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Linksys Resurrects WRT54G In a New Router

samzenpus posted about 10 months ago | from the blast-from-the-past dept.

Network 310

jones_supa writes "A year after purchasing the Linksys home networking division from Cisco, Belkin today brought back the design of what it called 'the best-selling router of all time' but with the latest wireless technology. We are talking about the classic WRT54G, the router in blue/black livery, first released in December 2002. Back in July 2003, a Slashdot post noted that Linksys had 'caved to community pressure' after speculation that it was violating the GPL free software license, and it released open source code for the WRT54G. The router received a cult following and today the model number of the refreshed model will be WRT1900AC. The radio is updated to support 802.11ac (with four antennas), the CPU is a more powerful 1.2GHz dual core, and there are ports for eSATA and USB mass storage devices. Linksys is also providing early hardware along with SDKs and APIs to the developers of OpenWRT, with plans to have support available when the router becomes commercially available. The WRT1900AC is also the first Linksys router to include a Network Map feature designed to provide a simpler way of managing settings of each device connected to the network. Announced at Consumer Electronics Show, the device is planned to be available this spring for an MSRP of $299.99."

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Cost? (5, Insightful)

Anubis350 (772791) | about 10 months ago | (#45880445)

Part of the appeal of the 54g was its relatively cheap cost for a nicely hackable router (I have serveral of the first gen ones lying around, the ones from before they got downgraded and the old version rebranded as the "gl" with a higher price tag), $300 kinda kills its usefulness

Re:Cost? (2, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 10 months ago | (#45880463)

Yeah, my jaw kind of dropped there at the price.

Re:Cost? (5, Insightful)

H3lldr0p (40304) | about 10 months ago | (#45880591)

And it is almost to guaranteed to drop over time.

Don't forget you're getting: The A/C radio standard , a huge amount of space to store/program in, and support. Yes, support. So if you brick the thing with your endless tweaking of it, they'll try to get it back to working condition.

That stuff is going to cost early adopters. Like it always does. So chill out, have a cool beverage of your choice, and wait awhile. Let the other people absorb the early costs. Wait some for others to figure out the traps.

But for heaven's sake, shove the whining about the price right up your ass.

Re:Cost? (4, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 10 months ago | (#45880619)

I could build a x86 based router for less. $300 is absolutely ridiculous for this kind of hardware.

Re:Cost? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880673)

Prove it. You can't do it - not supporting the 802.1AC standard and actually routing at a decent speed.

Re:Cost? (4, Interesting)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 10 months ago | (#45880755)

Considering I built my current router is a low-power dual core 2.0GHz x64 CPU with 4GB DDR3 RAM, 16GB SATA-III SSD and 5 gigabit Ethernet ports for ~$200, it shouldn't be too hard to add a wireless card for around $100 and call it a day.

Re:Cost? (3, Insightful)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 10 months ago | (#45880795)

As long as you don't count labor.

Re:Cost? (5, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 10 months ago | (#45880877)

If you are buying a router to screw around with DD-WRT, you almost certainly aren't counting labor anyway.

Re:Cost? (0)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 10 months ago | (#45880923)

Please follow the thread.

Re:Cost? (3, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 10 months ago | (#45881081)

I'm failing to see your point. SJHilman made a router for $200 that could easily be expanded with a wireless card for $300 total. The retort was that his setup does not include labor. I replied that labor is silly to include in a discussion where people are dicking around with the firmware anyway.

Re:Cost? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45881173)

A 802.11AC 4x4 MIMO wireless card? For $100? Link?

Re:Cost? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 10 months ago | (#45881215)

I have no idea what such a beast would cost. It's entirely possible that SJHillman is way off.

Re:Cost? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880949)

Just because someone wants to mess around with networking doesn't necessaryily mean they want to mess around with assembly and shopping for parts. I'm capable of designing and soldering together circuit boards, but these days when I want to mess around with a microcontroller or FPGA I buy an already made dev board.

Re:Cost? (1)

Wookact (2804191) | about 10 months ago | (#45881101)

Making a circuit board by hand is much harder then browsing Newegg/Amazon and installing a card in a desktop.

