skip to Main Content

Netgear’s New Open Source Router

So Netgear has released an open source router. Thus it has something to compete with the open source version of the venerable Linksys WRT-54GL. Garrett Smith has an interesting viewpoint on this. One that I’m inclined to agree with.

I’m not a typical user. I’m an early adopter. I don’t mind putting in some effort to making something work up to its promised potential. I also like open source, but I just don’t see the value in running 3rd party software on a hobbled router platform. It’s just not good use of my time.

I’m interested in Vyatta, which Garrett Smith notes is a worthy contender in the open source router world. However, Vyatta targets a larger and more sophisticated installation than I face. I’d suggest that Vyatta, while interesting is beyond the scope of most SOHO applications. It’s administration has more in common with Cisco IOS than a consumer Linksys or Netgear router.

Instead, I run m0n0wall on a Soekris platform. I’d also consider pfSense which has greater depth than m0n0wall but requires a more capable host platform.

When I initially implemented m0n0wall the Soekris Net4801 that I selected cost over $200, expensive compared to the Linksys WRT-54GL. But completely worth the cost for the added hardware flexibility.

However, the newer ALIX boards that from PCEngines now cost only $125 with a case. For that price I’d rather have the ALIX board than the Netgear hardware. Much more powerful, configurable, open hardware.

For me, requiring only a few systems, there’s just no compelling reason to go ultra-low-bid with Linksys or Netgear hardware when I intend to run open source software.

I generally like Netgear products, but I don’t see much value in this new router. There’s nothing to make it stand out. If it had some great new hardware capability, like more RAM, support for WMM, a couple of FXS ports and support for Asterisk…that’d be a whole ‘nuther matter.

Back To Top
%d bloggers like this: