Naver Blog Reviews Slate AX Wi-Fi 6 Router
The GL-iNet Slate AX (Slate AX) portable Wi-Fi router with enhanced security using Wi-Fi 6 technology.
This blog article has been AI-translated from its original Korean text and is intended for English readers to easily comprehend the content. Please excuse any errors or mistakes that may have occurred during the translation process.
The original review in Korean is available on Naver Blog
A new form of hybrid work has emerged, where people work alternatingly between their office and home. However, a new trend has recently emerged: “workations,” where people work remotely for long periods of time in secluded places that are not their home or office. This is perhaps why the search traffic for the GL-iNet Opal portable security router, which we introduced last July (referred to as the Opal router below), has continued to increase, and I have received personal inquiries about purchasing it.
GL-iNet has recently released its long-developed Wi-Fi 6 product, the GL-AXT1800 Slate AX, which boasts a maximum connection speed of 1.2Gbps, gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 ports, and a Micro SDXC slot. This is the flagship portable security Wi-Fi router of GL-iNet.
In this review, we will introduce the differences between the new Slate AX and the previous Opal router, as well as the powerful performance provided by Wi-Fi 6.
GL-iNet Slate AX provides everything that is simple yet necessary. Although it is a portable travel router, it offers greater expandability through its USB 3.0 port and Micro SD slot.
Similar to the previous Opal router, the product package of the Slate AX contains only the necessary items, including installation and product support manuals, a 5V 4A power adapter, a CAT.5e slim cable, and the Slate AX router itself.
The power adapter provided this time is a 5V 4A, 20W USB-C adapter, which is an improvement from the 5V 3A USB-C power adapter provided with the Opal router. As the performance has increased, the power consumption has also increased, resulting in a larger power adapter size. If you plan to use a different USB-C power adapter instead of the one included, we recommend purchasing a 5V 4A rated adapter or using a single-output USB-C power adapter with a power output of 30W or higher.
The most compatible USB-C single-port grounded power adapter is the DooDoo 30W USB-PD grounded adapter (related link).
The appearance of the Slate AX Portable Secure WiFi Router from GL-iNet is similar to previous portable secure WiFi router products, including the Opal model. However, the size of the product has significantly increased due to the larger PCB size required to support improved performance. As a result, the port section on the back is more spacious, with larger ports. The port section includes a USB-C power port, a USB 3.0 expansion port, two gigabit Ethernet ports that can be switched between WAN and LAN, and one gigabit Ethernet port.
On the back, you can find information such as the SSID, password, and MAC address to connect to the Slate AX Portable Secure WiFi Router. If you look closely at the bottom of the product, you can see that there is a fan installed. The fan was added because the increased performance also causes the product to generate more heat. Fortunately, the fan noise is minimal, so it should not be a concern.
However, it is recommended to avoid placing the Slate AX Portable Secure WiFi Router in enclosed spaces, unlike previous models.
On both sides, there are Wi-Fi 6 supported antennas, which provide coverage for a suite in a hotel. On the upper right side, there is a Micro SDXC port, which can be used as a network shared folder (SMB) and as network storage for DLNA. A 128GB SDXC card has been inserted for practical use, but it needs to be formatted as NTFS to be usable.
With the WPA3 security standard of WiFi 6 and the use of DFS channels, wireless interference can be avoided. In addition, ADGuard Home provides more convenient and powerful network security.
When you first use the product or reset it to its default settings, you can select the language and set the administrator password, just like with previous GL-iNet portable security Wi-Fi router products. The difference is that there is now an option to increase the complexity of the password, which is enabled by default. You can choose to turn off this option and use an easier password, but the manufacturer does not recommend it as it may make you vulnerable to social hacking or bot attacks.
The initial menu has also undergone some design changes, but nothing major.
You should look at the part that is the biggest advantage, which is Wi-Fi 6. Due to the nature of portable secure Wi-Fi routers, you have to choose and focus, but Wi-Fi 6 only supports the most commonly used 5GHz band. In fact, the 2.4GHz band of Wi-Fi 6 is not very significant, so I think it’s not a bad choice.