Re:Cost? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 10 months ago | (#45881153)

I agree that someone might not "want to", and that very well might be worth the extra cash for that person. But using the labor argument against a solution where you are going to spend a lot of time dicking around anyway is weak, IMHO.

Re:Cost? (3, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about 10 months ago | (#45881047)

Considering I built my current router is a low-power dual core 2.0GHz x64 CPU with 4GB DDR3 RAM, 16GB SATA-III SSD and 5 gigabit Ethernet ports for ~$200, it shouldn't be too hard to add a wireless card for around $100 and call it a day.

How much power does it use? Power consumption is an important factor in a device that's going to be running 24x7. 20 watts of difference in power consumption could be costing you $20/year or more depending on how much your power costs.

Re:Cost? (2)

Hadlock (143607) | about 10 months ago | (#45880901)

With... a netbook? Depending with the onboard chipset it's very possible. $300 is a lot of money for a computing device. What we're talking about here is a glorified Raspberry Pi or Beagle Bone Black with some extra RJ-45 ports and a quality radio in a themo-injected plastic casing.
 
Even if you bought the Beagle Bone Black ($50), SD card ($15) and 5 port netgear gig-e switch ($35) that's only $100 worth of hardware leaving you $200 (retail) to buy a special chip and antennas.
 
And that's the one-off price. In bulk and after cost reduction you're probably looking at $150 in hardware, max, so yeah $300 is pretty high. I paid $35 for my last 802.11-n router with 4 gig-e ports and it also runs openwrt. This new router is almost ten times the price.

Re:Cost? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 10 months ago | (#45881133)

Even if you bought the Beagle Bone Black ($50), SD card ($15) and 5 port netgear gig-e switch ($35) that's only $100 worth of hardware leaving you $200 (retail) to buy a special chip and antennas.

But then you'd be left with a single core 1 Ghz ARM CPU with 512MB of RAM rather than a dual-core 1.2GHz ARM with 256MB of RAM (plus USB3.0 and eSATA).

Whether it's better depends on which you need more - CPU or RAM.

Re:Cost? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 10 months ago | (#45880757)

Yes if you find the right MiniITX board with a soldered on processor. but nothing that will have 4 or more ethernet ports. honestly you need 3 network interfaces just for a basic router.

Re:Cost? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 10 months ago | (#45880827)

Yes if you find the right MiniITX board with a soldered on processor. but nothing that will have 4 or more ethernet ports. honestly you need 3 network interfaces just for a basic router.

You really only need 2 ports for a basic router. If you need more, you can use tagged VLAN's.

Re:Cost? (2)

kasperd (592156) | about 10 months ago | (#45881207)

You really only need 2 ports for a basic router. If you need more, you can use tagged VLAN's.

In that case you could do with just one port on the router. Of course with only one port you only get half the bandwidth of two ports. But if you have 1Gbit/s between router and switch chip, I doubt that is going to be a bottleneck for many private usages. The port you saved on the router of course means you'll have to use one of the ports on the switch chip for WAN instead. So you gotta ask if the extra port on the router is worth the cost compared to an extra port on the switch chip. (I know switch ports don't come in increments of one, so really the question is, did you need that last port on the switch chip?)

If you happen to base your setup on a router with a SoC that has two 1Gbit/s interfaces from the start, then you may as well put both of them to good use. One possibility, that costs a little bit extra is to just connect both of them to the switch and choose a switch with 4 more ports, than you would otherwise have done. Then you get lots of flexibility. You can configure the two connections independently on different VLANs, or you can bundle them and use tagging to have perhaps three or even more VLANs where the 2Gbit/s of bandwidth can be used for whatever VLAN currently need that sort of throughput to the router.

But if you already have a managed switch with VLAN tagging support, it might not cost much extra for a switch with a chip that can also do routing. Routing is not much more complicated than switching. It is almost as simple as just matching the destination IP against a CAM instead of matching the destination MAC against a CAM. That is something which has been implemented in hardware before. I think you can buy a complete switch with that sort of support for under 200$. Whether you can get one, where you can tinker with it as well, I don't know.

