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WRT54g Linux Firmware Distributions

HYPERWRT Mission Statement is “HyperWRT is a power boost firmware for the Linksys WRT54G and WRT54GS router. The goal of this project is to add a limited set of features to the last Linksys firmware, extending its possibilities but staying close to the official firmware.”

HYPER-WRT – Installing this distribution is really a breeze with no head aches. Cool features for this distribution are:

With my old linksys firmware I was unable to VPN into my network. After I installed HYPER-WRT I had no problem. Also, I usually work off my laptop in the same area of my house and with the linksys firmware I had a “Good” signal according to windows. After I installed HYPER-WRT my windows signal jumped to excellent every time.

Installing HYPER-WRT was very easy, I reset my router to factory defaults, downloaded the latest HYPER-WRT firmware, connected to my router’s web interface administration tab and pressed firmware upgrade. Then I browsed to the firmware bin files and pressed upgrade.

HYPERWRT turned out to be exactly what its authors intended, an easy to install, power boosting firmware. I would highly recommend using this firmware for any home or business network.

EWRT

EWRT is distributed by Portless Networks. This WRT54G firmware is packed with features meant for creating open wireless hotspots for business or neighborhoods. EWRT has many cool features: Drop bear SSH server (This provides secure access), a writeable jffs2 partition to store your content, great QOS (Quality of service), and NOCAT splash.

NoCat Splash is a captive portal which lets users connected to the wireless network receiving a dynamic IP address but all traffic is redirected to an internal web page. The webpage for EWRT just explains that this router is a wireless hotspot meant for public use and don’t abuse it, users must accept the agreement or they won’t have access to anything. You’re not stuck using Portless Networks web page because you can modify it for your liking.

QOS for a wireless hotspot is very important for managing how much bandwidth certain services are using. If a few users are hogging bandwidth then others will not have access to the internet thus ruining the hotspot.

Portless Networks intention was to create this router as a “Hotspot” in a box and they achieved this with flying colors. I was able to install EWRT through the web interface with no problems. I was able to VPN into my home network and used SSH to my  Linux  box. EWRT has all the latest security features such as WPA and WPA radius. I was able to use TINYPEAP as my radius server.. When I started NOCAT splash and connected to the internet I did receive an error “NO DATA ON THIS PAGE” once in a while but that could be my fault some how.

If you want to start a hotspot for your business or create free public nodes in your neighborhood EWRT is for you.

DD-WRT

DD-WRT turns your WRT54G from a cheap $60 router into a $200 dollar wireless router. It has more features then you can count so I will just go over the many highlights.

Right now I am using VER. 22, VER 23 is out but I have not installed it yet. VER. 23 is a BETA release. VER 23 has a whole new web interface with many more options that I have listed below. DD-WRT also has options for VOIP.

Setup Tab – Everything is pretty much the same here with the exceptions of VLANS. VLANs can divide your physical LAN into logical LANS. You will want to use this to separate network resources or prevent access to resources.

Security Tab – One of the best features of DD-WRT is that the VPN option actually works.

Access Restriction TAB – All the other firmwares have this option but I am using DD-wrt currently so I will cover them here. If you like to share your wireless connection with others but don’t want it abused you will need to set up access policies. You can block file sharing from exact applications like edonkey, you can set times to share your wireless signal, limit certain days and block websites.

Application and Gamming Tab- First you have over 30 slots to configure port forwarding…that’s a lot of different services. Next on this tab is the QOS (Quality of Service), here you can give priority of bandwidth to certain ports and MAC address.

Administration Tab – If you go all the way to the bottom you will find the option for enabling WDS/connection watch dog. This service will send out ICMP messages / ping commands to your given Access points every few minutes. If the access point you specify can’t be reached the router will reboot

In my next article I will be reviewing TINYPEAP, BATBOX and openwrt wrt54g  linux  firmware distros.


Source by Eric Meyer

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