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Old 12-26-2008, 06:23 PM
10,752 posts, read 18,003,358 times
Reputation: 10244


Do you know that you have an open source firmware router? Found this info a few months ago and flashed mine, it went from a fairly unstable piece of crap to a great working wireless router with tons of features, figured I'd post the info in case anyone wanted it.

"The story of the Linksys Wireless-G Router (model WRT54G) and how you can turn a $60 router into a $600 router is a little bit CSI and a little bit Freaks & Geeks. It’s also the story of how the open source movement can produce a win-win scenario for both consumers and commercial vendors. What’s especially exciting is that tricking out this router doesn’t require any eBay sleuthing or other hunt for some off-the-wall piece of hardware. Instead, grab it off-the-shelf. The WRT54G is stacked high in every Best Buy and Circuit City across the country and, of course, most online retailers — Amazon.com sells it for $55. It’s ubiquitous and, some would say, a diamond in the rough. Or a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
While routers used to be the domain of networking specialists, they’ve gone mainstream along with residential broadband. Commodity routers can be had for as little as – well, "free after rebate” in some cases, and often not much more. To keep them cheap, consumer-grade vendors like Linksys repackage designs from OEM vendors rather than design the hardware and software in-house.
The tradeoff for these sub-$100 routers can be reliability, particularly in the coding of the firmware – the software “brain” that controls the router’s functions. Consumer-grade firmware may be buggy, and may be limited in functionality compared to commercial-grade routers designed for business such as those made by Cisco and SonicWall.
The WRT54G was released in 2003 in anticipation of the 802.11g standard, with its theoretical maximum bandwidth of 54Mbps compared to 802.11b’s 11Mbps. In many respects the WRT54G is a typical wireless router – it accepts an incoming broadband link such as cable or DSL and shares it between its built-in four-port Ethernet switch and antennae for broadcasting the signal to wireless clients.
In June 2003 some folks on the Linux Kernel Mailing List sniffed around the WRT54G and found that its firmware was based on Linux components. Because Linux is released under the GNU General Public License, or GPL, the terms of the license obliged Linksys to make available the source code to the WRT54G firmware. As most router firmware is proprietary code, vendors have no such obligation. It remains unclear whether Linksys was aware of the WRT54G’s Linux lineage, and its associated source requirements, at the time they released the router. But ultimately, under outside pressure to deliver on their legal obligation under the GPL, Linksys open sourced the WRT54G firmware in July 2003.
With the code in hand, developers learned exactly how to talk to the hardware inside and how to code any features the hardware could support. It has spawning a handful of open source firmware projects for the WRT54G that extend its capabilities, and reliability, far beyond what is expected from a cheap consumer-grade router."

The Open Source WRT54G Story

The wiki
Main Page - DD-WRT Wiki
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Old 12-26-2008, 10:50 PM
Location: Tyler, TX
15,210 posts, read 18,490,079 times
Reputation: 8052
I have two WRT54g's in use. One is running stock firmware and is used only as an access point. The other is running OpenWRT and connects to the first as a client, allowing me to have my entertainment center and a couple of telephones downstairs & hooked into the network/Internet without having to pull cable.

I use an actual PC as my interface to the 'net. It has a bit more processing power than the Linksys. It's doing a bit more than routing packets, though...
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Old 12-27-2008, 06:17 AM
Location: Arden, NC
535 posts, read 1,573,969 times
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I've used DD-WRT for a while now, I love it. Good stuff.
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:56 AM
Location: Beaverland, OR
588 posts, read 2,585,751 times
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Yup, I've been using DD-WRT for a while now. The main reason I "upgraded" was to be able to boost the power output. My WRT54G is now cranking out 140mW. The bandwidth monitoring features are also nice.

If anyone else decides to upgrade, be sure to get the correct version for your router - there are different releases depending on which version of the WRT54G you have.
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Old 12-30-2008, 05:01 PM
10,752 posts, read 18,003,358 times
Reputation: 10244
I haven't done any signal boosting, have it overclocked to 216Mhz. I did try to set up DDNS on it with openDNS but it kept dropping the WAN IP every hour or so for some reason.
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