OpenWRT 5G AC router under 80 USD with LTE
Table of Contents
- Make multiple ISP connections with OpenWRT
- We can make security enhancements like a VPN server on ZBT WG-3526
- Specifications of ZBT Link WG-3526
- Advanced possibilities of ZBT WG-3526
- Price of cheap router
- Gallery of many possibilities for a powerful router that use OpenWRT and is Linux-based
- YouTube Playlist about routers
First, I will show my custom router with an LTE modem on Linux-based OpenWRT distribution OS. The operating system of this network device enables many features. Also, I will discuss the short possibilities of many services and components, including hardware capabilities. We can transmit with gigabit speed for Ethernet LAN devices. Transmit on your wireless network at 866 Mbit/s speed on AC 5 GHz technology.
Make multiple ISP connections with OpenWRT
I can confirm that you can connect to separate multiple internet operators. It is possible as a failover connection in case of failure. Some connections are made through a first WAN interface, e.g., an ISP’s PPPoE bridge connected via Ethernet, but others may be established through a second interface, such as an LTE or 5G cellular modem.
We can have more bridges or routers through Ethernet cables, and LTE or 5G cellular connection simultaneously. All routing is powered by OpenWRT with ZBT Link WG-3526. Your household can have broadband connections with many Internet Service Providers at once. It can be established by automatic routing by the parameters set equal to the average throughput of our ISP connections.
We can make security enhancements like a VPN server on ZBT WG-3526
Connect to the VPN server service on the router to securely access devices inside the LAN. This can be done by PPTP Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol from other Linux, Windows, or Android remotely from the Internet when we are away from our router. Also, we can access company or web services as if we were in the office or home computer on the router’s external IP address.
All services obtain the external IP address assigned to your network in your Office or Home. This can easily make a possibility to log in to many services. The VPN server on a router can enhance authentication methods like IP whitelisting when your cellular connection in your phone has a dynamic IP address.
Specifications of ZBT Link WG-3526
In the first place plenty (512 MB) of DDR3 RAM memory
SPI Flash main memory 16MB chip
Processor MT7621 (Dual-core 880MHz)
5* Five 1 Gigabit Ethernet wired interfaces with RJ45 ports
SIM card slot
PCI-E slot (internal)
MicroSD card slot with support for up to 128GB
SATA 3.0 port (optional, internal, it is not soldered in many cases)
2* Antenna 2.4 GHz (in package 5 dBi antennas)
2* Antenna 5 GHz (in package 5 dBi antennas)
2* LTE Antenna
WLAN IEEE802.11 AC/A (MIMO 2×2) in other words maximum speed of the router is up to 866 Mbps on 5GHz
WLAN IEEE802.11 N/G/B (MIMO 2×2) up to 300 Mbps o 2.4 GHz
Original SDK on the first movie
OpenWRT from 18.06 between 19.07.07 (the latest stable at the present time of writing this article) to the newest snapshot and version 22.03 which improves PPPoE performance with hardware NAT (HW NAT)
eCos is listed in the specification provided by the manufacturer
Advanced possibilities of ZBT WG-3526
- Connection by WAN Ethernet, WLAN, USB, or LTE QMI PCI-E modem together with failover by mwan3 or through two or multiple tracks,
- Router as NAS – samba3 share configurable by Luci,
- OpenVPN – VPN connection to all networks,
- WPS Push Button is the custom command which can be run on the web interface of the router or reset button,
- Scheduled torrent downloader on the router by the transmission server,
- Scheduled hosting services downloader on the router by pyload,
- Dynamic DNS – DDNS with many providers like Duck DNS with auto-refresh of a public IP address of the domain from the WAN network with redirection to local devices,
- F2FS support for flash memory SD cards and USB3 drives,
- Wake on LAN.
Price of cheap router
In conclusion, the router was priced at about 80 USD on Aliexpress at buy time. I was able to find it at the price of 50 USD on Alibaba as an engineering sample. It is cheap for hardware with the possibility of SATA support, miniPCI, and OpenWRT. The Quectel EP06 a category 6 LTE modem was priced at about 60 USD as a sample on Alibaba, on Aliexpress it was priced at 80 USD. The maximum theoretical speed is 600 Mb/s of download. My best results are around 120 Mbit/s of download and 20 Mbit/s of upload.