I have been using the AR150 almost daily for the last month and thought I would offer some discussion on the GUI. Most of my use has been in a hotel with a mere 2MB/1MB service.

Most of the time it’s a plain old router and works fine. It does need to go through a splash page to connect to the hotel. I am using Mozilla and get a little notification that tells me there may be another page to check. I assume it’s the browser telling me and not the router.

Not keen on the GLI password requirement for 8 characters.

The first thing I need to do is connect. I would like to have the Internet Settings open right away when I open the GUI if there is no existing connection. If there is a connection then it should not open.

I think the second tab, “Repeater” is poorly named. I think WWAN or Wireless WAN is a better term. The device does not have a repeater mode in it’s delivered configuration.

I would like the ability to save and recall a connection. This gets my highest “WANT RATING”. I really find it annoying to have to retype passwords for connections I visit regularly. I still want the device to boot with no connection, and scan as it does. If one of the networks it finds is saved, I should be able to select it and then just hit submit. SSID Keys should not be in clear text by default, but an option to view would be good.

I have not tested the ability to find hidden SSIDs.

I have not tested 3g.

I have not tested Tethering, but hope to try my iPhone at some point. I think I need to load some packages.

Unclear if I can use both cable and wireless at the same time.

I would like to see a menu configuration for the DDNS service. It should have an On\Off switch and offer the ability to configure alternate DDNS services. I also would prefer not to have the DDNS information show at the bottom of the page. It should be secret and available on a tab under DDNS.

The Wireless Settings tab (LAN) the Main tab opens with no password set, even though there is a password. It should show as hidden, with an option to reveal.

Unclear as to why or what to use the port forwarding tab for.

Firmware - Does Revert to factory default mean back to the delivered software or back to the uploaded image file with no packages? There should be a way to backup and restore the configuration (like std).

App Repo - seem to work fine, used it to upload 2.13 over 2.12. Not loaded any packages.

Video - Worked fine with my 720P camera at most resolutions. Some jitter at higher resolutions. Limited testing. Does anyone know what the VLC stream string should be?

Cloud - Can not figure it out. Need instructions. I could find files on the USB, but not make links.

Share - LAN Share works. Did not try WAN. Not sure how to access it. Not really tried.

UPNP service - It’s on. Not sure why I need it.

Performance at home with 50/10 using wireless on WWAN and WLAN gets me about 12.5\9.8. The laptop at the same spot does 22.8\9.8. I consider that respectable considering the distance to my router (25 feet and some walls) and pushing the radio into double duty.

Competitive routers come with an option to use the device as a router or AP\Bridge. Generally this is done with a switch, like the one on the side of the device. This would essentially turn the WAN\WWAN into WLAN\LAN. Probably require some additional GUI pages. Not a feature I have a need for, but others might.

The link to the manual does not go to a valid manual for the device

I probably should say that while the connection manager could be more feature rich, it is far superior to the OpenWRT delivered product. It’s one click, and does not hang on a previous connection.

@RangerZ, I did read this post, but didn’t have a time to reply. Hope to reply you in more details later.

  1. For the splash page, it is from the hotel. They have a captive portal that force you to click a page.
  2. The password are required to be at least 8 characters. This is because in the older firmware, when you set the password for the first time, the password will be used for wifi as well. But WPA/WPA2 requires the password at least 8 characters long. But this caused some troubles when login. When you set your password via wifi, then the wifi password changed and you cannot connect to it. Have to say that Windows is so stupid and don't popup a page asking for a new password. You have to forget the old password and reconnect. So, in the newer firmware we don't change wifi password when set up the password for the first time. You have to change it after you login.
  3. Internet settings open right away. This is a good idea! Features to be included when upgrade the firmware.
  4. Repeater: The naming does make a trouble. Repeater, bridge, repeater-bridge, wwan etc. all are very difficult to understand. What is the best term in Engish? "WWAN" doesn't make sensor for non-technical people and most technical people as well.
  5. SSID keys has to be in clear text. Of course we can use **** in the UI. Connections can be stored directly on the router: ssid, encryption, key. When you select an ssid, the password can be automatically filled. This is a good suggestion. Features to be included in firmware.
  6. Hidden SSIDs we don't support in the UI. This happens if this ssid is made by you. You can use luci. But we can add the ability to type the ssid, not just search. But I don't think this is very necessary.
  7. Tethering: Android works right away. iPhone needs to load some packages.
  8. Not cables and wireless for the same time.
  9. We can added on/off for the ddns. But what is the problem of displaying it at the bottom. It is supposed to be known by you. You can configure a lot of other ddns services in Luci.
  10. Maybe some people do want the wifi password to be displayed. But we would rather not to do it. As everything pop to the client is clear text.
  11. The port forward is used to visit this device if it is behind a firewall. I.e. when you want to visit your device using the ddns and your device is at your home.
  12. Factory default will get ride of all your packages. Of course, it is possible to back up all the packages and re-install them after upgrade. But installing packages are generally used by hobbyists and who can re-install them manually.
  13. Camera only works for browser. It has session check. In VLC there is not authorization.
  14. Cloud: you can make links and share it with your friends. But first your device has to be visible to the Internet. little docs are prepared.
  15. Share: When you don't connect to the device directly, for example, this device and your computer are connecting to the same router, you need to enable share on WAN. Otherwise you cannot access.
  16. UPNP: ok. If you don't use, then don't use.
  17. Performance: normal
  18. AP, bridge, router mode etc. are all difficult to understand for users. What are them! I'd rather to avoid these things. But I understand you.
  19. Manual: need to make a new one.

