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Debian-based WiFi router adds security and parental controls

Sep 23, 2016 — by Eric Brown — 4,246 views

[Updated: Oct. 7] — 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

The Roqos Core router costs $19 plus a commitment to at least 12 months of the associated Roqos Service, at $17 a month. (The service fee can optionally be billed monthly or for 12 months up front.) Following the required 12 months of Roqos Service, the service fee is billed monthly at $17, but can be canceled at any time. There’s also a 30-day money back guarantee, and shipping is free through October. More details, possible changes to purchase and pricing details, may be found at the Roqos website.

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14 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!!!!

  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.


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