Building a custom wireless router
torriem at gmail.com
Sun May 18 21:57:44 MDT 2008
Brad Midgley wrote:
> there's not already something out there that supports openwrt? you could
> rebadge something like that and ship it with openwrt without so much pain.
I haven't found anything on the market yet. There are lots of devices
that are pretty close. For example, the Asus WL-500 GP. However it's
not powerful enough to run DansGuardian (I've tried it). The main issue
with all these routers is RAM. A secondary issue is Flash storage.
DansGuardian, from my experience, requires 64 MB at least. And for
black lists, any number of MB of flash. Now I know there are lighter
solutions like SquidGuard, but personally I feel DansGuardian is the
better proxy. Furthermore, most WAPs use broadcom wireless stuff, which
requires a binary blob kernel driver and are limited to kernel 2.4.
For starters, the Alix boards are ideal hacking platforms:
400 MHz processor (AMD Geode)
128 or 256 MB RAM
MiniPCI so I can use any wireless... will likely use atheros for starters
2-3 ethernet ports
> If you want to start a venture that builds the hardware from the ground
> up, you should be making a business case and looking for funding.
I'm not sure I want to be in business doing this. We'll see. I'm
currently trying to just judge the feasibility first.
At this point, I'd rather treat this as a personal project that other
hackers could do too. Currently it looks like using stock Alix stuff,
you should be able to build a router for $200. Now that's quite a bit
more expensive than a linksys router, but if you consider the filter
(commercial windows crappy filters like CyberSitter, besides sucking are
$40-60 per install) capabilities, it's definitely affordable for many
people. I know most folks would be hesitant to spend more than $100 on
a router, but they're spending $40-60 a month on internet already.
I'll be getting hardware next week. I'll update folks on how it's
going. At some point I can see the need to establish a community to
develop and maintain the distribution. That alone might be more
important than the hardware itself.
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