jan 24

New Router…

Ore: 01:26 - Tags: Geek,Perso,Tech

The title of this post was though to go in the line of my previous entry of the night. It was related for me changing this website theme so no big deal here. This one is to share my experience with the new router I bought some time ago.

I was having a hard time getting connection stability with my previous DI-524 from D-Link. Last week I opened it to see if the stability issue could come from an hardware problem and I discovered that 3 of the 5 capacitor of 1500uf was cambered. I was planning to change my router anyway to get wireless N capabilities, but though I would wait for the WNR3500L that was announced in October. This router is supposed to be a fully open source router which can be flashed by open firmware like DD-WRT and have a USB port on it to connect an external drive for network storage.

My DI-524 broken, my lack of WIFI inside my own apartment and the no availability of the WNR3500L in store or online made me start searching for an alternative. The website of DD-WRT contain a database of all the routers supported by the project and in the list was an even better router than the WNR3500L, the WRT610N from Linksys/Cisco. This router also have N capabilities and USB support, having previously use DD-WRT on older Linksys routers during my years at SONIA project, I knew that I would be satisfied and the router was in sale at FutureShop, so I bough one.

Its the second revision of this router, so DD-WRT was supported, newer revision are not yet supported at the time of this writing so I have been a bit lucky. I started by using the original firmware that came with it but I was experiencing some connection drop with my IPod Touch and sometimes it would not accept the WPA2 pass-phrase and constantly asking for it. So, last night I followed this pages to put DD-WRT on my WRT610Nv2. The upgrade went well, but I must admit that during the process I got nervous, I would not have like to destroy the router and throw 150$ to the trash.

The first version of the firmware that I put on it was not very stable tough… the router was rebooting by itself at an interval of about 3 minutes. I had to use the « hold button reset for 35 seconds » to make it work and for me to return to the web interface. I passed a couple of hour trying to understand what could go wrong but based on the 3min delay before the reboot and my experience with Linux Kernel development, I assumed that it was having a « kernel panic » that rebooted the router. I though of that because the default delay for a kernel panic to reboot is 180 seconds… (well on a powerpc, don’t know if it’s the same for this router but I simply guessed) and I though it would make sense. But I can be wrong.

After looking at the router database entry concerning the WRT610Nv2, I saw that the firmware linked there was from a previous revision of DD-WRT. This revision is 13401 instead of 13575 proposed in the other page. After trying this one, the router was very stable.

When I bough the router, I also bough an external 1.5TB USB hard drive. I formated the drive as ext3 and hooked it to the router, I activated some options inside the WebUI of DD-WRT and the drive was accessible through the network as an FTP share… I did not like this way of doing so I started to look on the DD-WRT forum and discovered that some user are going with Optware to add functionalities to their router. I followed this page and after installing some packages to the router I had the SWAT interface to configure a samba share for the attached 1.5TB of storage. That’s nice because samba shares are seen in Windows, Mac and Linux !

Now I have a very good router, WIFI is back and now more secure in my home and 1.5TB is available as a storage on my local network ! Sweet!

Comments: 2

2 Comments so far

  1. Kevin Larose janvier 24th, 2010 12:06

    Je suis jaloux !!! Je veux ce setup là chez moi hehehe.
    C’est super cool aussi pour faire des backups dans une petite PME ! Je vais regarder ca plus en détail pour le commerce de ma mère.

    Merci pour cette article !

  2. LaMs janvier 25th, 2010 22:00

    En effet, pour faire des backups c’est surement assez cool ! :)
    Me crois tu si je te dis que je n’y avais même pas pensé héhé ! Avoir 1.5TB sur son réseau c’est assez cool … mais j’ai encore rien mis dessus, procrastination faut croire.

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