@3: Internet settings open right away at no connection: it’s a great idea, but it must be possible to cancel the wizard. Sometimes a wizard that opens up immediately that can’t be closed can be very frustrating for advanced users.

@4: Repeater: Is the tab meant to pick up the data from the chosen SSID and to pass it to the own SSID of the GLi device? Then it is still genrally called a “repeater” function. Although, it isn’t exactly a repeater function (in that case it should pickup the signal and boost the signal).

@6: Hidden SSID: It’s always an good idea to have a option “Other” and then manually enter the SSID. Maybe a hidden SSID is not often used, but I think there are users which are using a hidden SSID.

@8: Cables and wireless at the same time: It depends on what @RangerZ meant. If you are using for example the GL-AR150 as a router or access point you will be able to use eth1 (LAN) and wlan0 at the same time. If he meant to combine a WAN connection over both a LAN-connection (eth0, WAN) and wlan0 you won’t be able to use it that way.

@9: DDNS: You can configure it by LUCI, but I think it would be better to also provide the option to novice users at the GLi GUI.

@10: No password filled in at wifi password. The field should be filled in. It’s likle the same argument alzhao stated at point 9: Only users with the right credentials would be able to see it. Eventually you can create a random text (apart from the actual wifi password) so the browser can produce aterisks (*****) and when the users enters something else then the generated random text then save that new wifi password.

@12: Factory default: there should be an option to backup all current settings. There should alse be an option to restore your settings. LUCI also does have this option.

@18: @RangerZ: As you can see at it is possible to execute a bash script when you move the switchbutton of the GL-AR150.
I’m studying at the UCI CLI to create scripts which can make use of the switchbutton to set the GL-AR150 to a accesspoint or router mode.
Although I think it should indeed be a default option within the firmware. Just only accesspoint and router/mobile connection router. More advanced options should be manually configured at the /etc/rc.button/btn_7 and /etc/rc.button/btn_8 scripts.

Regarding the password, maybe I am not following. In Default OpenWrt the Router login is different from the Wifi password (SSID Key). I read this note to say the Router Login is now also the wifi password, but I do not think so. I think they should be different. I do not want to share my wifi password and have that person access my router. I understand that WPA/WPA2 requires 8 characters, but do not understand why they are connected. In your discussion you are not clear on which password you are referring to. You are not specific (router vs Wireless). I would like to see the router password restriction removed.

Well instead of Repeater, I think Wireless WAN or Wireless Internet if it can fit.

Regarding Hidden SSIDs, I have found in OpenWRT some chip sets that the Hidden SSIDs work and in some it does not. I wrote a post at one time. The issue is that I want to hide the SSID on my primary routers AP to make it difficult for others to connect. All my Laptops can find the hidden WIFI once the SSID configuration has been saved. Maybe if the WAN side connections could be saved then this would solve itself. In OpenWrt (std) for the supported chips I can scan and see “hidden”. I usually can figure out what to connect to.

Regarding the DDNS, the issue is if I have my Router open on my laptop in an airport, some one can see what my DDNS connection is. It should not be visible on the GUI by default. I should be able to only see it in the related DDNS configuration page or tab. It needs to be known by me, but I am not going to be looking at it when I log in remotely. I think is should be configurable in the GUI.

