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Creating A Super-Router (For Free)

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the if-you-own-the-hardware-that-is dept.

Wireless Networking 329

Aaron writes "Kind of an interesting discussion and story over at Broadband Reports about the flurry of vendors releasing modified Linux based firmware updates for the Linksys WRT54G router. The updates bring a whole new level of functionality Linksys couldn't be bothered to incorporate. Among a long list of free improvements is the incorporation of bandwidth management, allowing users to end the days of choppy VoIP conversations without swapping out hardware."

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YAFP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180091)

Yet Another First Post

-DT

Re:YAFP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180461)

HEY SCO! Fix your site! Your keyword search still points to www.sco.com!
http://www.sco.com/cgi-bin/search.cgi?ps=20&o=0&m= all&wm=wrd&t=&q=darl+mcbride+is+a+bast ard

Yeah (-1, Offtopic)

MikeyG79 (225212) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180095)

1st port after 7 years of slashdotting

YOU FAIL IT! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180101)

YOU FAIL IT! FUCKER!

MikeyG79 (225212) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180153)

fffffff----f-----fffff---fffff--fffffff-fffffff
f---------f-f---f-----f-f-----f-f-----f----f
f--------f---f--f-------f-------f-----f----f
fffff---f-----f-f--ffff-f--ffff-f-----f----f
f-------fffffff-f-----f-f-----f-f-----f----f
f-------f-----f-f-----f-f-----f-f-----f----f
f-------f-----f--fffff---fffff--fffffff----f

do (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180096)

rag

But only BSD has super-babes! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180097)



You just can't take Linux [redhat.com] seriously when its fronted by losers [nylug.org] like these. Would you buy software from them? I don't think so! You Linux [suse.com] groupies need to find some sexy girls like her [hope-2000.org] ! I mean just look at this girl [wigen.net] ! Doesn't she [pipboy2002.mine.nu] excite you? I know this little hottie [pipboy2002.mine.nu] puts me in need of a cold shower! This guy looks like he is about to cream his pants standing next to such a fox [spilth.org] . As you can see, no man can resist this sexy [spilth.org] little minx [spilth.org] . I mean are you telling me you wouldn't like to get your hands on this ass [dis.org] ?!

With sexy chicks [minions.com] like the lovely Ceren [dis.org] you could have people queuing up to buy open source products. Could you really refuse to buy a copy of BSD [netbsd.org] if she [dis.org] told you to? Come on, you must admit she [imagewhore.com] is better than an overweight penguin [tamu.edu] or a gay looking goat [gnu.org] ! Don't you wish you could get one of these [drexel.edu] ? Personally I know I would give my right arm to get this close [dis.org] to such a divine beauty [czarina.org] !

Join the campaign for more cute [pipboy2002.mine.nu] open source babes [pipboy2002.mine.nu] today!

Re:But only BSD has super-babes! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180128)

She's really not that fresh. Like, AT ALL.
I'd take tux over her EVERY day.

Re:But only BSD has super-babes! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180183)

She's super hot!

I'd go to great lengths for a date with her.

Re:But only BSD has super-babes! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180219)

Slather yourself in butter or margarine - she looks like she's down wit fatty food.

Re:But only BSD has super-babes! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180275)

Come on, she's not fat... that's just ridiculous.

Re:But only BSD has super-babes! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180495)

I wouldn't say "super hot"...but I'd hit it.

Re:But only BSD has super-babes! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180231)

You'd rather fuck a penguin than a woman?


That says more about you than her.

Re:But only BSD has super-babes! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180310)

Well, she's no female zebra in heat, but she'll do.

Re:But only BSD has super-babes! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180142)

Dude! You MUST include this one [dis.org] !

Re:But only BSD has super-babes! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180297)

Whoa! Thanks for the heads up man! One of these days I must go through them all and find the absolute best pics of the goddess [dis.org] .

Re:But only BSD has super-babes! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180391)

seems she goes under the handle SrphicDvl somewhere. tons of pics available if you type that into google.

