Potential Buyer - My 3 Concerns

Hi.

I’ve been considering this router. I really like the idea of it. However, what concerns me, is that:

1 - There don’t seem to be very many posts or reviews online from people who’ve actually tried this device and come away with a positive impression.

2 - I’ve been reading the forums and while many of the posts are a month old, it does concern me whether or not I’d have great difficulty in getting this working. I’m not into using the NAS and server functionality much, nor changing any of the internal components. At most, I’d run OpenVPN on it. But given that other people rely on me, I’d be under pressure, if it doesn’t work more or less out of the box. Which isn’t too nice. I’m not extremely tech-savvy, but I’m somewhere in the middle; Fairly newish Linux & VPN user, currently run DD-WRT on my router, dabbled a bit in a couple of programming languages, but never enough to become serious, know how to assemble a PC, etc. So, at this stage of development, what SHOULD I expect, upon opening the box?

3 - It’s not clear if it ships with all the required power cables and such.

Thank you.

hi,

  1. it comes with a power adapter and 3 antennas.
  2. you will find yourself quickly in the situation when you need to fiddle with linux command line. also, i do not suggest this for mission critical appliance as of its current state.
    you might need to learn new stuff while using this. its more complex than a dd wrt.

check this to see if the way you need to setup opnvpn currently is ok with you

good luck.

2 Likes

I own and am currently using one (2G model + NAS option) and have it running as my primary home router for about a month now.


1

OpenWRT (upon which the Omnia is based) is a mature, stable Linux based router OS. It’s available for many small devices including home routers as well as custom hardware. The primary interface is command line, but there are a few web-based UI’s (LuCI being the primary one) that meet the majority of non-complex needs. Turris has added an extra web-interface (the “easy” interface) in addition to LuCI, as well as needed bits to work with their custom hardware and some additional features, such as honeypots, auto-updating and statistics.

My impression: Turris implementation of OpenWRT (7/10). The “easy” interface is slightly clunky. LuCI interface is standard. OpenWRT command line is standard. The added features are a mixed bag, you may or may not find honeypots useful, and they can be a security risk if they aren’t 100% secure. The auto-update feature has had plenty of hiccups but is getting better.

Turris Omnia hardware: I’ll give it a 8/10 based on my router + NAS unit. For a small production it looks well designed, there are standard slots which can take a variety of available SATA and network cards. Added features like the customizable RGB LEDs are a nice touch. You may never open the plain router housing unless swapping cards, then I’d give it a 9/10. The NAS housing, while nice, could have had easier installation for drives. Why set it up that the drive cables have to cross the entire board is beyond me. And A LOT of screws. Sheesh. The fan mount holes were a nice touch though.


2
If you’re going with a pretty standard home configuration, you won’t have much trouble setting it up. 1-2 Wifi networks, LAN options, WAN configuration, and you can replace an existing home router in under a hour. Setting up OpenVPN can be a little trickier depending on options (and if you’re running as a client or server). Opening the box, you’ll find the router, power cord, antenna. Attach everything, plug it in, plug a computer into a LAN port, fire up a browser, and start configuring.

As far as posts here and support. As I previously mentioned, this router is based on OpenWRT, which has an excellent web site, a very thorough wiki, and support forums as well. There isn’t any need to rely solely on these forums for support if you have a general OpenWRT question. In fact I’ll say you’re more likely to find assistance with OpenWRT set up and configuration on their sites first. Come here when you have Omnia specific questions, like the added features, or related to the hardware.

OpenWRT - https://openwrt.org/
OpenWRT Wiki - https://wiki.openwrt.org/
OpenWRT forums - https://forum.openwrt.org/


3
I received my order in 2 shipments. One contained the NAS box, the mini SATA card, cables and screws for the NAS enclosure. The later shipment contained the router itself, wifi antenna, and a power cable. No ethernet cables were included (which is fine, I have plenty). Small quick instruction cards were included, but if you’re somewhat familiar and comfortable with this type of hardware, you aren’t going to look at them.


Is the Omnia worth the purchase? Really depends on your needs. I’ve been using OpenWRT, Sveasoft, Tomato, DD-WRT and others for well over a decade on commodity router hardware (Linksys, Netgear, TP-Link, etc). My Omnia replaced a TP-Link C9 AC1900 running OpenWRT for over a year. While I don’t have a complex configuration in my home (pretty standard WAN, LAN, DMZ, 2.4 & 5 wifi, OpenVPN, ssh, https, Plex, SIP, few other things) I sometimes had issues running OpenWRT on commodity hardware, poor performance, bugs, low amount of flash limiting installed features, etc. My goal in purchasing a Omnia was to have a router that was designed to run OpenWRT without issues, on fully supported hardware, with a fast enough CPU and enough storage to have some more advanced features directly on the router itself. I can say the Omnia meets this goal for my needs without any major issues. The bugs, well it’s a new device, but the team over at Turris seem to be working to resolve them as quickly as possible. So the device now has some growing pains, but in a year I’m sure it will be a stellar product. I am happy with my purchase and the price I paid for the router, and the NAS unit. I didn’t need the NAS unit, and I’m still not sure what I’ll be doing with the 5tb of storage I have installed, but it’s available to me if I want it. If it will be worth the purchase price to you depends on your needs. You can get $20 routers and throw OpenWRT on them a good basic setup.

Hope I answered your questions, feel free to follow up with more if needed.

1 Like

Hi @XCZ

1 - Based on my experience this is pretty much no indication at all. This forum is first and foremost for users who have issues and problems. Considering that there might be about 5000 Turris Omnia users, the number of issues as well as the number of active forum participants looks pretty moderate.