That sort of routing hardware doesn't do NAT though. So it is plausible you might run into hardware where you can get 1Gbit/s as long as you don't do NAT, but as soon as you do NAT, throughput drops to half or less.

Re:Cost? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 10 months ago | (#45880859)

Yes if you find the right MiniITX board with a soldered on processor. but nothing that will have 4 or more ethernet ports. honestly you need 3 network interfaces just for a basic router.

You can - the MiniITX/Atom-based routers that I build and sell to my clients have 5 gigabit NIC's on them. But MiniITX is niche, and the parts are not cheap. If you just need a cheap multi-port router, put in a Mikrotik, and then run your pfSense 'on a stick' with as many VLAN's as you need, unless you need wirespeed gigabit processing.

Re:Cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880911)

Almost all SOHO routers use at most two network interfaces in combination with a VLAN-enabled switch to provide the LAN ports. You could do the same with an x64 based system. Manageable gigabit switches have come down in price a lot. Netgear's GS108T would fit the bill.

Re:Cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880915)

$300 is absolutely ridiculous for this kind of hardware.

Yeah, but Belkin is the Monster Cable of networking ... or would be if their overpriced shite had better build quality.

Re:Cost? (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about 10 months ago | (#45880743)

But you can buy better hardware that is more open right now for less money. There are lots of options for a DIY router, boards that even have card slots so you can put on your own wireless card, etc..

Alix boards, and lots of others out there both ARM and even X86 based. Plus those boards you can run a real router like pfSense or IPCop on them instead.

Re:Cost? (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about 10 months ago | (#45880873)

But you can buy better hardware that is more open right now for less money. There are lots of options for a DIY router, boards that even have card slots so you can put on your own wireless card, etc..

Alix boards, and lots of others out there both ARM and even X86 based. Plus those boards you can run a real router like pfSense or IPCop on them instead.

I'm waiting for the new Alix APU [pcengines.ch] board to be available for my next firewall. I've been using an alix2d13 Alix board with pfSense and have been very happy for it. My current firewall has enough CPU power to route my full 50 mbit comcast connection, but I'd really like more RAM so I can load the pfBlocker list.

Re:Cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880821)

And it is almost to guaranteed to drop over time.

Don't forget you're getting: The A/C radio standard , a huge amount of space to store/program in, and support. Yes, support. So if you brick the thing with your endless tweaking of it, they'll try to get it back to working condition.

That stuff is going to cost early adopters. Like it always does. So chill out, have a cool beverage of your choice, and wait awhile. Let the other people absorb the early costs. Wait some for others to figure out the traps.

But for heaven's sake, shove the whining about the price right up your ass.

Uh, speaking of ass, perhaps you could peer back up into yours and find out where Linksys got that MSRP from.

Sorry, but for a router that previously cost about 50 bucks, and the WRT54GL was never really above $100 even when it first came out, you're goddamn right I'm gonna whine about price. For hardware that the vendor is expecting people to screw with, I can't imagine I'm going to get my money's worth in support either. $300 is fucking retarded.

Re:Cost? (4, Funny)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 10 months ago | (#45880775)

At first I was like "This could be my next router upgrade!"

Then I was like... [imgur.com]

Re:Cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45881085)

What made me drop my jaw was the ass part from helldrop, and sure being a real ass about it. Not what I'm used to reading from him. He tends to have good views.

I got an issue with all these things they put into a router these days, like storage. I like the plain device that does one thing really well. Offer multiple dedicated devices but it's not going to happen as not enough people want it (or pay for it) and the market is driving the sales.

But it is the stupid masses that will buy whatever someone tells them. Easy and insecure is a standard well adopted. As has been the case with just about all these routers/firewall/switch/everything else.

Re:Cost? (4, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 10 months ago | (#45880517)

Yeah, keep your eyes open at the thrift store and you can get decent routers there for $10. Just remember to bring your internet enabled cell phone to check for model numbers so you know how to distinguish the ones with a 4 MB ROM from the ones with a 1 MB Rom. I've picked up a couple of routers this way. Amazing what these little boxes can do with some custom firmware.