MOD +5 Boner (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180340)

tee hee

Re:But only BSD has super-babes! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180235)

Ceren Ercen. What is it all about... is it good, or is it whack?

Re:But only BSD has super-babes! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180259)

She looks kind of fat in that one [czarina.org] .

But still... where are her nudes?

Only on slashdot.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180333)

is posting links to hot girls considered trolling, offtopic perhapse but not trolling, unless there really is anger and annoyance at seeing hot girls on slashdot.

Re:Only on slashdot.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180363)

shut up and enjoy

For the do it yourselfer (5, Informative)

yebb (142883) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180111)

Want to hack your Linksys WRT54G Router yourself?

Here's a detailed guide [seattlewireless.net] on how to do just that.

Re:For the do it yourselfer (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180139)

someone tell me how this got a +5 in a matter of seconds. coooooooooooooocck

I like to suck *cock* (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180526)

Listen you, there is nothing *wrong* with sucking cock. *Cock* is good. A large part of my diet comes from *cock*, and quite frankly, sucking *cock* is easyer than eating pussy, and the feedback is 100% better. So I say to all you cute guys, shave your pubes and get some *cock* action.

Re:For the do it yourselfer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180377)

This won't bode well for people who want to stake some claims in the US Patent Office. Using Linux would impede their land grab and make them unhappy.

NOW they tell me (5, Funny)

unbiasedbystander (660703) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180127)

It's wonderful to learn that I could have powered it up before I sold the piece of junk. *sigh* www.ebay.com

Wondershaper... (5, Informative)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180140)

For those of you that don't know, and are interested, Wondershaper can be found HERE [lartc.org] .

It is AMAZING.

Sample config:

DOWNLINK=6000
UPLINK=200
DEV=eth0

# low priority source ports
NOPRIOPORTSRC="6881 6882 6883 6884 6885 6886 6887 6888 6889 80"

Sets those ports to only use up 200k of my 256k upstream leaving me the rest for SSH etc. I never have any problems w/my remote connection speeds this way. It's fantastic.

I have only had a single problem, recently, with Debian unstable... It removed my libatm for some reason. I reinstalled that and all was well.

Highly recommended for everyone, not just users of this "hackable" router.

Re:Wondershaper... (3, Funny)

wizarddc (105860) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180254)

Are you implying that your file sharing habits are infrgining on your ability to SSH? I mean, I like porn and mp3's as much as the next geek, but like Chris Rock said, put the dick down.

Re:Wondershaper... (0)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180288)

not necessarily, but they *could* be. Setting the bandwith there is easier than having to set --max_upload_rate X with btdownloadfcurses if I happen to be downloading any ISOs of Debian ;)

Re:Wondershaper... (2, Informative)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180267)

BTW:

This runs as a simple shell script on the "router". If you want less bandwith for those ports just change the UPLINK and rerun the shell script. Changes are reflected immediately.

Honestly, when the libatm wasn't working with Debian unstable, I looked at other options but wondershaper was still the fastest and easiest!

Cisco will try to stop this somehow (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180143)

Cisco only bought Linksys to prevent their routers from getting more advanced and competing with their expensive stuff.

Re:Cisco will try to stop this somehow (5, Interesting)

dasmegabyte (267018) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180352)

There is a LOT of truth to this.

Last month, my company was looking for a replacement for the overly expensive, hard to manage firewall. Our favorite consultants (who seem think we are idiots and yet don't understand the words "packet filtering") tried to sell us on a Cisco firewall device that was something like $2000. I thought this was insane, seeing as all we needed was a nice interface to ipchains (nobody but me knows Linux here, so that wasn't an option). I look at LinkSys, but they didn't have anything which would do anything more advanced than direct NAT. This seemed strange to me, as at home I had a Linksys firewall router that allowed me to do pretty much whatever I liked when it came to mapping ports and setting up load balancing.

