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Debian-based WiFi router adds security and parental controls

Sep 23, 2016 — by Eric Brown 5,452 views

[Updated: Jan. 18, 2017] — The “Roqos Core” dual-band WiFi-ac router runs Debian on a quad-core Atom E3845, and offers cloud based services including security and firmware updates.

A Tysons, Virginia headquartered startup called Roqos has begun shipping a home WiFi router, along with cloud-based “advanced cybersecurity and parental control features” sold on a subscription basis. The Roqos Core router costs $19 along with $17 a month for the Roqos Service, with a commitment of 12 months, or $223 total including the Core. After that you can choose to drop the service and continue to use the router without the extra features provided by the service.

Roqos Core front and rear views
(click images to enlarge)

The 165 x 163 x 53mm (6.5 x 6.4 x 2.1-inch) Roqos Core router runs on a quad-core Atom E3845 clocked to 1.91GHz, from Intel’s 22nm Bay Trail generation. The system includes 2GB RAM and 8GB storage. There are four Gigabit Ethernet ports and a GbE switch, as well as USB 3.0 and HDMI ports.

The five-antenna WiFi system offers simultaneous dual-frequency service for 3×3, 5GHz 802.11ac and 2×2, 2.4GHz 802.11n. Access points and WiFi extenders can be added using a WPS push button function on the Roqos app. The device runs on an external 100-240V external power supply, and operates at temperatures ranging from 0 to 40℃.

Roqos Core PCB
(click images to enlarge)

The Roqos Service’s “enterprise grade” cybersecurity protections are continually updated to guard against threats that exploit any smart (or perhaps not so smart) device on your network. The services include malware and virus protection, deep packet inspection, and continuous examination of Internet traffic with detection of suspicious activities. Ad-blocking for web browsers is also available.

Roqos app screens
(click images to enlarge)

The parental control features include blocking of inappropriate content, and scheduling Internet usage. There are black and white lists, predefined filter categories, and site-specific filters, and you can set up several user profiles and device assignments.


The Roqos Service alerts customers about intrusion events via email or the Roqos mobile Android or iOS app. The same app lets you control the network remotely. Guest passwords and temporary, time delimited passwords are available.

Roqos offers automatic updates and tech support, as well as a lifetime warranty on the hardware. “Unlike some services or products, we do not store your sensitive usage data in the Roqos Cloud or sell them to third parties,” says the company.

Roqos Core color choices
(click image to enlarge)

According to an email from Sezen Uysal, Roqos CEO, the subscription-based Roqos cloud service provides the following functions and features:

  • Automatic cybersecurity signature updates for recent malware, attacks, etc.
  • Automatic parental control signature updates for new inappropriate web sites
  • Automatic software updates
  • Instant in-app and email notifications of events, alerts, etc.
  • Remote access and control by smartphone app
  • Hardware warranty during active service
  • Advanced shipment of defective hardware
  • Advanced shipment of hardware upgrade, if needed
  • No additional fee for any new service features with active service
  • Customer support via support site, email, or phone

Debian-based open source stack

The roughly 1GB Debian Linux stack is open source, and includes packages like MongoDB, Suricata, Squid, Bind, Nginx, OpenVPN, and Iperf. Expert users can call on advanced settings such as DHCP or static IP address assignments on the Internet port or local network. You also get UPnP discovery, and port forwarding with ranges, among other functions.

According to an email from Sezen Uysal, founder and CEO of Roqos, customers are provided with “login access to the unit with ‘sudo’ capabilities, so that an advanced user can use the systems as standard router,” and add new open source software.

The company is considering the possibility of open-sourcing the hardware and offering schematics and layout files, says Uysal. In the meantime, Uysal notes that the system has an open source BIOS, running Linux with root access. “Even the HDMI port is 1080P which would allow the user to convert [Roqos Core] to a media player,” he adds.

Further information (updated: Jan. 18, 2017)

Roqos currently offers three purchasing options for the Roqos Core router. You can pay $19 plus the first month’s $17 Roqos Service fee, along with a commitment to continue to pay the monthly service fee for the first year. Alternatively, you can purchase the device for $219, which includes one year of the Roqos Service, with the option of paying a monthly rate for the Roqos Service thereafter. Or, for $595 you can get the Roqos hardware, a 3-year hardware warranty, and lifetime service. More details can be found at the Roqos website.

(advertise here)

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17 responses to “Debian-based WiFi router adds security and parental controls”

  1. Nonya says:

    I thought tat this might be something useful until I got to the words “cloud-based security”. There is NO security in the “cloud”! Reading further, I find that the device requires an extremely overpriced subscription!! NO THANKS!!! Go FSCK youreselves!!!!

    • Oded says:

      As far as I understand, you just have to pay for the subscription – you don’t actually have to use it, and at a total price to own of ~$220, this is the cheapest open source running, user friendly, 802.11ac device out there. Not to mention it’s specs are well above what you expect in a residential router and as it is x86, you can extend it very easily with tons of available software.

