>Mobile telephony]], e.g. [[wp>3GPP Long Term Evolution|LTE]]. {{tag>ADSL2+ VDSL2 DOCSIS Mobile_telephony}} 
 + * If a device has a built-in modem, is the modem fully supported by OpenWrt? 
 + * E.g. there are no FOSS drivers for the Broadcom modems in the [[doc:hardware:soc:soc.broadcom.bcm63xx|BCM63xx SoCs]], but there are FOSS drivers for Texas Instruments/Infineon/Lantiq Modems in these SoCs: [[doc:hardware:soc:soc.lantiq]]! 
 + 
 +==== Processors and Memory ====  
 +  * The most crucial decision is your choice of RAM. If you are going to run ''[[doc:howto:voip.asterisk|asterisk]]'', ''[[doc:howto:umurmur|mumble]]'', ''[[doc:howto:Direct Connect]]'', ''[[doc:howto:BitTorrent]]'', a [[doc:howto:http.overview|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 [[:doc:hardware:cpu|CPU]] included on with [[:doc:hardware:soc|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 [[doc:techref:flash.layout|flash layout]] with a total of 8MiB flash memory, you can use about 5MiB for own packages. 
 + 
 +==== Cryptography ==== 
 +  * Most devices use a software random number generator. Only few are equiped with a true hardware random number generator, see **trng** [[#tags|tag]] 
 + 
 +==== Ports ====
    * USB: connect a hub, harddiscs, ssds, usb sticks, UMTS modems, cameras, sound cards, etc. ->[[doc:howto:usb.overview]]     * USB: connect a hub, harddiscs, ssds, usb sticks, UMTS modems, cameras, sound cards, etc. ->[[doc:howto:usb.overview]]
    * Serial: very useful for developers, limited uses for end users ->[[doc:hardware:port.serial]]     * Serial: very useful for developers, limited uses for end users ->[[doc:hardware:port.serial]]
    * JTAG: very useful for developers and also for end users  ->[[doc:hardware:port.JTAG]]     * JTAG: very useful for developers and also for end users  ->[[doc:hardware:port.JTAG]]
-  * **Buttons:** +    * [[wp>TAE connector|TAE sockets]]: a telephone connector
-    * buttons: with a button you can boot your device into //[[doc:howto:generic.failsafe|OpenWrt Failsafe]]//, without one, this is not possible! Also, after boot up, you can [[doc:howto:hardware.button|attach a function]] to it, like start/stop WLAN, reconnect DSL, start/stop a daemon, mount/unmount partitions,  etc. +
-  * **Other**, e.g. +
-    * the [[toh/redwave/rw2458n|Redwave RW2458N]] is small device and offers a MiniPCIe slot +
-    * the [[toh/alfa.network/hornet-ub|ALFA Network Hornet-UB]] is small device and supports 12V Passive [[wp>Power over Ethernet|PoE (Power over Ethernet)]] +
-    * the [[toh/asus/wl-330n|ASUS WL-330N]] is also just small+
 +==== Buttons ====
 +    * You can boot your device into //[[doc:howto:generic.failsafe|OpenWrt Failsafe]]// with a reset button, without one, this is only possible through connection over serial! Also, after boot up, you can [[doc:howto:hardware.button|attach functions]] to the buttons, like start/stop WLAN, reconnect DSL, start/stop a daemon, mount/unmount partitions,  etc.
-===== Price comparison for currently available and purchasable hardware =====+==== Examples ==== 
 +    * particularly small devices are e.g. the [[toh/asus/wl-330n|ASUS WL-330N]], the [[toh/redwave/rw2458n|Redwave RW2458N]] (has a MiniPCIe slot), or the [[toh/alfa.network/hornet-ub|ALFA Network Hornet-UB]] (supports 12V Passive [[wp>Power over Ethernet|PoE (Power over Ethernet)]]),  
 +    * devices with an integrated [[wp>Rechargeable battery]] are e.g. the [[toh/tp-link/tl-mr13u|TP-Link TL-MR13U]] 
 +    * devices with more then the usual five RJ-45 Ports are e.g.  
 +    * Note that many but not all device pages are tagged. Please see if the [[meta/tags|Tags]] help you with your search. 
 + 
 + 
 +===== Price comparison for currently purchasable hardware =====
Since Christmas 2011, geizhals offers a filter for devices supported by OpenWrt: Since Christmas 2011, geizhals offers a filter for devices supported by OpenWrt:
  * [[http://geizhals.at/?cat=wlanrout&sort=p&xf=758_OpenWrt#xf_top|Preisvergleich AT: WLAN-Router]]   * [[http://geizhals.at/?cat=wlanrout&sort=p&xf=758_OpenWrt#xf_top|Preisvergleich AT: WLAN-Router]]
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**''Note_2:''** Do not expect the filter to be perfectly up-to-date, since it is updated manually conforming to the OpenWrt ToH! **''Note_2:''** Do not expect the filter to be perfectly up-to-date, since it is updated manually conforming to the OpenWrt ToH!
-===== Developement =====+==== United States ==== 
 +Amazon also lets you //search// for OpenWrt, but you cannot filter for OpenWrt support: 
 +  * [[http://amzn.to/1mONYr0|Price comparison USA: OpenWrt routers]] 
 + 
 +**''Note_1:''** The filter is not 100% perfect, be sure to double check a router before buying \\ 
 + 
-===== Popular Devices / Developement ===== 
-Maybe because of the matured FOSS wireless drivers, maybe for completely different reasons, some devices are much more popular than others. There is more outlay concerning them in the Forum and, since they have more users, their Wiki-Pages are a bit more exhaustive. 
===== Tags ===== ===== Tags =====
You could use the [[meta:tags]] to quickly find the devices with your desired features. Sadly :-( not many devices have been tagged so far. You could use the [[meta:tags]] to quickly find the devices with your desired features. Sadly :-( not many devices have been tagged so far.
-{{tag>GigabitEthernet DetachableAntenna USB2.0 USB 128RAM 64RAM 32Flash 16Flash 8Flash 802.11abgn 802.11abgn_simultan}}+  * {{tag>GigabitEthernet}}  
 +  * {{tag>DetachableAntenna}}  
 +  * {{tag>USB2.0 USB}} 
 +  * {{tag>512RAM 256RAM 128RAM 64RAM}} 
 +  * {{tag>32Flash 16Flash 8Flash}} 
 +  * {{tag>802.11abgn 802.11abgn_simultan 802.11ac}} 
 +  * {{tag>rechargeable_battery}} 
 +  * {{tag>portable_router}} 
 +  * {{tag>ip_camera}} 
 +  * {{tag>trng}}

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toh/buyerguide.1352732190.txt.bz2 · Last modified: 2012/11/12 15:56 by uvray313