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Not GL-iNET’s most powerful or largest router, but it is NEW and features WiFi 6. The BERYL-AX router from GL-iNET looks promising and I have one in my hands at last! The naming is interesting – do you call it BERYL, MT3000 or AX3000? All of these names feature on the box. Their headline figure on the box below…
Possibly important update 13/09/2023 on WIFI/USB3.0 potential interference?
But before I get into this – why am I updating this blog entry AGAIN? Something new that’s why!! In this blog I refer to using Berly AX for serving Media from an SSD (instead of a NAS). Well, that had some issues so I tried putting the SSD in my GL-iNET FLINT router – all seemed fine until I noted the 2.4Ghz WIFI output from that router which feeds a section of my home control lighting etc., had COMPLETELY STOPPED WORKING. The 5Ghz WiFi output was just fine.
I won’t bore you with the very long story which involved me thinking , as I had both routers running, I might have duplicate DHCP problems (been there, done that) … erm – NO. Something completely new to me… I STUMBLED eventually onto unplugging my 2TB SSD from the USB-C port on the FLINT – and as if by magic – the WIFI started working again. I can repeat this ad nausium and I tested to death before contacting GL-iNET tech support… if this is new to you – you need to read this update as I guess it applies to any router…
They JUST, very helpfully wrote back to me – and I quote….
Both USB3.0 and 2.4G use very similar frequencies in reading data, some USB3.0 plugs if not well shielded, could kill the 2.4G wifi. We did have 1 or 2 customers experience this before.
Finally, they added a very thin Al tape to wrap the USB plug of SSD or use a shield USB wire to solve the problem. AXT1800 2.4GHZ problems – Technical Support for Routers – GL.iNet (gl-inet.com)
They then told me that AI tape is aluminium or copper tape and showed me photos from customers who had wrapped their USB stick in foil (my source of media is an SSD on USB3.0 adaptor but same idea) – I can’t copy the photos without permission from their customer but they showed the GL-MT3000 with a USB stick with coper tape around the connector then the whole stick completely wrapped in Aluminium foil).
Hmm?? Thoughts?? I JUST ordered a SHIELDED USB3.0 extension lead from Amazon to test.
End of WIFI-USB update
Update September 09, 2023 – Firmware Upgrade and More Info
So I wrote about this then brand-spanking new excellent travel router back on March 8 this year (2023) and after playing with the router extensively, put it to one side. I wanted to have a play tonight so I held in the reset button for 10 seconds – and as per web instructions, scanned the QR code on the underside of the router at which point my Android phone asked me to connect to the newly factory-reset router… and LO, an upgrade – but not just any upgrade – this router was sitting at firmware 4.2.2 – slightly ahead of my FLINT router. I could not resist upgrading and now it is sitting at v4.4.5 – EASY.
At th risk of looking like an ad which this isn’t – here’s how GL-iNET promote the router..
The router supports OpenVPN (slow) server and client, Wireguard (much faster) server and client and TOR – and under Applications (no idea why they didn’t move these to VPNs) they have included Zerotier and Tailscale. Personally I’ve long-since abandoned the older-style VPNs and now routinely connect my devices across two countries with Tailscale.
On the new firmware update, I’m not sure I’m seeing much stunningly new beyond that available in v4.2.2 – though NETWORK ACCELERATION does not appear on my other GL-iNET routers sitting at v4.2.0. Looks like it is enabled by default.
For what it’s worth – the router web interface offers various operation modes.. router, access point, extender, WDS (WDS is the only one not familiar to me). As with V4.2.x firmware which also appears on my other GL-iNET routers, there is easy-to-use multi-wan control – for Ethernet, repeater and tethering – you can control which has priority for “fallover” mode or you can select “load balance”… I could will several pages on how painful this used to be on the underlying OpenWrt whereas it is now a simply button-pressing job.
When I say “travel router” I should stress this router has no direct mobile 4G input but you can of course connect it to a mobile phone via USB 3.0 or WiFi – or indeed as I just discovered, depending on your phone – via Ethernet using one of those mini hubs with USB in and (as well as other stuff) Ethernet out. But I digress.
I decided to try out the “network storage” and fitted a handy 32GB USB3.0 memory stick – then under Network Storage I hit the refresh button and a 32GB stick appeared. It doesn’t get any easier.
Then there are options to set up Samba, WebDav and DLNA. I selected SAMBA – only because the APP X-Plore on my Android phone has an option for SAMBA – I selected that and on the phone – GLMT3000 appeared.. I clicked on that and noted a bunch of folder options – I chose BROWSE FOLDERS – X-Plore was showing internal storage in the router, not the memory stick – SO – back to the router – I clicked the option to add a shared folder.
