Looking for advice - Replacing Google Wifi Mesh

This may be a bit of stretch of a request to make on this forum but I am hopeful this community might have some good resources to share.

I am looking for advice on a router / APs combo or alternate mesh system to replace my Google Wifi that will support one of the recommended router firmwares.

Must haves:

  • VPN and Wireguard support - This is probably the lowest on my list of must haves. I can always use my VPN on the “needed” devices instead of covering my whole network. My preference would be to have all my devices on my VPN but I am only interested in that if I can use wireguard.
  • 4x4 MIMO - for increased signal quality, reliability, and range. I need to have around 1500 sqft of coverage so signal quality and reliability is important.
  • DFS Channels - This is to make sure there is support for ALL 5 GHz 80 MHz DFS channels, to increase the likelihood of not sharing a channel.

Please read this: Understanding Wi-Fi 4/5/6/6E/7 (802.11 n/ac/ax/be)

4x4 MIMO

Very few devices support 4x4, most are 2x2.

For example, the best Wi-Fi NIC right now is the Intel AX210, it is 2x2.

DFS Channels

6GHz is way more beneficial.

Please also be sure to read the specs of your next access point very closely, many are Wi-Fi 6 not WiFi 6e. Only 6e has 6GHz.


In the link you provided, the recommendations states

Do not buy a 2×2 or 3×3 MIMO router. You really do need a 4×4 router

In terms of APs - any you recommend looking at?

Personally I only use devices that I can run OpenWrt on Router Firmware - Privacy Guides Their community is quite good to find suitable devices and ask questions like this. Via them I also ultimately found a nice group of wireless enthusiasts in my area that meet from time to time, and they also helped with my wireless setup.

Edit: Ok now I realized reading my own comment, that “wireless enthusiasts in my area” sounds very strange lol

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Thanks for the info. Ill check out their forum!

For the router, OPNSense on an arbitrary x86_64 box is fantastic. I’m using that in combination with Omada switch + APs with the controller hosted on my server. Works very well for me.

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Wifi 7 IIRC is around the corner, you may want to wait a bit more, or at least use a less expensive temporary measure.

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One would still need to wait for devices to adopt it. There aren’t that many that use 6E right now. 7 is gonna be a good while for device support.


Consider that the iPhone14 on had Wifi 6 and iPhone 15 has WiFi 6e. You can be almost sure that the 16th model will likely have WiFi 7 just to brag the latest and greatest and have a good reason to charge a higher price.

Yea phones are likely to be the first… but is it really worth going for a wifi 7 home network when only 1 device is going to be able to leverage that?


I’d argue its the only device that really matters for Wifi as laptops have usually replacable WiFi cards that you could upgrade, theoretically speaking and Desktops and Servers have those sweet sweet 2.5GbE or maybe 10GbE if you are rocking a fancy setup.

I don’t wholly disagree.

I think going for something like unifi or omada where the APs handle the wifi is a solid move. You can upgrade those down the line when the latest wifi standard AP gets within your budget.

I am probably missing something as I am not super knowledgeable about this type of stuff but, my feeling is sinch my SOHO environment is only going to be using 1gbps speed wired, I am not sure waiting for wifi 7 is going to provide much benefit over the current generation.

There is always somehow the next WiFi standard “around the corner”. Maybe this will end at some point, but every year it’s the same “soon there will be wifi 6, better wait a little bit”, but then there are some routers available but “they’re still early models, in a few months prices will be much more reasonable” or “early wifi 6 chipsets aren’t yet completely mature, better wait for the next revision”, then the same thing again with 6E and now 7. Honestly I would just buy something that is available now and don’t worry too much.

Having a small cheap x86 box as a router isn’t a bad idea, makes it pretty versatile and it’s easy to switch out APs.

Credit to you dear @SkewedZeppelin this is the best thing I’ve read on WiFi and I feel smarter just reading this.

To sidetrack:

You got other links withthis much info on WireShark or OPNsense/pfSense? Im trying to master those.

Just wanted to add this incase anybody else is looking to replace their mesh system. After consulting the OpenWRT forums per @Catering9655 suggestion my current plan is to use the R4S as a replacement router

I will use the WSM20 for APs

This seems to be the most viable replacement option without tripling the cost.

Also, because both have OpenWRT support I should be able to run a VPN using wireguard on the network if needed.

I have not looked into whether it meets all my initial requirements but from what users have said on this forum, it seems like they may have been to strict anyway.

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