The Ergohacks Verdict

Earlier this week we took a look at TorGuard’s VPN offerings. If you’re setting yourself up on a VPN you’ve got a couple of choices – get every single device talking via the VPN on their own or create a central point which every system can talk to to protect them all. A central hub has a number of advantages. It can let devices like IoT things which don’t have the capacity to be on a VPN work with one, it can take one VPN account and share it with many devices and it can let you share your VPN without giving people your account details. TorGuard gave us a Gl-iNet Mango Router to play with.

Setup was easier than I expected. Plug the Mango in and it creates a wifi network. Join that and you get access to its control console. From there you can setup your VPN manually or use a script file that you’ve hopefully already downloaded from TorGuard. Finally, you can then attach it to your local network. Once you got that sorted it’s a question of what do you want it to do?

So what can it do? As well letting you pipe everything via a VPN it’s also a wifi router with a number of modes. You can set it up to create its own wifi network from a wired network or extend an existing network. There’s also a USB 2.0 port that can be used with a plug-in USB MiFi dongle, plugged into your phone to share its connection or if you plug in a USB Hard disk you can share it on your local network. There’s also printer sharing and a fair amount of software customization possible.

That sounds like a lot of functionality and I was sceptical that it would work well but iNet was smart. Rather than trying to produce their own software they loaded OpenWRT. This is a well regarded open-source Linux Framework that will let you add your own packages. That means that if there’s something the hardware can do chances are there’s already the software package available to do it and it’s easy to add the functionality. It also means that security patches come from the very active OpenWRT community rather than having to wait for the manufacturer.

On a day to day basis, the chances are that you won’t care about these extras. I can see two big uses for the Mango for most people. As a wifi hub on the go for coffee shop users worried about their security and as a second wifi network for home users who want the occasional option to switch to a more secure setup or to change their virtual location. The Mango works perfectly for either and I’m keeping it set up in my home office – when I want to switch to a VPN I just switch wifi networks. If you’re a VPN power user the Mango gives you more options and flexibility. High recommended.

essential200

Buy it from GL.iNet  or get if from your VPN provider 

Price: ± $25
Included: Quick start cards, manual, hub, microUSB cable
Discounts: Liking the iNetFacebook page can get a small discount. The Mango is also available via several resellers in particular VPNs like TorGuard who often bundle it with longer packages.

Specification

Product dimensions: 5.8 x 5.8 x 2.5 cm
Item Weight: 39g
Colour: Mango – yellow-orange
Model Number: GL-MT300N-V2
OS: OpenWRT
External storage spec:  FAT32/EXFAT/EXT4/EXT3/EXT2/NTFS
Internal Storage: DDR2 128MB and Flash 16MB
Extra Pins: UART, 4GPIOs, 3.3V & 5V power port

Wifi: 2.4GHz
Transmission rate 300Mbps
Interfaces: 2x Ethernet (1 WAN, 1 LAN), 1x USB 2.0, 1x microUSB (power)
Power input: 5V/1A

 We based our Ergohacks Verdict on 3 weeks of testing and experimenting. This product is still in regular use today. It was provided by TorVPN in 2017.  This article was first published on 7 December 2017.