Below are a few alternative operating systems, that can be used on routers, Wi-Fi access points, etc.
OpenWrt is a Linux-based operating system; it's primarily used on embedded devices to route network traffic. It includes util-linux, uClibc, and BusyBox. All of the components have been optimized for home routers.
You can consult OpenWrt's table of hardware to check if your device is supported.
OPNsense is an open source, FreeBSD-based firewall and routing platform which incorporates many advanced features such as traffic shaping, load balancing, and VPN capabilities, with many more features available in the form of plugins. OPNsense is commonly deployed as a perimeter firewall, router, wireless access point, DHCP server, DNS server, and VPN endpoint.
OPNsense was originally developed as a fork of pfSense, and both projects are noted for being free and reliable firewall distributions which offer features often only found in expensive commercial firewalls. Launched in 2015, the developers of OPNsense cited a number of security and code-quality issues with pfSense which they felt necessitated a fork of the project, as well as concerns about Netgate's majority acquisition of pfSense and the future direction of the pfSense project.
Please note we are not affiliated with any of the projects we recommend. In addition to our standard criteria, we have developed a clear set of requirements to allow us to provide objective recommendations. We suggest you familiarize yourself with this list before choosing to use a project, and conduct your own research to ensure it's the right choice for you.
This section is new
We are working on establishing defined criteria for every section of our site, and this may be subject to change. If you have any questions about our criteria, please ask on our forum and don't assume we didn't consider something when making our recommendations if it is not listed here. There are many factors considered and discussed when we recommend a project, and documenting every single one is a work-in-progress.
- Must be open source.
- Must receive regular updates.
- Must support a wide variety of hardware.