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Wireless Networking Linux

Netgear WNR3500L Open Source Router Announced 300

Posted by kdawson
from the still-making-lemonade dept.
MyOpenRouter writes "Netgear has announced the WNR3500L, a brand new, open source, wireless-N gigabit router customizable with third party firmwares. MyOpenRouter is the dedicated source for Netgear open source routers, with the full scoop including a review with screenshots, how-to's, tutorials, firmware downloads, etc. Here's a review and the downloads page." The router can run popular open source firmware including DD-WRT, OpenWRT. and Tomato. It will list for $140.
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Netgear WNR3500L Open Source Router Announced

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  • Fool me once.... (Score:3, Informative)

    by idiotnot (302133) <sean@757.org> on Monday October 05, 2009 @07:50PM (#29651803) Homepage Journal

    ....shame on you. But you're not going to fool me again, certainly to for $140. I have a Netgear "open source" 802.11g router sitting in a closet somewhere. It never worked worth a damn. Netgear replaced it with another similarly-named model (with a completely different design). OpenWRT doesn't support the old one fully, and DD-WRT has some things I don't particularly like (and I'm not sure support is there, either).

    I'd just assume get an Airport if I was going to use a commercial router. Am currently using an old notebook running Debian, which does everything I need with a lot less pain.

  • It's N, and has USB (Score:5, Informative)

    by langelgjm (860756) on Monday October 05, 2009 @07:50PM (#29651807) Journal
    Apart from it being an N router (not sure what Linksys has in the way of N offerings, I'm still using a trusty WRT54G), this thing also has a USB port that you can hook up a USB drive to and use it like a NAS, which is kind of cool.
  • Re:802.11n? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 05, 2009 @08:02PM (#29651909)

    802.11n?

    dd-wrt supported 802.11n list [dd-wrt.com]

    20ish models there?

  • Re:So what's new? (Score:5, Informative)

    by mrcaseyj (902945) on Monday October 05, 2009 @08:06PM (#29651953)

    If you can settle for G instead of N then you might want to look at the Asus WL-520GU for only $45. Asus is also friendly to dd-wrt and other firmwares. Unlike the Linksys WRT54GL, the 520GU also has a USB port you could plug a hard drive into and do your backups or download torrents or share a printer. Another advantage of getting one with a USB port is that your router's operating system can be any size and isn't limited to the router's 4MByte flash. I've had my 520GU for a few months now and haven't had any problems. I've had uptimes of more than a month, limited only by how long I've been able to go without somebody mistakenly unplugging it.

  • by mysidia (191772) on Monday October 05, 2009 @08:08PM (#29651971)

    What's innovative here is they seem to be letting partners develop software packages to run on it... an iPhone-style "App store" for home router software addons, anyone (?)

    Does this mean the warranty isn't void if you flash it with custom firmware?

    Are they providing cool things like serial ports for debugging, and an external JTAG header, so you can easily fix it if your custom patched firmware breaks or something (?)

    How about a fully vlan-able switch, POE capabilities, and enough RAM to run some minor computing loads ? :)

  • Re:Fool me once.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by wasabioss (1196799) on Monday October 05, 2009 @08:28PM (#29652123) Journal

    That was what happened with me too. Being impressed by DD-WRT and successfully hacked a bunch of Linksys before, I bought the previous version of the Netgear "opensource" router although it was more expensive with the intention to put dd-wrt or tomato on it (and to promote companies that actually support opensource). Guess what? The standard dd-wrt didn't work on their router! You have to download their own dd-wrt or tomato firmware "distro". And that's not all. After flashing the thing with their provided tomato distro, it totally bricked the router (and I was not the only one [myopenrouter.com]). And there is no way to recover the thing, unless you have a 3.3v serial cable to do the JTAG (and they say that's hacker-friendly?).

    Ultimately I returned to Newegg, for a restocking and shipping fee. Nice lesson anyway. Don't. Be. Fooled. By. That. Crap. Period. Buy something like an ASUS or a Linksys. FYI Two days ago I was able to put DD-WRT on my friend's Linksys WRT54GS even v7.2 with full SSH + PPPoE support.

  • by Dahamma (304068) on Monday October 05, 2009 @08:30PM (#29652131)

    If I had gigabit network cards and wireless N i might upgrade, but for a home network not doing much filesharing locally I don't see the point.

    Lucky for the rest of us their major marketing strategy wasn't "what does sherl0k have at home, we shouldn't build anything that isn't useful to him!"

    And the WRT310N lists for $130, not $70. So the MSRP of the WNR3500L is only $10 more. And for that $10 you get a USB port, which is a great addition for an open source project, as it provides the potential to work with all sorts of tons of USB devices.

  • Re:Tasty! (Score:5, Informative)

    by jeffstar (134407) on Monday October 05, 2009 @08:37PM (#29652195) Journal

    indeed, it appears that even with openwrt you are stuck with kernel 2.4: https://forum.openwrt.org/viewtopic.php?id=22016 [openwrt.org]

    The thing I understand for many of the targets that are Broadcom is that their drivers are impossible to get. You only get the binaries for the driver and they only work in 2.4.

    So, if they did not release the source for the Broadcom drivers, you can't easily port it, unless you use b43 which is the reverse-engineered drivers.

    and even then the product is somewhat lacking:
    from http://www.myopenrouter.com/download/13853/OpenWRT-Firmware-for-NETGEAR-WNR3500L-BETA-09-18-09/ [myopenrouter.com]

    * WPA and WPA2 are not working.
    * SAMBA support is not present.
    * NAS can be accessed only through command line using utilities such as ftp
    * and No GUI support to access NAS is available till now.
    The patches and the script in this release are based on

    I mean, no WPA? stuck with WEP so basically a totally unsecured network. in 2009.

