Brian Vagnoni on 2 Mar 2009 19:08:28 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] Wish list for PLUG talks --> OpenWRT

DD-WRT is free for Broadcom wireless chip sets only. You must pay an activation fee to use the firmware permanently on anything else even Atheros. DD-WRT does follow typical FOSS ideology. 

In one hand you have Broadcom who have proprietary drivers and code and the folks at DD-WRT make that firmware available for free. On the other hand you have Atheros who is working with the FOSS community building their stuff into the kernel and DD-WRT charges for that. DD-WRT in the future may include the Realtek wireless chip sets in the future as part of the no charge version. 

My understanding about the way the folks at DD-WRT see it is that Broadcom gear is considered residential and therefore no charge, and anything else is considered PRO gear which they charge for. My understanding is that they aren't charging for support they are charging for activation which is where it sticks in the crawl for most FOSS folks. 

There is quite a lot of bad blood and politics between the DD-WRT, Sveasoft, and the true ideological FOSS groups. I personally will use whatever works best for customers or myself in a given situation. It's like a $25 activation fee if I wanted to use it with say my UBNT Router Station.

I've also heard claims on some blogs of security issues with DD-WRT. Though these claims could just be pro-FOSS propaganda. I haven't see any papers on it, just talk. The politics are very annoying as it's hard to get to the real truth.

As far as Open-WRT not having a web gui that's not correct. There is X-WRT and Webif, as well which run on top of Open-WRT. 

Honestly and with regard to the incredible skill level using the Linux command line I find here on this list I don't see why folks just don't use Open-WRT. However, if you just want something to plug and play with your Linksys/Broadcom router and don't care about the politics DD-WRT is the way to go.

One thing I really like about the 3rd party firmware is being able to setup a cron job to reboot the wireless router daily; saves on service calls big time. Most customers I deal with are non-IT so they don't want to be bothered or billed for any of this stuff. They just want to focus on their core non-IT business and have the IT tools for them.  

Brian Vagnoni
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