      I’m not sure what you are using these days, but unless you’ve built your own router out of spare parts, or shelled out for an expensive Buffalo router, then you are likely either running old software on old hardware like me (Tomato on Linksys E4200) or are using commercial closed-source, backdoor-ridden poorly speced and feature-poor commercial residential router built and marketed for the average luser (e.g Linksys WRT), neither of which is a good choice.

      The price point for this one can’t be beat (compare with offering from flash, and it offers so much more than when those DD-WRT totting devices.

      At this point I can only say – please take my money! Unfortunately Roqos won’t deliver outside of United States, and I’ll not privileged enough to live within their delivery zone. I really wish these American companies would start to consider places outside “the greatest country in the world” as potential customers.

      • Roqos Customer Service says:

        Hi Oded,

        Our current service area is in US, but we also ship to some key customers in overseas. If you are still interested in please reach us at [email protected].


    • Roqos Customer Service says:

      Hi Nonya,

      Our security implementation is not cloud based, the management of Roqos Cores (RC) is. RC locally runs widely used open source software such as Suricata, IPTables, etc. Roqos Cloud provides a conduit between Roqos App and the Roqos Core which also pulls latest security signatures and software updates from the cloud. In addition, usage information is not kept in the cloud for privacy purposes, but on RC.

  2. Michel P says:

    I can’t see how this has any advantage over an ASUS AC56U router flashed with DNSthingy firmware. Also subscription-based, but cheaper, but it’s optional with a way to try it for free.

  3. Roqos Customer Service says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Our business model is based on subscription, since we constantly update cybersecurity and parental control signatures. But if you just need the hardware and you would like to customize the software anyway you like it, there is only one year commitment for service. Just put a calendar reminder, and send us request at the end of the year at our support site, we will close your account.

    With that total cost is only $223, which is a deal based on Roqos Core’s hardware features and all the software come with it (and future ones such as VPN, wireless mesh, IOT hub, etc.). We don’t advertise this for obvious reasons. Please let us know what you think.

    For our friends in overseas, please reach us via [email protected]. We will make special arrangement to ship your Roqos Core.


  4. David Smoot says:

    Very, Very cool. Definitely appears to be worth the cost and I may just jump on board. Some questions
    1) OpenVPN was mentioned in the stack. Does this router include an openvpn server?
    2) Can I combine filters and time limits? For example, can I have homework time that blocks youtube and steam games but still allow Khan Academy and the rest of the internet?
    3) I have a lot of stuff on my network. Can I look at usage history and see what devices are connecting to what IP addresses when?

    Thanks for your time and a great product.

    • Roqos Customer Service says:

      Thanks David. Referring to your questions:

      1. OpenVPN is already included in Roqos Core, but not enabled since the Roqos App does not support it yet. We will make this feature along with Dynamic DNS available by the end of the year.
      2. This is a very good idea. We discussed this with our product management, and added in our roadmap for early next year implementation, if we don’t deliver it earlier.
      3. This is something we are currently working on. It will be available in our next release, again by the end of the year.

  5. Jake Roberts says:

    Has anybody managed to buy one of these? I placed an order last week and have had zero communication from the company about it.

    • Roqos Customer Service says:

      Hi Jake,

      According to our records, you have received shipment notification 2 days ago, probably right after your post above. If not, please contact our support at Thanks.

  6. nottosay says:

    1-does the router have a Data usage counting system ??
    i use a capped(limited) internet connection and i want to be able to know how much data i consumed ..

    2-does the router have a working way to limit internet speed for a specific computer ??

    3-does the router have a way to report the router temperature and other status ??

    • Roqos Customer Service says:


      1-does the router have a Data usage counting system ??
      i use a capped(limited) internet connection and i want to be able to know how much data i consumed ..
      Roqos: Roqos Core router has popular Linux tools such as “vnstat”, “bwm-ng”, “iperf”. Soon we will have App and web GUI for these powerful tools.

      2-does the router have a working way to limit internet speed for a specific computer ??
      Roqos: Currently we don’t have this feature. However, we are looking into installing “tc” like tools to do traffic shaping and queue management.

      3-does the router have a way to report the router temperature and other status ??
      Roqos: “sensors” is available on Roqos Core. You can run it via console or ssh session. Soon we will add that and other system monitoring tools into GUI.


  7. Arndot says:

    It’s the best hardware ever seen for the freedombox project :-D hope World delivery starts soon.

  8. AJ Smith says:

    What are your plans for future hardware upgrades? I’m interested in the Lifetime Purchase but worry about early adopter hardware and the better build that may come out in the future. Thanks.

    • Roqos Customer Service says:

      Hi AJ,

      Lifetime purchase comes with 3 year hardware warranty. During that time if Roqos Core has an issue that require replacement, we would send you a new unit in advance for free, and have you ship the defective unit to Roqos for free as well. If for some reason we need to update the hardware we would again ship you a new hardware. We make sure you have the best router in your home as long as you are customer of ours.


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