Almost immediately the full contents of the memory stick appeared on my phone. Well, that works well, later I’ll plug the 2TB SSD I use with my NAS into the router – I may yet make the Synology NAS redundant. You never know.
More as I find out more.
End of update
Many years ago GL-iNET brought out their inexpensive, tiny MANGO travel router even before I started blogging (the link above is for a re-visit I did in 2022 – I needed an extra router outside to handle my Pergola as our building is largely constructed of ROCK), since then I’ve been following the output of this company GL-iNET.
I used to be a Draytek fan then along came GL-iNET with their series of OpenWrt-based routers – including 4G routers like the powerful SPITZ GL-X750 v2 which I’ve left back at our home in the UK together with the more generalised FLINT GL-AX1800 router (the former to provide a decent output from an incoming 4G signal as an alternative to broadband).
Here in Spain I’m using the slightly more 4G-sensitive TP-Link MR600V3 for my 4G signal but for my main router I have another FLINT GL-AX1800 for the power and flexibility to use the input from the TP-Link or automatic fallover from my Samsung phone’s hotspot in the unlikely event of a outage – but all of that is another 4G success story which I well and truly covered last year.
BERYL-AX (GL-MT3000) has nothing to do with 4G and it’s a travel router rather than a general top model but it is new and I have great expectations for it, I give GL-iNET lots of feedback, both good and bad, whenever they send me products to play with. I’ve not sent much poor feedback of late but I did suggest that their excellent, flexible range of router products could benefit from more RAM. The router has multi-gigabit WAN port and (claimed) up to 2402Mbps (5Ghz) fast WiFi. It is also claimed that trhe WiFi 6 connection lets you connect to 70+ devices. Handy if you’re into IOT.
The problem with making flexible, OpenWrt-based products is that they make people like me want to do MORE and in earlier times I got very excited about the expansion possibilities of one of GL-iNET’s routers only to discover they’d not fitted enough RAM.
So, let’s see what they’ve done with this new WiFi 6 model… 512MB RAM, 256MB FLASH. Good. I’m doing testing live as I write.. though I don’t expect too many surprises – and that’s a good thing – up to now, the high-level interfaces of their products have been very consistent.
Despite using the (cryptic for beginners) OpenWrt, the company have their own pretty, functional and easy to use web interface on top… and one level below – you can use LUCI – the graphical OpenWrt interface – or if you’re a REAL masochist you can delve down to UCI, the command-line OpenWrt interface – what more could you want? I have several routers from various companies and some are very hard to use, some very easy but I don’t have ANY non-GL-iNet routers that do the lot.
So, firstly, why am I only showing the router from one angle? That’s because the reset and spare buttons are on the right (you can just see them) and everything else is on the front – that’s IT – well, not QUITE – there’s a light on the back (or front), able to light up blue or white. The “spare” button can be used to toggle on and off AdGuard Home, OpenVPN client, Tor or Wireguard client – you can set that in the control panel. By default it does nothing. Hopefully my normal (for the west) size adult male hand gives you a feel for how small this router is. 2.5G WAN in, LAN out, WiFi 6 out, USB-C in and a USB 3.0 socket.
Not content with giving you a USB lead and leaving you to get on it it, GL-iNET provide a basic 5v USB-C supply and adaptors for the UK, Europe and the USA. The right adaptor takes seconds to fit and the whole lot tastes of high quality. You also get a short, flat network lead.
For the purposes of checking this out, I’m going to plug the supplied lead into the WAN connector and into my home network – and my phone should pretty quickly see the default GL-iNET WiFi access point with no other setup AT ALL. That’s the plan. Fingers crossed.
Before we move away from the intro, I’m slightly confused, the router says AX3000 and the box says both GL-MT3000 and AX3000 – I wonder why? I’ll just think of the the unit as BERYL-AX from here. One more photo – the info on the back of the box is interesting..
And with that – BERYL-AX is plugged in and ready to go (or not).
Two WiFi access points just appeared on my phone – one is called GL-MT3000-489 and the other GL-MT3000-489-5G – I guess that answers the question about the name!
I always think of reading the instructions as a sign of weakness so here goes – I’m hooking my phone into the first access point. It wants a password… that’s called a KEY and is printed on the underside of the router. “connected without internet access” says my phone.
My phone faily typically ALSO says “manage the router” – and now I have the usual GL-iNET graphical interface on the phone asking me to choose my language (default English). I note in the corner of my phone browser that – as usual – the default address range of BERYL-AX is 192.168.8.x which means the admin interface is at 192.168.8.1 – again normal for GL-iNET. It hit NEXT and the next screen asks me to set up a new ADMIN interface password (NOT the WIFI password which can be changed later).
