I’m rapidly becoming a fan of GL.iNet offerings and the Beryl AX is no exception. I also own and have blogged about the Mango V2 and the Slate Plus. I love both of them.
The major claim to fame with this router is that it does WiFi 6 and the WAN port is a whopping 2.5 GB ethernet port. That is really pushing the limits of a device that can fit in your pocket. Additionally, it barely takes up any space in a laptop bag or backpack.
The router is based on OpenWRT 21.02 firmware. After taking mine out of the box I discovered that mine did need a firmware update from version 4.2.2 to 4.4.5. OpenWRT is an Open Source router firmware that is extremely powerful, and has greatly improved security over OEM router firmware.
I just recently got my first GL.iNet travel router, the GL-A1300 Slate Plus. It’s a wonderful device and I blogged about it here. On a whim I purchased its little brother the GL.iNet Mango (GL-MT300N-V2), $30.
On their page they refer to it as the N300, with the 300 standing for the max wifi speed of the router of 300 Mbps.
In this day and age of Wifi 6 you might be wondering why anyone would get something that ran at 300 Mbps.
The answer to that is FORM FACTOR. It is a super tiny, and lightweight device that could easily slip into a pocket. The mission of this device is mostly to connect to free wifi hotspots and then automatically connect to an OpenVPN or WireGuard VPN connection. This makes that very unsecured wifi portal safe to use. A VPN is a Virtual Private Network that creates an encrypted tunnel between your devices and the VPN service. No one can see what you are doing. After I blogged about the other GL.iNet travel router a friend of mine sent me this:
“Staying at a hotel right now that touts each login has their own VPN, because “your privacy is important to us.”I open Spotify and it asks if I want to join a random persons listening group that is listening to music on their Xbox. Sure.“
That about sums it up. Even when they claim security, you cannot trust that there is security.
In our current world scenario we are being spied on at almost every turn. Home Networks are just not very secure for most people. Solutions to harden those networks require some technical skill and usually involve additional costs. Additionally, most people think they are too boring to be spied on. But the reality is that we all need a VPN, and encrypted DNS.
Increasingly it seems that 1st Amendment laws regarding Free Speech are being tossed aside and so called “Hate Speech” is a crime. Some things you read about on the internet can be cataloged and factor into your Social Credit Score. It is darn near a crime to be a White, Christian, Veteran, and a monogamous person. Refusal to use bizarre pronouns can get you in a world of hurt in some circles.
We’re not quite there yet but things are easing towards that direction. Additionally, your searches, your lifestyle and your opinions may well matter greatly one day. Continue reading →
Before I retired I had a job with extensive travel involved. I would sometimes take a full sized router with me to hook up at the hotel. Back then most hotels had an ethernet jack in the room. I’d simply push my own wifi network to my computer, phone, and many times an audio streaming device like a Chromecast or Raspberry Pi. Oh how I wished they would have had a GL.iNet Router back in those days.
I only found out about them recently on a Discord Forum. Some of the guys are using them for all kinds of amazing networking hacks. Even though I barely leave the house these days I wanted to get one just to see what I was missing out on. Continue reading →
As luck would have it, fiber internet has made its way to our house out in the boonies. Most cable/internet companies charge an arm and a leg for a static IP and call it a “business account”. When the sales rep came by I asked how much a Metronet Static IP cost. The reply was $10 a month. I was sold on that for sure.
Otherwise, Metronet uses Carrier Grade Network Address Translation (CGNAT) for IP addresses. What that means is that your router or firewall will pull one address, but that your actual IP address is something else.
What that really means is connecting back to your home network via VPN can be a lot more complex. Also, Murphy’s VPN Law, states that you will pull a new DHCP address only while you are away on vacation rendering your ability to connect to your network null and void. Continue reading →
I’ve never bought an off the shelf NAS before and have always opted to build them on my own. There is no better resource for NAS building than this website. I currently have two home brew NAS’s in operation but had a need for a 2.5 GB NAS for a new, faster network I was setting up. I settled on a QNAP NAS for a couple of reasons.
Reason number 1 was that initially my 2.5 GB network was only going to be in the downstairs part of my home. Reason 2 is because since it was downstairs it needed to be somewhat attractive to appease my wife, and something somewhat quieter than my home brew NAS builds.
We typically think of a rotary device being used to laser engrave round items. But did you know that you can set your rotary up on a horizontal plane to engrave multiple flat items? In this example I’ll use my Monport laser, 30 watt fiber with the 80mm rotary chuck to engrave 6 business cards at once.
While this is actually really easy I haven’t found a definitive place that covers all the basics of setup for this operation. And that’s what I try to do here at John’s Tech Blog. Make it simple and include important steps that just aren’t clearly documented elsewhere. Continue reading →
I’ve been using Home Automation to send SMS messages to me for years. Also for years I have been using a pay service called Twilio to send texts from my home automation software Home Assistant to my cell phone when an automation was triggered. For example. If you ring my doorbell, I get a text. I’ve since discovered that I can send emails to SMS from Home Assistant to my phone for FREE.
Twilio began using a verification method called A2P 10DLC to make sure you aren’t a phone spammer or something. For whatever reason I simply could not get my phone registered. I’ve been trying for months and have engaged Twilio support a number of times and I’m right at the cutoff with no luck.
So I dumped Twilio today after I learned this neat trick
sent in an email sends an SMS text to Verizon subscribers. Check with your carrier for their specific addressing requirements. Continue reading →
I have had my Monport Fiber laser (30 watt Raycus) for a couple of weeks now. After using it a couple of days I published my initial impressions here. Since that time I’ve learned a ton more about this remarkable laser. I have been having a ton of fun and making a few dollars in the process. Since my last review didn’t really include the 80mm rotary device, I will lead with that.
Also a good time to mention that my readers can get 10% off all Monport laser machines by using the code John10 at checkout. Continue reading →
Probably the most common question to someone with a side hustle laser is, “Can you engrave metal with that?”. For the most part, with a diode or CO2 laser, the answer is “No”. Or the answer is “you can lightly mark some metals but not engrave them”. To truly engrave on metal surfaces you need a Fiber laser. It is way past time that I get a fiber laser for my shop. And the one I chose was the Monport Laser 30 Watt Fiber Laser. $2999,99. Monport has provided my readers a 10% discount on all machines. Use John10 at checkout.
Monport Laser 30 watt
Full Disclosure: While I purchased this machine with my own funds, I was provided a nice discount in return for a short series of reviews. At no time has any pressure been applied to me from Monport to provide a positive review.
What you’ll read below is my honest opinion of the machine. This blog will generally be a “First Impressions” entry.
And while I have only owned the machine for a few days at the time of this writing I have already formed a strong opinion. And that opinion is “Where have you been all my life, fiber laser?”. Continue reading →