Does anyone use Rock Pi 4 as a router?

If I hook up a USB 3 gigabit ethernet adaptor and a network switch to Rock Pi 4, it becomes a router.
You can also turn a wireless router into a wireless access point and a network switch and hook it up with Rock Pi 4.
Does anyone use Rock Pi 4 as a router?


I considered making a router+firewall out of Rock Pi 4, was going to use PCIe 4-port Gigabit Ethernet adapter based on RTL8811G. I don’t think using USB for networking, be it wired or wireless, is a good idea.

1x1 consumer wireless adapter for access point is not a good idea either, in my opinion.

While your setup will work, it will also perform far from ideal. It will be obliterated by $30-something Xiaomi Router 4A Gigabit in terms of wireless performance. Using Rock Pi 4 with proper PCIe Ethernet controller as wired router and separate wireless AP is a much more sensible idea, in my opinion.

To make a proper router+AP out of Rock Pi 4 alone, one needs additional pcie slots. Rock Pi 4 has single PCIe x4 slot. You can use:

  1. PCIe splitter (expensive!)
  2. m.2 to full-size pcie adapter
  3. 4-port ethernet controller (Intel will work too as long as it’s PCIe x1)
  4. This adapter for minipcie wireless radio
  5. Router-grade wireless radio itself, QCA9880 at the very least, or something better.

I didn’t try that, though. At the moment it is not a good idea anyway because there are no router-grade 802.11ax pcie adapters available, and investing into already outdated router-grade 802.11ac adapters is kinda stupid. Still, if you got money to blow, why not. Also, using cheap consumer-grade AX200 wi-fi adapters for access point purposes sucks; that I tried. (=

A USB 3 port has enough bandwidth for 802.11ax or gigabit ethernet. Why not?

I’m trying to move away from commercially available routers and wireless access points because they can have backdoors.

@crocket first of all, sorry I linked a wrong device instead of splitter originally. I corrected my mistake.

USB is much more CPU-intensive, introduces delays and decreases reliability compared to PCIe.

Did you consider OpenWRT? That leaves only low-level firmware backdoors - that may as well be present on the WLAN adapters as well.

To be honest, your PCIe machinery looks very bulky and is more suitable in a computer case.
If I wanted to choose PCIe, I may as well choose x86 mini PCs.

By the way, one of gigabit ethernet ports on NanoPi R2S is actually a USB 3 device. Rock Pi E uses a USB 2.0 port for a 100Mbps ethernet port.

I’m considering only gentoo linux.

@crocket Rock Pi 4’s AP6256 and USB ethernet dongle(s) may work for your application, and they’re cheap - so give it a try.

Honestly - whenever I asked the very same questions you ask now, I was told not to use USB and kinda gave up. (=

I know first-hand though that USB Wi-fi adapter support for AP mode is terrible and that consumer-grade wi-fi adapters are incapable of high signal strength thus have much lower range, but I didn’t extensively use USB to ethernet adapters for heavy stuff.

AP6256 is not capable of providing high signal strength and good range either. But good is subjective. (=

I personally chose Rock Pi 4 specifically for PCIe and the possibilities it provides. (=

Same goes for Orange Pi R1 I have - second ethernet is usb. Doesn’t make either a good design choice. Also, I was under the impression both Ethernet ports on Rock Pi E were native, and that’s the reason second port is 100M instead of Gigabit. I may be wrong, of course.

Any PCIe machinery that doesn’t look ugly or take too much space is welcome.
An RTL8153 USB 3 gigabit ethernet adaptor is used in NanoPi R2S. So, RTL8153 dongles should be suitable for a router. Also, there will be good 802.11ax USB 3 devices suitable for access point.

They’re all huge and ugly. But comparing hooking up 4-port pcie ethernet adapter to rockpi to very same rockpi with usb dongle and dumb unmanaged switch hooked to it, I definitely find the former setup less ugly and more preferential - but then again I’d put it in a single nice-looking case. =p You obviously don’t need a huge, ugly and expensive pcie splitter when hooking up single pcie device.

I guess I’ll it a try then. I have a RTL8153 dongle myself.

Honestly I highly doubt that. I’ve been waiting for good 802.11ac usb wifi adapter AP mode support since 802.11ac appeared on the market - and it’s still not there, at least for ARM - while I already have a 802.11ax access point at home.

Another way is to plug a USB 3 SSD, a USB 3 gigabit ethernet adapter, and a 802.11ax PCIe card into Rock Pi 4. This way, you don’t need PCIe splitter.