Dlink -- who used to be a direct competitor to Linksys in every segment of the market -- had an awesome device which rivalled the features of the Cisco router for only $300. I had a problem with the first one they sent out, got good support and they sent me a replacement. I had that one up and running in an afternoon without a problem (well, with one problem, but that was due to the Cisco cable router, not the Dlink). And we saved so much money, we could afford a nice spam filter and a new development server. And the new device has a nice, fairly unbuggy web interface that is way easier to use than plain ipchains/iptables with MOST of the functionality (it does bomb out after a certain number of NAT mappings, but since this thing is only 300 MHz I suppose that's for the best).

The best firmware upgrade would be ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180145)

... some sort of filter to elimate sites like Goatse.cx or Tubgirl.com from being accessed from your internal network and updating the list of these sites in real-time.

Alternatively, the firmware update would also allow anyone who attempts to anonymously connect to your AP get re-routed to Goatse.cx automatically once they open their browser.

Re:The best firmware upgrade would be ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180185)

If you run your own DNS server and point the DHCP assigned DHCP server to it, you can set a wildcard record to tubgirl.

If you are real hardcore, you have two WAPs (one unauthenticated and one not) - the unauthenticated one only allows http connections to tubgirl.

Then warchalk your neighborhood to lead people to your vomitpot (honeypot doesn't sound right).

Hilarity ensues!

Re:The best firmware upgrade would be ... (1)

efutch (155454) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180217)

The Netgear firmware incorporates a feature to do such a thing, based on keywords in the URL.

Re:The best firmware upgrade would be ... (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180263)

route to nero online instead... it shows all of the pics and moves them around assuming jscript is enabled

Linksys isn't bad (2, Informative)

SpaceCadetTrav (641261) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180147)

Linksys isn't bad at updating their firmware. I was able to update my cheap wireless router so that it supports WPA for free.

Linksys is BAD hardware wise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180283)

I have a Linksys cable modem that keeps losing connection, requiring a reset. The thing LACKS a button on it, requiring me several times daily to yank the power cable out of the back and plug it back in in order to reset the thing.

Talk about a major design blunder.

A feature I'd like to see added to my router... (3, Offtopic)

ThogScully (589935) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180148)

While my router will update normal DynDNS addresses, it can't update Custom DNS, so my own domain name I have to update from a machine instide my network. I'd rather the router take care of that.

Regardless, my router's a Netgear, so I'm guessing this isn't really applicable here. Although it would be nice to see similar projects for other routers, if possible.
-N

Re:A feature I'd like to see added to my router... (2, Interesting)

relrelrel (737051) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180265)

couldn't you use one of these free programs [dyndns.org] to update to Custom DNS instead of wanting the router to do so?

Re:A feature I'd like to see added to my router... (1)

no longer myself (741142) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180341)

Yeah... I have a Gigafast router, and if my IP address changes it's supposed to handle all that stuff automatically, but the damn thing goes on the blink until I reset it. Fortunately my IP address hasn't changed in about 5 months or better.

I'd switch over to running my own DNS, but I fear that the moment I do, my ISP will start changing my address every 3rd day.

I got a Custom DNS back when DynDNS was still offering their $30 lifetime deal... If it hadn't been for the built-in plug given by the router's "DynDNS feature" I probably would never have bothered with them in the first place. Especially since back in May they announced it was changing to an annual fee.

Let's see now... I've got annual fees for my domains... Monthly fee for my broadband ISP... OK- I'm outa cash. Better check out PowerDNS Express.

You know, actually the one question I'd like to know is why my internet connections go slower under Linux through the router. I take the router out, and it's practically precognitive! It never seemed to affect the MS Windows machines one bit, but then they were just slow no matter what...

Re:A feature I'd like to see added to my router... (5, Insightful)

Milican (58140) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180375)

You can also do a CNAME from your Custom DNS to your DynDNS domain. For example:

www.customdns.com -> thog.dyndns.org

The CNAME will always track your dyndns name that way :)

JOhn

How is this different? (3, Interesting)

JediTrainer (314273) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180151)

I currently own a BEFSR81 [linksys.com] , which is their 8-port wired version (no wireless) that I purchased a couple of years ago.

It's got built-in QoS, which can prioritize traffic. You can choose low or high priority based on either your IP port number, or one of the LAN ports (at least, the first four).