Re:Cost? (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | about 10 months ago | (#45880527)

I concur, when a FLAGSHIP home router can be had for 199, I can't see spending 300. People could afford to have two of the old WRTs, one for experimenting, and one for "Production."

I get that more radios / Antennas, and a dual 1.2GHZ processor alone all add up. A dual 1.2 isn't going to be as cheap as a whatever was in that wrt... (IIRC it was like 400mhz?) It's just that you can get a router w/ up to 5 separate networks (Plus V-lans) for $200. Maybe that was a typo, and was supposed to be 199?

Re:Cost? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880781)

Find another router with 600Mbps AC for under $399.
And no, Asus' proprietary hack (3x3 MIMO with nonstandard channel width) doesn't count.

Re:Cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880571)

Do you pay MSRP?

Re:Cost? (4, Funny)

avandesande (143899) | about 10 months ago | (#45880581)

I am just dying to hook one of these up to my 1.5 mbs cable modem!

Re:Cost? (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | about 10 months ago | (#45880715)

Clearly you don't do a lot of networking between home computers like a NAS or something.

Re:Cost? (2)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 10 months ago | (#45881253)

Don't need a router for NAS or sharing and there are plenty of cheap GB switches out there. The router usually on the edge.

Re:Cost? (5, Informative)

Scragglykat (1185337) | about 10 months ago | (#45880705)

Yeah, the ASUS Black Knight AC router is half this price and also able to run open source firmware. Sure the CPU and other specs seem very nice, but that's a lot of dough for a consumer router where one half as expensive will work basically just as well.

+1 (1)

Wrexs0ul (515885) | about 10 months ago | (#45881135)

I've bought over 40 of these and yet to see one die that wasn't from trying to skip steps flashing it. Even then they're recoverable.

By far the best consumer router out there IMHO.

Re:Cost? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 10 months ago | (#45880967)

For not much more than three hundred bucks I can put together a MicroATX router with dual NICs and a WiFi card that will have a lot more RAM, a lot more CPU power and even a reasonable bit of storage.

I have three of them, sans the WiFi, that are fanless with 60gb SSDs, that are the gateway/VPN routers running full Debian installs for our three offices. Admittedly they are el-cheapo chipsets, all of them running VIA x86 CPUs and 512mb of RAM, but for the kind of load we have, they do just fine.

Re:Cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45881075)

Also its availability as you were likely to find it in your local PC retailer. Currently the best routers supported by OpenWRT aren't - if I go to my local PC World (I'm in the UK) the new iteration of Netgear WNDR3700 (v4) isn't supported, they don't sell the WNDR3800 any longer, and every other router they do sell isn't supported too. Buying online (and often importing) is the only option. It's not that the routers couldn't be hacked I'm sure, just that the support isn't there. Partly because they all have chips which don't have FOSS driver support, so it takes lots of time and effort to reverse engineer one. There are so many routers now that that effort is fragmented, while back then the WRT54G gave a single platform for everyone to aim at.

Re:Cost? (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 10 months ago | (#45881187)

Yeah, that's a ridiculous price when you can still pick up a WRT54G for under $50.

It might not do N or AC, but so what.

$300?!? (1)

nbvb (32836) | about 10 months ago | (#45880449)

That makes an AirPort Extreme seem like a bargain ... And it's no bargain.

(I do own one though!)

Re:$300?!? (1)

hondo77 (324058) | about 10 months ago | (#45880605)

For $300 I can get a 2TB AirPort Time Capsule. I owned one of these blue routers way back when. Why would I want to shell out that much for one now?

Re:$300?!? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 10 months ago | (#45880977)

In this case, you're paying for the radio transceiver technology along with an embedded computer. And if anything home-brew router related holds true, it's a quality transceiver that's the most important aspect when ensuring good WiFi coverage and stability.

Where's the L for Linux? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880453)

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Part of EPA’s radon action campaign is to remind people to “Test, Fix, Save a Life,” and to recognize every January as radon action month.

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Re:Where's the L for Linux? (-1, Offtopic)

epyT-R (613989) | about 10 months ago | (#45880509)

What the fuck?

