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Old 10-19-2009, 11:29 AM   #1
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which Linux router?


I recently bricked my Linksys befsx41 router by following Linksys instructions to update the firmware. I am looking for a new router/firewall and need some help/advice on setting something up.

I have heard of open source firewalls i.e. smoothwall. Is that a good route to go on a second computer setup or is a hardware router the preferred method. I was considering a Cisco I believe 5500 series router but that sounds like you need a Cisco tech to set it up. I have read about the NetGear 3500L which seems like a possibility. I would have to ask if the 3500L is a go why not go with the latest NetGear 3700? Is the 3700 not suitable for opensource? Does it have to do with the different chipsets?

Any help and suggestions would be appreciated. I want to set up a router and firewall for linux (Ubuntu), Windows and Mac. I want a VPN and Voip. I want to be able to set it up and forget about it. I am not real tech savy and don't want to spend a lifetime trying to figure out routers, firewalls, etc.
Old 10-19-2009, 11:34 AM   #2
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I'm kind of partial to the Linksys WRT54G (earlier editions) or WRT54GL series of routers. They're well known for the ability to install third party firmware that can greatly expand their capabilities. Of course, I think they're 802.11a/b/g only, so if you're looking for 802.11n, you'll probably want to look at something else.

EDIT: Looks like Linksys released a linux "n" router here. Not sure what the third party or built in features are though.

Last edited by pljvaldez; 10-19-2009 at 11:37 AM.
Old 10-19-2009, 12:18 PM   #3
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I manage four Netgear DG834G (adsl modem + integrated firewall + 4-port router + wireless) devices at different sites.

They all run linux (Netgear provide a link to the sourcecode), but I have never needed to hack them.

Uptime for the four has been 100% for 4-5y now.

There's a "VPN Wizard" on its configuration page, but I never used it. I just configure the machines on my LAN(s), and open an appropriate port on the router. I don't think you need anything special for VOIP.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Reliable.
  • Simple to set up and customise.
  • Configurable firewall built-in, and set to sensibly secure defaults out of the box.
  • Works well with linux, Mac and windows.
= Highly recommended.

I am not affiliated with Netgear, just a linux user.
Old 10-19-2009, 02:47 PM   #4
Registered: Feb 2005
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DD-WRT is a popular aftermarket firmware available for a number of Broadcom- and Atheros-based routers.

One of the most common DD-WRT-compatible routers (apart from the Linksys WRT54G and WRT54GL) is the more recent Linksys WRT310N. The number of features in the firmware goes above and beyond the standard firmware on most inexpensive hardware routers, and it's a rather stable platform to boot. (And yes, it's running linux)

Another big advantage to using something like this is you're not running a full-sized PC just to route packets--big power and heat savings.

Project page is .

I've been running this for years in multiple locations and have been quite happy with it.
Old 10-20-2009, 12:53 AM   #5
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Hi router experts,

On the topic of 3rd party firmware, could you tell me which would work best with a Dlink DIR-615 Rev.C router. How would I find out what chipset it has?

I recently installed the above router and it has quite alot of features and a good web interface for the price (it's wireless N by the way). However, if I am connected wirelessly on my laptop in the next room, it will 'disconnect' at random times. For example downloading will be ok for say 30 minutes and then if I try to go to another website nothing happens. The signal is still strong but I cannot ping the router. But then a minute later everything is fixed by itself and I can view another site. Very annoying. Another issue, sometimes if I manually disconnect (ifdown wlan0) then I can't re-connect without unplugging/plugging in the router.

These problems do not occur on the desktop computer which is hard-wired to the router. Does anyone know why I am having these problems on the laptop? (both in linux & winXP).

The firmware that was already installed from factory was dated Apr.2009 but I haven't updated yet b/c I'm thinking of installing something totally different like DD-WRT if possible(still researching that).

Old 10-20-2009, 06:56 AM   #6
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I think your DIR-615 uses either an Atheros AR9102 or AR9130 chipset, has 32 MB of RAM, and a 4 MB flash. DD-WRT's router database shows this particular router as a Work In Progress, so it's likely it will be fully supported in the near future.

For the time being, however, I would recommend updating it to the latest firmware available from D-Link to see whether or not that fixes your networking connection issues--it's very unlikely to make it worse, and you always can back-flash it to the previous version if necessary.

Another option is the OpenWRT firmware at . The primary difference between OpenWRT and DD-WRT is OpenWRT is a bit more "hands on"--requires a bit more typing at command prompts etc... if you're happy with that I hear it's a good platform. I believe they have a working build of firmware available for the router.

If this is your first experience with flashing consumer routers with aftermarket firmwares it's usually not a bad idea to have a spare available Good luck!
Old 10-20-2009, 07:07 AM   #7
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my 2 cents as usual

what do you mean by "bricked" - it wont turn on or what.

usually as a last resort - linksys uses force firmware installation tool. they may be reluctant to share/guide you through.

give it a try - just call their support and tell them you are looking for some kind of force installation - and who knows it might work.
Old 10-20-2009, 11:28 PM   #8
Registered: Jan 2009
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Hi strick1226,

Thanks for the info and the warning. I'm going to look into OpenWRT. However, first I'm going to update the current like you said to see if it helps.


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