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Topic: Gl.iNet 6416A (comes with OpenWRT Barrier Braker pre-installed)

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Some time ago I ordered a GL.iNet 6416A on Aliexpress.  Actually friend of me did the order.  It took about 3 weeks to arrive.  (though it can take up to 6 weeks or even longer)

Compared to other sellers this router comes nicely packed in a nice retail box, and even has a little 'getting started' manual, and a USB cable. 

OpenWRT Barrier Braker is the pre-installed firmware on this box when you go to the advanced section you get  full acces to the OpenWRT firmware.  The basic GUI that GL.iNet provides has a lot of options.

A Webcam server
Download functionality for USB storage
A cloud server? (I still have to take a closer look at this)
A share (SAMBA server) that also supports NTFS ans ETX4
A UPnP srver
A SSH proxy
NAT port forwarding

Firmware with auto update.. Hmmm is that safe?   But  ok this might be better then  having firmware with 10 year old bugs that never get patched (as is the case in many mainstream routers)
Please comment on this...

There is also a dyndns service provided by GL.iNet. 

All in all the GL.iNet people have not been cutting corners. 
I wonder if some financial revenue trickles back to OpenWRT?  or how does that work?

And I almost forget to mention it has 64MB RAM and 16MB ROM on board.
See wiki for all the details: http://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/gl-inet/gl-inet

From my noob point of view the basic features of this little box beats a lot of the competition out there.
Specially for people who are not familiar or uncomfortable with flashing firmware I think this is a great way to get started.

What's the wifi range like? I was looking at a nexx wt3020, A5-V11 or a gl inet and apparently the a5-v11 has relatively poor range.

If you still have the stock firmware running on the gl.inet can you please try accessing it via a smartphone browser.  I am curious if the interface works any better than Bootstrap on a phone.   Bootstrap is better than OpenWRT, but neither is optimized for a cell phone.  Too much pinching and page changing to connect to a new SSID.

I do not think anyone will write a new theme for Luci with Luci2 on the horizon (but I bet it will be a year).  Unfortunately right now I find this a big hurdle for the travel browser.  It takes way to long to connect to a hot spot.  I wrote this post but received no answers.  https://forum.openwrt.org/viewtopic.php?id=58476

Magnetz wrote:

What's the wifi range like? I was looking at a nexx wt3020, A5-V11 or a gl inet and apparently the a5-v11 has relatively poor range.

The version of the GL-iNet without the external antennae is pretty much good for the room you're in.  You can get signal in the next room, but not if your body is in between your device and the router (i.e. you have a Wi-Fi phone and put yourself in the middle).

There is a version with an external antennae, and it's usually ~$5 more.  I can't speak to it's range because I don't have one.

Here's an article to DIY you're own antennae:
https://shiki.tk/?p=2940

The router I got had some kind of connector already on the board, but it was too small for the plentiful adapter cables on eBay, so YMMV.

Antenna range:  With a clear line of sight the range is not any worse then other routers. Though walls seem to limit the more then routers that have external antenna's, There also is a version with antenna and you could hack a better antenna..  The Atheros chip seems to do better transmission then the Mediatek (from my NEXX)
I also have a DIR-505 that has a shield over the Atheros chip and that seems to have a little more range.

From a security point of view i'd say less range is better... But it all depends on what you want to do.
When you run a piratebox then you might want some extra range to be able to chat with more neighbours.

So the solution would de adding a antenna, there are also active antenna's that have an amplifier, or directional antenna's.  Or you can make an omni antenna slightly directional by adding a reflector shield behind it? I'll give it a try to add a little grounded metal shield to the GL.iNet. This might make the PCB antenna directional. ..should work with every antenna...

The hack WertWert.. referred to seems to be the an easy way that also looks nice.
I just spotted this antenna:
https://www.conrad.nl/nl/tp-link-tl-ant … ;WT.srch=1 but i'm sure it must be possible to find even cheaper ones.
Or just pull one from an old router...

