I came across the GL iNet series of products searching for mobile routers that I could use to secure VPN connections with when travelling in hotels etc. Always something I’d wanted to do.
I was intrigued to find three products that also had native SIM support and which could therefore function as 4G routers too - I’ve been setting up cellular connectivity as a home internet backup recently so had just looked into this category of device too. So GL iNet isn’t obviously unique by making these… but the fact they do both Internet and cellular is if I’m not mistaken.
I have a couple of thoughts / questions:
From what I can tell the most significant difference between the three cellular mobile routers is that Phuli is the top end device and does dual band WiFi. It also has a larger battery. But I was thinking of getting the MiFi just to see how much use I’ll make out of these and see where GL iNet takes things next. Are there any other major advantages to Mudi and Phuli that I’m missing? I’ll be find without dual band. Only Phuli I think has an LCD.
These devices can repeat WiFi networks AND have on board cellular AND run OpenWRT. OpenWRT has a package (mwan3) for provisioning cellular backup and failover. Does that mean the devices support this? As in if I’m connected to a WiFi network and want to keep cellular for failover if it drops… could that work?
A lot of questions for one thread I realize. I’m intrigued as to why GL iNet seems to be the only manufacturer of both battery powerable portable WiFi routers AND joint cellular plus WiFi routers. I want to make sure I pick the best option.
Slightly off track. The Puli is an updated version of the MiFi. It’s had some PCB and reception improvements and now supports 300N WiFi compared with 150N on the MiFi. it also has a better processor and more memory. I would suggest the Puli over the Mudi if you are considering these two units. Both these units are more “industrial” than the Mudi.
The Mudi has dual band WiFi and is more “consumer” based with it’s easy to read interface rather than just LED indicators.
The other big difference is that the main Mudi unit has no ethernet ports and you can only get ONE ethernet port via a USB-C mini port replicator (included) while the Puli has 2 built in ethernet ports.
The other difference that may be of consideration is that the VPN performance Puli is up 38 Mbps while the Mudi is up to 50Mbps
In all three units, they do priorty/failover as standard n the following order:
WAN source - Repeater STA - USB Tether- Inbuilt modem
You can change this by changing the metric for each of the connection types.
Hope this helps.
Glad that you mentioned ethernet ports. The lack of them would be problematic.
The real use case I’m envisioning for these is something like an extended period working remotely - and wishing to secure an untrusted home network without having to VPN every device.
Using the device as an ethernet bridge would be most ideal (ie ethernet in from the router and from there to my main device). But given typical “logistics” the WiFi bridge : access point model may be more practical. Therefore, two ethernet ports (WAN plus LAN would be required).
The existence of a community here helps me see that it’s not just me who thinks that GL iNet have built hardware that fulfills an essential need.
Unless there are products I missed if you want something you can run off a battery to bridge say a coffee shop network into a secure network for a few devices… and you don’t feel like lugging a power bank around… these three are your only options. Seems like an important need.
Thanks again for your help!