Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.


Meow
7786 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 3846

Moderator
Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

Topic # 199158 6-Aug-2016 19:40
Send private message

I was asked to do a short review of the cnPilot R201 by @mdf which is live now on my blog (here). If anyone has further questions then fire away here whilst I have a test unit since there has been a bit of interest around this product.

 

Really sucks it isn't DD-WRT.





Create new topic

mdf

1908 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 552

Trusted
Subscriber

  Reply # 1605639 6-Aug-2016 20:05
Send private message

Great review Michael, really appreciate you taking the time to do this.

 

FWIW, a few of my observations from a brief play with the R201 (and I'm a prosumer at best). The wifi coverage was good, and it was a nice solid wee device that didn't look like it was the love child of an octopus and a set of bagpipes. From looking at the screen shots, I thought it was running a DDWRT variant, but it seems that's not be. And I much prefer the nice modern look of the E400 interface rather than the Windows 98 era stylings of the R201. As it stands, you wouldn't know the two devices came from the same company but for the logo on them.

 

The other thing I was really looking for (and disappointed not to find) was band steering options for the wifi. I was thinking this plus one or two E400s would make a great combo. Particular since a $200 R201 + $300 E400 < $600 ASUS RT-AC5300. That said, it actually did a reasonably good job of preferring 5GHz just setting the SSIDs and passwords for the same for the 2.4 and 5GHz wlans.

 

What I was really looking for was pretty much something like the R201, but with a more robust set of tuning options for those that wanted it (running DDWRT as stock without any kind of hardware acceleration penalty, basically). Something I could set up using the mainstream options and give to my mother without having to visit weekly to reboot the bugger. This doesn't seem to be it though.

 

And I've grizzled about this before, but why oh why put a cat5 cable in the box of a gigbit device!? Surely it can only be a buck or two more to throw in a cat5e?

 

Many thanks to Go Wifi and Cambium for providing the review unit, and to @michaelmurfy for providing the technical expertise and time to review it.




Meow
7786 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 3846

Moderator
Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  Reply # 1605641 6-Aug-2016 20:15
Send private message

Ah yes I didn't mention the fact this router has no band steering of any kind - both radios are configurable separately. But since I was also interested in this router it is good to finally have a play around with one.





18 posts

Geek
+1 received by user: 9

Cambium Networks

  Reply # 1607327 10-Aug-2016 01:36
Send private message

Hi All

 

Thanks for the valuable feedback.  We have some ideas for improvement, like a Parent Control Portal coming.

 

  • The R200, R201, is aimed at the ISP to deploy to a home and provide a managed service. It is NOT meant for the individual home owner. It can be deployed by an individual small office owner with local cnMaestro (a la Ubiquiti controller) in a stand-alone mode.
  • cnMaestro’s does NOT store any client or personally identifiable information. Like any cloud managed device from any other operator, we do have visibility to the configuration and the device.  There is also a locally installable option for cnMaestro (on-premises) if prefered by the service provider.
  • cnMaestro does provide the service provider valuable troubleshooting features,  with and without ePMP SMs
  • I can confirm that the developers, were 'inspired' with DD-WRT but don't actually use any DD-WRT code at all.  The only similarity is in the interface.
  • Glad to see more than adequate performance and also a good wrap for the E400. :)

 

 

Regards

 

Roy




Meow
7786 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 3846

Moderator
Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  Reply # 1607328 10-Aug-2016 04:09
Send private message

Cheers @rwittert

 

Yes - it fooled me with thinking it was DD-WRT, I was trying quite hard to get root to find out if it really was however the fact I was so unsuccessful means it was really a hardened version of Linux under the hood (confirmed with the logs I grabbed from it). Despite my partially negative review it does have its place in the market like you say and performance is good and I am sure that somebody will get use out of it from the Geekzone giveaway. I was just expecting more when I saw its screenshots and with lack of information I did get a little excited.

 

As in personally identifiable information there is information that could be used to identify somebody if you really wanted to however it is a stretch - without full root access to the device I can't confirm that cnMaestro doesn't have a way to "send this and run as root" on a device making cnMaestro a pretty good target for hax0rs - I really just need to take your word for it. This is me being somewhat paranoid (there are devices blocked from internet access on my network for good reason) but having your router talk to the cloud can be a security risk if things are not configured right. I am glad you've given the option to turn it off and configure it locally if required. Personally, since these devices run Linux I'd love to be able to have root access to a non-connected cnMaestro device to change iptables rules, edit the dnsmasq config file etc - that alone, will make it quite a good device. I did notice there was Telnet on an earlier firmware release which got removed.

