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Router with open Linux stack adds IPS firewall and cellular backup

Apr 22, 2020 — by Eric Brown 2,947 views

The “Roqos Core RC20” router runs on an open source Debian 10 stack with VPN, DPI, IPS firewall, cellular redundancy, and other continually updated security services. The Atom E3845-based router is equipped with 802.11ac, 4G, and 4x GbE ports.

Roqos has gone to Kickstarter to launch its latest Roqos Core router for the SOHO market, once again combining an open source Linux stack and an optional subscription service that adds VPN and other features. The key updates in this latest Roqos Core RC20 model include a firewall with Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) technology and a 4G modem, which offers automatic cellular backup that kicks in if you lose Internet service.

Roqos Core RC20, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The Roqos Core RC20 is halfway toward its $15K Kickstarter goal with a month left to go, and if we type fast enough you may be in line for the few $395 super early bird packages that are left, or at least one of the $495 early bird units. After that, it moves to $595, with all shipments (US only) due by the end of May.

The fully open source Debian 10 stack lets networking developers go nuts customizing their router to their every whim. Others can simply buy the subscription, flip the switch, and stop worrying about malware attacks or outages.


The Kickstarter packages give you a year of Roqos Service, which would cost $299 for your second year of service. You also get the Roqos Global VPN — the key addition of the Roqos Core v.16 software upgrade that arrived in 2017. VPN services include guest VPN and VPN-In, which lets you dial into your Roqos Core from a public network to gain secure VPN access. The Roqos Service also comes with 2GB per month of cellular service for redundant Internet service backup.

Roqos mobile app
showing new cellular features

Additional Roqos Service features include automatic software, cybersecurity signature, user control filter, country block and DNS filters, and vulnerability updates. The service provides email and mobile app notifications on network events and security threats, as well as Internet activity, cybersecurity, and network usage reports. Customer support and an advanced warranty are also part of the package.

The new IPS firewall, which does not appear to require the Roqos Service, is said to “block malware, suspicious activities and ransomware in realtime.” The router software also comes with deep packet inspection (DPI), ad block, country blocking, and the ability to manage multiple Roqos Core devices and set up a second WiFi network to protect critical devices.

The hardware has not changed much compared to the original Roqos Core. The 165.1 x 162.6 x 53.3mm router still runs on a quad-core, 1.91GHz Atom E3845 from Intel’s Bay Trail generation with 2GB RAM and 8GB flash.

Once again, you get 4x switched GbE ports plus WAN and USB 3.0 ports. The HDMI port seems to have disappeared. The five-antenna WiFi system continues to provide simultaneous dual-frequency service for 3×3, 5GHz 802.11ac and 2×2, 2.4GHz 802.11n.

The key hardware addition is a Quectel EC25-AF 4G LTE CAT4 modem for up to 150Mbps that also includes global GNSS. The modem is supported by a SIM card slot and 3x external antennas.

Further information

The Roqos Core RC20 is available on Kickstarter through May 22, starting at $385 or $495 early bird or $595 with an eventual $695 retail price. Shipments are due by the end of May. More information may be found on the Roqos Kickstarter page and Roqos website.


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