RandomScrawls
Decidedly mundane…

Linksys WRT54GL

The “L” in this wireless router name stands for Linux. What this means is that this baby has more memory – 4MB of flash and 16 MB of RAM to be exact – than other WRT54G models they ship today. This open a big window of various hacks and tweaks for its firmware. This thing is a bit pricier than its cousins though, retailing at around USD 70 whereas you can get other WRTG54G models – running less-memory-straining-but-also-less powerful VxWorks engine – for around USD 50.

Its two external antennas are quite powerful to reach my two-storeys home. I’ve tried to connect my laptop to my father’s downstairs before, but our laptops’ internal antenna made us connect at an agonizing 1 Mbps *intermittently*. This wireless router now enables my pop to share ourInternet connection from anywhere in our home.

The set-up is easy-breeezy from out-of-the-box. It comes with a wizard-like set-up software, so even newbies like me can quickly get up and running. It also has a Secure Easy Set-up feature. Haven’t tried that one yet, but I think it allows you to quickly set-up a WPA2 encrypted network or something like that

Like the others, the routers has a web-based control panel that enables me to easily configure it to my liking. From there you can configure various options, such as router set-up, DHCP, DDNS, advanced routing, wireless settings & security, MAC address filters, stateful packet inspection firewall, VPN passthrough settings, basic access restrictions settings, basic QoS, DMZ, logging. The most useful feature for me is the MAC address cloning. This enables me to surf instantly, without the need to re-register my wireless router’s MAC address to my ISP. I just tell the WRT54GL to copy my PC’s MAC address a.k.a. MAC address spoofing.

This router is touted as open-source. This enables you to flash your firmware to other firmware providers. Take DD-WRT for an example. This really opens up your router to a realm of possibilities (how about turning your router into a public hotspot, anyone?).

Pros:

  • Easy set-up out-of-the-box.
  • User friendly web-based configuration.
  • Highly configurable.

Cons:

  • No USB printer-sharing ports.
  • A bit pricey.

In the end, I’m giving this baby a 4 out of 5.

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