 

But - with these products it could be worth pointing out the fact these devices are designed for home and small office users. Also, by default locking it down from the outside world (since the web configuration is available by default on the WAN interface) to ensure that nobody has this enabled (by accident) and getting owned because they didn't change their password (also, may be best to enforce a password change on first login). But I applaud you and Cambium listening to customers :) Also, thanks for making excellent products in general (I am really happy with my E400 and so are other people I know).

 

If I was to nitpick (something that @mdf also said) I would suggest changing the R200/R201 firmwares interface to resemble your other products (like the E400 - which does have a really good web interface) to avoid confusion from geeks like myself thinking it is something it is not :)





mdf

1908 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 552

Trusted
Subscriber

  Reply # 1638331 21-Sep-2016 17:52
Send private message

I've just had occasion to be super impressed with the WiFi coverage on the R201. A friend installed one in his downstairs, tucked away in one corner pretty much miles from anything. Since it was so far away we combined it with a centrally mounted E400 to do the upstairs. He wasn't getting WiFi in one upstairs corner. Turns out that the POE injector for the E400 had conked out and the R201 hidden away in one downstairs corner was doing nearly the whole house.

Also a reason he should have let me leave the LEDs on on the E400.

Ka

1 post

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 1638354 21-Sep-2016 19:21
Send private message

Interesting. So, if one were to deploy in a housing complex, can i put the E400 in the hallway and have the R201 in the house meshing to the E400? does that work? has anyone tried it? 

 

Btw, how big is the house in this case? How many stories between R201 and the E400?


7717 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 2544

Subscriber

  Reply # 1638374 21-Sep-2016 20:27
Send private message

how are you going to power the E400? may as well just run ethernet the whole way as it can be powered via PoE


mdf

1908 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 552

Trusted
Subscriber

  Reply # 1638382 21-Sep-2016 20:37
Send private message

Ka:

 

Interesting. So, if one were to deploy in a housing complex, can i put the E400 in the hallway and have the R201 in the house meshing to the E400? does that work? has anyone tried it? 

 

Btw, how big is the house in this case? How many stories between R201 and the E400?

 

 

This was just a simple run of cat 5e from the router to the WAP (via a POE injector). Haven't tried mesh networking.

 

The house concerned was pretty big (5 bedrooms - no idea of the sq meters though sorry. At least 200 if I had to guess). The R201 was at the extreme southern end of the house on the bottom story, and it was only the northwest and northeast corners of the top story where the wifi dropped away completely. Wooden framing, standard plasterboard walls, doubt there is internal insulation in them. Of course, YMMV.

 

I've got 2 E400s in our place (one up and one down). Our place is 180 sq meters and everywhere has acceptable wifi coverage. I actually bought a third one expecting to have to use two upstairs but ended up dispatching it to my mother since it wasn't needed.


18 posts

Geek
+1 received by user: 9

Cambium Networks

  Reply # 1638428 21-Sep-2016 22:28
Send private message

Hi Jase2985

 

Remember the E400 ships with a POE power supply, so it can be powered locally near place of install?  The R201 can act as range repeater/extender to the E400.

 

http://community.cambiumnetworks.com/t5/cnPilot-R-series-R201-R201P/Configuring-cnPilot-R201-R200-as-Range-Extender-Wi-Fi-Repeater/m-p/54900#U54900 

 

We also just released v3.0 for the E400.

 

Some of the major features in this release are:

 

  • Support for Passpoint (Hotspot 2.0 / 802.11u) for carrier WiFi offload.
  • L2TPv2 tunnel support:  tunnel WLAN traffic from AP to an L2TP concentrator.
  • LDAP guest access : authenticate guest users on an Active-Directory infrastructure.
  • Mesh recovery : remote recovery from misconfigurations of mesh nodes.
  • Multi-Hop Mesh: extend the range of mesh links.
  • Airtime fairness : Improve performance of 802.11ac clients in the presence of legacy 802.11a/802.11b/802.11g clients.

Regards

 

Roy


Create new topic

Twitter »

Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:



Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.



Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.