E750 - a frustrated review in 2023

Hello, I discovered GL-iNet through the LTT review and I was blown away buy their products. openWRT and VPN built in support, so cool, and just what I needed because I had a trip planned in Japan. My usual setup was an Xiaomi A2 hotspotting with a powerbank attached, local SIM inserted and oVPN that connects to our enterprise network in Europe. E750 could be a step up, sparing us the use of the powerbank and giving us a less “ghetto” solution for working while traveling.
I then ordered a Flint for the “VPN server” part and an E750 eg25-g for the Japan part.
With Flint, it was love at first sight: it took seconds to set up everything, and it just worked. It is a really awesome product with a really affordable price.
The E750… I had high hopes, but after the 2 weeks in japan I am finding it somewhat disappointing. It’s not a bad product, but it misses a couple of things that could make it a killer product.


- openWRT is such a good thing to have.
its capabilities are endless and the possibility to do everything is a godsend for the power user. ghetto Phone 0 - E750 1


- battery
8-10 hours. That’s what you get. is it a lot? is it too little? it depends by the situation. It was too little for us - we exited from the hotel at worst at 8, usually at 7, and came back after dinner. This meant that we needed to use a powerbank, a disappointing thing when you have a dedicated, powerbank sized, device. Nothing changes between the ghetto phone and the E750, it’s a draw: ghetto Phone 1 - E750 2

- heat
GL-inet states that E750 should not be used with powerbanks and different chargers from the original one. And I discovered the reason: this brick heats up like mad. And then, after the 70°C more or less, it shuts off. To be fair, GL-iNet warns you, so I can’t be mad at the product for doing what they told me that it would have done. But the ghetto phone doesn’t overheat, so it wins this round: ghetto phone 2 - E750 2

- SIM compatibility
Japan seems to really hate giving network connection to the tourists. No SIM without residence other than prepaid SIM cards that can’t call or send SMS, limited speed and lower priority than the local SIMs when connecting in a dense area. But the E750 did not help: we tried 4 SIM cards, 2 italian ones (Iliad IT, TIM IT) and 2 Japan ones (Mineo JP and a smaller MVNO carrier I can’t remember that also used Docomo network. We bought it in Yodobashi Camera). Of 4 SIM cards, the 2 italian ones can’t connect, Mineo JP worked fine, the other MVNO took around 30 minutes to connect when we booted up the E750. Needless to say, the SIMs all worked fine while connecting through Android. All the APNs needed to be inserted manually in the E750 - in Android, just one SIM of all 4 needed a manual APN insertion. So… ghetto phone 3 - E750 2.

- GL-iNet App
this is really confusing: GL-iNet has an app, but you cannot do everything through it. It has little sense: why creating a limited app when your customer are power users? I avoid putting points for this because it did not matter, but it really confused me.

- speed and traffic limitation
This was a major issue; out of the box, the E750 can’t limit traffic, because it does not keep the statistics. Maybe there’s a way through openWRT customization, but I was on the go and I didn’t want to spend half a day in a Starbucks solving this problem. But the ghetto phone can do it easily. so it’s 4-2 for the ghetto phone

- public hotspots and captive portals
Again, maybe there’s a way, maybe not, but out of the box we could not connect to public hotspots that used captive portals. We tried connecting, then going to the page where there should be the captive portal from a client, but it did not work. This was a major setback, because the idea of having oVPN is also to keep the connection with our work servers secure even through public hotspots (we use telnet - I know it’s not secure, you should tell to the IT guys of our company, not to me). The A2 wins this round too. 5-2

- the WiFi bug
Maybe it was a bug, maybe it was PEBKAC. But sometimes the 5g wifi disappeared. So we had to keep both the 5g and 2.4g activated because we could not risk to being cut out from the control panel (it happened once and we needed to go back to the hotel and use the ethernet adapter). But whatever, maybe it was our fault, maybe it was the overheating, so no points here.

So the experience was really frustrating. We ended up using the connection without oVPN because of some issue with the japanese SIM cards that were too unreliable and so we needed all the bandwidth we could have, and the management of the E750 became another chore we needed to do. I just woke up, better powering up the E750 because it needs half an hour for connecting. Oh it’s 3pm, time to put the powerbank on the E750. It’s 5pm, time to move the E750 in my pocket for dissipating some heat through my body. Better check the battery, internet acts weird, maybe the E750 lost the connection and needs another half hour for connecting again? etc etc
The product clearly shows that it could be THE mobile router to take during holidays in foreign countries. But right now, the old Xiaomi A2 still wins.


  • bigger battery.
    It doesn’t change anything if the product is bulkier. It goes in the backpack or in the pocket, you don’t keep it in your hands, and going to 10k or 12k with a life of 13-15hrs could make it more usable without changing anything else, even though making it more efficient could still be a good idea because it really heats up.

  • the app
    seriously, you made the difficult part GL-iNet, just add the rest of the options that you can find in the web portal.

  • QOL settings
    the speed / size limitator should be there and should be as fine tuned as possible. time schedule, customizable per client size limits. I’m a power user, I need to set stuff.

  • wireless power limitation
    sometimes I need a 10m radius, but the usual case scenario is of a 1m radius. make me lower the power of the antenna. Less heat, more life for the device.

  • captive portal support.
    I have no idea why they did not already solved this. I know you can’t have a browser on openWRT, but I find it difficult to believe that there can’t be a way through the app to authenticate the device.