  • Re:So what's new? (Score:2, Informative)

    by AvitarX (172628) <<gro.derdnuheniwydnarb> <ta> <em>> on Monday October 05, 2009 @08:40PM (#29652233) Journal

    I have an Asus 500 something or other (USB, and N, or Draft-N at least), and it is great to be able to torrent on it, and to grab nzb's of TV shows from my phone, but it only accesses the HD at 2 MB/sec, which can lead to streaming issues sometimes (tested using DD from the command line), and certainly limiting its usefulness as a file server for backups.

  • by LordKronos (470910) on Monday October 05, 2009 @09:34PM (#29652569) Homepage

    Good summary, but you forgot the part where you not only need to know the model number, but often the revision number, too. Sometimes only certain revisions are supported, and the flashing method is different for the various revisions that are supported.

  • Re:So what's new? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Monday October 05, 2009 @09:38PM (#29652607) Homepage

    CRAPPY N routers kill B/G routes withing range. a real N router that has a 3rd radio that operates in the 5ghz band does not affect any of the B/G routers around at all.

    The fake N equipment that splatters the 2.4Ghz band, yes those cause issues, dont buy any crap N gear that is only the 2.4ghz regular wifi band.

  • by Bught_42 (1012499) on Monday October 05, 2009 @09:50PM (#29652663)
    Wireless N and gigabit Ethernet aren't cheap like b/g with 100Mb Ethernet, also the one you linked is a refurb. The ones where they allow you to load on your own firmware are usually a bit more expensive because the throw in more memory and a few other things.
  • Re:So what's new? (Score:4, Informative)

    by LtGordon (1421725) on Monday October 05, 2009 @10:03PM (#29652739)
    The FCC had nothing to do with it. Buffalo was/is being sued over an alleged 802.11 patent violation and an injunction was filed that prevented the sale of applicable LAN products in the United States.
  • by viking80 (697716) on Monday October 05, 2009 @10:13PM (#29652805) Journal

    OpenWRT is a great project, but unfortunately unusable in its current state.
    I have tried to use it on the Linksys WRT54GL, which is the default box, (hence 'WRT' in the name)

    It is stable, feature rich, and *unusable*. I have for example not been able to configure the box as a client. It will work just fine as an AP

    Looking for a solution, I installed an older version of OpenWRT, and this would only work as a client, not as an AP.

    Expect the default setup to not rout packets at all. You have to configure the router carefully before it will work at all.

    I have set up wireless networks with many configurations using other boxes and software, and never had this kind of trouble. It can certainly not be used by an average user.

    It appears all resources are beeing spend to making it run on your casio wrist watch and other exotic targets while the old focus is lost. Seems like the 99%vs1% rule backwards:
    Target 99% of development resources to resolve issues faces by 1% of the users.

  • Re:So what's new? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Zerth (26112) on Monday October 05, 2009 @10:39PM (#29652937)

    Third radio? What the freak are you talking about? Some routers may support 802.11n in both the 2.4GHz spectrum and the 5GHz spectrum but that doesn't involve a "third radio".

    I'm guessing you've never heard of a 3 x 3 MIMO [wikipedia.org] config, it allows you to increase spectral use or signal without an increase in power.

    Welcome to the present. [google.com]

  • Here is what I did (Score:1, Informative)

    by Sam36 (1065410) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @12:53AM (#29653641)
    Here is my set up. Don't need no stinking routers: http://www.shorewall.net/XenMyWay-Routed.html [shorewall.net] Shorewall is really easy to set up. I am ashamed that I put it off for so many years.
  • Worthless (Score:5, Informative)

    by paul248 (536459) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @01:43AM (#29653833) Homepage

    This device uses a Broadcom chipset, and needs a Linux 2.4 kernel with a binary blob to work properly.

    Linux 2.6 was released in 2003. That's *six years* ago. What kind of bizarro-world are we living in where modern hardware still requires 2.4?

  • Re:So what's new? (Score:3, Informative)

    by klui (457783) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @02:00AM (#29653913)
    Unless the driver situation has changed, the USB port on the 520GU is only good for USB1.1 speeds and is really made for printer connectivity. USB2 and HDs will cause problems. http://wiki.openwrt.org/oldwiki/openwrtdocs/hardware/asus/wl520gu [openwrt.org]
  • Re:Fool me once.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by monkeySauce (562927) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @02:30AM (#29654027) Journal

    I'd just assume get an Airport if I was going to use a commercial router

    Ugh, no...

    Airports have no web interface. You HAVE to use a mac or windows binary app in order to configure an Airport. Could they be any more anti-open source? They also have no support for static routes. And for that you pay 3x the price of devices that don't suffer these limitations. I generally like Apple but their access points are overpriced crap.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @05:41AM (#29654757)

    the wrt54gl has serious drawbacks in terms of the bcm43xx soldered to the board. i wonder why so many people buy it having to rely on a firmware with a 2.4 kernel.

    with routers having minipci one can actually put ie an atheros card in and have a modern (=2.6) system.

    works nicely for me here (asus wl500gP)

  • Re:So what's new? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @08:24AM (#29655467)

    my wireless transfer over a WPA2 link maxes out at about 6 Mbps instead of the 10 or 11 Mbps I get when connected over Ethernet

    It would max out at 6Megabytes: Wireless g is 54Mbit whereas your ethernet is 100Mbit

  • Re:So what's new? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @10:01AM (#29656421) Homepage

    According to the link you provided, the USB driver issue on the 520GU was resolved over a year ago and it now runs USB 2.0 without problems.

    Even the URL told you it was an old link.

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