There’s an option box that says “prevent weak password” – my password must be strong as I’m IN.
At this point I’d normally move over to the PC but I’m writing this blog on the PC so that’s out for now. Thankfully I’m well familiar with GL-iNET’s interfaces (a recent change has made the background blue as against green on earlier models but that’s basically IT and I like it). I’ll be including screenshots so take a note of the ADMIN PANEL VERSION v4.2.3 (DE).
On that main screen you can already see that by default this router includes (but is not limited to) ADGUARD, various VPNs (servers and clients) already installed as well as TOR and I can already see that as normal the two (2.4g and 5g) access points will have “guest” versions available.
I’m at risk of repeating myself here so I’ll keep it short – just about everything here appears on previous model routers…The WAN connection can be used as LAN if you wish …..but already the router has adopted my home network range and my default gateway and DNS of 192.168.1.1
There is a REPEATER option on the main panel – again normal. Let’s go to the main menu (3 lines top right) where you get to play with options INTERNET, WIERLESS, CLIENTS, VPN, APPLICATIONS, NETWORk SYSTEM, LANGUAGE, THEME and the ability to reboot or log out.
A quick look at APPLICATIONS shows plug-ins, dynamic dns, GoodCloud, Network Storage and Adguard Home. I use this every time I use a GL-iNET as my main router – almost seamlessly gets rid of a shed-load of ads from Microsoft, Facebook and others without any noticeable effect on my experience.
The last time I transferred everything from one Windows PC to a new PC using EASEUS – I did have an issue transferring a video editor across – which involved frequent automated trips to the MAGIX website and this transfer failed until I figured out that ADGUARD was stopping a lot of rubbish coming from the MAGIX site – I turned off ADGUARD and recommenced the transfer, problem solved.
But if you look at the router ADGUARD stats page you’ll see why having this installed on my router is a must for me now I know it exists… I’m on 4G and have LOTS of monthly data (enough to sit on the PC all day and for my wife and I to binge-watch TV shows and movies almost every day) but it helps to stop some of Facebook’s marketing rubbish which I have to say I didn’t even know was there before ADGUARD stats showed me what I was missing 🙂
Tell me I’m missing something, but ADGUARD on the router and Windows defender on the PC are all I’ve needed for protection for years now.
The admin panel PLUG-INS page conveniently shows how much RAM has been used and what I have left. It seems that GL-iNET have been listening – even in this simple model – free space 63.31% (162MB). Ok, let’s see if that still stands after I update the firmware – I an never resist with new gadgets though I’m not recommending this as best practice – Could I end up with a BRICK?
But first – SYSTEM – TIMEZONE – apparently I’m not here. SYNC to PC… NOW I’m here.
Available (installed) VPNs include OpenVPN and Wireguard clients and servers – and I’ve never noticed in the past but there is now a “VPN Dashboard”. OOOOH, I’ll include a screenshot – I no longer use this type of VPN since discovering Tailscale – but in the early days when I had no CLUE how to use VPNs, this setup came in very handy.
OH, and ZeroTier and Tailscale are now built into the router… under APPLICATIONS – I had to install it last time around. I just checked and this is the same as my FLINT router.
Multi-wan is now included, it is on my FLINT router as well, allowing you to select which interface gets priority without delving into OpenWrt the hard way. You can adjust the priority of Ethernet, Repeater and tethering with choices of fallover or load balance. That used to be such a pain.
Time to stop pontificating – SYSTEM – UPGRADE. The unit came with v4.1.3 firmware and I have options to keep settings or not. I’ll keep. INSTALL. “Upgrading”….seconds later – 8% – a minute later 25% (this is exciting)… 3 minutes – 75% – 4 minutes- 100%. Done- “this site can’t be reached” – obviously a reboot is taking place.
Meanwhile, back at ALEXA “one new notification, for Peter – a shipment is due to arrive today” – too late as usual – the shipment was BERYL-AX and it came first thing in the morning.
Back at the main admin panel my new password is being requested… and I’m in – version 4.2 is installed – no idea why it still says DE as this is clearly all in English…
Under SYSTEM – ADVANCED settings, it seems that in common with the larger GL-iNET routers, LUCI is already installed – but talking about that is a bit OTT for this simple intro to the device. Back to WIRELESS – sure enough – guest network options and the only significant change from older models in that area is WiFi Mode 11a/n/ac/ax.
As you scroll down the main page, you see options for REPEATER, TETHERING and CELLULAR. You can look at my previous blog entries on GL-iNET for more on that – or better still – head off to the flashy BERYL-AX page on the GL-iNET website or.. I could have saved a lot of bother by just cribbing from their online guide – but I didn’t.