M.2 TO PCIE X4 ADAPTER should make it possible. I don’t know whether a 802.11ax PCIe card will require extra power from 12V power cable.

@crocket there are no pcie 802.11ax cards besides AX200 at the moment. I briefly tested it in Windows, it had low range and didn’t utilize 160MHz channel width, after reading about it, it seems it will be impossible to use as AP with 160Mhz channeln width anyway, which is sad coupled with mediocre signal strength…

  • Product Specification and Product Brief say AX200 is capable of 160Mhz. Perhaps, softwares don’t support 160Mhz, yet.
  • The antennae may not be good enough. Use better antennae.
  • Does M.2 slot on Rock Pi 4 support USB protocol? AX20 supports bluetooth through USB protocol.


It supports 160Mhz just fine in client mode, but not in AP mode. Generally 160MHz AP requires DFS.

Antrennae are not the problem here.

No, it doesn’t.

Just do iperf3 test with your Rock Pi 4 hotspot from 10 meters. Then do an iperf3 test from ten meters to a real 802.11ac AP. Then we’ll get on the same level.

It seems Rock Pi 4 + USB 3 gigabit ethernet + unmanaged switch + wireless access point is the best combination for now. You can also turn a wireless router into a switch and a wireless access point. I don’t know any wireless access point that certainly doesn’t have backdoors.

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I realized that WiFi can cause cancer in the long term. I decided to minimize WiFi exposure. My house has only one WiFi router that emits weak 2.4Ghz signal. It turns off WiFi access point between 0:00 and 10:00. Everything else is wired.

Directional 60Ghz laser beams from 5G ground stations are especially dangerous because 60Ghz is absorbed by oxygen in our bodies. When oxygen in our bodies absorbs 60Ghz, oxygen cannot bind to hemoglobin. This leads to lack of oxygen. A strong enough 60Ghz laser beam can make a person collapse on a street. Normally, 60Ghz is inactive. However, some people might decide to use 5G ground stations as a weapon system for crowd control. If you carry a 5G equipment, you can be located by 5G ground stations.

The elites are trying to install 5G ground stations on most buildings because high-band 5G cannot go far.

@crocket would you please link a few good articles on the subject from authoritative sources?

I am interested in this, but the articles I found so far have obvious mistakes, destroying their credibility - because if author didn’t bother researching the wi-fi technology itself, how can I believe he or she made proper research of its possible harm before publishing the article?

I used a 2.5gb USB 3.0 adapter with the 1gbe going to a broadband router with no problems at all.
Prob wouldn’t run NASA on it but on my home network it worked without glitch.
Had some problems sorting the initial drivers but after that worked without a hitch.

Man, authority originates from yourself. You are giving authority to figures. You have control over whom you give authority to. I don’t know whom you give authority to. Authority doesn’t exempt you from the need to think on your own. But, I can give some resources.

Start with

I don’t claim that david icke says truths. But, he has done a lot of research around this topic.

You mentioned David Icke its likely those damn Lizard shapeshifters that he has done so much reasearch on.
Damn those blighters hey and there pesky networking interference, but we have the armour of purple tracksuits to defeat them.
So all is well.

Here is another one.

5G APOCALYPSE - THE EXTINCTION EVENT taught me some important information. Wireless technologies cause dementia, infertility (in sperms and eggs), various cancers, cognitive impairment, autism (in children), lowered IQ (in children), and so on.

In my personal experiences, WiFi access point near my body causes constant burping. I didn’t know why I burped very often everyday. Once I turned off WiFi access point in my room, I stopped burping. I don’t burp at all. I was burping constantly because WiFi was killing my gut biome constantly. Human b rain also has microbiome which is essential to brain function. Minimizing exposure to wireless radiation improves your cognitive ability and your health.

I recommend watching the video because the information in the video allowed me to improve my health immediately.

Whomever puts WiFi, 5G, or anything wireless in schools should be put in jail. Wireless radiation on sperms and eggs renders humans infertile in 5 human generations which are roughly 150 years. Humanity is facing an existential threat from wireless technologies because most people are almost always irradiated by harmful levels of electromagnetic radiations.

It’s a known fact that bill gates and other elites do not expose their children to electromagnetic radiations. That’s why they live in big houses with no WiFi. They know WiFi and 5G will render humans sterile over decades, but they are keeping it a secret.