I've tried it out, and it worked pretty well when I needed to slow down BitTorrent so that my dad could use his web browser and email (otherwise, BitTorrent was eating *all* of my bandwidth).

It wasn't great for having fine control, but it worked well enough to solve the problem for me.

Re:How is this different? (1)

teh*fink (618609) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180518)

you know you can throttle bittorrent's upload and download if you use it from the command line (btdownloadheadless.py specifically, available in the python source [bitconjurer.org] ) and alternatively there is a mac client [sarwat.net] that has lots of nice features.

Not true (4, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180154)

One of the problems with VoIP has been choppy communications when users are making heavy use of their broadband connection.

Tha t's abs olutel y n ot true.

-- Reg ards
Sanf ord Wall ace [wired.com]

Re:Not true (4, Funny)

Luyseyal (3154) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180236)

Heh, sounds like Marketplace [marketplace.org] on NPR yesterday... a VoIP advocate was dialed into the studio via VoIP and his connection kept dropping out. It was pretty funny.

-l

Re:Not true (5, Interesting)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180429)

I wouldn't say he was an advocate. He merely said he understood why wired companies were freaking out.

However, I definately noticed a drop in the sound quality when he switched back to VOIP. I also noticed he hadn't canceled his landline subscription yet. ;)

Re:Not true (1)

Luyseyal (3154) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180512)

I just thought it was funny when he said something like "Looks like I lost you again" at the end of the segment.

-l

For free? (5, Funny)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180155)

Is that free as in beer, free as in software, free as in "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose, Nothing, and that's all that Bobbie left me" or free as in "If you free me from these handcuffs now, I promise not to press charges". I always get them confused.

You got it wrong (0)

missing000 (602285) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180303)

It's not Bobbie, it's "Free, as in free boobie"

See the superbowl halftime show for details.

Re:You got it wrong (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180433)


That was a bloody expensive boobie from MTV's point of view.

more hardware restrictions? (1)

kenny blakenship (738677) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180161)

I'm all for open source - especially something like this. But how many hardware/firmware manufacturers are going to go through greater lengths to either obfuscate thier platform or exclude features alltogether that could one day be "exploited" for free?

IOW will Radeon switch their fab process? It currently saves them money - but not if enough people know about the exploits that allows them to get high-end performace from mid-range hardware platform/price - thus actually costing Radoen.

Or is it the software pirating rub - would the person actually buy the warez instead of just dl'ing it?

Re:more hardware restrictions? (1)

leerpm (570963) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180486)

Why, would Linksys care if people are creating hacks to add features to their router? That just means more people are going to go out and buy THEIR router!

If Linksys could even go to the length of supporting a development community around their product, and they would have a bunch of extra features for free, since its all GPL. Plus they would entice those developers to buy Linksys, instead of Microsoft or Netgear.

Re:more hardware restrictions? (4, Interesting)

Tassach (137772) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180523)

Why would Linksys be upset about a thing like this? It does no damage whatsoever to their business model; in fact, it helps it. Linksys sells inexpensive networking gear for primarily the small business and home markets. They don't make any money selling updates or service contracts (At least, I can't find anything on their website that shows that they even sell service contracts). They make their money selling hardware, period. Any support they have to provide after the sale, including firmware updates, costs them money.

The fact that their hardware can be upgraded with an unauthorized firmware image actually helps their business. First off, the fact that their hardware is customizable helps sell more hardware to geeks (who in turn recommend their hardware to friends, family, and clients). Secondly, using an unauthorized firmware voids the warranty, which saves them money -- if you flash it and break it, you're screwed. If you flash it and a component fails for a totally unreleated reason, they don't have to give you a free replacement; you'll have to buy a new one, so they still come out ahead.

