So I picked up a Buffalo WHR-G54S Wireless Broadband Router because you can never have too many routers in your house but mostly because ever since wireless existed I’ve wanted someway to bridge across my house (mostly to hook some old non-WiFi equipment that was in the living room hooked to the stereo) for older equipment that wireless wasn’t an option. So I just wanted a box with an ethernet and an antenna that would then connect to the network. The stuff I tried was too expensive (although that was a few years back) didn’t work as advertised or didn’t pass Appletalk packets. In general, my favorite home router is the Netgear brand wireless routers but I thought I’d try thing.
So the packaging on the Buffalo WHR-G54S made me think it would work (or that I could make it work). It seemed like a nice wireless router but it looked like it wouldn’t do what I wanted, but more importantly I knew I could make it work with the DD-WRT project. This is pretty much a way to put a different OS inside the router and it supports a lot more options, it’s kind of a mini-linux (it might actually be all linux now, mildly confused on that) and there are a few projects like this out there. The most important option (for me) is by being a bridge (a mega-bridge that I can hook 5 computers up to). But it’ll also support radius authentication (if you need it, it’s a big deal), a mini web-server and even a way to power (and charge) your internet cafe.
Warning the content gets pretty geeky from here on.So you have to flash it with a new OS which is mildly tricky, I recommend printing the instructions and crossing out all the non-relevant stuff. It was pretty simple once I found the parts to ignore. Once done it was pretty much how you’d expect any wireless router to be (but better).
It had an option to be a the bridge I wanted this meant I could take any old computer that had ethernet and make it wireless by just plugging it in the router and it would connect to my wireless connect in the other room. I told it what my network was and it was ready to go. This would also be handy for running operating systems that don’t have support for some odd wireless card or USB dongle. Not only would it let me hook up 4 devices it could actually use the 5th port too (that’s probably overkill but it does it anyways).
It’ll run a little web server too. I haven’t figured out all the parts but I will. What I’d like is to set it up like a regular router and as soon as you connect it’ll give you a default web page welcoming you to the network (I figure if I can make this work I can more easily convince my local hangouts to WiFi.)
As a router goes, it supports the blocking options that many routers support but it has 10 different definable options by IP number than you can use (plus you can block by keyword and URL).
Other stuff: It supports multiple DDNS Services (Dynamic Domain Name Services), multiple VLANs, and some VPN stuff. Also some QoS options (Quality of Services) which might be handy if you don’t want those computers sucking up all your bandwidth (just lower their limit). You can telnet in and all sorts of fun stuff.