  • SIM card support
    if you want to be THE best 4g mobile router, you need to be the best in compatibility, period. Issues can happen, but at least storing a file with the APNs of the major companies… It’s just a web scraping job, it takes a couple of weeks of an intern’s work and then it’s pretty much done.
    Also, eSIM. why not?

So, as of right now, for the next travels I’m switching back to the A2. Maybe I’ll change to a 5g phone if I can find one used at a price. It’s frustrating, but it clearly is the best solution right now.

PS: I’m not hating on GL-iNet - in fact, I’m going to order another Flint. Those are just wonderful devices, no string attached.


Thanks for the comprehensive review.

Just to reply for some points.

Bigger battery: need a trade off between battery life and weight. Due to the hardware nature so very difficult to design power saving mode.

Heat: Just don’t put in your pocket.

SIM compatiibility: Japan is difficult. But for eg25-g actually we got good feedback from others. This global version is lack of some bands than eg25-j which is for Japan specifically. Anyway we are changing to EM06.

APP: forget about it. Complicated issues.

Captive portals: pls note if you use 3.x firmware, disable DNS rebind protection.

WiFi: alway use the same SSID for 2.4G and 5G when you use repeater. Saves your life.

Just a few thoughts from me, even though I don’t own an E750.

Personally, I think that’s perfectly fine. My iPhone couldn’t do this when using WiFi and mobile communications at the same time. WiFi and mobile communications are very, very energy-hungry.

I assume that the problem here will be that the voltage is transformed. This could be corrected by only applying as much voltage as is needed for charging. Also, simultaneous use and charging is of course associated with enormous heat development. Again, I have to use my iPhone as an example: It also overheats if the ambient temperature is not 10°C. It may be that some Android phone can handle it better - just wanted to give it as an example.

Japan is very special when it comes to cell phone networks. They don’t have a GSM (2G) network there, for example, and a different 4G frequency is used depending on the city. It could be that the E750 is simply not designed for this. Perhaps there is a lack of experience for Japan and GL.iNet is now using the feedback to make adjustments.

It is the same app for all devices. Most routers are for mobile and stationary use, not for mobile travel. And: The users are definitely not power users. You can take a look here in the forum to see what questions arise and what goals users achieve… You can be a power user with the devices if you want to be - but this is not the case by default and the device was not (really) developed for this.

This is a completely normal problem and depends very much on the respective public hotspot. Every hotel network is individual, you have to deal with it. There are various instructions that you have to work through mindlessly: Connect to Captive Portal - GL.iNet Router Docs 3

:laughing: :laughing:

This is usually triggered by DFS.
DFS is Dynamic Frequency Selection, which is a function of using 5 GHz Wi-Fi frequencies that are generally reserved for radar, such as military radar, satellite communication, and weather radar. The DFS channels vary from country to country. When support for DFS is enabled, Wi-Fi router detect the channel status and determine to use DFS channel or non-DFS channel when boot. If router assigned with non-DFS channel, it can operate on 5GHz frequency immediately; however, if router assigned with DFS channel, according to regulation, Channel Availability Check is required. And during Channel Availability Check process, 5GHz signal is unavailable for connection. The Channel Availability Check process would take 1-10 minutes depending on the country. See: [Wireless Router] What is DFS (Dynamic Frequency Selection) and how does it work on ASUS router? | Official Support | ASUS Global

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So in summary, E750 is not consumer grade because of these issues.

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thank you for your reply, just to be clear I’m not hating, I’m really happy to have found your company because it’s exactly what I need from my routers in general. I just really found frustrating the E750 situation.
on point:

bigger battery: I say go big. It’s not an issue, really. Stay under 20k because the airlines are a pain if you pack more than 20k, but otherwise size and weight is not an issue.

heat: the E750 overheated inside the backpack. It overheated during charge through powerbank. Putting it in my pocket mitigated the issue, because my body kept the temperature under control.

SIM: yeah, I had issues with our italian SIM cards too. Also, eSIM?

APP: :pensive:

Captive portal: ok! i searched around but could not find anything on how to do it, and I was on the go and walking so I just went with direct connection

wifi: yeah, it would have been awesome to know that two weeks ago :joy:

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thank you for the answer!

battery duration can be fine, but if I need to pack a powerbank because I need more than 8-10 hrs, what’s the advantage on using the ghetto phone solution?

on heat: I agree, but then again, as a consumer, I look at the final situation, which is that while using it it overheats, while the A2, while hot, stays on indefinitely.

captive portals: ok, I tried MAC cloning and it did not work while away. But even if it would have worked… I don’t need to do it with the ghetto phone. that’s my whole point: if I get a dedicated device, that’s for having less issues and less things to do, but the E750 doesn’t deliver on this.

On DFS, sometimes the 2.4 disappeared too. That’s why we kept both and not only the 2.4. I got cut out when disabling the 2.4, but I noticed the same issue with 2.4 when I got both running.

The battery is tricky.

Keep in mind your phone hardware and OS has had hundred of engineers working to improve efficiency.

OpenWRT is regular embedded linux and was never designed with battery power in mind. The qualcom soc used in the 750 is a regular router chip and was never designed to run on battery

In exchange for this sacrifice, you get a more powerful device with real linux

I would support a heavier device for more battery power

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Here is a battery that you can use if you want something heavier and bigger:


Thank you. Your reply indeed answered my question all along on why a mobile phone with fraction of battery capacity can run much longer than a Mudi.

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Can you explain this further?

I’m pretty sure the “disappearing SSID” problem is not just DFS, because I’ve had it happen with 4.x firmware on various devices which aren’t using DFS channels and aren’t even capable of DFS.