This is a very different situation than things like the Dakota Digital camera hack or the i-opener hack. In those cases, the companies involved were/are selling the hardware at a loss as an incentive to get you to use a paid service. In these cases, hacking the hardware eliminates the need to use the service, thereby disrupting their business plan and letting you use the subsidised hardware for an unintended purpose. Linksys sells their hardware for a profit. Hacking it does nothing to disrupt their business plan, because they already made all the money they planned to make when the wholesaler bought a truckload of their hardware.

hack for WAP54G - higher power output (4, Informative)

davids-world.com (551216) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180163)

i'd like to recommend the Neo firmware hack [seattlewireless.net] , which boosts the Linksys WAP54G output. That solved some problems for me :)

Is that linux based system available for the WAP as well? (Dunno if it's got enough RAM & flash memory to run&store it...)

Re:hack for WAP54G - higher power output (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180533)

Does that hack remove the spoon from the system?

Linksys + Broadband + Vonage = cheap phone (2, Insightful)

Mysticalfruit (533341) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180166)

Combine this with a good Broadband/DSL provider and Vonage and you've just freed yourself from the tyranny that is Verizon...

IPv6 support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180167)

Have they managed to get it to support IPv6 yet? It would be nice, to say the least.

Not entirely accurate... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180176)

In order for this to be true, where is my free Linksys router?

Re:Not entirely accurate... (2, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180322)

In your neighbor's house. Just remember to wear gloves and a ski mask.

KFG

Very important story (5, Interesting)

Quixote (154172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180177)

There's a very important lesson hidden in here, which I hope the other hardware vendors will see and take note.

Linksys is a hardware company. They make money by selling hardware. By opening up the software (and making their hardware "hackable"), they will increase their hardware sales.

My hope is that other hardware companies (you name 'em: ATI, nVidia, Intel, Broadcom, Logitech, etc. etc.) will see this, and make their drivers (and associated software) open-source, thereby making their products "hackable" ==> increased sales.

I hope the "media" will take note of this, and put it out in plain words so that the PHBs who make the decisions will learn the lesson.

Re:Very important story (2, Interesting)

Kishar (83244) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180246)

Linksys is a hardware company.

Linksys is now owned by Cisco Systems, who considers themselves to be a software company.

Re:Very important story (2, Insightful)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180301)

Cisco is very much a hardware company. Their hardware requires some software to operate, and they found software licensing terms quite useful when all the failed dotcom hardare was hitting the market cheap, but they are still in the hardware business. It's interesting that this would be so easy to add, and isn't probably because there is a Cisco VoIP router for enterprises that costs 10 times as much and does the same thing.

Re:Very important story (3, Insightful)

junkymailbox (731309) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180290)

They also take an increase risk in people screwing their hardware up and damaging their reputation .. or arguably worse .. try to get a warranty / refund.

Re:Very important story (1)

spitzak (4019) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180347)

Oh yea, Dell's been hurt real bad because that MyDoom virus runs on their machines. People are suing them all over the place.

NOT!

re: very important story (1)

ed.han (444783) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180454)

i believe junkymailbox's point is that it's essentially the same problem manufacturers have w/ gray market chip modding on consoles: changes to the way a piece of hardware performs once it leaves the factory are very likely to void the warranty at least.

what i would hope is the result of this is a EULA disclaiming responsibility/liability for anybody performiing such customization (if one isn't already there).

watching which way they go will be very, very interesting.

ed

Not quite (4, Insightful)

binaryDigit (557647) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180309)

Linksys is a hardware company. They make money by selling hardware. By opening up the software (and making their hardware "hackable"), they will increase their hardware sales.

That's a very simplistic view of the world and one that only works if the hardware manufacturer only sells a single product or has large jumps in capabilities between products within a family. Suppose Linksys intended to supply many of these features in a more expensive (i.e. more profitable) version of the router. They're now hosed as it is now possible for users to upgrade their firmware for free. So sure, they sell more of the cheaper routers, but this is not what they want. This problem will occur anywhere hardware manufacturers try to take advantage of hardware commonality and differentiating similar products through software based features.

Another potential issue is fighting "cloners". If Taiwanese company CloneCo now has easy access to the software feature set, they "merely" have to develop a clone architecture to run the now readily available software.

