GL-MT3000 Beryl using Netgear AC6210 Wifi Dongle


I live in a steel narrowboat in UK, and on the Marina there is a Wifi provided. I’ve a Beryl ax just bought and it is on 4.4.6 admin
Openwrt Version = OpenWrt 21.02-SNAPSHOT r15812+879-46b6ee7ffc
Kernel Version 5.4.211

Wifi inside a metal boat is rubbish so i’m hoping to be able to plug a usb Wifi dongle into the usb port and tether it, which i can place outside the boat to bring the Marina WiFi inside. The marina limits the number of devices so the Beryl looked a good solution.
I’ve really basic linux knowledge so if you can make it simple I would appreciate it.

The device is pluged in but nothing happens.
Is this something that can be done or am I going to be out of luck?


Your steel narrowboat boat is going to act as a Faraday cage - Wikipedia, you need to find a way to bring the Wi-Fi signal in. You are on the right track. You’ll probably need a Wi-Fi extender to capture the Marina Wi-Fi connect your GL-MT3000 via ethernet. Using your GL-MT3000 to broadcast a Wi-Fi inside your narrowboat.

That was why i was hoping that i could plug a Wifi Dongle into a long usb cable to use the beryl to repeat the signal inside the faraday cage :o)

You are probably going to have issues with power delivery depending on how long the USB cable. But in saying that. I don’t even know if the USB input is designed to be able to connect to a Wi-Fi dongle. There would be drivers needed etc.

I can’t help you with a make/model number but you’re looking for a dongle/interface that supports kmod-usb-net-asix so the OpenWrt operating system’s kernel can load the approp. module allowing proper communication. A USB network interface can be done but not without effort. Linux support for Wi-Fi network adapters can be troublesome at best, OpenWrt Linux even more so.

I’d try moving the Beryl to a window first. That’ll help the antennas. An easier option may be to try running a length of copper, like speaker wire, & tape it to the antenna of the Beryl… or sell the AC6120 & put it towards another Beryl for the main Access Point & the other as a Repeater.

I still feel it should be possible to load drivers for the netgear and make it work, if I only knew how. Maybe something the in advanced LuCI panels would help?
USB cables can be meters long so easy enough to go out a window and onto the roof of my boat.


As somebody who has tried and tried and tried to do exactly what you want to do, albeit with a Creta and a Slate Plus, I will say that it is theoretically possible, but with serious caveats.

The GLi firmware, with very limited exceptions such as Brume 1, does not support USB wifi dongles. It will break in various ways if you add one, often simply because it doesn’t expect an extra radio device to be present, or because the dongle is now showing up as radio0 instead of the the radio GLi’s firmware expects to be there, etc.

If you do successfully add a dongle and get it working for uplink, which can in some cases be done thru Luci or the command line, various parts of the GLi firmware will become fragile, meaning that once you’ve got the setup working, if you attempt to subsequently change settings in GLi’s firmware, it may break. And by break, I mean up to and including breaking your entire setup, not just the setting you are changing.

You can of course attempt to do a setup like this with vanilla OpenWRT if you get a GLi device that’s supported by mainline OpenWRT, I don’t know if this is the case with Beryl AX.

In either case - GLi firmware or OpenWRT - you then run up against the problem that USB wifi dongles are not well supported in Linux, often times the drivers are poor quality, etc. This is improving with each release, but it’s a crapshoot trying to figure out which hardware is truly well-supported and which isn’t, unless you want to use certain ancient 802.11n dongles.

You may then find a well-known list of USB wifi dongles which “work well on Linux,” but if you purchase one of the newer ones, you may then subsequently find out that bugfixes & patches which have made it into new Linux kernels used on desktop systems, may well not have made it into OpenWRT at all, let alone the older kernels still in use in some GLi devices.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t try doing this. I have a bunch of dongles and hardware bits and give this a good college try every so often, because being able to use good directional antennas (on something other than a Shadow) would be a huge win for me. But so far I haven’t had a great experience, and I’ve been taking a break from it for a while to let more mt76 bugfixes land in OpenWRT.