The Free Software Foundation Endorses First Router In 3 Years - But It's 10/100 + 802.11n WiFi

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 26 September 2019 at 12:45 AM EDT. 36 Comments
If looking for a new WiFi router to go with the RYF-pending, 802.11n-based Purism Librem 5 or just want a wireless network as libre as possible, the Free Software Foundation has announced an 802.11n WiFi router now available that respects the user's freedoms.

The Free Software Foundation announced on Wednesday that the ThinkPenguin Wireless-N Mini Router v2 (TPE-R1200) is the newest product they have endorsed as part of the "Respect Your Freedom" program. This is the first router since 2016 that has received RYF certification, with the earlier router being the TPE-R1100 model while the TPE-R1200 features updated hardware specs and dual external antennas. But this "new" router is still living in an 802.11n era.

This Wireless-N Mini VPN Router v2 features a Qualcomm SoC, 128MB of RAM, 10/100Mbps LAN/WLAN, 300Mbps 802.11n WiFi, and one USB 2.0 port. Making this router "free" to FSF RYF standards is that it ships with LibreCMC, which is a downstream of OpenWrt but with using the Linux-libre blob-free kernel and also removing any non-free bits from the popular OpenWrt software.

Base pricing on the mini WLAN router from is $64 USD but can go up if wanting to bundle a VPN service, upgrade to the latest software release before shipping, or upgrading from a 90-day to one or three year warranty.

It appears that this TPE-R1200 router is a GL.iNet GL-AR300M flashed with LibreCMC. The hardware specifications and overall design appear to match that of this GL.iNet device, which ships with OpenWrt pre-installed.

The Free Software Foundation has certified more than one dozen ThinkPenguin products in recent years, including several networking devices but also peripherals like USB microphones and USB to parallel port printer cables.
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