Stuffed to the gills (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880469)

with spyware, ain't that the truth!

That is awesome (1)

redmid17 (1217076) | about 10 months ago | (#45880475)

Part of me really wants it. Then part of me questions why I would need a $300 router for a 1 BR apartment.

Then the other part of me says "Shut up and take my money."

I think Cisco is going to win out even though I just retired my old WRT54G 6 months ago and have no need for a new router. The one I got is fine but I can't put DD-WRT or Open-WRT on it, and it's a pretty low-spec model.

Re:That is awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880513)

You can use an old laptop to set up an ad hoc network and it doesn't cost you a dime.

Re:That is awesome (1)

redmid17 (1217076) | about 10 months ago | (#45880541)

The money isn't an issue. It's a question of whether or not I should even bother. The old laptop isn't going to exceed the capacities of my newish router and it's going to suck up power like it's going out of style because it's an old laptop. I'd be better off refurbishing a net top to do what you're thinking, and even then the money would be enough that I'd just buy the dedicated router like I was thinking about in the first place.

Re:That is awesome (1)

SeanBlader (1354199) | about 10 months ago | (#45880725)

Except you'd need to get an AC radio for it, and stock Android won't connect to ad-hoc routers, so you'll need to root all your devices, and any friends that come over and want to share in your wi-fi. At that level you'd be better off getting some cheap AC router and not bother with the firmware.

Re:That is awesome (2)

bigfinger76 (2923613) | about 10 months ago | (#45880807)

Why do you think Cisco will win out here? The first sentence of TFA clearly states that Belkin bought Linksys from Cisco a year ago.

Re:That is awesome (1)

redmid17 (1217076) | about 10 months ago | (#45880831)

Cisco got paid a bunch of money for something that may or may not sell well and basically gave up on developing. Solid win for them. Caveat: I meant to type Belkin. I was just inadvertently correct

Re:That is awesome (1)

bigfinger76 (2923613) | about 10 months ago | (#45880919)

Linksys routers still sell well. Cisco sold the whole bag, not just the WRT54G. Cisco has nothing to do with this.

Great but... $299! (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 10 months ago | (#45880485)

A lot of AC routers are half the price. $199 maybe but $299 is just too much. You can run OpenWRT on much less expensive hardware. Too bad because I really want one.

Re:Great but... $299! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880533)

Are you comparing MSRPs to MSRPs, or thinking of what you actually pay?

Looks Interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880495)

This looks interesting.

Though priced a bit high, it should be a nice router after it has been un-compromised by openWRT.

The "mapping" sounds like a move towards Ubiquiti's UniFi.

Cult following (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880497)

The WRT54GS is one of the best pieces of networking equipment I've ever purchased. The thing is a tank. I've never had to reboot the damn thing, never had connection drops, it just chugged along like a trooper. I've never even bothered with Tomato or DD-WRT. I'm glad to see it making SOME sort of comeback, but until it's proven its stability first and foremost, I'll stick to my trusty old beast here.

Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880505)

It's interesting, but I feel like the general design was appreciated in conjunction with the functionality of stackability. They were always far from enterprise grade equipment, but it at least had the look of scalability.

Yeah, but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880515)

...part of what made the WRT54GL great was that it was possible to install custom firmware (DD-WRT, OpenWRT, Tomato...) AND that it had a low price tag (~$50 US).

This is still a step in the right direction, though!

Re:Yeah, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880721)

yup.. affordability and openness were what made wrt54gl so popular and gave it unsurpassed longevity in a market filled with 'disposable' products.

specifications are drool-worthy, for sure, but the $300 pricetag is at least twice as much as it should be to have even a glimmer of hope of generating a similar following as its predecessor.

all it NEEDED to have is updated wireless technologies and a lil more flash/ram.... for under $100.. and it would sell like crazy... at $300 even with the kitchen sink in the feature list will be a huge sales disappointment unless you throw in a video port, hd media chip, and can use it as an actual computer, too.

