Turris Omnia really the better router choice?

What would be the advantage of going for the Turris Omnia as similarly priced devices such as ASUS RT-AC3200 seems to have better hardware). I can think of 2 things: Omnia has more modding potential and it contains is open source software (which ofc. is nice in and of itself).

But other than that… any other reasons why we feel the Omnia is the better choice (I’m trying to justify my expenses… seeing tri-band routers for the same price etc.)?

So tell me; why do you choose the Omnia over the ASUS RT-AC3200 (for me personally it is the LXC virtualization options)?

For many it’s a question of philosophy. The Turris not only contains open software but will also be open hardware. Also, the team behind it commited to contributing a lot of additional software which is not part of stock OpenWRT (yet).

If it’s only about the hardware: With the Turris you have lots of possibilities to adapt it to your needs because of the interfaces it provides (e.g. miniPCIEe/mSATA). The SFP port alone is something you don’t find on other equipment in this class.


I don’t see any real hardware specifications (CPU, memories, switching architecture) on the official site yet. All I can see are theoretical speeds of Wifi which heavily depends on environment. But i would be surpised if Asus would offer 4GB flash and 2GB RAM. I think the Omnia has much more potential for expansion. From COTS routers you will get very limited support in comparison to Omnia. Omnia’s OS is based on OpenWrt which has already some history and it can run on wide range of network devices. From my experience I received updated firmware with fixes for my routers only about five times in whole lifetime of the router. With OpenWrt you can have updates nearly every week. In commercial firmware you will have only some set of preinstalled features (bigger or smaller). In OpenWrt you can install additional software packages (like Android apks) which suits you the most. These are just things which have came on my mind right now. But question is, do you care only about Wifi?

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Asus is tied to the Linux kernel version it’s sold with, don’t know specifically about AC3200 but often an ancient 2.6.22.

Then you plug in large disks and wonder why a few terabytes of data have gone to bit heaven, because the ext3 version is buggy. And you can’t update it. And the kernel version won’t run ext4.

Then you plug in a large GPT NTFS disk with a lot of data (>16TB) and notice that it will not be recognized nor mounted, because buggy.

After a dozen encounters like this… and lack of RAM in Asus. You want to run rsync, web server, all kinds of nice geeky things on it, and the ram is not enough. This also limits file operations speed. Then one day you want to format a new multi-TB hdd and wonder why nothing works, it’s because the formatting requires more physical ram than available. Router either swaps to dead slow or simply reboots.

And no, installing Merlin fw won’t save you. Open/dd-WRT might, but they run without taking advantage of the hardware acceleration, cut-through forwarding.

Asus router will NOT be your home server except in a limited capacity (limits of which are not published by Asus, you have to find out the hard way). Turris Omnia seems to be open and powerful enough for that. Up to you if this is what you’re looking for from your device.

  • software support/updates : most routers (for end users) never get updated to a current OS version, after a few years any such router is basically fair game for any hacker. so it’s no wonder why there are huge botnets built on hijacked routers unbeknownst of their owners…
  • containers (apache, samba, rsync, openvpn, ssh, openhab, ubiquiti ap controller, …)
  • able to route ~1Gbs of traffic (WAN-to-LAN) (most consumer routers aren’t)
  • cheap integration with homeautomation via openhab & usb/mpcie z-wave/knx/thread/zigbee/… adapters
  • mpcie : wifi is upgradeable, theoretically compatible with any pcie device (that has linux drivers)
  • msata : additional $300 will get you 1TB flash storage in the router
  • sfp port : there simply is no other affordable router offering this…
  • cheaper without wifi (for those employing separate APs)

though i do wish it had 10GbE & PoE support… :slight_smile:

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Oooh nice responses! Thanks all!

B.t.w. please do not get me wrong; It was not my intention to propagate ASUS (or any other closed) routing “platform” (nor am I interested in bashing them). I used it to tickle you all, giving an you an incentive, to inform me about the interesting upsides you guys see in my incoming Omnia! :sunglasses:

My 2 cents:

Open source philosophy

I LOVE the open source philosophy (in a Richard Stallman fashion even). I think open source (whether it relates to software, hardware or knowledge in general) holds beauty and purpose in and of itself. I try to support FOS(S) wherever I can (by bug-reporting/fixing, providing/translating documentation, etc.). That is exactly why this great initiative caught my eye; triggering me to financially support it! Primarily I hope to have bought (and stimulated) freedom for myself as well as for others!

