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Repair guides and support for wired or wireless devices that provide internet connectivity.

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WRT/Open Source Routers, Anyone have experience with them?

I’m about to buy a WIFI 6 WRT/Open Source router and need recommendations, explanations and comments.

I’ve read the online articles. I need to hear from someone who has one already.

===Update 02/11/2021===

I have an Airport Extreme and a Time Machine server. I have a Spectrum internet that constantly acts up. I don't know why I can't use either of mine to replace Spectrum's but it's not working. So when I buy a new one I want to plan for the future even if I have no immediate need. For example, once the stimulus check reaches me a big chunk goes to the mac mini M1. It's WIFI6 so the new router needs accommodate it. I'm a network nutso too. I started with twisted pair and then grinos for packet on two meter. So I want to have as much or little control over settings ergo WRT or at least open source router control.

Now the question for you and Dan: what inexpensive WIFI6 (meaning mac mini compatible) and open source os would you recommend ?

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@capwalker666 - Sadly there are no cheap WiFi 6 routers as they are still asking a premium for them. Here's a good write up on WiFi 6 Wi-Fi 6: is it really that much faster?

Frankly, unless you have a gig speed internet connection from your ISP it won't offer any improvement. Most of Spectrums service for residential areas is still 200/400 Mbps You pay a premium for the 940 Mbps connection (business class). Don't forget this is a shared connection so like a slice of pie you can't get more than what your slice is with the other devices/folks sharing the connection are taking.

I would focus on a good 802.11ac router (now called Wi-Fi 5)


@capwalker666 I'm lost. When you say Spectrum "acts up", what does that mean? Remember you are using the Spectrum hardware as a MODEM & ROUTER. So technically speaking you can disable the router portion of the Spectrum hardware & use the Airport Extreme as your router/AP/NAT etc. Apparently the Airport Extreme 6th Gen (2013-A1521) has draft AC so at least that's there.

Honestly, Wifi is not a reliable source of communications, I've seen microwaves that interfere with it. Remember it's always "UP TO" with wifi due to outside noise, other APs in the area, etc etc.

As recommended by me, I do recommend Mikrotik as they are just as nutso as you probably want. Go here to experience the interface. I look at that screen and my eyes go cross-eyed. LOL

Another thing, we cannot recommend SPECIFIC hardware as we don't know your needs. We can only recommend brands and/or product lines that we assume are within your requirements.


Lastly, I would never purchase a ROUTER/AP in one. Why? Because I upgrade my APs to meet the new standards (Wifi 5, 6, and onwards) but keep my router as a good ole boy that does what I need it to do and not have to upgrade it every other year.

My current setup is

CABLE MODEM <-> pfsense running on a low power fanless (fanless is a REQUIREMENT for me as I want quiet) computer like a GENETEC SV16 (not an ARM board) <-> Tp-link EAC225.

Here is the Miktotik product line (I've not heard bad things about them yet):

Here is some SBC:


I just got tired of dealing with specific "board" hardware and chose to seperate my components for both ease of repair and upgrade, as well as the abilities to improve on my interface with the router. I didn't care for the technical setup of the AP as I can effect most changes through pfsense. Keep in mind, I am an above-average linux user (not an admin by any standard) and pfsense fit my needs (I used it in my last work and the network admin was always there to assist me in my personal learning/setup). I also am able to run "pi-hole" to remove ADs for the kids iPad (it setups an intermediate DNS server) as well as run my local NAS from the same computer (I run OpenMediaVault).

Also I just realized I upgraded from the GENETEC SV16 to a NUC style board from Jetway. YMMV


First off let me thank the anonymous sysop for changing the body of the question. I'll know what to do next time.

Spectrum: 6 attempts on the 5 to login to a site , the next attempt on the 2.4 went through fine. Now I grew up without WIFI. I'm cool with cabling. But WIFI 6 is a big ad point so apparently it's support is something to plan for, like a young married couple buying a two bedroom just in case: baby, friends, family.

I'll head towards MIKROTIK... but i'd really rather use my Extreme or Time Machine as the router. But when I replace their router with the Extreme no internet comes through. I did it with their tech support on the phone and nothing (no internet).

I have an update on booting with external monitor. I'll post it there.


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These routers so far tend to be single point access. So far I have not seen any mesh router offerings.

So depending on your home layout one unit might be enough. I have found I needed two meshed routers to get full coverage. I have friends who wanted coverage beyond their home needing even more units to cover other buildings and back yard.

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Thanks! I just need one router to replace the one from Spectrum and a recommendation WHICH ONE to get. Any recommendations ?


@capwalker666 - Sorry I don't ;-{

The differences tend to be the number of bands, what do you need?

WIFI 6 is still a moving target!The newest spec is called WIFI 6E which can offer upto 10.8Gbps (with updated devices).


@capwalker666 If you are referring to WRT versions, I used to dabble with DD-WRT until I discovered Tomato which was much nicer for me. I used them on Linksys hardware because I loved linksys in the early days (from experience).

I have since moved to Mikrotik which is a heavy duty RouterOS that is geared for some high tech network gurus (I got recommended them but have relegated that I'm too out of touch to play with 90% of the settings). You might want to consider them because they build both the hardware/software so they are more tightly integrated. That and I like supporting the little guy (these guys are apparently network nutsos from Lithuania and really offer higher end network features for the lower end market)


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Sadly, no suppor for WiFi 6 yet!

dd-wrt Forum: Is 802.11ax and WiFi 6 supported? &

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