I haven't tried the app. maybe someone else who has this box can do this?  I'm not very app-happy. I'm in the phase of my life where i try to get rid of all the spy stuff. (and that's NOT easy) I can see how an app will let you do nice things, is the app encrypted?  I have not looked at it yet. Also no clue what bootstrap is... I'm getting curios though. :-)

I am not sure what APP you are refereeing to.  I am talking about the web interface to OpenWRT.  Bootstrap is the default interface that comes with LuCi, but in general I download and use the OpenWRT Theme for the GUI.  Bootstrap has bigger buttons and is easier to run on a small screen, but still not easy.

As the GL.inet comes with it's own version of OpenWRT all I was asking is it easier to use on a smartphone, specifically for changing the SSID. 

Theme is managed in System=>System=> Language and Style.

Bootstrap is not loading a tape to get the computer running, though that may be before your time.

OOOOH
hehe GL.iNet has some kind of android app i thought you where asking about that. :-)
http://www.gl-inet.com/w/?page_id=115  Would that be more easy to use on small screens?

I have not tried it, but if they made a special app for it then it might well be the solution for you. Then it doesn't matter what theme is used. 

Design = Bootstrap

And this is the GUI of the basic settings:

GL interface
in the upper right corner is a link to the OpenWRT interface.

(Last edited by frietpan on 20 Aug 2015, 01:45)

The GL.iNet 6416A is a great device. I have one.

It's advantages are the double-RAM (64MB) and double-flash(16MB) compared to other ar9331-based devices, and it has a bunch of GPIOs onboard.

The device is well-supported by OpenWRT and has a dedicated build target.

However, if you don't need the extra RAM, flash, and GPIOs, the super-popular/common TP-LINK TL-WR702N is nearly identical and cheaper.

Beware the well-known ar9331 USB+WIFI hardware bug (see the sticky post).

The post you refer to is 313 messages long, and you have been involved.
Can you please summarize it here in a few sentences?
Is there as resolve as the post indicates?

I just for kicks downloaded the Gl.inet app to my iPhone.  Unfortunately I can not get it to connect, as it wants a DDNS, serial number and other info to validate that it's being used on the correct device, which it's not. 

I can see some of the menus.  Like most of this type of crAPP it is muti-media focused (camera, USB, Movies), and one still needs to go down at least 3 clicks to get to the SSID config.  While it is definitely easy to navigate compared to using a Openwrt web page, it does not offer any way to save connections for future use. 

frietpan wrote:

And this is the GUI of the basic settings:

GL interface
in the upper right corner is a link to the OpenWRT interface.

Not sure what you are saying.  Is there a GL.inet interface on top of the standard OpenWRT interface?

@ RangerZ:  Yes there is an Extra interface in front of OpenWRT, it actually makes sense.. non tech users can use that interface to do basic stuff without having the risk to do something that locks them out or break a setting. And have a bunch of stuff pre-configured.

I hope that the guys from GL.iNet read along. i'm sure they will find your comments interesting.  To me it makes a lot of sense to have an interface on a mobile router that is smartphone friendly. Would be nice if OpenWRT would have a tiny interface style one day

@jmomo: Thanks for pointing me to that USB issue.  Eventhough it is a sticky one I managed not to see it before...  The topic is [SOLVED] des that mean it is fixed and no longer an issue, or merely 'we confirm the bug'
I did a rough read in the tread right now, but I didn't understand it yet...  I'll have a closer look this weekend.

Has this anything to do with shielding? RF radiation?
Or is it that the Power supply is underpowered?
If a powered hub solves the issue then to me it sounds a bit like the USB drains to much power, that in turn destabilises the wifi....   As i said... i will have a closer look this weekend

TP-link doesn't come with OpenWRT pre-installed. So for some people the pre-installed BarrierBreaker is a good 'feature' on the GL-iNet.