Practical use cases

Now I am running all my server needs from a laptop (and a RaspberryPi “park”). The Omnia use-case for me is a low-power server with LXC virtualization / snapshotting etc. (basically providing me with my own “VPS”) and thereby the ability to cut back on separated devices. E.g. I will hook up an External HD to run nightly backups from my NAS (now done by a RaspberryPi). Also I want to run my own web/mail-server on the Omnia (as I trust it more then the RaspberryPi; the Omnia being designed as an ‘always-on’ device) etc.

Current other routers do not provide an LXC option, nor the various other extension options. But still… I could (already am?) have achieved this all with a commercial (cheap) router + a Laptop or Rpi + tooling provided by my Router. So the use-case in my personal situation is relatively thin. Hence me trying to find more / better / deeper use-cases for the Omnia I ordered, to justify my expense to myself; next to supporting a great open-source initiative. The WiFi options were another reason for me to buy this, but it seems fairly below par in this price-range (seeing a local ASUS router add) triggering me into posting this topic; to see what does justify the price.

Security / Privacy

Of course - routing wise - a guaranteed absence of possible “back-doors” and accompanying promised
"life-long" (how long is this in practice btw.?) security updates (and the upstream thereof to the OpenWRT development) are a big plus too! Hopefully this will be honored in the long run!

BOTTOM LINE / TLDR: I do see a lot of pluses, it still feels kind of hard on my wallet (as - in my case - the Omnia itself was not really needed), but focusing on the fact of being part of something beautiful makes it worthwhile! :smirk:

Thanks for all of your insights so far (others are still welcome ofc.)!

P.S. Now that I think of it; I am hoping on strong documentation / how-tos too; seeing the strong community support (us boosting it up-to and over the MILLION dollars!). That would be awesome!

Sounds nice, could you enlighten me why I want this (no sarcasm implied whatsoever b.t.w., I am genuinely interested!).

So this would enable hooking the router onto the ISP’s glass-fiber directly?

My ISP (and most of our local ISPs) placed a router (presumingly in pass-through modus) between my own router and the WAN. I never had the “urge” to replace it to be honest. (i’m only on a 500Mbit full duplex which is served fine through it).

Is it a security/privacy thing to replace it with one’s own router, or anything else?

wifi might seem slow, but no one is stopping you from putting three mpcie ac 28dBm cards in there (like these MikroTik Routers and Wireless - Products: R11e-5HacT) for a total of 9 antennas…

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Hmmm… I think because it is not that important to me either (my idea’s are not yet all in place… I’m mainly voicing rudimentary thoughts here).

I think because I was talking ‘Price / Quality’-ratio and upping the quality by upping the price at the same time would not change the ratio). So basically I am being frugal there… :smirk:

Also; I’m not that good with hardware mods, I (falsely?) presumed I would have to drill extra holes etc. in the Omnia’s house?

It sure is a nice upgrade indeed though if one needs that power!

yes, with the proper SFP module (~$50-70) and if your ISP supports that. for me it was either that or an additional SFP to GbE adapter… this way it’s actually cheaper. getting it due to a change in ISP for a new 1Gbps symmetrical connection

yeah that’s how it works with most of the ISPs here to, sometimes in routing mode and often can only be configured by the ISP… (yeah that sucks)

Don’t know how secure those ISP boxes are… hopefully more so than buying a enduser router and keeping it for 5+years without an update :slight_smile:

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Aha thanks!

[quote=“bernstein, post:10, topic:505”]yes, with the proper SFP module (~$50-70) and if your ISP supports that. for me it was either that or an additional SFP to GbE adapter… this way it’s actually cheaper. getting it due to a change in ISP for a new 1Gbps symmetrical connection

  • So for you it is about speed (full duplex 1Gbps connection)?
  • Any other reasons why one would want to hook his/her router to the ISP’s net directly?

(Sorry to be a “nag”, but I am fairly green when it comes to networking).

