Question 802.11ax router with DD-WRT / Tomato / etc?

Achilles97

Senior member
May 10, 2000
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I'm looking to replace my Archer C9 with something newer that would provide stronger seamless wifi signal throughout my 2-story home. I'm having a hard time finding newer mesh systems or 802.11ax systems that support third party open WRT firmware. Any suggestions? If I had to choose one option, 802.11ax or 3rd-party firmware, which would you suggest? Is Wifi 6 important in the next few years VS the utility of 3rd-party firmware?? Thanks!
 

Fallen Kell

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,351
78
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I think your question about 802.11ax vs 3rd party firmware can only be answer by you. Do you see yourself replacing or adding-to any/all/many of your existing wireless devices with new ones that support the new 802.11ax? What benefit does 802.11ax provide to you in those new devices that existing 802.11ac or older Wifi based devices does not provide? Are there features of OpenWRT/DD-WRT that you use which can not be easily replicated with most firmware provides by manufacturers? There are plenty of wifi routers and access points which support longer range/better signal strength than the Archer C9 and support OpenWRT/DD-WRT, so perhaps, you are simply better off with one of those. Also, I am a big advocate of the more traditional means for expanding wifi coverage using a wire to connect to additional access points (that "wire" does not have to be a CAT6 run, but could simply be powerline or MoCA).

Personally for me, I make extensive use of static DHCP tables and the DNS features in my DD-WRT installations (such as black-listing sites/addresses to help prevent infections/attack vectors to my systems). These are functions that most firmwares do not typically provide, and I do not have any problems with the 802.11ac and n for my wireless usage needs (that said I do have 10G wired network throughout most of my home and 40G links to my fileserver/vm host in my home, so wireless is mostly just for convenience use with phones/tables/laptops and some IoT based devices).
 
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mxnerd

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2007
5,380
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I might be wrong, but I think you won't find 3rd party firmware that support mesh system, since mesh systems usually are proprietary.

You also likely won't find the new 802.11ax systems that just appear on the market to get 3rd party firmware support very soon. Developers need users to donate their new devices to get started.

And same question as others, why do you need OpenWRT/DD-WRT/FreshTomato (the only one still actively supported) on your mesh system?
 
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VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
48,050
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Well, there IS a standard for Mesh, and something called "OpenMesh", that there was talk about the various Wifi Mesh systems supporting, so that they would be interoperable, but I don't really see that going very far (although I WOULD LIKE Mesh systems to be interoperable, in case your current Mesh hardware provider de-jure goes out of business, and you would like to expand your system without replacing it all).

@mxnerd is right, though, I don't know of any 3rd-party firmwares that have adopted support for Mesh networking in their firmware. Nor do I know of any 802.11ax routers that even support 3rd-party firmware yet. (I don't know of any 802.11ax 3rd-party firmwares either.)

So yeah, currently, it's a choice between purpose-built 802.11ax devices, potentially Mesh-capable, with factory firmware, or 802.11ac (possibly Wave 2) devices, that support 3rd-party firmware.
 

mxnerd

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2007
5,380
604
126
Well, after some research, finally found one company has OpenWRT products that support IEEE 802.11s mesh technology (not named Open Mesh).

The company is called FreeMesh
Router is gigabit, but nodes are only 100M

Will you buy it? (I agree that OpenWRT UI sucks, flashed my TP-Link router
with OpenWRT before.)

==

Google WiFi is yet another product that support IEEE 802.11s. But apparently Google WiFi is not based on OpenWRT and not open source.


====

IEEE 802.11s

The standard has been finalized/published since 2011/2012, yet most vendors don't want to implement it. Vendors do not want to produce products that are interoperable with other vendors.

 
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