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Wireless routers with powerful CPUs, looking for recommendations
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Wireless routers with powerful CPUs, looking for recommendations

sundaymousesundaymouse Member
edited June 2020 in Requests

I'm looking for a wireless router to terminate a VPN connection (IPSec or WireGuard), with a relatively high bandwidth requirement (up to 1 Gbps). IPSec would benefit from AES hardware acceleration on newer ARM cores, while WireGuard on ChaCha20 will just eat raw CPU power.

It also needs to support at least 1300Mbps on 802.11ac (obviously a more optimistic client Tx/Rx rate is closer to 500Mbps in this case). Outdoor / high client count support not needed.

My current, sub-£100 router running MIPS 1004Kc (2x800Mhz cores) can run WireGuard at around 150Mbps, which isn't good enough. I tested this on a wired connection so pretty sure the bottleneck is the CPU. The question is, how much faster can routers go?

I've previously tried using an Intel NUC DIY which solved the CPU problem, but Intel Wireless-AC is so poorly supported on 5Ghz on Linux distribution kernels, that it was impractical to run as a home router.

Budget is probably up to £300 / $400. Does anyone have any recommendations?

Thanked by 1sgheghele


  • ClouviderClouvider Member, Patron Provider

    Wouldn’t it be easier to just de-couple AP from the VPN gateway ?

  • PieHasBeenEatenPieHasBeenEaten Member, Host Rep

    Really you need to offload the wireless on a dedicated ap and use the nuc as your router running pfsense or opnsense.

  • @Clouvider said:
    Wouldn’t it be easier to just de-couple AP from the VPN gateway ?

    I've been considering that, but this is a home setup and I have limited space for equipments. If there's any way to avoid that I'd probably try

  • jsgjsg Member, Resident Benchmarker

    PC Engines' quad AMD core (pre Zen) boards will easily do that. Plus you can put a WiFi board of your (or linux') preference into the mPCIe slot. Plus you get USB3, M2, a Sata port and some more goodies. The only (very minor) problem is that their cases, which you can use (or not), offer only 2 antenna "ports" (standard holes) and I guess you want 4 or even more..

  • For wireguard - find a cheap Celeron j1900 computer that usually comes with 4-5 gigabit ports, and hook up any AC cheap router to that. That should do the trick.
    For example - xcy x33 is a good machine, add a router as AP to that, and you're set. Small, affordable and a monster.

    Thanked by 2webcraft BetaRacks
  • Not to hijack this thread, but I'm on the hunt for a router that has a beefy CPU that can do SQM cake on a 300Mbps/30Mbps asymmetrical cable connection. Am I in to x86 (or maybe ARM) router (openwrt for cake, or openwrt/pfSense for fq_codel) arena at these speeds?

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