[Noisebridge-discuss] Looking for best home wifi router and open source firmware

Lee Sonko lee at lee.org
Sun Apr 7 18:49:34 UTC 2013

Oop. I thought I had replied to this message last month! Sorry all! I
hadn't meant to not respond!  Here is my response, and my followup...


Hey Sean, I looked up the Ubiquiti equipment, specifically, the AirRouter
running AirOS. No, it doesn't have the per-user monitoring I am looking

I'm basically looking for this because I've got about 20 machines on my
network, many not entirely under my control and I want to be able to say,
"Hey, machine X is sucking up all the bandwidth, I better check it out."

As a side note, to connect all my machines, I've been using Netgear
Ethernet over Power XET1001 devices through a 9,000 square foot building.
They've worked flawlessly for a few years now, much more reliable than any
wifi. Highly recommended.

Tony, I see that pfsense can run the Bandwidthd package, which is what I'm
looking for! Here was a good overview video of pfsense.

OpenWRT can run bandwidthd as well so I am looking for a fast (400mhz+)
wifi router for inexpensive right now.

I'm being attracted to OpenWRT because it runs on the (less expensive)
routers like Linksys WRT54G, Buffalo etc. It looks like there are several
routers that might do the job. For example the 680mhz  Buffalo WZR-600DHP.
But before I jump in, I would love to hear someone's experience with such
devices. There are just so many to choose from:

Does anyone have a recommendation for running OpenWRT with Bandwidthd on
wifi router hardware?

Or maybe if someone is running Pfsense on wifi router hardware, I could go
in that direction too if there's a howto guide out there.

I sent another message, but no one else got it until now. Here it is:
I'm about an hour into using my new TP-LINK TL-WR1043ND router with OpenWRT and
Bandwidthd. It's looking very promising!

The stock firmware on the router wan't terrible but didn't have all the
graphing I wanted. So I installedOpenWRT.

After spending an hour reading the manuals, installation was way simple
* fetch the firmware mentioned in the hardware-specific
* install the firmware by "upgrading" the router. 3 clicks total
* tada, the router mostly "just works"
* enable wifi (the documentation clearly mentions that wifi is turned off
by default), 3 clicks "enable wifi on the LAN, on the WAN, Submit!)
* tada, the router is totally working

To install Bandwidthd
* I tried using the web interface something wasn't working right. I tried
to jump-start Bandwidthd from within the ssh interfce but nuthun doin. So I
uninstalled it from the web interface and the couple commands mentioned at
the top of the Bandwidthd
documentation<http://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/howto/bandwidthd> from
the ssh interface
* I then went to and darn if stats weren't
magically showing up!
* I've been having trouble with my wifi dying unexpectedly. I'll keep
playing with it. I uninstalled bandwidthd and the wifi seems more stable
but I'm still in process....

I was totally happy with the Tomato Firmware except for not having per-user
stats info. I'm pretty sure I'll get this working peachy keen soon. Email
me privately if you want more info (I don't want to bother the mailing list
if there's no interest)

And here is yet another message I THOUGHT I had sent to the list. But no!

After playing with OpenWRT for a while, I tried Toastman's Tomato, a Tomato
firmware mod. It worked great right out of the box! I think it has
everything I need and want. And it Just Works. I wrote a blog post about it.


On Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 3:12 PM, Tony Arcieri <tony.arcieri at gmail.com>wrote:

> pfsense is a popular open source firewall distribution based on FreeBSD,
> with a nice web UI that makes admining it easy:
> http://www.pfsense.org/
> If you're looking for a box to run it on, you might consider one based on
> the ALIX boards. They're practically designed with pfsense in mind:
> http://store.netgate.com/Netgate-m1n1wall-2D2-Red-P221.aspx
> On Fri, Mar 8, 2013 at 9:32 PM, Lee Sonko <lee at lee.org> wrote:
>> I run Tomato firmware on my WRT54GL router and I'm really happy with it.
>> I'd like to find a router and firmware that will give me per-user bandwidth
>> stats. I think that open-wrt and one of the bandwidth packages I can get
>> with it is the right thing to get. But I can't figure out which router to
>> get. I just want 4 ethernet ports and decent wifi at a decent price. This
>> seems like it would be a well trodden path but I'm not finding "the answer"
>> quickly. Some cite reliability problems with routers, I've seen a lot of
>> oddly qualified recommendations. Does anyone have any solid suggestions
>> from personal experience?
>> And it seems odd that the WRT54GL still might be the best choice after
>> being in production for some so many years.
>> _______________________________________________
>> Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
>> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
>> https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
> --
> Tony Arcieri
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