I had a iock look at Squonk's back engineered schematic of the TP-LinkTL-WR703N.
The voltage regulator (Ti TPS2041)  is 'only' 500mA  More then enough to power the AR9331, but when it also has to supply power to a USB to serial adapter then 500mA might be a bit limited.

http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/tps2051.pdf

Hi, I am Alfie from GL. GL.iNet 6416 has a mobile web interface actually, not LUCI. It is the same interface as desktop but adapted to mobile browser.

We also have a Android and IOS app. Unfortunately we didn't continue to develop the app for some time. But the app works, as long as you can connect the app to your device.

The WiFi-USB bug seems b a problem of 2 years ago and solved.

Alfie, I loaded the mobile app on my iPhone (post 10).  The app is "Media" focused, meaning it's for some one who wants to use a USB stick and share media.  As a business traveler (Road Warrior) I want an app that will make it fast and easy to connect to a Hot Spot\Wifi.  While the iPhone app is easy to navigate, it is still I think 3 "swipes" to get to the scan and connect screen.  I think that this should be a button on the top page.  Scan. 

I also was disappointed that the app does not appear to remember connections.  I go to the same office, and coffee shop.  I want to remember these, so when I scan it finds and connects (configurable or by prompt).

I would be happy with an app that ONLY does connection management.

Will the iPhone app still work if I upgrade the core version of OpenWRT?  Similar, will the mobile web interface go way if I load a new version.

What is the repository for packages.  I would like to add OpenVPN in particular.

For what it's worth, I would use a USB Wireless (EDIMAX7811) for having a separate WLAN and WWAN for improved performance (not sharing radio)

Please build a new version with the same features and a battery.  A second USB would be nice.  2 Ethernet is important to Road Warrior. 

I sent email about 2 days ago to website email with some similar requests.  Please let me know if I can help with more details.

Hello Alfie,
i´ve asked some days ago about the estimated release date of the gl-ar150 but never got a response.
could you be so kind and tell us when the gl-ar150 will be avaible?

The mobile interface is actually quiet nice.  It is the basic interface (like the screenshot above) but arranged in a alternative way.   Even on a very small screen (Samsung pocket mini) i found it easy to navigate.   

@RangerZ : I'm not sure what settings you need to access but you could bookmark or set it as homepage on your phone? Or maybe you could hack the html a bit and add some buttons for certain configs.

frietpan wrote:

The mobile interface is actually quiet nice

The mobile web interface as opposed to the Mobile APP?

frietpan wrote:

you could bookmark or set it as homepage on your phone? Or maybe you could hack the html a bit

Tried that.  Unfortunately bookmarking the page does not work.  When you open OpenWRT after login it will always go to the Status Overview page.  I think the redirect is on the bottom of the login page.  /usr/lib/lua/luci/view/sysauth.htm  Unfortunately I can't figure out how to point it to /admin/network/wireless_Join which I think is /usr/lib/lua/luci/view/admin_network/wifi_join.htm  If only this were html.  It's some type of scripting language from planet X

Hi All!  I also have a newly received GL.iNet 6416A.  I purchased it directly from Amazon and it arrived 2 days later via Prime shipping:

http://www.amazon.com/TBMax-Wireless-Ro … 00PNJRDT4/

(I have no connection to this seller, just a happy customer)

I have upgraded to the latest trunk release candidate (15.05-rc3).  Here's how:

1. Download the appropriate OpenWRT firmware.  Make sure to know if your hardware is a 6416 or 6408 version. (The one I got from the Amazon seller above was the 6416, but that's no guarantee that this is what you will receive)

https://downloads.openwrt.org/chaos_cal … actory.bin

(In the future, as new updates come available, start at https://downloads.openwrt.org, choose the package you want (e.g. stable, release candidate, etc.), browse through the ar71xx/generic/ directory, and download the appropriate 'gl-inet squashfs-factory' package.

2. Plug in an ethernet cable between your computer and the GL.iNet's LAN port.  Add the power cable to the GL.iNet.  The GL.iNet should assign your computer an IP address in the 192.168.8.X space.

