Help buying a new router please

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Regular Contributor
Hi can anyone recommend a router with wifi 3 and aes-ni for vpn, just want a future proof router that supports merlin firmware to, but not sure which routers support aes-ni?


Senior Member
This may interest you:

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Regular Contributor
Yea thanks, so it looks like building a pc router is better value and more powerful, I could do that. :)


Part of the Furniture
I need to connect to VPN servers half way across the globe. VPN performance is very important to me. I converted an old Win 7 PC (see my signature) to a pfSense appliance. I compared VPN speeds with an RT-AC86U and get 4x to 5x better performance with AES-NI enabled. Looking to eventually replace it with a fanless network appliance though for a smaller footprint and less fan noise.


Very Senior Member
This all depends on how much throughput your desire. You might be able to get away with an RT-AX88U if all you need in the foreseeable future is 200-300 Mb/s of VPN, but beyond than that, I'd just bite the bullet and run an x86-based firewall with separate, discrete wifi (either a Wifi 6 consumer all-in-one in AP mode, or an SMB-grade product if you want something more mature and/or scalable).

For a pre-built x86 solution, I would checkout Netgate's pfsense appliances, specifically the SG-5100 ($699), or for more CPU for way lower cost, build your own appliance with an embedded Qotom/Protectli box off Amazon (Intel i3 or i5 models can be had with an SSD and RAM for ~$300).

For a Wifi 6 solution, I'd do a purpose-built AP, such as the EnGenius EWS377AP, which is a 4x4 radio and one of the best values out there.

Put something like that together, and you'll have a rock-solid network that will absolutely destroy a consumer setup in nearly every way except for lower single-array wifi amplification.
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Part of the Furniture
@Jack_K, better performance for what? Not VPN speeds.

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