With all the passwords, I think that the field should be filled in if it exists. The UI should be able to display it in ****, but a check box can be used to display the clear test. Again, this is a security issue. I want to use my router in public places, that’s the reason I have it. But entering my passwords in clear text is a security concern. I have tested opening the wireless settings and one can submit with a blank password. It reports saving is successful and it retains the existing password.

#4 - I think a “repeater” is passing the same signal (ie same network). This is passing a different network (the WAP IP). It’s the global translation issue.

#8 - I would like to be able to connect both the WWAN and WAN at the same time to improve the speed and reliability of my connection. Not a big deal, but I thought one could do this in standard. Not positive.

#9 - I’m blind, where is the DDNS Config in Luci.

#18 - I understand but it’s beyond my skill set.

@9: I’m sorry. It was somewhere midnight and I got a bit tired I think. It is possible to configure the DDNS right in the bash scripts. I can’t remember I did see it in the LUCI configuration either.

Switching between configurations:

I would like to see separate directories for configurations. Something like this:

/config this for the default configuration when switch is in the middle position when GPIO7 and 8 are both HIGH
/config1 this gets activated when GPIO7 is being pulled LOW
/config2 this gets activated when GPIO8 is being pulled LOW

Why the default config in the middle position? This makes most sense as a failsafe since it needs the most fiddeling to the little switch.

When the firstboot command is used, this only deletes /config or does it do more then that? This is one more reason to use /config as the failsafe position

For the AR150 this would be an improvement already to switch between Default, Fixed and experimental configurations.

For instance: When I’m just using the router as an access point I like to store the configuration under GPIO7. And GPIO8 I would like to use to store the config that i’m tinkering with. A SSID for for Guests, or a ‘repeater’ mode. but can be used for many other configurations. Router, Access Point, Bridge, Repeater, Hotspot, WPSmode, Babyphone(?), AudioStreamer, VOIPmode, TOR, NAS, Torrent, Bitcoinmining… whatever people do with these boxes. This is why a rotary encoder came to mind. then I can take AR150 with me and tinker with MANY configs whenever an idea comes to mind… All can be backed up with one press of a button.

For a travel scenario when someone only travels between 3 fixed locations then he could store those 3 locations as configs. when using GPIO 7 and 8. But thats too limited for someone who wants to use many locations.

All of this together with the GUI for configuring the most important settings in an understandable manner so that a novice user can understand it. Just 3 configurations for the GPIO7/8 switch. /config for middle position /config1 for LEFT position, /config2 RIGHT.

the DDNS domain name should indeed not be visible on the mainpage. Under a menu it would be better and with an option to turn DDNS off so that the device does not ‘call home’ as Guest mentioned elsewhere on this forum.

The biggest task is to make it all userfriendly for the average lazy surfer out there who considers that browsing the web is a ‘technical skill’. Those people easy get scared away with technical terms. Where we say AP they say HUH? When we say Access Point then they look at the door… :smiley: The GLi GUI does a great job to make it easy for novice users and it should stay as easy as possible. And it should have an online manual with screenshots and mouseovers that explain even the simple settings in a simple way. Everyday new ‘fresh’ surfers come online who never have seen any of this. Some become hackes, others just want to be able to watch cat’s on you-tube. But they all have some kind of router.

8 characters requirement. For a travel router there should not be a minimum requirement, you never know what others have set as password, but for a stationary home router a 8 char minimum would be a good thing.

The save and recall would be very nice, I like the way android automatically Connects to known SSID’s. But is this actually secure? Are there better options? Or would a checkbox for ‘autoconnect ON / OFF’ be enough?

I also would like to see the MAC address removed from the bottom of the main page for similar reasons. And which MAC is it, WAN or LAN. It should be on the respective settings page.

@frietpan - you need to differentiate between Router Login and SSID Key. The login can be any size the user wants. It shoudl not be a requirement like a bank imposes on us. They have liability. In the case of the router, if it gets hacked it’s my fault. Regarding the SSID key, for WPA it’s a technical requirement to do the encryption, though it’s stored in clear text in the config files. That’s an open WRT thing, that used to bother me, but the reality is one needs router access to get the info from the config, then they can change it in the GUI.

My iPhone has a config setting for wireless that says auto connect to known SSID (Yes\No). I would like 2 options ideally. Connect to know secure SSID and connect to known unsecure SSID. I do not want to connect to Starbucks every time I walk in, only when I ask. I want to connect to my hose every time I walk in.