I hope you found this interesting. No doubt as I find a use for BERYL-AX around the house, I’ll update the blog with any new surprises I find. BERYL-AX of course only has one LAN output but then… you can always expand that with inexpensive network switches. If you happen to use it as a repeater- picking up a signal from, say a mobile access point – then you can of course set the WAN input to be a LAN connection and hence as well as up to 4 access points you have two LAN connectors. Handy for such a small router.
I should briefly mention Hardware Acceleration (I just spotted that and it’s ON by default) and Cloud Management (GoodCloud) if you happen to have several GL-iNET routers.
And finally – WiFi…. as a quick test, having left BERYL-AX connected to my network in my office, next to the office router (also GL-iNET and recent), I went through our hall and living room and dropped down several steps to the bedroom, not expecting much out of either access point.
Using SpeedTest on my phone, I connected to the office 2.4Ghz access point (4 antenna) and got pretty much as expected, 10 Mbps maximum download (back in the office we’d be looking at 5 -8 times that speed).. I switched to the 2-antenna BERYL-AX 2.4Ghz access point and got 50% more download speed. Can’t be bad as the BERYL-AX router is no-where near as expensive as the office router. Disappointingly however, when I went back into the office and connected to the office access point, the phone picked up as expected, 80Mbps download whereas BERYL-AX would only give my phone 50-60Mbps. SOLVED – it was my PC WiFi adaptor – old USB 2.0 2.4Ghz only – see this blog entry for the inexpensive solution.
Things you can do with WiFi clients I didn’t notice with my last GL-iNet router include the option to ban any client from WAN access (individially) hence, I guess you might choose to let a small child have full access to games etc in the home but not go online. That’s not something I’ve seen before.
For my last trick I turned on my phone’s mobile data (turning WIFI off) and plugged the USB-C connection on the phone into the USB connection on the router. So now I could work on my PC, turning it’s Ethernet off and WiFi on, connecting it to BERYL-AX… at which point my PC had access to BERYL-AX’s front panel..
See above – I simply turned on TETHERING on the main panel – my phone was already sharing it’s data by USB.
I went off to SpeedTest… this seemed disappointing at 7Mbps download but then. I checked – my PC WiFi is on a USB 2 adaptor, not WiFi 6 and 2.4Ghz only – time for a new adaptor… the basic point is that BERYL-AX USB tethering works… I then put my PC back onto Ethernet so that it was talking to my main GL-iNET FLINT router – and I was back up to 60Mb/s or thereabouts. I then disconnected the incoming WAN connection and plugged the phone into FLINT’s USB 3 connector, disconnecting the WAN in to FLINT – 121Mbps download…. strangely only 6Mbps upload…. but therein lies the mystery of 4G networks – I turned the phone to 45 degrees.. 115Mbps download, 9Mbps upload. That experience is somewhat better than I normally get with FLINT getting it’s WAN signal from a TP-Link Archer MR600 4G router…
I’m SO glad I did this – BERYL-AX scores well using tethering – in the past I either had phones that would not do a decent job of USB tethering or an early GL-iNET router where USB tethering from the phone didn’t seem to work – today, between my BERYL-AX and FLINT routers I can pull in signals from a modem, a USB-connected phone or a wireless phone access point – wheeee!
For those who like to see the insides – I borrowed this from the GLiNET site…
There’s a reason I use a TP-Link 4G modem/router to bring in the 4G signal, it brings in a slightly faster signal than the GL-iNET GL-X750V2 4G modem/router which I left in the UK. I can’t wait to get my hands on forthcoming 4G products from GL-iNET in the hope I can match the speed I just noted coming in via USB tethering my FLINT to my Samsung S22 Ultra. In both cases above, the 4G signal was coming from the same provider, same mast, two different accounts (one on my phone SIM, the other a SIM in the TP-Link router).
A last comment for now – I went looking for the built-in guest portal page who’s image has traditionally been accessible here in version 3 of the general GL-iNET docs – but in version 4 of the general GL-iNET docs – that local portal option for GL-iNET routers has been scrapped. A shame but hardly a big thing.
I hope the above makes sense – as an aside, looking here you’ll see that getting decent broadband here in rural Southern Spain has been an ongoing battle for some time and one that I seem to be winning.
Oh, finally – under NETWORK – MULTI-WAN
Yes, you guessed it…. you can use the tethering option to provide fallover – OR for load-balancing – and let me assure you, in testing using a pair of 4G connections I managed higher download rate than I’ve eber had before in Spain….i.e. it WORKS… that is not limited to the Beryl-AX router however as that also works on my FLINT.
Amazon links for the router… US, UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain. Please note I have deliberately NOT signed up for commission – the links are simply there for the benefit of anyone interested in this router.