2 - Based upon your own self-assesment, I would consider myself pretty much on a similar skill-level. It took me 1-2 day effort to get it up and running, install a mSATA SSD, install different more powerful wifi mPCIe modules and configure the stuff which I need. I followed post here in this forum what was quite helpful for me. No previous OpenWRT knowledge and my Unix skills are from 25 years ago.

3 - of curse

Overall; I was looking for a router with exceptional good signal strenght/reach, the ability to install a reliable and fast SSD and one which is overall stable and where software will be maintained. I am happy and here you uhave someone with a “positive impression” :slight_smile: Merry Christmas

2 Likes

1 - There don’t seem to be very many posts or reviews online from people who’ve actually tried this device and come away with a positive impression.

I wasn’t in the early backers group (ordered mine in September, arrived in late November). I quite like the router and aside a few (minor) issues already solved by updates, it works reliably here. This is with 2 wireless LANs (1 2.4 GHz, 1 5Ghz) plus a repeater I have in the house, and several machines (plus phones) connected. The Omnia also runs two or three VPNs, two as a server, and one as a client.

Compared to my previous setup (Ubiquiti EdgeRouter Lite + a Buffalo half-broken AP) it’s like night and day.

2 - I’ve been reading the forums and while many of the posts are a month old, it does concern me whether or not I’d have great difficulty in getting this working. I’m not into using the NAS and server functionality much,

I’d say this is not targeted at the consumer segment (also due to the price). For me it wasn’t too difficult in setting it up even for “advanced” tasks, but as a disclaimer I’ve been using Linux as my exclusive OS for approximately 12 years and I’m also a contributor to Free and open source projects, so not the typical buyer. :wink:

serious, know how to assemble a PC, etc. So, at this stage of development, what SHOULD I expect, upon opening the box?

You should expect a learning curve, not too steep but not too flat either. Currently OpenVPN is exposed through the “advanced” interface, and requires a few more steps not done automatically (open rules in firewall, etc.). This is part of the IndigeGoGo stretch goals, so I’m expecting an easier setup will come through time. Once set up, my experience tells me that OpenVPN is absolutely solid and runs without a hitch (barring network connectivity issues, that is).

3 - It’s not clear if it ships with all the required power cables and such.

All required cables (and in my case, even a wall mount) are provided.

1 Like

Thank you for the replies everyone! :sunny:

@ubermutant
I’m not afraid of the command line, but I’m far from an expert. Luckily it’s not “mission-critical” stuff, but it is for a home network :). I’m definitely set on learning new things. Thank you.

@scottjl
Stellar reply! Thanks a ton. Is it recommended that one turns off the auto-update? I know the security angle on this and it’s very appealing. But having read some month old posts, it appears the updates may break stuff. I am indeed going with a pretty standard home config, although I see what you call standard may differ a lot from me lol. I think the router would have to be… The server. As in, I want all devices on my home network to be routed through a VPN automatically.

Thank you for the links as well. Having seen the standard consumer routers, I think the TO is so worth it. I mean, even the Netgear R8000 only has 256MB RAM, that’s lame. I want a good powerful router, which will act as a stable and better long-term investment, wherein I get my full line speeds, even with OpenVPN running and thus able to also play multiplayer games over WiFi if need be. The price isn’t even a problem actually. I don’t find it pricey. On Amazon.de it’s around 289 euroes for the 1GB version, which is only 50-100 euros more than one of Netgears nighthawk series routers.

For: Tom
Fantastic. Pardon the silly question, but wasn’t the signal good enough by default?

For: einar
I’m surprised it can run so many VPNs.
Lol, used Linux for 12 years exclusively and contributed no FOSS projects, yeah like hell you’re not a standard user hahahaha! They seemed to have quite few stretchgoals, given how well funded they were. Is there a timeline somewhere, which shows when they expect things to be ready or such?

Thank you everyone for answering my questions. I’m still digging this hardware a lot and I really don’t want to go the Netgear (or whatever else) route, so it’ll be easier to make this decision now :).

@xcz this hardware blows netgear and any other commodity home router away. my one bit of advice, go for the 2g version if available. you can’t upgrade later. they all, as far as i know, come with 8g flash, which is plenty of space for tiny openwrt apps, and even a bit of data. if you’re going to store large amounts, or want to reduce wear on the flash, i advise getting external storage, sd card or msata w/ hard drive is best, but even a jump drive plugged into a usb port would work. jump drives are easily replaceable too. if price isn’t an issue, skip the nighthawk and go straight to the Omnia, you’ll have a wonderful piece of hardware that should last many years.

as for the auto updater. it broke things. bugs were identified. the updater is getting fixed over time. these are growing pains with a new product but the Turris crowd is working as fast and as hard as they can to address these. updates are frequent and have been fixing issues. i’m keeping the auto-updater on, but you can always update through the command line with the updater.sh script.

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@XCZ: It all depends upon your needs. I assume for a normal size house the default wifi cards are fine. But for a large house or when the router does not have the best spot at a house the upgrade of the cards and antennas is an option.

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I agree with what @scottjl and the others have said, I wanted a fast, boatloads of memory, linux NAS device and I got what I wished for. My personal opinion is the turris.cz guys went a little overboard on the stretch goals and the timeframe to achieve them. They are working hard with the great community that we have here to make the goals a reality. That being said I believe for me that with the Turris software now hitting ver 3.4 most of the issues have been resolved that I saw.

I did not buy the box for wifi, so i’m unable to comment on that, I run Unifi AP in my house and I run the controller software in a lxc container and works very well. I have two other containers running (Plex and PiHole) and I’m very pleased with how the system is running. My previous router was an Asus RT AC68U running Merlin FW, I needed to update my router because I had maxed out my Asus one, I’m pleased with my Turris and I would recommend them to any one of my IT friends.

Hope this helps your decision.