Turning shelf-bought routers into business class devices

By Justin Mann on June 13, 2006, 8:00 PM
One way enthusiasts love to get their money's worth out of the hardware they buy is to mod it. Whether it's flashing the firmware with a hacked version to unlock hidden features, soldering resistors across two connections, using modchips to bypass security checks or many others, it's always cool to learn about how to make your hardware go that extra mile. There is a great article up that talks about taking a plane jane shelf-bought $60 router and turning it into a routing powerhouse, with all the features and richness you'd expected from a business class device ten times the cost. A Linksys WRT54GL wireless router was chosen for the task, one of the most common home routers.

Of course, this relies on Linux. Given the amount of flexibility available to you in the various routing packages for Linux, it's no surprise that they were able to make that WRT54G do things like QoS and traffic prioritization, output power alteration for the wireless card and more, as well as the host of other features such as VPN functionality that the packages can come with. It's definitely an interesting read, and a great way to try some more advanced networking functionality without having to sink excess cash into it.

User Comments: 3

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canadian said:
Why cant the companies just make a good firmware in the firstplace?
asphix said:
[b]Originally posted by canadian:[/b][quote]Why cant the companies just make a good firmware in the firstplace?[/quote]??? I'm not sure I get where you're coming from. It has nothign to do with the quality of the firmware.. its taking a $60 product and "unlocking" the functionality that can be found in a much more espensive model.Sort of like taking your 2.5ghz CPU and overclocking it to 3.2ghz. Your comment in relation would be like saying 'Why cant the CPU manufacturers just manufacture all chips at 3.2ghz?'Hence, your comment makes absolutely no sense to me.
DragonMaster said:
[quote] Why cant the companies just make a good firmware in the firstplace?[/quote]To make money with the bigger units, they often have the same hardware. Look at cheap DivX DVD players. The firmware has a LOT of features disabled.
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