Sure! You avoid an additional source of failure, security issues, performance issues and save some power as well.

yes & what deltahotel said, plus had to get a new one anyway (no free router/adapter from my new ISP, current router (apple timecapsule 2011) max. routing at 100Mbps)… the only marginally cheaper solution to attach a 1Gps WAN-LAN capable router to a FTTH socket (i know of), is a EdgeRouter Lite, plus SFP to GbE Adapter & SFP module for ~$220… marginally more expensive than omnia: RB3011UiAS-RM / fritzbox 5490

but now that i realize it, the coolest thing for me is that it can run ubiquiti’s java based AP controller software, since i just bought three ubiquiti wlan ap’s!

I really must dig in a little more into the matter :wink:

(I only get half of what you guys are saying).

I am really getting hyped on the matter though! Thanks!! :slight_smile:

Where will / can the filesystems of such containers (I think it is the LXC option that I am discussing in another topic) be installed;

  • external-USB-HD (separately bought)?
  • mSATA (separately bought)?
  • internal flash?

I want to run my own web-/mail-server as the main purpose of the Omnia (next to fast/safe routing my network ofc.).

all of em, basically on anything you can mount. however i don’t know what turris’s openwrt build/gui supports out-of-the-box

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Guys 'n gals, please help me…

  • TL;DR: Am I overlooking anything that would justify my expenses on the Omnia (without spending more money)? Anything that was not yet mentioned in this thread yet? :open_mouth:

Long version: I’m asking as I can’t seem to shake the feeling that the price of €240,- (or €280,- incl extra RAM that I also “ordered”) is fairly high when comparing Omnia’s technical specs to those of (for instance) a TP-Link Archer C5v2 that I encountered in a sale this weekend for €49,- (!!) + a Raspberry3 for my nerdy/geeky/flexible open-source (server) needs, totalling to ca. €120,-! Saving 50% while offering all functionality that the Omnia would offer me (taking into account only that which I actually need). :neutral_face:

But in acknowledgement to all the Omnia “perks/features” already mentioned above, I must admit that the following would kind of “hurt” me when I would give up on the Omnia:

  • Less router security (where cz.nic promises lifelong vulnerability updates)
  • Closed system (unsure about what happens on my device / backdoors?)
  • No dedicated contributes (to open source soft/hard-ware and documentation).
  • No miniPCIEe / mSATA (for HD/WiFi extensions).
  • No (or much smaller / less knowledgeable) community (for help and discourse).

The following mentioned stuff would also fall off the list; but are no deal-breakers for me (I’m not saying they are not important, for many these can be deal-breakers of course, but simply just not for me personally):

  • No OpenWRT on the router (but I got Rasbian on the Rpi for flexibility)
  • No SFP (less speed / control by replacing ISP closed hardware)
  • No (full) 1Gbs WAN routing (but close)
  • No (sub-par) NAS functionality (but I already have two NAS systems)
  • No upgradable WiFi (I’m fine with the networking options offered by the TP-Link Archer C5v2).

The main reason for me to stay in the “Omnia camp” is: 1) its open-source character and 2) its promised responsive security updates, 3) the (LXC) server + router in one device. But mostly I am fine with the routing / WiFi capabilities of cheap (but modern) routers would offer me, when I would buy a Raspberrypi3 as a “server” in addition to them (and I already own two 4-bay NAS devices).

Especially after waiting this long, I feel that the cheaper routers are advancing, or even surpassing the Omnia on some levels. Hence my question to you all:

Please help me justifying my expenses as I am kind of (emotionally) regretting my (financial) support to the project when being completely honest! :cry:

Yes, Turris Omnia seems to be little bit overpriced :wink: to say it mildly… But, one should take in account not only the open hw and open sw, moreover the promised full lifespan support! This, as for me, prevailed any possible drawbacks. To have my ass covered by dedicated team is most important, more than to save some money. My two cents :wink:

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Jah I feel ya there! (its on my “this hurts if I do not go for Omnia”-list)! Both it being FOSS and having a dedicated security team is worth at least some of our hard-earned money (just as having a fun and knowledgeable community)! nods agreeingly

I see what you did there! :smile:

Anyone else having thoughts on this?

I agree. the cost trickles and is adding up with different perks. For example, the wall mount is standard with majority of the consumer grade routers. with Turris, this is an add-on. It should have been thrown in free for everyone.

And the 2G ram upgrade for 50 US dollar is very expensive. I think this is what killed the deal.

Comparing this with a x86 board running pfsense, what is turris’ advantage, Price and Performance?