Re:Yeah, but... (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 10 months ago | (#45881059)

yup.. affordability and openness were what made wrt54gl so popular and gave it unsurpassed longevity in a market filled with 'disposable' products.

Disposability is exactly what concerns me about Linksys being acquired by Belkin. Over the years, I've used two products by Belkin: a USB to serial adapter (1999), which apparently had a dead short and caused my whole computer to shut off instantly as soon as I plugged it in for the first time, and a Wi-Fi router (2007-ish), which crashed under any actual traffic load.

Maybe they've improved their product quality since then—I have no idea, as I won't touch anything with the Belkin name on it at this point. Either way, only time will tell whether this is built with the same quality control and high quality component selection that went into the previous models, or whether it got Belkin'ed....

BTW, just out of curiosity, as somebody who has never had the need to install OpenWRT, DD-WRT, or Tomato on a router, what features do folks use that necessitate doing so?

missing it (4, Insightful)

Mr Krinkle (112489) | about 10 months ago | (#45880523)

I think they are missing the main reason that router sold so well..

At least the reason I bought them, and recommended them for others....
IT WAS CHEAP AND good.
It was a moderate priced option, that I KNEW would work for people. The fact that it had all the hackable benefits was gravy for me to have my own versions.
I didn't trust a lot of the other low end units to not constantly have problems. I could also talk someone into spending 50-75$ instead of 40$.
There is no way I could get someone to spend 300$ instead of 20-50$ now days..

Re:missing it (1)

Skater (41976) | about 10 months ago | (#45880773)

Yeah, it was what I recommended as well. I have a version 1.1 floating around; I stopped using it just last year, after buying an n-capable router with gigabit ethernet (I often move large files around my network, so the n network speeds were a useful upgrade). Unfortunately, that router sometimes won't let devices connect and has to be rebooted, a problem I never had with my WRT54G... sigh.

Re:missing it (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 10 months ago | (#45880931)

There is no way I could get someone to spend 300$ instead of 20-50$ now days..

$300 is crazy, but I remember spending ~ $115 for a 54GL. That's also about what I spent on my first few WNDR3700's. Actually if you price that 54GL in food or energy, it's pretty close to $300 now. Obviously, Moore's Law, so that's not reasonable now, but the value is relevant.

While I love the guts of the WNDR3700's, having to solder and dremel in an antenna lead sucks, so for antenna-sensitive placements, Belkin might actually sell a few of these.

$300? (5, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | about 10 months ago | (#45880537)

Yikes. Could build a really small fan-less PC and run pfsense on it AND have storage..

Re:$300? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880603)

LOL that's exactly what I have already done...

Re:$300? (1)

snarfies (115214) | about 10 months ago | (#45880677)

YOU could, maybe. Most people can't.

I have my own VPS, and I'm not even sure I can.

Re:$300? (1)

avandesande (143899) | about 10 months ago | (#45880683)

Not that I agree with the price but the unit has eSata and USB ports- I assume you could add storage.

$300 What?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880559)

One of the key selling points of the classic 54G, besides its open source nature, was its excellent price.

$299 is outrageous. Try $99.

Still running my WRT54GL with Tomato (3, Informative)

dugancent (2616577) | about 10 months ago | (#45880565)

Bought it in 2004 or 2005 and am still using at my main, and only router. Thought about upgrading but I still haven't found a reason to.

Re:Still running my WRT54GL with Tomato (1)

redmid17 (1217076) | about 10 months ago | (#45880651)

Only reason I retired mine a few months ago is because it was intermittently interfering with my Tivo and broadband connectivity. It didn't seem to play too well with the MoCA adapter needed to get the secondary TIVO box connectivity. Tried swapping out multiple cable modems, tivo units, and cycled through the three DD-WRT routers I had. Only constant was the WRT54G. Switched over to a crappy netgear I bought for cheap and everything started working with no hiccups. At some point you'll really want the upgraded speed. If I hadn't gotten and loved Tivo, I doubt I would have switched over either. I think the uptime on the old router was, excluding being powered off for an apartment move, around 20 months or so.