On the other hand, the fact that it fully supports WPA3 and supports DFS channels is a very big advantage. The DFS channels supported by Slate AX are the same as those used domestically, so there is no major obstacle to using them. However, please note that if there are weather, military, or security equipment nearby that prioritize DFS channels, it will be forcibly switched to the 36-48 channel, which is a public channel.
In reflector mode, you can also use Wi-Fi 6 and WPA3, but it is a bit regrettable that you cannot set APs on channels 149-161. This is also due to radio law-related issues that may arise depending on the choice and focus and the use in many countries. (It is not a big problem because 36-48 channels are often used.)
There has been a small but significant change in the firewall section. The VPN server and client UI have been updated, and they are now provided in a simple menu format to make configuration easier by default. However, detailed information can still be inputted if necessary. The VPN server also prioritizes necessary menus and provides an option to open advanced settings for more detailed configurations.
With the release of the Slate AX, the Tor network has been removed and AdGuard Home has been added. AdGuard Home could previously only be purchased and activated on OpenWRT firmware, but GL-iNet has now included it in the product to simplify the process. AdGuard Home allows for detailed firewall settings and can block unnecessary or frequently attacked services to secure network traffic and improve security.
The product features a toggle switch that allows users to turn the AdGuard Home firewall on or off depending on their needs. If the AdGuard Home firewall is activated, the router’s DNS over TLS function will be temporarily suspended in favor of the AdGuard Home firewall’s DNS over TLS settings, as duplicate services are included in the router itself.
For other features, please refer to our previous review of the GL-iNet Opal portable secure WiFi router (related link).
Despite being a portable router, the basic network performance is top-notch, and it allows for network expansion or file sharing through the USB 3.0 port.
Even during the previous Opal ShareGis, concerns about the performance of portable products may be alleviated. This is especially true as it has been strengthened with WiFi 6, which can maximize the internet speed of hotels or accommodations.
As you can see in the attached screenshot, both the 5GHz channel and DFS channel support a maximum connection speed of 1.2Gbps. In addition, the iperf test shows speeds that match gigabit speeds for both wired and wireless connections. The product connection and iperf test used the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 for Business with LTE, equipped with an Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 product, and the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 for Business. Please note that the Surface Dock 2 was used for wired testing.
As mentioned earlier, network storage services such as SMB, WebDAV, and DLNA can be used through Micro SDXC and USB 3.0 ports, and you can ensure performance by activating only the necessary services. It is recommended to mainly turn on SMB.
The speed varies depending on the connected device, but the speed is around 30MB/s to 40MB/s, and if possible, it is recommended to use memory with Class 10 or higher in the Micro SDXC slot.
The USB 3.0 port can be efficiently used as a backup line by connecting it to the wired tethering of iOS or Android smartphones, in case there is no wired internet environment or the wired internet is disconnected.
Compared to the previous Opal ShareGis, it was more stable and smooth for smartphone charging. Please note that to establish a proper wired tethering connection, it is recommended to use a cable that is MFI certified as much as possible.
GL-iNet Slate AX is a powerful and highly portable Wi-Fi 6 security router that offers great performance at a very affordable price. It is available for purchase in Korea with direct shipping.
The GL-iNet Slate AX secure portable router introduced today has not been released in the Korean market, but it can be purchased directly through the official website and shipped to Korea. As of September 13, 2022, the price is $119.00, and it is exempt from value-added tax.
If you think device security and data security are important, especially when traveling, on a business trip, or for an extended workation, it may be a good idea to purchase the GL-iNet Slate AX router and set it up for your environment before taking it with you.
For more detailed information and features about the product that were not covered in today’s review, please check the product page (link) and GL-iNet purchase page (link) on the official website.
The Slate AX secure portable router used in this review was provided by GL-iNET for compatibility with Microsoft Surface products, and there is no separate guide or additional compensation for the review.
The original review in Korean is available on Naver Blog
GL.iNet builds network hardware and software solutions that bring affordable and secure network connectivity to families and businesses all over the world. We work with a wide range of industries, solving everyday internet problems in offices, and providing complex networking solutions such as smart buildings and IoT Networks. At GL.iNet, We believe all successful businesses build upon a strong and secure foundation, which is why our highest priority is perfecting network security and reliability for our partners.