Best thread border router

I’d like to get a thread border router. I thought that home assistant green + the sky connect dongle might work but it seems like that’s not quite ready yet, at least for a relatively simple setup.

I could get a smart display like the nest hub, but I’ve already got a 1st gen one and I don’t want another. I don’t really like having youtube etc accessible on it, too distracting.

The other option seems to be mesh networks like google nest wifi pro or eero. I want a mesh network anyway, so this could be a good choice. Both of those options have mixed reviews though and it might be better to get a well reviewed TP Link Deco system and have a separate border router, but I haven’t found anything else that supports it yet. Perhaps the nano leaf shape, but I’m not really keen on that.

The skyconnect in non multipan mode works if you want to go that route, it’s just that there are issues to be resolved with multipan at this time so its reccomended to have 2, one for zigbee one for thread modes in exclusive mode.

I currently have one in pure zigbee mode and just a few days ago setup a GL-S200 that does both thread and has the option to act as a BT relay via MQTT and I had no need of the other options out there for my setup to keep it all local control.

Using the skyconnect would be my preference if it works. I’ll just get two then for thread and zigbee.

For most users that is the best option for setup and use until they start dev work into multipan again and manage to fix its issues when you don’t need more for your setup at the time.

I use a Skyconnect with a Thread-only firmware and it has been working perfectly for a long time.

I have recently added a ESP32-H2 Open Thread Border Router by following the guide here:
https://openthread.io/guides/border-router/espressif-esp32

The ESP32-H2 is just for redundancy when HA server is being restarted or worked with, so the Matter network still work and the Matter integration/addon is faster to link up again after a restart.

My skyconnect running thread only is a bit finnicky, but I don’t have any devices yet. Nothing major, just have to get a plug and start playing. When I reboot it finds the skyconnect every time. If I restart the OTBR addon, it goes back to normal,

I use HomePod minis, because I already had them, but if not I might consider a low-cost standalone option like the OTBR/esp32-based GL-S20 with PoE from GL-iNet; I use their security appliance and am very happy with it.

It certainly makes a lot of sense to get Thread for “free” as part of a WiFi 6 upgrade, which if you haven’t done yet, is a big improvement in WiFi performance. At least a few seem to have managed to import Eero credentials to make it their preferred Thread network, so that might be a viable option.