Looking for a beginner-friendly affordable home router for dual gigabit WAN

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feiyeung

New Around Here
Hi, I recently moved into an apartment that has 2 different ISPs both offering gigabit symmetric fiber, so i ended up getting both (since why not taking such advantage and they give good promotional pricing)

However, i got very confused on what router to use. I currently have a eero Pro which obviously won't work for dual WAN. I also have a Netgear R7800 which i've been using as a DFS band 160MHz AP. I briefly looked into the idea of OpenWRT on R7800, but i found myself too unfamiliar with network knowledge to understand how to use that.

I'm hoping to ask for recommendation on what equipment to use. I live by myself in a fairly small apartment with about 10 Ethernet devices and 20 WiFi devices, including a low-end QNAP NAS (without multi-gig). I don't think i care about WiFi performance since most are simply IoT there. I have a workstation at home and some gaming boxes that's needing high throughput and low latency, but not in a highly concurrent and/or small packet traffic use case. I don't expect much out of the router other than having dual WAN with load balancing, gigabit capability with Ethernet, NAT and UPnP. (WiFi is optional since i can always rely on an AP). My budget is hopefully under $200. I have a bunch switches around so i only need 2 gigabit WAN port and 2 or more gigabit LAN ports.

Thanks!
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
With the budget and experience you have, drop one of the ISP's you signed up with (as soon as you can with no penalties). Nothing in your price range will give you close to the performance of a single ISP's service, let alone two.

Save your money and your sanity and just enjoy what you have available now.
 

Trip

Very Senior Member
@feiyeung - This all really comes down to how badly you actually "need", or at least want, two WANs with so much banwidth, and whether you view the related expense, effort and/or cost as worth it. I can tell you right up-front the only way a $200 investment is going to handle it is if you're willing to get technical, well beyond typical consumer plug-and-play.

Before looking at what's "possible", I can't ignore the first option, which, per @L&LD's advice, is to simply return to a single 1Gb WAN and stick with your current gear. It's the easier move, the less expensive move and probably doesn't give up that much, if any, day-to-day performance ceiling (unless you have some undisclosed plan to host or peer Gb/s of traffic at a time...).

The second option would be, of course, to go for it. For 4Gb/s of routable traffic, though... straight-up, you're going to need at least x86 (PC)-class hardware. To stick to your budget, you'll have to do something like a ~$100 used PC off eBay with an Intel i7/i9 and a multi-NIC PCI card, like an Intel X350-4T (~$50 eBay), plus an SSD and at least 2 or 4GB of RAM (say, $50 total for that stuff). Or, for a lower electrical bill, a lower-power i7-embedded box off AliExpress or Amazon, like a Qotom, Protectli or similar. Then you'll need to load a free, community firewall distro like pfSense, OPNsense or Untangle, configure it up with your two WANs, and away you go.

Premium/Simple Option: if you'd be willing to double your up-front budget (to $418), you could cut down the complexity significantly with Firewalla Gold, which basically does all of what I just described above, but as a ready-to-go appliance that is home-user friendly, including ease-to-use multi-WAN. The firewall is even controllable via phone apps for Android/iOS.

Pair either of the above with your Eero Pro(s) running in bridge mode, or all-in-one(s) running in AP mode, and this dual-WAN fantasy is potentially doable.

All that said, though, I can't help but come back to option #1, and K.I.S.S. *bubble burst, indeed* ;)
 
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cptnoblivious

Regular Contributor
Agree with @L&LD and @Trip . Unless you're looking to run some servers at your house, actually a bunch of them, are you really going to utilize that much?

How many HD streams can you possibly watch at once? :)
 

ulaganath

Very Senior Member
Do you know and tried voxel firmware. It’s based on netgear base but stable and powerful firmware. I have not tried but on the info page seen option to set lan1 as wan . Alternatively you could grab a multi wan router but it’s only available on high end routers or gateway like ad7200, most high end ax from netgear started supporting dual gig net.

was the intention is to have full 2 gig on single router or looking for 2nd router with that capability and still plan to use r7800 as an AP. .

Check voxel firmware it might support dual gig but hardware i doubt is made to handle full 2gig
 

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