Why you should get 2 GL-AR750S routers!

Since my “Finally a Geek Travel Router I Love” post over a year ago I have upgraded to a GL-AR750S travel router. It’s essentially the same thing, except it has Gigabit ports and external antennas.

I won’t lie, I actually bought two of them, and if my wife asks, I actually use both now!

I miss my lab when I travel

When I travel you can bet money that I have one of my travel routers with me. I never leave home without it anymore, and it works amazing!

But getting into the K8s lab is kind of a pain.

During my last trip, to KubeCon 2019, I was thinking about how I could remote into my Raspberry Pi Kubernetes lab. The options I came up with were:

  • Use the ScreenConnect agent on my desktop
  • Open SSH through my main firewall
  • Do something crazy like open RDP to a server
  • Some sort of VPN

VPN seemed like the best way, for security reasons, and because I really wanted to SSH to the different nodes just like I do at home.

WireGuard for the win!

All of the GL.iNet routers (that I’ve seen) have WireGuard build into them. I’ve tried OpenVPN, but hotel wifi is generally slow enough… I don’t want to further handicap myself with OpenVPN. So I decided to give WireGuard a try.

But double NATing the lab travel router seemed overly complex, and since I have the best ISP ever, I decided to just hook it right to my WAN VLAN.

So TL;DR … 1 GL-AR750S router at home, attached directly to my ISP with a public IP address, and Wireguard Server enabled and running.

Second GL-AR750S with me in San Diego.

I set up shop at the hotel and was able to connect with WireGuard from router to router without any issues. Surprisingly, it was stable all week while I was there too! (I was more worried about the hotel kicking me off every 24 hours, but it hung in there!)

The phone and laptop clients work great too!

I also added the iOS Wireguard app to my phone and scanned the QR code that the router displayed and my phone was able to connect without issue as well.

On my laptop, I had to use the plain text version displayed on the WireGuard server page, as the JSON version didn’t work.

K8s Pi Cluster 2.0 – going green!

At the top of the Pi cluster, I have the GL-AR750S as well as an 8 port managed Zyxel switch.

Top of rack routing and switching 🙂

My wife was making fun of me since the faceplates were all different colors, so I reprinted them all. I tried to explain that I always seem to run out of filament which is what caused the variety… she still thought it looked silly.

If you read my first article, you’ll notice that it’s now 2 racks. I needed more room for the ATX power supply, and the SSD “shelves”.

It’s expanded to 2 racks now!

Without SlimRun network cables this thing would be even more of a cabling nightmare. but the 40×20 bar in the middle proved to be a great place to hide them.

You have to love slim run network cables!

Fan shrouds were added, hopefully less dust will get into it. (I used fish tank filters cut into circles as air filters, not shown here)

Added some fan shrouds that also allow me to put a filter in front!

Conclusion – Get two travel routers!

So the moral of the story is that having one travel router is awesome, but having two is even more awesome. Especially if you can put a public IP address on it and use it as a WireGuard server.

If you’re in the market for a new toy – Amazon is selling the GL-AR750S – “Slate” version – for about $70 USD.

P.S. – I didn’t really talk about WireGuard throughput because I think the hotel wifi was my limiting factor. I was able to easily get 20-25Mbps, but I think it will go faster.


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2 Responses to "Why you should get 2 GL-AR750S routers!"

  1. Love love love my Slate. I recently set up the Wireguard server at my house using my Hass.io install actually and it allows me to fully use my home’s upload bandwidth so I’m not too worried about the hardware it’s on. I can’t stress enough how awesome wireguard is. The learning curve is steep at first, but STUPID easy once you get the basics down.

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