3. From your computer's browser, browse to 192.168.8.1.  If this is your first time configuring the device, it will take you through a few short questions (Language, time zone, etc.).  Don't spend too much time on this, as it will be erased once OpenWRT is installed.

4. Once into the original GL.iNet configuration screen, click the Advanced Settings (upper right), then System, Backup/Flash Firmware. (You may have to provide a default password along the way.  This too will be overwritten shortly.)

5. On the bottom of that page, where it says Flash new firmware image, make sure to *uncheck* Keep Settings.  Click Choose File and select the squashfs-factory.bin you downloaded in step 1.  Click Flash image  button.

6. After the bin file is uploaded, the browser will ask you to double-check the Firmware.  Make sure that the Size of the firmware is less than the available memory (in my case Size:15.50 MB (15.81 MB available)).  Click Proceed button.

7. Be patient.  Your hardware is being flashed.  It will take several minutes, after which your browser should reload into the Luci OpenWRT "Authorization Required" start page.  Do a happy dance.

I have also successfully put this device into failsafe by consistently clicking the reset button during boot. 

If OpenWRT is not your thing, you can always go back to the original firmware.  Just reflash the firmware from Luci (System, Backup/Flash Firmware).  As of this writing, the original firmware is at http://www.gl-inet.com/w/?page_id=115&lang=en, but may move in the future.  Just search around the site for the download section.

(Last edited by klaberte on 23 Aug 2015, 23:39)

Also, according to an email from Alfie, the new GL.iNet GL-AR150 (both external and internal antenna versions) should be available from Amazon soon.  He sent me a comparison between the AR150 and the 6416.  Basically it is the same SoC and memory, but the AR150 will come with an additional LED as well as an on/off switch.  PoE is apparently possible with a separate piece of hardware.  We'll see if any other mods need to be made in the OpenWRT trunk.

Nice writeup klaberte,

Is it a wise thing to upgrade from the stable barrier breaker to the CCrc3?
I have CCrc2 on a Mediatek based box, and i ave the feeling that rc2 is causing some issues with nodogsplash. Just can't seem to find a solution to get it working So therefore i keep BB until CC has a final release.

As far as I can tell, you should be able to upgrade and downgrade release candidates at will.  Since the OEM firmware is basically OpenWRT with some added bits of code (and UI), you can download and use the squashfs-factory.bin versions in Luci and it will install all the customary packages.  Perhaps just do a Luci configuration backup in case you want to roll back.  Otherwise, I encourage you to avoid keeping settings from version to version (at least from BB to/from CC).

RangerZ is who encouraged me to make the leap, and things have gone smoothly so far.

RangerZ, I will try to reflash to the stock OEM firmware and try switching the repeater SSID from a smartphone and see how it goes.

I do not know the answer to this question, but it seems to me that as the device already has bb14.07 that you could have used the sysupgrade.  Not sure what the proper process is for changing from a "Factory" OpenWRT release?

How much space shows free in System=>Software?
Did you loose the Gl.inet web interface when you flashed?

If anyone is on the stock firmware, please document the configuration of the LEDs.  I know other routers when upgraded from their Factory to OpenWRT have LED issues (general statement).  This will be in the /etc/config/system.

When you try the smartphone app, I am most interested in how one can call up a saved SSID, and if it connects automatically or manually.

Thanks for the report and instructions.

(Last edited by RangerZ on 24 Aug 2015, 06:39)

klaberte wrote:

RangerZ is who encouraged me to make the leap, and things have gone smoothly so far.

klaberte, I want to clarify something.  I did suggest upgrading to CC RC3 from wingspinners r44945 version for the HooToo because you could not access the package repository, and there was no BB version. 

I have made no suggestions to upgrade for this device, though I do not see there is a problem doing so.  Technically the delivered version on this device is the "Current Official Release" of OpenWRT.

Personally, even though I have not seen it, I think the feature set, especially the mobile APP for my purposes, makes staying on the delivered firmware compelling.  There was no real choice on the HooToo.