Re:Still running my WRT54GL with Tomato (2)

invisibletank (2920371) | about 10 months ago | (#45881097)

Mine melted in the backseat of the car in the sun on a hot Las Vegas day almost 10 years ago. Taped the melted case back together, still works like a champ as my only router. Now that's quality.

Belkin, eh? (5, Informative)

J'raxis (248192) | about 10 months ago | (#45880567)

Never trust a product made by this company. "Belkin Routers Route Users to Censorware Ad" [slashdot.org] , reported by Slashdot:

The Register has a story today about Belkin routers redirecting their users' network traffic. To me, this seems like the logical next step after top-level domain name servers piping ads to your browser. Now the routers themselves hijack the traffic they are supposed to, uh, route -- and you'll love where they send you instead. But it's OK because you can opt out. Incidentally, the Crystal Ball Award goes to Seth Finkelstein, who in 2001 quoted John Gilmore's famous aphorism about the internet, and asked "What if censorship is in the router?"

This company has been on my shitlist for ten years and always will be.

Re:Belkin, eh? (2)

outlaw (59202) | about 10 months ago | (#45880663)

This is just one amongst the plethora of reasons I install openWRT on linksys and (some) belkin devices.

Re:Belkin, eh? (3, Insightful)

J'raxis (248192) | about 10 months ago | (#45881231)

I always blast the software the router came with. Even router software from a company with an otherwise untarnished reputation I don't trust; if it's closed source, you may as well assume it has a backdoor in it.

But I will never give this company another dime for what they did back in 2003, and I will take every opportunity to inform people about that incident, so they may make the same decisions.

Re:Belkin, eh? (0)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | about 10 months ago | (#45880737)

Holy crap....

Re:Belkin, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880751)

Belkin has been on my blacklist as well. However.....

After finding a random Belkin router at Goodwill for $.25 (yes, a QUARTER), I was obligated to buy it, just to see if I could put DD-WRT/OPEN-WRT/Tomato or $_custom on it... Still working on it occasionally, as support for this model is minimal, but I'm also doing this cause why the hell not!

Re:Belkin, eh? (1)

CrashNBrn (1143981) | about 10 months ago | (#45881001)

Then there's those of us that have had a Belkin router for years with no issue. After Cisco acquired Linksys what was there available for the home market - that didn't suck... D-Link?
Maybe, but you couldn't with confidence buy a D-Link router and know that it would be relatively trouble-free.

Netgear for instance, might be a decent model or might be complete trash. I've had fairly good runs with a few different TP-Link models and Belkin - compared to all of the non-WR54G Linksys models and D-Links that have just crapped out entirely shortly after the warranty expired. Or when we had 2 routers D-link/Linksys that had to alternately be used as they would both overheat and stop routing.

Re:Belkin, eh? (2)

J'raxis (248192) | about 10 months ago | (#45881257)

My main point was "vote with your dollars" against sleazeball behavior from companies like this. Some of their products may work fine, without incident, but that doesn't mean I want them to have a single dollar from me.

WRT54 sucked ass (1)

Noxal (816780) | about 10 months ago | (#45880587)

Most unstable piece of cheap shit I ever tried, and I went through several variants of the damn thing.

Re: WRT54 sucked ass (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880643)

Most unstable piece of cheap shit I ever tried, and I went through several variants of the damn thing.

Really?! I've been using my 54GL since at least '06 with DD-WRT no problems.

Re: WRT54 sucked ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880959)

I'm using the stock firmware (updated) and I have to reset it every couple of months. One time it randomly forgot all its settings.

Been using it for as long as you, if not longer, so maybe the hardware is failing? No idea.

Re: WRT54 sucked ass (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880645)

But the G is excellent. I know of hundreds deployed with very few, if any, failures.

Re: WRT54 sucked ass (1)

plover (150551) | about 10 months ago | (#45880899)

I had a WRT54G for many years, but finally had to replace it after the last of the internal Ethernet ports died. A router with only one network interface is not particularly useful to me.

