[kwlug-disc] what is the perfect openWRT router?

unsolicited unsolicited at swiz.ca
Sat Apr 5 18:12:44 EDT 2014


But wasn't so for my WNDR3700 v1. For that there is a few seconds to 
connect via telnet during power on, and you're off to the races.

Which all just demonstrates some various points that have been made here 
recently:

- check the openwrt site before buying. Pay attention. If you don't see 
your hardware, don't buy the hardware. Or buy a lottery ticket at the 
same time.

- openwrt looks backwards at hardware. It has to be out there long 
enough for people to play with it AND report their findings back to the 
web site.

- hardware is a moving target. The site is quickly out of date. Pay 
attention. Version numbers matter, LOTS. You can't always verify the 
version number without opening the box, and salesbeasts do not like open 
boxes.

- openwrt / dd-wrt may or may not be for you. There are many ways to 
skin cats, and we all have many learning curves to transit.

In my case, my v1 router ran into a (now) known problem where the 
hardware fails (2.4GHz wi-fi only). So, even having checked the website 
and all that ... the solution fell over.

It is arguable that a cheap laptop, vm's, vlans, and so on, can take you 
to the same place, and that most any off the shelf router, running 
stock, is sufficiently good. A USB nic will still probably be faster 
than your ISP is feeding you. Put a boot hard drive into a new box and 
you'll largely be good to go, quickly. Not so with OpenWRT booted routers.

It is arguable that no OpenWRT / DD-WRT solution is ready for prime 
time, six sigma, commercial installs, as the front end. When failure 
happens, you want to swap in a replacement RIGHT NOW! Which may not be 
to hand, or even available any longer. Assuming you remember what you 
did in order to apply it to the new beastie, if you can even directly 
transfer settings, and the packages and version of OpenWRT are still 
current. Software is a moving target too. [Biggest impediment seems to 
be constantly moving network chips, with only proprietary drivers 
available. The software has to talk to the hardware to set it up.]

As a black box, i.e. application specific, none of this applies. Be it a 
traffic monitor, vpn end point, media server, or whatever, but at that 
point it's not your front end, nor a no workie no internet, situation. 
Doesn't mean you can't insert or remove it just behind your front end at 
need.

Today's cheap hardware means its going to fail. In a few years. Will you 
remember what you did now, then? Will the hardware and/or software have 
changed sufficiently by then that you will be some days (without 
internet) to get yourself to the same place, then?


On 14-04-05 04:55 PM, CrankyOldBugger wrote:
> What Khalid says is usually true, but in the case of my NetGear WNDR3700v2
> the vendor's firmware actually broke the upgrade feature.  You couldn't
> even flash new versions of the firmware from the vendor.  So to install
> openWRT on that router I had to use TFTP.
>
>
>
> On 5 April 2014 15:24, Khalid Baheyeldin <kb at 2bits.com> wrote:
>
>> On Sat, Apr 5, 2014 at 3:05 PM, William Park <opengeometry at yahoo.ca>wrote:
>>
>>> On Sat, Apr 05, 2014 at 01:57:21PM -0400, Khalid Baheyeldin wrote:
>>>> TP-Link WDR-4300
>>>
>>> I have this with DD-WRT.  Probably, cheapest dual-band.  I went with
>>> DD-WRT, because I just couldn't untangle instructions on how to
>>> flash/configure OpenWRT.
>>>
>>
>> Flashing is very easy if done from the vendor "firmware update" web
>> interface.
>>
>> Configuring is OK for someone used to the command line, just a few
>> commands to get the web based UI going, then do most of the stuff from it.
>>
>> --
>> Khalid M. Baheyeldin
>> 2bits.com, Inc.
>> Fast Reliable Drupal
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>> For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple, and
>> wrong." -- H.L. Mencken
>>
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