Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Linksys WRT54GS with OpenWrt Firmware

I love Linksys network appliance mods. This is my second linksys device mod in my network mix.

The WRT54GS is a basic 54G wireless router. The secret is that is has the linux os installed on it. With that being said when the source code was released the flood gates opened. I installed a 3rd part firmware called OpenWrt.The downside is that back in January, Linksys changed out the os on the routers to VxWorks. It's a proprietary OS that is pretty useless. The only place left to get them are on ebay and you're gonna pay a little hefty fee (about 20% extra). There are a few 3rd party modifactions for it but Linksys also reduced the total amount of ram on the newer routers.

With the modified firmware, it turns the router into a mini-pc. I was able replace a server that was performing the duties of this router. Not only does it perform it's regular Wireless, DHCP, and routing, but it now has an agile firewall that I can customize and about 100 software package including Asterisk, the opensource Voip Server. A 200MHz processor can do all that. I setup my router first and got all the firewall rules setup before I placed it in front of my network. I shutdown the interfaces on the server, swapped out the rj-45 cables from my modem, reset my switches and turned on the router. I was down for a few minutes while I updated my dns servers on all my workstations. And for the first time in a year I got a new ip from my cable provider. With every network change behind my modem I get a new ip.