Which router should I buy?
This article was updated on 2021-11-14
This might be the most asked question we get, and the answer is: it depends on what you want to do with it, and on your skill level :-)
Below we list a few typical requirements we hear from customers.
I want a reliable router for home and don't plan on using advanced features!
Often we get this type of customer - someone who is super tired of rebooting their Asus or D-link router every day. If you are one of these users, we suggest getting RUTX11 router.
RUTX11 is an industrial "all in one" device, combining the function of a Router, Switch, Mobile LTE gateway, and a dual-band WiFi access point. This is a rugged, industrial alternative to consumer routers. It's intended for customers that want a router that "just works" as a drop-in replacement for a "home router".
RUTX11 comes with a RutOS operating system based on OpenWRT. While OpenWRT is fully open source, RutOS comes with a pleasant web interface that is easy to use but is not open source.
I want a reliable and fully open-source router with WiFi
If you don't like that RUTX11 is not fully open-source, we have an alternative based on APU2 hardware and OpenWRT operating system. This is a more expensive alternative to RUTX11, but it's fully open-source and a little more performant. The administrative panel for OpenWRT is not as polished as RutOS, but it's just as functional.
APU2E5 router has 4GB of RAM, 3 LAN ports and, 16GB SSD. It allows you to connect two WiFi cards for simultaneous dual-band WiFi. We usually recommend buying wle200nx for 2.4Ghz 802.11n and wle900vx for 5Ghz 802.11ac. If you buy these parts together, we will assemble the hardware and configure the OS for you.
If APU2E5 is out of stock (there's a shortage), you can consider APU3D4, which allows you to connect one WiFi card (we usually recommend wle900vx). This is a good alternative for customers that no longer need the 2.4Ghz network and solely use 5Ghz.
I want to run pfSense or OPNSense
Some operating systems (pfSense, OPNSense) don't have good drivers for WiFi, and therefore if you want to use one of these systems, we recommend having an external WiFi access point. "Ubiquiti HD" is one good recommendation. You can also turn your old home router into Access Point and connect it to the new router.
We have several recommendations for pfSense or OPNSense router hardware, depending on the network throughput you expect and what additional software packages you plan to install.
We start our recommendations with APU2, APU3, and APU4 routers that are able to achieve 550Mbit/s throughput with one connection and full 1Gbit/s when utilizing multiple connections. This is the most popular router we sell. It's performant enough for most users, and it's rock solid.
APU routers achieve about 100Mbit/s OpenVPN throughput and about 500Mbit/s Wireguard VPN.
One step up is TLSense J3060 and TLSense J3160. These models have a more performant CPU and are able to achieve full 1Gbit/s throughput when using one or many connections. VPN throughput is also significantly higher (needs to be measured).
The next level up is TLSense J4125 which has a great modern Celeron CPU and better Wireguard throughput.
The next level are the full size TLSense routers with Intel Core CPUs. Starting at TLSense i3 4010U and ending at TLSense i7 8550U with several models in between. These models are intended for customers that want to install IPS/IDS or other CPU-demanding software packages.
At the very top, we have 10Gbit/s hardware - TLSense D2123IT with 4x 10Gbit/s network interfaces.
I want to use LTE/4G in my router
For customers that would like to have WAN over the cellular network (LTE, 4G), you have three options:
- Get RUTX11 or RUTX12 and use this hardware as either "All in one" router or just as an LTE gateway that is connected to your main pfSense/OPNSense router.
- Get TRB140 LTE gateway and connect it to your main router. This is a good solution for a failover. It's not very fast, but it's cheap and reliable. If you need higher throughput consider RUTX11 or RUTX12.
- Get a mPCIe LTE modem and install it in your router (only some models are compatible) - performance depends on the operating system you choose. pfSense/OPNSense: ~15Mbit/s. OpenWRT: ~100Mbit/s
I need a high throughput over VPN and/or IDS
See the hardware benchmark to understand the performance differences between models offered in the webshop.
TLSense series of routers target clients requiring the highest routing throughput, lowest latency, and highest VPN performance.
The full size TLSense routers with Intel Core CPUs are more powerful and can handle higher VPN throughput, and more CPU-demanding applications such as Snort, Suricata or Sensei. See the to determine which model best suits your needs.
I want something special
If you need something that is currently not in the webshop, please contact us - we may be able to help you.