Own a LinkSys WRT54G? Sveasoft released Alchemy v6.0RC6 and I HAD to install it at 2am
Shoot, who DOESN'T have this router? Seems like the LinkSys WRT54G is ubiquitous these days. Greg Hughes turned me on to this little $99 gem, and while I have a love-hate relationship with it (and Greg :) ) I have stuck with it.
I just noticed on LinkSysInfo that "Sveasoft has released a new release candidate for alchemy v6.0RC6, This firmware is for WRT54G v1.x and v2.2 and WRT54GS 1.0 and v1.1 models."
The deal is this, you paypal Sveasoft US$20 every year and they continue to improve the LinkSys firmware under the GPL. This little LinkSys is just a firmwarey Linux Box and god-forbid we should leave the default software on it! :) If you are too cheap for $20 there are free public versions you can run also.
There are a number of Firmwares available from Sveasoft under various code names. The ones you should know about are:
- Satori - This is the current stable/public release. It includes bandwidth management and VPN support along with a host of other good things. You can download this for free and mess around.
- Alchemy (Alchemy-6.0-RC6 v3.01.3.8sv) - The current pre-release available to subscribers. It has a fantastic QoS interface (Quality of Service) to guarantee bandwidth by MAC, by IP Port, by protocol or by RJ45 port! It supports local DNS caching (DNS MASQ), UPnP (for seamless XBox support), Port Forwarding (so my two ReplayTVs can talk to Poopli), as well as the dubious ability to increase the milliwatt output of your Wireless router by 900%. This can make the wireless signal a lot more realiable if you're on the back porch if you know what I mean.
- QoS: I'm using it with Vonage and have been able to easily setup a Static IP in DHCP to be assigned to my Vonage Router via MAC address. Then I went into the Sveasoft Quality of Service interface and set Vonage to be at the "Premium" level. This means that bits going to and from my Vonage Router have PRIORITY. I tested this by downloading a 3 GIG file from Microsoft via FTP while the wife was on the phone. I've got 3 megabits downstream, so I get about 300-350K/sec down. When QoS was off, Mo could barely hear your sister and the digital artifacts sent here directly to me to complain. When QoS is on, Mo hasn't once mentioned any trouble with Vonage sound quality.
- Port Forwarding: I've always found this to be hard to configure and a tricky thing. However, once you know what IPs each machine is on via static records in DHCP (rather than plain old static IPs which are hard to keep track of and configure) the Sveasoft interface makes it easy. I 'opened up ports' for Vonage and my two ReplayTVs, as well as the XBox for good measure (I know it's not required.)
- Flakey: This is a flakey router. I have to reboot it once or twice a month. Also, when I flashed it this evening with the new Alchemy build (I was upgrading from Satori) I had to hold the reset button for like two minutes. Also, the power light wouldn't stop flashing (a bad thing) until I disconnected and reconnected the Internet cable (a weird thing) then everything started working again (a good thing.)
- I'm Not Smart On These Things: I got an 'A' in TCP/IP class and I can run Ethereal with the best of them, but I don't understand how the Linux TCP/IP stack is organized and I can't calculate NetMasks without scratch paper and I don't have my 128-bit WEP keep memorized, so I feel stoopid when I read the Support Forums on Sveasoft.
- You CAN Screw Yourself and Your Router: Greg has messed his up during the firmware flashing process a few times. When that happens you sometimes have to open the router up and fiddle with dips or something. I haven't messed it up that bad, but I've gotten close. You should always have a default LinkSys firmware already downloaded as it sucks to have no Internet Access and the tool you need isn't already on your system. There's five second window of time on bootup when you can re-flash an older firmware via TFTP.
Thank God I got this working again before Mo wakes up. Having no email is bad, but having no phone service is a problem.
All that said, I'm digging it. Chris Brooks is running it now I believe, as well as Greg Hughes and (I think) Chris Sells without any screams of pain.
Do you run Sveasoft or the default firmware?