Which Router is Best for OpenWRT?

Michael Torrie torriem at gmail.com
Thu May 29 17:09:29 MDT 2008

Kimball Larsen wrote:
> I know that recently Linksys began selling the WRT54GL, which is  
> supposed to be intended for this use - but I thought I read somewhere  
> that the old 2 or 2.2 series was better for some reason.

No.  The WRT54GL (and any other broadcom wireless chipset) runs the 2.4
kernel since you have to use a binary, proprietary blob driver for the
wireless.  Any other wireless can use the 2.6 kernel.

> Based on what I find here [1], they appear to be very similar.

The WRT54G has only 16 MB of ram and 2 MB of flash, so it's a lot more
cramped.  OpenWRT can still run on it, but it's a tight fit!  No web UI.

the WRT54GL has 4 MB of flash and 32 MB of ram, enough to run the fill
system and get decent functionality out of it.

The Asus 500G Premium is another good choice.  It has 8 MB of flash and
32 MB of RAM.  It also has 2 usb ports.  The only downside is the
broadcom wireless card which limits you to the older kernels.  If you
swap out the wireless (it's miniPCI) you can get atheros, which works
very well.  You can even have multiple SSIDs and encryption schemes with
Atheros, which makes for some really neat vlan routing scenarios with
unencrypted, restricted DMZs, etc.

In response to comments on DD-WRT, I must say that I recommend against
using it.  Mainly on philosophical grounds.  It is not an open source
distro, and in fact you have to actually use a license key on any
hardware other than the MIPS/Broadcom stuff.  It's a bit sad to see
someone making money off the backs of so many open source contributors
without contributing back, but that's life.  He's withing his rights, I
guess, but it just reeks of Sveasoft all over again.  He promised he
would never close dd-wrt, but he has reversed his word on that.  The web
interface and many other parts of DD-wrt are closed and proprietary.

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