Easiest/fastest way to get an OpenWrt Router: Gl.iNet

Also sells on Amazon

Also in response to this post about affordable 1Gbps routers

I believe this router meets all those requirements under budget +-$120 for quad core wifi6 https://www.gl-inet.com/products/gl-ax1800/

Edit*: There are some trust downsides to using this router, it has a modified version of openWRT and some proprietary elements to make the hardware work. Keep reading to learn more. Decide if you are willing to trust them.

Except it's not supported by openwrt, yet.

And at $120 it's a bad buy, when the RT3200 and WRX36 are $80, or less, and faster.
The comparable WAX202 is probably sub $60.


What do you mean? It comes with OpenWrt pre-installed.
Would the RT3200 and WRX36 require you to find the hardware locally and install openWRT?
In that case GL.Net would still be a faster/easier solution no?

PS can you link to the RT3200 and WRX36 I'm interested.

Don't trust the advertising.

It comes with gl.inets version of openwrt, not the public one.

Most supported devices can be found at https://openwrt.org/toh/start, including the ones I've mentioned.

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Ahh okay, so it's only a matter of trust? Is their version open source, wonder if anyone has reviewed it.
Do you not think they may need to adjust openWRT to match their hardware and software offering?

What brand is linked to these models please? RT3200 and WRX36

It's based on open(wrt) sources, and/or hw vendor SDK, but we don't know what modifications they've made...

Probably, but it's not only for the better, judging from the amount of threads their FWs generate here.

Searched the page provided ?

There's also a AX specific page here.

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Okay thanks, I'll search with the model number.

Here's an interview by a privacy podcast with a representative (The CEO) of the gl.inet I haven't listened to it yet: https://youtu.be/watch?v=Rr8B8vmBeUk
Transcript of the podcast interview

The title's enough, it contains the word privacy...
Hard pass.

I don't understand that attitude (towards privacy) but okay then...

VPN doesn't provide any additional "privacy", unless you live in Iraq, China, Russia, or some other "democracy unfriendly" country, where you can use it to bypass the government's internet restrictions.
For all the others, it's a (pretty much) pointless feature.

I'm not too bothered with using the VPN I understand it's use cases and limitations, it only has niche use cases. Eg: Gl.inets travel routers are VPN focussed for use with public wifi. Also GL.inet is in Hong Kong, so VPN is important to them.

According to this podcast their changes are open source but their UI changes are not.

They are pretending to offer you OpenWrt but they are not. What they offer is a product loosely based on OpenWrt but ultimately built from a vendor SDK with lots of changes and binary blobs OpenWrt has no access to.

Long story short, they are violating the OpenWrt copyright. It's a registered trademark.


Okay, thanks for the insight, do you know, would vanilla/pure openwrt work on their hardware?
Edit*: according to the podcast GL.iNet allows users to flash openWRT without their firmware

That's a story of the past, VPN adds pretty much zero security, even on public wifis.

Changes to what ?

If they were, why isn't the IPQ6xxx SoC the GL-AX1800 is using already supported by mainline kernel, and therefore also by openwrt ?

HK = China.
They sell/advertise it, because clueless people get nervous, as soon as someone starts talking internet privacy.

@S7venLights The ones you find in the table of hardware are, yes.

And no, Gl.iNet does not make it particularly difficult to flash vanilla OpenWrt onto their hardware, but as @frollic points out it's impossible to flash OpenWrt onto a device that is only supported by their own vendor firmware (as is the case with the GL-AX1800).

Okay thanks for the info peeps, I'll take that all into consideration

Edited the opening post to reflect these warnings.

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I think I may actually order the WRX36 now, it looks good, and seems to be fully supported.

GL.iNet AX1800 and AXT1800 is getting ported to Vanilla OpenWRT by the community here but it takes time.

I am still working on this bud I have a few things to get working such as sensors, a buildable image that is consistent without soft bricking a router, fan control for the axt1800 else everything such as wireless, Lan etc is working and recently we got the CPU to run correctly to increase the power performance in crypto.

I am new to all this porting and @robimarko @kirdes and some others have been kind enough to help out when I have been stuck.

So really it's not a question easiest/fastest way of getting openwrt on to the router just yet.


That's great thanks, where can we watch progress?

When I said easiest/fastest I meant in the sense that you can simply order it and start using it, no searching for the right router or installation needed.