Re:Not quite (2, Interesting)

leerpm (570963) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180525)

That's a very simplistic view of the world and one that only works if the hardware manufacturer only sells a single product or has large jumps in capabilities between products within a family. Suppose Linksys intended to supply many of these features in a more expensive (i.e. more profitable) version of the router. They're now hosed as it is now possible for users to upgrade their firmware for free. So sure, they sell more of the cheaper routers, but this is not what they want. This problem will occur anywhere hardware manufacturers try to take advantage of hardware commonality and differentiating similar products through software based features.

But they have not. All the evidence so far has pointed to the contrary. The only features that Linksys continues to add are hardware features like 802.11g instead of 802.11b, or adding extra ports. So by opening up their software, they reduce the need to do their own R&D in that area, can concentrate more on hardware based R&D and sell even more routers with newer hardware.

If people want more advanced software capabilities, then Cisco does not want people to buy more cheap low-end Linksys products, they want them to upgrade to expensive Cisco-branded products.

Re:Very important story (1)

Dalcius (587481) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180338)

While I agree in point with what you're saying, the company only makes profit compared to their competitors if the software on the product has become a commodity, e.g. anyone can get it, investing lots of time and money into the software won't give you a large advantage over your competitor.

If there are highly features in this router software that nobody else has and Linksys releases it, they've just saved their competitors time. This analysis works even better when thinking about NVidia / ATI.

Cheers

Re:Very important story (5, Insightful)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180357)

From the posted story:

The updates bring a whole new level of functionality Linksys couldn't be bothered to incorporate.

From the parent post:

There's a very important lesson hidden in here, which I hope the other hardware vendors will see and take note.

Why would they, when the story gets picked up by the open source community (represented here by Slashdot) and is immediately regurgitated using phrasing which insults a company that is actually doing something we like? Perhaps other people see it differently, but if I were a Linksys person reading this, I'd be pretty bugged by the "couldn't be bothered" cheap shot. Especially for a product that is apparently under a hundred bucks [amazon.com] .

Not so much, actually (2, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180379)

Linksys is Cisco, perhaps you hadn't heard (wasn't hugely publicised) but Cisco bought them up. Now Cisco is a hardware AND sofware company. Some of their hardware, like their Pix 535s, are little more than a PC with a special flash card to boot off of. The price is not for the hardware, it's for the software and support.

Soooo, Cisco actually has an intrest in seeing that the stuff they sell as Linksys does not start to compete with their bigger stuff they sell as tehmselves. Often the difference is mainly software, sometimes completely.

Like take a cable modem I bought from them (a Cisco one, this was before the buyout). As shipped to me it was a basic cable modem. It would hook up to a DOCSIS provider and do waht cable modems do. However the thing ran IOS, and, had I paid for it, they had a version of the code with a firewall, VPN, IPSEC, and a ton of other things.

So just because they sell rocking hardware, doesn't mean they don't also have an intrest in certian software restrictions.

Re:Very important story (1)

theghost (156240) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180381)

I'm not sure i really want ATI and nVidia to open up. There's already so many cheats out there for various games; if the video drivers themselves were more open, wouldn't this make it worse?

What's the benefit? What would you like to be able to do that the current setup doesn't allow?

Re:Very important story (1)

orn (34773) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180507)


I'd like to add Canon to this list. I'd really really like to be able to increase the functionality of my 300D Rebel.

Most of the cameras all use the same internal processing system that they've been touting so highly. It seems like in one fell swoop you could cover lots of the different hardware models.

Linksys (5, Interesting)

FrostedWheat (172733) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180184)

I wonder how many of these routers Linksys have sold simply because it runs Linux and is hackable (in the good sense). They were originally very resistant to the idea of letting people do this. Infact it all started because of a bug in there old firmware!

Now, if only Linksys could release proper Linux drivers for there other wireless goods. At the moment they are all useless to Linux users.

Comcast Users: (5, Insightful)

Pirogoeth (662083) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180189)

Once Comcast lets you in on what your unlimited bandwidth limits really are, you could use this to meter your access to help keep you under the unlimited limit...

Couldn't be bothered to incorporate? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180197)

The updates bring a whole new level of functionality Linksys couldn't be bothered to incorporate.

