Overclock.net › Forums › Software, Programming and Coding › Networking & Security › free third-party firmware for wireless routers
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

free third-party firmware for wireless routers

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
There are four firmware distributions for wireless routers that are the most popular, and in effect, most active in terms of development and support. Upgrading your routers firmware is generally an easy task, but most routers require several very important steps that should be followed so 1) you don't "brick" your router, and 2) so you can turn your ordinary home-use router into one which can rival the functionality of many lesser professional-grade routers.

Turning a "$60 router into a $600 router" is not entirely true... Most professional-grade access points typically have much higher processing capabilities and multiple radios to support many more people. A typical home-use wireless router cannot support a great deal of simultaneous connections without becoming overwhelmed, even if you are able to overclock your home router.

The biggest are DD-WRT (http://www.dd-wrt.com/) and OpenWRT (http://openwrt.org/).

DD-WRT reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DD-WRT

OpenWRT reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenWrt

Quote:
DD-WRT is free Linux-based firmware for several wireless routers, most notably the Linksys WRT54G (including the WRT54GL and WRT54GS). It is licensed under the GNU General Public License version 2.

Many of DD-WRT's features are not included in typical router firmware. These features include support for the Kai network, daemon-based services, IPv6, Wireless Distribution System, RADIUS, advanced quality of service, radio output power control, overclocking capability, and software support for a Secure Digital Card hardware modification.
Quote:
OpenWrt is a Linux-based firmware program for embedded devices such as residential gateways. Support was originally limited to the Linksys WRT54G series, but has since been expanded to include other chipsets and manufacturers, including Netgear, D-Link, Asus and many others. The most popular routers seem to be the Linksys WRT54G series and the Asus WL-500g. OpenWrt primarily uses a command-line interface, but also features an optional web-based GUI interface. Technical support is provided through the forums and IRC channel.
The advantage to using one of these two firmware distributions is support. Both DD-WRT and OpenWRT has the widest range of supported hardware, and both offer very active forum and wiki pages for development and troubleshooting.

The other two distributions are Tomato (http://www.polarcloud.com/tomato) and Coova AP (http://www.coova.org/). Tomato is a much "lighter" platform in comparison to DD-WRT or OpenWRT and is simple to use from a beginners point-of-view, but still offers a great deal more functionality than any factory-installed firmware. CoovaAP is built on OpenWRT and is mainly used for setting up your own wireless "hot spot".

Tomato reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomato_Firmware

CoovaAP reference: http://coova.org/wiki/index.php/CoovaAP

Quote:
Tomato is a small, lean and simple replacement firmware for Linksys' WRT54G/GL/GS, Buffalo WHR-G54S/WHR-HP-G54 and other Broadcom-based routers. It features a new easy to use GUI, a new bandwidth usage monitor, more advanced QOS and access restrictions, enables new wireless features such as WDS and wireless client modes, raises the limits on maximum connections for P2P, allows you to run your custom scripts or telnet/ssh in and do all sorts of things like re-program the SES/AOSS button, adds wireless site survey to see your wifi neighbors, and more.
Quote:
CoovaAP is an OpenWRT-based firmware designed especially for HotSpots. It comes with the CoovaChilli access controller built-in and makes it easily configurable. CoovaAP is perfect for just about any HotSpot application - from WPA Enterprise (with RADIUS accounting) to Free WiFi with Terms of Service acknowledgment to commercial HotSpot captive portal applications. Use the embedded captive portal for a simple self contained HotSpot or use your own captive portal and RADIUS back-end.
If you are interested in using one of these open-source, third-party firmware distributions, be sure to do your research before you risk bricking your wireless router. Upgrading a routers firmware is very similar to the BIOS for your computer and must be handled carefully. Once you've successfully upgraded your routers firmware, you can revert to your original firmware if you wish, but I doubt you will ever go back.

If you intend on increasing the power output of your wireless connection, please keep in mind that while increasing power output does increase your gain, it also increases noise and has the potential of "cross talk" interference with other nearby wireless signals.

additional resources: Wikipedia has listed a full list of third-party firmware, though many of them are either add-ons or old projects:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HyperWR...mware_projects
FIFTH
(10 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
2011-v3 X99 GTX 970 DDR4-2400 
KeyboardMouse
Filco Majestouch w/ Cherry MX Blue Razer Diamondback 
  hide details  
Reply
FIFTH
(10 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
2011-v3 X99 GTX 970 DDR4-2400 
KeyboardMouse
Filco Majestouch w/ Cherry MX Blue Razer Diamondback 
  hide details  
Reply
post #2 of 2
Gratz for the good thread/article.
I think you should add X-Wrt, which is not more than an OpenWrt with webif^2 package integrated.

PS.
I'm Tomato user. I prefer plain OpenWrt, but i have better wifi signal with Tomato. I tried DD-WRT SP2, but signal wasn't better than Tomato.
Edited by metala - 10/26/08 at 2:03pm
Ferberite
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2450M CPU @ 2.50GHz Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E520 AMD Radeon HD 6630M 6GB DDR3 @ 1333MHz  
Hard DriveHard DriveOSOS
Samsung 850EVO HITACHI HTS727550A9E364 7.2krpm Debian 7.0 Win7 
OSMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Win8 15.6 Zoll 16:9, 1366x768 Pixel, AUO23EC, spiege... 24" Dell U2412M, 1920x1200 Integrated + External 
PowerCase
20V, 4.5A Lenovo Thinkpad Edge 
  hide details  
Reply
Ferberite
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2450M CPU @ 2.50GHz Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E520 AMD Radeon HD 6630M 6GB DDR3 @ 1333MHz  
Hard DriveHard DriveOSOS
Samsung 850EVO HITACHI HTS727550A9E364 7.2krpm Debian 7.0 Win7 
OSMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Win8 15.6 Zoll 16:9, 1366x768 Pixel, AUO23EC, spiege... 24" Dell U2412M, 1920x1200 Integrated + External 
PowerCase
20V, 4.5A Lenovo Thinkpad Edge 
  hide details  
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Networking & Security
Overclock.net › Forums › Software, Programming and Coding › Networking & Security › free third-party firmware for wireless routers