Choosing a router for LEDE 17.02 Reboot

With the first stable releae of LEDE I have finally let OpenWRT go. Without releasing updates for years OpenWRT has been seriously outdated. So I installed LEDE on all my older and newer wireless routers. Which router do I recommend today?

As of today you should seriously consider the Qualcomm Atheros IPQ806x platform if you are not on a budget. Most routers based on this platform are dual-core 4x4 802.11ac routers with plenty of RAM, MU-MIMO technology and USB 3.0 storage ports. As an alternative you may go for the Marvel Armada (mvebu) platform (up to 3x3 802.11ac) with offers better storage performance but lacks 4x4 wireless and MU-MIMO. Both platforms have enough performance to use your router as a storage server (including dm-crypt disk encryption support) and/or run various services like OpenVPN, a web server or even a mail server. The list of ported open source software has considerably grown (see "LEDE Package Index" at the links section).

The TP-Link Archer C2600 is a good pick for features and power consumption. You get 4x4 802.11ac support with MU-MIMO, a solid dual-core CPU and 512MB of RAM memory. The Turris Omnia (mvebu based) has more RAM (1GB or 2GB), miniPCI express and mSATA interfaces but they use their own fork of OpenWRT and are not supported by LEDE (yet).
Router Wireless CPU RAM Storage USB Price
TP-Link Archer C2600 4x4 2x 1.4Ghz 512 MB 32 MB 2x 3.0 $105
Cisco Linksys EA8500 4x4 2x 1.4Ghz 512 MB 128 MB 1x 3.0 + 1x 2.0/eSATA $150
ZyXEL Armor Z2 4x4 2x 1.7Ghz 512 MB 128 MB 1x 3.0 + 1x 2.0 $170
Netgear Nighthawk X4S 4x4 2x 1.7Ghz 512 MB 128 MB 2x 3.0 $230
If you want cheaper routers with less functionality, you may look up for supported devices at the LEDE Homepage (see "LEDE Supported Devices" at the links section).

Here is a list of my routers running LEDE:
  • TP-Link Archer C2600
  • Cisco Linksys WRT1200AC
  • Netgear WNDR3700v2
  • Netgear WNDR3700v4
  • TP-Link WDR3500 (lowest power consumption)
  • TP-Link WDR4300
Key features of LEDE 17.01:
  • Kernel 4.4
  • up-to date SSL libraries (mbedtls 2.4, OpenSSL 1.0.2k)
  • Memory Corruption Mitigation
  • improved networking (especially IPv6 support)
  • several new targets (router platforms)
  • updated software
Links:
LEDE Project Homepage
LEDE Supported Devices
LEDE Package Index

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