Thanks for the link to the modifications you couldn't be bothered to make for me, Aaron. I guess I'll have to go buy a Linksys, since you couldn't be bothered with buying one for me.

Nice little anti-corporate jab there. Linksys builds good solid stuff for a reasonable price, and all you can do is complain that it doesn't do everything.

Different routers? (3, Interesting)

t0ny (590331) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180200)

Is there any way to improve Netgear routers? Their firmware pretty much sucks, and you can only manage it via thier browser-based tool (no telnet or tftp).

Or is there just something inherently more hackable about that Linksys router?

Re:Different routers? (0)

Alephcat (745478) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180251)

I would quite like to know the answer to this as well, I have an old netgear which I am playing arround with atm but some better firmware would really help.

Re:Different routers? (2)

kbahey (102895) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180278)

Not true.

I have a Netgear RT314, and it can be managed via telnet, no problems.

Re:Different routers? (1)

destiny_uk (732199) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180317)

I think the linksys is more hackable because it runs linux, and the netgear which I have at least, doesn't.

Not correct (1)

binaryDigit (557647) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180366)

and you can only manage it via thier browser-based tool (no telnet or tftp).

Totally untrue. I have or had 4 routers (RT311/314 and the MR314 and one other whose model# escapes me now) and they were all accessable via Telnet AND serial (nice since you don't have to reset the unit just in case you totally muck up the ip address). Now if by telnet you mean you can't just be plopped into a shell, then you're sorta right (though you do have access to the command line from the admin menu).

Source for netgear is here: (3, Informative)

threeturn (622824) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180368)

Netgear's support web site contains the source for some of their routers (eg the DG834 series [netgear.com] ). Cool idea for people to be able to add their own features.

Re:Different routers? (5, Informative)

amias (105819) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180445)

I use a Netgear DG834G which appears to run linux 2.4.17 on its MIPS malta processor.

You can download a bundle of the packages it uses from netgear but they are not configured so its
hard to patch or hack with it cos you'd have to
redo their work.

This seems at odds with the GPL , on the grounds
that if you use GPL'ed code you must publish not
just the original source but your modifications as well . or am i wrong ?

The firmware upgrade patch is easily dissasembled and i've managed to hack the file system (cramfs) out of the firmware . So there is a possiblilty
that modifying the filesystem might open up safer
modification by making telnet accessable. but i'm
too much of a chicken to try it and i expect the
checksum would fail.

i'd like to know (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180212)

from someone that knows this issue very well: is cisco one big overrated company, sort of like how Dell has a ridiculous marketshare (and growing) but their computers are mostly POS-material? i think some high schools are having their teachers become "cisco certified" so they can teach their cisco students about "cisco networking". from the general perspective of a person that is more open source orientated, is cisco just some lame monopoly or what?

Re:i'd like to know (2, Informative)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180292)


Cisco products are expensive but pretty damn stable.

Your "open source" comment is stupid, Cisco uses ASICs and other hardware level goop for much of their routing. Unless you're going to open a chip fab plant and start open sourcing your chips... need I say more? (There are some exeptions, ala the Cisco PIX 525 firewall, basically a PC motherboard with some custom stuff for failover etc.)

"Open Source cures cancer!" blah blah blah Use the right tool for the job, you won't paint yourself into a corner and you leave your options open, lad.

What about 6to4 tunneling? (5, Interesting)

Phil Karn (14620) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180224)

It's really great to see people finally enhancing these boxes. These routers have ideal form factors compared to, say, a dedicated router PC running Linux, but their default firmware has always been very poor.

I didn't see one feature mentioned that I'd really, really like to see added to these boxes: an IPv6 6to4 tunnel. This is an ideal way to penetrate a NAT so you can establish direct TCP connections (and speak UDP) to any servers on your LAN from the outside. IPv6 support has been in all of the major operating systems for some time now, including Windows XP, Linux and Mac OS X, and while not every application is IPv6 ready, the important ones (like SSH) already are.