I replaced it with one of the nice Linksys/Cisco E4200 home routers (before they released their insanely stupid "management in the cloud" V2 firmware, which I refuse to install.) However, I've never completely trusted that it was backdoor free. Now, with the NSA revelations, as well as some recently discovered Cisco backdoors, I'm thinking this one may just have to go on eBay, and I'll swap to something that can actually run OpenWRT or Tomato. While I'm not particularly worried about the NSA spying on me, any holes they can exploit can also be discovered and exploited by the bad guys.

The drawback is that I don't particularly trust Belkin hardware, either. Jeez, they've made a lot of fall-apart-in-a-month crappy junk over the years.

Re: WRT54 sucked ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880887)

I cannot say the same. Two wireless routers of other kind failed me, the wrt54g is still going like the first day (of putting openwrt on it)

How is the IPv6 support now? (4, Interesting)

unixisc (2429386) | about 10 months ago | (#45880597)

Is it improved, or is it non-existent?

is $299 a typo? (0)

alta (1263) | about 10 months ago | (#45880633)

I think they MUST have meant $29.99. There's no way that the router is going to be worth $300. I remember buying my WRT around $70.

with or wo/advert hijacking in firmware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880635)

Nope! I don't forget.
Still NEVER buying belkin. DMD.

WRT54G was the first... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880703)

But by no means did it stay as the exclusive offering.

WRT54G was unique and as such got openwrt, ddwrt, etc named after the product. However, now you can get a router from a number of companies (e.g. Asus, D-Link, etc) that have the same 'hackable' quality.

WRT1900AC may mark a return from shipping VxWorks OS by default, but it's not coming into an environment as the only 'hackable' solution. At $300 dollars, it's going to be hard to justify the thing.

Stackable design (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880727)

That new design does not look like the old one imho. It is not stackable! Also, the sides are filled with antenna's and they have some weird shape. However, having bought around 10 old ones, the design was obviously not the reason for that, but being able to store them on top of each other was a nice additional feature.

But WAIT, there's more ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880785)

It also comes with an NSA backdoor at NO EXTRA CHARGE !!!!

Act now and you will also get a Ronco in-the-egg scrambler, which can allow
egg encryption at the molecular level and makes for an egg sandwich Homeland
Security would eat all day long !

Belkin, ugh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880825)

Belkin. They were the guys whose routers a few years back were found to be injecting advertizing into the customer's HTTP traffic every few hours. (cite [marco.org] )

Ick.

a bit of deja vu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880857)

So, I would say that this story is a lot like with some of the car classics.

Some examples:

The old VW Beetle (affordable and reliable) got resurrected into the current Beetle; I'm not gonna comment about the new Beetle since I don't know much about it, but you see where I'm getting at.
The Mini (a small and affordable car) resurrected by BMW into something that starts at 16.000 EU and again.
The Fiat 500 (I believe this would have been the cheapest cars of it's time), which resurrected will set you back about 14-15.000 EU. Not to mention that Fiat 500 was such a small car that this new one is about 2-3 times the size (just by visual comparison of course).
I don't know how many readers will know about the old Trabant (which was popular in some parts of Europe), they were thinking a doing a (quite like not very cheap) remake, but didn't get enough funding/interest for it.

I guess there's always a market for nostalgia. Hell, even I would have bought a WRT1900AC until I saw the price tag.
I'm still pretty happy with my WRT54G though.

The good news is... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880963)

Is that Cisco isn' in charge of Linksys SOHO routers anymore. The bad news is that Belkin is...

Noway.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45880985)

There is noway in hell I would ever consider paying that price. I could care less about the wireless speed, don't need it. I would be happy with a regular b\g version.

High price (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45881073)

The price probably includes quality that will allow the router to last for 10+ years.

Recently brought an old out of retirment (2)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 10 months ago | (#45881083)

I recently brought an early revision WRT54G out of retirement after a newer router failed. Although I did recently re-decommission it, it still worked fantastically well for the modes it supports. For anyone who missed the party:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linksys_WRT54G_series

re wrt54g (2)

freddieb (537771) | about 10 months ago | (#45881189)

Nice specifications. Hard to justify when you can buy a really nice router from Mikrotic for under $100 though. Hopefully the price will drop eventually and it will be competitive.
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