Hello, I am new to Gli devices and they look very promising. Before I purchase, I want to how long is the typically device support life cycle. For example, how long would I expect vulnerabilities be patched? Once a product reach end of support (like those in the disconnected), can we still update them with OpenWrt?
I came from the pfsense world, and the community edition software/firmware is always available free, but troubleshoot on DIY hardware is a pain, so I am looking at supported hardware solution like Gli devices. Anyone can help here?
I now have to think about how to phrase it so that I don’t offend anyone.
Support is not necessarily what people appreciate about GL.iNET devices. The support here in the forum is good if you see it as “help” - but overall the firmware quality is currently on the decline. This will certainly improve again, but of course, it always takes a while.
I can’t tell you exactly what the support cycles look like (off the top of my head I’d estimate around 3 years) - but it doesn’t really matter, as the OpenWrt operating system on the GL.iNET devices is unfortunately not very close to the real release cycle. In other words, if the product no longer gets updates through GL.iNET, it’s a gamble whether you will be able to install OpenWrt and get updates there.
OpenWrt and GL.iNET firmware are rather different, even if they are based on the same “thing”
If you are looking for devices that are “close to the pulse of time” or have fixed release cycles - I would not currently recommend GL.iNET devices.
I believe GL.iNET does provide patches to OpenWRT to get their devices supported there, but OpenWRT does need to have a target architecture available for that chipset used. So if the chipset used is supported by OpenWRT, it will likely get normal OpenWRT from that. If it is not, your only choice be GL.iNET’s firmware.
You can see that happen:
Flint - GL-AX1800 - Qualcom IPQ6000 → Not in OpenWRT, because there is no support for that Chipset.
Flint 2 - GL-MT6000 - MediaTek MT7986 → Will be in OpenWRT at next release. Currently in snapshots.
Slate Plus - GL-A1300 - Qualcom IPQ4018 → Chipset is supported so it is in OpenWRT.
And you can pretty much see that for all devices.
The only gamble I believe there is, is hoping a chipset gets supported by OpenWRT in case it is not already supported.
GL iNet gives better support for newer and more popular products. Products that are popular, like my AR300M has received much better support and new firmware releases then my very unpopular microuter-N300. Multiple times on the N300, GL iNet has pulled released versions of the firmware, as they did not fully test it on this device before they released the firmware. As much of the support is provided by this forum, by regular users, products that have more users, get better support.
Due to chip availability and popularity, some products like the AR300M16 has had a very long life where others like Brume-W (GL-MV1000W) had a relatively short life. As an end user it is very hard to know which routers will have a long life, and therefor a long support life.
Although GL iNet claims to support products for at least 2 years after they announce End of Life, this support may not occur. My N300 which is still under support, it has not received a 4.x firmware release, and the current released 3.216 firmware has multiple open CVEs that may or may not be fixed.
On OpenWrt support, it is important to pick you router carefully. Unless a router already has OpenWrt firmware available on the OpenWrt site, I will not buy it. This is the only way to know for sure if OpenWrt is an option for your router. Otherwise you are just betting that someone will finish the port for it.
Some links to look at:
What is the expected support period for routers
Inconsistent Product Firmware
Broken commitments! USB150
N300 firmware pulled as the released firmware did not support its 1 Ethernet port
Wow. I don’t expect that many helpful comment from the community and thank you all! So most of you would switch to newer support Gli net products when your older device is End of Life/Support? What do you do with your EOL devices?
I would understand that it is a business decision to balance develop newer products vs supporting older devices and given that Gli-net’s prices is very competitive maybe this is the way to go to switch every now and then.
You can still use them. Most security problems are not real problems if you don’t need security within your LAN. As long as the device is safe from the WAN side, all is good. Mostly you can block all incoming ports and there won’t be any issues.
If you use them not only in your space but for example in a company, I would replace them.
All my older GL iNet routers, with one exception, have good OpenWrt firmware support, so I have been slowly moving some of my old GL iNet routers to OpenWrt, normally in new roles, like light-weight remote VPN servers.
Others will eventually go to the recycling center, as they just are not powerful enough to handle the higher demands of newer versions of OpenWrt and ever increasing network speeds.
Just like my Opal, which has OpenWrt 18 and seems like it will be like that forever, because it isn’t supported by the official OpenWrt firmware. It has decent CPU specs though, not the architecture. I came from DD-WRT and it is way more light compared to OpenWrt. The Beryl AX and Flint 2 are both good options because they have a MediaTek chip that will be supported for a long time, I read the OpenWrt project is releasing their first router ever and I think it has the same CPU that the Beryl AX has (MT7981B)