If 6to4 tunneling could be added to these consumer routers alongside IPv4 NAT, IPv6 stands to really take off without any help whatsoever from the ISPs. In fact, I almost prefer that my ISP not implement native IPv6. I like the fact that they now carry my encapsulated IPv6 packets without any ingress filtering, port blocking or other end-to-end-wrecking nonsense, and that they are oblivious to (much less control) the IPv6 address space. If or when the ISPs do implement native IPv6, you can bet that they'll exercise the same degree of arbitrary control that they now do over IPv4.

Re:What about 6to4 tunneling? (1)

sadler121 (735320) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180316)

That is a facenating Idea. In my apartment they stick us behind NAT, so we are automaticly assigned a private IPv4 address. This limits what I can and can not do over the internet. Is there something. Is there a way to impliment 6to4 tunneling with out having access to the router that my apartment uses? How would I go about doing this?

Re:What about 6to4 tunneling? (4, Informative)

NotoriousQ (457789) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180491)

6to4 is your friend. For linux please refer to the Linux IPv6 HOWTO [tldp.org]

For windows, go to your network configuration. Find your lan, and enable their IPv6 driver. XP only.(SP1 only?) I believe it self configures to use anycast, so that should be it.

Mac....do not know. I assume something along the lines of what linux does will work.

Good luck.

you can get there from hear? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180250)

but there's only won way?

OpenBSD (0, Offtopic)

vcbumg2 (592292) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180256)

I use OPENBSD for any type of routing http://www.republicvoices.com

This will certainly ... (5, Interesting)

HawkPilot (730860) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180282)

This will certainly move a lot a hardware for linksys. Look at the Rockbox mods for Archos for another example. Those who think that you can't make money off the GPL are wrong, at least in the case of hardware makers GPL'ing their firmware. (Although they didn't have a choice since they used linux as the firmware.)

Their was a story awhile back here on slashdot [slashdot.org] that discussed that Intel didn't want to release open source drivers for Centrino. They should. Open source drivers and firmware can be a boon to hardware makers.

BEFW11S4 (1)

thenumberone (643217) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180300)

Now that this has been done, I wonder if it will lead to hacking/modding other Linksys routers. I have a BEFW11S4 (4port with 802.11B) which I've been wanted to add a few extra features to for a while.
Since they are both Linksys, I wonder how close their design, code, chipset are.

Better feature would be WPA (1)

jgercken (314042) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180321)

Why are manufacturers still using WEP? Oh, wait, could it be so companies who NEED it pay for the higher priced models?

Thats pretty cool and all, but (5, Informative)

steak (145650) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180344)

I like my ClarkConnect [clarkconnect.org] box better. All it cost me was a pile of old parts that were headed for the dumpster and a ~300 MB download.

OPENWRT! (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8180361)

OPENWRT!

http://openwrt.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

Works great (3, Informative)

prator (71051) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180372)

I replaced my WET11 with a second WRT54G with modified firmware which allows me to set it to client mode like a WET device. I use this to connect to my TiVo and Xbox.

The newer revs of firmware will have WDS [domino.mms.de] which allows the routers to bridge to each other and client devices to connect to them. However, I think it does half the throughput.

I just got Vonage, and I plan using Wondershaper once these firmwares mature a little bit more.

-prator

WRT55AG (3, Interesting)

Sir Pallas (696783) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180402)

Is anyone working on the WRT55AG, the dual-band (a/b/g) cousin of the 54G? I've got one of those and it actually has a lot of problems. (I haven't gotten the source code on Linksys's site to work properly yet.)

New Industry? (4, Interesting)

WC as Kato (675505) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180403)

How come there isn't a whole industry around this? I imagine there is a whole slew of firmware that could be 3rd party modified to incorporate new features. For example, there are many old laptops that could incorporate newer hardware if only the firmware recognized it. I understand that the laptop manufacture wants you to buy a new laptop, but sometimes the only reason why a newer processor can't be used is because the firmware won't recognize it so it won't boot. Argh!!!

how about mesh routing? (4, Interesting)

itzdandy (183397) | more than 10 years ago | (#8180423)

what are the chances of someone modding some wireless router to the linux mesh router project. this would make an inexpensive AP for all your wireless mesh routing needs.
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